After eleven weeks the NASCAR Division is showing to be a formidable foe

After twelve weeks of play (eleven games plus the bye week) the NFC South has a combined total of two (2) loses at their respective homes. The New Orleans Saints, who currently occupy the 4th place within the division. are 6-5. The only other division that can boast a similar record is the AFC East (but I am not sure about the home win-loss record). With five weeks left to play and each NFC South team having at least two divisional games left - it is still wide open. For the Panthers to come out on top they had better find their run defense again, and the passing game had best pick up on offense. The game in Green Bay this week is going to be a tough go. Carolina is 1-3 at the "Frozen Tundra", 3-7 overall life time. Oh, and one last thing... this past weekend both the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints sported their all black uniforms. (Since I do not have permission from the NFL to repost pictures you will have to click on the teams respective links to see what I mean.) If there is ANY team in the NFL that should sport an all black uniform it would HAVE to be the Carolina Panthers! I mean, come on! Their mascot is a BLACK CAT for crying out loud! LOL Ok, on to more serious pursuits. Late last week I was approached, by who I am assuming is a young man, to see if I would be willing to answer a few questions regarding my belief in Christ and how I see myself as a samurai in the Lord's service. I answered two questions for him so far, and have hopefully left the door open for further interaction. Here are the two questions posed to me, and my corresponding answers:
  1. when it comes to complete devotion: Jesus already died for our sins, so do you think it is more of Disrespect and basically outright dis belief to be so willing to die for Christ?

I think your perception of what is happening may be a little off. There is a big difference between what Christ’s death did accomplish, and what our death would accomplish. Christ’s death was for the atonement of our (mankind’s) sins against a Holy and Righteous God.

“For Christ also suffered[1] once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit”

--- 1 Peter 3 : 18, ESV ([1]Some manuscripts died)

Our death would be in service to Christ. Not as an atonement, but in submission for what He has done. Often our “death” is not to be in the termination from this world, but a “death” to our preferences.

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

--- Luke 9 : 23-24, ESV

So, to answer your question, “Do you think it is more of disrespect and basically outright disbelief to be so willing to die for Christ?” I would say this: I do not find my willingness to die for Christ as a sign of disrespect or disbelief because such an act could never be a substitution for His death. I am in no way trying to put my act (or works) in place of Christ. His act provided my complete justification before God. My act would be a minor part in my sanctification. Now, if I were to view my death as to some how being a part of my salvation, then yes it would be disrespectful. It would be saying, “Christ, what You accomplished on the cross was insufficient. It is incomplete until I add my part to it.” But that is not how I view it, nor should anyone. We serve not because we earn, we serve because we have been given.

  1. "denounce faith or die": In the book Silence, the author talks about how Christians were forced to step on a picture of Christ, or else they would be killed. This is the kind of thing that God would not be *mad at you for doing (*I don't know how to say that). In this situation, God would rather you step on the picture than die, right?

There is a verse that speaks directly to this question:

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

--- Matthew 10 : 32-33, ESV

What this act is signifying is the denial of Christ. The person is rejecting Christ and His teachings before those men who told them to do this. I would also refer back to Luke 9 :23-24…

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

--- Luke 9 : 23-24, ESV

How we view Christ, who He is, what He has done, our response to such things, is of the highest importance.

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