Jesus would have died for you if you were the only person alive.
This is a concept I've heard on and off for a long time, but I can think of no basis in the bible to back it up. Both my wife and I see Jesus as going to the cross because of the glory set before Him (a complex set of ideas in a single phrase) rather than because He was 'thinking of me' to follow a recent idiom (I'm pretty sure He didn't think of me personally at all, and I'm not deliberately sniping at THAT song).
I would be interested to know, do you agree with the idea of Jesus dying for you alone and specifically, or do you see Him doing it from obedience and because of what His death would do to creation? I'd love to hear why you believe what you do. Answers with too many long words may be mocked.
I'm thinking about this statement:
God's main concern is not our salvation, but rather His main concern is His Glory.
Can we really break God's thoughts down into "main concerns" and "lesser concerns"? Does He have "priorities"?
If loving us was His main priority, then no one who follows Him would suffer from disease or other life circumstances. But we do suffer from those things because ultimately these things are for God's glory.
I'm still not sure you can break it down like this. He does let us suffer ultimately because it's best for us AND that fits within glorifying Him. By reading the book of Job, the answer to the problem of suffering is that "only God knows why".
He allows us the opportunity to be used by Him and to be a part of His Kingdom because He loves us
In the end - what happens to us is for us, not Him since He needs nothing. But if something will happen, it will all ind the end be to His glory. As contradictory as that sounds, God needs nothing from anyone including praise or glory. The ONLY reason we are encouraged to be obedient and to glorify Him is for us - He has our best interest in mind and knows that glorifying Him and obeying Him is best for us since He designed us that way.
A couple of comments Stevo, my friend.
First off, lets not make this confrontational, since it was asking about what people thought on the topic, and Chris has been quite open about what he thinks.
The whole thing about God not needing us and yet requiring humanity to do certain things is an interesting one. I'd suggest it's because He has a father's heart and loves His children to respond - it's not out of need but desire. And yes, it will add to His glory if we are obedient etc.
No confrontation intended here, this is a great subject and certainly a fresh topic coming from thou.
I think we can safely say that both aspects are in operation simultaneously. I wouldn't want to say that any aspect is subordinate to any other as that would imply that if one violates the other, then the other is not in effect. The only way I can see reconciling the question between God's glory and His love for us is to say - "Both!"
But what He asks of us - you say it's desire. But desire always has an object. I would propose that in this case, it's for our good. Anthropomorphisms aside, if it's not, then He isn't and all good God.
In the grand scheme of things, everything will end up glorifying Him - even the disobedient.
I think it's just a take-off from the sparrow example. Jesus used it to indicate that God knows each one of us as individuals and is intimately aware of our needs - Psalm 139 is a good example. The point here is quite important, but it's not the heart or main point of the gospel that is being expressed. Nor does it try to be in my estimation.
I'm pretty sure He didn't think of me personally at all
Maybe, maybe not. He was thinking of whomever and whatever the Father revealed to Him. One can only assume that at a minimum, he was thinking of all His brothers and sisters who would be with Him in eternity, but perhaps not each one individually.
I think that if I were the only person on the earth who needed saving, then yes, Jesus would have come and died for me alone. Of course, He could have come up with another way of saving me, but we could go round in circles with that one. The reason I believe it, is because of the unconditional love He has for every one His children, a love the knows no bounds.
You're welcome, mind you, you may not have heard the last of me yet............Excellent topic for discussion, has made me think alot.
I certainly hope we'll hear from you again. :-)
Good question Toni - it sets off loads of thoughts and ideas!
No, I don't really go along with the "he was thinking of me individually" thing. It seems quite difficult to know exactly what he was thinking, I can't see how you can know that. But I think there is good evidence to say that he felt a strong, vocational call towards the cross, and it seems that vocation arose out of his close relationship with "the Father", and out of a deep reading of scripture (for example there are lots of themes from Psalm 22 through the whole of the passion narratives, and I think Jesus intended it that way). I'm pretty certain he read and acted on Isaiah, Zechariah, Jeremiah, as these words seem to be on his lips and to guide his actions. I reckon he had a lot on his mind that day, but each individual member of humanity? No.
Also, I don't see the whole goal of the cross merely to be "saving souls" - yes, it is about saving people, but saving them for a purpose, which has to do with creation and our place in it both now and in the age to come. If you think of it like that, the whole "if I were the only person alive" question becomes pretty meaningless... it isn't actually part of God's plan for you to be the only person alive, so the issue would never come up. If you were the only person alive, then God's plan would have failed already.
Yes, I do believe that Jesus, though his death, has saved me individually, and for that I am truly, eternally grateful. It is such good news. But I am saved as part of a much wider purpose, not to escape and sit on the clouds playing a harp and dreaming away the long afternoons. For that, I am also eternally grateful.
But don't you think that question is more or less intended to illustrate one minute point? It certainly breaks down everywhere you look, but if you think of it as merely illustrative, it isn't so bad.
I'm not sure I see exactly what you're getting at. It's not terrible, I admit, but is is quite bad. I think it has got the perspective wrong - it is all about ME and MY salvation, as if the world revolved around me. It does illustrate God's love, but I suspect diminishes it.
I would submit that the OP statement, "Jesus would have died for you if you were the only person alive" and many of the subsidiary statements like Our Lord thinking specifically of ME when He was dying on the cross are a product of our overly individualized western modern mentality. I see no basis for them either in the bible or in ancient Jewish society.
He died to redeem a Nation, a People group, and not a gaggle of individuals. It is written that God so loved the WORLD; not that He so loved me or you or Joe or Sam or Betty or ... That is an important distinction that is often lost in the western church. We do not see ourselves in our congregations as a "body" as Paul describes us in 1 Cor 12 and other places. We see ourselves walking out our individual salvation and our individual relationship with God and maybe, just MAYBE we have a few close relationships with other believers; rather than being an individual part of an organic whole, as linked in to our fellow congregants as our hand is to our arm.
The idea of "the glory set before Him" is indeed complex. But in our western thought we tend to see it as his individual glory, as in someone taking the stand while the band plays and geting awarded the ultimate Olympic gold medal. I do not think it is that kind of glory. If it were, it would make Our Lord rather selfish.
Instead, I see that glory as the glorious Bride set before Him in the end of time. Without spot or wrinkle. And the difficulties we experience here in this life are designed to purify us and weld us together into that glorious bride.