Posts tagged ‘God’s Law’

God’s Law & How We Are Answerable!

This post is a tribute to my dear brother Melvin Everingham on his birthday. A man whom God has used as a conduit of His reproof and blessing in my life. Mel is someone I look upon as an elder brother for the study resources he has provided me to satiate my yearning to know the Lord. Another reason am writing on this subject is because Mel asked me to do so a while back.

Let’s take a look at Rom 2:12-16

Rom 2
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

A look at the above passage helps you understand that the truth is: life is best enjoyed on God’s terms because life is powered by God (John 14:6). The unbeliever might see that there is no place for God in the world but what characterizes the world’s ignorance about God is their wishful thinking and their lack of interest to connect the dots, which comes from their nature to alienate themselves from the truth about everything including themselves. The reason the world finds truth generally bitter is because they are estranged from God. From the fall of Adam, man is a law to himself because the interest he serves is his own (not God’s) and when he looks at the world, he sees no future for himself in it and so his perspective on the future of world is one which is filled gloom and despair. Take a look at the popular movies like Mad Max, Resident Evil and Terminator created by unbelieving Hollywood, these movies showcase a future where the earth is desolate. The case of the unbeliever is thereby one of deep despair because no matter how far up the social ladder he is in life, he is not conscious of the fact that world exists to serves God’s purpose and not his own. So, the unbeliever in his conceit naturally fantasizes of the desolation of the earth for such is the fate he succumbs to outside God. The unbeliever from his incapacity to grateful to God, fails to understand that he couldn’t be where he is currently, with the kind of degenerate outlook he has towards life and God, but such is common grace and sovereign nature of God, that He is Lord over the unbeliever as He is over the believer, while He reveals Himself as a Saviour only to the believer through Jesus’ saving grace (John 1:12-13, 17-18).

Exodus 20:14 (Action)
“You shall not commit adultery.

Leviticus 20:10 (Penalty)
‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

Mat 5 (Intention)
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Before I talk about the verses above, if you are not familiar with the Moral Law of God, I would suggest you read about Judicial Law and Moral Law, so you would get a deeper perspective on the subject. Now we know that man was created in the image of God, in the sense that man was created to share the very nature of God. This nature is revealed in the Moral Law and hedged by the Civil/Judicial Law. It is within the confines of this Law that we can live and enjoy life to the fullest because we are simply men living in God’s world. You might ask, how can this be possible? My answer is, it is only possible in Christ because in Jesus, God overcomes our rebellion and supplants our fallen self-serving nature with a nature that yearns to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This is the spiritual rebirth a believer enjoys in Jesus Christ and it is this living spirit we share which make us brothers & sisters in Jesus because if blood can make people siblings since life is in the blood as the Bible teaches, then how much more does the life giving Holy Spirit make those who believe in Him, brother and sisters in Jesus. Now coming back to the scripture quoted above, we need to look at these in the light of Deut 6:8, which teaches that the believer both meditates and acts on the Law of God in his life because to bind God’s Law on your forehead refers to meditate on His Law while to bind His Law on your right hand is to be a doer of His Law. It is for this reason James 1:23 teaches that the Law of God is as a mirror (yardstick) into which the believer looks and works upon his own character in willingly yielding to God who calls the believer out of the world and grafts them to His family adopted in Christ (Rom 8:29). It must be understood that Jesus did not come to do away with the Law (Mat 5:17-20) but to enrich our understanding of it. In Mat 5:27-28 above, we see that Jesus is not merely emphasizing on how our actions must adhere to the Law but also how our thoughts must adhere to it as well as emphasized in Deut 6:8. This is made possible through spiritual regeneration in which we receive the mind of Christ (1Cor 2:16). This goes to show that we are answerable to God not just for our actions but also for our intentions (Prov 16:2/Jer 17:10). So the Judicial Law hedges the Moral Law in the sense, that it is when a person actions his wicked intention, by acting them out against his neighbour/s, that the Civil/Judicial Law kicks in and eliminates him from society in order to maintain the civil aspect of civilization. Now let’s continue reading from Mat 5:28 above, through verses 29 & 30 and though these are figuratively speaking, you will find some startling similarity with what it is said in Deut 17:6-7 (below).

Mat 5
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Deut 17:6-7
 On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.  The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So, you shall purge the evil from your midst.

