Saturday, June 10th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 81)
Shoulders: Religious Yokes
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The teachers of religious Law and the Pharisees... don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.'
Matthew 23:1-2, 4 (NLT)
Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Acts 15:10 (NKJV)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage... You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law; you have fallen from grace.
Galatians 5:1, 4 (NKJV)*
The word, religion, is defined as a unique set of beliefs and practices founded in supernatural purpose: why humans were made and how they should act. Therein, religions have codes of conduct.
Judaism, Christianity's basis, was laid out in the life of Abraham, richly detailed in the life of Moses, highlighted in the lives of God's prophets, and truly fulfilled in the life of Christ.
The Lord's first Covenant of governance was perfectly concluded by His Son, Who established a new way of living: one of overwhelming love and mercy; one freeing us from manmade rituals.**
Because back then, top priests twisted God's Laws: revising and selfishly spinning Them. So Jesus came to set the record straight. He simplified the Rules to one word: faith. But that one word would demand everything.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Star-studded preachers still spin God's Word and yoke men to their own rules--not Him. Therefore, you were destined to stand up and display the freedom found in Christ:
Not the freedom to act selfishly, but the freedom found in selflessness.
Christ not only overcame the world, He conquered religiosity.
To Be Continued...
* Galatians 5 covers Christian liberty, laws and love: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5&version=NKJV
** Short, excellent article: What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it? https://www.gotquestions.org/abolish-fulfill-law.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.