Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mr Doi Ng and Mr Bei Ng

Romans 10 (The Message)

1-3Believe me, friends, all I want for Israel is what's best for Israel: salvation, nothing less. I want it with all my heart and pray to God for it all the time. I readily admit that the Jews are impressively energetic regarding God—but they are doing everything exactly backward.

They don't seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God's business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it.

4-10The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it's not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story— no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah.

So what exactly was Moses saying? The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest. It's the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—"Jesus is my Master"—embracing, body and soul, God's work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That's it.

You're not "doing" anything; you're simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That's salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: "God has set everything right between him and me!"

11-13Scripture reassures us, "No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it." It's exactly the same no matter what a person's religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. "Everyone who calls, 'Help, God!' gets help."

This is amazing grace, the new covenant believing which we entered when we were born into His Kingdom. Somehow over time, we tend to lose this right belief and have gone back to behaving like the Jews who are impressively energetic, but doing exactly everything backward (back to doing and not being, back to the law/religion and not on the finished work of Christ and relationship with Him) and noisily hawking our religion and methods.

Rejoice, God is still acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help beyond salvation; He has not changed one little bit since we received salvation!

Rejoice, aren't we glad that God has put everything right for those who trust Him to do it. It is time to rest in Him and be at peace and not noisily hawking our wares. You are now Mr Bei Ng and not Mr Doi Ng! If you live a lifestyle of a mixture of law and grace, then you will have an identity crisis, not knowing who you are in Christ. You will behave one day like Mr Bei, happy and peaceful but the next day like Mr Doi, depressed that you are never good enough.

God has not changed since you received salvation- everyone who calls "Help, God, still gets help". Rejoice.

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