I was raised from childhood to read my bible. I memorized the 10 commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the 23rd Psalm when in grammar school. I loved the Christmas and Easter story and believed that Jesus was a very unusual and a different kind of person, who once lived and taught mankind how to govern themselves. I remember many of the sayings from scripture that my mother tried to teach me, like "turn your other cheek" or "do unto others as you would have them do to you." Honestly, I didn't understand either one. Who wanted to turn their cheek? You could get hurt! Of course I thought I was a Christian. I had to be. I went to church every Sunday, and lived in a Christian Nation, the United States, right? WRONG! I was a CHRISTIAN MORALIST.
I was raised to think that Christianity was all about being good, following the ten commandments, which I failed many times, and being like Jesus. He was a very moral person. He didn't argue with His mother or Father, or fight with His siblings. He was forgiving and kind and went to synagogue every Saturday. Jesus was my good example to follow. I survived through grade school and high school until I entered college. College was a different world. I found it hard to be good! There was drinking, swearing, dating, and cheating on exams all around me. I had a big problem with my Christian worldview. My faith was challenged. I soon found out that my faith was in a RELIGION call Christianity. I didn't know that Jesus wasn't religious and that I could have a personal relationship with Him.
After one year of college, my Christian faith was shaken to its roots. Fortunately, I was dating a "christian moralist" and he asked me to marry him. Knowing what I know today, "It was a God thing". We kept each other on the straight and narrow path. We have been married now for 54 years and the eyes of our understanding have been enlightened to see that Jesus is not religious or a moralist. He is God, resurrected, alive, and living His life through His body the church by the person of the Holy Spirit..
Once the Holy Spirit started to open my eyes to the Living Word of God, the bible took on a whole new dimension. The Gospel of John became my favorite book and later the book of Romans . John Chapter 16:12-15 says "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you." WOW, I never realized until then the importance of the Holy Spirit and that He was a person, not just a spirit floating in the clouds.
As I continued to read the bible, it was as if God was speaking to me personally for the first time. Growing up, I had never heard anything about the person of the Holy Spirit. He was the missing link. I now realize that without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to understand or to interpret the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and a very important person of the Godhead. I never want to quench Him because He is the one who continues to reveal the Risen Lord Jesus Christ to me. He is not an "IT". He is a person, who has come to replace Jesus on earth. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and opens our eyes to see our need for a Savoir and to bring us safely home to the Father, as the bride of His son Jesus. THE RELIGIOUS MORALIST HAS DIED IN JESUS CHRIST and NO LONGER LIVES.
" I have been crucified with Christ Jesus. It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:19,20,