Monday, June 13, 2011

Why Messiah?

Yesterday I woke up from my nap (there is value in napping) and had the following thoughts percolating down into my heart. They were so pronounce that I further pursued them.

Right up front let me say this IS NOT a comprehensive effort at defining Messiah, because I’m not the scholar that many of you are. So these thoughts may be simple and almost sublime, but I believe they are true and from the Lord. Now whether they are just for me, or for all of us, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

So what is the most important question humanity must correctly answer? I know that’s ambitious, but the correct answer is eternally important. And I would suggest to you that a person’s ability to correctly answer Jesus’ question; “Who do you say I am?” should rank as the top mission for us to fulfill in this lost and dying world. As well as to the entire modern church.

Jesus asked His closest followers this very question, and yet throughout history since that question was posed and even today; people are still getting the answer wrong. And the reason I would say they’re not getting it right, is because at the core of the Messianic New Covenant is deliverance; but deliverance from what? Your answers vary, but the right and only answer is from sin. For Messiah alone could fulfill that calling.

As far back as Old Testament history, and even into the first century, many Jews took the wrong view of their need for Messiah. Please understand that the dream thoughts I had were not precipitated by previous study. And what I woke with was a deep and almost grievous sense that we today have little to NO CLUE as to our genuine need for Messiah. So I went looking, and low and behold, Unger confirmed it in his Bible Dictionary, published in 1957, by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Unger states that Jews as a whole, based on faulted rabbinical teaching and expectations for their national restoration and glory, missed the core reason for Messiah. “…this same interpretation left out certain elements of greatest and governing importance. The doctrines of original sin, and of the sinfulness of man’s whole nature, were greatly reduced from their Scripture meaning, and practically omitted from the prevalent Jewish teaching.” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1957, p. 718, Jewish Views of the Messiah)

Please take note these quotes. NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!! Within the framework of our modern religious culture, specifically Western Christianity, we continue to see the same omissions of orthodox new covenant Christian doctrine. Ergo, the present dust up with Rob Bell’s book and the ongoing trend of NOT calling sin, SIN. And as further extensions of wrong rabbinical teachings, we can find a plethora of modern teachers telling us that SIN IS OUR problem, yet all the while ignoring the once and for all atonement of Messiah, and then following through with correct deliverance and restoration teaching (Galatians 6:1).

Further Unger states; “Consequently the deepest thought of the Messiahship, the salvation of the world from sin, was lacking. In keeping with this, the priestly office of the Messiah was also lost sight of. The prophetic office of the Messiah was also obscured. The all-absorbing ideas were those of kingship and deliverance. And these were chiefly of national significance. The restoration of national glory was the great hope of Israel. All else was subordinate to that.” (ibid. p.718 - emphasis mine)

Please again, stop and consider where we are as a nation. What are we most often concerned about; our national glory and the restoration of a powerful and prosperous nation? Also one can see the emerging global trends in this area of international desire. And rightly so, who would deny that national pride and prosperity are not a good thing, yet much like the first century and the days of Old Testament history, that desire and goal SHOULD NEVER EVER eclipse the actual and most grievous need within mankind – SIN. And only the true Messiah can deal a death blow to that eternal cancer.

For those of you familiar with restoration theology and ministry please don’t get me wrong. I am in no way falling back into old school sin based theology (Galatians 3:1-3), but what I am saying is far too many people are not looking for Messiah, but they are looking for something far less. They are looking for someone to lead them into a better economy. They are looking for someone to help them with their marriage and family. They are looking for freedom from various forms of addiction (sometimes). They are looking for a better life. And Messiah, can and will eventually touch many if not all of those needs (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18), but few are looking for the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

For in a Genuine Spirit led quest for the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God (the only one perfect and able to fulfill the complete Messianic mandate), one first and foremost must acknowledge that He alone can and will atone for sin. Which requires us to admit we are sinners and helpless to help ourselves.

Far too often our modern messianic hopes are not based on the core issue that saddles humanity (sin), but more often about self or societal improvement. If we refuse to come to the conclusion that we need a Savior, and not just another community organizer or better leader, we will NEVER find Genuine Christianity. And as a result, all of creation will continue being frustrated and confused, while waiting for the Sons of God to be revealed (Romans 8:18-21).

Our problem today is we’ve never experience oppression, therefore even a political or military messiah seems irrelevant; let alone a Messiah who is anointed to alleviate the sin problem. The reason being, our modern culture, to include the church has rarely if ever confronted their need for a Savior, only someone to give them an easier ride in this life.

So Why Messiah? Because He alone can atone for our sins, and He alone then will bring deliverance to the captive and He alone will establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. That’s why.

When Jesus told Peter that, the answer he gave to the eternal question, was sown into his heart by the Father, because simply put, flesh and blood CANNOT REVEAL that answer to the human heart, Jesus was conveying the one and only way for us to embrace salvation; and that is by our confession – led only and always by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if and when some form of religious confession or pursuit of a better “Christian Life” is made known, unless the actual reason for Messiah’s being is broadcast into the heart of that person, by the Spirit alone, their experience IS NOT genuine. Sorry.

So my contention is this: We have many generations, especially here in America that actually DO NOT think they need a messiah, therefore they don’t call out to Messiah. They only want a better life, but not the complete removal of their sins, regardless of the life of comfort that may or may not follow.

So why Messiah? Because sin still separates humans from God and Jesus is the only Messiah. We must get this right, as many voices are now saying. Let all of us who have ears to hear, pay close attention to what the Spirit is speaking; one final time.


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