The Law, The Law, The Law!
What is the Law? Well, it is many things. For one, we can say it is the “mirror of our soul.” In fact, it was written by the hand of God on two stones. Why two stones? When we speak of God we naturally speak of the Law, two entities, joined into one. Furthermore, a stone can be considered to be eternal; the Law, God’s Law, The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17), however, is eternal.
But what do people glibly say? Even many professed Christians? “All I hear is the Law, the Law, the Law. Don’t talk to me about the Law. Just let me live my Christian life.!” They even go further and say, for example, “we are not interested in the Law, but in love. Let’s forget about the Law and just love one another!”
The first commandment of the Law, however, “thou shalt have no other Gods, before me”(Ex. 20:3), is the beginning of one’s faith, the first step on a believer’s journey, but, many cannot recite it, and fewer can really explain it. Furthermore, if you say that your home is a Christian home, do you have the Law framed on the wall? Many homes have, however, “Home Sweet Home” framed and prominently displayed at the entranceway.
The first commandment, often, is not only the first of Gods’ Law, “thou shalt have no other Gods before me,” but, it can be said, it is the first transgression of man. Why? Because man, by not observing it, is not, therefore, in harmony with the Law of God.
How often, now, do we say lies, steal, covet, commit adultery? Yet, we think we keep the Law. In fact, how many believe truly that the Bible, in fact, is the word of God? If we believe it is, then we must do it! Right? Do what it says. I’ve entered many Christian homes, but in very few see the Law of God framed on the wall, or any other signs of being in a Christian home. Deut 6:4-9, tells us clearly our duty in this matter… “to teach the Law, to be in our heart, talk the Law, bind them, write them, post them on our house and gates.” Children enter a Christian home and immediately look up at the Law and say, “what is that?” It’s the first step. It’s easy. It’s the first step with God toward the Law of God, seeing it, reading it, hearing it, delighting in it, and then doing it.
We say we believe, and keep the Law, but, really don’t . For many it is not a “delight”, but “impossible”, a “yoke”, “ancient”. Consequently, many reject it or even deny its validity. What happens then? The results are written in Hosea 4:6, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This was manifested because of Israel’s willful ignorance. They forgot the Law of God.
God tells us how to behave, how to conduct our daily lives. Israel rejected this code of conduct, the Law, this standard. They fell because of three reasons: l. they did not do the will of God although they knew it! 2.they believed only in the liturgical law, and not the spirit of the Law, the spirit of God. Do we know it? 3. many know the Law merely (Math 5:29), but, no, no! It’s not enough! What do we need to know and do, then?
Many, however, know what “not to do”, a Law to them of “don’ts.” What happens then? Well, this develops into character traits, or an undesirable pattern, that is indelibly seared into our conscience, and daily conduct; a stamp of character that is the only individual mark that we will take with us to heaven.
What is your character like? Are you satisfied with it? Even with all of its flaws? Is your character like Jesus Christ’s? Are you striving for this goal? Or just indifferent? If you have no interest or are drifting, then you didn’t learn the Law of God, or forgot it.
The Law is our basic guide, a pillar of our faith, His character. The Law is beckoning, waiting to say something and do something in your life (Rom 2:17-27). But, we read, “they’re hard words” (John 6:60), and, “many disciples turned away”. For many today these are “hard words”. The Jews were just as guilty as the gentiles in their ignorance.
Do we keep the Law, or even think about it? Is it your standard for living? We see other signs of the Law, in Rom 3:20; “It’s a mirror of our lives”… our souls… if we keep it, how we keep it.
What are you interested in having the Law do for you, your character? What is the biggest desire and goal for you in this perilous life? Here are some answers: a new heart, to keep the Law, to love man, to see Jesus, to change character, to prosper, and more.
But, we often see God in a different way, the Sabbath in a different way, our brethren in a different way, humans in a different way. But, Jesus is not hard to understand. We were all created, firstly, under one universal Law. Laws are made by all governments, and often harder to keep than God’s Law, but we still respect them. So, moreover, there is the law of the universe, man’s civil laws, private laws, family laws (I like this). When God created the world, a Law was firmly established and implemented. But, in heaven there were many angels that felt they wanted to be freed from its “slavery,” and followed Satan, one third of the angelic host. Was the Law too hard? No! Was the heavenly Law of God too hard? No! We’ll be freed from the “slavery” of sin and suffering by the Law. In heaven the Law existed before Adam, and Moses. It was in the heart of the angels.
