MATTER OF THE HEART

September 4, 2018

 

ROMANS 2:17-29

 

What’s on the table? This is a statement that I ask myself when I do devotionals that overwhelm me with a waterfall of information and revelation. We are in a new series on the Romans and I am not going to lie when I say that Romans is by far one of the heaviest books in the Bible in my opinion. When I say “heaviest,” what I am saying is that within each square inch of this letter lies thousands upon thousands of well thought out truth by the Apostle Paul. If we were to sum up the main theme of this book, it would simply be the “Gospel,” but what that means can be written down in countless pages. I know for a fact that I won’t be able to hit every revelation and inspiration during this series but I pray that we may continue to appreciate how deep the word really goes when showing us the beauty of who God is!

 

So what is on the table in today’s passage?

 

  • Paul is talking ultimately about being good.

 

What is the conclusion?

 

  • It requires perfection, meaning we have to be good ALL the time. This is not an exaggeration but if we are to take God’s will seriously than we will realize that it means that goodness is not a part-time thing but a full-time gig! To be truly good one must be good ALL the time.

 

Therefore

 

  • No one is truly good before God’s eyes because no one is perfect!

 

Which leads to

 

  • Faith in Jesus Christ and not our own strength to be good.

 

Because we can’t perfectly keep the law (God’s standards), our concern cannot go deeper than the surface level when in regards to keeping God’s commandments. Since our concern stays on simply trying to keep up with keeping the law, we won’t be able to realize the deeper truth that we don’t need a behavior change but a heart change.

 

Jesus gives us the heart change when we believe that He did what we cannot, which is to live the perfect life. When we accept the facts of the Gospel and follow Jesus rather than our own will, we will move away from simply law keeping to keeping the heart of God through acts of love because of the love that was first given unto us by Jesus Christ.

 

Paul was addressing people that were focusing on being the people of God by what laws they can keep but Paul was addressing to them that the ritualistic sign of circumcision cannot save a soul but only Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ being perfectly good makes the believer good because our faith in Him transfers His goodness unto us forever! This means that our response of faith in Jesus shifts the focus away from religiously trying to keep the rules to lovingly try to keep a relationship thriving with God through love. Rule keeping is only concerned with looking good when people are watching but loving God is not about looking good but being good when no one is watching because you are only concerned about living out what God has given unto you.

 

You know what is interesting, religious people can try and look like they keep all the rules and fail to realize that though they look good in the outside that in the private moments of their lives, their hearts do not really love God whereas without a doubt, Jesus loved the Father so much that keeping the law was just the by product of his passionate love for Him. Jesus loved God when in the crowds and when in private. He loved God through good times and bad times. He showed grace to those who failed because He was grace. For law keepers, there is no grace but for those who walk in faith, grace is a foundational way of living.

 

The big revealer of the condition of our heart  is whether we do devotionals or prayer because we want to look good and accepted by people or simply because we love God? When the mandatory label whether literally applied or figuratively is lifted off, will you still seek Him? When the circumstances suck, will you still seek Him? When you don’t get the prayer answered according to your will, will you still seek Him? Religion will say no, love will say yes.

 

Today let us remind ourselves that the love of God awakens us to loving Him back and that our faith is not about law keeping but keeping the heart of God that begins and is sustained by Jesus Christ who laid it all down for us to allow us the ability to lay it all down in love back.

 

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