Why This Is The Incomplete Message

There has been a hierarchy where the holy men were tasked with conveying the message of God to his people. We trusted ourselves to pastors and priests to fill in the blanks, to explain so that we could understand the word of God; I was taught to read between the lines, as though the bible was incomplete, that I needed the numerous translations, study guides, sermons, and extra books which claim theirs is the right interpretation. I wholeheartedly believed I needed someone to expand on it and interpret it to me, through years of Sunday school, years of sermons, many times changing church homes. I believed that my relationship with God needed a moderator, someone to show me how to love Him and how to be a good Christian. I was shown how by accepting the additions of specific others that God would suddenly be speaking to me. The word of God was always filtered through the speakers, through sermons and texts that were in some way to amplify God’s Word. I lost sight of where I started and the love that got me started, to lose God in my desire to be godly. I came to realize that the barriers, the “incompleteness” being applied to Christ’s teachings, were unnecessary. Every Bible carries the teachings of Christ, and our way to salvation. My question then became, how much of Jesus’ work had I been negating all along. I want to reach him again and remove the human filter that adds qualifiers to his love and mercy.

I have, in many cases, looked to God’s Word to find His plan for me. Paul dealt with an identical situation in the churches of Galatia. In the churches he founded, many denominational teachings had become blended into their faith: adding church order, holiness, and other such traditions[1]. Similarly, in Judea, these families had been raised under Mosaic law, and kept their traditions out of fear of the wrath of their old God; the teachings of Christ were just an additional step in obtaining salvation to them. They carried that thinking into the newer churches; the rules surrounding circumcision, restricted foods, washing hands, and many other trivial details spelled out a radical lifestyle change for gentile converts, which ultimately deterred many. The Gentile churches even contributed to this themselves, bringing these Jews in and honoring them as members of the first church with special seniority. Paul raged against these ‘celebrities’ and disagreed with the laws and regulations put on Christ’s teachings, seeking to separate the two so that he might show the people Christ’s way of salvation[2]. Human nature, knowing it was undeserving of God’s grace, questioned the salvation offered to them by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. Jesus had forever paid the cost of salvation demanded by the Law, however all these additional rules demanded further payment.

Paul was criticizing the Jewish Christians for forcing their rules on others, distorting the teachings and occupying people with a fear of not being obedient enough to be saved. This line of thinking elevated man’s efforts and law above the perfect work completed in the Cross of Calvary. The specificity of God’s commands were in some ways over the top[3]. This was not intended to inspire despair, but to show the people that the laws of man could not dictate salvation. God’s love is unconditional and supersedes all laws[4]. Jesus stated he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it; how an illegitimate carpenter could fulfill any prophecy was beyond the leaders of his day[5]. The simplicity of the answer baffled many, and had caused the Hebrews to demand a mediator[6]. A sacrifice was needed to atone, staring at the one that would pay the price they had been trying to pay for centuries was more than many could handle[7]. The law was not abolished by the Messiah; it was completely finished. They were unknowingly negated Jesus’ sacrifice by requiring laws to qualify for salvation[8].

Organized religion has always been a man made construct for a single purpose: measurement of devotion to a deity as compared to other humans. Jesus spoke out against the church leaders of his day for this outward show of ceremony and regulation[9][10]. God has always sought a personal relationship with his children, his standards were impossibly high to show us the distance between a God and a Man, he then showed us the way to his presence by grace alone[11]. However, we continue to make it a competition between ourselves for his supposed favor, in the same vein as thinking working late or having the latest tech will impress those around us. As if we’re going to earn grace, as if God was holding it back on a condition. He bestows it freely to those who seek him, to those who humble themselves to believe in his simplistic love[12].

Finally the greatest commandment on which hinge all the law and prophets is this; Love God [13], Love others [14], Love yourself [15]. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in order, in perspective, puts your life in order. We no longer care about the opinions of man when God is first priority. Don’t let anyone tell you God’s word is incomplete again, Christ completed it. He can complete you too by faith[16].

[1] Galatians 3:1-5 KJV
[2] Galatians 1:6-7 KJV
[3] Deut 25:11-12 / Num 5:11-31 / Lev 22:24
[4] Isaiah 55:8-9 / Romans 8:35-39
[5] John 8:37-41
[6] Lev 20:18-20
[7] John 10:25-39
[8] Galatians 5:4
[9] Matthew 23:27
[10] Matthew 6:5
[11] Ephesians 2:8-9
[12] James 4:6 / Proverbs 3:34 / I Peter 5:5
[13] Matthew 22:37 / Mark 12:30 / Luke 10:27
[14] John 13:34 / Matthew 5:44 / John 15:12-17
[15] Luke 10:27
[16] Romans 3:21-23

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