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Episode 23: The Temple II

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The Plan  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:27
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Seventy years after the destruction of the temple, a group a Jews return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the City. But will they do any better than their ancestors at following God?

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Recording, till we get to that flight, so I have to wait.

Do welcome to episode 23 of the plan. We are almost done with the Old Testament. We've been telling the story of the entire Bible from beginning to end. We started with Genesis in September and this will be my last sermon, in the Old Testament, Pastor. Jack is going to be taking us through Esther next week. He's been teaching a class on it. And so it makes sense to have him teach us how the story of Esther fit into the story of the Bible. But what we've been doing is we've been looking to tell the entire story, The Bible as one story and this is the plot that we've been following. The Bible is the story of God's plan, to establish a Place. Full of people who live out their purpose, in his presence, in every part of the Bible. This is what's going on that. God made the world and you gave people the job of ruling over it on his behalf, and he wanted to live here with us and we messed it up and we kept messing it up. And so, the Bible is the story of God putting that, right? And he decided to work through one particular group of people the Israelites and accomplish. Plan through them so that people could look at Israel and see who God is and what he wants for his people and be brought to God, but we found over the last twenty or so weeks, is that the Israelites weren't any better that than anybody else. And so they kept messing up and kept messing up. And finally last week. We cover the point in the story, where God says enough. This is gone too far. I cannot continue to support you without giving people the wrong impression about who I am that the Rebellion has gone on so long that at this point, I need to show people that I, that I do not endorse what you're doing and so he invoked the curses of the Covenant. Basically, he invoked the, the breach of contract clause in the agreement that he and Israel had signed, and that meant that day were sent into Exile. The Babylonian Empire came in and destroyed Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and took them away into exile. Today, we're picking up the story about 70 years later. And the one big thing that's changed in world. History, between, is that the Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Persians. So now, the Persian Empire is in charge. His name is Cyrus and he's going to make an announcement as part of declaring himself, the new king, that that will move us into the next part of the story. As we read our opening section. Remember how we keep our our bearings in the story. The Bible we watch for, who is the story about Where is their home? How can they meet with God? And what did God tell them to do? And as we read the story of Ezra Nehemiah, which is actually one book that our Bible split into two as you read it. With this approach. You find a very interesting message coming out of this book. The let's let's start that be hitting it in the first year of Cyrus King of Persia in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by. Jeremiah the Lord move the heart of Cyrus King of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing. This is what Cyrus can you purchase says the Lord, the god of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem and Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem and Judah and build the Temple of the Lord, the god of Israel. The God Who is in Jerusalem and may their God be with them. Then the family has a Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites everyone whose heart got it, moved prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All right. So who is the story about what this point we're going to start to use a new term that generally is used to refer to the people of Israel as they go into Exile. Now, we're going to call them the Jews. You wonder where that term comes from. It's a it comes from judite because those that survive and survive this long. The remnant of Israel is just the nation of Judah until as they go into Exile around the known world. They're called the juice. At this point, they don't really have a central leader. There's no King on the throne and we're going to see Ashley a group of people who will lead the Jews during this time. So it's not really one person leading them. Since the throne is empty. Where is their home? We've been calling it the prot the, the kingdom of Judah. But at this point, it's a province of the Persian Empire. Now keep in mind at this point and even by the end of the story, the majority of Jews will not live in the province of Judah, but that is their Homeland, that is that it may not be where their living, but it is their home. It is the land that God had promised them. How can they meet with God?

