Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Application of the Law of God

In my last post I talked about the Operation of the Law of God. That brought some comments about the Application of the Law of God. So how applicable are the principles of the Ten Commandments to 21st century Christians?

There are several problems with this question. First, many people have a view of the Law that Moses brought to the people that holds that people were saved by keeping the Law. Then Christ came and provided a new way to come to God. The problem with this view is that it establishes a paradox where some are saved by faith while in the past people were saved by their own work and merit. Hebrews however, clearly shows that all the OT saints came to God in faith.

Second, and more important, there are those who want to comb through the NT to find which of the Ten Commandments are reiterated and thus still applicable to us today. My first thought is that they all are because Jesus told the Pharisees that the Commandments where summed up by, "Love God; love others," and that all the scriptures "hang on this." If we understand that this rubric: love God; love others, is the Law in a nutshell then all the law is still applicable. My next answer to this thought is that if the Law is principial and if God is immutable why is there even any question as to whether there is any application to us? Of course there is! God is not changeable and so the principles by which we relate to Him will not change either.

Now I had some comment about the specific example I used from Commandment IV which gives us the Sabatical Principle. I used this because I think it is the one of the most glaring examples of how the Evangelical Church in America is turning away from God. Our whole view of the Lord's Day is off. Christians rarely ever even call Sunday "The Lord's Day" any more. To many it is just a random day that someone chose and decided to have church on. So therefore if we want to have church Saturday evening and then hit the lake all day Sunday that is fine too. The idea that God desires that we take 14% of our week and set it aside to worship Him is lost on most who call themselves Christians. And the concept that observing the Lord's Day might require some sacrifice of preparation is really not on the radar screens.

So the point is that God gave us His Law to teach us what He is like; to inform us of our duty toward the God who has reached out to us in mercy and showered us with grace; and to elucidate how far short of His Glory we have fallen. The Law is wrapped up in the Gospel. It marks out our deadness; and delineates Christ's perfect righteousness. Then we can appreciate our Lord as we see Him spill His own blood. Then we are driven to cry out, "Wash me Savior, or I die!." And how can we go on making excuses for not keeping the Law? We do not keep the law out of any need to earn God's favor because we have already seen that it was an impossible task! We keep the covenant out of our deep love and respect for the One who turned away His just and righteous wrath from us toward His own Son!

We do not need to put the Ten Commandments in the public schools or fret about them being removed from the county courthouse, but they should be present in our homes and in our churches. The Ten Commandments will not fix our society beyond convicting people of their innate inability to please God, however, for those who are part of the Kingdom that is coming, they are indispensable.

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