Posts tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Ceremonial Law | Moral Law | Judicial Law

It is noticed with most believing Christians that they choose to abandon critical elements of the Christian faith just because other people groups have come to use these more than we Christians ourselves, so most Christian fear that to follow such ways though Biblical is not becoming of today’s believer. A few of examples of these are as follows:
i. Christians are scared to call Christianity (i.e. following Christ) ‘a religion’ because of the many ways that have come from men that refer to themselves as having their own identity as a religion but Christianity is thee religion and Bible affirms that in James 1:26-27.
ii. I’ve also noticed that Christians are apprehensive to use the term ‘God willing’ when they discuss their life’s goals, so as to not identify themselves with Islam but this teaching has originated from God’s word in the Bible (James 4:13-15).
iii. Today Christians think Evangelism is more effective when Church members are given the freedom to do what please themselves. After all these members are coming from stringent models of ritualistic living and we can get more people to join the Church when we all can do what we want to do, we only need to leave it in prayer to God to set everything right! This school of thought is referred to as antinomianism, which according to the dictionary is defined as: a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the Moral Law by virtue of grace granted in Christ.

Mat 7
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

1 Cor 15
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

As Paul puts it in Rom 6:15, grace is not freedom to sin, which is what the antinomian leans toward but grace in the correct Biblical context is the purchase of divine sanctification and obedience through Christ’ redemptive works and it is this kind of grace that the Apostle Paul speaks of in 1Cor 15:10. You see when 1 Jn 4:10 speaks of Christ as the “Propitiation of our Sins”, it speaks of God overcoming natural man’s hatred for His righteousness, and irresistibly changing that man’s wicked nature to a nature which appeases God (Ezek 11:19). Propitiation is Biblical and makes sense only when one considers the truth concerning election.

1 Pet 1
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

2 John 1
6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

So we see from 1Pet 1:2 that the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is to bring the elect to obey Christ. Now if we are to obey Christ, we must know what His teachings are. Jesus said in John 14:15, if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments. We ought to understand that Christ’ commandments are not just those which He gave us in the New Testament but those which He gave Moses and have existed since Adam. You see the ‘Angel of the Lord’ in the Old Testament is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Gen 22
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

To take a small detour, I would like to explain the Deity of the Angel of Lord as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Check Gen 22:12, here the Angel of the Lord says to Abraham that he did not withhold his only son Isaac from ‘him’ but we know that Abraham was offering Isaac to God not just too any angel. From Gen 22:16 we see the Angel of the Lord swearing by Himself but who can righteously swear by anything else but God. In verse 18, the ‘Angle of the Lord’ attributes Abraham’s blessing because he obeyed His voice. We also see above that the Angle of the Lord speaks of God in the first person not third person. To elaborated further we know from Jn 1:18 (KJV) that it is the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ, who ‘declares the Lord’. Even if we were to observe the etymology of names of the three Archangels (who is one Person- The Angel of Lord, the Chief [Mat 13:41] whom all the angels worship [Heb 1:6]), we see that these were the divine attributes of Christ.

The Archangel name ‘Michael’ means ‘Who is like God?’ (Col 1:15 points to Christ)
The Archangel name ‘Gabriel’ means strong man of God (Luke 11:22 points to Christ)
The Archangel name ‘Raphael’ means God has healed (Mat 13:14-16 points to Christ)

1 Thes 4
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Now coming to the Law of God, we must understand that there is such a thing as Ceremonial Law, Moral Law and Judicial Law. These existed since Adam, seen in Able offering the Lamb (Sacrifice – Ceremonial Law) and in the judgment pronounced on Cain for murdering Able (Thou Shall Not Murder Commandment – Moral Law and Judicial Law). The Ceremonial Law is also seen in Gen 3:21, when God gave Adam clothing made from animal skin (indicating sacrifice) when he was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Similarly the Moral Law and Judicial Law is also seen in Gen 2:16-17, where the love of unfallen Adam is called upon through total obedience to God’s commandments.

