Today’s message from Hebrews 1:4-14 resonated especially with our “religious tendencies” to gravitate and vacillate between The Legalist and The Loser. Here’s what the Legalist believes: “Because I’ve got my stuff together, I can come to God.” And here’s what the Loser believes: “I’ve got to get my stuff together before I can come to God.” Both don’t understand the gospel or fully grasp the person and work of Jesus Christ. Both religious extremes tend to make much of ourselves and little of Christ. Both the Legalist and the Loser are living in a works-based salvation that doesn’t comprehend the depth of our depravity or the extent of God’s great grace through Jesus Christ. So the gospel confronts both.
The antidote to gravitating to and vacillating between these two religious extremes is listening to the gospel daily. Great gospel passages like 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 3:23-26, and Romans 8:31-34 confront our religion and call us back to the cross. So this week, take one of these great gospel passages, memorize it, meditate upon it, pray through it, listen to it, and rehearse God’s great grace for you.
Finally, here’s a humorous yet sobering picture of our “goodness” apart from Christ:
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you, when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color or politics,
Then, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog.
Thank goodness that our goodness is found in the great grace of Jesus Christ.