Friday, March 20, 2020

PAUL'S GOSPEL

https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/galatians-1-11

When you look around at the situation in the Church today, it is easy to see that confusion rules. Each denomination differs from the others in many ways—some important, some not so much. Within each denomination, their individual congregations differ from one another.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

FULFILLED = CANCELLED

[Mat 5:17-18 ESV] 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.
(https://emmausroadministries.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/08a3b-image.jpg)

In the Sermon on the Mount, from which this is taken, Jesus made many statements that were contrary to the religious thinking of the day. Therefore, to make clear exactly why He was saying those things, He gives this explanation.

Even though it appears plain enough on the surface, it is interesting how many different interpretations we have of this passage. The biggest problem stems from the word 'fulfill' or 'accomplished.' Add to that the various pre-suppositions of differing theologies, and you have the ingredients for confusion.

Plainly stated, Jesus attacked the twisted thinking of those who had developed such minutely detailed explanations of what each law meant. These details of the given law made it impossible to keep the law for righteousness.

Most of what Jesus attacked in this sermon was the extreme literalism of the Pharisees. For instance, 'murder' was limited to causing physical death, but Jesus went after the root of what causes murder—hate.

However, it is verse 18 that lends itself to the most misunderstanding. Many think that until heaven and earth pass away the Law will remain. That is not what Jesus said.

He said that all will be fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away.

Jesus came and brought something different from what they were accustomed to. (Jn. 1:17) This statement of John indicates that what Jesus brought supersedes what Moses brought.

After the four Gospels, the idea of the law having any bearing on the life of a believer is challenged many times and from different angles. The NT message is clear—the law no longer has ANY place in a believer's life.

When a statement like that is made, people go immediately to "Well, then, that means people can do whatever they want." The reality is nothing has changed. People have always been able to do whatever they want. Giving them an 'excuse' is not necessary.

However, this is not an excuse to do "whatever we want" as thought by many. Those who have been changed by the Spirit of God only want to do what the Lord desires. We seem to forget that fact as we argue against the NT teachings about freedom.

This very argument against liberty is the basis of Paul's letter to the Galatians where he argued against the desire to be made perfect by fleshly effort. [Gal 3:3 ESV] Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Whenever this argument is employed, the person is declaring that we must of our own will and effort avoid anything that would be contrary to the ways of God.

There is something within us that desires to have something like the law. We seem to need known and recognizable boundaries. This type of security makes us leery of going out into the absolute freedom of the children of God. It is a scary place, to be sure. But, it is the only lace where one will experience the true joy of living in the Spirit.

The law has been fulfilled. It has been cancelled (Col. 2:14). There is nothing left for you to do. Jesus paid it all for you and as you.

Therefore, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free and do not be entangled with the do's and dont's of religious fervor.


THE GRACE PLACE

WE ARE CHOSEN

Second in the series from Ephesians 1.