1) The Ceremonial Law
Today when Antinomians reject the Law of God as not required for the Christian they reject the Moral Law, Ceremonial Law and Judicial Law. It is interesting to note that when the Antinomians reads passages like Gal 3:15-29, they do not read it in its stated context of Ceremonial Law as indicated in Gal 2:3-4,12. It is important to note that every aspect of the Ceremonial Law was like a shadow which pointed to Christ (Heb 10:1) and since Christ has been revealed in person to us through God’s perfect word in complete scripture, we no longer keep to the ways of the shadow but this is only concerning the Ceremonial Law. Let us consider a few of these below:

A. Circumcision:
The Old Testament Circumcision was of the flesh, which was to dedicate the individual to God. In the New Testament Baptism replaced Circumcision. As Rom 6:4 puts it, we are buried with Christ through Baptism. This is akin to the grain of wheat, which falls to the ground and dies (Jn 12:24) to itself and lives only for the Lord, which Saint Paul refers to as the Circumcision of the heart.

Romans 2
29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

B. Dietary Laws:
Concerning dietary law, the Old Testament taught that land animals with split hooves that masticated cud were fit for consumption, while with marine life only that with scales and fins were fit for consumption.

Mat 15
16 Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also?
17 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?
18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
20 “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

I was once told a story that there was a man who was approached by a friend with an offer to contract kill a certain person, which he refused. He later was approach by the same friend to pillage, his neighbor’s property, which also he refused. Later he was approached again to despoil a certain woman and he refused again. Finally, this friend just invited him over for a drink (alcohol) and when he got drunk he went ahead with the contract killing, pillaged his neighbor’s property and despoiled that particular woman. This so much labels alcohol as bad and taboo but this is not the story’s crux, for the alcohol did not bring out anything more than what was already in that person’s heart.

Mat 5
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

You see, issues concerning sin have lesser to do with alcohol / the internet / beautiful women than they have to do with our inherent nature to sin in the core of our being, which is our hearts. However, Ezekiel prophesizes of Christ that God will give us a new heart in which He has put his statutes and CAUSES us to walk in them.

Ezek 36
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

The world in its Adamic nature has always resisted God and His elect but the elect never receive and live by the standards of the world but only the Law of God. As Deut 8:3 says “man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It is thereby seen that the Old Testament dietary Law are nothing but such shadows of receiving only the teachings of Christ as clean and fit to be lived upon while the teachings of the world are rejected as unclean and unfit for righteous living.

C. Sacrifices:
Animal sacrifices in the Old Testament go as far back as when an animal was slain to provide clothing for Adam and Eve after the fall in Gen 3:21 but this too pointed to the robes of salvation as in Is 61:10 i.e. the sacrifice of Christ, which would once and for all for pay the price of all sin, for that is the efficacy of God. You see according to the Ceremonial Law, the priest was first required to offer sacrifices for his own sin before he offered sacrifices for the people’s sin. This too pointed to Christ, for Jesus born of a virgin and was not subject to original sin as the sons of Adam. Christ’ human nature was an addition to his Deity and He did not lose any of His Deity in adding complete Manhood to Himself except without sin.

Note: Most English New Testament translation have it that ‘He emptied Himself’ in Phil 2:7 from which the ‘kenosis heresy’ has emerge but a more accurate translation for Phil 2:7 is that of the KJV, which states that “He made Himself of no reputation”.

Phil 2
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Heb 7
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Another aspect of sacrifice that we must consider is obedience and we see it 1 Samuel 15, where King Saul excuses his own disobedience to God’s commands by offering sacrifices, which does not truly highlight essence of what a sacrifice really is. However in Phil 2:8, we see the true aspect of sacrifice when Christ was obedient to God the Father to the point His very death. As Heb 10:1-10 puts it, the sacrifices commanded as part of the Ceremonial Law, were as a shadow (blueprint) of the Messiah who was to come.

