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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Law of God for Today


What is the purpose of the law?  Is the Christian free from the law?  The answer to both questions is NO.  The laws of God reveal the definition of sin and therefore righteousness as well.  John the Baptist began his ministry preaching:  Repent and be baptized.  Repent of what, you may ask?  Repent of your sin and lawlessness.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead.  (Romans 7:7-8 NET)

Sin is the transgression of the law (also translated as lawlessness).  No law, no sin, but the law of God is still present and it is not difficult to keep the law particularly with the assistance of the Holy Spirit of God.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.   (1 John 3:4 KJV)

No one can be declared righteous by the works of law, because the purpose of the law is to give us the knowledge of sin.  We are also not saved by the works of the law.

For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.   (Romans 3:20 NET)

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. (Romans 3:27-28 NET)

It is an individual’s duty to keep the law of God.  Even the unredeemed have a certain amount of ingrained sense of “right and wrong”.  Prior to the media peddling large quantities of porn, filth, and crime most people maintained an innate moral consciousness.  The individuals or group that owns and operates Hollywood and television media can be known.  I receive instant castigation when it is exposed so do your own research.  It is easy to find.

Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NET)

There is only one God in the entire Bible, not two:  one in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.  The God of both testaments is the same God.  Some believe they worship Jesus Christ of the New Testament and not the law-giving God of the Old Testament.  Jesus is God.  Jesus and God the Father are the same God.  Yes, there was a separation of sorts when Jesus walked the earth as a man:  no one actually understands the separation of personages but it happened.  A commentator can expound to infinity but will never explain or understand the triune nature of God:  It is so unexplainable that a few individuals just merely deny it.

Who gave the law to Moses?  The triune God:  that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Yes, Jesus, as God the Son, gave the law and statutes to Moses and the children of Israel.

What is the Greatest of the Commandments?
A Pharisee expert in religious law asked Jesus a question as a test of His abilities:  “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Of course, Jesus, God the Son, who gave the law to Moses knew the answer from the creation of the world.

Jesus said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40 NET)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind, plus, love your neighbor as yourself.  The person who loves the Lord and his creation will desire to follow and uphold the law.  A deep love of God is the essence of the law.

Did Jesus Do Away with the Law?
Jesus’ purpose was not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill all details of the law.  Some claim that Jesus fulfilled the law and therefore did away with the law.  However, He proclaims that only when heaven and earth are no more will any part of the law pass away.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. (Matthew 5:17-18 NET)

Are We Justified by the Law?
The law of God gives us direction for loving God and our neighbor.  The law never gave justification, either in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or now.

Yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.   (Galatians 2:16 NET)

One is not justified by keeping the law and one is not justified without keeping the law.  A justified individual through one’s faith will keep the law which will be manifest in the show of works.  To love God and one’s neighbor will be manifested in acts of love (or the law or works).

So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.  (James 2:17 NET)

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.  (James 2:26 NET)

Which Commandments are Necessary to Keep?
It is necessary to keep all the commandments.  Even Paul admitted to breaking the law on occasion.  However, through repentance we are freely justified by the grace of God through the redemption of Jesus, the Son of God.

For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.  (James 2:10 NET)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:23-24 NET)

The baptism of Jesus Christ (death and rebirth) into the Kingdom of God indicates we know God and we keep His commandments.  The person claiming to know God but willfully sins is mistaken and according to John, “is a liar and the truth is not in that person”.  Only by obeying the laws of God can one truly know the love of God and project that love into the world.

Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. The one who says "I have come to know God" and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.   (1 John 2:3-6 NET)

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