The New Testament turned the religious world upside down. The NT is a document that shaped the modern world through a radical value system relational in nature, rather than God appeasing in thrust.
Within this historic and powerful document are many big ideas that shake and disturb religion. Jesus introduces new ways to love the Father, new ways to treat your fellow man, new ways to relate to women and children. Deeply religious people wrestle with Jesus and his big ideas.
What are you doing talking to a Samaritan woman, Jesus? Why are these little children allowed to be seen and heard? You let an adulteress go free? What? Mary sits at your feet as if she were a disciple, Jesus? Are you kidding me, Jesus? You want us to love one another the way you have loved us? Be a living sacrifice? Stop with the hard sayings, Jesus, people are leaving in droves!
Here we gather two thousand years after Jesus’ death on the cross, and many believers would rather live in the Hebrew Bible. The NT is just too uncomfortable for people with this thing called grace! Now there is a subject that will get some people foaming at the mouth - grace!
Religion is man’s answer to the sin nature we inherited from Adam. Religion always has stuff for us to do, hoops to jump through, lists to fulfill, and projects to accomplish. The New Covenant found in the NT is about re-birth and recreating. It is about the elimination of the sin nature from Adam and the creating of God nature through a new mind, a new heart and healing spirit. Religion is about what we can do for God, and the NT is about what God is doing for us.
The big ideas of the New Testament can stretch us and scare the wits out of some of us. Next week in this column we will launch into this exciting adventure! Please join us.
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.