via God’s law?
This past Sunday, we discussed God’s law. When the Bible references God’s law, it is generally pointing towards the first five books of the Old Testament (also referred to as the Pentateuch or the Torah). We are often encouraged to meditate on God’s law and to delight in it. You probably don’t often “delight” in the laws of the land, such as traffic laws, but you likely understand the reason they are put in place. In the same way these traffic laws are in place for everyone’s safety, God’s laws should be looked at as guidelines which are in place to protect us.
In the New Testament, we have a few interesting references to God’s law. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus was referring to the Biblical prophets whose writings would have been well known to anybody with religious upbringing. So, He is saying that we fulfill the laws of the Old Testament and the prophecies written by simply doing to others what we would expect them to do to us. Obviously, there’s a little more to it than that, but that’s a great start.
In Paul’s writings, we read Galatians 5:22-23 that, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” When we walk in the Spirit, we automatic fulfill God’s law.
I will conclude with another great point which the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:22-23. “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Paul often discusses this idea of the law bringing slavery when we fall short of God’s requirements and feel imprisoned with guilt and shame. Instead, we should delight in the law as it exposes our sin and guides us back to right relationship with God. In short, understanding God’s law should release you from the anxiety of fulfilling the law.
God is very creative! We see this in the first scripture of the Bible where Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV)
In Acts chapters one and two, we see the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples and they go out into the world. People who witnessed this were shocked and amazed (see Acts 2:12). This is because the power of the Holy Spirit was residing in the disciples. The actual Greek word is “Dynamis (G1410),” which means, “power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature.” We have that same power residing in us because, as Christians, the Holy Spirit resides in us (see Romans 8:11).
In a more practical way, we see God enable His people in Exodus 35 to be artistic in designing and building things. Maybe you have a talent or ability and God wants to use you to bless others with that!
All this month, I want to encourage you to pray for God’s power to guide you and for you to try using your talents for God. If you don’t practice using your talents, you’ll never know what you can or cannot do! I believe that, when others see us doing it, they will be inspired too. It’s easy to be used by God because He wants it more than we do!
We all love to celebrate Easter but do we really talk much about it after Easter Sunday? The 40 days that Jesus appeared to people AFTER His resurrection were arguably the MOST valuable days He spent on Earth. So many things happened because of His death and His resurrection and His ascension (going back into Heaven)!
Upon His death, Mark 15:37 reports that the veil which separated mankind from God was torn apart! This was so important! Since the institution of tabernacle in Exodus 26, we knew that God had to intentionally set Himself apart from the sin of mankind with a curtain that was intricately woven and more than 6 inches thick! This would not have torn easily, but Jesus’ death caused this to happen. This made it possible for us to approach God again because Christ’s blood covered over our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21)!
After this, Jesus appeared to His disciples (among hundreds of other people) to do two very important things:
- Luke 24:45-53 “He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”
- Matthew 28:16-30 He transferred His authority and told them to go into the world and spread the word.
Finally, His ascension meant that we could have the Holy Spirit with us at all times! (Remember that this was impossible before His death.) The disciples would definitely be jealous of us; as we are able to access His glory any time we want! They had to wait for Jesus to be with them in person but we don’t!
The Holy Spirit gives us 25/7 access to the following:
- An advocate who comforts us (John 14:26 says He is a “parakletos” in Greek, which means one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant)
- A supreme teacher of God’s Word (John 14:26)
- Conviction of sin, which is a good thing! (John 16:8)
- Intercession on our behalf (Romans 8:26-34)
In Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) Paul says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul is basically saying that God love you regardless; regardless of your situation, regardless of your status, regardless of how you identify yourself, even regardless of your sin.
if you Google the word regardless, you’ll get this: without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances.
I encourage you today to come to Jesus and simply embrace his love. Don’t worry about fear of judgement or some random, crazy thing that someone did or said to you which makes you feel that God does not or cannot live you. Christianity is, first, about nothing other than love.
Come to Jesus, regardless!