God’s whole counsel includes both the bad news about our natural state and the good news about God’s plan to redeem us.
With the explosion of different sects that claim to honour and follow Jesus, how does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? Just what are “the marks of a cult?”
Jesus Christ is this suffering servant, but Jesus’ death, while necessary, was not the end. There would have been no Christianity without His resurrection, this is central to the entire New Testament. For Jesus was declared the Son of God with power through his resurrection
Our self-love keeps us from surrendering to the guidance of the will of God, and eliminates the sense of gratitude we should have toward God for all the blessings God lavishes upon us. By calling upon us to deny ourselves, bear our cross and hope for eternal life, even as we thank God for the blessings of this life, we are to abandon once for all the image of ourselves we have created through our blind self-love, in order to be conformed to the image of selfless and self-giving love that is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Christians want to appear to be living for eternal life, if you really examine their plans they are filled only with earthly concerns, which brings to expression their greed, ambition and desire. To remove from us our love for riches, power and honour. God reveals the vanity of the present life through the afflictions of the cross.
Human reason tells us to avoid dishonour and disgrace as the worst of plagues, but faith in Christ reveals to us that being reviled for the sake of his name is the highest honour we can receive in this life.