For all those hyper-grace antinomians posing as Christians out there, I would like to add a small disclaimer to this piece I have written. Please note: we are not saved by the Law, we are saved by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-10). As much as a seed is not its fruit so to salvation is by grace through faith alone but we know that the seed is for real when it grows into a tree and bears fruit. The Christian life is not a lawless one, the Christian life has a Standard and that Standard is the Moral Law… the very nature/image of God in which we were made and restored to in Christ (Rom 5:17). As for the rapture believing premillennialist, it is the tares that go first because unless you haven’t noticed the wicked die early (Job 21:7-13). As for the #karma believing humanists of the world, please understand that that karma (Luke 6:38) you go ga-ga about, only protects your interest because as I sighted in Rom 2:12 at the start of this blog post, those who sin without the Law happen to also perish without the Law. For those of you who differ with me concerning what defines godliness, please know I have nothing personal against you. I am only focused on speaking the truth about God here and the truth about God is known make unbelievers uneasy, after all it reveals the intention with which your Creator made you, and though a Godly life is tough, the detour/denial is even tougher because there you are on your own. It’s either God’s way or the Highway. Finally, for those you who are seeking the Lord and feel God calling out to you in His Son Jesus (John 15:19), to you brother/sister I have a duty given me in the Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20) and I must tell you that God loves you as I leave you what Jesus requires of you. So, go in the peace of Christ to love and serve the Lord dear brother/sister.

Mat 22
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God bless…

​Peace, on whose terms?

Isaiah 2
2 Now it will come about that in the last days The Mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

There is a lot of meaning in the above verses, which I would like to exposit for you as your spiritual manna (Exo 16:15/Luke 22:19), out of my love for the Lord Jesus (John 21:15-17). Verse 2 needs to be understood in the context of Dan 2:45 & Heb 8:10-11, which in the light of Col 1:16-20 says that God is going to increase His righteousness upon the earth with time, till all the earth is filled with the knowledge of God (Hab 2:14) and unbelief will be an insignificant minority. Verse 3 needs to be looked at in the context of Rev 22:17 and Mat 28:18-20, which speaks about the Holy Spirit calling the people to hear the preaching and the teaching of the Gospel. Speaking about Law, we ought to understand that there are three aspects of Law i.e. Judicial Law, Ceremonial Law and Moral Law. The Judicial Law is what is given the State to maintain Law and Order in society, while the Ceremonial Law was given the Old Testament Church as pointing to the redemptive work of Christ, while the Moral Law is the standard given every believer to live by. Today, very few Churches have such an understanding of Law, for most Churches in holding to Christ and rightfully doing away with the Ceremonial Law (Heb 10:1-7), they unwittingly reject the Moral Law and the authority of the State concerning the Judicial Law as well, owing to their poor understanding of the Bible. The Moral Law is the very character of God, as described in Psalm 119, which goes from Alef to Tav (Old Testament Hebrew)… like the Alpha and the Omega (New Testament Greek) we are familiar with in ascribing to the Lord Jesus (Rev 1:8). When the Law goes forth in verse 3 i.e. God’s word goes forth from Zion, we know that those who receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour shall glorify His grace and mercy (John 3:16) but those who refuse Him shall glorify His wrath and justice (John 3:18/Rom 2:12) because God’s Word shall not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). Every believer taken from the family of Adam and grafted to the Church, inherits this nature of God in being conformed to the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29). This is the very purpose of every human being, who are all made in the image of God, broken in Adam but restored to all godly fullness in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is from here we understand that if there is to be peace in the world, it can only be on God’s terms and never our own but this peace is what God is going to bring about by His might because nothing in creation exist which does not serve His righteous purpose and so as the Church is given to walk by faith and not mere sight (2Cor 5:7), we learn from verse 5 to walk in the light of His promise concerning Salvation because Salvation is not based on merits of depraved men (Psalm 49:7-15) but on the saving merits of the righteous Jesus Christ (Rev 5:7-12).

