Christianity In Spain By Pastor Guillermo

Christianity at the end of the first decade of the 21st century is like a piece of solid gold jewellery that has fallen from a sunken Spanish galleon. Encrusted now with centuries of marine growth its true beauty is hidden, but here and there one can still catch a gleam of gold. Whether the mass of marine growth seems ugly or, for some, to have a strange artistic beauty depends on the person. Nevertheless, in spite of the gleams of gold, the piece of jewellery is very different to its original appearance.

So is Christianity, like marine growths around ancient gold jewellery, the elaborate man made rituals, some perhaps quite beautiful to watch, mask the true gold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elaborate rituals, priestly clothing and sacred furniture belong to the Old Testament not the New. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews contrasts the God ordained rituals and ceremonies given to the ancient Israelites as shadows and patterns of reality to come. He calls them - "An illustration for the present time - external regulations applying until the time of the new order" Hebrews 9: 9 & 10

When Jesus met with a Samaritan woman she said to him - "Sir," - "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. Jesus replied to her - "Believe me, woman, a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth - John 4: 19, 20, 23 & 24.

When Jesus cried out on the cross - "It is finished" John 19: 30 The huge heavy curtain that divided the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Temple at Jerusalem was torn in two from top to bottom showing that a new way had been made into the presence of God.

When some Jews went from Jerusalem to the believers in Galatia telling them that, although they had believed in Jesus, they must submit to Jewish rituals and ceremonies if they wished to be saved, the apostle Paul wrote them, a very straight letter in which he said, among other things - "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the (Holy) Spirit, are you now trying to obtain your goal by human effort? - Galatians 3: 3

There are only two rites that belong to the New Testament, communion, or the Lord’s Supper and baptism by water, representing the death, burial and resurrection of the believer together with Christ, as the Bible tells us "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! - 2 Corinthians 5: 17

What Almighty God has always been looking for is faith, a faith that results in a changed life. Way back in the time of the book of Genesis we read - "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness" Romans 4: 3.But he just didn't believe, he obeyed, his life style changed forever.

The prophet Amos sums up perfectly what God has been looking for at all times - "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God"- Micah 6: 8 No rite or ceremony ordained by God or invented by man can be a substitute for believing and obeying God’s commands.

Come to Jesus Christ today, ask his forgiveness, and begin a new and challenging life as a true disciple whose goal is heaven.

Gordon Guillermo Burgess
The Pastor
Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd

Be Our Friend On Face Book Speaking Church In Alicante