The temple has been destroyed and that means that it is point. They can't know. That doesn't mean God can't meet with them. But when were talking about the presence of God, we're saying, is there a place where they can go and count on God being there? Like is there a place where God keeps office hours? And at this point there is not till God made meat with them. But they can't meet with God anywhere because the temple is destroyed. So, what is their purpose? What is their job? They've got two jobs, one that came out of this story. What were they told to do? Rebuild the Temple job is to rebuild the Temple but they also have a task from the Covenant that we talked last week about the fact that the Covenant with a broken, the Covenant and God counted. The contract is broken, but the book of Deuteronomy actually talks about what happened after the Covenant is broken. And here's what it says. When all these blessings and curses I've set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord, your God disperses you among the Nations. And when you and your children return to the Lord, your God and Obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today. Then the Lord, your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and will gather you again from all the nations where he scattered. You. Truck says in Deuteronomy, all the way back in Moses, that when the Covenant is broken and you receive all these punishments. I will end your punishment when you return to me and obey me. So, they're big job. The most important job is to return to God and Obey him. Remediate ask is rebuild the Temple. But the broader task for all God's people is to return to God and Obey him. We want to keep those tasks in mine as we go into the story. Does you read through the beginning chapters of Ezra? Zaruba Bell? Who would be king if they still had a king leads, the people there and they start building the Temple and some of the neighboring Nations come in and asked to help because they also worship God and roval says, no only Jews allowed into we're not accepting any help. We're going to do this ourselves. And so that make some enemies and there's like letter-writing campaigns and all this kind of controversy and stuff, but eventually they do get the temple built. And we're going to look at the dedication of the temple, but I want you to compare what we're going to read to other moments, like this, that we've encountered in the story because we've encountered two other moments similar to this one. And they were very important moment in the history of Israel. When the Tabernacle was dedicated and when the temple was dedicated, you knows the both of those were key moments in Israel's history. In terms of putting together, the initial parts of the plan in the wilderness and then finally achieving all the parts of God's plan. Under Solomon do TV. The remember what happened there and watch what happens when they dedicate this Temple or What doesn't happen? The temple was completed on the third day of the month of Adar in the six year of the reign of King Darius. Then the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the Exiles. Celebrated, the dedication of the house of God with joy. Are the dedication of this house of God, they offered a hundred balls, 200 Rams, 400 male lambs. And as a sin offering for all those real 12 male goats one for each of the tribes of Israel and install, the priests in their division, the Levites in their groups, for the service of God in Jerusalem. According to what is written in the book of Moses. That is the entire description of the dedication of the temple. You notice anything missing.

God. What a dedicated the Tabernacle and they put all the pieces together. The presence of God tangibly, visibly moved from Mount Sinai into the tab Tabernacle. It even spouted out, fire to start sacrificial altar, right? That God was very obviously there. Then when they move the Ark of the Covenant into the temple, to dedicate the temple under Solomon, the spirit of God tangibly, descended on the temple. And you could tell that God was there. It was so intense that they couldn't even enter the building. And that's probably what they are expecting when they dedicated this Temple, but instead, they rebuilt the temple, but God's present didn't return. God was nowhere to be seen. He was present in the sense. He's present everywhere, but he couldn't be saying he didn't take up residence in the temple. But the presence of God in a in a location, among his people, as part of the plant. It is something that they would have been expecting. Until what they built the temple. They had you on some degree have been disappointed by the results. This God doesn't actually live in this tablet might have something to do with the fact that the Ark of the Covenant is gone. Never to be recovered in spite of what Indiana Jones tells us. What is gone but God's presence doesn't show up. And so that means that the full restoration of Israel is not yet happening. They were probably hoping that everything that God promised it and I Deuteronomy passage that I read, you would happen as they rebuilt the temple, but it doesn't Tell date they keep going on and they keep going about their business and rebuilding their lives in Jerusalem, but I think they're probably, it doesn't say this, but I think they're probably on the lookout for what, what's not good enough. Where is the problem? Who's the, who's the Jonah? Or what's the issue? That's keeping us from being restored to God? And then they find one. I believe things have been done to leaders came to Ezra as there's a priest and an expert in the law who came to teach them the lot. And they said to him, the people of Israel including the priests and Levites have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites parasites jebusites, a man die to MB, Egyptians and Amorite. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their son and mingle the holy race with the people around them and the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness. This old issue. You may remember that back in during the conquest the Israelites made their major mistake of not driving out that the Canaanite. It's so that they can put them and they started adopting their practices and it diluted their their representation of God and it created a problem that dogged them their whole history. And so the leaders of Israel looked around. They say all men, we're getting back into the exact same problem that we need to deal with this. We need to nip it in the bud. So they get everybody together and Ezra stand up in front of them and says you have been unfaithful, you have Mary foreign women adding to Israel's guilt. Now, are the Lord, the god of your ancestors and do his will separate yourselves from the people around you, and from your foreign wives. So they set up a tribunal and everybody has to go before this tribunal and if your wife isn't Jewish, you get divorced, and you send her away and any children associated with it. They have to leave.

