Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Some would take that announcement of freedom as an erasure of the Law given by God in the Old Testament. That accepting Christ as savior frees one from the Law in its entirety. Paul answered that question in the same book I was reading:
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. (Galatians 3:21 KJV)
He addressed this in another letter to a different church faced with the same question:
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7 KJV)
It is the teaching of, the knowledge of the Law that convicts us to the point we open our hearts to the truth that we are sinners. The Law defines what should be done and gives us understanding that what constitutes sin. How else can we understand when Paul tells us:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)
Isn’t it much better to have the Law spell out what God wants His children to do than to be the child who learns from painful experience? My toddler picked up a bobby pin and wondered what would happen if he stuck it in a wall socket. No – I hadn’t gotten around to teaching him the results would be very painful.
God defined specific qualifications to remain sinless, all the while knowing there would be failures. He also provided worship processes to give solace and comfort while His people continued toward a greater promise – His provision of grace.
That does not under any circumstances negate His law, though it does provide live with unearned grace that He provided:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)
Does my love for my son ever negate the consequences of a bobby pin in a wall socket? Nope. The consequences remain the same here in the flesh. Does God’s grace negate the consequences of my sin? Yes. This is His promise. But – it does not negate the consequences of sinfulness in the flesh. Paul faced that, too:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2 KJV)
Our sins are defined by His Law. Breaking them has consequences in our relationship with God, impacts our witness to others regarding His love and makes us very unhappy. Don’t ignore that – Christians are not happy living with His will in our lives.
I’ll close with a verse from Monday – one that tells me to use the Bible to determine God’s message to mankind. Not what is written here, nor any other person. That is opinion. Here is mine, there is another’s, but God provided what He had to say:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8 KJV)