Tertullian Revisited: Chapter 8 – We are Faith Finders, not Spiritual Seekers

 

Some people believe that the purpose of life is to seek the truth. Christians and heretics abide by this concept, but differ in regard to the outcome. True believers find the truth and stick with it. Heretics find the journey more appealing and continue the process of seeking. Instead of affirming the faith, they seek to confirm their own love of the journey by continually seeking new questions, ideas, and opinions that lead them down a narcissistic blind alley.

 

Christ invites us from the scriptures to both seek and find. Christians and heretics alike begin their journey here.

 

Jesus asked this of His disciples and contemporaries, who were searching for the Messiah. He was pointing them to Himself, to show them that the centuries old search for the Anointed One was complete.

 

Some did not know that the Messiah was amongst them; therefore Jesus was asking them to make their search during His lifetime. He was showing them that the journey would lead to Him alone.

 

God revealed His presence to the Jews over several centuries. In Christ, God gave the last revelation that personal faith journeys would require. The Jewish search for the Messiah was over. The plan of salvation was made complete in Christ.

 

Christ referred His people to the Holy Scriptures. The sacred clues were there, in both the law and the prophets. Moses and Elijah testified to Christ’s coming into the world. Thus, when Christ asks His people to ‘seek and find” He is telling them to study the scriptures, read God’s word, and figure out that Jesus is the Anointed One.

 

For those to whom this was not clear, Christ asked them to knock on the door of faith and understanding, which would be opened to them. For those who were unclear about Christ’s divinity, He was again pointing them in His direction.

 

The Jewish people experienced a sacred privilege – that of being chosen as the Covenanted People of God – but when they rejected Christ as their Messiah, they were no longer blessed as the Only Chosen Ones.

 

God then extended His grace to those who lay outside of His Holy Covenant. He permitted the Gentile nations to receive the good news of Christ and be part of the Gospel promises that Jesus obtained through His sacrificial death on the Cross. 

The Gentile nations knew nothing of Christ until Jewish disciples walked beyond their borders to broadcast the Gospel throughout the earth. Just as the Jews themselves had been scattered across the Mediterranean, so was the New Testament of God carried, expressed, and shared to the Diaspora.

 

To those who sought to find the truth and know Him better, Christ invited them to ask of Him. Since the truth was to be found in Him, He would personally answer their questions. For true believers this is acceptable; but for heretics, this is too simple.

 

Christ spoke first of all to Israel. He was called to be Messiah of His people, and then Savior of the world. He was sent to bring back those who had fallen away from God and return them to the faithful flock.

 

So, this invitation to “seek and find” is initially to be understood as a call to the Jews to look no further than Jesus to find the Christ. His ministry was to reach out to His own Chosen people; it was only later that the bread from the Master’s table would be fed to the Gentiles.

 

Only at the last, before His Ascension, did Christ tell His disciples to go out into the world, to teach and baptize people of other nations. And with the presence of the Holy Spirit, they were to engage in evangelism for the same purpose as His Ministry to the Jews: to enable those who were seeking the truth to find it in Christ Jesus.

 

The apostles were ordained by God, sent out by Christ, and anointed with the Holy Spirit to tell the world that they had found the Truth. True believers joyously welcome this and accept that the message of the apostles is one that we should readily accept. Heretics, however, do not accept this Christ given authority and question the reliability of the apostles. In effect, heretics question the work of the Holy Spirit, which is an unpardonable sin.

 

The Lord has not left us to work out our own salvation. His words are meant to bring us to Him. Originally, they were addressed to His own people, but throughout the centuries and across the nations, His words of invitation are meant to bring closure to our spiritual seeking and make us finders of the One, True and Everlasting faith – that Jesus Christ is the Anointed Lord of the Universe, and He is the Only Savior of humankind.

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About stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over twenty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
This entry was posted in apologetics, Christ, Christian apologetics, Christian blogs, Christianity, defending the faith, faith, faith in the Church, God, Gospel, heresy, heresy in the Church, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Presbyterian, Religion, Tertullian, Tertullian Revisited, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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