Tuesday, January 13, 2009

60 - conclusions about LAW

As we say “Good bye” to a LAW study – let’s review the concepts. We noted that the hardest part was simply understanding the concept. Just remember here that LAW is meant to GIVE structure to life – and I emphasize GIVE – it is to SERVE us – to assist the order of our lives. Paul referred to the Mosaic Law as our “schoolmaster” or “servant” to get us to Christ – so that once we are “to Christ” – we don’t need the servant to bring us anymore. So – law then is not in charge of us NOW – Christ is. That is Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:23ff. Well, he said “We are no longer under a schoolmaster or custodian” verse 25. That verse SHOULD have settled some understanding of LAW – but there are always those who claim we are under and NEW LAW. Paul obviously said, “We are not under a schoolmaster” – but we translate that as “under THE schoolmaster” and we get a new schoolmaster or custodian.

PROBLEM – Paul mentioned more than once that we are not “under law” but “under grace” – and that may be the concept we need to clarify. (Check Galatians 5:18 for the best explanation – also mentioned in Romans 6:14f. and 1 Corinthians 9:20 to give Paul’s activity as a free man.) How do we have any structure if we are NOT UNDER LAW?

The answer – figure out what “under grace” means. AND – in this regard a serious mistake has been part of my life – I just didn’t ever define that – so I could make it whatever I wished. Many have a working definition of “we try the best we can and God makes up for our lack” as how grace operates. And – guess what – God DOES make up for our lack – but what we miss is – LACK is all we have.

NO – under grace means the concept of GRACE is totally in charge. The focus of “ourselves” comes under one phrase – “NOT of ourselves” and “NOT of works” (Ephesians 2:8-10) – and just so we know it applies to ALL of life – plus salvation – Paul uses a great contrast in verse 10 – “we are HIS workmanship” – so we don’t work – we are worked on.

One other concept includes remembering that we are BORN again – and are God’s children because HE created us anew – “all this is from God” 2 Corinthians 5:17f. so we must focus on GOD – not ourselves. Don’t forget – JESUS paid it all – so what was it HE paid for – the breaking of LAW – and then HE offers Himself to us to be our new life – a new identity and a new Spirit. HE is now responsible for us – and HE is able to take care of us – so we can “STAND IN GRACE” – as both Paul and Peter wrote.

God’s kids are very confident about their standing with God – they come BOLDLY before the throne of grace (yes, many do miss the fact that it IS a throne OF GRACE) and the text of Hebrews says “KNOWING that we will find grace and help for our time of need. Shouldn’t we LIVE that way- as God’s kinds?

Let’s allow Scripture to guide us and point the way to relationship with God as FATHER and our relationship to HIM being based on receiving HIS life – which is HIS life and we NOW have it. More to come . . .QUESTIONS?

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