When you think of religion, what comes to mind? Be honest. For most people, religion brings to mind the need to follow rules, commands and dictates in order to prove oneself. Constantly trying to follow rules will either make a person become “self-righteous”, meaning that person views himself/herself as good and just, while looking down on others as less than. The other avenue that following rules leads to is a sense of unworthiness that leads to completely relinquishing the desire to even try.
Unfortunately, there are many Christians who believe that we should follow rules for the sake of following rules and self-righteousness is ok. That is not how Jesus lived, nor is it what He taught.
When we read the Gospels (the eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life on Earth), we see Jesus extend mercy, grace and forgiveness to those who realized they could not follow all the rules. We also see Jesus speak out and condemn the self-righteousness of the Pharisees (the religious leaders who forced unreasonable laws and rules on the Jewish people). Mat 23:25 ESV Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
So the question is, how does one have a relationship with God, even though it is impossible for any person to be good enough to get to God? The wonderful answer to this is through Jesus, the Son of God.
Heb 1:1-3 ESV Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, (2) but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (3) He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
First Baptist Church has been going through the book of Hebrews where the author specifically goes through the various rites and rituals of the Old Testament/ Covenant, and reveals to his readers that all of the sacrifices and offerings point to humanities need for a perfect Savior. That perfect Savior is Jesus. All we need is Jesus, and He is the one that helps us live our lives in a way that points others to their need for Jesus as well.
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