Friday, May 25, 2007

No Way To Work It

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight…
(Romans 3:20a – ESV)

The Jews tried to keep it but they couldn’t and so they tried to reinterpret the standard so that it could be met. But the righteous requirements of the Law only awaken resistance not responsiveness, it doesn’t bring justification, it brings condemnation (Galatians 2:16, 21). The Law keeps us in chains so that we may be set free in Christ (Galatians 3:21-22).

Now people want to say they are more good than bad, but no one will be justified by their own good works, their works are not enough (Isaiah 64:6). For those that would try and say that they have followed the Law, Jesus showed up and shows us the true standard and interpreted the spirit of the Law as He did for the rich young ruler. Jesus said unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees, and be ye perfect. The question is not are you as good as the next guy but are you as good as Jesus? You have got to keep it all (Galatians 3:10 / James 2:10).

The Ten Commandments are not some ten-step stairway to heaven they are proof positive that no one could climb up to God even if it were only one step. The Ten Commandments are just the preamble to the Law and no one can even do them. Jesus also gave us the true sense of the Law, which upped the spiritual ante so high that no one dare lay claim to a perfect righteousness.

But no one else seems to think you have to be perfect. All the other religions of the world say you can do it if you do this or that but God says no matter what you do it isn’t good enough because you aren’t Me. Romans 3:23 – the question is are you God, not are you good. Most of us realize we aren’t good compared to someone else we know, we are not the best person we have ever known. What then is the median point between good and bad? Who determines this, who decides this? If you are hoping your good outweighs your bad and that this will justify you, how do you know you are better than half or whatever standard you set for yourself?

God doesn’t leave us to guess He gives us His Law and then He gave us Jesus and we all realize that none of us are good compared to God, and we are not even close to being the kind of person Jesus Christ was in morality, in character, and in power. We cannot be justified by our own deeds they will never be enough.

We must be justified to God not justified by men, not justified by your parents or your wife or your husband or your family or your peers or your priest or your guru or your whoever else. God is the one to whom we are responsible, it is God to whom we have to answer to, and it is God whom justifies us, and here through the Apostle Paul and throughout scripture God tells us that no man can be justified in His sight by things that they can do.

Man cannot even keep one law, Adam and Eve proved that even without a sinful nature, and the Law magnifies that. It is like seeing a “do not open” sign. It isn’t that the words are evil but that they reveal what is in our hearts. If the sign weren’t there we wouldn’t have seen our desire to do what we ought not to do. The Law is a signpost folks, a signpost to sin, not a signpost to salvation, and you can replace the Law with any man made religious system that tries to earn its way to heaven or merit the mercy of whatever god it might serve.


Anonymous said...

"The Jews tried to keep it but they couldn’t and so they tried to reinterpret the standard so that it could be met."

The post-Biblical collection of rabbinical instruction known as the Talmud extensively corroborates this statement; for example a contemporary of Jesus- Rabbi Akiva makes the following statement:

“God considers the observance of even one commandment a fulfillment of the Covenant between Himself & Israel.”

Meanwhile, within the same era, Jesus taught (Matt 5) that nothing less than perfect (Christ’s own) righteousness could pass muster in God’s sight.

In later times, the greatly esteemed (in Jewish circles) Moses Maimonides declares:

“If a person observes one of the 613 commandments properly, with love, he merits thereby life in the world-to-come.”

The Talmud does not stop at stating this concept explicitly, but widely applies it in specific instruction such as Rabbi Ela’i the Elder’s directive:

“If a man sees that he is being overwhelmed by sexual desire, he should go somewhere where he will not be recognized, and there should dress himself in black garments, and do what his heart desires, but let him not defame God by conducting himself in that manner publicly”

Rabbi Ela’i may not have the anti-Christ, but his teachings were as anti-Christological as any could ever be.

Even So... said...

Good stuff Steve...

Anonymous said...

Galations 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
What more is there to say?!

Even So... said...

Paul, indeed, as per our previous post from yesterday...