The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"It Is Finished"
The New Testament epistle of Hebrews was written to encourage and challenge Jewish Christians of the first century who were tempted to return to the Old Testament law of commandments and rituals as a way of relating to God.
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest… He that hath entered into His rest, he hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His" (Hebrews 4:1-3; 10).
The writer likens the rest of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ with the seventh day rest of God in creation. Just as the Lord's creative work was finished six days of work, so His redemptive work was finished after Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension. In coming to the Lord Jesus, we cease from our own labors because we discover God's pleasure in His Son's labors on our behalf. "It is finished" declared the Lord Jesus on the cross (John 19:30). Indeed, the Savior accomplished everything required to justify, sanctify, and glorify recipients of God's grace (Romans 8:29-30). Any legalistic or ritualistic addition to such freely given favor besmirches the glory of a salvation planned, executed, and gloriously culminated by what Christ did for us.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:8-10).
Twenty first century legalizers fight God's grace no less than did the deceivers of old. We do well to heed the many New Testament warnings against additions to God's grace and truth in Christ as our sole hope not only for salvation, but also for a life that honors our Lord. "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" counseled the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 12:28). Yes, grace alone spiritually births and then nurtures us into genuine Christlikeness of thought, attitude, word, and deed. Our enemies well know this, and ever seek to fight against our affirmation of Christ alone as our confidence and conviction. We must fight back from the finished work of our blessed Savior, or as the Apostle Paul commanded regarding our warfare not for victory, but from victory…
"Fight the good fight of faith."
(I Timothy 6:12)
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Weekly Memory Verse
Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.