Faith, Grace and The Law

    A well-known pastor of a mega church got into theological hot water when he said: “Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles.” That, of course, entails the famed and revered “10 Commandments”. There was an immediate backlash from Christians around the nation and rightly so if we are to take those words at face value. I believe his heart and theology are in the right place, his wording could have been different or expounded on.
    The Bible says: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV). Jesus, Himself, said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17 NIV). In fact, Paul, when talking about being justified by faith instead of works “since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” (Romans 3:30-31 NIV).
    So here is my take on it. If we concern ourselves too much with the law, we are in danger of having a works-based relationship with God. God knows that, and He knows the fallacies of such a relationship. God separated His people from the other nations by giving them a system of moral, ethical, and spiritual laws. In addition, he gave them instructions on health and hygiene. All these things were a foundation on which He built a God-fearing, unique, and powerful people leading up to the completion of His plan that through
Christ all people could know Him.
    When Christ came, He fulfilled the promise of a Savior and bought with him God’s amazing grace. Yes, we live under grace and not the law, but grace doesn’t nullify the law, grace intensifies the law; it takes it to new heights. Do not commit murder? Don’t even get angry because that brings on murder. Do not commit adultery? Don’t even lust because that is the root cause of adultery. That’s tough, isn’t it? It’s almost impossible! Let’s ask Jesus how it is even possible to live up to all of that. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (That covers the first four of the Ten Commandments) “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (that covers the last six). All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:39-40 NIV
    Are we to keep the Ten Commandments? Of course, we are. But we keep them by adhering to a higher standard of love for God and love for our fellow man. Keep the command that Jesus gives in those two verses and you’ll never worry about breaking one of those hallowed Ten Commandments.
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff
Bro. Tony