Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finding Rest – Part 4

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:17&20
and you will find rest for your souls
As we continue our look at the invitation of Christ to rest it is important to look at His audience. Jesus was speaking to Jews when He shared this invitation.  He knew these groaned under the weight of their ceremonial laws and the traditions of the elders.  He tells them that by coming to Him they would be freed from these burdensome rites and ceremonies.  Christ tells them to come to him, to believe in him, and to trust him, and him only, for salvation. Doing this, he will give them rest - rest from their sins, from the alarms of conscience, from the terrors of the law, and from the fears of eternal death.  These Jews had sought to find favor with God through the Law.  They had discovered what Paul proclaimed in Romans 7.  While it is a lengthy passage, it bears reading to understand the burden of the Law.

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.  Romans 7:14-25

Grace brings rest!  We are bound by the pressures of the demands of the Law.  We exist under the pressure of not meeting a standard or an expectation.  With grace we can rest in the arms of acceptance and sufficiency through the blood of Jesus Christ.  When we know the grace of our God we can rest.  Grace brings comfort.  When we have God’s grace, we are accepted, forgiven, loved, and redeemed.  The penalty of the Law is cancelled by the payment of our Lord.

The grace of God brings us all things good in life.  We receive healing, prosperity and eternal relationships through the grace of God.  The first time grace is mentioned is in Genesis.  Here is an interesting scriptural insight from the Genesis statement Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord.  The name Noah in the Hebrew means Rest.  Rest found grace.  The key to finding the grace of God is to rest in the work of Christ.

Many Christians struggle with the demands of the Law instead of resting in the provision of Christ.  The Law is proud and demanding yet Jesus says, I am gentle and humble in heart.  The Law condemns; Jesus saves.  The Law burdens us with guilt; Jesus frees us with grace.  The Law is bondage; salvation in Christ is liberty.  Come... and you will find rest for your souls.

Scripture to Claim:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:8-9

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