A while back I came across an old notebook with a few sermonettes I preached to a small group I once led. I remember those meetings. We had such a big vision of what the group could become. Young Christians, with vibrant and visible faith. Faith that worked.
I think it was more works for faith and the way in which I viewed Scripture was as proof texts for adventure and right behavior. I looked to the Bible as a book of clues as how to gain life, how I could secure myself in faith. Verses helped me build a list of things to do. I was all law and little gospel.
The Lord has done much in bringing me to a different view of Scripture as the revelation of Christ and if I am honest, I can get angry about people that use Scripture in the way I used to. Today, as I read from John’s Gospel I was reminded of the real purpose of Scripture.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40.
Jesus, to a crowd of those that held tight to Scripture for a life they could gain, tells them, and us, that it is all about him. That life is to be found in him, not in a law that we could not keep. Life is not in the checklist of things we have to do, it is in the One who has done it all on your behalf.
You mean all we really have to do is believe? Yes. Believe in the One that God the Father has sent, Jesus.This might not seem concrete enough for you, but I promise there is nothing more sure than this. Then in that belief and the life it gives, we will notice things change in us and the love we receive in Christ will motivate us to live with obedience. Not to gain but because of who are and whose we are.
How would setting down the list and looking to the Savior shift your view of Scripture? How would your life change? Give it a try. It is what Jesus wants you to do!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” John 6:47.