Who Needs the Law Anyways?

This post was split into two separate parts due to the length and the amount of time I wanted to spend developing the thought behind it.

If you haven’t read Part 1, you may want to in order to understand the background of Part 2.

All Bible texts are in the New King James Version
Kneeling at the Cross

PART 2:

Happy Sabbath everyone!

If you’re just here because you read the title and thought “Is this guy even Christian? What is this heresy,” hold tight and you’ll understand.

Hopefully you read my post a few days, and if you did, you’ll remember my interaction with a Muslim I know who we’ll called Tobias for the sake of privacy.If you did’t read it, I advise you to, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Tobias’ main question was “Why don’t Christians follow the law of God when Christ said He didn’t come to abolish the law?” He was legitimately confused by their sincerity to convert him to Christianity but their lack of commitment to the Law of God.

If you ask a number of Christians why they worship on the first day of the week and not the seventh (see Exodus 20: 8-11), or why they don’t follow the diet laws in Leviticus 11, both specified in the Law of God and made very clear, a great number of the responses may be “because we’re freed from the law”.

Unfortunately, as common as this belief is, there are many contradicting, and even heretical (oh no I said the H-word), underlying principles that are being set up against Christianity.

Let’s examine it, shall we?

I want you to imagine a line-up of seven people, objects, shapes, whatever you want, draw it if you have to, and label them like this:

Sin, Law, Grace, Savior, Gospel, Preacher, Church

We’ll begin our examination of the problem and it starts with a little, deadly thing called sin.

Sin is bad. I know this, you know this, God knows this. Even if you’re not Christian, you know the word sin has a very negative connotation. Sin is defined in the bible like this:

“Whoever commits sin commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4 )”

So sin is lawlessness. In other words, sin is the transgression of, or breaking, the law. Now we know from the book of Romans that there is a beautiful, larger-than-sin property of the universe that is called grace. Grace is sufficient for us to save us fromsin, which is breaking the law.

So grace is pardon for sin, which is breaking the law, and the Savior died that we might have grace which is pardon for sin, which is breaking the law.

You guy’s with me so far? Alright let’s keep going then.

Now, the Savior gave us the Gospel, which is the good news, about the Savior. Now the preacher preaches thegospel in the church.

Now the problem is that we have, in Christendom, men and women fighting the Law of God in the Church and they say that the Law is done away with. (Now remove Law from your imaginary line-up.)

But now, since the law is “done away with”, sin is also removed and done away with for

“…sin is not imputed when there is no law (Romans 5:13).”

(Now remove Sin from your imaginary line-up.)

And if you do away with Sin, you don’t need Grace which is pardon for sin which is breaking the law (Remove Grace from your line-up). And if you don’t need grace, you certainly don’t need a Savior (Remove Savior) who DIED so that we may have grace which is pardon for sin which is breaking the law.

And in that case you don’t need a Gospel (Remove Gospel) because the Gospel is the story of the Savior who died so that we may have grace which is pardon for sin which is breaking the law.

And if that’s true, what in the world do you need a Preacher for (Remove Preacher)? And if you don’t have the preacher, you might as well forget about Church (Remove Church).

Now look at what you have left.

It’s very simple. If you remove the law, you remove the need for a Savior to give us grace and save us from sin. You remove the very namesake of our beliefs and religion. Do you see how illogical that is? Does it make any sense, then, to say that we are freed from having to follow the Law because of the grace given by our Savior?

This is the problem that my friend Tobias, and hopefully, you as well, saw: without a Law, there can be no God. Of course there are much deeper theological implications regarding the origins of morality and the nature of God, but this is just an overview of the thought process.

The Law is now such a beautiful and amazing concept in that, without the Law, we would not have a Savior to catch us when we fall. We would not have be able to have an intimate, loving experience with our Creator that we can depend on to save us from even the darkest nights of terror. If you take away the Law, you take away our dependence on Jesus’ love and sacrifice for you and for me.

So, who needs the Law anyways?

All of us.

Abolished or Accepted?

This post will be split into two separate parts due to the length and the amount of time I want to spend developing the thought behind it.
Gavel and Bible 2

PART 1:

So today is Wednesday and as I sat and rested on my brown (faux) leather sofa in my living room I was reflecting on a bible study I had just given to a Muslim student yesterday.

This particular student, we’ll call him Tobias, was relating to me his experiences with Christianity that led to a mistrust of Christian theology. His mistrust of Christians as a Muslim was not unexpected, but what I didn’t expect were his reasons why. He started tell me about the many conversations he had been having with many Christians since he began college and a picture was painted for me as he spoke.

The fact that Tobias spoke to many Christians about their beliefs and doctrine automatically told me that this was someone who was genuinely interested in the Bible and what Jesus has to offer (grace, mercy, love, pardon, purpose, etc), but never found a satisfactory answer as to why he should consider putting his faith and life in Jesus’ hands. Here’s why…

You see, Tobias comes from a Muslim family and, in Islam, there are things that a Muslim can never do i.e. eat unclean foods, disrespect parents, worship things other than God, etc. Basically, they are required to keep the Law of God.

