Its Not A Tradition, itís a relationship that counts
St. Matthew 15:1-6 says Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem saying why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded saying honor thy father and mother and he that curseth father or mother let him die the death but ye say whosoever shall say to his father or his mother it is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me and honor not his father nor his mother he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
My word to share is its not a tradition, itís a relationship that counts. Here in the scriptures Jesus is in conversation with the scribes and Pharisees about their practice of the traditions of men over keeping the commandments of God. The Pharisees and scribes were the religious leaders in those days. These men probably had a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. Outwardly, these men appeared to be holy and godly but inwardly, they were wolves in sheep clothing. The scribes and Pharisees were full of self righteousness but did not and would not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. They thought they were pleasing God, but they were actually pleasing the devil. These priests fasted and prayed for personal gain and to be seen of men.
Even in today times, you see men of tradition. Men and women abstaining from meats on Friday, wearing black ash in the form of a cross on their foreheads holding to heart the traditions of men. But those of us who are in Christ know that its not a tradition but a relationship that counts with God. A relationship with God is not attainable through the flesh but through the spirit and only through Jesus Christ. Jesus said no man comes to the Father but by me. There is no tradition in Christ because tradition is of man. We are saved by grace and not works. The practice of self righteousness is traditional but Christ righteousness is by faith in Jesus alone spiritual. The Pharisees and scribes along with the lawyers and Saducees were described as vipers and hypocrites, filled with dead men bones. They were prideful, walking in darkness, rejecting the commandments of God.
In conclusion, a relationship with God does not involve anything traditional. It has nothing to do with what we have done, only what Christ has done for us. Tradition leads to religion, relationship leads to salvation. Amen.
Brother Calvin, you hit the nail firmly on the head here and you made your point very well. One problem with religion is that so many people are following tradition rather than having a living relationship with Christ and being led by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)This speaks to a relationship not a tradition, not a philosophy or theology but a vital, dynamic relationship that puts us in good standing with Almighty God. The Jews who bellowed for Jesus to be crucified were all traditionalists and they did not really know God otherwise they would have become disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you for this important concept; I am looking forward to hearing more from you. Blessings.