Being Acceptable to God

Certainly you’re not here to read more about what you already know doesn’t work.

I’m referring to believers trying to lead a life that’s acceptable to God by keeping the Ten Commandments, by dutifully obeying Jesus’ and the Apostles’ teachings, even by following the common-sense instructions in the Psalms and Proverbs.

Those are wonderful traits and admirable goals but they’re impossible to sustain –regardless of the striving and prayers for more strength. Instead, each successive failure seems to push Him further and further away.

The word gospel means “good news” –yet all that striving surely doesn’t feel good … especially in light of Jesus’ words:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Let me offer something fresh that does work. It agrees with the key matters that we learned in church and it can make His words a reality in your life …

His Simple Measure

God only uses the two original laws –the ones given in the Garden of Eden– as His standard for our being acceptable. He presented them using two trees –both known by their fruit. A little later we’ll see why the others were added. In the meantime, here are some highlights of those two.

After putting them in the middle of the garden, He identified the most important tree first: the tree of life –then the other: the tree of death. Essentially God said “When you try to take over My role as the Judge of good and evil, you will also find yourself severed from Me –your spirit separated from My Spirit.” That’s the death pictured in Genesis 2:16-17.

By eating the fruit, Eve revealed that –regardless of the warning– she was going to decide for herself what was good and what was evil. Adam joined her –and self-righteousness followed.

We are born into that predicament –separated from God (we’re lifeless)– but He offers the remedy. Jesus was referring to Himself as the fruit on the tree of life (the cross) when He said “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (from John 6:51-58).

Those two laws –along with the ones that came later– were established to show us that God loves us so much that He provided His Remedy in advance of our condition. It’s reflected in the order that the trees were identified.

And just as He did for that first couple, He makes us totally acceptable to Himself by wrapping us within His Lamb –the One whose blood was shed– giving us eternal life and protecting us from ever being separated from Him again.

I’m sure you’re asking “If I’m already acceptable then why are there so many do’s and don’ts in the Bible –especially the Ten Commandments?” Read on …