Losing Your Religion | TBN

Losing Your Religion

Watch Losing Your Religion
November 3, 2019
27:30

Touching Lives with James Merritt

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Losing Your Religion

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  • for by the friends and partners of Touching Lives.
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  • James Merritt: You're tryin' to do it all yourself.
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  • You're trying to do all you can for God and you're hoping man,
  • 00:00:07.060 --> 00:00:11.080
  • I hope he takes.
  • 00:00:11.090 --> 00:00:12.190
  • I hope he accepts the paper that I've written.
  • 00:00:12.200 --> 00:00:15.150
  • I hope he takes the life that I've lived.
  • 00:00:15.160 --> 00:00:17.200
  • I hope that my good outweighs the bad.
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  • Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe he'll take me or you're
  • 00:00:20.000 --> 00:00:25.070
  • coming to God and saying, I wouldn't trust--I wouldn't
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  • trust the best five minutes I've ever live to get me to you.
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  • I'm putting all my trust in what Jesus has done for me.
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  • announcer: Teaching people everywhere who Jesus is and
  • 00:00:37.180 --> 00:00:40.050
  • why they need him.
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  • This is "Touching Lives with James Merritt."
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  • James Merritt: If you want to be right with God and if you want
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  • to know you're right with God, buckle your seatbelt.
  • 00:00:48.150 --> 00:00:54.000
  • You have got to lose your religion.
  • 00:00:54.010 --> 00:00:58.250
  • You say, "Excuse me, you're a pastor."
  • 00:00:58.260 --> 00:01:00.230
  • Yeah, you heard me.
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  • You have got to lose your religion, because as hard as it
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  • is to believe--I'm going to tell you something
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  • may shock you.
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  • Being religious, trying to do the rituals, trying to obey
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  • the rules, trying to follow the regulations, tryin' to keep
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  • the restrictions, may not, it may not only not get you any
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  • closer to God, it may wind up keeping you
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  • from ever knowing God.
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  • It may wind up ever even keeping you from God.
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  • We've been preaching this series on Galatians; we've entitled it
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  • "Free At Last" because one of the reasons that Paul wrote
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  • this book and one of the reasons he's talking to these believers
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  • in Galatians is to let us know, look, Jesus did not come
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  • to introduce us to a new religion; Jesus came to deliver
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  • us from all religion.
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  • So we could actually enter into a relationship with a God
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  • who's not captured by any religion.
  • 00:01:51.230 --> 00:01:54.100
  • So he's dealing with these people called Judaizers, who are
  • 00:01:54.110 --> 00:01:57.140
  • trying to tell these early Christians what a lot of people
  • 00:01:57.150 --> 00:01:59.280
  • still believe--what a lot of you still believe.
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  • There are many of you, I believe you come into this church every
  • 00:02:02.140 --> 00:02:04.220
  • Sunday, you hear me preach every week, and you still go
  • 00:02:04.230 --> 00:02:07.030
  • out the door and you're still deep down think this: "If I
  • 00:02:07.040 --> 00:02:09.290
  • wanna be right with God and if I want to stay right with God,
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  • I've got to keep the Ten Commandments to the best of
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  • my ability.
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  • I've got to obey the law and I've got to follow
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  • the rules."
  • 00:02:19.030 --> 00:02:20.130
  • Well, Paul does something that's just brilliant.
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  • Paul actually says why don't we go to the law and see what
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  • the law says about the law.
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  • Why don't we see if you can pull off what you think you can pull
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  • off by keeping the law.
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  • And what you're going to find out is he appeals to that very
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  • law to show that people want what we want the law to do,
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  • the law can't do.
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  • What we would like for the law to accomplish, the law
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  • cannot accomplish.
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  • And he shows us even the law of God cannot get you to the God
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  • that gave you that law.
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  • So, whether it's the law that's found in this book or you may
  • 00:02:51.040 --> 00:02:54.160
  • have another book, your book may be the Quran, you're made book
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  • may be the Bhagavad Gita.
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  • I don't know what your book is, but Paul says, let me tell all
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  • of you, if you're tryin' to get to God through your particular
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  • religion and through keeping your particular law
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  • and following your particular rules.
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  • There are four things you need to remember about all
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  • religious law.
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  • Number one, the law is a curse not a cure for sin.
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  • The law is a curse, it's not a cure for sin.
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  • Now, Paul knows he's dealing with people who love the Old
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  • Testament, they're Bible scholars in the Old Testament.
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  • They love to quote the Old Testament.
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  • So he says, okay, let me quote the Old Testament, and let me
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  • show you something that may surprise you.
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  • The law actually curses itself 'cause here's what we don't
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  • understand: the law does not commend people who try to
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  • keep it.
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  • What the law actually does is condemn people because they
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  • can't keep it.
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  • So, here's what Paul says.
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  • Paul says, "For all who rely on the works of the law,"
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  • for what?
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  • To be right with God, to get right with God.
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  • So just fill in the blank.
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  • I'm relying on my baptism, I'm relying on my church membership,
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  • I'm relying on paying my taxes, I'm relying on being faithful
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  • to my wife, I'm relying on giving money to the poor, I'm
  • 00:04:09.170 --> 00:04:12.210
  • relying on not drinking too much, not smoking too much.
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  • I'm relying on not using bad language--just add everything
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  • you want to add.
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  • Paul said, "If you're relying on the works of the law, you are
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  • under a curse."
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  • And then he quotes the law as it's written: "Cursed is
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  • everyone who does not continue to do--" and I can--you guys
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  • see that word?
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  • Can y'all say it out loud?
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  • Can you say it loud?
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  • Yeah, what does "everything" mean?
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  • Yeah, you're great, you're on target.
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  • Alright, it means everything.
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  • He said you're under a curse.
