Being a Christian is the Act of a Lifetime

Listen to the Richard Urban Show #16:

Cheon Seong Gyeong 450

If we ask ourselves whether life or love is first, we can claim each to be first. But which do you think really comes first? It is love that comes first. Relating this to the core of the universe, in order for something to have value, there must be an original flow of love. (143-277, 1986.3.20)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 952

The hope of billions of spirit people in the spirit world is for Unification Church members throughout the world to become the spearhead and “Go! Go! Go!” So, if we create and offer a unified world to the spirit world, then both worlds will come under God’s domin-ion. These two unified worlds will last for eternity in the name of the True Parents. (161-222, 1987.2.15)

Part 3-The Path of Life

Growth, Responsibility and Destiny

Spiritual Growth

Growth is a fact of nature; nothing springs forth fully formed but passes through a process of growth from inception to completion. The same principle that applies to the growth of the body also applies to the growth of the spirit—“from stage to stage.” the stages of growth are described in many ways: by the metaphor of sprouting grain, or the four seasons, or grades at school.
Only upon reaching maturity, which is a state of spiritual perfection, can a human being fully participate in the love of God and take his or her place in God’s Kingdom. What is spiritual perfection? It is unity of mind and body, when you are free from the constant struggle with the flesh to do what is right; it is, attaining the fullness of Christ; it is oneness with God’s constant and loving mind.

O man! Verily you are ever toiling on towards your Lord—painfully toiling—but you shall meet Him… You shall surely travel from stage to stage.
    Qur’an 84.6, 19
 
To the pupil training, in the straight way walking,By ending [his sins] first comes knowledge;Straight follows insight; by that insight freedHe knows in very truth: Sure is my freedomBy wearing out the fetter of becoming.Itivuttaka 53 (Buddhism)
 
By the… soul, and Him who perfected it
and inspired it with conscience of what is
wrong for it and right for it:
He is indeed successful who causes it to grow,
and he is indeed a failure who stunts it.
Qur’an 91.7-10
 
Practicing step by step,
One gradually fulfills all Buddha teachings.
It is like first setting up a foundation
Then building the room:
Generosity and self-control, like this,
Are bases of enlightening beings’ practices.
Garland Sutra 10 (Buddhism)
 
The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.
    Mark 4.26-29
 
Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, but compassionate amongst each other… And their similitude in the Gospel is: Like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, filling the sowers with wonder and delight.
    Qur’an 48.29 
 
Heaven has only spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Humans have only humanity, rectitude, propriety, and wisdom… There are only these four principles. There is nothing else. Humanity, rectitude, propriety and wisdom are origin, growth, perfection, and fulfillment. If in spring nothing has sprouted or been born, then in summer there will be no way for growth to take place, and in autumn and winter it will be impossible to harvest and store.
    Chu Hsi (Confucianism)
 
Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift… to equip the saints for the work of ministry, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be called children, tossed to and fro on every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.
    Ephesians 4.7-16
 
Becoming a Christian can be the act of a moment; being a Christian is the act of a lifetime. I have grown to understand more fully what Jesus meant when He spoke of spiritual commitment and conversion as being “born again” (John 3.3). Physical birth is a process, moving from conception through the period of gestation to the miracle of the moment of birth. But birth is not only the end of one process—it is the beginning of another, the process of growth. The same should be true spiritually. My commitment to Christ was a “spiritual rebirth,” but this was to be followed by spiritual growth.
    Billy Graham, The Courage of Conviction (Christianity)
 
In regard to the principle of human life, God infused into it a capacity for reasoning and intellection. In infancy, this mental capacity seems, as it were, asleep and practically non-existent, but in the course of years it awakens into a life that involves learning and education, skill in grasping the truth and loving the good. This capacity flowers into that wisdom and virtue which enable the soul to battle with the arms of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice against error, waywardness, and other inborn weaknesses, and to conquer them with a purpose that is no other than that of reaching the supreme and immutable Good.
    Saint Augustine, City of God 22.24 (Christianity)
 
The desirable is called “good.” To have it in oneself is called “true.” To possess it fully in oneself is called “beautiful,” but to shine forth with this full possession is called “great.” To be great and be transformed by this greatness is called a “sage”; to be a sage and to transcend the understanding is called “divine.”
    Mencius VII.B.25 (Confucianism)
 
 

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