You’re certainly not here as a believer to read more about what you already know doesn’t work.
That is trying to be more acceptable to God by doing things—things like going to church regularly, being involved in the community, keeping the Ten Commandments, following the Bible’s examples of faith, even by emulating Jesus and the Apostles.
Those are wonderful traits and admirable goals. But regardless of appearances, they are impossible to maintain inwardly—where being acceptable really counts.
The word gospel means “good news” yet all that trying and doing surely aren’t consistent with His invitation:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
If your relationship with Him feels empty, or if your failures have seemingly pushed Him further and further away, allow me to help untangle what you’ve learned so far and align it with what the Bible says throughout so that you and He will be the best of friends—and “His rest” will prevail in your life.
To start with, God has only, and always, used the same standard for being acceptable. It’s shown by the two trees that He put in the middle of the garden, both are known by their fruit. He first calls our attention to the tree of life, then the other:
Essentially, God said “When you decide that you are capable of knowing what is good and what is evil you are going to find yourself separated from Me—your spirit separated from My Spirit.” Eve’s decision reflects our natural condition: we are lifeless. But He offers the remedy:
Jesus was referring to Himself as the fruit from the tree of life (the cross) when He said “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (from John 6:51-58).
The sequence for those two trees in Genesis chapter two subtly notes that God provided life through His Son before death began.
In the same way that He did for that first couple, He makes us totally acceptable to Himself by taking away our withering fig-leaf coverings for guilt and embarrassment and then wrapping us securely within His Lamb—the One who gives us life and protects us from ever being separated again.
I’m sure you are asking “If I’m already acceptable then why are there so many do’s and don’ts in the Bible?” Read on. . .