Thursday, May 5, 2016

Made Right (Inseparable Chapter Two)

 "Made Right."  I love the name of this chapter.  It holds a double-meaning for me.  I am "Made Right," as in I am made correctly, perfectly, exactly as He wanted me to be.  No mistakes there.  This is near and dear to my heart as it was the theme of my #write31days project last October.  The second meaning is more what the author Ashley Linne intended in this context.  I am "Made Right," as in I am right with God.  Christ's blood covers me so that I am not separated from God.  His sacrifice makes me right as it washes away my sins.

We are fallen creatures in a fallen world.  On our own, we can never be right with God.  Only through the Anointed, the Liberating King can we be justified.  "But that ability has not come from living by our fallen nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives" (Romans 8:4).

The next section talks about Eve.  Ashley states, "Somewhere along the way Eve forgot who she was. In fact, she forgot who God was because somewhere in her heart she started thinking He was holding out on her."  Sometimes I think Eve gets too easily blamed for her sins.  After all, if she hadn't eaten that piece of fruit, then we would all be better off, right?  But today I am thinking about it like this: Eve (and Adam) lived in a perfect world and walked in the garden of Eden with God, and yet they still had doubts and insecurities.  Satan knew just where to poke and prod them to get them to fall.  How much more will he know where and how to attack us?  His biggest trick is to convince us to take matters into our own hands instead of trusting God.

Sin in our lives is going to happen.  It is inevitable.  That is why we need Jesus so much.  He is the One--the only One--in all of mankind who never sinned.  I can't even fathom what that would look like. Jesus never back talked his mother for that would be dishonoring her.  He never gossiped about his fellow carpenters for that might be bearing false witness.  He never put anything or anyone between him and God the Father for that would be having an idol.  No sins.  Ever.

Because of His perfect nature, He was able to be the perfect sacrifice for us.  He loves us so much that He didn't want us to be separated from God, even though it meant He would have to be through His death on the cross.  "Jesus gave everything of Himself so I could had everything of Him.  Not just a 'get out of hell free' card, but a destiny, an identity, a purpose, a brotherhood... a life."  Salvation is so much more than an absence from hell's gateway.  I think some people miss the importance of that.

In the next section, Ashley Linne talks about how our reconciliation is already complete.  Jesus did it.  We cannot do it on our own.  "There is no way we could ever make amends with God on our own, and we need to allow ourselves to enjoy the freedom that brings our souls.  I hope you have felt the sweet relief of having the weight lifted off your shoulders through His forgiveness.  Don't go back and pick up baggage you have already left behind."  Man, that had a lot of weight for me.  Don't go back and pick up baggage you have already left behind.  Ouch!  How many times have I done that?  Leave it in the dust; don't keep going back for it and quit carrying it around.  Lay it down already!

In each chapter, Ashley ties the trait she is describing to someone in the Bible.  Abraham was made right with God by his faith and his faith alone.  Not his good works, not his striving to do the right thing, but simply by believing God.  God said, "I have a plan for you, Abraham."  And Abraham said, "Let's do it."  That's my paraphrase, of course, but that's essentially what transpired.  Romans 4:3 says, "What does Scripture say?  Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."  So what does it take for you and me to be righteous?  To do the same thing as Abraham:  to believe God and follow His plan.

Here are some standout moments for me from Romans 3.

God is faithful.  He does not change.  No matter how unfaithful or untrustworthy we as individuals are, He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  "If every person on the planet were  a liar and thief, God would still be true" (v. 4).  The purpose of law is not to be a set-by-step plan for becoming right in God's eyes; the law was designed to show us how much we need a Savior (v. 20).  All have sinned and fail to reach God on their own ( v. 23).  We are saved and redeemed through the grace that only comes from Jesus the Anointed (v. 24).  We are made right through faith and not deeds (v. 28)

In Christ, we are... made right.

The opinions expressed are my own, and I am in no way being compensating for this post.

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