Do you ever get caught in the trap of thinking that being a Christian mainly means following a list of rules and commands ? I know that I do ! Today, let’s look at how rule-keeping fails —- but how God, by grace, provides a wonderful alternative.
To show this grace of God in action, let’s start with the book of Deuteronomy. A common theme in Deuteronomy is that obedience brings blessing and disobedience brings curses. But if that kind of rule-keeping to stay on God’s good side worked, we all would obey, and the Bible could end right there.
But unfortunately, God’s people kept falling short of obedience, and got cursed instead. You might think that God would say the heck with them and just let them be doomed.
But he doesn’t ! Why ? Because God has made a promise that is irrevocable : he will always have a people no matter how badly his people screw up.
For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath (Deuteronomy 4:31)
Wow, what an amazing promise of grace !
Now, with a revelation to the prophet Ezekiel, God goes even further beyond rule-keeping :
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19)
Back in the sixties we had the first human heart transplants. But much better than that is how God promises to give us a spiritual heart transplant.
The Holy Spirit empowers our new heart, allowing Jesus to live in us. And it’s Jesus who provides our way of escape from falling under the curses. For when we do fall short we can repent and turn to our advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, who forgives us.
God remains faithful to his promise ! Freed from keeping rules and regulations, our new heart frees us to joyfully live God’s way.