20050629

Romans 2

GOD IS NO SOFTY:
Yes, these people are on a deep decline in life -- but keep in mind, that does not make you any better - we are in this together. If you think because others are "so bad," that you are "so good" -- guess again. Every time you point a finger at another person, you have three pointing back at you. It’s the old saying, “It takes one to know one.” What I have always found interesting is that the one who points the finger at others is the one we need to watch out for the most. When someone accuse others, it is a way of escaping accusation themselves. It’s easy to compare ourselves to those in need, those hurting because of life's pains, but how do you stack up next to Christ? we think we are getting away with something, but God knows everything. we can’t hide from God.

Did you think we could point out the problems others have and misdirect God from what we are doing? Or maybe you figured God was such a "nice guy" He would let you off the hook? Man, did you miss the boat on that slap of reality. You need to remember that God doesn't play favorites. While God is just and kind, by no means is God a pushover. God is teaching us, and at times that takes a firm hand to lead us to a totally, radically transformed life.
 
You might think you're pulling a fast one, but you’re not getting away with anything. Every time we think we can “cut a deal” with God, it is adding to our account. Someday, that account will need to be paid in full and God will take what is His. Don’t forget, in the end God will take what is His. The choice is this -- real life, found in the one true and real God, or bankruptcy found in the god of our culture. What would you select?

If we play in traffic, we are going to eventually get smacked by a truck. It doesn’t matter who your parents are; it doesn’t matter how much better you think you are or what school you attended -- stupid actions have consequences. When we embrace the way God does things, life is so much easier. You see, it doesn’t matter to God who we are, where we’re from, or how long we’ve been a follower. Being a follower of Christ won’t give us a free ride. Just because we’re follower of Christ doesn’t mean God gives us a “stamp of approval” to walk away from His path. God doesn’t care what others say or think about us and our righteousness -- God determines all that for Himself.

Don’t get me wrong; if we sin and we don’t know we’re sinning, God will take that into account. But if we sin knowing we’re sinning, God will take that into account also. Merely hearing God's teachings is a waste of our time if we don't do what He asks of us. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

you have to remember that when those who do not claim to follow the teaching of God walk in His way by instinct, they prove God is real. These people show that God’s grace is not something strange or impossible to follow, but is truth at every level of life, found coded in our DNA. It is something deep inside each and every one of us, a "core of values" if you will, that mirrors God’s love and grace, God's yes and no, God's right and wrong. They will know it more clearly when God acknowledges them for doing His will. The truth of Jesus Christ is found to uphold all these differences, and to guide us in our walk.

YOUR RELIGION WON'T CUT IT:
Just because you were brought up in your families brand of Christ's teachings, don’t think for a second you can just kick back on that religion and take life easy; feeling smug over everyone else because you think you have an inside track to God’s truth. don't think for a second that you are an expert on the best things of God, informed on the latest and greatest doctrine; because you read the latest authors! Ok, here it is for all of you who think you got the inside track, watch out. Just because you think you know God’s story inside and out, and you feel qualified to help others get their lives set in God’s way and help them deal with confused emotions; while you’re going this for others, who is doing this for you? No, I’m very, very serious. While standing and preaching, “Don’t steal!” are you in turn robbing others blind? After all, who would ever suspect a good little Christian like you? The same can be said about some other things, like adultery and idolatry. The reality is this; you can do and say almost anything you want, as long as you hide it with twisted and fancy talk concerning God, His grace, and your inside tracks on the whole deal. The old teachings, “It’s because of the acts of the followers of Christ that those outside are so down on God,” shows us a real problem that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Then there is baptism, you know that water ritual that marks us as a follower of Christ. Sure, it's wonderful – but just because you were "dipped" doesn't means you got it all. You still have to live with an eye on God’s grace. Because if you don’t, if you chose to be baptized and follow and you don’t, it’s worse than not being baptized at all. The reverse can also be very true: if you are one of those not baptized who happens to keep an eye on God’s grace then, you are just as good as the baptized -- in fact, I would say better. If you remember anything I write, remember this, it is so much better to keep God’s grace as a person who is not baptized than it is to break it baptized. You have to remember that it’s not the dip in the water, no matter how long, how deep or how often, that makes you a follower of Christ. You become a follower of Christ by who you are inside, a changed life, a desire to follow the teaching set before you. It’s that mark of God on you, not how deep the water is that makes a follower of Christ. Here’s an added bonus, recognition of your walk comes from God, not from legalistic rituals, or others who claim to know better.

2 comments:

Rick said...

wow. lots to chew on, and lots to be chewed up. i think there'll be alot more people "making it" than we realize, and a few who won't be there, surprisingly. i think it's in mclaren's "the last word..." - "i'm not a universalist, but sometimes i hope God is".

Jason said...

Jason said...

Brother. I am encouraged by your passion for Christ. I must say that as I read through this re-write, I was filled with compassion.
But, I also started to become concerned for all of us Christ-followers. For me, I have so much to learn- I am but a fool trying my best to "let God live in me". It is as if I am shoe asking God to put his foot in, but every time he does I somehow fail him. I either am too small for his large foot and cry out to him in pain while my threads stretch and my sole buckles screaming, "I am sorry Lord, it hurts too bad. I am just not strong enough to support your foot today. Use me, but please, don't abuse me any more. I am falling apart here, ya know?". Or worse, sometimes his foot fits perfectly. We are walking along and everything is groovy , but suddenly I loose traction on the path he is walking and slip a little to the left or the right- totally soiling my fabric (God only wears clean shoes ya know.)
But Moreover, I am concerned for all of us. I feel your push for change in the Church, Brother; your effort to emerge it to true Holy service. And I want you to know that I am right there with you. I am. But, I feel that where we are pushing on certain points, we do so urgently, without patient endurance (I say we, because it does indeed "take one to know one"). And this can be discouraging for those of who are already feeling or living empty lives in the Body. This does not mean we scratch at them, for that is far too abrasive, right? We must message their aching, and in doing so, build our own strength with them. For we are one body right? And I know from my experiences with the flesh body, if one part is not in order the whole body is feeling it and is therefore less effective.
I am very excited to read fture enstallments of your development upon Romans and hopefully Hebrews next- that whole "real heavenly truth" thing. I know you have the gifts to offer real insight into emergant understanding of texts from antiquity. Grace and Peace Brother. Jason S. Email- usafdesertfox@hotmail.com