“Believe me, friends, all I want for Israel is what’s best for Israel: salvation, nothing less. I want it with all my heart and pray to God for it all the time. I readily admit that the Jews are impressively energetic regarding God—but they are doing everything exactly backward. They don’t seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God’s business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it.


The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah. So what exactly was Moses saying? ‘The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest.’


It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching.” Romans 10:1-9 (MSG)



Paul wrote to the church in Rome about his desire to see the Jews come to know God. Paul had been a zealous religious leader before he encountered God and his name was changed from Saul to Paul. Paul understood about the Jews’ passion for keeping rules and order. It was part of their heritage from the time of Moses. God set up specific guidelines for the people to follow. Leviticus is full of the law code. As time progressed, the people added more rules and regulations to “help” sanctify the people. However, it was really just an issue of the religious leaders trying to control people and elevate themselves. Jesus changed the order of the day and following religious laws were no longer required to meet God. Paul desired for the Jews to know this freedom.


Faith is required to know God, which is much more difficult to measure than knowing if you had taken too many steps on the Sabbath or eating the wrong kind of food. Legalism is what was birthed out of religion that is more concerned with man-made rules than people. Legalism says that you have to keep all the rules perfectly to be right with God. On the other hand, we live in a world where everyone wants to hand out love and grace. It seems that the chasm between legalism and grace is actually widening. Yet, right there in the middle is where we find God. We find him in the places requiring faith, not muscling our way to achieve forgiveness. In a sense, God made it so simple, and we like to complicate it. You have to have faith to know God, but whether you go to church on Saturday or Sunday doesn’t matter. God gives grace freely, and we can’t earn it on our own accord. God wants us to receive, but we want to strive and sweat. It’s grace that changes a life not the laws that make it too difficult to find God. Instead of looking to your own efforts, its time to look back at what God has already done.


Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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