Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, to heal the sick and save the lost.  I don’t know of another baby born whose life was laid out in such detail ahead of time.  Since the “Fall of Man” a picture emerged of the coming Messiah, written by many different authors over hundreds of years.  It’s like a large canvas stretched and protected for hundreds of years and every so often an artist comes along and places a few strokes on it.  This canvas would have to be huge; it would have names of Jesus on it, scenes from the life of this child through manhood and ultimately showing in graphic detail His death on a cross.  Then this Man walks in this building and is the exact image of the Man in the painting!

“And you shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us”.  When I first accepted the full import of this saying, I was well out of the parochial school upbringing I had.  I did not understand salvation, the Godhood of Jesus or that His death replaced the 10 Commandments.   I was not stupid and this was a Lutheran school, so how did I miss it?  Martin Luther let the common people know the truth of salvation, that it is by faith we are saved and not works.  God’s grace saves us from the penalty of disobeying the 10 commandments and gives us a “New Law” to live by.

I became what is called “legalistic” by my upbringing in the parochial school.  I thought the 10 Commandments were it, the final word.  The seeds of salvation through the sacrificial death of Jesus were planted deeply in me, so it wasn’t all bad.  Jesus said we have the 10 Commandments to make us aware that we fail, so we can repent, ask for and receive His forgiveness and live better lives.  If there were no speed limits, we would not be guilty of breaking the law by driving as fast as we wanted, same idea.  This is not to say that we can do whatever we want, ask forgiveness and everything will be all right.  How many times as kids, or have your kids tried that with you, doing the same wrong things, saying “sorry” and repeating the behavior, doesn’t work for long.  That’s where the repentance comes in, we “turn away from” those behaviors, in other words stop doing the wrong thing.  God gives us the notice that we do wrong and He gives us the ability to stop those behaviors, what a good system, if we use it!

The entire Bible is filled with what we are to do to please God, and what it is He expects from us.  The Bible tells us there are things He hates.  People spend their entire lives trying to please parents that may or may not even appreciate our efforts, why wouldn’t we want to please the God of the entire universe?  We can purposely disobey God’s commands, His desires for us.  He is not waiting to smack us over the head with a 2×4, or punish us in any manner.  We are accountable to Him for our behaviors and there are consequences, sometimes dire for disobeying God.  Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  The good life is not an accident, as Christians we are called to a higher calling and as examples of the goodness of God.

If we live like everyone else who has no moral compass and do whatever it is that pleases them, what is the point?  That kind of living is what is referred to in the Bible as living “like the world”. It says in the Bible that, “friendship with the world is enmity with God”, why would I want God as an enemy?  I believe as Christians we are not to talk” like the world”, impressing everyone with the shock value of swear words or the knowledge of pornographic exploits.  With the power of God coursing through us and living in us, the 10 Commandments and all of God’s principles should be a worthy goal and obey-able.

God hates divorce, period.  The illustration of the church (those who accept the salvation God has provided), is of Jesus as the Bridegroom  and the church as the Bride.  This is an eternal condition in this example, we are to be a testimony of this arrangement as Christians in marriage, not as the world does it with serial marriages, but one for life.  When we take our wedding vows, those vows are made to God.  Do what you want, any way you want but there are consequences for not honoring those vows.  Jesus warns us against making vows, He said, “ Let your yes be yes and your no, no”.  So many Christians are like the world (enmity with God),  in how we treat our marriage vows.  Is there forgiveness for divorcing, of course; the supreme sacrifice (Christ crucified), was made to forgive us all our sins.  BUT there are those sometimes dire consequences for disobeying God’s design.

If you are a child of a divorce, even an adult child, you know very well the consequences of divorce in your own life.  I have been divorced once and my second wife wants a divorce from me now.  She can divorce me, but there will be consequences, and that does not make me happy.  I have a hard time when I violate God’s desires and continue to do so, then ask Him for something I need.  We need to make things right as far as we can, as part of our repentance, than we can go to God with a clear conscience.  Again God isn’t waiting to punish us, but as in His physical law, if you step off a building and say you don’t believe in gravity, you’re going down anyway.

 

 

 

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