Freedom: When Religion Becomes Unreasonable

Words From The Back Row | 23 and Me

            A popular activity made possible by advances in scientific technology is having your DNA profile analyzed then compared against a worldwide DNA database.  Companies such as Ancestry.com and 23 and Me offer genetic tracing to allow you to see the ethnic/racial mix of who you are.  This combined with researching your family tree can provide entertainment, insight, discovery and hopefully enlightenment for your journey through life. It seems knowing where you came from and who you are makes a big difference.  This weekend’s installment from the Freedom series goes back in time to Abraham as Paul in his letter to the Galatians does a little ancestry work.

             Pastor Ed detailed an encounter Abraham had with Creator God involving covenants and animal sacrifices.  The crucial “take away” was a personal relationship with God, initiated by Him, validated by Him, sealed by Him and ultimately completed by Him. It was not the work of Abraham, his character, or his human value.  What mattered was Abraham’s belief and faith in the One True God. 

            As Ed relates, Paul takes the early Christians on a journey back – perhaps the verbal DNA and ancestry search.  For the Galatian Christians Paul traces their spiritual lineage back to Abraham who found relationship with God through faith; Not the keeping of rituals, codes, laws or religious rites.  This is critical information as the Jewish Law had yet to be established.  Relationship with God, therefore, has always been on the basis of faith.  Paul jumps ahead in time to speak of the prophets of Israel and again faith is reiterated as the basis of relationship.  Ultimately relationship rests, for the Galatians and for us, on Jesus Christ.

            In the 2000+ years that have passed since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the “church” in many iterations and expressions, has sometimes lost their way in living out relationship by faith in Jesus Christ and layered a variety of rules and customs as prerequisites for relationship. Pastor Ed calls us to the simple truth – the atoning work of Jesus Christ is the “end all and be” all of reestablishing relationship with God.  This is the question, “do you know Him by faith?”  If your final answer is Jesus plus anything else, then it’s time to think again.  The final answer for Paul is in Christ alone. 

Shalom

Jessica RondonComment