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God's Way of Deliverance...

God's Way of Deliverance

Further thoughts on parashat Vayera...

by John J. Parsons
www.hebrew4christians.com

 From our Torah portion this week (i.e., parashat Vayera) we read, "Escape for your life. Do not look back..." (Gen. 19:17). You must turn away from what once defined you and never look back... This includes not only turning away from your former sins, but turning away from the guilt and shame of your sins... Living in the past, wallowing in your sin and regretting your mistakes, can cause you to feel worthless and even hopeless. If you feel compelled to revisit your former life, then be sure to do so before the foot of the cross, in light and presence of God's redemptive love for you. You can't change the past, but you can leave it behind by turning it over to God for healing. Teshuvah (repentance) means accepting who you are in light of God's love and salvation for your soul. "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this, though I am single-minded: I forget the things that are behind and reach out for the things that are ahead ... heeding the upward call of God in Yeshua our Messiah" (Phil. 3:13-14). May you "find yourself in Him, not having a righteousness of your own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Messiah, the righteousness from God that depends on faith" (Phil. 3:9).

God's way of deliverance is entirely different than man's way. Man tries to suppress the flesh, to cover it up, to justify its failings, or to enlist its power in the battle against sin (i.e., religion), but God's way is to remove the flesh from the equation. The goal is not to make us stronger and stronger, but rather weaker and weaker, until the flesh is "crucified" and only the sufficiency of the Messiah remains.  Then we can truly say, "I have been crucified with Messiah. It is no longer I who live, but the Messiah who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20). The word "Hebrew" (עִבְרִי) means one who has "crossed over" (עָבַר) to the other side, as our father Abraham did (Gen. 14:13). It is on the other side of the cross that we experience the very power that created the universe "out of nothing" (i.e., yesh me'ayin: יֵשׁ מֵאַיִן) and that raised Yeshua the Messiah from the dead.

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