April 11, 2011

Minor Prophets LXIV: Sin & The Punishment Due

So let us revisist Micah 6 again. This time from the angle of sinful man. Specifically, what exactly is going on and what are we looking at in terms of Micah 6:6-8?

Micah is more or less asking the question many people in the Northern Kingdom were asking. People who really didn’t know God or how to approach Him. Sadly, they were people that did not know the Word of God. Sadly, we see this even today…in our churches no less!!! Should they bring burnt offerings? Should they offer their own firstborn? What can we do? What can we do? The truth is nothing we do of our own accord or own volition will gain us even one milligram of forgiveness for even one sin…unless we accept the One who has come in our stead to take the weight of our sins on His shoulder and the punishment due for them.

To me these verses mean that there is nothing I can bring or come before the Lord with other than the works that He has already done for me. Being in the period of the New Testament after Jesus Christ’s work on the cross I harken back to that work. In faith I believe in what Jesus has done for me and this is how and why I can even approach God and bow down in front of Him (v.6). God never wanted the smoking carcasses as atonement, He wanted the changed heart. He didn’t want the hundreds or thousands of rivers of oil, He wanted the repentant man on humbled and bent knee. This is my “work” as Jesus put it when questioned, “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” ~John 6:28-29. So this is what I do. I know there is nothing I can do to please God other than to believe in the One He has sent and the work this One has done on my behalf and all other sinners.

In Micah there are three things that God truly requires of humanity (v.8) He has shown you us (mortals) what is good. We are to act justly. You must have a righteousness to present to God. You are to love mercy. You need to love the mercy of God (who in their right mind wouldn’t?) and you are to show it to others. Third, you are to walk humbly with your God. If you think you can do them under your own volition and own power…you are sadly mistaken. You can only do them through the Salvation of Jesus Christ. Your so-called “works” and “high moral code” are not going to cut it. These are the fruits dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit. They are the works of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer that is being sanctified. In truth, you wouldn't even have the presence of the Holy Spirit if you hadn't already accepted Christ.

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