Thursday, May 29, 2014

Creation to Restoration 3

Religion: A Product of Man’s Pride Was Used to Instruct Mankind

Religion is an Invention of Sinful Mankind
The Bible consistently teaches that religion is NOT the answer. Jesus’ main opponent, and the group He most regularly condemned in His day, were the religious leaders. Paul writes that the purpose of the law and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament was never to solve humanity’s sin problem. It was to highlight our predicament and point us towards the true solution to rebellion.

God Redeemed Religious Law to Teach Us about Unattainable Holiness
God delivered a law to His chosen people that communicated what He required of His people. As a holy God, He requires a holy people. The only problem is, that standard is totally unattainable for sinful people. The law is set up for us to fail. Not in a cruel way, but in order to highlight that our religious pride will never, ever provide a solution to our problem. The law is intended to show us the astounding holiness of God, and to compel us to throw our hands up in surrender. We will never be as good as God created us to be.

God Redeemed a Sacrificial System to Teach Us about a Unpayable Debt
In response to the inevitable failure the law would produce, God prescribed a costly system for us to pay for our mistakes. Sacrifice. Something must die as a result of our rebellion. Ultimately it should be us, but God adopted the practice that humanity had sensed was needed, a system of substitution. Once again, the system only serves to highlight the failure of our attempts to fix our problem. There is not enough blood on earth to pay for the mistakes we blunder into, the mistakes we willfully make. Ultimately we all must die in defeat. If we are relying on religion to make things right, we will never be made right. THAT is not a good piece of news.

Religion is not the Gospel.  And the Gospel does not point to religion.

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