Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It's a free choice

I did say that I was going to vent, but I've been hearing a lot of people venting recently and the rhetoric gets pretty ugly so I've decided to express my opinion in a more positive way.

I've been listening to a lot of theological debates recently and it's amazing the amount of misinformation about the veracity of the Bible. Some of it is laughable and some of it is pernicious. Most people know that the Bible is in two parts, the old testament and the new testament. The old part is written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages spoken in the region of Israel way back at the beginning. The first 5 books...let me interject here that the Bible isn't a single book, it's a collection of books bound into one volume.

The first 5 books, Genesis, the beginning, Exodus, the coming out of Egypt, Leviticus, the Levitical law, Numbers, the recording of the numbers of Israelites that left Egypt, Deuteronomy, the second or repeated law. These books were written by Moses and are called by Jewish people the Torah. Sometimes when referring to the "Torah", people actually mean the whole of the old testament which also includes the books of history of the Jewish people, Psalms, the book of poetry, Proverbs, obviously containing proverbs, and the books of prophecy, each of which is named after the prophet who spoke them. Oh, yeah, the penalty for being a FALSE prophet, DEATH. One wrong prophecy and it's game over. You'd better not speak lies in the name of Yahweh or you'd be taken out and stoned.

That's OLD testament. It's the old contract between God and man. God held Himself accountable to uphold what he told the Jews as long as they held to the agreement. Want to know what kinds of things were in the agreement? Take a look at Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy 28 and 29. Under the old covenant all your sins could be covered by sacrificing a lamb. Once a year, you confessed your sins over the head of the lamb and then the lamb's blood was shed, and by faith, the lamb took your place, for your sins. The lamb dies, but you live. You need to believe that this exchange happens, since the efficacy of the animal's blood is contingent upon your faith. See, it's a contract between God and man that both parties have to agree to.

The new testament is written in Greek because at that time and in that place the common language was Greek, just like now the common language is English. So these days if you want most people to be able to understand, or at least be able to find someone who does, you write in English. Then, you wrote in Greek.

The NEW testament is a New covenant. In it, a better sacrifice was provided. instead of the blood of a mere animal being shed. God shed His own blood, so that once and for all, for all mankind a sacrifice that can't be compared, was made.

Now OK I know a lot of people will say that's really bloody. I'm sorry, it is. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
In the OLD testament, the blood of animals covered over the sins, until the next time. In the NEW testament, God provided a body for himself and being perfect and being God, he was able to live a perfect, sinless life. He permitted that body to be sacrificed and the blood of that perfect sinless person has the power that the blood of animals doesn't. It has the power to eradicate all our sins for all time. This is a NEW covenant, a new contract, but again the contract works by faith.

In Hebrews 10 verses 4-9 it says.
"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore when he (Jesus) cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second".

See, God prepared a body to inhabit and while he inhabited that body he was called Jesus.

Hebrews 10:12-20  continues,
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."

A perfect life, a perfect sacrifice, for imperfect humanity. That's the new covenant we receive by faith. You don't have to do anything for it, you just believe, His life for yours.

Now that's the amazing thing, God Himself, voluntarily took my sins, my faults, my failures and exchanged all that is worthless in me, for His perfection. I don't deserve it. I didn't work for it. There is nothing in me that's worthwhile. It's all due to His incomparable love. He gave His life for me. So I can live free from sin. So I can have a new life. So I can have the promise of heaven. Not only does He have the power to remove sin because He took the penalty of sin onto Himself and died as a human for us, but as God, He rose back up from the dead. You don't believe He rose from the dead? He's God, He can do anything.

He did that, not just for me, but for you too. All you have to do is accept that what He has already done, He did for you, because He loves you that much. Just believe that the sacrifice He made, He made for you. You can have eternal life and it can start right this minute, just believe.

Old testament
Isaiah 53:6  "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
New Testament
John 1:12  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

See the OLD covenant and the NEW covenant are consistent. The new perfectly fulfils the old

Eternal life is a gift freely given by a loving God. All you have to do is believe.

.... to be continued

2 comments:

God's Kid said...

Amen!

Margarets designer cards said...

Well written. Amen