THE LAW

The first, I believe, and hardest hump to get over is the law. We first get a glimpse of this in the book of Exodus 20:1-17. Yep, just like the Bob Marley song but the real thing. This is serious stuff. God is not kidding when He gives this law to the Israelites. The thing I will never understand about the law, and praise Jesus I don’t have to, is the fact that it can’t save you. Not unless you are able to do everything ever written in the law. But the Word says that we are cursed if we don’t do all that is in the law (Galatians 3:10). But we have even found ways to corrupt the law so who even cares anymore. I mean c’mon we say things like “oh well what’s a white lie hurt” or “there’s nothing wrong with looking at my neighbors things or wife and wanting to have it”. A lie is a lie and coveting (or heavily desiring others stuff) is coveting. We are all lawbreakers. Before knowledge of the law there is self righteousness. When faced with the law there is only one thing that can happen. We see our own sin and it becomes that much more ugly to us. We are either humbled or raging mad. The funny part is that we tend to get mad at the human messenger when the true message is God’s. But we won’t get mad at the sin in our lives. But, after we know the truth that we miss the mark, then it’s our choice to either accept it or not. Bottom line is that the law is good and we are not.

Self righteousness looks like this. Well I’m a good person. I’ve never raped, killed, or eaten anyone. Well hey you are a pretty good person then. Even if we have never stolen or lied or lusted or wanted something of somebody else’s so bad it consumes us. Course none of us have ever done that. Yeah I know I’m a sarcastic one aren’t I. Check it out man. When we compare ourselves to those we consider worse than us then we smell like roses. But we need to compare ourselves to the only perfect being. That being is God. You see the law is really just God trying to communicate His personality to us.

Here is what my final exam from God would look like if I didn’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Serve God and God alone-Failed

Don’t make anything else your God and bow to it-Failed

Don’t use Gods name for empty sayings or cursing-Failed

Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t work. Chill out all of you-Failed

Honor your father and mother so that you’ll have a good life-Failed

Don’t murder (before you answer this read Matthew 5:21,22)-Failed

Don’t commit adultery (read Matthew 5:27,28)-Failed

Don’t steal-Failed

Don’t lie-Failed

Don’t desire to have your neighbor’s stuff property or spouse-Failed

Well I don’t know about you but according to that I’m not going to pass my heavenly exam. Looks like I’m going to get hell’d back. Now maybe you’re a better person than me and you only failed a couple of those. Unfortunately for us Gods grading system doesn’t work like ours. See we can pass a class with a certain percentage of points in school. Our teachers in school realize no human is perfect because they aren’t perfect either. So how can they expect us to be perfect if they aren’t. God is perfect though, so He can demand perfection. If there is a heaven and it’s perfect then wouldn’t it be wrong to let imperfect people in? The answer is yes. The bad thing is that that’s only Gods personality. That’s just showing us what God is like. God doesn’t lie, He doesn’t steal, He is pure and holy. After this there is a whole mess of laws and special things that have to be done to please God and appease Him because we stink so bad at doing the right thing. All the sacrifices and days and months and years. I mean this is not what God wants for us. That my friend is bondage to sin. God wants us to be free. God is free. He created us in His image. But obviously we messed that up. In the 5th chapter of Matthew in verses 17-20 Jesus makes it clear that He didn’t come to destroy the law. The law is good. We are not. Stay with me here. Jesus came to do something we can not do. He came to fulfill the law. And further more He came to fulfill the prophecies about Him. Gods law is good.