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  • If you're tryin' to get to God by being good, if you're tryin'
  • 00:04:48.190 --> 00:04:51.230
  • to get to God by obeying the Commandments, you're tryin'
  • 00:04:51.240 --> 00:04:54.020
  • to good by being religious, you're tryin' to be good
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  • by keeping the law, then you better continue to do everything
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  • written in the book of the law.
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  • So, Paul's being blunt.
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  • If you're trying to be religious enough, good enough, obedient
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  • enough to get to God.
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  • He said, you're under a curse.
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  • You know what the curse is?
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  • The curse is not disobeying the law; that's not the curse.
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  • The curse is not perfectly obeying the law.
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  • That's the curse.
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  • He said you're under a curse if you're goin' to perform your way
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  • to God, you gotta meet his standard not yours and God's
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  • standard is perfection.
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  • And since his law is perfect and he is perfect, think
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  • about it.
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  • If the law of God is perfect, and it is; if God is perfect,
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  • and he is, and we're trying to have a relationship
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  • with a perfect God, logic itself says then I've got to keep
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  • the law perfectly if I wanna have a relationship with God who
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  • is perfect.
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  • See, here's the problem.
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  • One of the problems we have is we try to understand how God's
  • 00:05:48.060 --> 00:05:51.200
  • law operates and we try to kind of see it the way that we think
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  • our law operates.
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  • So let me give you an example.
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  • When it comes to human laws, here's what we do: we grade
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  • ourselves on the curve and let me tell you what I mean by that.
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  • I've heard this so many times.
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  • I said to someone about two weeks ago--they were visiting
  • 00:06:09.230 --> 00:06:13.150
  • our church and I said, "May, I ask you a spiritual question?"
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  • They said, "Sure," and I said, "Do you have a personal
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  • relationship with God?"
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  • He said, "Well, I'm trying to," and I said, "What do you mean?"
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  • And he started--and I knew it was coming.
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  • I've heard them all.
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  • Well, I'm not perfect.
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  • I've told a lie, but I've never committed perjury.
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  • I've cheated on my test, but I've never cheated
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  • on my taxes.
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  • When I was little I stole a cookie, but I'd never robbed
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  • a bank.
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  • I've gotten in a lot of fights, but I've never killed anybody.
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  • And so, here's what we say, well, I think I'm good to go
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  • because my good outweighs my bad.
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  • And I'm not as bad as the guy on death row.
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  • I'm mean, I'm not, you know, I'm not--and in a way we're right,
  • 00:06:55.080 --> 00:06:57.290
  • in a way it makes sense.
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  • You're not goin' to jail for telling a lie if it's
  • 00:06:59.240 --> 00:07:02.220
  • not perjury.
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  • The IRS is not gonna come after you if you cheat on a test
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  • just don't cheat on your taxes.
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  • You're not gonna be locked up for stealing a cookie just
  • 00:07:09.020 --> 00:07:11.060
  • don't rob a bank.
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  • The problem is God's law doesn't operate that way.
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  • God doesn't grade on the curve.
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  • So let me put it this way.
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  • I don't know how it is now because things have changed.
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  • When I was a boy, when I was going to school, there was
  • 00:07:25.110 --> 00:07:29.070
  • a grading system.
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  • So when an A would be 90 to 100; B was 82 to 89; C was 70 to 79;
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  • D was 60 to 69; F was anything below 60, okay?
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  • That's not the way it is in God's school.
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  • In God's school, there two grades: A+ and F.
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  • There's only two grades, all right?
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  • You ready for this?
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  • Let's see how good you are at your math.
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  • So, if you make 100 on God's test what do you get?
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  • A+ What if you make 99, what do you get?
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  • You get an F.
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  • Now you may say, Lord, he is a hard-nosed professor.
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  • No, that's not the problem.
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  • He's holy and he's perfect.
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  • And he only has one standard and that is holy perfection
  • 00:08:14.110 --> 00:08:17.230
  • and here's our problem: He demands a holiness from you you
  • 00:08:17.240 --> 00:08:21.190
  • can't produce.
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  • He demands a perfection from you and you can't get there.
  • 00:08:23.170 --> 00:08:27.000
  • You know, all of my life I've had people say this to me.
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  • They worry about what they call cheap grace.
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  • I've had people really debate me on this.
  • 00:08:31.140 --> 00:08:33.120
  • They say, you know, you guys preach the grace of God.
  • 00:08:33.130 --> 00:08:35.190
  • You guys just preach man, it's all about grace, it's all
  • 00:08:35.200 --> 00:08:38.080
  • about faith, God loves you, he sent his son, you give your life
  • 00:08:38.090 --> 00:08:41.010
  • to Jesus, and man, you're good to go, and then you can live any
  • 00:08:41.020 --> 00:08:44.060
  • way you want to.
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  • Well, let me stop right there.
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  • I've never preached that and I don't believe that.
  • 00:08:46.280 --> 00:08:49.040
  • I do believe you're saved by grace through faith, but I
  • 00:08:49.050 --> 00:08:52.000
  • believe when you're saved by grace through faith, you
  • 00:08:52.010 --> 00:08:53.230
  • don't live the way you want to, you live the way he wants you
  • 00:08:53.240 --> 00:08:56.030
  • to, that's the difference; however, that said, I'm not
  • 00:08:56.040 --> 00:08:59.180
  • worried about cheap grace.
  • 00:08:59.190 --> 00:09:01.010
  • You know what bothers me? Cheap law.
  • 00:09:01.020 --> 00:09:04.060
  • You say, "What do you mean?"
  • 00:09:04.070 --> 00:09:05.230
  • We've got this idea that God will somehow grade us
  • 00:09:05.240 --> 00:09:08.240
  • on the curve and accept anything less than perfection,
  • 00:09:08.250 --> 00:09:12.040
  • and especially anything less than the perfect
  • 00:09:12.050 --> 00:09:15.250
  • righteousness of Jesus.
