COMMON SENSE CHRISTANITY
Jesus said his New Covenant was easy and liberating, (Matthew 11-29,30; John 8:36). It is strange to me that we who have so benefited from his freely given salvation hasten to complicate and restrict it by adding on all sorts of requirements (works) that are said to be necessary for "growing in Christ. " The ways we do this are so complicated and so varied, a list of those detours could be described as endless. Borrowing from the Apostle John's allusion, I would comment that "I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" for all these "add ons."
It is obvious we gain our salvation not by what we know, but from whom we know. This is the experience common to all who come to Christ. We come there with only a bared heart and without a theological education. According to Jesus' promise, the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and we "learn" about God's love and forgiveness, by internal revelation.
The prophet Jeremiah's prediction (31:31-34) is fulfilled in our minds and hearts (Hebrews 8: 8-13). God "writes" his law on our hearts and minds when we are born again (John 3:5-7). Then we become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We have a complete change of our personality. At that time, we know nothing but Christ, and Christ crucified (Gal. 6:14).
As soon as we testify of our new life in Christ, people will appear to tell us what we must do next. These "next steps" are opinions presented as faith essentials, as "Gospel truths" that must be followed. These opinions, offered with good intentions, are apt to change from day to day, if not from hour to hour. These opinions are as many and as varied as the number of people presenting them.
Common sense tells us we got in the presence of God by a contrite heart coupled with an earnest petition to God - by prayer and supplication. Why do we need more than prayer to stay in his presence? If God's Spirit is our Teacher, our Guide, with Jesus promising he will never leave or forsake us, and stay with us until the end of time, (Matthew 28:20b; John 14:18-21) nothing more is necessary on our part to stay in God's presence.
So what do we do next? We talk to God. We "pray without ceasing" (1 Th. 5:16-18). Prayer is simply talking to God. So what do we say to God? Everything we think. He knows what we think but he wants us to communicate with him just as we would if we could see him standing beside us - because he is standing beside us, at all times. We tell him all our needs, all our feelings, all our hopes, all our doubts and fears, and give him thanks for his presence and providence. He wants a personal relationship with us and he responds to our search for one.
This is companionship with our loving parent. Jesus described God as Father, Matthew 6:9) and even more intimately as Daddy/Abba (Mark 14:36). We are to relate to God as we would relate to a perfect earthly parent. Although our parents were not perfect, and neither are we perfect parents, God in his combination parental role of Father/mother, is the perfect parent.
Simple? This is too simple for most who counsel you to do more (or less). But there is nothing more to do. There are no special works - rituals, liturgies or sacrifices you can make to change God. God already loves you as much as he can, and ever has or ever will. We should accept his love for what it is - a gift. It is free. It was demonstrated in, by, and effected through Jesus' works. We can do nothing to earn God's love because we already have it. Nothing more is needed from us but to believe this.
Jesus explained this simple relationship and what it means in the prayer he left to us as our creed. It is more completely explained in GOD 101, pages 7-20. Go there a read how this is as simple, and as easy as Jesus promised.
Many say this too good to be true. Those cynics and doubters have not experienced God's close companionship and love because they have not sought it. These are those who would lead you into useless religious works that in no way increase God's love and concern for you.
God's love for you is a "done deal." Jesus completed it for you.
Cynicism and doubting comes from those who have not met God "face to face" and, therefore, do not experience God's real presence. Theological affirmations of God's omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence do not satisfy human yearning for proof of God's loving companionship. So how to we get proof? GOD 101 gives a step-by-step route to God's immediate presence.
However, it you are in a hurry to meet God, you can do it now. The only thing you can do for God is to give him your self - your will and wants. Tell your Abba Father you want to be in his immediate presence now and forever.
Tell him you want to walk and talk with him now, not later. Tell him you will do what ever he requires from you if he will give you his loving companionship, just as Jesus taught and promised. Ask him to send in the Holy Spirit Teacher Jesus promised. Ask him to give you the "living faith" Jesus gave his disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
This is common sense Christianity, the key to life. It is a matter between you and God. It is a "do it yourself project." No one or no thing can do it for you. Waste no more time. Do it now!