Daily Devotion: Made Right with God By Not Obeying the Law

Pin It

Bible Readings for Thursday, June 16th, 2011 – The Week of The Holy Trinity

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 8

Job 38:1-11

1 Timothy 1:8-12a

  • When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? – Psalm 8:3-4
  • Who determined (the earth’s) measurements– surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone – Job 38:5-6
  • … even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, – 1 Timothy 1:13

The Law is Good, The Law is Impossible

The Apostle Paul has a interesting set of views on God’s Law:

1 Timothy 1 – The Law is Good

8. Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately.
9. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers,
10. fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching
11. that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Galatians 2 – We Should Not / Cannot Live By the Law

16. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
17. But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!
18. Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.
19. For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.
20. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.

Romans 7 – The Law Exposes Our Sin

7. Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”
8. But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
9. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
10. and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
11. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.
12. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.

1 Timothy 1 – Mercy Through Christ

12. I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service,
13. even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14. and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Is Paul contradicting himself? Or is Paul the possessor of a Great Truth, which often sounds like confusion and contradiction to the uninitiated, the indoctrinated many?

I believe, with all my soul, that it is the latter: if we but take a moment to really consider what Paul is saying, we will become the possessors of a Great Truth:

  • The Law is Good: The Law of God was created with love, and the best of intentions into a hard, violent, and desolate world. Hard times call for hard measures.
  • The Law Exposes Our Sin: However, the Law was not meant as a means of life, but rather as a revaluation of spiritual death. It exposes to a hard and arrogant people their shortcomings, their spiritual failures and weaknesses. Even the most ardent among us will always fail before the harsh light of the law. This is to expose us all as sinners, equal before God, so that none can boast they are better than the other.
  • The Old Law Should Not Be Followed: Once we begin to die to the ways the world, to the Self, and Christ comes to live within us, we no longer need to concern ourselves with the Law. We only need to love, forgive, and love, which is infinitely more difficult that the Old Law, but only possible through God’s Grace and Mercy, from which we all receive equal portion.

We need to at least try to attempt the Law, so that we can come to realize how badly we need the Grace of Christ.

Once we admit how far we miss the mark, we can be ready to adopt the New Law:

John 13

34. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
35. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

1 John 2

7. Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before.
8. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it.

We are saved by the Grace and Mercy of God, not by any act of our own, so that none may boast.

It is by love we will show we are Christ’s disciples, Disciples of the Word, not by empty proclamations of belief,  displays of public piety, or by staged shows of fealty.

By love.

 

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

If you liked what you read, please share it. If you didn't like what you read, please share it.

Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

Comments

  1. AMEN. Certainly, this also includes “tough love” at times (even Jesus expressed tough love on occasion), but LOVE nonetheless. Love at the beginning, love along the way, love to the end, and love beyond…

Leave a Reply