In the village of Borja, Spain there is a small chapel with a portrait dating back to the 19th century of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. About six years ago an 80-something woman with no art background decided the portrait needed a little touchup. So one night equipped with brushes and paints, she set to work to “fix” the painting. You can imagine what happened. The results were disastrous. Instead of improving the portrait, she ruined it almost beyond recognition. You can’t mess with a masterpiece without spoiling it in the attempt.
So many try to do exactly that with the greatest masterpiece of all, God’s holy Word. Paul writes, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). Moses told the people of Israel: “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God” (Deut. 4:2).
Still there are those who believe that they know better than God when it comes to truth, morality, and salvation. God stresses that sin brings eternal death, but some argue that God won’t condemn those who do their best to be “good” people. Scripture makes it clear that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that there is salvation in no one else. Many, however, believe they know better and conclude that no spiritual path is exclusive or superior to any other, and that somehow they all lead to the “salvation” the individual is seeking.
We are not immune either to the draw of “fixing” the Word to fit our own ideas and plans. It can seem so good at the moment, but the results will always be disastrous. Alter the truth of the Word and God’s masterpiece is spoiled. Introduce works as a means to earn salvation, and eternal life is lost. “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Rom. 3:20).
Instead of trying to improve perfection, may we humbly sit at Jesus’ feet to hear His Word, repent of our sinful pride, and rejoice in the forgiveness He earned for all on the cross. In tomorrow’s sermon text (Heb. 4:9-16) the writer urges us to treasure the Sabbath rest Jesus gives us in His Word. Let’s look forward to receiving that rest tomorrow.
In Jesus’ name,
Our fall work day is today. Your help is appreciated.
A busy day tomorrow:
Usual services at 8:00 and 10:45. Choir, Sunday school, and Bible class in their normal slots.
Bible class thought-starter: Will we recognize one another in heaven? Can you think of any passages that would tell us one way or the other?
The quarterly voters meeting will get underway after second service. All voters are encouraged to make time for this important work in the Lord’s kingdom.
The school support group meets at 6 p.m.