The Truth in Jesus

But ye did not so learn Christ; if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, which waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit .

— Eph. 4:20-22

How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought, that we may have learned him wrong. That must be far worse than not to have learned him at all: his place is occupied by a false Christ, hard to exorcise! Have we learned Christ as he taught himself, or as men have taught him who did not understand him? Have we learned Christ in false statements and corrupted lessons about him, or have we learned himself? And is only our brain full of things concerning him, whether true or false, or does he himself dwell in our hearts, a learnt, and ever being learnt lesson, the power of our life? Consider the following utterance, from one in the front rank of those skeptical of Christianity: “The visiting on Adam’s descendants through hundreds of generations of dreadful penalties for a small transgression which they did not commit; the damning of all men who do not avail themselves of an alleged mode of obtaining forgiveness, which most men have never heard of; and the effecting of reconciliation by sacrificing a son who was perfectly innocent, are actions which, ascribed to a human ruler, would call forth expressions of abhorrence; and the ascription of them to the Ultimate Cause of things must become impossible.”  I do not quote the passage with the design of opposing it, for I entirely agree with it; the system it assails is a false one, and I have never heard a word from skeptics such as this writer which even touched anything I hold; yet the beliefs that he attacks are, alas, those held by many so-called Christians.