And this is one of those passages that we struggle with and we don't talk about a time because we understand the importance of following God's command. And we understand that the logic of all of this, but the the way it's addressed the right address makes us uncomfortable. It's similar to how we react to violence in the Old Testament. When God people are buying at the fact of forcible divorce. Don't sit well with us, but it seems to be what they're supposed to do, and there's a tension there, but never the less they forced all the Jews with foreign wives to get divorced.

So now, they feel like they pretty well purified, Israel. Something now. Maybe it's time to try again. Now, maybe they're ready to be restored to God. And so, they get everybody together and they read the law of Moses and its entirety, whatever. You'll probably the whole Genesis Lexus of. It is his numbers and Deuteronomy and then they all make a declaration together. Is what I say. The rest of the people, all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake, of the law of God, find themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the law of God, given through Moses, the servant of God and to obey carefully, all the commands regulations. And decrees of the Lord, our God. Don't pay it. They it reiterates. The Covenant. They returned to the covenants and and they they say we're all going to follow this again. This is a passage that we often hear about on Church anniversaries. When we know when were were renewing our commitment to our church identity, that kind of think they they decide to go back and renew the old Covenant. Which seems like a good thing, but if you keep reading or something interesting that happened as they're talking think they keep talking and they lift like seven or eight specific laws out of the whole 613 that they're going to keep now. They're always going to keep all of them. So they they named these ones because they seem to be important or especially important or specially representative of the law or of their vision of what the law supposed to be.

Is your mom. So you shall love the Lord. Your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength, maybe get out of second. One like Jesus. Did, you don't love your neighbor as yourself? You could also pick the first ten, The Ten Commandments. Are those words son sent meant to be representative of what the law contained but they don't follow either of those. I'll give you just the first couple that they live is just carrying on immediately with this. Read this passage. We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the people around us or take their daughters for our sons. When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or gray green to sell on the Sabbath. We will not buy from him on the Sabbath or on any holy day, every seventh Year. We will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts. I'm going to go on that list a few more. Like we're going to, we're going to make sure and give this offering very Faithfully. We're going to make sure and set up a rotation to take care of the temple and laws like that. But it's a very interesting list of laws to represent what the toria's supposed to be about because they tend to focus on two things. One is keeping his real separate keeping the do separate from their neighbors and to is calling out commands that can be visibly measured.

Because they're, they really want to be able to make sure they're following the law. But things like love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. You can't measure. You can measure how much people give you can measure whether they work on the Sabbath. So they really emphasize certain kinds of rules. So what's happening here is they were nude the old broken Covenant. With a new emphasis on racial Purity and Rule keeping.

And this is their founding a mindset that is going to carry on into the New Testament and play a major role in the ministry of Jesus. And and the people he encounters.

There are three important things that happened in the book of Ezra Nehemiah. They rebuild the Temple, they renew the Covenant and then they, they rebuild the walls and a different person. Does each one S release him in renewing, the Covenant. Zaruba Bell helped build the temple and then the last guy Nehemiah. He is a Jew who serve the king and then came over to help them rebuild the walls. You need walls to protect the city. And so and so he comes to refer to repair the walls. And typically this is one that you use the building of the Temple of something. We usually talk about when we want to do a building project and build a new wing on the church building or something like that. We use Church anniversaries to talk about the renewing, the Covenant. And then Nehemiah. We usually talk about as a Leadership Model. We don't quite know what else to do with them and I will talk about that. Why why? But usually I heard Nehemiah talked about as a Leadership Model because we focus on how he goes about getting the walls built because he faces opposition and he has to fake nail do all these Logistics and stuff and so he read it. So we focus on how he built the walls. But today I want to focus on what they do with the walls once they're built. Do they build the walls through this whole process? You can read about any of Maya and then they have a dedication ceremony and they read the law of Moses. Again. It says on that day. The book of Moses was right, allowed in the hearing of the people. And there was found written the no ammonites or MB should ever be admitted into the Assembly of God. When the people heard this law that excluded from Israel, all who are referring to send.

