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The Purpose of God’s Law

March 5, 2014

Yesterday I posted about my freedom from the Jewish Law and now I want to expand on that.

We are free from condemnation from the law in the Jewish way which requires an offering of sacrifice at a temple (no longer possible!).  Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice which covers all our sins, but we need to accept that sacrifice as the gift that it is.  If we choose not to accept Jesus and his sacrifice, we are rejecting the salvation that he offers.  We are saying to God, “I like doing my own thing, I am not thankful at all, and I certainly don’t need you.”

The moment that you realise there is no amount of guilt or sacrificing you can do to change your situation, the moment you realise that you need Jesus, you are saved by his grace.  Essentially, he has taken your criminal record of sins and destroyed it, it no longer exists, and nobody (in the spiritual realm) who looks for proof of who you were will find it.  They may throw accusations at you, but they no longer have proof, and you are protected by the perfect reputation of Jesus who did not sin and has vouched for you and paid all the fines so you could be free.

The fact is, the law is perfect.  The law is intrinsic, it is written on your hearts and you know it in your mind.  We know what is right and what is wrong but for the most part we stubbornly ignore the guilt and continue to do what we want.  In the book of Matthew it tells the story of a religious leader trying to trick Jesus by asking him to state which Law of Moses (the Jewish Laws) is the most important.  Most Christians know Jesus’ reply well, that we must love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, because this is the greatest commandment.  He then follows it up with a second but equally important commandment, to love our neighbours as ourselves.  He then concludes by stating that the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on those two commandments.

How amazing this is!  The freedom to love God and love each other is an astounding thing.  If you look at The Ten Commandments you will see that the first four commandments dealt with loving God and placing Him above all things, and the other six were about how to love the people around you.  The important thing is that God is first, but equally important, and worthy of over half of The Ten Commandments, is to love each other.

It’s deceptively simple.  You have been freed from the law that was condemning you.  Jesus came, vouched for you, paid the fines, and offered to walk with you on the road to eternal life in his family as an adopted child of God.  But then you always have the choice.  Will you accept the offer and walk with Jesus, or will you choose instead to turn off the path, return to the world you came from, relive your life of crime and create a new criminal record?  Every time that you commit a crime and return to prison you can use your one phonecall to call your new best friend Jesus, and he will always return to vouch for you, pay your fines, and free you again.  But if you think you don’t need him, then you will have to live out your sentence.  How much more we need Jesus because we are all on Death Row!

But Jesus can’t help us if we continually reject him and his offer to join God’s family.  Some Christians don’t realise they do this when they become scared of the law.  They feel so judged by it that they don’t believe they are worthy of being saved.  Why should their best friend Jesus help them out of prison when they obviously belong there?  So when he comes, they refuse to accept his offer of forgiveness or leave their prison of guilt!  They miss out on the full experience of Jesus’ love because they are afraid that when they get home they will only be punished by “Dad”.  How much of a tragedy this fear of the law and fear of being punished creates!

The law, then, is not to be used as a tool to judge and condemn those around us or even ourselves, rather it is a guide with the help of the Holy Spirit which highlights our need for Jesus to lead us to a better relationship with our Father in Heaven.  Our love for God will naturally bring us to the greatest respect for our Creator, and we will desire to do everything we can to be more like Him.  However, under the perfect sacrifice of Jesus we are no longer measured by a law that we could never keep no matter how hard we try.  Loving each other is the way that we show our thankfulness and demonstrate our freedom from the law so that others desire to know the same God we do and in this way the family of God is strengthened.

If you would like to explore this concept further for yourself, I urge you to read the book of Galations in the Bible from beginning to end.  Love to you all.

From → Personal

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