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  • So, here's the central point.
  • 00:09:17.060 --> 00:09:18.260
  • Paul just gets right to it.
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  • I mean, he's not pulling any punches.
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  • If you're trying to do enough, give enough, be enough to get
  • 00:09:22.040 --> 00:09:28.220
  • God's approval and God's acceptance, you are
  • 00:09:28.230 --> 00:09:32.290
  • under a curse and it is the curse of trying to
  • 00:09:33.000 --> 00:09:36.120
  • be good enough.
  • 00:09:36.130 --> 00:09:37.220
  • You say, "Why is that a curse?"
  • 00:09:37.230 --> 00:09:39.230
  • Because you will never, ever be good enough for God.
  • 00:09:39.240 --> 00:09:44.190
  • It isn't going to happen.
  • 00:09:44.200 --> 00:09:47.030
  • The law is a curse.
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  • It is not a cure for sin.
  • 00:09:48.270 --> 00:09:51.120
  • But then he goes deeper.
  • 00:09:51.130 --> 00:09:53.050
  • He says the law is a barrier.
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  • It's not a bridge to God.
  • 00:09:56.000 --> 00:09:58.030
  • The law as a barrier, it's not a bridge to God.
  • 00:09:58.040 --> 00:10:00.260
  • Now, if what Paul said is true then the next
  • 00:10:00.270 --> 00:10:03.220
  • conclusion just naturally follows.
  • 00:10:03.230 --> 00:10:05.020
  • Listen to what he says in verse 11.
  • 00:10:05.030 --> 00:10:07.030
  • He says, "Clearly, no one--" what does "no one" mean?
  • 00:10:07.040 --> 00:10:11.130
  • All right, you're sharp, you're with me.
  • 00:10:11.140 --> 00:10:13.140
  • "No one who relies on the law is justified before God."
  • 00:10:13.150 --> 00:10:19.080
  • So, Paul says if you're relying on keeping God's commandments
  • 00:10:19.090 --> 00:10:22.070
  • to justify you before God, you're automatically condemn
  • 00:10:22.080 --> 00:10:25.270
  • because you've not perfectly kept God's commandments, because
  • 00:10:25.280 --> 00:10:29.200
  • the one thing that every person that's ever lived or ever will
  • 00:10:29.210 --> 00:10:32.230
  • live needs to be right with God is to be justified.
  • 00:10:32.240 --> 00:10:36.150
  • I've got to somehow get God to look at me and say even
  • 00:10:36.160 --> 00:10:39.230
  • though I'm guilty, even though he knows I'm guilty, even though
  • 00:10:39.240 --> 00:10:42.260
  • I know I'm guilty, even though I know that he knows that I'm
  • 00:10:42.270 --> 00:10:45.240
  • guilty, even though he knows and I know that I know he knows
  • 00:10:45.250 --> 00:10:48.210
  • I'm guilty--somehow I've got to get that God to look at me
  • 00:10:48.220 --> 00:10:52.250
  • and say, "Innocent, acquitted, justified."
  • 00:10:52.260 --> 00:10:57.270
  • And Paul said, "And the law can't get you there."
  • 00:10:57.280 --> 00:11:02.180
  • The law will never justify you.
  • 00:11:02.190 --> 00:11:05.110
  • It is not a bridge to God; it is a barrier to God.
  • 00:11:05.120 --> 00:11:10.000
  • The law is not the way you get to God, it's actually the wall
  • 00:11:10.010 --> 00:11:13.020
  • that separates you from god.
  • 00:11:13.030 --> 00:11:14.120
  • Now, by the way, what many religions are trying to do--
  • 00:11:14.130 --> 00:11:18.020
  • and they'll tell you this--is there trying to get you
  • 00:11:18.030 --> 00:11:20.040
  • justified before God and here's what they'll all say: "You want
  • 00:11:20.050 --> 00:11:23.080
  • to be right with our God?
  • 00:11:23.090 --> 00:11:25.070
  • Do this, don't do that, go here, don't go there,
  • 00:11:25.080 --> 00:11:27.010
  • say this, don't say that.
  • 00:11:27.020 --> 00:11:28.110
  • Keep our laws, keep our rules, keep our regulations, and you
  • 00:11:28.120 --> 00:11:31.110
  • just might get there."
  • 00:11:31.120 --> 00:11:33.280
  • Paul says, "No, it won't happen."
  • 00:11:33.290 --> 00:11:36.030
  • So you may be asking a very legitimate question right now.
  • 00:11:36.040 --> 00:11:38.100
  • I would be asking, Well, wait a minute.
  • 00:11:38.110 --> 00:11:41.130
  • So if God's commandments and God's law won't help me get
  • 00:11:41.140 --> 00:11:45.060
  • to God--here's a simple question: So, why did God give
  • 00:11:45.070 --> 00:11:48.090
  • the law to begin with?
  • 00:11:48.100 --> 00:11:49.220
  • Why did God give the Commandments?
  • 00:11:49.230 --> 00:11:51.230
  • Well, I'm glad you asked the question.
  • 00:11:51.240 --> 00:11:53.030
  • I sure am glad Paul answered the question.
  • 00:11:53.040 --> 00:11:54.280
  • Here's what he says in verse 21: "Is the law therefore opposed
  • 00:11:54.290 --> 00:11:59.020
  • to the promises of God?"
  • 00:11:59.030 --> 00:12:00.150
  • In other words, what he's saying is, so is the law a bad thing?
  • 00:12:00.160 --> 00:12:02.200
  • He said no, law is a good thing.
  • 00:12:02.210 --> 00:12:04.070
  • Nothing wrong with the law; law's perfect.
