A battle of the will!
We don’t get to decide how we come to Father God.
For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Instead, they are clinging to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. They won’t go along with God’s way.
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A battle of the will!
Paul is continuing his dissertation on God’s continuing plan for the Jews. Paul started this chapter by saying that his great desire was that they would be saved. This is truly amazing considering all the trouble that Paul endured at the hands of the Jews. Paul experienced more persecution from Jews than from anyone else. And yet, his great desire is that they would be saved. That is the heart of Christ!
In our verse for the day, Paul describes why they are not being saved. They are clinging to their way of being right with God. The Jews view the Law of Moses as the pathway to righteousness; by keeping the Law they believe they are right with God. The problem with that system is that to be righteous you had to keep all the laws. The sacrificial system was set up to give the Jews a way of covering over their sins through the sacrifice of animals.
Jesus came to complete the Law or fulfill it. He didn’t nullify it as some would suggest; He came to be its fulfillment. He came to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. The eternal difference is that His sacrifice was perfect. Christ’s sacrifice did not cover over sin but took our sins away. No longer is any sacrifice needed for sin; Christ’s one act takes care of the sin problem forever.
To be saved we must accept that fact. We must believe that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to take away our sins. The Jews wouldn’t accept that. They still hold on to the Law of Moses as the way to be right with God. This then becomes a battle of the wills. It is God’s will that all mankind be saved through His Son Jesus Christ. For the Jews they believe they will be saved through the Law.
As Americans we might not have much contact with Jewish customs or culture, so the idea of Jews keeping the Law is somewhat foreign. But there are many who are engaged in this battle of the wills with God. They have their own way of being right with God. Some will say, ‘I get close to God out in nature.’ Others will engage in some activity that they believe draws them near to God. The problem with that is that is not the way that God provided. Jesus said of Himself, ‘I am the way.’ We don’t get to decide how we come to Father God.
If we cling to our own way of approaching God, we risk the same fate as that of the Jews, believing that we are right with God when we aren’t. God made a way to be right with Him and that way is through a relationship with His Son Jesus. If we cling to any other way, we are clinging to false hope. There is a way to be right with God and that way is through Jesus. To go that way, we must surrender our will to Him and let Him teach us how to be right with Him. God’s way is the right way and the best way. It leads to hope, joy, peace, and love. It leads to goodness, grace, mercy, and power. Ultimately, it leads to God. Jesus, help us to surrender.