Forms and Substance (22 min)

Title: Forms and Substance (22 min)
Message Description:

Even today, we can have forms and types of the Faith and not the substance of the Christian Faith itself, which is Christ himself. Even after the Lord’s coming we can be in the same idolatry as any time before. I have no issue with a painting of God. No issue with a statue. God had Moses make the tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant and its accompanying garments and elements. God allowed them to make the temple later on, and God himself took on flesh to be beheld with human eyes. It is the idea of worship to or any localized spiritual dependency upon any such thing that makes idolatry out of them. I think God loves the arts, and that we should use them for his glory. Throughout history, however, men and women have routinely failed to make the needed distinction between idolatry and art. Between adoration and devotion. When someone bows to a statue of Jesus today, is it idolatry? How about one of Mary? Can we do such things and not enter into idolatrous practices? The substance of the Faith is Christ, not a painting or statue of Christ. How we navigate this issue matters even today. There are no holy stones, water basins, sites, steps, nails, pictures (or icons) doorways, or pieces of wood, bone or cloth that convey special blessings from God. Not even if we actually have faith and just touch or look at them. Even if we had Paul’s garments today (Acts 19:11-12) the sick would not be healed by them. That time of water troubling is no more. You can have idols of many false gods both before and after the coming of Jesus. You can also worship false gods made to supposedly honor the true God. We don’t see it all that much in the west, but traveling in much of Europe and further to the east drove the point home clearly. Here are some thoughts about this from Jerusalem, Israel.

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