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Saturday-Disposable Jesus?



I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”


Galatians 2:21


How easy is it for you to throw something away? I know it’s a hard question because a lot of things go into figuring it out. How valuable is it? Could you easily sell it? For how much? If you hold onto it, will you be able to get more money for it? What emotional value does it have for you?


When I cleaned out my parent’s house before putting it on the market, there was a lot to do. I had already gone through all the papers and pictures, and they were safely filed away. So, there were only a few things that needed special attention.


The brand-new 65” TV was at the top of the list. Their original bedroom furniture from the 1940’s was next. Other than a few other little things, that was it. I carried my dad’s World War 2 medals with me as I walked out of the house for the last time. Everything else became the problem of the people I hired to clean out the house.


Just the other day our hard floor wet-dry vacuum stopped working. We spent about 30 minutes trying to get it working again. After cleaning and tightening each and every part, it still didn’t work. I put back all the pieces and took it out to the curbside. It was gone in 10 minutes.


But when it comes to getting rid of things we believe, things get tricky. Who told it to us? How long have we believed it? Does it touch us each and every day? Paul was at a similar point about Jesus. All these people were saying that you had to do certain things in order to be forgiven. You had to obey the Jewish laws in addition to believing in Jesus. They weren’t kicking Jesus to the curb, but they were adding the law to his death on the cross.


This was a line that Paul couldn’t cross. It was a price too high to pay. The idea that you needed Jesus plus anything was something he would never say. And he wouldn’t say it because it was wrong.


When Jesus died for us, it was all done by God. He came. He suffered. He died. He rose from the dead. And how many times were we talked about? How much of that required us to do anything? In a word, nothing.


Why? Because it was all God. Period. It was all from him. All paid by him, It was grace from start to finish. Paul wasn’t going to set aside God’s grace for a second. For anyone. For anything. You can’t add anything to God’s grace. If you try to, it stops being grace.


Oh, you can talk all about Jesus till you’re blue in the face. You can say you believe in Jesus. You can call him the Son of God. You can say that he died for sins. But if you try and add anything that we have to do to earn his forgiveness, then you’re left the real Jesus and God’s graciously given salvation.


Yes, Steven Covey was right when he said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.[1]” And with Jesus, the main thing is that his death on the cross, his payment for our sin, is enough. Nothing more needs to be added for our forgiveness. To try and add anything will just spoil it.


No matter how many times we hear this, we still want to try and add something to our salvation. We want to add our own, special good works to what God has done. Because, if we’re honest, we don’t trust God enough to take care of this all-important thing for us.


What’s your good works that you want to be accepted with? What do you do to be accepted? For me, I’m a nice guy. I’m polite. I’m funny. I’m smart. I’m a faithful, good husband. I help people.


And there’s nothing wrong with doing any of this. But if I do it to help pay for my relationship with God, if my motivation is to earn God’s love and reward, then I’ve completely missed the point of Jesus.


When you try and mix God’s grace and our works, it’s a contradiction of terms. You’re talking out of both sides of your spiritual mouth. With Jesus and becoming a child of God, nothing is given based on our works. It’s not earned by us because it was already earned by him. Period. There is no room for us to give.


If there was something missing from Jesus’ payment for our sins, if there was something that we could add to his sacrifice, then the whole betrayal, arrest, trials, beatings, tortures, and crucifixion were not needed. They were useless. Pointless.


And how great a tragedy would that have been? Jesus dying when he didn’t need to. He would have gone through all that and it didn’t make a bit of difference. But he did!


For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.


1 Peter 3:18


This changes everything. Jesus wasn’t and isn’t disposable. He’s enough for you and me. He’s enough for today. He’s enough for all eternity.


Noodling Questions


  • How do people try and throw Jesus away? Push him aside?

  • List all the things that Jesus uniquely said about himself.

  • Why isn’t worshiping Jesus alone as God hurtful to people that don’t believe?

[1] The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 1989, Simon & Schuster

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