Tradition and the Spirit of God
Tradition and The Spirit of God
John 3:16-17,19 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him……Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light ….
Jesus led men to feel at home in the world; he delivered them from the slavery of tradition and taught them that the world that he came to save was not fundamentally evil just in darkness. He did not long to escape from his earthly life; he lived by following the Light i.e. the Father’s will. He displayed divine life, the light, in the midst of a realistic human world that had been in darkness. Jesus did not share others pessimistic view of humankind. Jesus looked upon men as his brothers, sons of God and foresaw a wonderful and eternal future for those who choose life. He was not a skeptic; he viewed man positively, not negatively. He saw most men as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved in darkness but now in light. No matter what their status, they were all God’s children and his brethren. It is this view, this vision of life on earth we all can share. Because the Light has come man can and does have spiritual insight.
There is a spirit in the mind and heart of man–the Spirit of Jesus Christ. There are three separate evidences of His spirit indwelling the human mind/heart
1. Divine fellowship–love. The purely human mind/heart may be known for self-protection, but only the spirit-indwelt mind/heart is unselfish and unconditionally loving.
2. Interpretation of life–wisdom. Only the spirit-indwelt mind/heart can comprehend that God and his creation is friendly to the individual and not to be feared in a negative way.
3. Spiritual evaluation of life–worship. Only the spirit-indwelt man can realize the divine presence and seek to attain a fuller experience in and with this foretaste of divinity.
Jesus was and is wholly dedicated to doing his Father’s will. Many of his harder sayings can be viewed as more of a personal confession of faith and a pledge of devotion than commands to his followers. It is this singleness of purpose and unselfish devotion that enabled him to live such an extraordinary life of a man. In his devotion to the cause of the kingdom, Jesus burned all bridges behind him; he sacrificed all hindrances to the doing of his Father’s will. The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not produce new insights of God. Concerning insight, the recognition of divine life and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose. When Light came to the woman at the well she….
John 4:19-23 The woman said to Him, (recognized) “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. (interpreted – traditions/darkness) “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, (a discovery/light)“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers (a choice).
This womans choice was to either receive a salvation that comes not from knowing how others should worship (traditions) or where but by receiving into her own heart this living water which Jesus was offering her now.”
All who are led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God children of the Most High God.
Jesus said: .. “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition…..thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” Mark 7:9,13
Jesus showed the apostles that the Jews were spiritually stagnant and dying because they had crystallized truth into a creed and traditions. When truth becomes formulated and an outline for self-righteous exclusiveness instead of serving as signposts pointing toward divine life, such teachings lose their creative and life-promoting power and ultimately become simply preservative and fossilizing. From Jesus they learned to look upon their fellow man in terms of their possibilities. They learned that many can best be led to love the unseen God by being first taught to love their brethren whom they can see. And it was to this that Jesus spoke when he said: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”
So each day we can ask ourself – “How doI love Jesus today?” “How do I love my fellow man today?” but lets not make it a tradition.