We said the Law is love, “If you love me you’ll keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) If one “loves”, what is so hard? Anything is possible! If there is real love in the heart, all can be done. Lucifer, however, wanted to be like God, as God, God’s position. As long as the Law existed, Satan not only wanted His (Jesus Christ’s) character, but His power, as an equal, and over-and-above God!
Whoever doesn’t want the character of God destroys the Law, tramples on it. The Law simply says, “don’t sin”. If one doesn’t accept the Law, he rejects Jesus Christ. What does the Law do to one? The Law throws me down to earth, into the dust, then causes me to raise my eyes to Jesus Christ, and give thanks. But, the Apostle Paul never says the Law was erased, or done away with. But, the liturgical law, the law “nailed to the cross,” are in fact one and the same, and are mistaken and confused with the Law, the Ten Commandments.
Paul, again, tells us in Gal 5, that we are debtors “to do the whole Law,” (Ten Commandments), (v-3), and that the “Law is fulfilled in one word: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (v-14). He continues, that, “we walk in the spirit, not of the flesh” (v-16), but in the “fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (v-22, 23)
John writes, furthermore, that, “we know Him if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.”(John 2:3-5). He continues, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (burdensome). (1 John 5:3)
What’s the love of God, therefore? To keep His commandments. If it is hard or burdensome, it’s “Ego.” In our humble faith, we can have the victory, the faith to keep the Law.
For salvation, and to reach the coveted goal of salvation, we need to do four things: l. realize that we are sinners. 2. that the Law reveals this to us. 3. to reach for Jesus Christ, who frees us from sin. 4. know that the church teaches us how to develop our character unto holiness.
Now then, if we let go of the gleaming Law in our lives, the link to heaven is broken; a lacking, a void exists and we’re “weighed in the balances.” Harmony with God is altered and weakened.
It is here, therefore, that the righteousness of Jesus Christ enters to cover and bolster us. But, we need to do something, not idly wait for miraculous “happenings”. We need to abandon voluntary sin, and to repent, “for if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”(Heb 10:26) Here, therefore, is the battle! He is ready, however, to help us, nurture us, when, and if we repent of all. It’s here where we desperately need the Holy Spirit to show us that Jesus truly and willfully saves, by approaching Him.
Jesus Christ says, “be ye perfect as my Father is perfect.” (John 17:23)(Math 5:48) But, how can we be perfect in a world rife with sin, peril, and wickedness? Look to Jesus Christ. Lean on Jesus Christ. Isn’t Jesus Christ the Law? Forever? His character? His example? Go, therefore, in the spirit of the Law.
But, always, unfortunately, we have an idol bigger than God. Also, an ego that just doesn’t die! We can try to remove it, but can only push it aside. An early American idiomatic expression says, “put it on the back burner.” Moreover, we all have a “bad-old-heart”. We stubbornly, and tenaciously want to live as before. No change in our ways, and habits, it seems, but living in and for self.
Our main interests seem centered in our problems and the problems of the world, rather than realizing that trials are for our own good, perfecting and testing our character, and maturing our faith spiritually.
But, by grace we know the spirit of the Law, the spirit of Jesus and eternal life. We live, however, steeped in our stifling problems and trials. Yet, we want to be free of them. If we continue to dwell on them and struggle with them, and keep looking back, we’ll never reach heaven and the Kingdom of God.
Walk, therefore, in Jesus, keep the Law, pray fervently, Do as He has told us, listen to His voice (the Bible), and “be still and know that He is God”.
You cannot speak regarding Jesus without the Law. Nor can you speak regarding the Law without Jesus. Think about this! Jesus had to die for the Law so it would not change. With the grace of Jesus Christ, we can be saved.
Can we, finally, keep the Law, the Ten Commandments? Yes, yes, we can, with prayer. Here is the battle! Prayer! We can, however, keep the Law, if we want to. Here’s another battle! What else? Is it too hard to keep the Law, as so many ignorantly believe? No! No! For, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil 4:13)
Jesus Christ gives us the coveted power we need.
When weak, and discouraged, kneel and pray… to keep The Law, The Law, The Law!
John Theodorou, U.S.A.