32. “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33. he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “ ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’
34. God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said, “ ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
35. So it is also stated elsewhere:“ ‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’
36. “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
38. “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
41. “ ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe,even if someone told you.’ ”
- Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. – Psalm 25:5
- If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right– follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully– such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD. – Ezekiel 18:5,9
- By this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. – Acts 13:39
A work that you will never believe…
It’s funny to me, you see. So funny I want to cry.
We have completely screwed up Christianity.
Most people, when they read the final warning of our passage from The Book of Acts think: they are “doing it right”.
40. Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you:
41. ‘Look, you scoffers! Be amazed and perish, for in your days I am doing a work, a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’”
Well, you’re not doing it right.
Most people think they’ve heard the “work that is not to be believed, even if someone tells you” and believe it. They did it! They passed the test! Yay!
They think this is “the work that is not to be believed”: Jesus died and rose again.
The hard part is: that’s not the work.
This work has to be something that if you were to say it to someone’s face they would look at you like you were crazy, like you were lying to them. Even worse, like you were trying to trick them. This work has to cut to the core of our assumptions about God and the nature of man.
The work that Jesus did, that is not to be believed, even if someone tells you is…
Paul: “Christ was born of a virgin.”
Believers: “All great Gods are.”
Paul: “Christ healed a leper.”
Paul: “Christ walked on water.”
Believers: “Makes sense.”
Paul: “Christ fed 5,000 people with a meal for 10.”
Believers: “Of course he did.”
Paul: “Christ made blind men see.”
Paul: “Christ died and rose again.”
Believers: “He is risen!”
Paul: “Christ fulfilled the Law, and lifted its requirements from us and our hearts.”
Believers: “… what the hell are you talking about???”
We don’t believe it.
We don’t believe that Jesus has freed us from the Law of Moses, and freed us from dead living into new life.
If we know this work and we believe it, then why do we still live by the Law?
We force the Law onto others still to this day. Picking and choosing our particular prohibition to belittle others and to shame them.We use biblical legalism as a weapon to limit and oppress those we don’t like.
Therefore we clearly do not believe this work of Jesus… even if someone were to tell it to us in person.
Instead of living out the simple faith given to us by Jesus himself: to love others… we cling to the Law. And by clinging to the Law and judgement and rejecting love – no matter how many resurrections we proclaim – we reject Jesus, and we reject God.
4. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
32. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Free from the impossible Law.
Free to love without fear.
Free to love God… or not love God. (God’s okay with that).
Free to live.