It's interesting to me that this something they noticed now as opposed to the first time. They read through the law and I wonder whether it's because they didn't have walls before. Because it's hard to keep people if they kick them out before the walls were built. They could have just walked right back in. But now they have walls now, they can actually control who's in the city, and who's not. I'm just wondering whether it's a coincidence that once they have the walls. That's when they suddenly realize. Hey, we're supposed to be kicking these people out, but they noticed that it says no ammonites or moabites in the Assembly of God, so they kicked all foreign people out of the city. Do they rebuild the walls around Jerusalem and it's spelled all the foreigners?

Is there any Amaya is a sea? Is a book that we don't do. We don't really know what to do with. I mentioned a couple of the ways we tend to use it. I'm not saying there's something wrong with using them that way, but I think the reason why we only seem to take them out of certain occasions is because we struggle with the point of the story because it doesn't end in a particularly inspiring way. They've done all this work to do to get his real back on his feet and to make sure that they are obeying. God they were turned to God. They obey him. They rebuilt everything that the plan should be getting restored, right. Should be coming back any day now, but what ends up happening here is how the story ends in the last chapter of Nehemiah Nehemiah has to go back and report to the King of Persia. And then when he returns he finds that everything is falling apart again, they're renting rooms in the temple to foreigners. They're not paying their people aren't paying the priests of the priests can't afford to work in the temple. So they've abandoned the temple to work in the field. People are breaking the Sabbath. They're marrying foreign wives again, like everything is falling apart for the last chapter is Nehemiah going on a tour of Jerusalem and yelling and screaming at everybody who is messed up and like beating them up and pulling their hair and just angry and frustrated. And I'm going to read you the end of the book by this is how the whole bookends One of the sons of jehoiada the son of a lie, is she the high priest was son-in-law to Chantal at the hair indict. The grandson of the high priest was married to a foreigner and I drove him away from me. Remember that my God because they defile the Priestly office and the covenants of the Covenant of the priesthood end of the Levites. So I purified the priests in the Levites of everything for in and assign them duties each to his own tasks. Also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times. And for the first trees. Remember, we was favored my God. Beyond.

It's a very underwhelming ending and it basically ends with Nehemiah listing, his Grievances and his accomplishment. And thank God. Remember everybody, who who isn't keeping the Covenant, and remember how hard I tried to make them? And that's the end. That's all he can say. Because in spite of their best efforts, the juice ended up still attends aisle, and no better at keeping. The Covenant.

And I think it had a more inspiring ending. We might have to spend more time with these ghosts, but we don't know what to do with them. I think that's partly because this is something that we make that if that we should if we're not told otherwise, whatever the main characters are doing must be the right thing.

That's usually how our stories do when we tell stories to teach lessons. That's usually what we do. We kind of spoon feed the morals, but the Bible doesn't do it that way. Sometimes it calls it out, specifics explicitly. But one of the reasons why we're reading this, in this design called the plan is to recognize the fact that the Bible like the plan is something that I made up. It's not something that God says, I'm trying to describe what God says, but one legitimate learn. Real thing about the Bible is it tends to expect you to be asking the question? Are they doing? What God told him to do. And what is the outcome? Ann and evaluating sorry to not just being spoon-fed everything. So we see that the outcome is not great. So then we might ask the question. Did they actually do? What were they doing the right thing throughout the story? Well, let's take a look at what God had actually told them to do. So, let's go back to those divorces. Here's the law that they sighted to motivate all of that. Deuteronomy 7 and says when the Lord your God dries out before you many nations, the Hittites girgashites amorites. Canaanites parasites. Have ice and Jabba size, Seven Nations, larger, and stronger than you do not intermarry with them. There's two things to notice about this. Number one, is it, I did not edit out the passage where it says that if you do marry them, you should divorce them. Because there is no passage that says that the law of Moses does not say that the solution to this problem is divorced, that was an idea that they that Ezra and the Jews came up with at the time. So that's not in the lot. Number two is that that list of Nations is a closed. It doesn't say don't marry for in women. It says don't marry women from the Seven Nations and even gives you the number it named Seven Nations and then says Seven Nations. There's another passage that will add two more Nations. One of which is Egypt and I forget the other one, but that's nine Nations. But that is a close the list. The law never says, don't marry foreigners. That was actually a fairly common practice and there's multiple foreigners in Jesus's family tree. These were specific Nations that were the original occupants of the land that God had given Israel and he didn't want them to let them live there and stay on their land and Marion to them, but the law doesn't say don't marry foreign women. Then let's look at what they were actually. What they, what actually happened during the time of Ezra. Here's what they when they complained as what they said. The people of Israel have not separated themselves from the surrounding peoples. Who is detestable practices are like those of the Canaanites has a parasite jebusites, ammonites moabites, Egyptians and Amorite. They're not saying that these women belong to those prohibited Nation. They're also not saying that the men and their husbands have started, adopting their practices. What they're saying is that these women come from Nations that are like the ones that are forbidden.