  • 00:12:04.080 --> 00:12:06.210
  • "Absolutely not!
  • 00:12:06.220 --> 00:12:08.090
  • For if a law had been given that could impart life, then
  • 00:12:08.100 --> 00:12:13.160
  • righteousness would certainly have come by the law,
  • 00:12:13.170 --> 00:12:16.200
  • but Scripture has locked up everything under the control
  • 00:12:16.210 --> 00:12:20.230
  • of sin."
  • 00:12:20.240 --> 00:12:22.040
  • Now here's what Paul says.
  • 00:12:22.050 --> 00:12:23.240
  • This is where I want you to listen to him.
  • 00:12:23.250 --> 00:12:25.050
  • I want you draw in real close and listen.
  • 00:12:25.060 --> 00:12:27.220
  • The law was never given to show how good we are, it was given
  • 00:12:27.230 --> 00:12:35.260
  • to show how sinful we are.
  • 00:12:35.270 --> 00:12:38.240
  • So, let me put it to you this way.
  • 00:12:38.250 --> 00:12:41.080
  • The law illuminates our faults.
  • 00:12:41.090 --> 00:12:44.000
  • It cannot eliminate our faults.
  • 00:12:44.010 --> 00:12:46.130
  • It can illuminate them; it can't eliminate them.
  • 00:12:46.140 --> 00:12:49.190
  • So here's what the law does.
  • 00:12:49.200 --> 00:12:51.150
  • The law tells you, "Okay, you want to live a godly life?
  • 00:12:51.160 --> 00:12:54.280
  • This is what a godly life looks like."
  • 00:12:54.290 --> 00:12:57.080
  • You go, "Great," and then the law turns around and says,
  • 00:12:57.090 --> 00:13:00.100
  • "Ha, but you can't do it.
  • 00:13:00.110 --> 00:13:02.150
  • You can't pull it off.
  • 00:13:02.160 --> 00:13:04.090
  • It is an absolute impossibility.
  • 00:13:04.100 --> 00:13:07.060
  • You can't keep it."
  • 00:13:07.070 --> 00:13:08.200
  • God's law cannot make you innocent, it can only prove
  • 00:13:08.210 --> 00:13:11.280
  • you're guilty.
  • 00:13:11.290 --> 00:13:13.090
  • Here's an illustration: you're in a trial and let's say it's
  • 00:13:13.100 --> 00:13:16.100
  • a judge--not a jury trial, it's a judge trial.
  • 00:13:16.110 --> 00:13:18.230
  • Now if you're in a judge trial, you already know going into that
  • 00:13:18.240 --> 00:13:21.060
  • courtroom there's only one person in this courtroom that
  • 00:13:21.070 --> 00:13:25.100
  • can either condemn me as guilty or confirm me as innocent.
  • 00:13:25.110 --> 00:13:29.260
  • There's only one person in this courtroom that can either punish
  • 00:13:29.270 --> 00:13:32.110
  • me or pardon me, all right?
  • 00:13:32.120 --> 00:13:34.000
  • Who is that?
  • 00:13:34.010 --> 00:13:35.100
  • Who's in the room? Who is it?
  • 00:13:35.110 --> 00:13:36.200
  • It's the judge.
  • 00:13:36.210 --> 00:13:38.090
  • He's only what he can do it, right?
  • 00:13:38.100 --> 00:13:40.020
  • The prosecuting attorney cannot find you guilty.
  • 00:13:40.030 --> 00:13:42.230
  • Your defense attorney cannot find you innocent.
  • 00:13:42.240 --> 00:13:46.010
  • There's only one person in that courtroom that can justify you.
  • 00:13:46.020 --> 00:13:51.130
  • There's only one person in that courtroom that can say you are
  • 00:13:51.140 --> 00:13:55.020
  • innocent, you are free to go.
  • 00:13:55.030 --> 00:13:57.030
  • It's not your attorney.
  • 00:13:57.040 --> 00:13:58.130
  • It's not the prosecuting attorney.
  • 00:13:58.140 --> 00:13:59.230
  • It is that judge, and likewise, the one thing we need to even be
  • 00:13:59.240 --> 00:14:05.120
  • allowed into God's presence, to have God's approval,
  • 00:14:05.130 --> 00:14:08.280
  • to receive God's acceptance, we gotta be justified
  • 00:14:08.290 --> 00:14:12.260
  • by the supreme judge, and Paul says you will never be justified
  • 00:14:12.270 --> 00:14:18.150
  • by your religion and you'll never be justified by your
  • 00:14:18.160 --> 00:14:22.100
  • righteousness.
  • 00:14:22.110 --> 00:14:23.250
  • There is nothing you can do to justify you.
  • 00:14:23.260 --> 00:14:27.280
  • You can only be justified when the supreme judge declares you
  • 00:14:27.290 --> 00:14:32.190
  • are justified which leads to the third point.
  • 00:14:32.200 --> 00:14:36.000
  • Paul says the law is a reference for, not a rival with Jesus.
  • 00:14:36.010 --> 00:14:41.070
  • It is a reference for, not a rival with Jesus.
  • 00:14:41.080 --> 00:14:44.130
  • So, let me just kinda--here's our problem--well, I think--
  • 00:14:44.140 --> 00:14:46.160
  • hopefully now you understand it.
  • 00:14:46.170 --> 00:14:48.070
  • The law's perfect.
  • 00:14:48.080 --> 00:14:50.150
  • We're not.
  • 00:14:50.160 --> 00:14:51.260
  • Only a perfect person on their own can have a relationship
  • 00:14:51.270 --> 00:14:55.150
  • with a perfect God.
  • 00:14:55.160 --> 00:14:57.040
  • And the only way we could ever be perfect on our own is
  • 00:14:57.050 --> 00:14:59.160
  • to achieve perfection.
