Monday Musings for January 22, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

I get to talk about the law today… which is good. We who live in this Age of Grace often forget that the law does not go away… even for us Christians. Now, its curse goes away. But the curse is not its essence. Jesus fulfilled the law… that’s its essence. So the law was — and it will remain — important to all people of faith forever.

Since today’s questioner asked about the law in general terms, that freed me up to bang around the edges of the law, and what I rediscovered is that the law really is a critical part of everyone’s life — both the saved and the unsaved. You see, there is a moral component to us human beings that can’t be denied… although the physicalists (materialists, reductionists) out there make a living denying this. So here’s my challenge:

Read literature, journalism — and hey, even advertising — and you’ll find that every person pretty continuously deals with evil either as a perpetrator or as a victim. Evil is ubiquitous like the air…. so not everyone thinks about it every minute… we just go on living. But it doesn’t take too much looking around (or looking within) to see what’s going on. Everyone is either defending or contending… just as the Bible teaches.

Here’s a telling snippet: Jesus boiled the law down to two simple statements (Matthew 22:36-40). But some Jewish traditions see 613 laws in the Torah. Now, the thing I’m not doing here is comparing earnest Jews of any age with the Jews who opposed Jesus in his day. But their flagship crime was to omit the weightier matters of the law while imposing traditions of their own making (Matthew 23:23) — and you can see the dichotomy: two versus many… and the law is just that simple in our current age.

Was Jesus saying that if we love God fully and love our fellows as we should that the law will take care of itself? I wouldn’t be surprised if that were in the mix. After all, Paul spoke to the ubiquity of the unwritten moral code (Romans 2:14-15). But the creation itself points to redemption — which is serious business (Romans 8:22-23) — and it’s reasonable to say that the law points to that, too.

We humans are a sad lot. We were born in sin — born into creation’s groanings — and our birthright is condemnation (Romans 5:12). And as if that weren’t enough, the law came to show us why all this was true. But the law’s not all doom and gloom; the law hinted at a way out — and that way out was through. Jesus walked through the law — right to the cross! … and he invites all people to meet him there — at the end of the law.

For us who have done that, who have been saved by grace, the law persists… but as a schoolmaster… and as reasonable rules for life. But for those who have not participated in redemption— the very reason the universe exists — the law condemns them. There is no remission of sins without Jesus Christ. So accept no substitutes… and enjoy the musings.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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