To the wind doesn't actually there. The law doesn't actually say that they're not allowed to have these marriages. And so what they're doing is, they're spreading their stretching out God's law, a little bit, the way Pharisees and rabbis later would describe it as putting a fence around the law to make sure that you can't even get close to breaking it. So, he hears the law, but here's the fence cuz we don't want to even get to the lot.

The problem is that what they're doing ends up conflicting with commands. That God actually gave Israel about how they're supposed to treat foreigners. Here is one of many places where God tells them something to this effect. Can I watch guy defends the cause of the fatherless and the Widow and loves the Foreigner residing, among you giving them food and clothing and you are to love those who are Foreigners for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt over and over again. God tells him to love the foreigners that are among them, which also assumes there will be foreigners among them, right? And he says, treat them compassionately because you know what? It's like to be them cuz you were foreigners in another country and it wasn't easy. In fact, Jeremiah who was a prophet only seventy years before this moment, God spoke through him, to give them Specific Instructions, about what was going there. Specific expectations about what was going to happen to the neighboring Nations when everybody returned back to their Homeland as if they learned. Well, the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, as surely as the Lord lives even as they want spot, might be able to swear by bail, then they will be established among my people. According to God. Is there a place for foreigners among Israel? Yes.

Know what are the temple though? Right? Right. We don't want to be anywhere near the temple. We need to keep the temple. They're going to end up building Courtyards like series of Courtyards to make sure to keep them away from the temple cuz that needs to be kept here. Right? Well, let's look at what was said when they dedicated the first temple. Your part of Solomon's prayers. He dedicate the first temple for the Foreigner who does not belong to your People Israel, but it's come from a distant land because of your name or they will hear of your great name and your Mighty hand in your outstretched arm because that's the point of the plan, right. The whole point is that they will hear about God because of what Israel is doing. And then they want to come and see God and experiencing right? That's the whole point of the plan. So when the plan works and people in foreigners, come to the temple, when they come in for a tour this Temple than hear from Heaven, your Dwelling Place, do whatever the Foreigner ask of you. So that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear. You and may know that this house I have built their is your name. Are foreigners meant to be coming to the Temple part of the design. In fact, Isaiah is another Prophet who gave them an expectation of what God wanted for his Temple and a very important prophecy. He says, this is God. Speaking. I will bring foreigners who keep my Covenant to my Holy Mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my Altar. For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Have you heard that before? You might actually not associate that with Isaiah. You might associate that with a different Prophet or perhaps more than a prophet who said those words in this very Temple that Ezra was just built. My house will be a house of prayer for All Nation. This is what that's referring to the god, desired his Temple, to be a meeting place of all Humanity to God.

But the Jews have become so focused on making sure that they never make their old mistakes and making sure that they follow every law to the letter that they miss out on the whole point of a lot of guy gave me because a lot of that God gave them was not meant to be the absolute moral law of, right and wrong. It was meant to be his instructions for how they could accomplish their purpose of showing God to the nation's. That's why. So much of the law doesn't make sense to us. It doesn't really impact us because it wasn't designed to be meaningful to us. It was designed to be meaningful to the culture. They were living among So that the cultures around them would know who God was Allah speaks to that time. And it has a b guiding them in their purpose. And unfortunately, what does now happened is there following the laws in a way that obscures that purpose, they're trying as hard as they can't be God's people but they're trying to do it by keeping everybody else in an arm's length, which according to the purpose of the plan and makes about as much sense as lighting a lamp and put it under a basket. You heard that one before, it's what it's talking about.

