Jesus, come to do the will of God

Promise of Freedom – God Always Had a Plan  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  17:17
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There is a constant conflict within our hearts, it is the conflict of comfort with what we know verses the need to embrace that which is new.
People like what they know, they like being with people like them and in essence people don’t like change.
Who remembers the movie Happy Feet?
There was this constant tension between the new way of doing things between Mumble the Penguin, who couldn’t sing but could dance and almost every other character in the movie.
I actually think that it is the best illustration of the dangers of religion that I have ever seen.
You could show this movie to a bunch of religious people and point out that they are just like the penguins, staving, facing death yet refusing to change, refusing to listen to the new idea that might just save them.
Instead of sticking to what they have always done with slavish obedience they need to try something bold and radical.
Yet even when Mumble brings the new thing to them, the very thing that can save them, they accuse him of being a traitor to his own kind.
Mumble saves the penguin colony and by implication the entire Antarctic simply because he is willing to do something new, something risky, something that required relationship rather than religion.
Mumble succeeded because he engaged with the humans.
He firstly tried to persuade them to stop over fishing.
He never gave up and finally he built a relationship with the little girl watching him in the enclosure.
His breakthrough came with relationship.
This is exactly how we need to see Hebrews 10:5-10
Hebrews 10:5–10 NLT
5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. 6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.’ ” 8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
The First Covenant, the law of Moses was about ritual that was designed to remind people of their need for relationship.
The Second Covenant, through Christ, enabled that relationship to be available always, to all who would accept it.
God always had a plan, God always had a promise of freedom.
Freedom from sin.
Freedom from endless ritual.
Freedom in relationship with Christ.
Christ who came to do the will of God.
Let’s take a look at that plan which was foretold long before.
Hebrews 10:5-10 quotes Psalm 40:6-8
Psalm 40:6–8 NLT
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand— you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. 7 Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: 8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
The writer to the Hebrews puts these words into the mouth of Christ.
Psalm 40: 6-8 is fulfilled in the incarnation, obedience, death, resurrection and ascention of Christ.
Jesus himself spoke the words of Psalm 40:8 in the Garden of Gethsemene when he said “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” Matthew 26:39
When King David wrote the words of Psalm 40 the Lord put into his mind the truth of relationship over ritual.
Throughout history people have found it easy to fall into ritual, thinking that it is enough.
But the Lord never wanted ritual over relationship.
Ritual is always meant to be based upon relationship.
Ritual is a useless substitute for relationship, yet this is what the people of Israel do over and over again.
It is what modern Christians also do when they turn up at church each week thinking that it is enough.
No! It is only the beginning, ritual must be built upon relationship.
In our context ritual reinforces relationship, gives it a means of expression and sets relationship within the context of community, where it finds it fullest expression.
Even in the times of the first Kings of Israel this was understood.
TNTC Hebrews:
Samuel had challenged David’s predecessor Saul with the question, Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?
Samuel concluded that To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. 15:22)
Later prophets similarly expressed God’s preference for obedience over sacrifice, making the sort of stark contrast found in Psalm 40 (e.g. Jer. 7:21–23; Hos. 6:6; Mic. 6:6–9)
You really do have to ask yourself the question; Why do we, when we are free of the requirements of the Old Testament Law of Moses, constantly fallback into the mindset of the people of Israel who were repeatedly condemned for thinking that compliance with the ritual requirements was enough.
Doesn’t the writer to the Hebrews spell out this mindset for us in Hebrews 10:1-4
Hebrews 10:1–4 NLT
1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
We have Christ, the old is done the new has come.
Christ has fulfilled the law and the prophets so let’s live in a way that represents the reality of this truth.
Let’s not get stuck in our own ways prefering the comfort of what we know.
Instead let’s always look for the change that God has for us.
Does he need to change your faith in his promises?
Does he need to change your willingness to engage with people you don’t know so well?
Does he need you to speak of what he has been doing in your heart with those who don’t know him because you are in relationship with him and other believers?
Does he need you to try something new, something that you have always been afraid of?
Does he need you to take a risk, move out of your comfort zone?
What are you comfortable with that needs to change if your relationship with Christ and this church is to move to the next level?
A couple of weeks ago I had one of my compulsory Professional Supervision Sessions.
I was discussing the challenges we face in trying to do two jobs so that we can fund our ministry here and not having the time to put into the church that is really needed.
It is an area I find really difficult, because my heart is here but my time and primary income source is elsewhere.
Yet in discussing this I came to the point of being able to say, what else can I do but be obedient to the call of God on my life!
Christ fulfilled the prophecy about him in Psalm 40.
The New Testament writers saw this and Hebrews 10:7 records its fulfillment “Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.’ ””
We have a saviour who embraced the purpose he was given in the incarnation.
To bring about a new covenant.
To write the law upon our hearts.
To wash away our sins, once and for all time.
Doesn’t that require of us a response of embracing the new, of being uncomfortable.
Of opening our eyes to see what opportunities he has and getting on board.
“What else can I do but be obedient to the call of God on my life!”
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