Convictions over Commands
Mark 7:8,9,13: “Neglecting the commands . . .” verse 8
“. . . set aside the commandments of God . . .” verse 9
“. . . invalidating the word of God . . .” verse 13
It’s tragic to set the Word of God aside. Three times Jesus levels the charge against the religious leaders. He knew they had become experts in keeping their own traditions. This subtle shift didn’t happen all at once.
There was a gradual breakdown. First, was to add traditions to scripture. Secondly, was to place them on a level with the Word of God. Third, was to honor their traditions and laws above scripture. The religious culture was deplorable; traditions were everything, while the Word of God was neglected.
It’s a sad reality that our Christian culture has followed in these steps. Human ideas have been pushed onto believers as God-given truth, be it reading the King James only, not wearing make-up, or wearing ties, singing without instruments, fighting over worship styles, drinking or not drinking, voting along party lines or kicking others out of church because of personal mistakes. These man-made ideas, and many more, have been held with more fervor, than the Word of God.
We should be aware of proclaiming personal convictions as commands. Setting aside the Word of God, means adding anything necessary to knowing Jesus. It means subtracting from what is essential to experiencing salvation. It’s the same thing as saying the scriptures are not enough. The Bible has been buried under a multitude of human ideas. Traditions and preferences come and go, but God’s Word has never failed. Perhaps, unknowingly, we’ve set aside His Word.
We can choose to put ourselves “over” His Word by picking and choosing what we will and will not accept, many do not like being told what to do. We can put ourselves “beside” His Word, making our opinion equal to its authority and say so in our life. Or we can put ourselves “under” His Word by receiving the living, acting power of the Word to reprove, correct, and train us in life.
Leaving legalism doesn’t mean leaving absolutes. Jesus exposed the fabricated traditions of men by using the scriptures. Instead of going through scripture to create our own self-styled faith, maybe we should let the scripture go through us, and create a living faith.
Take some time to read through Psalms 119 to reacquaint yourself with the many ways the Word of God is experienced in your life.