Jeremiah and Modern Grace

I have been reading through the book of Jeremiah, my personal favorite prophet.  When I read Jeremiah 7:8-10, I stopped.  I re-read the verses several times until I heard the voice of the Lord ask, ‘How does this compare to the modern grace doctrine you are always hearing about?’

I began writing down the different arguments people have presented me or my family over the the years to try to discourage us from our Biblically based, faith brings action lifestyle.  The list went on and on, but mostly the arguments were about the law and the feasts. When I had compiled my little list, I wrote out Jeremiah 7:8-10 and compared the words of men to the Word of God.

Words of Men:

I’m free from the law.  I am not under the law, I’m under grace.     I can never do everything in the law, it’s impossible.  God knew his laws were impossible to keep.  The law was given to only point out our sin and need for Jesus.   Don’t you know about the Galatian error?  We are not saved by the law, only grace.   Because you think you have to keep God’s law, you are going to burn in hell for your distortion of grace.   God doesn’t care if we keep the 10 Commandments or not. All of our works are like filthy rags.  He looks at my heart.  Once I’m saved, I’m always saved.  I don’t celebrate other gods.  I know that Jesus probably wasn’t born at Christmas, but that’s when we celebrate his birthday.   He’s the reason for the season.  I know that Sunday isn’t the Sabbath; I go to church on Sunday because I want to celebrate the resurrection every week.   I also celebrate Easter as the resurrection ,too.  And, we do eat ham because we are free to eat all foods. Jesus set us free from the law therefore I am free from the law.

Jeremiah 7:8-10 (Various Versions)

“Look! You are relying on deceitful words that can’t do you any good.  First you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, offer to Ba‘al and go after other gods that you haven’t known. Then you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name (Yahweh)  and say, ‘We are saved (yeshuat)’ — so that you can go on doing these abominations!” (Complete Jewish Bible)

“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot benefit [so that you do not profit]. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, And [then dare to] come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name (Yahweh), and say, [By the discharge of this religious formality] we are set free (Jesus)!—only to go on with this wickedness and these abominations?”  (Amplified Bible)

“Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name (Yahweh), and say, ‘We are delivered (yeshuat)!’—that you may do all these abominations?” (New American Standard)

“But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.  “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known,  and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name (Yahweh), and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?” (New International Version)

So many other thoughts came to my mind after writing down these two views of God.    From man’s point of view, God loves them so much and sent His Son that He no longer cares what they do.  The teachings and instructions (Torah/Law) have become null and void, pointless, purposeless AFTER we are saved.  However, from God’s point of view, what man does apart from His Law while claiming his salvation (Yeshua) is an abomination.  This isn’t about ‘we all still sin’, this is about separating ourselves from God’s commands, teachings and instructions, and then continuing to do the same things we were ‘saved from’ our ‘out of’.

As I read Jeremiah 7 again, I grieved for all those believers who are literally spiritually separated from the very One they claim loves them unconditionally.   I hear and see their struggles, their identity crisis’.  They pray.  They don’t hear his voice.  They read the Word, but they don’t see His commandments as for them in this day and time.   They attend worship services, but don’t feel his presence or meet him face to face.  By not reciprocating the love that He so freely gives us through Yeshua, in the way that our heavenly Father asks, the relationship is only one-sided, and the power to overcome sin?  Sin remains in power.

A few Scriptures came into my mind as I considered God’s view of prayer, His Word, and a relationship with Him.

Proverbs 28:9  “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction (law, Torah), even their prayers are detestable.”

John 14:23 “Yeshua replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”

1 John 3:19-24 “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Messiah Yeshua, and to love one another as he commanded us.  The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

John 16:8-11 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

1 John 3:7-8 “Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

Needless to say, I kept reading in Jeremiah and stopped  to consider the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah 7:18.  Then, I stopped again at Jeremiah 10.

1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

At Jeremiah 20:9, I stopped again and remembered why I began writing this blog so many years ago.  Oh, Jeremiah ….

But if I say, “I won’t think about Him, I won’t speak in His Name any more,” then it seems as though a fire is burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I wear myself out trying to hold it in, but I just can’t do it.”

©2013 Tent Stake Ministries

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