Monday, December 14, 2009
Galatians 2:21 says, "If righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
Background- Before I dig into this verse, I need to explain a bit of background to it. First, the Bible teaches that we all have sinned, we all are guilty before the holy God, and therefore fall short of His glory. In fact, unless God works in our hearts there is none who really seek after God, none who do what is right, none who really care about Him in their hearts. We ALL are focused on other things.
If you were to look at yourself honestly, you would agree that this is true.
Teaching- This verse teaches that we cannot become righteous by observing or doing the things the Law teaches. If we could be declared righteous, holy, just, good by doing things then Christ's coming to earth, Christmas was unnecessary. In fact, His death would have been the cruelest thing God could have done. The fact is that the Law, or doing good cannot save us.
Illustration- In our culture, we have this guy named Santa, who sees us when were sleeping, knows when we're awake, knows if we've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Our view of God has fallen into this, "If our good outweighs our bad, then God is happy with me and I will go to heaven."
If this is true, then Christ's coming in the manger, His death & resurrection were all unnecessary & a waste of time. Could it be that it wasn't a waste of time? Could it be that it is absolutely necessary that Jesus came? Could it be that we aren't as great as we think we are & therefore needed a savior to come & save us from ourselves?
Summary-James 2:10 teaches, "whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."
Has anyone ever kept the law perfectly, 100% of the time? Haven't we all failed at some point? Aren't we all therefore guilty?
Because of sin, God's judgment is coming. He will condemn those who are unholy, who have turned from Him & refuse to submit to Him, who ignore Him & are too busy for Him.
AND that is why God saw it fit to send His Son, to come to a manger, to be revealed to sages & shepherds, to live among us, to, at the right time, die for us who are ungodly, to rise again. On the cross God judged our sin by putting it upon His Son, the unblemished "lamb of God". Our sin, our unholiness, our ignorance, our guilt was placed upon him. Jesus was able to take the load that we could not bear. He was able. We are not.
1. Have you finally come to a point where you are able to honestly admit to God that you aren't as great as you pretend to be? Have you come to a point that you can finally agree to God that you sin, have ignored him, and feel this guilt of conviction gnawing at your bones? Are you able to get real with God and finally let Him look into your closet? Can you agree with God that you aren't as great as you think you are. That you are not as good as you pretend?
2. Are you willing to accept God's provision of a savior for you? It would mean laying down your pride, realizing that you can't save yourself & allowing Jesus to be the one who saves you.
In the Hebrew sacrificial days, they would lay hold of an unblemished lamb & sacrifice it to God so that God would cover over their sins. This was a reminder that they all did sin & that a savior would one day come. Are you willing to lay hold, grab onto Christ & allow Him to be your sacrificial lamb? He is the one who is able to save you.
3. Lastly, God calls us to quit being so self-centered & turn to His way of doing things. He has called us to a high calling of loving Him & loving our neighbor. Are you willing to turn from being an enemy of your Creator, a person who loves self above all others and to loving Him & people? To allow Him to be the center, to become a person who is willing to place others on a pedestal?
This is the purpose of Christmas. This is why Jesus has willingly come.