Religion and Scripture: Where people meet at the intercession of Romans and James
GOD help you if you start to read this and you think there is to much Bible. I’ve heard that so often. We want 15 minutes of Bible but we can sit with friends for lunch for how long. We say we are to busy for reading the Word of GOD but we can watch a movie at the theater for hours on end. We can say we have little time, when the truth is we don’t want to give of our precious time. Amazing isn’t it. Good thing GOD didn’t feel that way towards us. GOD-thing He still doesn’t. Good thing Jesus took the time. GOD-thing He still does.
I’m just going to dive right into the deep end of the blog today. The Romans and James wading water for Life. It’s time to know there is a life at the crossroads of intercession. No misspelling. I mean intercession between you and GOD=Father, Son and Spirit. You cannot take the Word apart from Jesus. He was the Word made flesh. In the Beginning, as we must all start somewhere…
1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
3-5Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
6-8There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.
9-13The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
14The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
15John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”
16-18We all live off his generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding—
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made him plain as day.
What Religion Says and What Scripture Says
1-2So what difference does it make who’s a Jew and who isn’t, who has been trained in God’s ways and who hasn’t? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference—but not the difference so many have assumed. 2-6First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same:
Your words stand fast and true;
Rejection doesn’t faze you. But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s right doing, shouldn’t we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don’t even make a dent in his good words, isn’t it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?
The Royal Rule of Love
1-4My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? 5-7Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—”Christian”—used in your baptisms?
The Fit Just Might Be All Wrong
When most people are looking for something in their lives that is missing, they are usually looking for something that fits into their already not so perfected lives. They search and search, only to find that they keep trying to fit something in, instead of looking for something to be able to fit into.
This is the difference between having religion, so many to choose from, all which come in different beliefs and believers. All which come with all sorts of pickings and choosing. Some people will even choose to say they are “whatever denomination”. How exactly does that work? How can you be a denomination?
denomination n. A name or title. 2. A value of a coin. 3. A group of people having the same religious beliefs.
H’m, it would appear, by definition 3 that we can have the same religious beliefs. But wait…
religious adj. Concerning religion, obeying the rules very carefully.
Herein Lies The Decepticons
Yes, Decepticons. Many people deceive others and themselves.
First themselves because how can you say you believe something you don’t practice. I hear this all the time. I am a _______, but I’m not a practicing ________. How’s that work? How’s that having the value of the belief and obedience to it? So if you are __________ shouldn’t you be, by definition following it’s precepts.
Second you are deceiving others. Let me just put words in my mouth, or blog from the Book of James. Let’s just go to the source. Let’s see, if we say we love the Lord our GOD with all our heart, all our soul, and especially, with all our life, what it looks like to live like one is in a religious relationship with Christ Jesus.
Listening and Doing
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human angerdoes not produce the righteousnessGod desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
In These Days: Denomination equals Religion, but a Relationship is about being a Born Again, Bible Believing, Christ-centered CHRISTian.
According to the Bible you can’t be a part-timer. You can’t just say you are something you are not. Oh you sure can full yourself. You sure could even fool yourself into believing you are a believer. You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t ever fool GOD any of the time.
We can belong to a denomination. We can even be card carrying members. In fact if you look at most ministries, they want you to belong to a church. They want proof that you are a member. As if that’s the ticket to the entrance of Heaven, or service to GOD. How insane and man-made is that. I get that you would want references, but quite truthfully, how’s that membership card thing all panned out over time. We see it time and time again that a lot of the members can fool a lot of the members most of the time. If any of the members, or non-members aren’t fooled, pretty much it’s there’s the door. We love you, now leave. It’s true.
It is high time we start using by definition in denominations what it really means to be a card carrying member of __________. Now remember this too, when looking for a Bible Believing Christ-centered Church, you want one that follows _____… come on, you know it… Yes, the BIBLE! What a concept.
If a denomination in a body of people is tweaking and doing anything contrary to the Word of GOD, like making up it’s own rules, or putting into place people as idols who are worshiped, I’d keep looking. Than again, it depends on what you are looking for, religion in the sense of fitting something into your life. Or, if you are looking to get fit for Life Everlasting, you want to get fit for Christ Jesus. Jesus was all about pleasing His Father, GOD!