1 Samuel 15
22 Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Jeremiah 44
23 Because you have burned sacrifices and have sinned against the LORD and not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, His statutes or His testimonies, therefore this calamity has befallen you, as it has this day.”

D. Festivals:
All the seven Levitical feasts such as the Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks (Pentecost), Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles (Booths) which were ordained by God in the Old Testament all pointed to Christ and His redemptive works. To expound on The Passover in Lev 23:5, it pointed to Jesus as the Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) whose blood would be shed for the sins of His people. The blood of the lamb, which was to be applied to the doorpost (Ex 12:7, 23) indicated God’s mercy to that household on the count that the Lamb had perfectly satisfied the full wrath of God in the place of that household. It is notable to know that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover during the same hour when the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal.

2) The Judicial Law
The Judicial Law was that which was given to the judges of the state (region) to exercise Civil Law in that region, weather that society was comprised of people who were of God or even if the society was cosmopolitan. From 1 Cor 6:4 we see that such judges were appointed in the New Testament just as they were in the Old Testament (Deut 6:18); the Judicial Law ensured that every individual received justice according to the circumstance, this justice included restitution.

Ex 21
18 “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed,
19 if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed.

Lev 25
39 ‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service.
40 ‘He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.

Deut 15
11 “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’
12 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free.
13 “When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed.
14 “You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.

Ex 22
1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him,
3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

Antinomian-Christian congregations, which is an oxymoron by itself has misconstrued Biblical forgiveness for they demand of their members a forgiving heart while denying that member the awareness of receiving restitution, which is Lawful and absolutely Biblical. This is seen in the New Testament too in the case of Zacchaeus where Salvation (forgiveness of Sins) was announced to his household, only after Zacchaeus promised to restore fourfold, those whom he had defrauded. It must be understood that just as God has set His precepts for men as to how to go about a godly lifestyle, in the same way, these regions where the government claims to operate under God, to these states, Christ gives the blueprint of Judicial law to administer moral conduct in that society, even if that society is cosmopolitan in nature.

3) The Moral Law
From Mat 5:17-19 we see that Christ did not come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it i.e. every aspect of the Ceremonial Law, which was foretold and pointed to His glorious works of redemption. These He came to fulfill that the faith of the prophets who spoke/indicated of him since Adam, may be revealed. So far where the Moral Law and Judicial Law are concerned, these remained in place to morally govern the individual and society under the Lordship of Christ.

Mat 5
17 “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.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Moral Law is also observed in the Ten Commandments, where the duty of the believer indicated in the first four commandments is to God i.e. to love/worship God with all your strength and mind while the following six commandments are toward one’s neighbor i.e. to treat your neighbour as you yourself would expect to be treated. I have indicated below the kind of commitment and love the Lord demands of the believer toward Himself and then toward one’s neighbor.

Deut 12 (toward the Lord)
11 then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD.

Deut 6 (toward the Lord)
13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—
15 for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

Deut 24 (toward thy neighbour)
19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.

To conclude, it is absurd of Antinomian-Christian Congregations that they oppose the Moral Law in governing the individual and the Judicial Law blueprint for the state but conveniently accept the system of tithing/giving to the Church that is taken from Paul’s letters in 1Cor 9:9 and 1Tim 5:18, which actually proceeds from the Law in Deut 25:4. It must therefore be noted that if there is any such thing as a standard for Christian living (John 14:15), it is as per the Moral Law given to the Christian whom God gives a new spirit of the Holy Spirit to exercise the Moral Law not in mere action but through initiation in thought (Mat 5:28).

What we ought to know about Good Friday!