Mark 12:29-31 sums it up pretty good. Love God and love others as yourself. That is not hard at all. The law is good. We are bad. Oh whoops sorry. We aren’t bad. Don’t listen to that bad man writing this book. We are all just good people who mess up sometimes. Yeah that’s what Hitler was. That’s what Hussein was. That’s what Manson is. Yep, just some good people who messed up. The point is clear. We miss the mark of God’s goodness. Worse than that we like to do the wrong thing. Watch out now because the truth hurts. I said it. WE LIKE TO DO THE WRONG THING. Sometimes we love it. Sometimes it’s what gets us off. And even when we want to do right we end up doing something wrong. The “Great Apostle” Paul wrote about this problem in Romans 7:15. We are going to take a quick look at God’s hard laws. (That’s sarcasm there)

1) Love The Lord Your God……..-Oh yeah I love God that’s easy man. Lets finish it though-……..with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”. Unfortunately for us there is nothing before, in the middle or after this verse saying ” to the best of your ability”. Nope nothing there. Its cut and dry, black and white, night and day. This is a command of God’s. This means it is part of His personality. You see “God is love”. 1John 4:8. That’s the bottom line. And right before that verse it says this very tough saying. [He that does not love does not know God] Dude, that is tough as nails.

Praise be to God because he did two things for me to love like Him. He died for my sins so I don’t have to. And then He gave me His Spirit to live in me and help me. Jesus calls the Spirit the Helper in the book of John. This word is translated different ways such as; advocate, comforter, and helper. But, the literal definition of the word

paracletes (paracletes) in Greek is one called alongside to help. Without God, who is love, showing me how to love, I wouldn’t know how to love. God doesn’t just say, “I’m love” and leave it at that. If someone says they love me but never does anything to show it, well, I wouldn’t believe they love me.

HOW DO I KNOW GOD IS LOVE?

a. John 3:16 Love is a verb. Without action love is a lie. God loves us so much that His Son left His throne in heaven and came to this fallen earth to die for our sins. And you know that I don’t care what the other guys say. I’m going to keep saying it man. Jesus died for our sins. That includes all of us.

b. John 15:13 Jesus, who is God (John 14:9,10), said that [there is no greater love than a man who lays down his life for his friends]. Jesus laid down His life (John 10:17,18). Nobody took Jesus’ life from Him. Not the Jews, not the Romans, not the Gentiles. He willingly gave His life as a ransom for our lives. To save us from death and hell and ultimately from the eternal death in the lake of fire.

c. Romans 5:8 Not only did God give us the best by becoming man (Jn.1:14). But He died for a bunch of sinners who hate Him. Now let’s take a look at this concept real quick because people don’t like to think of themselves as “hating” God. But, when I choose anything over God, or even choose not to acknowledge Him as above all, then I’m hating Him. I don’t have time to go through all the implications of how I hate God. But, I know that it is a trait of all humans. All hate is, is rejecting someone. God said in Malachi 1:2,3 and Romans 9:13 that He loved Jacob and hated Esau. The term used here is also a term that was once used by Hebrews when adopting twins. If they didn’t have enough money to adopt both then they would have to leave one. It was said that they hated the one that they didn’t choose. Not out of dislike or hate as we think of it but just the fact that the one was rejected. Some translations actually use the word rejected as opposed to hated. This is true for the New living Translation and The Living Bible. Sin is anti-God. And anti-God is hate. God is love. Therefore when I choose sin I choose to hate God. So then, God chooses love and rejects, or hates, hate. I am the one to blame because I am the hater. The funny thing is that the only way we can love God is to first accept the love He showed to us through Christ Jesus (1 John 4:10). Ready for the first step to victory?

VICTORY STARTS IN ETERNITY

THEN BEGINS TO EFFECT THE TEMPORARY

Romans 10:9,10 says that if you believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. We first believe in God’s testimony of, and satisfying death of, Jesus on the cross for our sins and His resurrection to be saved. Then we confess that indeed we are saved. I don’t agree that you need to confess Jesus specifically to be saved because that’s not what the Word says to me. Belief saves. Confession confirms. Baptism publicly proclaims and identifies with our new life in Christ. If you don’t believe anything that is said about and by Christ in the bible then there is no reason for you to get baptized ok. Just go ahead and stay dry. I actually could see God looking down on people who get baptized as a show to others. That’s a pity.

1st John 3:23 says [ This is God’s command, believe in Jesus and………………

2)……………….LOVE ONE ANOTHER……………….

