Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Much Closer Relationship

Some of the parables Jesus taught has led many to think of God only as a slave owner, employer or some other demanding task master. Such a parable is found recorded in Matthew 25: 14-28. This is usually called the Parable of the Talents. Perhaps a better title would be The Absentee Property Owner. It is not a hint on successful business or how to be a good trustee. When examined living solely under the law those teachings will be understood in that way. Two faithful slaves went out and did business and were rewarded. The unfaithful slave hated his master and hid the trust in order to save his neck lest he lose it in poor business dealings. The point being is that the unfaithful slave did not understand his master as being kind and forgiving.

However in Jesus we have a much closer relationship with God:

John 1:9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. ESV

Not because we go after it. No thanks to what we do or do not do. We have a Heavenly Father by birth. Rebirth actually. Adoption through water and Spirit. We have a loving Heavenly Father not a task master who will hold us to account at the last day. So many do not have this peace because of the faulty teaching that God expects a certain level of effort from each of us. These will say we are not saved because of works but we will lose something if we don’t get a move on it. The teachers of the law state we must work hard at making Jesus Lord of our life not just to trust in his finished work on the cross. As if one could add any value to what Jesus did in his perfect life in active obedience to the law. And the whipping, torture of the cross and finally, which we cannot understand, his being separated and forsaken by his Father. How can one God be separated like that? We do not have the answer but what a wonderful gift we have been given to have our eternal debt paid.

Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ESV

This is one of the places Jesus summed up the requirements of heaven. Not only perfection from this time forth but to have always have been perfect. Our Father looks at us through Jesus and his righteous life is credited to us. This has been referred to as the happy exchange. Jesus takes our sin and gives us his holiness. Now how can anyone add to that?

In the name of Jesus. †

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