To start; from the time Adam disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of right and wrong, Adam received his own standard of righteousness, which was separate from God. This broke the communion between man and his Creator and there was a separation between man and God leading to death in the Spirit of man. This Spirit was what God breathed into Adam when he was formed out of mud, to be made in the image of God, but when man fell short of the glory of God that image was broken and since man was given stewardship over the earth and all that is in it, the earth bore the repercussion of Adam’s fall. It is from Adam that every man has a self-righteousness different from the other and this has brought the world its many ever increasing religions. God’s moral standard for His people has always been to first love God and second to love neighbor as self. In this man is called to love the Lord beyond himself and love His neighbor just as He loves himself but such is not the case with fallen man. Fallen man loves praise which almost equals worship, in his religion too (outside Christ), what he worships is nothing but metaphors of his own rebellious lust, which feeds his sinful desires against God and his neighbor. Eventually what fallen man worships is nothing but himself.

Gen 3
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

The remedy for this fall was either an eternal death sentence for the Law breaker or that the one who put the Covenant (Law) in place to die (Heb 9:16). Now before the Son of God came as man, He was referred to as the Angel of the Lord i.e. the Arc Angel who was given the names… Michael and Gabriel. From instances such as Jacob wrestling the Angel of the Lord and Peniel and The Angel of Lord appearing in the burning bush to Moses on Mt. Sinai, we see these so termed ‘Christophany’ in Gen 22 as well. Because it has always been as John 1:18 puts it: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Gen 22
15 Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Now coming to the Jesus you and I know, who was born 2000 years ago, He took upon Himself additionally with losing His deity, He took upon Himself every aspect of the nature of man but without sin i.e. He was not subject to Original Sin that came through the posterity of Adam but was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35).

This Almighty God, the Second Person of Holy Trinity bore the humiliation of infirmities of fallen men yet without sin (Heb 4:15). Jesus thereby substituted the eternal death of every man, whom God the Father willed to save. It is important to understand, concerning Jesus’ death that so far as He is God, His communion with God remained at the bosom of His Father even on the cross but in the state of His sinless humanity, who bore the sins of His people in His body (1Pe 2:24), He was despicable in the sight of God and God poured out His full wrath without any mitigating factor. Theologically speaking, God did not die for us but it was the sinless state of Christ as man who died for us because God cannot die. God is immutable (unchanging) and the Man nature of Christ was a foreordained addition eternity past rather than an amendment in God the Son.

So Christ endured the full humiliation in the state of man, right from being conceived, where the world and apostate Judaism denied Him His absolute and rightful homage; humiliation going right up to the cross. It was Christ in the state of sinless man who endured this, the worst of which was when God turned His face from Him in disgust for the sin Christ as man carried in His body… but so far as Jesus is God …the Son of God… His communion with God was never broken because the nature of Sin can never stand before the presence of a Holy God, so it was in His humanity that He carried the sins of His people and not in His Deity as the Son of God. As theologian Joseph Morecraft puts it: the statement ‘God died for His people’ is a heretical statement and when Jesus said to the thief that ‘this day you will be with me in paradise’ it refers to the omniscience (Knowing All) and omnipresence (Present Everywhere) of God the Son when the thief entered the kingdom of heaven. Further it must be stated that Christ rested from His redemptive works only when He sat down at the right hand of God the Father (John 20:17), so when He said on the cross… ‘it is finished’, He was speaking only in anticipation of His redemptive work.

Act 2
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

We thereby understand that as much as Christ was human, He was required to deal with the complete wages of sin and that included His soul descending to hell and his body lying dead in the tomb, making Him still subject to humiliation because it says so in Isaiah that God was pleased to crush Him. Yet because he carried sin in His flesh though He was without sin, He was subject to undergo every aspect of divine wrath including hell. However as the Old Testament scripture prophesizes, that God will not let His body be left to decay and He has seen the travail of His soul and be satisfied, and so He was raised to life having overcome sin and death for His Church.

Acts 2
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption
.

When Jesus resurrected on the third day, He rose accomplishing redemption: the mightiest work of God known to His people since creation because through the redemptive work of the cross He reconciled all things to Himself. It is this reason that the Redemptive Sabbath, the day God rested from His Redemptive works is celebrated over the Creation Sabbath, the day God rested from His Creation works. When the Lord Jesus Christ met the disciples after His Resurrection (John 20:19-23), He breathed on them said “Receive the Holy Spirit”, which was indicative that the Spiritual life Adam lost for every man was restored for the elect in Christ.

