Paradoxes of the Bible #3
Grace versus Works
(see Ex. 20:1-17, Mt. 5:17-20, Ephesians 2:1-10)
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- The Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, is easily broken and broken by everyone.
- Originally, there was one law, which was quickly broken; it seems we humans are drawn to law breaking. (see Genesis 3)
- In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it clear that the breaking of the Law is not merely in actions, but also is of the heart and mind. Indeed, all have sinned.
- Works, good works, we are all called to, but these do not save us. The Law is a reminder that we are all law breakers.
- Is there nothing to be done? Are we all doomed to an eternity in hell, separated forever from fellowship with our Creator?
- The whole of the Bible is the account of how we will have all our sin removed, thus opening the way into fellowship with God, both now while on the planet, and also for eternity.
- The Law is the beginning, the acknowledging that we are law breakers. It is not an accusation, but the initial revelation that we are utterly helpless and unable to cover our own sin. This is where we all start, seeking forgiveness.
- Then, and only by the working of the Holy Spirit, do we have an interest in Jesus. Suddenly we are drawn to the Son of God, and that of Jesus dying on the cross. That grizzly image, now it means something else to us. We see Jesus taking our sin upon Himself, shedding His blood to cover our sin.
- Now then comes the new birth, totally and completely the work of the Holy Spirit. Being unable to do a single thing, by the greatest of miracles, our sin is completely removed, all sin, past, present, and future. This is why we sing, Amazing Grace.