19 December 2013
This meditation is based on Romans 1.
In this letter, Paul unmasks many anti-Christ lies the church believes even today. Every doctrine that exalts men's work over Christ work is against Christ. Paul preached about God's grace in such a radical way that he offended many law followers. He was criticized and accused on several occasions as being a promoter of sin. Paul's response to those acusations was to say he is not ashamed of God's grace (gospel) because His grace is what really saves. It is the only thing that brings healing, wholeness and salvation.
Lie #1: To preach the truth is to preach about men's works. Paul explains in Chapter 1, he has been called to preach the gospel. In other words, he has been called to preach the over-the-top good news of God. What is that good news? The news is Christ has given us unmerited favor, salvation, wholeness, sanctification and holiness through His death and resurrection. It means we have no part but to believe in the righteousness He provides. It wouldn't be good news if salvation, redemption, sanctification, and righteousness were dependent on men's effort and ability to keep the law; including the 10 commandments.
1 From Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God,
Lie #2 The gospel teaches men how to live right. Paul tells us The gospel is about Jesus! Not about men! For years, the Israelites thought they could be righteous by their own merits. They thought the commandments were written so they could show God how faithful they could be. When in reality the scriptures were only a testimony of the righteousness that can only be attained by faith! The gospel teaches us how to believe, adhere to and trust in Christ.
3 [The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David,
Lie #3: Grace is a false teaching. Paul tells us Grace is God's divine plan for us! It was given through Christ. Christ cannot bring us a false teaching! If he wanted to give us grace it means it is good! It means he really loves us and wants to bless us even when we don't deserve it.
5 It is through Him that we have received grace (God’s unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations,
Lie # 4: The porpouse of reading the Bible is to learn the commandments and obey them. Under the new covenant there is a new type of obedience. Not the obedience to the law (If you haven't noticed yet, no one can keep it!) But, the obedience to the faith! This means, believe you are righteous apart from your works. Don't depend on your flesh to be declared right before God. So the pourpose of reading the bible is to show the work of Christ that has made us righteous because Jesus did all the works the law demands.
Lie #5: The Church should teach the difference between right and wrong. Church is not meant to put our hopes and focus on our works or behavior. The real church of Christ was established to strengthen our FAITH in the redemption Christ provided for us at the cross.
11 For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you; 12 That is, that we may be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
Lie #6: The true gospel is a balance between law and Grace. The gospel does not talk about the righteousness attained by the law because that would mean righteousness is attained by men's self-effort. Instead, the gospel reveals the righteousness which God gives! If God is giving it for free, we cannot pay or earn our way into it.
Lie #7: After you've come to Christ you should do good works to be righteous. The gospel speaks about the righteousness that comes by believing in Christ, which springs forth from FAITH to FAITH. Never from WORKS to WORKS or from FAITH to WORKS. The righteousness God gives cannot be earned by good behavior. It cannot be lost by bad behavior. That is why it is called grace--it is unmerited favor. In other words, it is something we do not deserve.
7 For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.
I want to encourage every person reading this post to read the gospel and pray for Him to give you a full revelation of His Son Jesus Christ. God is not focused on our sin or behavior. He is interested in knowing if we are willing to live by faith; trusting and receiving the righteousness He gives us through Jesus Christ. Now that's good news!