  • 00:14:59.170 --> 00:15:01.100
  • But we can't do that so what's our problem?
  • 00:15:01.110 --> 00:15:04.160
  • We're under a curse.
  • 00:15:04.170 --> 00:15:06.220
  • Say, "Boy, were hopeless."
  • 00:15:06.230 --> 00:15:08.020
  • Oh, no, no no, no.
  • 00:15:08.030 --> 00:15:09.130
  • The law's still gonna help us out.
  • 00:15:09.140 --> 00:15:10.260
  • You say, "Really?"
  • 00:15:10.270 --> 00:15:12.060
  • Yeah, because the same law that just said to us you can't keep
  • 00:15:12.070 --> 00:15:16.090
  • me, you're not going to get to God through me, as a matter
  • 00:15:16.100 --> 00:15:19.210
  • of fact, you're under a curse because of me--that same exact
  • 00:15:19.220 --> 00:15:24.030
  • law turns around and refers to the one who is perfect
  • 00:15:24.040 --> 00:15:29.240
  • and who can remove our curse because he perfectly kept
  • 00:15:29.250 --> 00:15:33.280
  • the law and his name is Jesus.
  • 00:15:33.290 --> 00:15:37.190
  • That's right, so listen to what we read.
  • 00:15:37.200 --> 00:15:39.060
  • By the way, Paul's just goin' back.
  • 00:15:39.070 --> 00:15:40.240
  • He just quoting the law, that's all he's doing.
  • 00:15:40.250 --> 00:15:43.000
  • He said, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law."
  • 00:15:43.010 --> 00:15:46.200
  • How did he do that?
  • 00:15:46.210 --> 00:15:48.000
  • "By becoming a curse for us."
  • 00:15:48.010 --> 00:15:50.290
  • How did that happen?
  • 00:15:51.000 --> 00:15:52.130
  • "For it is written: 'Cursed is everyone
  • 00:15:52.140 --> 00:15:55.160
  • who is hung on a pole.'"
  • 00:15:55.170 --> 00:15:57.260
  • Now the reason why Paul brings redemption
  • 00:15:57.270 --> 00:16:00.050
  • into the conversation is very simple, because the only remedy
  • 00:16:00.060 --> 00:16:04.070
  • for our faults and our failures and our foul ups and our
  • 00:16:04.080 --> 00:16:06.230
  • mistakes and our mess ups is redemption.
  • 00:16:06.240 --> 00:16:11.000
  • Not religion, not righteousness, not rules, not regulations,
  • 00:16:11.010 --> 00:16:16.250
  • not restrictions.
  • 00:16:16.260 --> 00:16:18.060
  • Redemption.
  • 00:16:18.070 --> 00:16:19.160
  • Well, why do we need redemption?
  • 00:16:19.170 --> 00:16:20.270
  • Because our problem is not that we're just sinners and we foul
  • 00:16:20.280 --> 00:16:23.120
  • up and we sin, we are actually slaves to sin.
  • 00:16:23.130 --> 00:16:26.100
  • We're born in slavery to sin.
  • 00:16:26.110 --> 00:16:28.110
  • And if you know anything about slavery, you know there's
  • 00:16:28.120 --> 00:16:31.020
  • only one antidote to slavery, only one: freedom.
  • 00:16:31.030 --> 00:16:35.150
  • There's somebody that did for me what I couldn't do for me.
  • 00:16:35.160 --> 00:16:40.020
  • I didn't keep the law, you didn't keep the law, and none
  • 00:16:40.030 --> 00:16:42.080
  • of us have kept the law, but he kept the law and because he kept
  • 00:16:42.090 --> 00:16:46.150
  • the law for us.
  • 00:16:46.160 --> 00:16:48.080
  • He can remove the curse of the law from us because he
  • 00:16:48.090 --> 00:16:52.070
  • kept the law, he can remove the curse of all by taking our
  • 00:16:52.080 --> 00:16:55.220
  • punishment for breaking the law.
  • 00:16:55.230 --> 00:16:57.090
  • See, the law was given to show us two very simple things.
  • 00:16:57.100 --> 00:17:00.050
  • Number one, we're not perfect and we can't keep law.
  • 00:17:00.060 --> 00:17:04.240
  • And listen if you don't believe that I can't help you.
  • 00:17:04.250 --> 00:17:07.000
  • I've wasted your time.
  • 00:17:07.010 --> 00:17:08.100
  • You are not perfect and I know you're saying you know that,
  • 00:17:08.110 --> 00:17:10.200
  • yeah, but it's worse.
  • 00:17:10.210 --> 00:17:12.280
  • Quit trying to keep the law, keep trying to obey--but quit
  • 00:17:12.290 --> 00:17:16.090
  • tryin' to obey the Commandments 'cause you think that's what's
  • 00:17:16.100 --> 00:17:18.070
  • gonna get you to God 'cause you can't do it perfectly.
  • 00:17:18.080 --> 00:17:23.010
  • But then he shows us the second thing: We need a savior who is
  • 00:17:23.020 --> 00:17:26.140
  • perfect who can keep the law.
  • 00:17:26.150 --> 00:17:30.050
  • So, it says lawbreakers and lawbreaking have to be
  • 00:17:30.060 --> 00:17:33.170
  • punished because God's holy.
  • 00:17:33.180 --> 00:17:36.160
  • God doesn't say, "Well, boys will be boys.
  • 00:17:36.170 --> 00:17:38.130
  • Let bygones be bygones."
  • 00:17:38.140 --> 00:17:39.230
  • He can't do that and be a holy righteous judge.
  • 00:17:39.240 --> 00:17:42.220
  • So because it has to be punished he sends Jesus, and here's what
  • 00:17:42.230 --> 00:17:46.010
  • Jesus does: obeys the law perfectly.
