Are you a follower of Christ? do you follow all His commandments? do you read only the RED in your bible? let us read the red today.
“if your eyes causes you to sin, PLUCK it out” [Matt 18:9]
“if your hands causes you to sin, CUT it off” [Matt 18:8]
Have you turned a lustful eye to someone lately? to a movie? to a billboard ad?
then GOUGE that eye out!
Jesus meant it literally! yes. and that is not spiritual.
but before you gouge that eye out, continue reading until the end of this post
Jesus is the Real Expert of the Law
We usually think the Pharisees to be the Law experts. well Jesus is the real Expert. indeed the Master of the Law. How come? Jesus wrote the Law! if that’s not enough to tell it.
Jesus uses the Law masterfully to bring us to the end of ourselves. Look at this “self righteous” who came to Him
Luke 18:18-23 (NKJV)
18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
The lesson? QUIT following Jesus!
- Let Jesus substitute for you
- Let Jesus fulfill the Law for you
- Quit trying to fulfill the Law, it has been fulfilled!
- you will never make it. you will always “lack one thing”
Jesus was not merely born to become a good teacher. He was born to die and take away all our sins! He is your savior. Let Him save you! amen
The Self Righteous and The Tax Collector
The Pharisee and the Sinner
Luke 18:9-14 (NKJV)
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The sinner and the self righteous both need Justification before God, for they are both sinners. The one who received Justification was the one who acknowledged himself a sinner. on the other hand, the Pharisee who was self righteous cannot be justified because “the Law voids faith” [rom 4:14]. Justification is by faith alone in Christ. “whosoever among you is trying to be justified by the Law, Christ is made of no effect” [gal 5:4]
note the Tax Collector is depicted as a sinner
Chief Tax Collector, Chief of all Sinner
Luke 19:1-9 (NKJV)
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”
Now hold on there for a minute!
If there is a sin ranking, this tax collector is at the top! for he is the chief of tax collector therefore chief of all sinners!
but why didn’t Jesus gave him the Law? instead He proclaim “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham”
The Law demands Grace supplies
Notice the rich man who boasted of the Law and said “all this I’ve kept”? can’t give his wealth to the poor? you can’t follow Jesus. trust me. the Law is going to make it impossible for you
THE LAW CANNOT PRODUCE LOVE FOR YOU. ACTUALLY, IT DEMANDS LOVE FROM YOU
Whereas Zacchaeus’ received Grace became loving, a real giver. he says “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” – amazing grace!
important note to remember
Salvation has come to Zacchaeus’ house
1. not because he gave half his wealth to the poor
2. not because he is Abraham’s descendant
Salvation has come because Zacchaeus’ just like his Father Abraham who is “righteous by Faith” [rom 4:13]. has now become righteous as well. righteous not by conduct or good works, but by Faith in Jesus.
On the contrary, the Pharisees who were also Abraham’s descendant, couldn’t be justified because of their self righteousness that comes by the Law
So how did Zacchaeus’ ended giving half his wealth to the poor? no other answer but through Grace alone. “we love because He first loved us” [1 John 4:19]
Graced, graces. Loved Loves
Amazing Grace indeed!
Is Jesus to you a Law giver? or a savior? Change your mind. you cannot be save by your obedience to the Law.
Imitation of Jesus does not save
Following Jesus does not save
Carrying your own cross does not save
Nailing yourself to the cross does not save
Jesus is not a new Law giver but a Law fulfiller. He fulfilled the Law, so that the demands of the Law which we cannot keep be fully met in Him.
Christ is our substitute, our representative. He became man and He is 100% man.
therefore, let us look unto Him not a Law giver but our savior, our righteousness, our perfection. just as God looks at Him as our perfection, righteousness, therefore we are!
Stop following Jesus and let him live in you instead. you have been nailed at the cross with Him, you have died with Him, you have been buried with Him, and raised from death to life with Him! amen.
Stop imitating Christ and let him live in you instead. you have become ‘Christ-Like’ because he lives in you. Let Him manifest His power in you. amen.
Stop carrying the cross in order to be called the child of God. the Cross was made for one and only – JESUS! the cross is for Him alone.
– grace and peace