Red, White & Deja Vu

I won’t even pretend. I’ve done it. I’ve been there. I’m not writing from a high horse. WHY DO WE GO BACK? WHYYYYYY? We knew it was a disastrous and toxic relationship. We knew we weren’t at our best. We knew it was unhealthy. BUT WE WENT BACK. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?


We’ve all done it. We all knew he or she was not the one. We knew it was temporary. We knew this was going nowhere good. We dropped em. We felt great about it. Then we let them weasel their way back in! It’s lunacy and if we are honest, it’s regrettable.


In the book of Galatians, that is exactly what has gone on. Galatians is a book in the New Testament of the Bible. It’s written to a handful of churches spread out over the region of Galatia.


A bunch of Judaizers (Christian Jews) were trying to make new non-Jewish Christians become Jews. They were trying to add to the gospel message that Paul had preached to them. Their message was you need Jesus plus all the Jewish rituals to be saved. The whole book is having a similar conversation like the one we started with! WHYYYYYYY? It’s lunacy!


He writes this early on.


I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:6-9


"Jesus + nothing = everything!"


Paul preached the true gospel to them. That is, Jesus + nothing = everything! We all have this issue with sin. Not mistakes. Sin. Like come on, let’s not play. Call it what it is. We’ve done some dumb crap, it ain’t a mistake like what a middle schooler does on a math quiz. What we did was sin. God punishes sin because He is a good and fair judge. It sucks, but it’s a result of our actions. Sin is punished by death. This is all a major bummer had God not also stepped in with GRACE.


"Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor."


Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. I did nothing to earn it, it was given to me. I have grace not because of me but in spite of me. I have Jesus because God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to be my Savior. My sin was punished, make no mistake. Sin is serious. Serious enough that God punished it with His one and only Son Jesus. He’s my Sacrifice because He didn’t have the same penalty over His life. He was perfect,  didn’t have to die, but chose to for you and I. Oh and the Galatians!


They said yes to this message that Paul preached to them. But then these Judaizers, in love with rules for the sake of rules; holiness for the appearance of holiness, started to add to the gospel. If we take on this thought that we need Jesus + something, you know what we are left with? NOTHING!!! Paul preached a message of freedom. Isn’t it freeing to know that we have been gifted Jesus, salvation, eternity? It is simply ours, through faith, through belief. God can’t mingle with anything unholy. However, when we put faith in Jesus, we take on HIS holiness. Therefore, we have a restored relationship. It’s a FREEING relationship.


"Therefore, we have a restored relationship. It’s a FREEING relationship."


But these Galatians were duped much like we’ve been duped by an old fling. They went back to this broken, awful, relationship. Red, White & Deja Vu, if you get what I’m throwing down.


Am I saying Jesus died so we can live like there are no rules or laws? NO. Jesus lives inside of me. Jesus died for me because of my sin. I am free to live the life that Jesus lived and I couldn’t. Holiness is mine and now I’m called to live like the One who purchased me with His blood. It’s my joy to live like Jesus, not my obligation. I’m obligated to pay a debt. When the debt is gone, so is the obligation. Jesus paid my debt, I get to live for Him now.


So, don’t go back. Live free. You are free, free indeed. Why go back to this life of “Am I better than the next guy?” “Did I do enough?” “Am I good enough?”


If Jesus is enough, you are enough. Don’t go back. Stay focused. Stay on mission. Tell others about this amazing freedom. Don’t delude the gospel message. It’s beautiful, amazing and doesn’t need our help. KEEP GOING.


Pray for One,

Pastor Jason,

Lead Pastor of Wellspring Church

Click here to learn more about Wellspring Church in Toms River!