  • 00:17:46.020 --> 00:17:52.010
  • Never says a wrong thing, never does a wrong deed, never utters
  • 00:17:52.020 --> 00:17:55.270
  • a wrong word, never thinks a wrong thought--keeps the
  • 00:17:55.280 --> 00:17:59.040
  • law perfectly.
  • 00:17:59.050 --> 00:18:01.140
  • So, Jesus took our punishment: he took the curse for us so he
  • 00:18:01.150 --> 00:18:06.070
  • could take the curse from us.
  • 00:18:06.080 --> 00:18:08.180
  • That's why the one thing we've got to have to be free from sin,
  • 00:18:08.190 --> 00:18:12.230
  • free from shame, free from guilt, free from grief is
  • 00:18:12.240 --> 00:18:16.080
  • not found in religion, it's not found in rule keeping, is not
  • 00:18:16.090 --> 00:18:19.130
  • found in regulations, is not found in righteousness.
  • 00:18:19.140 --> 00:18:22.100
  • It is found in redemption and that is only found
  • 00:18:22.110 --> 00:18:24.280
  • in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, period.
  • 00:18:24.290 --> 00:18:28.180
  • So, here's the point.
  • 00:18:28.190 --> 00:18:33.020
  • You will never be right with God until you lay down the law
  • 00:18:33.030 --> 00:18:37.260
  • and lose your religion to Jesus.
  • 00:18:37.270 --> 00:18:40.150
  • You'll never be right with God until you lay down the law
  • 00:18:40.160 --> 00:18:43.260
  • and you lose your religion to Jesus and that leads
  • 00:18:43.270 --> 00:18:46.220
  • to the last thing, ready?
  • 00:18:46.230 --> 00:18:48.250
  • The law is an advocate for not an addition to faith.
  • 00:18:48.260 --> 00:18:54.150
  • The law is an advocate for not an addition to faith.
  • 00:18:54.160 --> 00:18:57.220
  • Now, Paul comes to this climactic statement when he
  • 00:18:57.230 --> 00:19:00.250
  • reminds us the law will tell you want to achieve, but the Lord
  • 00:19:00.260 --> 00:19:07.000
  • will tell you what to receive.
  • 00:19:07.010 --> 00:19:09.140
  • So he says this: "Clearly--" that is, look, by now I think
  • 00:19:09.150 --> 00:19:13.290
  • you've got it figured out, "Clearly, no one who relies
  • 00:19:14.000 --> 00:19:17.270
  • on the law is justified before God," why?
  • 00:19:17.280 --> 00:19:21.190
  • "Because the righteous," i.e.
  • 00:19:21.200 --> 00:19:23.220
  • the justified, "we'll live by," say that word out loud, "faith."
  • 00:19:23.230 --> 00:19:29.070
  • They'll live by faith, and then Paul is so brilliant, I mean,
  • 00:19:29.080 --> 00:19:32.090
  • Paul knows how to twist the knife.
  • 00:19:32.100 --> 00:19:35.070
  • He says okay, you Judaizers, you Jewish boys and girls, you wanna
  • 00:19:35.080 --> 00:19:39.030
  • go back to the law and the law keepers and all that, okay?
  • 00:19:39.040 --> 00:19:41.220
  • Let's go back to the Father who got all this stuff started--
  • 00:19:41.230 --> 00:19:44.170
  • let's go back to Abraham.
  • 00:19:44.180 --> 00:19:45.290
  • He says this, "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given
  • 00:19:46.000 --> 00:19:50.000
  • to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ
  • 00:19:50.010 --> 00:19:53.210
  • Jesus, so that by faith, we might receive the promise
  • 00:19:53.220 --> 00:19:58.210
  • of the Spirit."
  • 00:19:58.220 --> 00:20:00.020
  • So, Paul said all of this to make one central point: You
  • 00:20:00.030 --> 00:20:04.140
  • want to be accepted by God?
  • 00:20:04.150 --> 00:20:07.270
  • God wants to accept you but he will only accept you his way,
  • 00:20:07.280 --> 00:20:16.240
  • and it has nothing to do with your performance, it has
  • 00:20:16.250 --> 00:20:20.240
  • nothing to do with your position, it has nothing to do
  • 00:20:20.250 --> 00:20:24.030
  • with your popularity.
  • 00:20:24.040 --> 00:20:25.280
  • It is not a matter of what we do for him.
  • 00:20:25.290 --> 00:20:28.180
  • It is simply a matter of accepting by faith what he
  • 00:20:28.190 --> 00:20:31.100
  • has done for us.
  • 00:20:31.110 --> 00:20:32.250
  • And let me tell you, this is--I mean, he--Paul is so brilliant.
  • 00:20:32.260 --> 00:20:37.190
  • Why does he keep quoting the law?
  • 00:20:37.200 --> 00:20:39.260
  • Why does he keep going back to the Old Testament?
  • 00:20:39.270 --> 00:20:42.040
  • Why does he go back to Abraham?
  • 00:20:42.050 --> 00:20:43.230
  • He's making a point, I don't want you to miss it.
  • 00:20:43.240 --> 00:20:45.230
  • You know he's telling these Judaizers?
  • 00:20:45.240 --> 00:20:48.010
  • Hey, guys, this grace by faith thing I've been preaching--
  • 00:20:48.020 --> 00:20:52.100
  • that's the way it's always been.
  • 00:20:52.110 --> 00:20:56.120
  • It's never changed.
  • 00:20:56.130 --> 00:20:58.010
  • It's never been different.
  • 00:20:58.020 --> 00:21:00.220
  • So, let me just disabuse some of you have a notion you've
  • 00:21:00.230 --> 00:21:03.000
  • carried all of your life.
