Saturday, January 26, 2008

None Righteous, No Not One

I started reading Romans again. I just sat down and read Romans chapters 1-3 without focusing on 1 verse here or there to justify any attitude that my human self may want to take about a particular set of people. After laying out his indictments against mankind in chapter 1 Paul starts off chapter 2 with an interesting statement to the believers in Rome. He says to them, “Therefore, you are inexcusable, oh man, whoever you are that judges: for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you that judge do the same things.”

Why doesn’t anyone ever get that far when they use Romans to condemn others? We are all guilty in the eyes of God, that’s why Jesus had to die on the cross. If acceptance to God is based on our behavior, everyone needs to forget access to heaven. Paul then starts to lay out the ground work for the reason for the cross. There is not a single person that can say they are worthy of heaven because of what they have done.

We need to focus on the whole council of God, not just our pet verses to justify our theology. If you need to pick just one verse to base your theology on then, it should be John 3:16. But I like 1 Corinthians 1:18. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolish, but for those of us who are saved it is the power of God.” God made the Way. God made the Sacrifice.

As I’ve been praying, thinking and writing this blog, I found myself thinking about all of the history of the people of Israel and people in general. The whole history of Israel could be generalized to people in general - a people who are obedient to God over time stray from God. God has to bring them back to himself. Even the New Testament saints weren’t perfect. What we see over the history of man is that man will always make a mess of things. Only God can clean up the mess.

“If my people, who are called by My name, would humble themselves and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways…” There are so many things that are considered wicked in the eyes of God – pride being number 1 on God’s list. Yet, so many ‘religious’ people are proud, knowing not as they ought. They look down on those they feel aren’t living up to the ‘standard’ that has been set before them. They aren’t living ‘the Christian life’ – whatever that means.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot judge people with piecemeal theology – use a verse here and a verse there to point the finger at those I disagree with. Under the ‘whole council of God’ we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus is that Savior. Jesus is the only Son. Jesus is the only answer. Jesus is the only Way. Jesus is IT. Jesus is God. If God is Love, then Jesus is Love in the flesh. Love died on the cross and rose from the dead to give me new life in God. Not the old life in the Law, but new life in the Spirit. It’s not about winning arguments. It’s not about gaining adherents to our ‘religious’ way. It’s not about being better than others. It’s about Jesus.


James Flanders said...

Thought provoking stuff...and that's a good thing.

JesusBmyKing said...

I also recently sat down and read through Romans, just to read it...without expectation or preconceived prejudice. I made it through chapter 10 before I had to stop. Talk about amazing.

The Holy Spirit paints pictures in my heart about the reality and truth of the words in Scripture. When I read through several chapters, not stopping to consider each word, but the actual meaning of all the words presented, I am able to actually see and feel the emotion and love that is embodied in Jesus Christ.

DJ GlenMC said...

It's amazing what happens when you take the word of God as a whole and not in part.

Thanks for the comments.

Be blessed all.

Carrie said...

Lol (for a long time). I feel you on the whole being rebuked with chapters from Romans. (find that really funny for some reason).
But something else with this is, if we are trusting and walking (both, meaning it basically means that your eyes are closed, and you step forward, not know where your foot will land, but trusting that Jesus IS FAITHFUL, and will guide you foot) isn't that walking IN JESUS. Isn't Jesus the fulfillment of the Law (or actually, the embodiment of the Law). So don't those who walk in Jesus walk fulfilling the Law?

DJ GlenMC said...

If you are loving, you fulfill the law...Paul said it, James said it. Walking in Christ, means walking in love, means fulfilling the law.
Funny how that works.

Carrie said...

Actually, I kind of disagree with that. Here is why. I know that lots of people are very loving (their nature), but that does not save them. When you believe in Jesus as the Christ and your savior, your saved. He then, when you make your self available to receive, then pours His Spirit in to you. A natural effect is loving as Jesus loves (though still sinful). It is this work of the Holy Spirit (fruits) that fulfills the law. Our choice is to receive His love and flow of His spirit, or not. The Holy Spirit does all the work of fulfilling the law.
But as the same time, we know that you can be saved, and not have that flowing of His Spirit. (um, example in the Bible, just can't remember where right now). The Holy Spirit is one of His gifts to us, So that we are not alone. He gave it to us for this life time. We will be with Him after. So not walking in love (the kind that is the fruit of the Spirit) doesn't negate your standing with God, Jesus did all that work. But it is choosing a very unproductive, and unhappy stay in this life.)
This may seem like splitting hairs, but communication is one of the main highway of misunderstanding.

DJ GlenMC said...

I understand the comment about people being 'loving' but not saved. They could fall into the category of "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
My line of thought comes from the view that, Since God is Love, and Jesus is God incarnate, therefore Jesus is Love. Since Jesus is Love and the Spirit is Love we are to be walking in the Spirit, therefore we will be walking in Love...As James and Paul both said, "If you love, you fulfill the law."
Can't get saved except through Jesus. Works won't save you. Baptism won't save you. Acting 'loving' won't save you. Only in Christ alone.
Splitting hairs makes for interesting conversation.

Be blessed.

Carrie said...

Now that I agree with. no hairs to split there. not even from me. amazing how simple, but difficult, huh. He really is amazing in so many ways!

DJ GlenMC said...

That's why Grace is so amazing.
Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Love.
Be blessed,