I recently noticed how often I write to-do lists. Whether it be regarding work, chores, a bucket-list, school due dates, or a gym regiment, I have a lot of to-do lists in my life. Not too long ago, that is what the Bible was for me too– a to-do list. “Ashley do this, Ashley do that, you’ll be a better more developed person if you can accomplish these commands, and stay away from these outlined areas… if you really do well, you may even get invited into a leadership team!”
It was a divine checklist for life.
Then I realized… the Bible is not a book about what I need to do, but is primarily a book about what God has done. In understanding this, our entire approach to the message of the gospel transforms. It is for us, not against us, it’s a message of rescue, not requirement. It’s a message to receive, not earn.
The end of Matthew 5 has a fairly impossible request: “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The entire book of Romans dedicates itself to illustrating how our attempts to keep the law will leave us dead in the water. So no, despite our desire to feel as the Galatians did, that we can somehow “pull it off,” we are faced with the fact that without Christ, we are lost. So there is good news, and there is bad news.
Bad news first. There is no possible way that we can live a life where God looks down and says, “Wow, you’ve really earned my grace today.”
The good news: the perfection God requires, Jesus provided.
In understanding this, our entire approach to the message of the gospel transforms.
Spiritual maturity doesn’t mean we need the blood of Christ less because we are somehow “pulling it off” and getting our to-do list done, as the Pharisees believed, but rather recognizing our utter dependency on the goodness of Christ each day.
The Bible is not a book about what we need to do, but a book about what He has done.
This is the inexhaustible message that needs to be shared with a very exhausted world. Stop exhausting yourself, and rest in the grace, love and forgiveness that Christ has provided for you.
You probably know someone that needs to hear this Good News. We want to help you share it. Visit www.sendme.ca to learn more about how.
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