The Blurred Line – Part 2
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
In order to understand the purpose of the Law in the life of the believer, we who are believers must first acknowledge that our humanity is still under the curse of sin. By that I mean, we are, in physical human terms, the sons and daughters of the first fallen man and women, who were cursed because of their disobedience. In them we were all condemned. But now though Jesus Christ we have a new spirit and a new heart, but we still live in and are subject to the passions of our old bodies and minds.
There is a daily barrier that stands between what we desire to do that is righteous and good and what we do that is not righteous and good. We are subject to sin, but not in bondage to it anymore, because we have a choice and a Helper, the Holy Spirit in us to teach, guide and direct us toward what is pleasing to God and in agreement with our reborn spirit.
Moreover, God is working in us to change even our desires, our “want tos,” so that we actually want to do what is good and righteous and we don’t desire the ways that are not pleasing to Him.
So, in order to successfully navigate this new life we’ve got to break through the barrier of our old mind and our old nature.
Now the Law came to Israel after they were physically delivered out of the bondage of Egypt. It came to show them God’s way in contrast to what they had become accustom to in the years they spent under the rule of the Egyptians, idol worship, human sacrifices, evil relationships and abominable sexual practices and all such things. Egypt, for Israel, was a metaphor for sin. And though they were now out of Egypt, Egypt was not out of them. They proved that when they fashioned a golden calf to worship instead of waiting for Moses to return with the Word of the Lord for them.
So the Law was necessary to redirect their thinking, and define for them what was acceptable and unacceptable of human actions, interactions, relationships, words, their worth and the value of the lives of others. Ultimately, and most importantly they had to learn how to worship God, His way. It was through their worship of God that they would come to know God and overtime to understand His covenant relationship with them through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and finally Jesus the Messiah. The Law was their teacher and the foundation of the Law was the Ten Commandments.
When we embrace the Law as a teacher, as a tutor whose purpose is to show us right and wrong and to help us to understand the ways of God that stand in contrast to the natural fallen nature of all humankind, male and female, we can measure our lives against the Holiness of God.
The Laws of Moses was a vast body of rules and regulations that were given to the people through Moses to be administered by the priesthood of Aaron. They were fundamentally based on blood sacrifices to be made at the Tabernacle in the wilderness and later at the Temple in Jerusalem, the place of the presence of God with His people.
The presentation of the sacrifice was the primary pathway of worship. We are likewise called to present ourselves as sacrifices to God, as living sacrifices. We are called to be vessels yielded completely to the will and pleasure of God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
Our obedience to the spirit of the Law leads us to life. But if we only do what we do because we feel compelled by the Law but our hearts are not in it, that is not worship.
Written in the Old Testament and quoted in New Testament.
“Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…” Isaiah 29:13
“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8
The Law and Grace as pertaining to salvation and to daily living are not incompatible. The one is necessary to fully comprehend the other.
What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the Law? There are two Laws at work in the world, The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the Law of sin and death. We are free from the Law of sin and death through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which fulfilled the law of sin and death, but we are made alive to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus because He was raised from the dead and is alive forevermore.