My! Those nasty “Religious Tennis Shoes” sure stink and they fit so comfortably… On everyone?

Any doctrine of scripture can have an inherent nuance or trapping that can lead one to deviate from the purity and simplicity of the gospel of grace, and ultimately from the end of supreme devotion to only Christ. When one begins to exalt methodology or form, and even function over Christology, thus the Person of the actual risen Christ, intellectualism has successfully subverted the Faith. We may horribly find ourselves exposed to the legitimate charge of Jesus Himself as He once condemned the Pharisees, “You will not come to Me that you may have life.” This is not without sound and guilty precedent in the long haul of Church history.

The only sufficient cure I know is that we cultivate a lasting, consistent communion with the living Christ, who amazingly not only tolerates us, but goes with us in the way.

He is the only One who must actually garner our affections more than the formal trappings of high and mysterious doctrinal commentary that easily causes division, distraction, interest… and not unity. His sword is adequate to divide, and He has not called me to frack preexisting man-imposed fault lines we seem enamored with, especially as IQ seems blessed, and understanding increase in the ordinary, and more dangerously, in the proud ner-do-well know it all.

This is no appeal unto an ignorant bliss by neglect of studious preparation, (the goal of godliness ought be the end of Biblical instruction), so it is an entreaty unto experiential holiness by disciplining ourselves thereunto by means of faith working through love with an eye on the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Perhaps, even more so, it is a call to recognize the danger of formalism and traditions that emphasize the works of man over the glory of Christ by their means of encroachment, (and our encouragement of this insidious danger), so that they subtly deny the complete sufficiency of “His purification from sin” as “He has sat down at the right hand of God.” I see this as a real problem in some sects and really otherwise great groups and… denominations… if you, ugh… will?

We know… “Knowledge puffs up, love edifies.”

“Ouch… what a universal fit that stinky old shoe has on all religious types!” It fits rather comfortably upon my foot too.

Lord, teach me the Christ of the Scriptures, that is the Christ who rules and reigns over my heart this day, expanding dominion and conquering prideful arrogance that disqualifies me from the race. Father, the more I learn the more broken I become, but the more glorious I see my Elder Brother who bids me come to Him for life, not trappings that snare though they fit comfortably as a well-worn, though rather malodorous tennis shoe. 

The Suffering Lamb Receives His Reward

“Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.”

Psalm 28:9

The provision of God in Christ meets the totality of our needs. “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” (Moravian Missionary)
He was called JESUS and His mission was not to provide for a potential salvation but to accomplish a redemption by ransom of His people. “It is finished.”
Hebrews 1:3 states that “when He had made purification for sins He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Redemption was accomplished and its impending application is only a matter of your encounter with grace which rushes toward you and upon you as it has been “granted you in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” How does that happen? It is a cataclysmic event ordered of God called the New Birth when God invades your life and overthrows your rebellious heart and makes you willing to repent and believe (conversion) in the Day of His Power. God knew you and predestined you and called you and justified you and glorified you… before the world was. (Romans 8) Christ bore the names of His people as He bore their particular sins on Calvary’s Tree. (He even died for their UNBELIEF.) Thank God for sovereign grace or hell would have held me for sure. In reality none would escaped the chains of sin and death, “but God, being rich in mercy…” (Ephesians 2)

Back to Psalm 28…

He saves us in particular as His inheritance for we are the reward of His suffering. “All that the Father gives shall come…” 
He shepherds us by provision and protection in intimate manner as we are twice-born to be carried in His bosom even as our names were inscribed in the books and upon His heart from all eternity.

Consider John 10:1-30 in the account of the Good Shepherd 

“But it is by His doing that we are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…”

1 Corinthians 1:30-31