June 16, 2015

Not only am I under the law, but I want to be under the law.

This is to explain what I said, so that you might know what I mean. Sometimes what I mean is confused by what another knows. That is not to say that another does not understand; only that we are looking at Scripture from a different angle.

This is how I view God’s law “I am still under the law”. That is not to say that I am under the penalty of the second death, for violating the law. However, not only am I under the law, but I want to be under the law!

All of the law is built on the two main, or most important, commandments. We are told this in Matthew.

(Mat 22:36-40 NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

This is also said in Mark 12:28-34.
(Mark 12:28-31 NIV) “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ‘The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

And also said in Luke 10:25-28.
(Luke 10:25-28 NIV) “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

Think about these two commandments and combine them with Mathew 5:17-20.
(Mat 5:17 – 19 NIV) “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. I tell you the truth, 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. Anyone who breaks 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 practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

While you are thinking about Mark, then think about (Mark 12:33 NIV) “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, but the man, that was speaking with Jesus, was “not” told that he was wrong; therefore that Jesus was more important than obeying the law. But he was commended as answering wisely! (Mark 12:34 NIV) “When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.”

I am trying to say that obeying the law is more important than relying on Jesus to take the punishment, that we deserve, for not obeying the law. Then, looking at that statement from a different angle, because I have not always obeyed the law, Jesus is more important than the law to me. What I mean is that if I had always obeyed the law I would not need a Savior.

You see that when this test is all complete, we will be made like Jesus and we will no longer sin. We will be made perfect, like Jesus, who was and is perfect, and we will no longer violate the two greatest commandments, and therefore we will not sin.

That is not to say that Jesus is, or will not be important. Jesus will be our King, instead of our Savior. One could certainly say our Savior first, and our King second, but, to me, that would be just splitting hairs.

You may have considered me an amateur at studying the Word of God, because I said that we are still under the law, but if everyone could obey the law we would not have needed a Savior and Jesus would not have had to die in our place. I am not exalting myself for my understanding, but admitting that I am a sinner, in dire need of a Savior. My failure has resulted in the death of Jesus!

In Heaven we will all obey the law and there will be peace. And we will all, “perfectly”, love the Lord, our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength. And we will Love our neighbor as our self.

So, if you follow my logic, not only am I under the law, but I want to be under the law! I am most grateful for Jesus, that He died in my place, and that, because he did, I have the chance to become a child of God. However, as I understand, obeying the law is very, very, very important.

(Mat 7:21 NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Though we no longer face the penalty for disobeying the law, shouldn’t we instruct others to obey the law, instead of just saying “we are no longer under the law”?

At the very least shouldn’t we say that if we obeyed the law Jesus would not have had to die?

Having said all of this, I do not believe you will accept it as gospel. Even though most Christians believe that iron can sharpen iron, it can not! No one tries to sharpen a knife, with another knife, and yet everyone claims that it is possible! (Well, only Christians. Those who actually make knives and swords do not). The verse really means that man cannot sharpen man. So, I cannot sharpen you. Please forgive me for trying.

If you do not accept what I said about the law, then please consider which commandment that you think we should not, or are not required, to obey: 1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, or 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

What comes first in my mind? Shame that I did not, and do not, obey the commandments, or relief that Jesus died in my place? First shame, because if I had obeyed, Jesus would not have had to take my place. But, then, absolute love for him, because He did.

You see, it is not about me, or us, but about God and what He wants from, and for, us.

I hope this eases your mind about me. I am a Christian, a child of God, and Jesus Christ is my Savior. I am not saying anything different than you would say. I am only using the phrase that we all use “Under the law” and adding my understanding to it. The phrase triggers a set response from some brothers (and sisters), but not from me and it seems to cause discord between us.

One more try, on my part. Suppose Judgment Day has come and you have lived your life not trying to obey the Law, because you believe that you are saved by the sacrificial death of our Lord and the Law is no longer important. So, you stand before God and make that claim. But our Father asks you this question, “Why do you think that it is of little importance to love Me, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and then to love your neighbor as yourself?

Form your answer now, while you still have time to think it over.


June 9, 2015

I say “this” Christian, because I am, and can, only speak for myself.

I was born a citizen of the United States. I was raised to believe this Country was a gift from God. That we were a free Country, not under a king, dictator, or any ruler, but ruled by all of the people. The home of the brave, where we chose those to guide and lead us and if we were not satisfied with them, we should vote them out of office and someone else in.

This all sounded pretty good to me. It was what I wanted to hear and to believe!

However, I began to explore the question of “Is there really a God”. I found the same answer as anyone, who will ponder “truthfully” that question. I say “truthfully”, because many think about it with the goal of attempting to prove there is no God.

When I finally reached the point where I had to admit to myself that there has to be a God, I knew that I was dead to God, because of all my sins. The proper thing to do with a dead body is to bury it. So, I allowed someone to bury me in the water of baptism. When I came up out of that water the Holy Spirit was a part of me and because the Spirit of God cannot die, I cannot die. That is to really die, as this body will perish, but I will not die.

I am a new being. I was a six, the same number as Satan, but God added one to me and I became a seven, the number of completeness. The one, that He added, is the Holy Spirit.

Now, all my brothers should already know this, but they do not seem to understand why God gave us His Spirit. The answer is to teach us all things (John 14:26), but my brothers do not ask the Spirit about all things. That is all things about God, not all things about this universe. Questions about this universe are not important, as this universe will pass away.

I said this so you might understand that I only listen to God now. I question everything that this world tells me, using Scripture as the ultimate reference of truth.

The world told me that this Country was a gift from God, but when I read Romans 13:1&2, I reached a different conclusion.

I was told, when I was a child, that if you want to understand as someone else understands then “put yourself in their shoes”. In other words try to see things as they do.

So, I read Romans 13:1&2 as if I lived in Pennsylvania and the year was 1775, and the verse clearly said, do not rebel against the king, because God had appointed him and if I rebelled against him I was actually rebelling against God Himself.

I know Scripture said the same thing to the Founding Fathers as it says to me, because they had the same Bible that I have.

Now, this year, I will not attend Church on the 28th of June and the 5th of July, because one of those days the Church, that I attend, will celebrate rebellion against God. And they do not even know that they are!

I understand, so I will not participate. I have tried to explain to my brothers, but iron cannot sharpen iron and so I cannot sharpen them. They will not ask God if this Country is a gift from Him and then read His Word for the answer, but they will ask each other the same question; and believe the answer of their fellow man!

At first I was angered by their refusal to understand, but now I am deeply hurt by it. My brothers are lukewarm, just as Revelation says the last Church will be. They believe what they want to believe and hire preachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim 4:3), just as Scripture says. They are in great danger and do not, will not, see it.

I am to the point of tears, as I write this. I was taught not to cry for myself. It is a form of self pity and only reinforces the pity. But the sadness that I am feeling is not for myself, but for my brothers.

Please brothers, wake up, this Church is the Church of Laodicea. The last Church spoken of in Revelation; the last Church in time. It is lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. It has one foot in the world and one foot in Heaven and it doesn’t put forth the effort to understand.

If you think your attitude brings me to tears, what do you think it does to our Heavenly Father, that we celebrate rebellion against Him: and even in the very house that we claim is His!