We've been in an ongoing study of the Gospel of Grace, the Good News of Jesus Christ and all He's done for us. We've seen the reality of the truth of God's Word. We've seen the reality of the New Creation, what it means to be a New Creation in Christ. We've seen the reality of Righteousness. We've seen the reality of the New Covenant.
Today, I want to address an issue that is essential in understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. That is fully embracing what Christ accomplished in the Finished Work. In order to do this, we must first relinquish traditions that bring doubt and confusion concerning God's best for us. So today, I want to address the importance of overcoming traditional religious concepts.
Jesus the Person of Grace, made it clear, tradition makes the Word ineffective in your life. Think about it. Before you heard the Good News of salvation by faith, you lived your life apart from God, lost and spiritually separated from God. The Finished Work was complete. Jesus had accomplished all He came to do. Redemption was already available yet until you acted upon this truth you remained lost. The truth was ineffectual until you knew and understood it.
Mark 7:13 NKJV
So let's look at some of the most common traditional religious concepts and see the truth of the Word eradicate that falsehood.
There's something the matter with you!
I am using this phrase to include several common misconceptions. Traditional Christian gatherings with their songs and sermons can be summed up this way; God is good, Jesus was perfect, but you are bad. Sadly, many unconsciously feel that if they haven't been reminded how bad they are they really didn't have a truthful, sincere, faithful worship service.
I've even heard some ministers say things like its good to "beat up" the sheep with our preaching, just don't "beat them down." In essence, saying harsh preaching is productive because it beats them upward. Meaning it causes them to improve their behavior patterns.
Another misconception under this banner is the guilt syndrome often associated with it. Phrases such as "you're coming up short" or "you know you could be doing more." Sometimes it displays itself with leaders parading someone in front of others who volunteer their time. Or one who gave a large donation. Or who supposedly spends hours in prayer and Bible study. The unspoken point is if they did this much surely you can do more.
These concepts rob us of experiencing the sweetness of an intimate relationship with our Father. Guilt, comparing ourselves to others, introspection motivated by shame, only produce a fractured view of God, it produces an orphan mindset. The Truth removes these errors.
The Truth of the Word says we are made the Righteousness of God in Christ. The Truth says we are accepted in the Beloved. God tells us who we are not man. Our value and worth are seen in the great price Jesus paid for us. God is good, Jesus is perfect and because of the Blood, there is nothing the matter with you.
God's Love and mercy have limits.
Just listening to the messages of some ministers and it seems God is still angry and filled with rage. That at any moment He is poised to pour out wrath. I can't count how often I've heard preachers say God's going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah if He doesn't judge America.
The message many cling to is the idea that though God judged sin in the body of Jesus on the Cross, He is still judging nations today for their sinful living. Many proclaim God loves you to the lost but when the lost act lost the message turns to God will get you for that!
The truth of the Word overrides this tradition.