The practice of learning by repeating may seem like the way to make God’s will a part of a person’s talk and walk. After all that is how humans learn most things. A person can wear the designated swag, eat the uncommon food, observe the cyclical memorials, and provide the evidence of correct behaviour in all of life’s circumstances and still have a heart that is at arms length from God’s will. In the few decades that I have been allowed to observe religious developments I have seen that it does not take long for lies to become the truth. Internal deceit is a thing we were born with so it comes quite naturally for humans to find lies attractive and easy for us to latch on to even the most outrageous falsehoods.
Insight from the Bible.
I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders.Psalms 26:4
Psalms 26:4 seems to connect deceit with hypocrisy, but hypocrisy and hypoctite are not textually prominent.
Cleansing the holy should be taken as a jokeLeviticus 16:16
He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.
Pretending and role plays are not joking matters. It is how we learn. If we taught today – in 2021 – that a man could redeem his life with the life of a lamb, goat, or bull, people would laugh us out of town, and we would be known as the people who are not worth much. However, when the people who hold your life in their hands tell you that the thing to do when you have violated the law is to bring an animal (get one if you do not own one) what is a guy to do?
A virulent version of vileness
How long have Christians been saying that physical healing is part of being adopted into God’s family? A few years at most. There is no way that Christ endured the cross – stripes, bloodshed – to arrange for a benefit that can be achieved by purely human means. If there are illnesses that Christ atoned for those conditions would be the ones for which humanity has no remedy. The cancers, heart failures, loss of limbs, and even aging would be the logical targets for divine relief.
No such treatment by the Holy Spirit has ever been attested. The Christians I know are not turning down health insurance or avoiding medical practitioners. Would not putting distance between us and those agencies be the course to take? If someone set up a clinic in your neighbourhood offering to forgive all of a person’s sins, give people new hearts, endow a person with supernatural gifts and a daily mental renewing apart from the gospel of Messiah Yeshua that clinic would be a place every believer avoided like the plague.
Cleansing an impure people with animal flesh and bloodLeviticus 16:30
for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
As far back as the attempt by evangelical America to impose Christian views on the world apart from a personal salvation experience there has been the use of slogans to dupe people into thinking that the doctrine of Christ can be kidnapped for political purposes. Christ did not recruit disciples on the basis of the Mosaic economy. It is through Christ’s own blood and his gift of the Holy Spirit that individuals receive a fully functioning access to the eternal inheritance.
They raised a question about what the accountable life looks like. It is a near complete trashing of the facts, namely, that the tree planted by the rivers of water is fruitful and prospers in all it does.
So who is a true disciple and who is pretending?
Dealing with sin has no annual cycle, no effective human component, no animal currency and no repeat saving act. Christ died all by himself without any help from apostle, disciple, judge or prophet. It is pure deceit to propose (a) that the human heart apart from God’s grace has the capacity to recognize God’s offer of salvation and adoption or (b) that any human has the will power to choose the way of faith. Salvation does not come by means of human scrutiny or will power. It comes by grace through faith.
Why call that salvation?
The foolish Galatian is alive and well in all the movements and doctrines of our times. It is obvious that for the vast majority the grace that God designed for success is insufficient. People needing to get their act together so that God can save them, are not saved, by their own confession. People who cannot say “I am safe” and “I am a child of God” are lost in the desert of unbelief.
Trapped in the lobby
The only witnesses who told believers that they needed something additional was James and the Pharisee crew. They proposed that believing in the Son of God was only a first step. They argued that people coming to God through faith in Christ needed to be circumcised and observe Mosaic law. People are still pushing falsehoods like that, thinking it makes them more responsible than other believers. Abraham had statutes and judgments (who does not?) but he had no law and priesthood. His life was dominated by a promise.
There is no law that comes to humanity apart ftom Moses. There is no salvation apart from the promise of the cross. If law could save there was no need for the cross. Life cannot possibly get crazier than for Christian faith to be defined by levitical practice in the second millennium after the crucifixion. Salvation is unequivocally Jewish and non-Mosaic. All those noisemakers revelling in their obedience to the law are the posterboys for desperately deceitful heart.