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April 28, 2009

(Post 2 of 3)
Is there something to be learned by Your choice to communicate Your new covenant in narrative, poetry, prophesy and epistle? Why not a list? Why not another Leviticus?

In the old covenant it appears that You’ve told “Law’s Story”. You’ve described life with a Leviticus or a list. The moral of that story is that “it doesn’t work because man will always disobey.” As I watch the rest of the story unfold in the new covenant it’s “Liberty’s Story” You tell. The moral of this story seems to be that “Christ makes it work.”

 Lord, that brings me to what I think is an anchoring point for the answer to the question I’ve asked. It’s something Jesus said in what we call the Sermon on the Mount:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
                                                                                              Matthew 5:17-20 

 So, Jesus didn’t come to destroy the list. In fact I’ve found nothing that leads me to the conclusion that You are adverse to law, or commands in any way. In fact the opposite is true. For example here is a list of things You said when you were here:

  • Break least command = least in the kingdom (Matthew 5:19)
  • Teach someone to break least command = least in the kingdom (Matthew 5:19)
  • We are not to break Your command for the sake of our created tradition (Matthew 15:3ff; Mark 7:6ff)
  • A person who wants to enter life is told to obey the commandments (Matthew 19:17ff; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20ff)
  • The greatest commandments are the commands to totally love God and love neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36ff; Mark 12:28ff)
  • The apostles were given a charge to teach others to obey the commands they had been commanded to obey (Matthew 28:20)
  • Jesus obeyed the commands from His Father (John 1:31)
  • Jesus spoke the commands of His Father which lead to eternal life (John 12:9-50)
  • The charge of Jesus to love one another as He has love us is called a command (John 13:34; 15:12, 17)
  • If you love Jesus you obey His commands (John 14:15-21)
  • We obey Jesus’ commands and remain in His Love (John 15:10)
  • Jesus obeys His Father’s commands and remain in His love (John 15:10)
  • We are Jesus’ friend if we do what He commands (John 15:14)
  • And much more of the same as the story of the church is told.

 In this I see that You have not abolished all commands to be obeyed and laws to be followed. So, why not a list so I can be sure not to miss or misunderstand anything.

 Lord, I’m thinking the answer might be found in the timing? From Christ’s death until now we’ve lived in a time where “Law’s Impact” on the believer has changed. When we hear the story of Your Son and what You sent Him here to do we hear about “Law’s Power To Condemn Us” being destroyed. In essence it appears that You sent Christ here to make law impotent in the life of those who love You.

 In Christ You have set the believer free of the only power law possesses:

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set
me free from the law of sin and death
Rom 8:1ff

 In Christ, the believer doesn’t die when he disobeys Your law or when he sins!

 Lord, I need to think about that a little more but I think I’m getting closer to an answer!

 (to be continued)

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