Gen 2 (Creation Account)
7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

John 20 (Redemptive Account)
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

This Living Spirit is made available to all whom God the Father brings into Salvation in His Son. Today God the Holy Spirit teaches concerning Jesus’ redemptive works through God breathed Scripture, to sustain this restored living spirit and image of God.

2Timothy 3
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 4
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

To conclude, I’d like to state that this Good Friday message is therefore as 1John4:10 puts it, that it is not that we loved God first but He loved His people out of no merit of their own and sent his Son to be the propitiation for their sins.

The Law of sin and death vs the Law of the Spirit of Life

All creation lives under God and so there must be a rule to a way of life under God; even those who rebel against God follow a rule, which is their own (not of God). This precisely is the contrast between the Law of Sin and death and the Law of the Spirit of Life.

Romans 7
22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

One of the reasons why we all have different ideas on what’s right and what’s wrong is because from Adam we have received our own standard of knowledge concerning what is right and wrong (Gen 2:9,17) that is separate from the Law of God. Adam has given us all a nature of rebellion against God and we resort to it naturally. Many have gone under far deeper to recognize themselves as good people but in this they are only suppressing the truth in unrighteousness like a person trying to hold down a floating buoy.

Our nature to sin is the very fabric in the members of our body (flesh) and the Bible refers to it as the Law of Sin and Death. This may be merely observed in some people and rampant in many for the simple reason that God shed common grace on the wicked as He does on the righteous, making the rain fall and the sun shine on them both just the same. Through this common grace He restrains the wretch who is totally depraved from being utterly depraved thus withholding man from unleashing hell on earth.

The natural person is one who is prisoner to the law of sin and such a person will only recognize this by way of the Law of God, which stands white as snow as compared to the filthy rags of the law inherent and working in each person. It is this Law of God given by way of the Holy Spirit that exposes sin in the hearts of those who keep His Law; it shows the hopeless destructive state of man left to himself.

John 16
8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgmen
t;

I wonder if a person who knows not his slavery to sin will ever know a Savior in Jesus Christ, who saves from sin!

Romans 8
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Romans 2
12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified

James 2
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

If we look at James 2 and Romans 2 as mentioned above, we see that grace is in that we are given a spirit of obedience to the Law (Rom 15:18), which Christ purchased for us by His blood… complete Salvation for His people. The Holy Law of God is so critical to Christian life that it is referred to as the ‘measuring rod’ (Ezek 40:3-5; Rev 11:1; Rev 21:15) of God’s temple and city, who are his chosen people. Man was probably given two hands that he may hold the two great commandments of God Almighty, which are to love God above all things even himself and second to love his neighbor as himself. This Law just does not make sin known but also serves as the evidence of Christ work in the believer’s life. It thereby becomes the measure of holiness in the Christian’s life.

So since there is such a thing as the Law of God, there are also penalties for those who do not adhere to them, such may be observed as below.

Exodus 21
12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.
13 “But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee.
14 “If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die

The reason I sight these is to show that the blueprint for ecclesiastical as well as civil government for society has its foundation in the Bible and in many ways worldviews concerning these have been borrowed from the teachings of scripture. The reason people today want to do away with the Law of God is because even a whiff of His Holy Law gives them the taste of disgust which comes from the flesh and since man is self-centered since Adam, the last thing he will truly admit about himself is the wretched sinner he is before God. Add to all this the accountability required from the believer to face the repercussions of his actions makes for a Gospel from which the natural man would run away from.

However the Gospel bears the power of God therefore when the Father call His elect from language and nation unto Christ, these are brought to repentance by the Law of the Spirit Life who reveals unto the elect the futile law of natural man’s rebellion against God.

