Things Unchangeable You Bought

God wrote ten words! That’s it, folks. The rest of sacred literature is the product thievery and robbery, temporary and subject to human whims. This is part of a mantra belonging to people in death’s shadow who think they are God’s exclusive lamp.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:22

God did not write Isaiah 45:22 with his finger but if one does not “look and be saved” one’s condemnation and perishing is assured apart from a thousand violations of law and prophetic judgments.

No one Needs to stare Perpetual Condemnation in the Face to be Saved

Who wants to be condemned? Certainly not the saved. Proof that all people are victims is readily available before we read or hear what the law and the prophets say.

Now we know that everything said in the Law is addressed to those who are under its authority, in order that every mouth may be closed, and the whole world become liable to the judgement of God. For ‘no human being will be pronounced righteous before God’ as the result of obedience to Law; for it is Law that shows what sin is.

Romans 3:19-20

Fingerprinted and blinded

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:7-8

Spotlighting and sighted

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

The contrary handwriting

So you love the handwriting more than you love God? You do not know what parts of Scripture are hostile, and bring condemnation and death? That’s incredible. You do not know what parts of Scripture are beneficial and bring hope and life? That’s incredible too. No child of God needs to hear “not”, “not”, “not” to stay alive. Who wrote what is no secret and who gets life is not rocket science.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:14-15

The stone inscribed handwriting gets eclipsed by a person. The Messiah does not turn things over to Moses and the prophets. Yeshua’s face is light, but Moses’ face is a dim ember that points to blindness. Handwriting will never trump atonement.

Whaddya know! Look what you bought!

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:9

Whose name is in you?

SALVATION is not just an argument we make about human status but the person we need to make life livable.

A Samaritan woman’s testimony

We can pretend that we do not know his name even though it is in the highest place, higher than all blessing and praise (Neh. 9:5), and above every kind of authority.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:21

Creative interests adorn the gospel; witness “y’all are a new creation”, not merely new items in the workshop. There is new status available: sons and daughters of God. We each carry a potter’s logo. His name identifies every vessel, every living stone, just as surely as name-glory distinguished Jerusalem, as surely as the name-excellence is everywhere. We are a new world order: a family grounded in God, not Adam.

God made us to be shepherded (Psalm 100:5). How many universes has any human made and how many angelic insurrections have we had to put down and manage?

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:9

I embrace Peter’s caution about the necessity of “one name unlocking salvation for all humans”. That puts me at odds with all the faiths without malice or anger.

And Salvation is in him alone; for there is no other Name in the whole world, given to men, to which we must look for our Salvation.”

Acts 4:12

I pledged a long time ago, taking a cue from Paul (nothing of interest but the Crucified) to reject any theory that does not have the Son of David as front and centre, and him as A and Z. No one can survive the hypocrisy, thievery and robbery without him. No relief comes without his name.

Remembering Christ’s Sacrifice

Idols litter the landscape while the majesty of the Risen Lord gets a passing mention. No repeated claim attends the memorial of Christ’s death for all human sin. We belittle and denigrate the covenant by inserting our desire for a miracle.

The cross must be accepted as full and effective payment for sin, not for financial, physical or mental wellbeing. People do not have to claim anything when the Church celebrates the Lord’s supper. No one needs to apply for what is theirs by virtue of their once-for-all confession and faith in the once-for-all propitiation in the Blood of the Lamb?

People can add whatever they wish to their celebration of Christ but only at great risk of showing how much shipwreck is part of their beliefs. One pastor proclaims that no physical death will touch our families when we partake of the Lord’s supper. We ought to know what the Scriptures authorize and quit making it up as we go. Remember does not mean request.

New Heart and Old Ways

One of the strange alleyways of Christian thought is the one that assigns priority to first or ancient things even when no evidence exists for a golden human age. Not even Eden’s pristine moments hold out any example of excellence. The gold and goldplated items in the sacred tent are themselves eyeopening realities. At Sinai, however, the people declined a one-to-one with Yahweh and Moses’ protest was met with Yahweh’s resignation that they did not have the heart. This does not mean that they were afraid. It means that they did not have (and could not get, since the Lord was not yet incarnate much less glorified) a heart to receive God’s will. So what does Ezekiel’s prediction of new heart mean for Israel?

We can ask Isaiah. He confirms (29:13) that the Israelite kept his heart at a distance from Yahweh. Jewish religion had become nice talk.

And the Lord said: Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

Jeremiah (13:10) tells a similar story.

This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.

Some people, including Christians, would like us to conduct our lives as if the events in the Gospels have no bearing on God’s will. They dress up for truth and salvation but put the one Way in a subsidiary position. They prefer the symbols to the Life.

Mark records (7:6-13) the same condition as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

And he said to them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men. And he said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die. But you say, If a man tells his father or his mother, Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.

When the world ruling power calls for allegiance and compliance with its actions and legislation the masses will think it is a good thing because they have not committed themselves to the truth of the gospel. We would be in great company if we accept the call for obedience to human institutions and secular powers – with their presumed new heart full of old lies – but we would be en route to the darkness ditch. The church is Christ’s body.

The new is not the old. Symbols and types are not saving realities. They never were.

We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. Hebrews 13:10

The king needs to be saved

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psalms 20:6)

This king is either David, Davidide or Israelite. Do we know a king who does not need to be saved? Like the Nazarene, for example.

In his atoning death; saved from death:

As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (Hebrews 5:6-7)

A prince’s obedience

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:8-9) Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 5:10)

Do we know a believer who gets saved repeatedly – every time they sin? We know many who find their obedience in a vice list, who have established a grip on the follies of Israel at Sinai, who replicate rebellion on the borders of Canaan, and who covet the greed and influence of the priesthood in New Testament times.

Half-baked, Half-saved

Salvation is a gift, and even when we preserve or endure there is no credit to us. People are always distracted by self- importance: what we can say and what we can do. Nothing we can do seems to be anything more than a filthy rag, but there is always faith. Half-saved is what results when people do not believe, and half saved is lost.

Then they said to him, What must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.

John 6:28-29

Faith needs no partner

If we see the way Christ paved for us we will recognize that tales about our performance and acquisitions – obedience and knowledge – are lies that keep us pinned under the burden of darkness. Work hard at believing the truth because it frees completely. This is not a halfway business deal. Christ frees us as we take God’s work seriously and without distraction.

Dead or Alive

Of all the bits that go into the accurate identity of his disciples this ID card is truly marvelous and elicits from the believer to a grateful and joyful “Yes!” “God’s work” is not a popular way of introducing ourselves but it is arresting, full of consolation and assurance.

For we are his workmanship (poiema, ποίημα), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

God prepared our works

Did he need to say “beforehand “? Yes. Someone will say “Prepare is always ‘before’ “. True, but the intention of the writer is to further (see vs. 8) caution people against claiming responsibility for the works that proceed from God’s creation. Not only does he save us apart from any work we have done or are required to perform, but he also takes the initiative to prepare the good works of the new life.

The Father’s poem – the result of grace

There is little room for misunderstanding God’s saving and keeping grace. He has hemmed us in most securely by anticipating our need and our quasi-intelligent objections. We love credit even when we aren’t in the game.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (proetoimazo, pro + hetoimazo, προετοιμαζω) that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

What are the chances that Lazarus helped the Lifegiver call him forth from his grave of four days? Are today’s good works subject to condition and human invention and choice? What are the chances of anyone but Yahweh removing the cherubim and flaming sword the gate to Eden?