  • 00:21:03.010 --> 00:21:04.100
  • You say, "Yeah, you know, in the Old Testament people were
  • 00:21:04.110 --> 00:21:07.150
  • saved by keeping the law."
  • 00:21:07.160 --> 00:21:09.220
  • No they weren't.
  • 00:21:09.230 --> 00:21:11.150
  • Go find that in the Old Testament, you can't find it.
  • 00:21:11.160 --> 00:21:14.230
  • You won't find anywhere from Genesis to Revelation,
  • 00:21:14.240 --> 00:21:17.110
  • where anybody not Moses, not Joseph, not Abraham, not Daniel,
  • 00:21:17.120 --> 00:21:22.250
  • not Isaiah, meant not Jeremiah, not Ezekiel you won't find
  • 00:21:22.260 --> 00:21:27.030
  • anybody anywhere in the Bible, where it says they were saved
  • 00:21:27.040 --> 00:21:30.260
  • by keeping the law.
  • 00:21:30.270 --> 00:21:32.140
  • That's not how they were saved.
  • 00:21:32.150 --> 00:21:33.250
  • As a matter of fact, you know what?
  • 00:21:33.260 --> 00:21:35.130
  • The Jews even understood they couldn't keep the law perfectly.
  • 00:21:35.140 --> 00:21:38.070
  • You know how I know that?
  • 00:21:38.080 --> 00:21:39.270
  • Because millions of lamb and millions of gallons of blood
  • 00:21:39.280 --> 00:21:42.280
  • flow throughout all the Old Testament.
  • 00:21:42.290 --> 00:21:45.090
  • Why do you think the Jews everywhere they went,
  • 00:21:45.100 --> 00:21:47.030
  • from the very beginning of their religion, why do you think they
  • 00:21:47.040 --> 00:21:49.080
  • set up shop so they could sacrifice lambs?
  • 00:21:49.090 --> 00:21:52.130
  • Why do you think they did it?
  • 00:21:52.140 --> 00:21:53.280
  • Why do you think all these lambs were killed?
  • 00:21:53.290 --> 00:21:56.020
  • Because it was a picture of redemption.
  • 00:21:56.030 --> 00:21:58.240
  • A price had to be paid.
  • 00:21:58.250 --> 00:22:00.270
  • You do the crime, you pay the time.
  • 00:22:00.280 --> 00:22:02.120
  • So every time the Jews would get together and they watched that
  • 00:22:02.130 --> 00:22:05.180
  • priest slit the throat of that lamb, and he'd pour out that
  • 00:22:05.190 --> 00:22:08.200
  • blood and that sacrifice would be placed on the altar, here's
  • 00:22:08.210 --> 00:22:11.040
  • what they were doing.
  • 00:22:11.050 --> 00:22:12.150
  • Here's what they were saying: We get it.
  • 00:22:12.160 --> 00:22:15.110
  • We understand it.
  • 00:22:15.120 --> 00:22:17.260
  • All of our good works don't mean anything.
  • 00:22:17.270 --> 00:22:20.150
  • Trying to keep all those Commandments, can't happen.
  • 00:22:20.160 --> 00:22:23.280
  • So by faith they trusted that God would take the sacrifice
  • 00:22:23.290 --> 00:22:29.080
  • of that lamb and through that sacrifice and,
  • 00:22:29.090 --> 00:22:32.240
  • until the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ came and made,
  • 00:22:32.250 --> 00:22:36.180
  • they would accept that sacrifice as payment for in redemption
  • 00:22:36.190 --> 00:22:39.230
  • of their sins.
  • 00:22:39.240 --> 00:22:42.160
  • That's why--hear me loudly and hear me clearly--
  • 00:22:42.170 --> 00:22:45.290
  • the message of the Old Testament is no different than the message
  • 00:22:46.000 --> 00:22:49.070
  • of the New Testament.
  • 00:22:49.080 --> 00:22:50.260
  • It's exactly the same.
  • 00:22:50.270 --> 00:22:52.140
  • How are we saved in the New Testament?
  • 00:22:52.150 --> 00:22:55.000
  • We're saved by grace through faith.
  • 00:22:55.010 --> 00:22:56.250
  • How are people saved in the Old Testament?
  • 00:22:56.260 --> 00:22:58.130
  • They were saved by grace through faith.
  • 00:22:58.140 --> 00:23:00.130
  • The law always pointed to grace, it never pointed to goodness.
  • 00:23:00.140 --> 00:23:03.230
  • It always pointed to faith, it never pointed to fulfillment.
  • 00:23:03.240 --> 00:23:06.200
  • And that's why there's always gonna be only two choices you
  • 00:23:06.210 --> 00:23:09.120
  • can make when it comes to having a relationship with God, finding
  • 00:23:09.130 --> 00:23:13.000
  • acceptance with God, and knowing God.
  • 00:23:13.010 --> 00:23:15.010
  • Okay, you're gonna make one of two choices and you can't
  • 00:23:15.020 --> 00:23:17.180
  • have it both ways.
  • 00:23:17.190 --> 00:23:21.080
  • You're either going to try to have a relationship with God
  • 00:23:21.090 --> 00:23:23.200
  • with your goodness or God's grace.
  • 00:23:23.210 --> 00:23:27.170
  • You can't have it both ways.
  • 00:23:27.180 --> 00:23:29.240
  • You're either gonna try to have relationship with God with your
  • 00:23:29.250 --> 00:23:32.240
  • religion or his redemption.
  • 00:23:32.250 --> 00:23:37.080
  • So here's where you've gotta decide where you are.
  • 00:23:37.090 --> 00:23:42.190
  • You're either the Home Depot-do-it-yourself-guy, you're
  • 00:23:42.200 --> 00:23:47.060
  • tryin' to do it all yourself.
