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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 12: Bottom Line

Today's Reading: Job 32-34

I'm finally understanding my feelings of "craziness" as I read Job.

I was on the debate team in high school and here is the bottom line: No debate can take place without a mutual agreement on the "authorities" from both sides.

My problem with the book of Job is that I disagree not only with the "authorities" (Who are the authorities? Who is refereeing this debate?) but with the two premises presented in the book.

The main premise is stated in 34:11 as well as other places in the book: "God pays a man according to his work." I disagree.

Then there is Job's premise: "Job was righteous in his own eyes." 32:1 I disagree.

I don't care if Job was the nicest, kindest, most upright person in the world; he still was a sinner. According to Genesis, the sin of Adam and Eve and the curses following, follow us all. Paul, later in the book of Romans (3:10) states, "No one is righteous, not one." So even though Job was righteous in his own eyes, I say, who cares. We all see ourselves with rose tinted glasses...just ask those who live with us! And believe it or not, there is nothing in the Bible about grading on a curve. "The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6: 23)

And the main premise of God paying us according to our works is exactly the lie that Jesus came to denounce. If we were paid according to our works, we'd all be in trouble. No one could stand before God, for God is holy and we are not. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

So this debate is a debate that will go nowhere because it is based on, in my opinion, false premises. As a post resurrection Christian (not to mention a child of the reformation and a lover of the book of Romans) I have to stand in "grace alone."

Bottom line, I am totally dependent upon the grace of God. God can do what God wills with me, for if I am saved and given any joy, it is only because of his mercy, kindness and amazing grace.

When I live life this way, every blessing is received as a gift, not an expectation or payment. Life becomes lived in gratitude, not entitlement.

And bottom line, that shift in the premise changes everything for me. I know the authority is God, whether anyone else agrees or not. God created me; God can do as God wills with me.

The fact that God loves me is gift.
The fact that Jesus forgives me is gift.
The fact that the Holy Spirit enlivens me and even cares about me, much less gives me purpose and relationship, is all gift.

It's all a gift.

For me, that is the bottom line.

Job, go read Romans...

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