Monday, November 7, 2016

Deuteronomy 28:9 -- On Commandments and Confidence

"The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways."
Deuteronomy 28:9

Thinking about this verse, I think the most important word for us to remember here is "if."  The Lord gives us a lot of things, and has promised us even more.  Because of him we have life, and opportunities, and will have, after this world, the chance to live again.  He has overcome death for us, and has paid for our sins.  Most of everything he offers us is a free gift, but in this one case, he requires something of us... the "if."  Although he paid for our sins, he knows that if we continue in them that we won't learn to be the glorious people that we can be.  We won't learn to overcome ourselves and transcend our evil desires.  The entire reason that he paid for our sins was to give us a chance to change and repent, and so he asks us to do so... not because he is mean and demanding, but for our sakes, because we need to learn this stuff.

The best analogy I have heard for the atonement is that of a debtor and creditor.  Because we sin, we are in debt... heavy debt that we can't pay, which traps us and prevents us from gaining so many things that we want, including heaven.  To be clear, God is not the creditor here.  It is the nature of the places and beings involved.  Sin cannot exist in heaven.  It would be like arriving to a formal ball covered in sewage.  No one is going to be happy in that situation.  And so Christ steps in as our savior and mediator.  He pays the debt for us, and he gives us way better terms and the hope that we can repay the debt to him instead.  The money still needs to be paid, to satisfy justice, but Christ inserts himself between us and justice, thus allowing mercy, and so we can pay what Christ requires, with time and hope.  In our formal ball analogy, we still have to take a shower and get dressed.  Christ can't make it comfortable for people to ignore our stink, or make it so that we don't notice it ourselves.  We still need to change... but what he did for us is make it so that if we do shower and change, we'll be accepted with open arms.  These people love us.  They won't hold the past against us.

Today, let's remember that we have a part to play in our own salvation.  It isn't onerous or impossible, because Christ will be with us, helping us, and making up for our inadequacies.  Let's walk in his ways, and keep the commandments.  Let's give God what he asks because he paid the higher price, and let's wash that spiritual sewage off of our souls so that we can eventually stand with confidence and joy in the presence of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews