The story of Christ is the story of reconciliation. Christ atones, and reminds man that he can be “at one” with God. This is what atonement means, that is, literally a contraction of the words “at” and “one.”
The great misunderstanding of modern Christianity is that God is separate from man, and that man is sinful and must attain to God’s perfection. Of course, this is a daunting task, accomplished only by self-imposed will. That is, it is only a transformation charged by mortal man himself… not by God.
There is a distinction between what is called “book knowledge,” and “realization.” “Book knowledge” is what the common Christian learns and applies through a study of the Bible. “Realization” is learning experienced through an authentic communication…Communion, if you will, with God through meditative prayer.
Most Christians blindly follow the Bible and its tenants, forgetting that it was composed and arranged by man, although Holy men, no doubt. However, before there was ever a single written word about God there was first an experience and realization of God which then prompted man to spread the good news of His being.
With book knowledge there is only belief and a requirement for the Christian to “have faith,” but with realization there is no belief, but rather, a direct experience of God and the ability to know, verify and validate God. I speak of this, having been a steadfast atheist for many years!
With realization, we need not powerlessly petition to a God believed to be outside of us, but rather employ God’s presence and nature within to remedy any trying circumstance. We do not need to “just have faith.”
The difference between book knowledge and realization is vastly different in that one is based in powerlessness and the other in a firm foundation of awareness.
God is not attained to outside of you, but rather, is realized and brought to life within you. Christ proclaimed, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”