Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Law, God's Grace in Action

I was listening to a podcast this morning while in my car.  The subject of the podcast was the current and reoccurring skirmish over the confusion by some between justification and sanctification,  and the proliferation of antinomianism, in particular among the nuevo-reformed.  One of the comments during the discussion caught my attention, and it was, "The Law is your enemy until coming to Christ, but your friend afterward, because it condemns before you come to Christ, but comforts afterward."

I want to take issue with that statement, because I think that the Law has always been man's friend, even while still a sinner.  Yes, the Law does condemn, but in its condemning the sinner, the sinner understands that he is a sinner, and is thus prepared for the good news of salvation.  The Law is of grace, God's grace to the sinner that informs him about his sin and its resultant condemnation. Why is the Law of grace?  Let's consider the reasons why.

1. Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  Romans 3:20
2.  The work of the Law is written in the heart, which causes the conscience to bear witness and the thoughts to accuse or defend. Romans 2:15
3. The Law is a tutor which leads us to Christ. Galatians 3:24
4. The Law is good.  Romans 7:12-13

Is something that shows you that you are a sinner your enemy?  If so, every time we tell someone they are a sinner, and need a savior, we are being their enemy; and nothing could be further from the truth, as telling someone the truth about their spiritual condition is the most loving thing we can do.  Yes, the Law is God's holy and righteous standard, and we cannot meet it; but in giving us that standard the Lord has shown us the sin that stands between us and Him so that we don't blithely go along our merry way thinking everything is alright and that we are good people who are deserving of heaven while on our way to eternal destruction.  So, yes indeed, the Law is our friend, our great friend and not our enemy, even while it is condemning us.

Another issue while we are on the subject of the Law.  There has been an artificial distinction made between Law and Gospel, and how both need to be preached; when in actuality the Law is part of the Gospel, an important part of the Gospel; and the Gospel would not be the Gospel without it.  Read I Timothy 1:8-11. So in preaching the Gospel, and sharing the Gospel, don't leave the Law out.  In fact, the exclusion of the Law from the Gospel is what leads to a Gospel which is about you, and God giving you a wonderful life. Without the Law there is no need for repentance, and Christ was pretty clear in Mark 1:15 when He said, "Repent and believe in the Gospel."  If there is no condemnation for sin, where then is the need to repent?  If there is no condemnation for sin, where is the need for a Savior?  Without the Law Pelagianism reigns.

For too long the Law has been given a bad rap.  It is time for us to thank the Lord for the Law; for its condemnation that led us to salvation, and its comfort now as we see it operative in us. (Jeremiah 31:33) And it is time for us to be sure that we understand that the Law is a most vital part of the Gospel, and to be sure we don't leave it out, and therefore deprive people of a measure of God's saving grace.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Living for His Glory?

 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world…
Psalm 19:1-4b

So if the heavens are telling of the glory of  God, should not we?  Man, as the apex of God’s creation, man as the one created in the image of God, should be the one aspect of His creation that brings Him the greatest glory, and praises Him in the greatest way.

I Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

The whole world is a theater for the glory of God, and your life is one of its many stages.
A life that is not lived for the glory of God is a life that is lived for naught.  It is a life that has accomplished nothing of eternal value.  It is a life that has received its only reward here on earth.  A life lived for God and His glory is a life lived for eternity, and a life that will reap eternal rewards.  For in the final analysis, you will either live for God's glory or live for your own.