Romans series #4
More than Religion
From the Inside Out
Religion Vs Relationship
God had made a covenant with Abraham - Genesis 17:13
His people would be “set apart” and “marked” with circumcision “my covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant”
20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
Shall exceed (perisseush pleion). Overflow like a river out of its banks and then Jesus adds "more" followed by an unexpressed ablative (thß dikaiosunhß), brachylogy. A daring statement on Christ's part that they had to be better than the rabbis. They must excel the scribes, the small number of regular teachers (Matthew 5:21-48), and the Pharisees in the Pharisaic life (Matthew 6:1-18) who were the separated ones, the orthodox pietists.
But all their works they do for to be seen of men…
All their prayers, alms deeds, and fastings, were all done in a public manner, that men might behold them, and they might have applause and glory from them: they sought neither the glory of God, nor the good of their fellow creatures, nor any spiritual advantage and pleasure to themselves, in their performances; they neither attended to moral duties, nor ceremonious rites, nor the traditions of their fathers, any further than they could be seen by men in them, and keep up their credit and esteem among them.
To be seen of men Ostentation regulates the conduct of the rabbis. Phylacteries (to guard). So a fortified place, station for garrison, then a safeguard, protecting charm or amulet. The rabbis wore tepillin or prayer-fillets, small leather cases with four strips of parchment on which were written the words of Exodus 13:1-10,11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21. They took literally the words about "a sign unto thy hand," "a memorial between thine eyes," and "frontlets." "That for the head was to consist of a box with four compartments, each containing a slip of parchment inscribed with one of the four passages. Each of these strips was to be tied up with a well-washed hair from a calf's tail; lest, if tied with wool or thread, any fungoid growth should ever pollute them. The phylactery of the arm was to contain a single slip, with the same four passages written in four columns of seven lines each. The black leather straps by which they were fastened were wound seven times round the arm and three times round the hand. They were reverenced by the rabbis as highly as the scriptures, and, like them, might be rescued from the flames on a sabbath. They profanely imagined that God wore the tephillin" (Vincent). It is small wonder that Jesus ridiculed such minute concern for pretentious externalism and literalism. These tephillin "are still worn at the present day on the forehead and left arm by Jews at the daily Morning Prayer" (McNeile) . "The size of the phylacteries indexed the measure of zeal, and the wearing of large ones was apt to take the place of obedience" (Bruce). Hence they made them "broad." The superstitious would wear them as mere charms to ward off evil. Enlarge the borders In Matthew 9:20 we see that Jesus, like the Jews generally, wore a tassel or tuft, hem or border, a fringe on the outer garment according to Numbers 15:38. Here again the Jewish rabbi had minute rules about the number of the fringes and the knots. They made a virtue of the size of the fringes also. "Such things were useful as reminders; they were fatal when they were regarded as charms" (Plummer).
These were the fringes which they put upon the borders of their garments, and on them a ribbon of blue, to put them in mind of the commandments, to obey them, (Numbers 15:38) (Deuteronomy 22:12) . think themselves much the better for the wearing them; and the Pharisees, because they would appear with a greater air of sanctity and devotion than others, made theirs larger.
We read of one Ben Tzitzith Hacceseth, a man of this complexion, who was so called, because his Tzitzith, or “fringes, were drawn upon, a pillow; and there are some that say, that the pillow was bore between the great men of Rome: it was drawn after him, not upon the ground, but upon a cloth or tapestry, and the train supported by noblemen, as is pretended. This was one of those, that enlarged the Tzitzith, or fringes, beyond the ordinary size; hence Mark calls it, "long clothing."
Read Romans 2:17-29
I. Religion is . . .
A. Rituals - doing what is expected
Anything can become a ritual
B. Regulations - doing what is demanded
Because someone said it's the ONLY thing to do
C. Self - Righteousness -
> doing what makes you feel good.
> Doing what you feel is Right
JUST SO SOMEONE WILL NOTICE or feel GOOD or Feel BAD
Religion says I must point out your Faults in order to draw attention away from my faults
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the ISRAELITES is that they may be saved.
My heart's desire and prayer for Those who call themselves "christians" who call themselves, "Baptists" who call themselves "religious" is that they might be Saved
II. Relationship is . . .
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
"And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
A. Relating - Freedom to be yourself -
1. it is give and take
2. spending the necessary time to know the one with whom you are in the relationship. (what makes them happy, sad, angry. what are they passionate about?)
3. there is freedom to do anything you want to do and choosing to do what pleases
> I'm NOT faithful to my wife because I'm afraid she will leave me or not love me. I'm faithful because I KNOW she loves me and will not leave me. I CHOOSE NOT to exorcise my freedom
B. Real Worship or Genuine Affection -
doing what love demands. Responding out of a genuine desire to please the object of your love
1. responding out of a genuine desire to please the object of your love, because of your love, respect, and gratitude.
2. the power of love over our actions is far greater than the power of legislation or instruction.
**a man or woman in love will do things that they said they would NEVER do, in order to please and be with the one they love.
C. God's Righteousness -
Living in God's Righteousness provided in Christ
Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
1. I can begin the relationship with a statement of my covenant just like a marriage. Romans 10:9-10
2. I can continue it by learning more of his heart through his Word Psalm 119:11 and by praying and hearing his heart.
3. I continue by seeking to please him and follow him, become more like him
a. walk in his ways
b. planted by/next to his stream
c. where you sit / stand speaks of your relationships
Happy are those who don't listen to the wicked, who don't go where sinners go, who don't do what evil people do. They love the Lord's teachings and they think about those teachings day and night. They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and it's leaves don't die. Everything they do will succeed.
And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.
What do you Have?
You might say “neither” - I say you have one or the other. Saying you “believe in no religion” is a religion in and of itself
Where will your religion lead you?
I will tell you where a relationship with Christ will lead you … Into his presence … into his favor … into his lap (abba) … into his purpose and plan …
What do you have?