So many of us have believed that we need to labor and perform for God so that… we might be accepted. But in the Kingdom, we start off accepted. —Beni Johnson
There seem to be two types of people when it comes to tidying up: those who purge without regret and those who sort their stuff, remember why they have it, worry they might need it, and then stuff their stuff back into a cabinet—just in case.
Purging can be difficult. It requires us to throw out things that have been with us for a long time. Sometimes these items are tangible, but sometimes they are habitual—traditions or routines—and we just can’t let go.
The early Christians struggled in a similar way. They knew Jesus offered a relationship without contingencies. They had heard His teaching on the acceptance and love of God. They knew intimacy with God was accessible through His Spirit. But was that really it? What about the law? Perhaps they should observe some of the old traditions—just in case.
To that temptation, the author of Hebrews wrote, The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (7:18-19).
The term set aside means canceled. It’s used one other time in Hebrews (10:9-10), telling us our sin is set aside because of the blood of Christ shed upon the cross. Our sin is canceled.
Do we believe that? Absolutely! Scripture tells us so.
So if we believe our sin is canceled, we must also believe the law has been canceled. Was the law good? Yes, it was. But setting aside the law made room for a better hope:
- A hope that is secure.
- A hope that knows our indestructible life in Christ will be waiting for us at the end.
- A hope that isn’t based upon performance or adherence to rules, but upon clinging to Christ.
This is better news, friends. To wonder if you’re pleasing God is the old way. The new way is a way of rest. As long as Jesus lives, we are secure.
Lord, how would my days be different if I released the temptation to perform for You? My hands are open—remove all law-based living from my life! Thank You, Jesus. Amen.