1.The right or condition of self-government, especially in a particular sphere
2. The state or condition of having independence or freedom
3. The power or right of a country, group, etc, to govern itself
In the past months, as I study the evidence for Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, applying the constant daily truths to my local evangelism ministry, it appears more and more to me that the problem with sin, our need for a Savior, and Jesus being that Savior, has never been a question with regard to whether or not these events really occurred.
I observed that the most constant objection seem not to derive from a place which lacks the necessary facts to conclude in light of truth, but sadly instead, from a place within that causes us to make a choice to disregard in spite of the evidence
Now this is important to understand because, to disregard that Jesus was and is who He said He was on the basis of lack of information, would entail that if there was evidence to prove otherwise, we would be A. willing to search it out to know the truth, and B. then change what we believe no matter what the cost on the basis of that truth.
But since the objection comes from a place that does not seek to search out whether the facts were correct, I sought to understand then, where was this aversion to truth coming from? Was it demonic in nature? Was it simply due to sheer neglect?
The answer of course, is made obvious from the scriptures them self, the source of all truth.
A serpent once said:
“You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day that you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
These words have lingered long and had a place in the heart of all mankind since the beginning of time. The excuses to neglect salvation do not stem from a misunderstanding of scripture, nor from a lack of evidence, nor of an skepticism that the information was or could be false, or somehow changed over time – excuses that we would never apply to any other historical fact that is presented to us – yet these are what the most common excuses seem to entail. Therefore upon a deeper search, the realization is that it comes from a place of moral nonacceptance. A place that makes the value of the seething lies of the serpent ring true in all generations from a simple neglect due to unbelief, but that stems from a place that lacks the true depth of humility to search out that truth because of an already clear understanding of what knowing this truth will cost us to know
You see, to claim ignorance of something has been an effect of fallen man that can be exhibited in children even as young as 5 years old, maybe younger. The sort of thinking that causes us to believe that if I don’t see it happening, or if I close my eyes to it, then I can’t be held accountable to what that truth may cause me to now be subject to.
The mistake in this logic comes from a place, that has a false belief that “I” am in control, and to give up that control, somehow would mean that I am weaker, not able to guide myself, nor able to tell the truth from a lie. It’s a place that doesn’t see the paradox truth of humility.
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted
Now, if we read this scripture and say to ourselves, “I’m a pretty humble person, so this doesn’t apply to me”. What is the measure by which we believe ourselves to be humble? Is it in comparison to our friends? Or to our co-workers? Or to those we hear about in the news?
This is because we have a knowledge of good and evil, so we see within ourselves an ability to judge ourself against another’s situation and give ourself a rank of being better or worst off than the other.
e.g. You move out of your parents home and you believe that anyone who still lives at home has not achieved what you have. They are somehow lesser and you are more
But what if the measure that you have been most prone to use in your fallen state of mistaken knowledge of what “good” truly is, was wrong?
What if a law existed that was so holy and pure, that no man, woman, or child on the entire face of the earth could have ANY reason to boast of their goodness to another, because in some way, shape or form, we all fell short of this one perfect law?
That my friends, is that the Law of Moses represents. It is not a law that makes people holy. It is a law that points out the sinfulness of all mankind, making every sin, truly sinful.
Only under a true understanding of that knowledge, and only then, can we begin to understand and see our need for a Savior. This is when the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins to really look like good news.
Religions of all sorts has taught for centuries a false way of how “we” can make ourselves right with God. Either by our religious works, or our legalistic practices, or by our attendance, or by our giving, or by some other means of sacrifice and outward profession.
The true and biblical Jesus Christ however, is the story (beginning in Genesis) of God’s problem with all of His creation that cannot seem to understand their relation in distinction from His: perfect truthfulness, holiness, righteousness, justice, wisdom and love.
So much so, that out of that perfect love, He begins a plan of redemption to reveal unto His creation, the mystery of His holiness through the giving of His Holy Law at Mount Sinai, which then reaches the climax of this epic real life story which details the giving of His only begotten Son as the sacrifice for a nation that was doomed to eternal destruction to be killed by that particular nation, proving their inability to keep that law
Only at the cross of Jesus Christ do we witness that God is indeed Holy and Righteous and Just, so much so, that the punishment that abounds from sin cannot be overlooked. Punishment and death are the cost or we could not say God is truthful since His own law states that the consequence of sin is death and we all have fallen short.
But only at the cross do we ever have evidence in all of creation of the vast measure of God’s love. A love that surpasses all understanding. One that was willing to send His one and only Son to be the sacrifice for the punishment we all deserved to face for constant rebellion, even towards this truth.
Only a Savior of the world with perfect love and righteousness could look down from the cross He was hanging upon, being held up by His wrists in the face of His accusers and those who watched on glorying in their deed of crucifying the innocent, and hear Him cry out these words for mercy:
Father, forgive them. They know not what they do
Only He that is without sin could then rise from the grave having disarmed the powers and authorities, making a public spectacle of them, having triumphed over them through Him, showing himself alive and well to over 500 hundred eye witnesses. Fulfilling every prophecy, and then victoriously returning home to His rightful place right before their very eyes.
You may trust in your own wisdom, your own righteousness, your own ideas of goodness and understanding, your media driven ideas of love, and hypocritical moral ethics to secure your eternity when you shall stand before THAT God, the One true God who has proven such by His life, death, and resurrection, the One before whom ALL men will one day stand. But me….
I’ll take my chances with the Lord who lives!
Bless your Holy Name Lord Jesus!