Please give a warm welcome to my dear friend Janna as she so eloquently tackles the law for us this week!
- A binding custom or practice of a community : A rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority : The whole body of such customs, practices, or rules.
- The revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament
- The first part of the Jewish scriptures
The Law. It’s something we all have to deal with. And there’s the choice: what side of the law are we going to be on? And of course, there are the consequences of that choice.
In our every-day life, most of us find it pretty easy to know what is right and wrong in the eyes of our society’s laws. Stop signs tell us where to stop. Speed signs tell us how fast we’re allowed to go. Cash registers remind us that we must pay for what we take. And when we find ourselves in trouble with the law, there are people we can hire who have studied our laws to help us prove our innocence, or try to help dig us out of trouble.
The same could be said for Christians, couldn’t it? In every-day life, it’s pretty easy to know what’s right and wrong. Sunday mornings remind us to read our Bible…even if we don’t read it the rest of the week. Meals remind us to pray…at least to say thanks for the food. And radio stations like KLOVE remind us to lift our voices to God…if we happen to be scanning through the radio stations. And if we find ourselves in trouble, we have Jesus as our “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
Because Jesus came to save…to set us free…to abolish the law, right? We don’t have to read, obey, or know those old dusty laws given…when were they given again?? And consequences? What consequences?
It’s easy to assume, isn’t it? Lies, clothed as half-truths, strewn together and fed to our – lets be honest – selfish selves, and we take the bait.
It is very true that we are absolutely saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). And it is true that we are no longer under the law, but under that beautiful, saving grace (Romans 6:14)! And yes it is true that Jesus does gift us eternal life to all who believe in him (John 3:16).
But Jesus did not abolish the Law. Jesus himself speaks against those lies, masterfully painted by the twisting of scriptures, in Matthew 5:17-19:
“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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
I love the NLT translation of Matthew 5:17: “I came to accomplish their purpose.” That purpose, as stated in Galatians 3:19, was to show the people their sins. The punishment for sin was, and still is, death. But what the law could not do, Jesus did. Where the Law showed, Jesus saved.
So what now? What do we do with the knowledge that Jesus didn’t abolish the Law, but fulfilled it?
It’s a funny thing, that Old Testament. Those books given to the BC world…they’re still alive. Still God-breathed. And still speak.
“Keep this Book of Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8).”
Jesus came to save. He came to set us free. He came to fulfill the Law. And He did that through the grace and mercy of the cross. But God’s mercies didn’t start at the cross, and the Law is evidence of that! For without the Law, we’d not know of our need for a Savior.
The Bible…the Law included…is indeed the Book of Instruction. It’s also a love letter, written across the expanse of time, breathed by our Heavenly Father and sealed in the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ, for our human hearts. Let’s receive them as such, and fix them in our hearts and minds. Let’s teach them to our children. Let’s talk about them. All. The. Time. And in doing so, we’ll be obeying the Law (Deut 11:18-20).
Janna Halterman was born and raised in California and currently lives in the state’s central valley with her husband and daughter, loving the life of a stay-at-home-mama and seeks to share her heart and God’s amazing love through the written word. While trying her hand at non-fiction, her passion lies in fiction and the art of storytelling.
You can connect with Janna through her blog at jannahalterman.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorJannaHalterman, or on Instagram @jannahalterman.