I generally write posts on this blog in order to keep up with family and friends. I post pictures and videos of my adorable son, and give highlights on our day to day lives. For the most part, I don’t talk about my faith because I know it makes a lot of people uncomfortable or they disagree with me or they just don’t care one way or the other. But a couple of weeks ago, I read something called “Blogging to Worship God”. You can read it for yourself (quite interesting) but the essence of it is 1Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (Including blogging).
Which brings me to my point. My post from Friday comes from wanting to worship God. As I was listening to that message on the book of Ruth, something came over me and I felt like I needed to take notes, and put it out there in cyberspace for others to see. I did it knowing full well that the people who generally comment on my blog probably wouldn’t have much to say about this (maybe not wanting to start an argument, maybe it didn’t interest them, maybe they prefer to keep their opinions to themselves). In any case, I was quite surprised and delighted to see that David (my darling brother) left me a comment:
I dont agree with this:
Religion: Can only lead to Pride or Despair (never Joy or Humility). If you obey the “rules”, you become arrogant and prideful. Pride is what got satan thrown out of heaven. If you’re honest and realize you can’t possibly follow all the rules, it leads to despair and guilt.
I feel as though these "rules" that is spoken of aren't really rules. As you know I'm a part of "religion", and the way I see it is things such as the Ten Commandments are more of a runway lit up in the darkest of nights. If I follow these lights, I'll be home, safe and sound. As for the rules...I feel as though Satan is the one who makes us belive these as rules...because he knows that we will eventualy buck these rules...spit in the face of God, and say "how dare you give me RULES to follow, I can make my own choices". With that, we'll march are selfes down into the gates of hell..and what better for Satan to show God the Father, that he didnt have to Make us do anything, but we went ahead and did it on our own...all the long thinking we were doing the right thing.I don't see religion as "rules"...just a runway taking me home.
I fully admit. When I first read this, my initial reaction was to comment back with my own thoughts, my own opinions, and my own attitude (big surprise) mixed in. I decided to give myself some time to think and pray about it. I remembered 2Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” So my response to the comment is to clarify what I meant in my original post with additional references from scripture. David, you said you are part of “religion” and I know what you’re referring to. In this case, you also believe that the Bible is the Word of God and everything in it is true.
The whole point about not being able to follow all of the rules goes back to what Jesus did for us on the cross. “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:20-25).
Once you put your faith in Jesus Christ, he gives you a new heart:
“I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart” (Jer. 24:7).
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezek. 36:26-27).
You are not required to follow any rules because Jesus fulfilled the law.
In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Instead, with the new heart that you have been given, it becomes your desire to obey God. Yes, the Ten Commandments are a way in which to guide our life, along with numerous other commands given by God. If you are truly redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ, you have new desires.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal. 5:16-17).
We are saved BY grace TO a life of good works. We are not saved by our good works. That is what I meant when I wrote that simply obeying rules is not enough.
Once again, I know this is another long post and I hope I have clarified the original post. These are not my opinions, these are not my thoughts. It is always best to test scripture against scripture because we know that God’s Word does not contradict itself.
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30)
I hope everyone has a blessed day!!