Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Observations of a recovering evangelical 5; Trusting in Moses

John 5:45  Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.
Most of the first century Jews trusted in Moses.  They trusted in the Torah to help them find eternal life and right standing before God.  The scribes and the Pharisees were scriptural and hermeneutical experts. They even used the Torah to justify that Jesus was not their Messiah (John 7:47-49.) So then, the history of both Judaism and Christianity is filled with examples of people who trusted and rested in the scripture but were just plain wrong. Remember the Pharisees words, “have any of the scribes and Pharisees believed in him?--- but, this crowd who does not know the Law is accursed.” They were confident after rigorous scripture study that Jesus could not be the Messiah.  If you check out John 7:40-42 you will find that there too, they ruled out Jesus as Messiah because of the reading of the Torah, and interestingly, John 7:39 explains that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given.

On the other hand, Jesus and his followers taught that the Spirit not the scripture would lead one into all truth, and would bring out of the inner being rivers of living water (John 7:38.) If you fast forward to the twenty-first century you find within evangelical fundamental orthodoxy all to many… perhaps most… trusting Moses. When you read the words of John 5:39 through 46 it becomes clear that Jesus could have as easily been talking to the evangelical, fundamental, orthodox church as he was to the Jews. Today, the evangelical orthodox church has placed their real trust in Moses. They claim to be trusting the Spirit, but the real truth is they are trusting in Moses. They are trusting in the written code.

Most evangelicals believe that the scripture is so clear on many issues. They believe that it is crystal clear on sin, hell, marriage, homosexuality, obedience and on and on. Is that really so? I say unequivocally absolutely not. It may seem crystal clear when one reads it trusting Moses…. what I mean by that is reading it as a legal constitutional document that spells out obedience and disobedience. But when one looks at it through spiritual eyes it is not nearly so clear. The fact is that the scripture points to Jesus, redemption, and God’s amazing grace. When one views it that way many of the crystal clear areas become either not clear at all, or not really germane.

No doubt many will retort with the reminder that faith without works is dead, or they will ask the question should we sin so that grace may abound. That is not new… they were saying that in the days of the apostle Paul. Here is a question that one should ask. What does having rivers of *living water* flowing from ones innermost being look like? What is life giving water anyway? I will tell you plain and simply. Life giving water is the refreshing assurance of God’s grace as shown by the gospel message. God was in Christ not counting sin against humanity. He made Jesus who knew no sin to be made sin for us that we might then be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That produces the peaceful, life giving rivers of water flowing from the heart… the inner being. Living waters brings love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, and self control. Yes indeed, the living water is the fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of trusting Moses is death!

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