As He gave us commandment] (talking about God and specifically Jesus) John 13:34 and John 15:12.

This is the second law after love God with everything you got. Don’t lose me here. I can only imagine how hard it would be for a right handed boxer to become a left handed boxer. I mean I’m sure it can happen and they could probably become ambidextrous if they wanted. But any way you look at it it’s just not natural. Not to mention it would only be a fake form of left-handed boxing. The person probably wouldn’t see much point in it at all to tell the truth. We are all dominate at doing things one way. So goes the love one another factor. I don’t care what you say about yourself or others, (sorry if this is offensive. Really). But, this is not a world of love. God is love and the majority of the world does not serve God. A little bit of math and we can calculate the cold hard truth. This is indeed a world of hate. Yeah I know it stinks. But just because this is a world of hate and we are primarily prone to hate doesn’t mean we have to just give up and remain in that state. We can change. Let me rephrase that. Christ can change us. The truth of that is found, I believe, primarily in two key verses. The first is John 15:5 where Jesus says [I am the vine and you are the branches if you live in me and I live in you then you will do good things. For without me you can do nothing]. Now I paraphrased that verse so that it might make more of an impact. But, the end part I didn’t paraphrase. Jesus said “without Me you can do NOTHING”. Separate the word nothing and you got the words “no” and “thing”. Another verse is a common phrase for people when they get saved which is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “…If any man be in Christ he is a new creation”. This new creation means that I now have the capacity to love. That capacity is Christ in me. Galatians 2:20 says [I no longer live but Christ lives in me].

Here comes some more victory and the way to overcome this world of hate. Romans 12:21 says [do not be overcome (or conquered) by evil but overcome (conquer) evil with good. Woooo!!!! God is good. I mean that is powerful stuff right there. But, it is against all that we know. We know eye for an eye type stuff. We got the whole “you bumpin’ shoulders with me punk” mentality. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean because we all do it. It’s called feelings. Without Jesus controlling our actions, feelings control us and that’s how people end up hurt really bad and or dead. The majority of violent crimes and murders in this world are committed by people the victim knows and usually has a deep relationship with. People aren’t that prone to just go kill someone for no good reason. Even terrorists kill for a reason, psychotic as it is. King David had Uriah killed because he had slept with Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife) and got her pregnant. Someone even said to King David [Hey man isn’t that Uriah’s wife?]. David pretty much told them to shut up and go get her anyway. Uriah was one of David’s most loyal warriors and he didn’t even show him love. On the contrary, David, being full of guilt and fear, had Uriah killed. In 2nd Samuel 11:14-24 you can read the whole story. Man that’s tore up huh? Boy I would never murder anyone. Especially like that and someone that close to me. Let’s switch gears and flip the script real quick. The Bible calls hate murder. Specifically in 1stJohn 3:15 it says [anyone who hates someone else is a murderer]. Thats pretty plain to me. I’ve murdered plenty of people including my own family. Have you ever murdered anyone? Do you still murder?

THE POINTThe point of all this is one thing. Love fulfills the whole law-Galatians 5:14.

DO NOT LIE

DO NOT STEAL

DO NOT MURDER (HATE IS MURDER)

Love fulfills the whole law because when we love someone we don’t hurt them. We have the capacity to love others because God first loved us. God loves us so much that He took on human flesh and died for us. Romans 5:7,8 says [not too often will a man die for a righteous man. Somebody might consider dying for a good man. But God showed us love this way, Christ died for us while we were still sinners]. Wow! God didn’t wait for us to come to Him and then decide to die for our sins. He already planned it. To tell you the truth God actually planned this since the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Now I even believe the Apostle Paul, who wrote this letter, was talking about himself personally at this point. Christ died for sinners not for righteous people. Ok? We deserve payment for our sins. Romans 6:23 says that payment is death. But then it goes on to say that “the gift of God is eternal life”. This life comes only through God’s Son Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. Acts 4:12; 1st John 5:12.

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