Wednesday September 2nd, 2015
Everyone Needs Grace!
Note from Jesus
Unfortunately, much of the world has repeatedly given up honoring the Creator. Most in the world have chased after worthless and depraved things. In addition, even those who seek to honor the Creator have also sinned. However, some of these religious people think that their religious knowledge and rules will save them. This belief was true of many of the Jews in Paul's day. It is, unfortunately, true for some religious people in your day as well. They think because they have made a religious confession and have read My book and have gone to religious meetings that they are somehow better. They forget my own words:
"Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'"Paul wrote the parts of Romans that are now chapters 2, 3 and 7 to remind all people — religious and non-religious, Jews and non-Jews — that their deeds, their rules, their book, their religious pedigree, and their church attendance will not get them into My grace. Salvation is by the Father's grace (Romans 3, Romans 5). This grace is received through faith (Romans 4). You share in this grace by participating in My death, burial, and resurrection through baptism (Romans 6). This grace is empowered by the Holy Spirit, Who brings the Father's will to life in you (Romans 8).
(Matthew 7:21-23 NLT)
So the collection of verses today is a reminder of what Paul said in Romans chapters 2 and 3. Paul was emphatic: nothing and no one except Me can make you right — not law, not Scripture, not race, not religious pedigree. Ultimately, all of these have failed to help people live up to the Father's perfect standard of holiness. When you fail in one part of law-keeping, you are guilty of all (James 2:10). If you break one law, you are a lawbreaker.
Paul wanted the Roman believers, and other believers who followed them, to understand that no one can be saved without the Father's gift of grace purchased by My death on the cross and empowered by the Holy Spirit. By their failure, all people stand condemned to live righteously without flaw and have missed Our holy standard. Jews have failed to live up to the full standards demanded by the Mosaic law. Gentiles have failed to live up to the righteous standards of holiness. Everyone needs a Savior. No one can claim religious superiority. Everyone needs My grace!
Verses to Live
So you can see there are no excuses for any of us. If your eyes shift their focus from yourselves to others — to judge how they are doing — you have already condemned yourselves! You don't realize that you are pointing your fingers at others for the exact things you do as well. There's no doubt that the judgment of God will justly fall upon hypocrites who practice such things. Here's what is happening: you attack and criticize others and then turn around to commit the same offenses yourselves! Do you think you will somehow dodge God's judgment? Do you take the kindness of God for granted? Do you see His patience and tolerance as signs that He is a pushover when it comes to sin? How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path? But because your heart is obstinate and shameless, you're storing up wrath that will count against you. On the day of His choosing, God's wrath and judgment will be unleashed to make things right. As it goes, everyone will receive what his actions in life have cultivated.
Here's my point: just because a person hears the law read or recited does not mean he is right before the one True God; it is following the law that makes one right, not just hearing it.
Listen, if you claim to be a Jew, count on the law, and boast in your relationship with God; if you know His will and can determine what is essential (because you have been instructed in the law); and if you stand convinced that you are chosen to be a guide to the blind, a light to those who live in darkness, a teacher of foolish wanderers and children, and have in the law what is essentially the form of knowledge and truth — then tell me, why don't you practice what you preach?
So what then? Are we Jews better off? Not at all. We have made it clear that people everywhere, Jews and non-Jews, are living under the power of sin. Here's what Scripture says:No one is righteous — not even one. There is no one who understands the truth; no one is seeking after the one True God. All have turned away; together they've become worthless.(Romans 3:9-12)
We want to be clear that whatever the law says, it says to everyone who is under its authority. Its purpose is to muzzle every mouth, to silence idle talk, and to bring the whole world under the standard of God's justice. Therefore, doing what the law prescribes will not make anyone right in the eyes of God — that's not its purpose — but the law is capable of exposing the true nature of sin.