Psalms 37
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Mat 5
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

John 1 (in reference to Jesus)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Concerning our adoption into the family of God, we understand from scripture that this is according to the will of God. If believing in the Lord Jesus Christ was something established purely on a person’s free will then that person would never be a new creation in Christ (2Cor 5:17) and could never conform to the likeness of Christ nature unless there is a complete change in the orientation of his/her desires, where a person no longer delights in pleasing himself/herself but his/her delight is in the Lord, which is what being born from above is all about (John 3:3). If we understand the implications of the fall of Adam and Original Sin, we then recognize that the reason each person is self-serving naturally from birth is because each person is a law to themselves. Thankfully the Sovereign will of God presides over our free will and so we have institutions like the State in place, which is given to function by the Judicial Law and this is what keeps unbelievers in check from the fear of being apprehended by the Law but as for the believer, he/she is given the very Moral law of God as his/her own nature/character and so he has nothing to fear from the Judicial Law because unlike the world fallen in Adam (1Tim 1:8-9), his/her desire is not sin in pleasing of self at all costs but his/her desire is God in exercising the righteousness of God.

Mat 10
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

The Moral Law as taught to us in Exodus 20:1-17 and Mat 22:36-40 says we ought to love God first and second love our neighbour at par with ourselves. However, the citizens of the world in their unbelief do not see God as first but themselves and so everything else and every other person is nothing more than the means they use to serve themselves. We ought to understand that people in their unbelief are incapacitated from finding security in God, instead people find security in the masses and so they are ok doing wrong and believing in a bunch of lies as long as they have many people with them doing the same thing. These fools are not accountable to God, they are unreasonably accountable to only themselves and that is why they live as they please. Take the instance of the Parable of the Vine-growers (Mark 12:1-12), the defaulting tenants here are the unbelievers who go about life with their poor stewardship over the earth, as coming from their refusal of God and when the real stewards show up these defaulting tenants give in to their destructive nature and act maliciously towards the adopted sons of God who are the real heirs of the earth, because Adam’s failed stewardship upon the earth is restored to only those who are in Christ.

John 15
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

As much as a thief hates being called a thief and a homosexual likes being called gay, we ought to understand that the world hates the truth about themselves but will God cease to exist so as to allow the world to continue living by their foolish lies just as they so please, that will verily not happen and so we ought to understand that the world hates the Church & God, only because we reveal to them that they are on the highway to hell. So peace can never be on the terms of every individual in this world because they are each a law to themselves in their broken communion with God i.e. their righteousness of self is not the righteousness of God thanks to the fall to Adam, who relieved himself of the righteousness of God to receive to himself and for his posterity a righteousness of their own (Gen 3:1-6). The reason God put the Judicial Law in place (1Tim 1:8-9), is because from the world’s self-righteousness comes the world’s desire for anarchy and death. It is no wonder that the people of the world are fascinated with substance-abuse which throws them out of the control while near-death experiences proves to be their entertainment because it feeds their appetite for death and anarchy with such a godless rush. It is for reasons such as these that peace can never be on the terms of self-seeking men/women who sabotage what is good; on the contrary peace is on the terms of God’s righteousness and so for peace to exists there is need for truth and revelation of God, which is where the Word of God comes in (Rom 10:17), in tutoring us about the saving merits of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:26).

Hebrews 4
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

2Tim 3
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

To conclude, we know from John 1:1-18 that the Word of God, is God i.e. Jesus Christ. We also know from John 4:24 that God is Spirit and from 2Tim 3:16-17 that scripture is God breathed, meaning it is the very life-giving breath of God that gives every believer life in Christ (John 20:22), which was formerly lost for all in Adam (Gen 2:7,17). So I would close by echoing the fact that this peace of God, which am talking about is not going to be brought by the willingness of men but by the mighty nature of God. This peace that God is going to usher into this world is metaphorically described in Isaiah 11: 1-11, which I would strongly advise you to read. The Stump of Jesse or the Root of Jesse in Isaiah 11 bears reference to the Lord Jesus Christ (since the Messiah was prophesied to come from the lineage of David), while the Mountain of the Lord bears reference to the people of God i.e. His Church, which will be firmly established in that day. For those who have a gloomy disposition concerning the end of the world, I would like to tell you that that gloomy disposition only reflects your unbelief because unbelief is never constructive in nature but destructive and God does not share in that fallen nature. It is for this reason when we look at Isaiah 60:20-22 and 1Pet 3:1-13 in the light of Ezek 36:27, we understand that the Lord by His sovereign will shall move His people to delightfully hasten righteousness in world, so as to hasten His coming because the ending is going to be a happy one.

Peace (Luke 10:5-6)!

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