Christianity is designed by God to be too hard for any human “to just do”.
The title seems a bit odd to think about. But this topic is what separates Christian believers from all the religions of the world. The problem today is that people think that Christianity is just like every other religion which is about following a list of rules and avoiding worldly pleasures. Why do Christians claim that their religion is so different that it can’t get along with other religions? I want to bring up one very important reason why Christianity is supposed to be different by its very nature and that difference should be obvious in the lives of true believers and answer any question in the minds of unbelievers around the world. Christianity is designed by God to be too hard for any human “to just do”. If you think you can, you’re probably doing it wrong.
The “Impossibility” of the Christian Message
It is important when discussing the “reason” of creation and the resultant “how”, that we see throughout the scriptures the intentionality of the “impossibility” of all that God does for man. In this essay I want us to look at just some of the “impossibilities” of God’s dealing with man to point out God’s ultimate reason for why God created the world and everything in it the way He said He did – Literally according to the Bible.
As you will see through the entire text of Scripture, all of God’s works on behalf of man are to be taken by faith. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” Nothing in this life, as physical as it may be, is as it seems in respect to meaning and purpose. We are not mere animals in a physical universe, but eternal beings placed under the restrictions of mortality to learn to see with the eyes of faith the supernatural lessons of eternity through this veil of flesh. Our minds were given a choice as to decide whether to live by the wisdom provided by God through his word or simply by physical knee jerk reaction to the impulses of life around us. How are we as humans to respond to the seemingly implausible stories of the Bible in this empirically astute society today?
It is seemingly impossible to believe the things taught in the Bible: That in just six days God created the world from nothing, and made life appear from the dirt. It is impossible for a human to be taken to heaven alive, not just once but twice – Enoch and Elijah. It is impossible for humanity to live hundreds of years and then to be violently snuffed out by a global flood, except for those in the Ark. It was impossible for Sarah and Abraham to have a son together when she was barren and he was one hundred years old, but God promised the impossibility and came through for them. It is impossible for the Red Sea (Sea of Aqaba) to open up by a wind for Israel to cross but not Pharaoh and his army, a rock to split open providing water to millions of people, the Jordan River to stop flowing just by stepping into it, an iron axe head to float, or for a fish to transport a man for three days.
It is impossible to break the laws of nature – isn’t it?
It is impossible to break the laws of nature by being born from an immaculate inception, walking on water, change the nature of elements, calming storms immediately at will, casting out demonic spirits, heal the sick and blind by a word or even bringing back someone from the dead after 4 days, or for that matter, raise themselves from the dead.
It is impossible for God’s rebellious creation – we humans, to successfully cover up, excuse, or eradicate our own sin before a holy, righteous, and angry God. It is also impossible to know the righteous judicial standing that we have been given by God in Christ without his telling us in his word. This information we cannot know from our inner self and it certainly cannot be earned by our “good works” or obedience. It must be revealed to us from God’s Word and taken by faith. Then it is to be received and acted upon in order to freely claim it.
It is impossible to do the righteous requirements demanded by the Law of Moses. No one can. The Children of Israel created a whole system of interpretation in their attempt to do so, but it was insufficient. God’s plan was to show them and us that His righteousness is impossible to duplicate. Thus God gave the them the Sacrificial system to atone for their failures. Why do we today think that we can even attempt to succeed? Impossible.
It is impossible to live the Christian life in our own strength
His Laws are supernatural. They cannot be mastered by practice. To love without expectation of recompense, to forgive the same offense 70 times 7 times (meaning indefinitely), to turn the cheek to those who insult us, to die to our own interests for those of our competition, to bless those who curse us, to give away our physical means, to give up our lives to take God’s message of love to our enemies. Christianity is a secret inward righteousness of the heart which God blesses and also uses to bless others, not a showy religiosity for others simply to esteem like the Pharisees praying in their long robes for all to behold, or pouring small coins into the temple treasury for all to hear (like a slot machine delving out it’s winnings).
All of this prompts us to ask why did he make Christianity so impossible? Why did He put us on this earth knowing this would be our lot; to live life at an impossible standard, ridiculed by the nations, and missing out on all the decadence the world has to offer?
God is not interested in a refurbished old man in Adam’s likeness
In the Beginning of time, God made a perfect family placed in a perfect world united with God. But because of free will man chose his own way and left God out of his life causing us to have to figure life out on our own. Knowing we cannot succeed, God gave us his word to show us His way back to the Father, his perfect solution to our problem through the Son. In the end of time, God is not interested in a refurbished old man in Adam’s likeness. Nor did He want to make us into “angels”. Actually, He wanted something humanly impossible of us, to live his life through us, and make us into a new divine creation.
The reason that God made this world was so that people could be created, learn to live by faith in the hard times, accept Christ’s proposal to become his bride, become new creations in Christ so that together elevated to the divine nature in Christ in God, we can reign with Him for eternity. Impossible as it sounds, some day God is going to destroy this universe in a flash, in order that He can make a new one in like manner where we will live in unending fellowship with our Holy God.
All of God’s works through history must be supernatural to bring us to that place; nothing from natural process or resource is capable or acceptable to God. It is impossible for us to even fathom all of these supernatural works to their fullest extent in this life, but someday He will show us all of the why’s and how’s of his mighty works.
All of these impossibilities are just the way God intended it to be – Impossible for the intellectual to take by simple faith, impossible for the self-righteousness of this world to comprehend the simplicity of God’s message of unmerited favor, impossible for the philosophies of the world to stoop to accept the Word of God as ultimate truth. God’s ways are undoable by self-made man, unrecognizable by the self-wise man, unthinkable by the proud, unattainable by the self-righteous man, unmistakable by the humble, unavoidable to the needy and contrite of heart, unpretentious to the genuine seeker. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing – but it is the power of God to those who are being saved” 1 Cor 1:18-25.
And that is just the way He wanted it. “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” – Jesus said this in Mk 10:27
God could have used 6 billion years, or six seconds. He chose 6 days.
This is why I believe that God made the world in 6 literal days, to show us that He could; and so that we can trust Him with all the impossibilities of our lives. Ps 77 and Ps 78. When we fail to trust calamities win. When we trust in the supernatural power of our God, nothing can shake us. This is just as God designed it to be. We are to remember the mighty deeds of the Lord and trust his promises for the future. God cannot lie. His Word is the eternal ultimate truth. What he says He did, that He did, and what He says He will do, you had better take it to the bank, your life depends upon it.
Christianity is God living his life through us by the power of His Holy Spirit as He changes our thinking in alignment to his Word. It is not us trying to live our lives for God to make him happy so we can go to heaven. It is God pleasing himself in the work of his Son on the cross, not because of anything we think we can do to appease his anger at our sinful shortcomings. Christ said “come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls”. Religion is weary burdensome work. In Christianity, Christ did the work. We just need to trust him and join him. This is why I am a Christian. I am tired of never knowing if I had done enough, of which the answer of course is no.
What a ride,