Romans 5 (Note: Grace did not substitute the Law but worked with the Law in saving the elect)
19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sovereign grace Vs Legalism and Antinomianism

There are large numbers of Christians, who have become subject to views of antinomianism or those which are legalistic. Legalism is that which says that one is saved purely by works of Law while Antinomians hold a view that the grace of God covers them to the extent that even though their carnal nature is not made subject to true repentance, they are still saved because of grace. Mat 1:21 speaks to both these extreme apostate ideas by showing the legalist that Salvation is in Christ alone, while it shows the antinomians that Christ’ deliverance is not “in our sins” but “from our sins”

Mat 1:21
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

A preacher once said: one can only enjoy the benefits of Christ’ Cross when he bows before the claims of Christ’ Crown. What this refers to is essentially that one truly receives Christ in his life only when he receives Him as SAVIOR AND LORD. For those who try to merit Salvation it shows they have not truly received Christ as their Savior and for those whose nature shows no elements of any sanctification, they have not truly received Jesus as their Lord.

Sanctification is the work of His Spirit. To many believers, the Holy Spirit is generally associated with how much noise can be made at a spiritual gathering. The work of the Holy Spirit is very deep and for one to associate the Spirit primarily with the gift of tongues today is almost blasphemous. The gift of tongues was given only to the early Church, who did not have the compilation of the Bible, once the Bible was compiled in about the third or fourth century, the gift of tongues and prophesies ceased because the Bible is complete and sufficient to edify the Christian and cursed is that person who tries to add or take away from it. It is for this reason, that the many noise makers in spiritual gathering do not find one interpreter today for three of these people who are said to have this gift of tongues.

Quoting from the Nicene Creed, which was a faith declaration of the early Church, this is what is stated when it speaks of the Holy Spirit: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”. We know when God created Adam from the soil, He breathed life into Him. We also know that scripture in God breathed. So though it was His Holy Spirit, that God had put into Adam to give him life, which Adam lost in his disobedience. In the same way the Word of God in the Bible, is God breathed (Holy Spirit) proceeding from Father and Son as One, given to us in scripture that we may believe and have life.

It is interesting to note that the Exodus came before Mount Sinai, what I mean to say is that God first delivered His people from Egypt and then gave them the Law at Mount Sinai. It was not the other way around. As a preacher I know once said, it took God one day to get His people out of Egypt but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of His people. We see from all of this that though a believer is saved by grace and not His own merit, lawlessness cannot be a part of his life. He is always subject to the Moral Law of God, where He puts God first and his neighbor at par with himself.

1Thes 2
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

You see the reason, we can do the stuff that is pleasing to God, is ONLY because of the life given to us in Christ i.e. His Holy Spirit. Had we not received Christ, we would not know or have the slightest inclination to please Him. So the word of God in the scripture, is the life given to us in Christ, which His Spirit i.e. God; who is at work, in us who believe. Thus even after we have been sanctified, the only statement we shall render to God is the one in Luke 17:10.

Luke 17
10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'”

Such is Sovereign grace, that he who receives it humbled not exalted in himself, for the very meaning of grace is unmerited favor i.e. when one receives (especially concerning Salvation) what he does not deserve. I need to emphasize here that sanctification is not our work but the work of God in us, it is hence seen from the parable of the master who calls people to work in the vineyard that he who is called to work even at the very last moment, receives full wages i.e. even the person who is on his death bed and repents unto Christ, he too receives the full measure of Salvation; for just as Salvation is of the Lord (Lam 3:26), Sanctification too is by Him (Lev 20:8) and so He does with what is His own as He pleases… Sovereign Grace!

Mat 20
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

humiliation is the real test of HUMILITY!

