Tuesday, August 3, 2010

LOVE--NOT LAW--BROKE OPEN THE GATES OF HELL



NOTE:  I was sent questions in reference to this discussion of law and grace by a brother who wants to know if I believe that David, Enoch, Abraham and Isaac were real people in history.  This brother has made it clear that he believes we must believe in Christ by faith, and that we must also keep the Torah, the Old Testament Law.   I responded with this:


Dear Brother:


These were real men, who lived in space/time like us.  God does not play games.  He teaches us through the lives and the experiences of real people, and acts in the lives of these real people, like you and me.  

Why are you asking me these questions, instead of responding to the Scriptures with praises to Christ?  What I teach is not some hard-to-understand gospel, but the simple gospel of the apostles as given them by the One and Only, Christ the Messiah.  

There is no language barrier, no cultural barrier, no barriers to understanding except our own unwillingness to face the simplicity of what Jesus Christ came to do.  His Kingdom is within us, and has nothing to do with keeping the Old Covenant.  There is a reason that the apostles called it the Old Covenant.  It is passed away, and as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, all things have become new.

This conversation is beginning to remind me of some of Jesus' conversations with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, when our Lord would speak clearly to them, even using Scripture, and they would quickly put their heads together and think up some tangential question to ask Him to trip Him up.  Is that your intent, brother, to catch me in some error?  Or is it your intent to know the Truth, straight from the Scripture?

It is my intent, and my calling, to preach and teach the gospel straight and true, exactly as handed us in Scripture, and to thus be true, as the apostles were, to their Lord Jesus Christ.  This is my only intent, to build up others who would follow Christ in their every good intent.  

I pray that you and all others who seek the Lord with a pure heart would be filled with Christ, and Christ only, to the extent of His Will.  May the Spirit guide you into knowing it is all Christ, and nothing we do on the outside, whether how we talk, or how we dress, or which "principles and precepts" we try to live by, are necessary to know Him and to be saved.  As the apostle John says, "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did."  (1 John 2:6)

By this, John meant our character would become like Jesus, and thus, our actions would follow.  This is the work of the Spirit.  He did not mean we would wear sandals and a robe.  If he had, he would have said that.  He did not mean that everyone, everywhere who follows Christ on the earth was to speak in the original Hebrew.  Thinking of these outward things as sacred in some way is the first step into religion.  Jesus spoke against the Pharisees because they were careful to clean the outside of the cup, meaning they were careful about outward religious observances, yet this left them open to becoming dirty on the inside, which included pride and greed.  He said the inside is what matters, and if you clean that, the outside will take care of itself. (Luke 11:39-52)

Again, I state that Scripture teaches us the New Covenant of grace is now in effect.  The Old Covenant of Law was fulfilled and completed on the cross.  

When Jesus rose by the Father's power, He first descended into the Abyss and broken open the gates of hell, not by the using the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Tablets as a battering ram on those gates, but by the power of love He showed us when He died for us.  He didn't come back from the grave to remind us to keep the Law.  He came back to give us His Spirit, which lives in us, and empowers us to live the same life He lived among us.

This is the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This is the faith of David, and Enoch.  This is the faith of Joseph, and Moses, and Ezekiel, because it is the faith they lived and died for, though the fulfillment was not seen by their eyes in their time.  This is the faith of every man and woman listed in the roll call of faith in Hebrews Chapter 11.  And this is the faith we cherish and protect by the Word of God.  

May those who preach Christ as sufficient for all be blessed today.  I pray that all of us would find this "mystery of godliness" (Eph. 1:9; Col. 1:6) which is available to all.  This mystery is that Christ, without Law, empowers us to become Him in the world by His Spirit.

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He would strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."  (Eph. 3:16,17)

A. Brother Gary

3 comments:

  1. Didn't Christ Himself speak against the law, and even break (or go against) some of them???

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brother Dot:

    Yes, He did. And Jesus didn't do anything by accident. He was showing all men that the Law was given to lead men to Him, not as an end in itself. By the first council in Jerusalem in Acts 15, the people of God had agreed that Jesus never taught them to keep the Mosaic Law. This was not a burden that God intended us to carry. As the Jews missed the point of the Law, which was to bring them to a saving faith in God as Abraham possessed, so we will miss God's point in Christ today if we believe we must keep the Law in order to be saved.

    To any man who teaches Mosaic Law must be kept today, I quote the Word of the apostles and elders from Acts 15:10: "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." These were Jewish believers in Christ who declared this. So--now neither Jew nor Gentile who comes to Christ is burdened with that burden of keeping the Law of Moses anymore.

    To freedom in Christ, who purifies us to live holy and godly lives by the Spirit's power!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen, I have to say that this is where I struggle in a personal relationship I have. We try to discuss the Bible and our own relationships with Christ, but it always, always gets twisted and contorted back to Mosaic law. As we have spoken personally about this, you know my frustration. As you clearly state and reference, the old Mosaic Law doesn't bind us, it is a Yoke that will hold us down from the true law...Love God more than yourself/myself and Love others. As someone I know has said, if you walk down the street and spit on an old lady's head, how many commandments have you broken...none is the answer. Yet, it doesn't exemplify what Christ was teaching does it, no, it is the opposite. Because if you focus on laws and the sterility it brings to our life, you can see where the true design or message of Christ is lost. Simply to Love not hold people to standards they can't meet. Thank you for writing this, it surely will help me. I pray that someday that the gap will be bridged between me and the other and our differing philosophies.

    ReplyDelete

Please give me your honest response.

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