Erik Strandness responds to a recent debate between ‘Side A and...
What's the point of it all?
The building up of a people who follow The Way is surely the point of both the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Greek Scriptures (New Testament)?
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love loving kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?!”(Micah 6:8)
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD ponders the hearts. To do acts of loving kindness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:2-3)
Never in Scripture do I see God castigating people for performing righteous deeds, but I do see many Scriptures where God states how wearied He is of ritual and tired worship, where the act itself is not driven by a sincere heart. And I’m not just talking about ‘Strange Fire’.
So the key is our sincerity before the Lord. When we worship Him, whether through song or acts, it should be sincere and wholehearted. When we perform our deeds, let them be righteous, in accordance with His words and direction and also done wholeheartedly, in love and not reluctantly or unthinkingly. And that’s all I’m going to say on the subject. It is now up to us to ask Him how we can put these words into practice.
Finally, one thing we need to cement to our soul is the one priceless and often misunderstood fact that all Scripture declares, and it is this:
All that God does in the affairs of mankind is for His Glory, His Name’s sake, in order to draw people to Him, in order that they may live eternally with Him.
“Therefore say to the House of Israel, Thus says Adonai, the LORD, I AM not doing this for your sake, O House of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I shall sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst, and the nations will know that I AM the LORD, says Adonai, the LORD, when I am sanctified in you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:22-23)
This general principle is not just acted out in the pages of the “Old” Testament, but also in the “New” Testament, when we see that the primary objectives of healings and miracles is not for our well-being but as a witness to lead people to salvation. In the same way, all that we do should be for His Glory, so that by our actions, we are drawing people closer to the Kingdom.
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp