There is something innate to humanity that causes us to rethink, restructure and remake God’s creation, His plans, His desires, His Word as if we knew better than He. We want to reinvent the wheel, put the spokes where we think they should have been placed. Or we want to setup hierarchical structures where there were none, that puts us in power. We are after all, human. And that is after all, what Satan wanted to do. Create our own Babel.
In a response to my post, God’s Response to Legalism, I said, Man becomes convinced that his own convictions become God’s Commandments, and then teaches them as such. We tend to make up God’s mind for him and reinvent the wheel, but what if we just got on God’s wheel, and gave Him what he actually wanted, our Hearts?
As I read through my Bible Sunday mornings (you may be shocked to know I don’t attend a Church right now, for all the reasons I write about) I am forever and endlessly astonished at the forbearance of God, the foreknowledge of God, and the way in which He rests his love upon us through faith and His Word, in such a gentle, but meaningful, rich way.
Therefore, since we have been justified [that is, acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God] by faith, [let us grasp the fact that] we have peace with God [and the joy of reconciliation with Him] through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) – Romans 5:1, AMP
I have been told hundreds of times that if you look to the book of Romans for a saving message, you’ll be fooled, that it is a message, an epistle from Paul, to an already saved people, and when it says things like, “we have been justified by faith“, it really means “we have been justified by [insert denomination made doctrines] unto faith.”
Abraham was justified by Faith, but if you look closely, his faith was due to obedience…Obedience to what? Man made Doctrines or a heart tuned to the call of God?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. – Romans 6:17
You see, there is power in obedience, to the calls and commandments of God, but if it doesn’t come from and through the heart, it is meaningless to God. God went so far as to call meaningless rituals and doctrines (commandments of men) a stink in His nostrils.
Today, man (religious authorities) says, ‘If you obey me, God will bless you, through me.‘
God said, ‘If you obey man, and not me, I’ll turn from you and offer my grace to a willing heart.‘
The man has setup so many ways in which we can strive to contain the heart. They preach long messages about the value of a fence. They want to build walls around the flock to control and keep them inside (with a promise to keep the wolves out too…), away from all those things that would harm them – you know, the World we are supposed to be out reaching?
The man says I’ll build a program to track your attendance, and your offerings – so the next time you ask permission to go on vacation, we can look at the history and check your heart.
The man says I’ll setup a list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and make them requirements for admission to the Church. We’ll create spreadsheets, and create teams of people that watch over and look for behaviors and log data. That way, we can check the heart by your behavior, and setup a list of punishments according to the crime. (Seperation from youth groups, ejection from choir, etc)
But I want to tell you Ekklesia, what and only matters is your heart! It doesn’t matter how many programs we write, how many church rules and punishments we create, man is driven by his Heart, and God Knows the thoughts and the intents of the Heart! That is what HE wants -> Your Heart!
He knows if your heart is in Him, He knows if your intents are in Him. He wants your Heart! If your behavior is legislated by man, your heart belongs to man. If your steps are ordered by the Lord, your heart belongs to God.
I want to end with a snippet of Scripture I heard used too many times and in the wrong way. It was used to condemn all other Christians who weren’t the type of Christian I was. If you didn’t obey my rules (my church) you were bewitched. If you believed you could be saved by Faith without our endless-step programs, you were bewitched. But this Scripture has real depth and meaning to dispute Man.
For man would legislate you, and bewitch you, But God…who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us (Eph 2:4) would see you set free!
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Gal 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
God bless you and may you be filled with Faith in Christ alone!