Monthly Archives: November 2014

Religion? Or Relationship Restoration? Christ the missing piece in the Religion puzzle!

Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

When I was in High School we had to had to wear a uniform. It was not like anyone liked wearing them but it was a requirement and whenever I got home from school I took it off as fast as I could. The Old Testament Law was like the uniform, the law had no power to change the man from the inside but was only a outward embodiment of what God truly required. The problem is sinful man, deep in his heart he may know what he should do but cannot, and will not. Jesus came to present a new way, that is a change in the heart. First though let us look at a few things.

God’s Requirements
(Deuteronomy 6:4-5) Hear, O Israel, The Lord your God is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Man’s inability to fulfill God’s law/
Lets look at Israel’s History, God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt but time and time again Israel failed to trust and obey God. They often forsook God by worshiping other gods and Idols. In Hosea 8:12 it says “I wrote for them many things of my law but they regarded them as something alien.”

The Lord was not just angry that his people were not just obeying the laws and rules he set up but it was so much more, so much deeper than that. the reason they failed to obey God was distrust and lack of love for the God who saved them time and time again from their enemies. They did not trust God truly knew what was best and desired what was best for their lives. They often times wore the uniform of outward devotion (aka circumcision and rituals) but their hearts bent the other direction.

In Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done- burn with no one to quench it.

Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

Matthew 15:8:9 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

Jesus continues on to say: 15:17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of his mouth come from the heart, and these are what make a man ‘unclean’. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, (hateful and angry speech) adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony,- (lying) slander -trash talk) 20 These are what make a man unclean; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’

Sin against God is so much more than actions but it always starts with an attitude. There was a story where a teacher told an irate boy to sit down. “Sit down Jimmy she said” and finally he did but with a sny remark replied “Im sitting on the outside Mrs Smith but Im standing on the inside!”

Very much like all of us at times, myself included. How often do we find ourselves wanting to do the very things we know we should not. And when we are told “no don’t do that” we want to all the more!

Lets return real quick to Romans 8:3 where it says “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sin nature God did (indeed God took the initiative to mend the relationship, if you think about it religion is man’s way to work his way to God. However we have the following statement say):
by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man (God in human form) to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in sinful man.

It goes on to say that “according to the Spirit”
God gives those who put their faith in His Son the Spirit! Ezekiel 36:26-26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Christ became and was the full righteousness God desired in human form taking the punishment for all our sins when he died on the cross! He took our place and received the anger of God instead of us. He lived as we should have lived yet died a death we all deserved, and rose again so that we might live through him.