  • 00:23:47.070 --> 00:23:49.090
  • You're trying to do all you can for God and you're hoping, man,
  • 00:23:49.100 --> 00:23:53.110
  • I hope he takes it.
  • 00:23:53.120 --> 00:23:54.220
  • I hope he accepts the paper that I've written.
  • 00:23:54.230 --> 00:23:58.010
  • I hope he takes the life that I've lived.
  • 00:23:58.020 --> 00:24:00.160
  • I hope that my good outweighs the bad.
  • 00:24:00.170 --> 00:24:02.250
  • Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, he'll take me or you're
  • 00:24:02.260 --> 00:24:08.050
  • coming to God and saying, I wouldn't trust the best
  • 00:24:08.060 --> 00:24:13.130
  • five minutes I've ever live to get me to you.
  • 00:24:13.140 --> 00:24:17.100
  • I'm putting all my trust in what Jesus has done for me.
  • 00:24:17.110 --> 00:24:21.180
  • That's the ball game.
  • 00:24:21.190 --> 00:24:23.110
  • That's what you gotta decide.
  • 00:24:23.120 --> 00:24:25.030
  • That's what you got to understand because from one
  • 00:24:25.040 --> 00:24:28.000
  • end of the Bible to the other-- if you'd like to know let me
  • 00:24:28.010 --> 00:24:31.040
  • just tell you this and I'll wrap this up.
  • 00:24:31.050 --> 00:24:32.160
  • I'm getting through early.
  • 00:24:32.170 --> 00:24:33.260
  • I've got two and a half minutes and I'm not even gonna take it,
  • 00:24:33.270 --> 00:24:35.170
  • so, Merry Christmas.
  • 00:24:35.180 --> 00:24:41.270
  • The Bible's not hard to understand.
  • 00:24:41.280 --> 00:24:44.210
  • It's really easy.
  • 00:24:44.220 --> 00:24:46.060
  • There are parts of it that are hard, I get that, but as
  • 00:24:46.070 --> 00:24:48.090
  • a whole, nah, it's real simple.
  • 00:24:48.100 --> 00:24:50.130
  • Can I give you the message--you might wanna write this down--
  • 00:24:50.140 --> 00:24:52.230
  • can I give you the message of the Bible in one sentence?
  • 00:24:52.240 --> 00:24:56.240
  • All has to do with the law.
  • 00:24:56.250 --> 00:24:58.150
  • Okay, you ready?
  • 00:24:58.160 --> 00:25:00.020
  • This will be worth coming to church for.
  • 00:25:00.030 --> 00:25:01.160
  • Here's the message: The lawmaker became the lawkeeper and died
  • 00:25:01.170 --> 00:25:09.150
  • for me--a lawbreaker.
  • 00:25:09.160 --> 00:25:12.200
  • That's the message of the Bible.
  • 00:25:12.210 --> 00:25:14.230
  • The lawmaker became the law keeper and died for me--
  • 00:25:14.240 --> 00:25:19.160
  • a lawbreaker.
  • 00:25:19.170 --> 00:25:20.290
  • And when you finally understand that here's what you'll do.
  • 00:25:21.000 --> 00:25:24.160
  • You'll lay down the law, you'll lose your religion, and you'll
  • 00:25:24.170 --> 00:25:29.270
  • find what I found as a nine year-old boy.
  • 00:25:29.280 --> 00:25:32.230
  • Everything you ever need at the foot Jesus Christ.
  • 00:25:32.240 --> 00:25:37.240
  • announcer: To watch an extended version of today's teaching
  • 00:25:38.250 --> 00:25:41.150
  • message with Dr. James Merritt, go to touchinglives.org.
  • 00:25:41.160 --> 00:25:47.160
  • 00:25:48.210 --> 00:25:58.200
  • 00:25:58.210 --> 00:26:08.200
  • 00:26:08.210 --> 00:26:18.200
  • 00:26:18.210 --> 00:26:28.200
  • 00:26:28.210 --> 00:26:30.210
  • James: You know many of you might be surprised to learn
  • 00:26:33.220 --> 00:26:35.180
  • Paul's view of religion that we've talked about today.
  • 00:26:35.190 --> 00:26:39.030
  • In this book called Galatians, Paul teaches that religious
  • 00:26:39.040 --> 00:26:41.260
  • people must first do something I want to be right with God.
  • 00:26:41.270 --> 00:26:44.240
  • You know what they gotta do?
  • 00:26:44.250 --> 00:26:46.110
  • They gotta lose their religion.
  • 00:26:46.120 --> 00:26:47.270
  • But why would he say that?
  • 00:26:47.280 --> 00:26:49.090
  • The answer is simple: Jesus did not come to give us a new
  • 00:26:49.100 --> 00:26:52.270
  • religion; he came to give us a new relationship.
  • 00:26:52.280 --> 00:26:56.280
  • My prayer is that you have a personal relationship
  • 00:26:56.290 --> 00:26:59.010
  • with Jesus already but if you don't call any time, 24/7
  • 00:26:59.020 --> 00:27:04.130
  • at 1-800-413-1131 and we'll tell you how you can meet Jesus.
  • 00:27:04.140 --> 00:27:10.180
  • It's a blessing to have you join me today for the message.
  • 00:27:10.190 --> 00:27:13.080
  • I hope to see you right here again next week.
  • 00:27:13.090 --> 00:27:16.090
  • male announcer: "Touching Lives," teaching people
  • 00:27:17.200 --> 00:27:19.130
  • everywhere, who Jesus is and why they need him.
  • 00:27:19.140 --> 00:27:22.210
  • This program is sponsored by Touching Lives Ministries
  • 00:27:22.220 --> 00:27:25.110
  • and is made possible by the grace of God and your
  • 00:27:25.120 --> 00:27:28.020
  • faithful prayers and gifts.
  • 00:27:28.030 --> 00:27:29.150