One of my favorite pastimes, my passion, really, is to seek out and learn things that I do not know about. This passion is an inexhaustible source of adventure. Around every corner and wherever I look there is something to find out about… In our age this pastime my be entered into by most of us who have access to an Internet connected computer and can read.
Today there is less and less excuse to be ignorant and we should never proclaim opinions about something that we have not thoroughly researched. In general I dislike opinion but the last thought is most certainly an opinion and as such there will be many who take exception to it….
The thing is, (here it comes, another opinion) knowledge can be dangerous to your person… The problem seems to be that the more we know, the more we think we know. It is what we think we know that will inevitably cause us a problem. Great learning should produce a different result. In striving for great learning we should come rapidly to that place where it becomes clear how ignorant we really are. Yet we see people every day proclaiming great things and great understandings, even to the point that some people have been heard saying, “There is no God…”
The Apostle Paul took the road less traveled as he proclaimed the strange new message of the One True God.
“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1–5, NASB95)
And yet today from many pulpits in many churches across the United States and around the world we hear another message proclaimed veiled behind, sometimes not so carefully, the message of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. We hear a gospel that is not a gospel at all. It is the message of self righteousness. The message of what we must do to be “saved”, oh so carefully couched to emphasize that we are not claiming that our works save us, but a message of works righteousness none the less.
“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1–3, NASB95)
So then Paul proclaimed a gospel (good news) of the completed work of Jesus on the Cross. There is actually no more to be done. He did it all and gave the gift of His deliverance for those who came after to receive, merely receive.
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”” (1 Corinthians 1:26–31, NASB95)
It is not by your credentials that you are delivered into immortality; not by your good works; not by your winning personality; not by your wisdom; not by your love; not by your relentless memorization of Scripture; but by His Finished Work on the Cross and in His Resurrection that you have entered into Life.
YOU ARE SET FREE! THE VICTORY IS WON. Now you can pursue all good things in Him and with Him for Joy’s Sake and not in pursuit of righteousness. His Righteousness IS ALREADY YOURS.
“Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,” (Hebrews 3:7–8, NASB95)
Do not harden your hearts by looking for a means other that the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross to deliver you to immortality. The price for you is paid in full and you need not and cannot by any means add a penny to the charge. Jesus has delivered you from Death!
Accept the Gift,
Begin New Life In Him,