And all of this, I think is wrapped up in the fact that they are, bringing the wrong. They're bringing the wrong mindset to this restoration that God has promised them. They're trying to restore God's people by going back to the old Covenant by reenacting the old broken Covenant. That hadn't worked. But that all broken, it was meant to be a part of a story is meant to be part of a project is guys doing. That was meant to actually lead to a New Covenant and they had been told what to expect that New Covenant to look like God did not promise them another old Covenant, Jeremiah told them what to expect that the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah it will not be like the Covenant I made with her ancestors because they broke my Covenant. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. No longer. Will they teach their neighbor or say to one another know? The Lord because they will all know me from the least of them to the greatest. Declares the Lord. That prophecy was 70 years old during this story when they decided to read the old Covenant and use that to get everybody on board and to get everybody to finally do it. Right. So everything could be restored. They were going to the old Covenant and they weren't looking for God to bring a New Covenant. That would actually do with the old come in. Couldn't do it because the rules weren't enough for the new permanent points for is the fact that people need to want the same thing that God wants. We can't want something different than God and just be given rules that guide us to what God wants because then we end up missing the point. Do we need a new cabinet that actually transforms us? That's what they needed to be looking for it. So when their passion for enforcing the rules of the Jews lost side of God's plan to reach the world. Who this New Covenant? They lost sight of the goal chasing after the rules. And the Exile didn't end for them.

You'll have to wait for when God finally would bring this new covenant.

I think seeing how the story of Ezra Nehemiah on full of I think it helps us addressed a really sticky subject. The Christians have always struggled with, which is how do we deal with God's rules and God's grace. Because they seem to contradict each other to some point. And it's at least the way we embrace them. And so the rules, tell us how to live and the grace forgives us, when we fail, and we struggle with that balance because we wanted, we will make sure everybody lives, right? But if we emphasize that the wrong way, we will not leave room for Grace when we mess up. But if we go all the way to Grayson completely, forget about the rules. Then we end up just endorsing sin and we're trying to find this balance, right? And I think that that balance is found in realizing that God gives commands to his people to help them fulfill their role in his plan. The commands that God gives us are for a purpose that isn't to say that they don't, they're not all so good and right. But the reason God gives commands to us is to help us fulfill a purpose. Is notice the people who haven't been given the law still there, still a sense of right and wrong there and they're still considered culpable for the fact that we're doing wrong, and it's still praiseworthy when we do, right? Because we have that sense of right and wrong. To help us accomplish his plan. And when we recognize that we're giving those commands in those rules of those for a purpose, then that should reveal to us, that it is possible for us to follow those command in a way that interferes with God's plan. That's what Ezra Nehemiah and zerubbabel. That's what they were doing is they were so focused on following the rules at any cost that they missed what the rules were pointing them towards the kind of people, God wanted them to be and they ended up missing the target.

And that's something that we can happen to us. Where we, we think that the goal is either law or Grace, but ends and we have to give one of the other. But the point of the rules and instructions that God gives us is to help us fulfill his purpose. But the purpose is the end goal.

So that means if we're going to follow Jesus for a follow God, it's not enough to just say, alright, I'm going to meticulously keep these rules. We actually have to want what God wants. We actually have to be trying to accomplish working on the goal of filling his plan to True. Repentance means following God's plan. Not just his rules. You can follow the rules and have an ungodly heart and completely missed the Target. That is possible.

Now, if you're trying to hit God's Target and you're constantly breaking his rules, that's also a major red flag because they go together, right? But ultimately, when we are truly the dishes, true repentance God is looking for his people who want to accomplish the plan for the purpose that he's given us. The purpose to build his kingdom that purpose to show the world who got is to share his love.

And the way we we teach the commands in the way, we follow the commands, in the way. We apply the command should all be part of living that out. Now, that is incredibly challenging and it is a challenge that obviously the Jews really struggled with as as well-equipped as they were any. They had living profits among them at the time. Some of the Minor Prophets were living during the time. They were well-equipped to take this on and they they didn't hit the target. But for us, we have a hope that they didn't have yet. Because I knew Covenant that, they were waiting for a come.

Paul tells us that he received from the Lord when he also passed on to the Corinthians, the Lord Jesus on the night. He was betrayed to bread and we'd give him. Thanks. He broke it. And said, this is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me in the same way. After supper. He took the cup saying this cup is the New Covenant in my blood. Do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me. The New Covenant that is meant to transform our hearts, not just be a