Friday, April 16, 2010

The Law and Its Uses

God's Law
  1. "You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. "
  3. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."
  4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
  5. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. "
  6.   "You shall not murder."
  7. "You shall not commit adultery. "
  8. "You shall not steal. "
  9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." "
  10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."  Exodus 20:3-17
Summary of the Law: 

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  Matthew 22:37-40

Three Legal Uses of the Law
  1. To keep us from beating each other up and taking each others' stuff (authority)
  2. Show us our need for a savior
  3. Show Christians what a good work is.
The only way the Law can save you is if you keep it perfectly from the moment you are born.  (Although there is a problem with:  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.  Psalm 51:4-6)  IF the Law could save you, there would have been no need for Christ to die on the cross.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Samuel 12:24

Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

In this verse Samuel is addressing the children of Israel.  They have had a history of being faithful for a time then falling away from the LORD.  Samuel admonishes the Israelites for even wanting a king.  God was supposed to be the nation's king.  He (Samuel) says in verse 13:  And now, behold the king whom you have chosen (Saul), for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you. (14)If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.  (15) But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.

At this point, the children of Israel have already received the ten commandments.   They have found that it is not possible to keep the commandments (law) perfectly, so God set up a sacrificial system to atone (pay) for their sins.

So back to verse 24,  Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart.  Since we already know that this is impossible, why would Samuel say this?  When one fears the LORD and serves him faithfully, it means that the individual is living a life of continual repentance.  NOT serving him faithfully will all of his heart.  Of course it is something we can strive for, but we should not judge ourselves by how faithfully we have served, because it is not quantifiable.  If it were, we would fall woefully short anyway.

That is why faith is crucial.  That is why Jesus died on the cross.  Hebrews 11:6 reads:  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He Is Risen!

(image from

If this were the end of the story, we would still be in despair, without hope and forgiveness of sins.  "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed."  Isaiah 53:5

(image from google search)

Because of this, we are able to believe, in faith, repent, and receive forgiveness of sins.  "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  2 Corinth. 5:21