In finding fruitless reason to deny Christ, many question, how can Almighty God be put through such humiliation as that of the cross. The Bible teaches that there is but one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), and so in substance this mediator Jesus Christ was both, fully God and fully man. As God, He becomes Salvation (Ex 15:2) and as a man whom God is pleased with (Romans 8:8) He became subject (Romans 8:7) to God’s perfect Law (Psalms 19:7). It is said in the Bible that Moses was the humblest man of his time (Numbers 12:3) and Moses’ statement has been recorded saying that the One who was to come as Messiah would be like Moses (Deut 8:15). In the Atonement worked out on the cross, the whole deity of Christ is seen for only God is without blemish (Heb 2:10), which is a prime requirement for the regulated sacrificial sin offering; at the same time seeing Jesus who condescended to become man in flesh in the womb of a virgin and taking on the humiliation of the cross, that pointed not only to His humility as a Man of God (Phil 2:8) but also implied that He was the Messiah to come that was spoken off in Moses’ likeness.

The example Jesus has set for a believer, is that one’s obedience to God is prioritized even more than the believer’s sustenance or life; for better is one day to live in obedience to God than to live a thousand days in disobedience (elsewhere) with the wicked.

Psalms 84:10
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

So if you are asking what there is to obey then it is this:

Matthew 22
35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

To concluded, I must say however that obedience to the commandments of God is only possible for those who are born of His Spirit (Romans 8:7).

1 Pet 5:6
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

A Complete Revelation!

Have you ever pondered on the word “revelation”? How does it feel when you have an epiphany moment, when something is made known to you i.e. your understanding is enlightened. It is something that makes you pause for the moment to grasp the reality you have encountered.

Have you ever admired a beautiful sunset? Or maybe had your breath taken away by a beautiful landscape? Have you ever looked with smile at a flower or have you dived in tropical waters and been overwhelmed by the beauty and color of the corals and fish? Have you remained silent in a quite countryside and admired the starry sky? These are some of the many heart stopping moments but the reason we are left speechless is because we are admiring the handiwork of Someone. The human subconscious is such that it takes continuous pleasure in what constructively delights its senses and the amazing thing is, on this planet only man can stand in awe of artwork, whatever kind it may be, because that is how man is wired. People are made in such a way that their appreciation last for things that are only worked/made in earnest. This is why when man sees the handmade of God he stands in awe, many times without giving God the full credit because the ability to grasp the revelation of the creation was not granted to all.

Creation as beautiful as it may be is not a complete revelation by itself because it needs to be conjunct with the revelation of God in order to be complete since creation owes its existence to God. The revelation of God was made known in Christ and like the revelation of creation, the revelation made known in Christ was also not granted to all.

John 1:18
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Colossian 2:2-3
2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The unique thing about the revelation that Christ brought is: 100% deliverance done 100% by God. You see there are many who staunchly believe in the existence of God but most of them feel left to themselves to work out their own righteousness before God because God has not touched them with the Salvation worked out completely on the cross.

Hebrews 2:9-10
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

After Jesus worked out our salvation on the cross came the sustenance of the Holy Spirit, which was to bring the revelation of Christ into people of all kinds, going down generation after generation, those who have been called by God before the foundation of the world.

If you would like to look deep then the Word (Christ) came into human existence (John1) through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1), who came from the Father (John 14), if you are able to figure this out then you will see that these (Father Son and Spirit) are three distinctive Persons of Deity who are the same God.

John 1:1, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
..
The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.

Luke 1:35
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

John 14:26
the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Now coming back to the revelation of the Spirit, do you know that the “word of God” known more commonly as the Bible, is a 100% product of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

2Peter 1:19-21
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 FOR NO PROPHECY WAS EVER MADE BY AN ACT OF HUMAN WILL, BUT MEN MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT SPOKE FROM GOD.

So you see that the Bible is a complete revelation for the believer to know God, allow me to back this statement with scripture.

2Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

1John 2:27
But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about EVERYTHING, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ.

So you see of the revelation of the Holy Spirit is complete in the Bible which fully (100%) delivers the revelation of Christ to the believer, who also fully receives the revelation of creation from the same Bible. In fact this revelation is so perfect (Psalms 19:7) that Bible ask the believer not to exceed what is written (1 Cor4:6) and those who teach outside the Bible are actually in darkness (Isaiah 8:20).

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