There are a lot of choices out there. There are a lot of people in a ritual sort of religion of repetition.
Bum-puzzled Are You Still?
Some people still practice the religious ways of old. They say they believe in Jesus but they are still using man to get or gain them entrance into Heaven. They still think that they’ll rest in a place called purgatory and be prayed out. What? What is that when one say’s they believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ? It’s not a relationship with Christ, it’s hanging on to the old way. The way where man helped man. It’s not living with the Holy Spirit, it’s still looking to do that old thing of having some man-made person enter into prayer, as if man’s prayers have some Jack and the Beanstalk power to Heaven. It’s using man to gain access to GOD. How can one believe in the Bible and still believe that man has to pray you into Heaven? The answer? You can’t!
This is the difference. It’s a huge difference between being stuck in the rut of ritual and in a Life Gave and Giving Relationship with Jesus. Ask yourself a question.
Am I saved by Jesus and going to Heaven? Am I living my life for Christ. Did I put all my faith in the proverbial basket of this Savior born in a manger, lived and died on the cross for my sins? Have I repented of my sins as the GOD says in the Bible we need, to be Born Again. Some people think that is a man-made term but it is not. It is GOD-made. GOD’s SON made!!!
3 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
GOD doesn’t want a few good men and women? He wants them all. He doesn’t just want lip service, or casual service. He doesn’t just want performance, He wants us to give Him our lives. Not just 10%. No, it’s all in 100% or you are out. You don’t believe me, good! Now we are getting some place. You don’t need to take me, a human, at my words at all on this blog. You should, if you are at least professing to be a Believer, Believe in the whole Truth of the Bible and nothing but the Truth of the Bible. I’m just say’n… no wait, GOD’s just saying that. =)
Let me just put it this way, the Biblical way:
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
10 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,
“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
But you have given me a body to offer.
6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings
or other offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”
8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
16 “This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[e]
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
A Call to Persevere
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said,
“I will take revenge.
I will pay them back.”
He also said,
“The Lord will judge his own people.”
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.[j] Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
37 “For in just a little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
Day of Decision
Maybe this is your day to decide if you want to just wade in the pool of convenience and stay where you are in just dipping your foot in the pool of beliefs. You can stay there, that’s choice. You can hope that it all pans out in the end for you. You can turn a blind eye to what the Bible says from cover to cover and go it some ritual way. You can keep going, and going, and going, like that energizer bunny. You sure can. However… there will come a day; maybe even today, when it’s the last page on the story of your life. It’s not the end either.
There is no, The End!
When you flip the page to the last day of your life it’s to late. That day isn’t the end. You will believe that if you believe that Christ came to save you. If you celebrate all those Holy Days, you know what I’m talking about. You know that when the day, your last day on the job of earth is finished, it’s not final.
The final answer came when Christ Jesus died. It was now you believe this way, or you believe that. You can no longer believe that someone(s) can pray you into Heaven. You either entrusted your life to Christ, or you didn’t. You either repented of your sins and became Born Free, or you are going to die in your sins. Dying being that you are going to Hell.
Yes, yes I said that. For the love of the Word of GOD we can say Heaven and Hell. Some people have gotten so afraid of offending people they have become offensive to GOD. When did GOD say you can’t talk of Heaven or Hell.
You know, at the end of your earth page day when the final tally is raised, my prayer is that you’ve entrusted your life to Christ Jesus in the Biblical way. You can’t worship man, saints, and all that idol worship and yet say that there is one way in Christ Jesus. Seriously, I don’t have all that knowledge that comes from college but I know the bottom lines of the Bible. I know that when GOD says it, it’s so.
As the tally is taken my prayer is that you truly aren’t found wanting. You might have given your heart to the bottom line of man’s religion, but if you’ve not given your heart to Christ Jesus all you are stuck with in the end is a bottom line that leads to Hell. It’s not a numbers game people, it’s not even a game. It’s Life, and Life Everlasting. It’s not about who’s on first, or who has the most members or what have you.
Let’s meet at the intercession? It’s decision time!
Until all have heard of and know, His Love,