God is the Sovereign of the universe, existing supremely above all else. Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the Lord your God." That is, virtually everyone agrees that anybody that was justified in the OT was justified by grace through faith; it was a gift of God. We’re on a mission to change that. The Importance and Power In Our Words. To be sure, genuine love will lead to great labor. God forbid. All these sins come from not believing God. He is faithful even if we are not, but that doesn’t mean we should go on living however we please. The law does protect us. The law, however, could not take away sin and give salvation. The Ligonier Ministries site requires Javascript, but you’ve got Javascript disabled. The point is this: to whatever degree we achieve this divine love for each other, it will be owing to faith in the liberating promises of God. The people would likely have associated the setting of Ezekiel’s vision with Isaiah’s heartwarming restoration prophecy.Isa. But the law was only meant to last until the coming of Christ who is the fulfillment of God's promise. 3 To answer the first question, let us focus on a few striking features of this temple vision. Fifth, we should delight in God's law, meditate on it day and night, and sing of its value unto all generations. Fix that problem! First of all then, love is a fulfilling of the law. The ten commandments are based on a call for faith in the God of the exodus, just like the moral teachings of the NT are based on a call for faith in the Lord of Good Friday and Easter. The most important thing it does is to force us to recognize our need for righteousness, forgiveness, and salvation. Paul says that the law was added “because of transgressions” (Galatians 3:19). Remember Peter and the walking on … First, the law is fulfilled when we love our neighbor. Love does not pout, is not self-pitying, does not use ultimatums to get its own way. It was designed to show us our sins and point out our need for a savior. He says: That little phrase "as if" or "as though" is tremendously important. The most important thing it does is to force us to recognize our need for righteousness, forgiveness, and salvation. We will see that this does not mean: you don't have to keep the law. 2:2 Two major gifts of grace are the unmerited mercy God grants us by His loving nature and His spiritual law the apostle Paul said he took “delight in” (Romans 7:22). It does not seek to avoid a brother who differs, it does not wear a scowl, it does not spread rumors or speak evil of a neighbor, it does not close its ears to the evidences. That is, if you try to use the law as a job description of how to earn God's favor you are doing something that the law itself opposes. What is a promise? Second, love is the out-working of authentic, saving faith. Therefore, the exodus was the foundation of Israel's faith. I feel like the future is taken care of. Love is the out-working of genuine, saving faith. What does this teach about God: Say, “This story tells us many things about Abraham, but God is the real hero of the Bible. . Christian citizenship expands far beyond the country on our passport. The law which God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai a few months after bringing the people out of Egypt has been the victim of some very bad press in the past several hundred years. ), Now let's look at the law itself. And so the time of controversy in which we find ourselves is not bad; it is a good occasion to test whether there is really grace within us or not. It takes no Christian grace whatever to live in peace where everyone thinks and feels the same. Rather, the law was designed to show the way for redeemed people to please God. But this in itself didn’t come with a promise of power to obey what the law commanded. At last the nation of Israel settled in the land of Canaan where Abraham had lived. What can we learn about God from the story we just read?” Possible Answers: God makes big promises. Before the Flood, sin progressed so far that God made the decision to destroy the world. If any law could give life to us, we could become acceptable to God by obeying that law. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy. When He gives us a promise, we can be sure He will do what He has said. Further down in Galatians 5:22, love is called the fruit of the Spirit. . The Law’s condemnation does not fall on us, because “the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). The law is a description of the obedience of faith; it is not a job description for how to earn the wages of God's blessings. