To Live is Christ (5)


I’ve started reading Psalm 119 each day.

I think a very simple summary of it would be Matt 7:24-27.

“everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

And also this word from James 1:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Psalm 119 is sharply focused on God’s word and its importance; not only as something to read or hear, but something to ACT UPON, something that leads us to obedience.

The Psalm continually refers to obedience to God’s word, His law, His statutes, precepts, decrees, commands…

No matter the description given there is no room allowed for NOT obeying.

And yet – how often do professing Christians try to excuse laxness (disobedience) by quoting something like we “are not under the law, but under grace“, conveniently ignoring the context.

…count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master…

Sorry lax Christian, Jesus Himself also shows the invalidity of that excuse of being under “grace not law”.

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”

And Paul wrote the following about “grace”, describing something clearly at odds with the popular application of the term:

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…

 
The new covenant does not free us from the obligation of obedience, it merely replaces the written law of Sinai with the law written on hearts and minds so that “the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Note that last conditional phrase, emphasised in bold type.

 

 

4 thoughts on “To Live is Christ (5)

  1. “The new covenant does not free us from the obligation of obedience, it merely replaces the written law of Sinai with the law written on hearts and minds so that “the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

    I truly do not understand the lawlessness in the “church.” Jude warns against this too, yet there are whole denominations that ignore the commands in the Bible.

    I pray that my heart will be submissive to the Word. (Psalm 119:11 was the first verse I ever memorized.)

    Blessings…

  2. Hi Diana,
    It’s not surprising that the one commonly known as the Antichrist is named the man of lawlessness and the lawless one in 2 Thess.

    And yet so many professing believers like to think the “law” has nothing to do with them – which they don’t seem to realise, would make them lawless. They prefer to believe their freedom from the law than to submit to the truth: that followers of Jesus have a higher standard to meet (but not in their own strength – with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit).

    Not surprisingly there is a “special” penalty for those who refuse to love the truth. The very scary reality that God Himself will send them a delusion to ensure they will believe the lie.

  3. Hi, Tim:

    I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts about the law, and the lawlessness for themselves that Christians excuse as “grace.”

    Romans 8:7-12 quotes God’s promise in Jeremiah 31:31-4: “I will put My laws into their minds and I will write them on their hearts” The point in Romans is that God has now fulfilled His promise: not that He has abrogated His law, but rather that He has made it MORE intimately-accessible and -strengthening to our desire to please Him… and so MORE incumbent on us.

    Blessing to all here !!

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