Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Beieve or Stumble

It would be awesome if what we're going to explore today was only an ancient Israelite problem...
10:1 "Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Israel needs healing (salvation) but there is a barrier preventing it. The barrier is a misunderstanding of God and of themselves. They see God as Someone demanding something from them (perfect righteousness) and they are desperately (zealously) trying to produce it. They have become so addicted for generations to seeing God this way that they are blind to seeing the truth. The truth is that Christ is the end of the law FOR righteousness. As we've studied in Galatians and Hebrews and already in Romans the role of the law is simply to point out the problem just as an X ray shows a broken bone but can't fix it. We are broken. We are not just broken on the level of the things we do wrong, we are broken on the level of our desires. We desire wrong. We crave it. It is our nature. Jesus pointed this out clearly in His first recorded message to the people commonly called 'The Sermon on the Mount'. He explained that they had been taught that righteousness was not killing and not committing adultery etc... but Jesus said it's much more than that. Murder is a heart issue that begins with anger and then hatred. Adultery He said also begins in the mind. Imagine if the filth that goes through are mind were paraded across a screen on our foreheads for all to read? We don't have a behaviour problem we have a heart problem. That is why the old testament has promises of taking away our heart of stone and replacing it with a new one. A heart that seeks after Jesus and His perfect righteousness instead of hopelessly being obsessed with our own efforts at being righteous.
(Inserting tongue firmly in cheek) I'm glad religion is so different now. I'm glad we don't have lists of external things that define us as righteous or unrighteous and serve as our ticket to heaven if we get the formula right and somehow by effort and willpower achieve it...
The law is not and never was our path to heaven. There are not 10 commandments but 10 promises. They were made by Jesus and they lead to the very throne and heart of God.
 We are left with 2 choices: we can believe His promises and experience His healing or we can stubbornly insist on buying our way to heaven through our own "righteousness" and never experience healing at all...

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