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. . But many Bible teachers say (or imply) that the law of Moses offers a way of salvation different than the way offered in the gospel. It makes a legalistic Pharisee out of Moses, turns the Torah into the very heresy Paul condemned at Galatia, and (worst of all) it makes God into his own enemy, commanding that people try to merit his blessing (and thus exalt themselves) instead of resting in his all sufficient mercy (and thus exalt him). It means you are not burdened by it as a job description of how to earn the wages of salvation. In conclusion, then, the points are these: first, the law is fulfilled in us when we love our neighbor as ourselves. Part of our confusion is caused by the simple fact that the word "law" in the New Testament has at least three different meanings when used in different contexts. James 1:5 teaches to pray for wisdom and God will give it to us. Psalms 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” King David said he mediated in God's Word day and night (Psalm 1:2). not of works lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Knowing the fall made us stubborn enough to believe we can get right with Him by doing enough good works to “outweigh” our bad ones, God gave the Mosaic law to Israel in order to refute this belief. That means thinking about the Bible deliberately and consciously, seeking God's wisdom. So the first point in our nutshell theology of the law is that the law is fulfilled in us when we love our neighbor. The Old Testament Law is concerned with the life of the people of Israel, who were living at a particular stage of salvation history. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." The second point was that love only comes out of faith in God's promises. The third meaning of the term law is not a different part of the OT, but the OT understood in a different way. Unlike us, God never changes in his person or his purposes. But it is not synonymous with labor. (Think how vivid the concentration camp would still be three months after the allied liberation!) Printable List of God’s Promises… (Deuteronomy 26:12-15) God viewed withholding the tithe as stealing from him.—Malachi 3:8, 9. What, then, was the purpose of the law? This is made clear in Deuteronomy 1:29–32 where Moses recounts why Israel refused to enter the promised land and was forced to wander 40 years in the desert. The importance of these verses is crucial because it explains that while our calling to salvation is gifted from God himself, by having knowledge of him, it is the exceeding great and precious promises that enable us to partake of the divine nature (eternal life). For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. After all, the Israelites continued to be the children of Abraham and continued to keep the Abrahamic covenant by believing the promises. So how do we become loving people? (See Romans 3:31; Matthew 23:23. So the first point in our theology of the law was that love fulfills the law. It can refer to part of the OT, as when Jesus says, "I have not come to abolish the law and the prophets" (Matthew 5:17). So the first point in our theology of the law was that love fulfills the law. I must buttress my faith with some promises. Donate Now. The fourth point follows naturally, namely: we must therefore obey (or fulfill) the OT commandments the same way we must obey the NT commandments—not to win God's favor, but because we already depend on his free grace and trust that his commands will lead to full and lasting joy. The past event of the exodus is a sign of God's willingness to help Israel in the future. (Hebrews 13:5), As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Someone may ask, "Well, if you can die for someone and not have love, what in the world is love?" God does not make any promises that He does not intend to keep. God’s mysteries are unsearchable and inscrutable. There are many people laboring for God and neighbor who are not doing it out of love. God gave us the law . Make good use of God’s law as you live your life coram Deo. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV. That power will come into our life through Jesus Christ who calls us by his own glory and goodness. As Christians we need to be aware that the Law does not apply directly to us. James said it a bit differently (2:8), "If you really fulfill the royal law according to scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well." 3:19) to imprison “everything under sin” (v. 22). Only God's grace can save us . Fourth, therefore, the Mosaic covenant is not fundamentally different from the Abrahamic and New Covenants, for we should obey the commandments of all three from the very same motive—not to win God's favor, but because we already depend on his free grace and trust that his commands will lead to full and lasting joy. Paul, in no uncertain terms, tells us what he thinks of the law. I don't feel threatened anymore. The mistake of Israel was not in pursuing the law, but in pursuing it by works instead of by faith. They are above us and beyond us. 3. You can't abuse others for self-gain by killing or lying or seducing another's spouse or dishonoring your parents, if you really believe the God of the exodus and the God of Easter is at work to give you the future that is best for you. Today, the law teaches us that Jesus is the foundation of all the laws, His life and His teaching are the fulfillment of God's love for humanity. The agony of slavery and the spectacular deliverance through the Red Sea are vivid in their memories. Pursue the law for Christian growth, and in so doing, please God. If love is what the law aimed at, and only faith can love, then the law must teach faith. The exodus was a sign that God would take care of Israel in the future. These promises are sealed by the highest authority, God's word. I think we can illustrate the way this works by our present situation here at Bethlehem. Bible verses about Law. 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