Of course there are differences between the Law of Muhammad in the Qur’an and the Mosaic Law that is found in the Bible, but the principle of staying true to the Law is the same. As Tobias talked to more and more Christians, he found that a lot of the Christians don’t keep the Law that was given to Moses by God that can be found in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy).

The very first thing he asked me when he met me, verbatem, was

“Why do you Christians say you love Jesus when you don’t follow the Law of God?”

Is that a loaded question or what? Immediately I got defensive and almost a bit offended but then I realized what he was asking. Interestingly enough, Tobias knew the Bible better than a lot of people because when I asked him what he meant, there was an instant flow of verses and logic that even the best preachers behind the pulpits could ever hope to attain and here it was from the mouth of someone from a different faith. In one simple paragraph Tobias beautifully painted a picture of the Law of God and why Christians should adhere to it if they really love Jesus and claim He is God.

Starting with Leviticus 11, Tobias began to explain his grievances toward Christianity and moved quickly to the system of Catholic Confession and Absolution and finally, to my surprise, the Seventh-Day Sabbath. He then finished with this question:

“If Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 ‘ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill’, why don’t Christians follow the law?”

I gave a sort of half-laugh, half-sigh and if he had a questioning look on his face before, it was downright confused now. It was clear that he expected some rebuttal to all of this and the age old argument saying how Jesus died and we’re no longer bound to the law and free to do what we please, but what he got amazed him: agreement.

Once I informed my Muslim friend that I eat halal (kosher [clean as stated in Lev. 11]) and that I believe Jesus is the only human ever to walk the earth with the power to forgive sins, and that I keep the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, he realized he found something different. He realized that he found a source of truth that could only come from God. Something that was in harmony with the Law as stated and with the words of Christ.

Needless to say, he was very interested in studying the bible with me and I’ve been blessed by the whole experience. It taught me why the Law is important and the necessity of following it, not because we have to, but because we want to. We want to because Jesus did and has made it possible for us to do the same.

So the question I have for you, reader, is this: Was the law abolished by Christ and done away with? Or accepted by Christ as a way in which we are to follow His example?

This Path I Tread

Upward Path

Today is a Sunday. More importantly, it’s the beginning of a new week, a new adventure and new blessings. As I lay here in my soft, floor-level, cushion of a bed in my yellow and green room, I realize that a journey is beginning that will (hopefully) never be regretted: blogging. Trust me when I say I am not the best writer so if (and when) you see anything undesirable, I ask for your patience and kindness and just ear with me here.

Blogging was first introduced to me as a serious avenue of expressing myself by a good friend of mine (whose blog you can view here) and ever since then I have that annoying, tickling nag in the back of my brain to get a blog of my own. I wrestled with the idea for weeks on end and came up with various excuses as to why I shouldn’t and slowly drifted away from the idea until, well, here we are.

So the question is, where do I start?

I guess I could start with the title of my blog (and the title of this particular post).

“This Path I Tread” came to me in the middle of the night as I was up late, contemplating my life and all the numerous choices I’ve made and the Providential miracle (is there any other kind?) that put me in the position I’m in today. I realized that from the very beginning of my path into God’s work nearly three years ago, I was a completely different person in contrast to who I am today. This path I tread has been far from easy and I don’t think it will ever get any easier. And that’s okay.

You see, I’ve been labeled lots of things, good and bad, over the years: brave, childish, strong, weak, understanding, skeptical, and the list goes on and on. But the one label and promise I have held on to for the entirety of this path, the one I finally claimed for myself on July 27th, 2013 was this: adopted.

“[God] predestined [me] to adoption as [a son] by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made [me] accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:5,6 NKJV)”

 It is very well to be understood that there is power in claiming the promises of God for oneself. By claiming His promises we become partakers in the blessings He has had for all of us from the beginning of our lives up unto the very step you are taking.

As I began my journey into the unknown, the path I was beginning has become one of rich reward and blessing. It hasn’t been easy in any way but let’s ask ourselves, when did Jesus ever say it would be? If walking the straight and narrow path was easy, everyone would be doing it.

But it is made clear time and time again in God’s word that once we begin this path, if we cling to Jesus and claim Him as our righteousness, by faith we shall be saved and the trials and tribulations we face will be seen as blessings as we become eternity minded and the spiritual projectiles thrown at us will simply bounce off “[T]he shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (Ephesians 6:16 NKJV)”

I was once given sound advice from a dear friend and brother of mine which, in my rashness and rebelliousness, went unheeded for years until I finally understood what he, and more importantly what Jesus himself, was trying to tell me: “There is life in a look”

So, this path I tread, this path WE tread, whether it be difficult or easy, energizing or wearisome, trying or otherwise, the only this we ever need to focus in in Jesus. Always Jesus. He was, and still is, high and lifted up. Whatever our situation, whatever our struggle, whatever our burden, just look, simply look to the Author and Finisher of our faith, our Wonderful Counselor, the A and Ω, Jesus, and focus on Him.

“[W]hen he looked…, he lived. (Numbers 21:9 NKJV)”