Sunday – June 19, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – June 19, 2022
“But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Every time I purchase a new item from the store, the first thing I notice as I take it out of the box is the list of “appropriate” uses for the product. The manufacturer, I am sure out of fear of being sued, goes to great lengths to explain the appropriate use and care of their product knowing that someone will always find a new but unintended use. It is always possible to misuse a good thing.
It is also certainly possible to misuse the Old Testament Law, for purposes for which it was never intended. Unfortunately, this is what happened with many of the Jews. God gave the Law for one purpose, but the Jews used it for another. The Law, which was never given as a means of attaining righteousness, was used by the Jews for this very purpose. The result was that the Jews, though working hard to keep the Law, failed to attain righteousness, while the Gentiles who did not even seek righteousness or possess the Law, did attain it.
God made several provisions for His people to enable Him to dwell in their midst—in a way that would not result in their death due to His holiness and their sin. First, God provided the Law. The Law of Moses prescribed the conduct necessary for Israel to live in God’s presence without offending His righteousness. Second, God provided the people with a sacrificial system. The sacrificial system was instituted so that the sins of the people could be atoned for temporarily, by the shedding of the blood of a victim in the sinner’s place. Third, God provided the people with the tabernacle, a provision whereby a holy God could dwell in the midst of a sinful people without putting them to death for their sins.
If law-keeping were God’s means of attaining righteousness, why was it necessary for these elaborate provisions to be made? If Law-keeping was God’s means of making men righteous, then why was it necessary for Christ to come to the earth and die in the sinner’s place? The Old Testament gave every indication that law-keeping was not going to justify anyone. Law-keeping was never a second way of salvation. It was something self-righteous men sought to do, in defiance of God, and in rejection of His provision of righteousness through faith. This is the difference is between faith and works. The Jews tried to earn righteousness by law-keeping; the Gentiles attained righteousness as a gift, by faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Men are saved by believing in Jesus, not by behaving good enough to earn God’s approval.