Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood
Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love
The church of Jesus Christ has become so law minded fighting even in Taiwan to ban gays from marriage and equality. This is sad, when our Great commission is the Gospel of Salvation not of the law, but the name of Jesus so precious in a country that worship other gods in the majority. In the bible, only the Ten Commandments is in the Ark of the Covenant covered by the mercy seat of Jesus Christ. The Law, the Torah, is placed just outside because there is no anointing and deliverance in the Law. When we preached the Torah, it is not Christ but ourselves. Are we better and more righteous than gays? Is Christ glorified?
The amazing thing about the Old Testament is that God accepts the sacrifice of animals for atonement. The sacrifice does not bring us into relationship with God per say because we still can’t enter into the Holy of Holies. But our sins is atoned, forgiven and put on the sacrificial animal. It is the grace of God, the temporary reprieve from judgement because of our sins. We are not doing the sacrifice because of the law per say but because we broke the law, the Ten Commandments. God is also not wanting us to sacrifice of ourselves.
The sacrifice of the poor dove, the gentle lamb because they are unblemished, and when we put our sins which is deserving of death and judgement, we put it on the innocent animal, who will die on our behalf. The burnt offerings is a requirement of the law, but actually because we are guilty and transgressed against the law. All are sinners. Jesus did not come to save us from ourselves, He came so that we need not die because the sin offering of animals is always temporary but Jesus is an everlasting sacrifice because He is perfect and spotless, totally righteous. And if the Priests is unholy and is found dead in the Holy of Holies because the sacrifice is not acceptable to God, then the entire nation suffers. Jesus is the everlasting high priest in the New Testament. He is both the sacrificial lamb and the high priest.
Without the burnt offering, we can talk about love, talk about community, but the greatest commandment is not our love for others, but loving and honoring the God of Israel. We do not fear God when we pray to a god of many names, for God showed Himself as the God of Israel, and Christ incarnate, the Son of God. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and in no other name, we can be saved.
Jesus did not come so that we can enter into community, into the kindom to bring salvation to the world in making this a better place to live in, He came so that the root cause of the separation between God and Man, that of sin is reconciled. And the greatest churches are those who are founded on the blessed assurance, that we are at peace with God, and at rest by the finished work of the Cross. Once, we are at peace with God and with ourselves, then only then we can offer our lives to the ministry of the Good News.
In Rom 12:1, we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God because in Roms 11:36, it is Christ in us, in our very being, the hope of glory. The service starts because Christ is in all, and exalted in all. We are not serving God per say, we are participating in the ministry of Christ, in Great Commission to preach the Gospel of Grace that Salvation is in Jesus Christ. The early church sacrificed not to enter into community, but because Satan tried to take away faith from the church, faith in the person of Jesus Christ. The early church fought to stay in faith when the world and Rome worshipped pagan gods.
In Matt 22, the Kingdom of God is like a wedding banquet. The full feast is there, and all are invited. But very few respond to the invitation. And the church has made three errors:-
- Matt 22:15-22, succumbed to the wealth and power of Ceaser. It is a church highly involved in politics and power, whether be in Rome, Liberation Theology, or the Christian Right movement. We play sides.
- Matt 22:23-33 the church who like the Sadducees who fail to believe the power of the Cross, the power of redemption, salvation and resurrection.
- Matt 22:34-40, the church of the Pharisees who still operates in the law, not knowing that the greatest law, even above loving others is loving God. Jesus was standing right in front of them, and yet not honored nor acknowledged as God and Saviour. The failed in the greatest commandment yet know it not. How could we really love God, without accepting the Love of God in Jesus Christ.
At the end, in Matt 22, the ultimate question is who is the Messiah ie the bride groom in the wedding banquet of the church. It is Jesus Christ. We are really only a Christian Church when Christ is the centre, and all in all, not love, not the law, but the person and finished works of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Attending the wedding banquet is accepting Jesus Christ as the bridegroom, the Messiah, the Saviour, God incarnate. And as we are seated, then all the wine and food we gladly eat, no longer by the works of our hands, nor we have to pay to eat, but given by grace and paid for by the Jesus death at the Cross of Calvary. And it is an everlasting banquet that never ends for God is so eager and willing to pour out His grace, love, and mercy, and all the blessings of Abraham. God is a good God, and we are called to partake in His goodness.
There is a calling for Gay people to come to the wedding banquet. It is Jesus Christ calling us. The time has come for the last tribe to come home. There is call for new churches and ministries, for the time has come for the harvest field are so vast, massive, and endless.