Jesus is the ONLY Blueprint for the Children of God
The word blueprint, like many words, can have a variety of meanings. Here are a few: something intended as a guide for making something else, serving as a model or providing guidance, a detailed plan of action, a plan for achieving something, a pattern which decides how a person develops and looks. Jesus fulfilled all these functions for us in our need for a blueprint to become Children of God. He served as a guide for making us into something - Children of God - something we canít become without following Him. He served as a model to do this; and, He provided guidance. He also provided a detailed plan of action (not just thought - action) to achieve the end goal - us becoming Children of God. How closely we follow Him will determine how we develop and look.
If we follow Him we will become Children of God; but, if we follow any other blueprint we will become something else. Blueprints are technically specific for a reason. You donít build a house using a blueprint to build a boat. However, we can use different blueprints to build a house, a boat, or a houseboat. This is actually where a lot of folks get led astray. It is as if God gave us a blueprint to build a house; but, they wanted a boat, so they think building a houseboat will take care of everything.
In the parable of the tower builder (Luke 14:28/32) Jesus makes it plain that a wise builder will have more than a goal, he will have a plan. He will assess the cost of labor and material. Jesus tells us that the first thing we have to do if we want to build an eternal relationship with God is that we have to look at the blueprint He provided and assess if we are willing to pay the cost. That blueprint is Jesus the Christ. He made it very clear there is a cost involved in being a disciple:
Luke 14:27 - And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 - So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.
After assessing the cost itís time to pick a building site. In another parable about building Jesus warns us:
Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Notice that Jesus doesnít focus on what you believe in - He focuses on what you do. God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, has given you a clean slate so that He can work with you to build an eternal relationship. Everyone with any life experience knows that it takes two to build a relationship. God has done His part - now it is your turn.
So what are the things Jesus had just talked about, in the above passage, which we must do? One, in essence, is to warn us to be merciful (Matthew 71/2). Another is to exercise caution and discretion regarding with who and how we try to deal with others who disobey God (Matthew 7:3/6). He also tells us:
Matthew 7:12 - Therefore, all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, so also you should do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Doing these things is the way we build our relationship with God. We as builders, must be proactive and productive. If we arenít Jesus warns us:
Matthew 7:19 - Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
These statements should show you that there is a flaw in the popular blueprint of grace and faith without works. Following the blueprint of Jesus is the only that way to build an eternal relationship with God. Did Jesus live a life without works? No! Jesusí whole life was about following the will of God. Through Godís grace we can have an eternal relationship with Him. All the sins we commit prior to accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior are forgiven. It is because of that unmerited grace that God can now get close to us and give us His Holy Spirit to help us in following the blueprint of Jesus - which is a blueprint of obedience and good works. We canít have an eternal relationship with God without the help of the Holy Spirit; and, we canít get the Holy Spiritís help without Godís grace - which we canít get without accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
There are a lot of folks that toss out the law and claim that most of what Jesus said was directed at the Jews only. First, consider the following words of Jesus:
John 10:1 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Jesus goes on to explain what he meant in John 10:7/18. Note that Jesus specifically says:
John 10:16 - And I have other sheep which are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock, one Shepherd.
We, the gentiles, are brought into the flock by hearing Jesusí voice- if we listen to what He says. There is only one blueprint! Jesus is very clearly saying that He isnít just for Jews - He is for all people that will listen to Him. If anyone, Jew or gentile, tries to get in any other way than by what Jesus says then Jesus says they are as a thief and a robber.
What other way are people trying to get in with today? Well, many follow someone elseís blueprint. Paul tries very hard to get folks to follow him; but, Paul doesnít follow Jesusí blueprint. Paul does away with a lot of Jesusí blueprint - i.e. the Law, actions, etc. Paul does away with the foundation laid in stone and deals with the sandy foundation he is left with by trying to build a houseboat.
Many people are going to be hurtfully surprised when they learn that they were oh so close, yet oh so far away. Jesus was not speaking about unbelievers when He said:
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; "depart from Me, those working lawlessness!" (See Note1)
Will you follow the blueprint of Jesus to build an eternal relationship with God?
In Brotherly Love,
Note1 - For the benefit of the reader this is another example of Jesus referencing the Old Testament - specifically Psalms 6:8 - Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.