He knows God... He prays to God... He ask question. He seeks and examines information. "D" struggles with what is expected against what he sees. Loving his mom who is an nonbeliever and discourages him from knowing more about Jesus.
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I would first commend him on his spiritual perceptiveness, which he shares with the apostle Paul (Romans 7:15-25). Despite his youth, he is already far ahead of people who may spend their entire lives thinking that they can please God strictly through their own efforts or works. Then I would agree with him that God's standard IS too high to meet or satisfy, since it requires total spiritual perfection. This is what makes the gospel truly the "good news" that its name means by recounting how God became truly human in the person of Jesus, who had the sinless nature and lived the sinless life that none of us can claim; undeservedly died on our behalf as a sacrifice that totally satisfied God's judgment against all human sin; and then rose again from the dead to prove the sufficiency of that sacrifice in God's eyes. Because of that, those (including your son) who place their faith in Christ (rather than in themselves) to please God can then obey Him out of gratitude for the salvation that they have already received (rather than out of an ultimately futile desire to achieve perfection in this life), and can repent and be forgiven for Christ's sake on those occasions (which -- as Paul realized in the passage from Romans cited above -- no Christian can ever be totally free of in this life) when they fall short in their efforts.
The short answer is God is looking for a submissive heart, not perfect behavior. If your son’s words are not just his excuse for walking away from God then it’s wonderful that he would be honest about his feelings. Let him know that God's law was established for our good and also to show us that we are never going to be perfect (because we can’t keep them all)...thus the need for a Savior. God is a just God and knows sin must be punished, but rather than condemn us as sinners, He loved us so much (Romans 5:6) that He paid the price for our sins Himself - through Jesus’s death on the cross. Be certain your son understands that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (in other words, Jesus was God‘s love in action on earth) (John 1:1, 2, 14). Another thing you might want to tell your son is that Jesus taught the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. We see this clearly in John chapter 9 when Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath. Hope that helps. I believe your son is going to make a great Christian as soon as he understands the above.
Saying that one cannot be a Christian because God’s standard is too high is like saying I'll never go to college because I’m not sure I can get straight A’s. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus gave the command to be perfect. Would God ask the impossible? Talking with Nicodemus, Jesus had to teach him “…unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus further explained that only those who are born of Spirit can see His kingdom (John 3:5-7). 1 John 5:18 also makes a clear point: “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him”. 1 John 3:8-9 cannot be misunderstood: “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Is God able to give us victory over sin? The Bible apparently tells that everything is possible for God (Luke 18:27; Phil 4:13) To say that God is asking perfection just to humiliate us with our failures is not Biblical. What kind of parent would set unattainable goals for his children and then punish them when they fail? Yes, we are imperfect creatures (Jer 17:9; Mark 7:21-23) living in a corrupt sinful world – and too often fail to live up to God’s standard but this doesn’t mean we have to get rid of the standard. If it was possible to be saved in our sin, Christ didn't have to die (Matt 1:21). Christ came to save us from our sins not in our sins. I do not believe that as Christians we should only settle for trying our best hoping that God will look the other way when we sin. Instead, we should totally and unconditionally surrender to His will and He is faithful capable to help us do what in our own power we cannot. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7) "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil1:6).
Many lived and are living based on this "standard" life. You cannot achieve a complete holy life with this mortal body. Our flesh nature always has a tendency to sin. Successful Christian life is based on confession and repentance. When you move away from Christ by sinning, you will get a gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit, and it helps us to confess the sin and restore the original path in Christ. Sin nature is powerful, but Holy spirit and Christ’s blood are stronger than sin nature, but all depends on how you hear and obey the reminders of Holy spirit. Once you start to avoid the reminders and suggestions of Holy spirit, your sin nature will overcome your personality. This is bit difficult for an 11-year-old child, but live by example. This is the way you can show Christ through your life.
I think Orthodoxy would say they have no sin nature, but his enemies are multiple. Inwardly, he suffers from the fear of death, and thus chooses wrongly. This fear brings him into lifelong slavery, not being made a sinner (Heb 2:14-15). More than this, he also lives amidst enemy territory. The world is fallen, it’s systems, structures, and people. It’s under the power of our great enemy and all his rebel angels. The deck really is stacked against him, especially this late in the game and the fear leads into lifelong bondage (Heb 2:14-15, Rom 5:12, 5:21). It’s not because the Lord made him to be so, God made him in His image. He was equipped to battle in both realms and by which he’s been given sole privilege as one of God’s creatures, to rightly inhabit both realms of the physical and spiritual/mental reality. He was made for the purpose of communion with God, and co-rule of creation (it’s why the demons want to destroy us!). He was not made to be a sinner. More to this, though he has sinned, Jesus has made a way through his flesh for him to safely come near again to God where his transformation takes place. The great wall between us was forever closed when Jesus united himself to humanity and the way home was opened when he gave his life and ascended on high, seen of many. He has the ability to draw near to God through Jesus in a unique sense. Draw near to God and he will draw near back, sending the Holy Ghost in fire to walk the world in white. Union with Christ, Christ in him, the hope of glory. It’s those who are led by the Spirit of God that are the children of God. But it’s his choice. Every choice he makes between now and when he’s 40 will shape the person he’ll become. Every good choice, into Christ’s image, and who’s end is eternal life. Every evil choice, into the image of the demons, whose end is destruction. There is no middle ground. So the choice is to him as it was to Adam and Eve, as it was to Israel, and as it was to Christ: life or death, blessing or cursing? Isaiah 55:1-3 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.” God bless
Tell him that is why Jesus had to die. To pay our sin debt in full so we can never be condemned again. First John 2:2 And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. John 3:18 Believers can no longer be condemned to hell. John 3:18. God does chasten His children, but the GIFT of God is eternal life. Not a reward for good behavior. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him who justifieth the ungodly, His faith is counted for His righteousness. John 3:16 For God so loved him, that he gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, that WHOSOEVER, him, believeth in Him, Jesus, that he should not perish, but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is the GIFT of God, not according to what we do or do not do. Paid in full by the GIVER. John 10:28-29. First John 5:13.All he has to do is accept Jesus free gift of eternal life to be saved forever. John 6:47. John 6;40.
Let him discover the good news of saving grace by reading Romans. Allow him to discover.
If he was my son, I would tell him this: The standard is so high so that, whenever you are tempted to make your acceptance with God a matter of performance, you are reminded how far you are from being as even you want yourself to be, not to say God's perfect standard. To be a Christian is to believe that because of the great love for you, another father sent his son that he loved and was perfect, to adopt and save another child that is sinful in every faculty of his body and rebellious. I preach this to myself as often as I remember so that my wicked heart does not get bored or indifferent to such a wonderful grace (that is not something, but someone). Now you see why the Christian worships continually through prayer and reading and meditating on His word and everything he does? What a wonderful salvation!
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