THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LAW

Isn’t it amazing how even now, thousands of years later, most still have no idea what the Law of God was really for? The deception Adam brought into the human race is so deep rooted. Even after being saved there are so many living with the idea that they can actually keep the commandments. Let me just say, “You can’t!” The reason I can say that is because no one can! God’s plan was actually the opposite. He gave us his Law in order for us to see our need of Jesus Christ. The truth is the Law can only reveal our sin, condemn us for it, and show us our need for a Savior. Romans 3:20 tells us “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

You might ask “If he didn’t expect us to keep his Law why did he tell us to?” This is where we have to see things from his perspective. If he didn’t give us the command to perform we would never attempt it. Seeing how we are so deceived into thinking we are independent and can make ourselves like God he uses the Law as a mirror. He holds up this perfect, holy and righteous standard and tells us to have at it! Of course he has always known we couldn’t perform up to such a perfect standard but he wanted us to know it. Since we are so stubborn, prideful, self righteous and sure of ourselves, we set out to do it only to discover we can’t. This leads us to the real point of his plan and that is we might cry out to Jesus Christ to save us. Paul wrote to the Galatians “The Law has become our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”

This is the way God sets us free in his Son. We look at the perfect Law of God, exhaust ourselves trying to live up to its standard, and eventually find ourselves in a heap at his feet pleading for mercy. Because of the work Jesus Christ did on the cross dying for our sins and giving us his righteousness purely as a gift we can walk away free from the just and fair charges placed against us. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit…”

You see, our problem from God’s perspective wasn’t just that we were being bad and breaking his law. No, from God’s viewpoint we were in fact dead! God had already told Adam, in the Garden, before he ate of the forbidden tree. “The day you of it you shall surely die.” That is exactly what happened. Adam ate and died in his spirit. The life of God was no longer within him therefore he and we have a much bigger problem than disobedience. We need to be made alive. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life!” He didn’t say he came so you would obey all the rules, right? Paul said, “For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” You see God wants to fix our real problem by bringing life into our dead spirit. This is what Jesus being raised from the dead really means.

Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to enable us to receive his very life. It isn’t just that he washes us from our sins it’s about Christ in us the hope of glory! He is the way, the truth and the life! I pray we will start to understand he doesn’t just give us life– He is our life! From God’s vantage point when we place our faith in Christ we are saying, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.”

 “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”

Written by Louie

 

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GOD USES THE LAW TO DRIVE OUT THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT

Most of us have the idea we can do things on our own. Have you ever tried to help a child do something only to have them say to you “I can do it!?” Even though as the adult you could overpower the child and just do it for them; the only way they ever really see they can’t is by letting them try. Some children will try and try while others give in pretty quickly. The funny thing is some of us still behave this way even as we grow older. Jesus told us apart from him we can do nothing, but for some reason we continue to attempt doing things on our own.

The problem God has with man isn’t so much sin as it is our being so hard headed and not wanting to admit the truth. From the time Adam disobeyed in the Garden He’s been working on getting us back to the truth. The truth is we are hopelessly unable to live our lives in a manner pleasing to God. The reason is because we have a spirit of independence living within us and it has to be exposed. The question is how does God get our attention and show us our real problem?

God is so wise in the manner in which he deals with us. Rather than just force his way into our lives He plays along with us, at least for a while. He knows we are powerless without him, but we don’t yet know it. How will he bring this news to our attention?

You see the devil is the one that brought this whole independent spirit into being. He started this whole deception that we can be like God. He somehow has gotten the idea that he can make himself like God and has since infected the whole human race with the same deception. God understands clearly what our problem is so he set out to expose the lie and reveal the truth to us.

When God gave us his commandments the independent spirit within us had us believing we could keep them. God, knowing we can’t, says, okay give it your best shot then. Rather than just scrap the whole human race idea again, he came up with the plan of letting the law do what only it can do. While the law was always meant to reveal sin and lead us to Christ we, in our deceived state, started to believe we could actually obey it. Paul told us in Romans 5 “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase…” It wasn’t given to keep us from sinning but on the contrary it was given so sin would increase. This sounds kind of nutty at first but once God shows you, it will make all the sense in the world.

The Law wasn’t meant to be a list of dos and don’ts, it was given to show us what God is like. It’s as if God said, “You think you can be like me? Okay, here’s what I’m like give it a good try. When you discover you can’t do it you can come to me and receive the provision I offer you in my Son Jesus Christ.” The letter to the Galatians tells us “The Law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ” rather than something we can do. The truth is it’s a mirror so we might see we can’t.

You see, from God’s perspective we’re not good and bad people, rather we’re dead in our trespasses and sins. God wants to solve our real problem and give us life not just make us better people. The Law can’t make us good people but it can lead us to the one that can give us life. Galatians puts it like this, “If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

So, just like that little stubborn child, God knew all along we couldn’t meet the requirements, but seeing how hardheaded we were, he devised the perfect plan. Rather than berate us, He essentially said, “Okay, if you think you can do this I’ll tell you what it’s going to take and when you’ve finally gotten tired of trying and failing I’ll be right here waiting for you.” We give this thing called life a good go for a while only to find ourselves in a mess that only God can clean up; so when all our resources have been exhausted we fall at his feet in a pile and cry out “Who will deliver me?” Oh yeah, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Louie

THE WAY A THING WORKS

Norman Grubb
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We have, therefore, to delve deeper to get this into right perspective. We have already said that law can be defined as the way things work, and they don’t work any other way. At the creation only one law was given to man (the way man works)—the law of receptivity—“eat”. But man obeyed that simplest of all laws in reverse, by eating of the tree of self-sufficiency.

Now the situation changed. Instead of eating of the right tree and receiving Him who is love and who would live the love-life through him (which is the fulfillment of all law), he had been taken captive by the huge delusion that he could manage his own life. So now the history of law in our fallen world begins. God in mercy and grace meets man on his new blinded level and says in effect, “You can live your own life? Very well, here is the law. Man is made to love God with all his heart, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself. Obey it.”

In other words, God institutes an elementary and external form of law, suitable to man’s condition—the form of “do this and you will live”. Twice in the Scriptures it is called man’s elementary religion: “we, when we were children, were in bondage to the elements (rudiments) of the world…under the law”: and “wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (elements) of the world, why…are ye subject to ordinances, Touch not; taste not; handle not?”

Law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace, because it imposed an impossibility on man—that the selfish one should be selfless—and gave him the chance of discovering his truly lost condition.

Man’s response to law has been twofold. The first response damns, the second opens the door to salvation. The first response is hypocrisy, the second honesty. Hypocrisy means pretending to be what we are not. All men, including ourselves, have done that. We have sought to build our own righteousness and maintain our own respectability by pretending we keep God’s law, by keeping a very little of it where convenient: a little religion, a little ethics, and so on. What we really do is to display the one or two commands we do keep, but carefully hide the dozens we break. We cling to an eleventh commandment—Thou shalt not be found out! This attitude finally damns us, because it is not ultimately sin that damns; God has provided for that; it is dishonesty, refusal to admit and confess sin. “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…and hateth the light, neither cometh to the light.”

Man’s other response to law is honesty. Recognition that we are all law-breakers. That is the one capacity we have—recognition and admission of fact. That is what Jesus meant in the parable of the Sower, when he said the good seed fell into an “honest and good heart”.

Taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb