God’s Law and the Christian – Pt. 1

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Biblical Theology, God's Law and the Christian
Tags: ,

charlton-heston-as-moses-in-the-ten-commandmentsLaw – delight or…?

The law of the Lord is perfect,refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11(ESV)

I suspect that many Christians would be happy to echo and affirm these words, while at the same time feeling an uncomfortable tension. We know that we are saved by grace, not by works of the Law. But what does that actually mean? Does it mean that grace has replaced law as a way of salvation? Does it mean Christians can disregard the law, and not bother about reading those tedious bits in the Old Testament about sacrifices, cutting the sides of your beard and boiling a goat in its mother’s milk? And what about the Sermon on the Mount – are these a new set of laws for Christians to follow, or something else? Are there things a Christian has to do in order to be – and stay – Christian, or does ‘Once saved always saved,’ mean we can live as we please and still have our ticket to heaven secure?

So many questions. I think, to be honest, many Christians are actually confused about the place of the Law in their lives. To be honest, sometimes I get confused – until I pull myself back to the Word of God and the Gospel.

I think there are two main errors we slip into, which show our confusion:

1. We think that somehow our salvation is based on our performance – legalism. This leads to all kinds of hangups; from judgmentalism, to guilty burdens, to spiritual pride.

2. We get fed up with all those stuck up legalists, and slip slowly but surely into libertarianism. This leads to pushing the boundaries in all kinds of areas, all the way from morality, to doctrine, to methodology.

We make a mistake in thinking that we somehow need to find a ‘balance’ between these two extremes. But why should we try to balance between two bad things? We actually need a completely other way to look at the issue.

I’m going to be making a series of posts here and there that will explore these questions, and seek to unpack this ‘other way’ – the Biblical truths about the Law of God and its place in the Christian life.

Stay tuned (all 3 of you).

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