Staff Corner - Teaching Pastor Greg Spires

A Better Way
Much of the action in the film “Ready Player One” occurs in a virtual world populated by people connected through technology.  One of the scenes in the movie is a dramatic race through a virtual New York City.  Players must avoid pitfalls of all kinds.  King Kong, a T-Rex, wrecking balls, and a changing landscape are just some of the hazards.  Besides all those dangers, players must avoid being eliminated by other players in the race.
            Soon, players begin to realize that this race is impossible to finish.  No one ever wins because no one ever finishes the race.
            Until one day, someone did just that.
            The player who finished realized that things weren’t as they seemed.  You would think, sitting in a race car at the start of the race, that the goal when the light turns green is to drive forward as fast as you can.  But in the virtual realm, there are no rules.  So when the light turned green, the winner decided to drive backwards as fast as he could, straight toward a brick wall behind him.
            Just before he hit that wall, the road dropped out, and he found himself on the road under the dangerous racecourse above him.  He faced no obstacles, just an unimpeded path to the finish line.  Above him, the other players experienced the carnage inflicted by T-Rex, Kong, and the other players.
            Finally, he crossed the finish line.  As usual, no one on the normal course finished.
            He finished the race because he found that the way to do so wasn’t to be the fastest, the best, and overcome the obstacles.  He finished because he found the only way was to avoid all that chaos.
            Notice the similarities in Romans 9:30-32, “What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.”
            When a person finds themselves at the starting line of seeking God, it seems so clear that the way to do so is through works.  How else could you find God without offerings, self-denial, righteous living, and religious knowledge?  It seems so obvious that to know God; you have to impress God.  In fact, this seems so obvious that people have been trying it ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden. Throughout all of human history, people have been attempting to run the race of religion to find God.
            No one has ever finished that race.
            Then Jesus came and died on the cross.  Not only that, but He rose from the dead.  This reality changes everything.  The verses above make it clear that running the race of religion gets you nowhere.  In fact, the way to finish the race and find God is a road where all the obstacles have been cleared for us.
            It is the road of faith.
            Notice again what the passage says in Romans 9:30, “…Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith.”
            To finish the race and find God, we simply have to trust Him.  We trust that Jesus died for us to pay the penalty for our sin.  We trust the Jesus rose from the dead to give us life that never ends.  We trust that God really is this kind, loving and merciful.
            Are you ready to get off the race of religion with all of its obstacles, pitfalls, and the reality that it never leads to God?  Are you ready instead to walk the path where the obstacles have been removed?  Are you ready to walk the path of rest and peace with God?
            Then it is time to trust Jesus.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together!  This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 9:30-10:4.
 
Praying with you,
 
Greg
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