I was typing a bit fast on pt 1 of this series so I originally had this as point 3. But with a little reflection I see it as better being part 2. (All Scripture is out of the NIV)
2. Often people confuse being obedient with obeying the Ten Commandments, or doctrines or even traditions.
There are so many bad teachings concerning that one must obey the Ten Commandments, doctrines or traditions. I have written much on this topic so I hope that I will either add something or at least not have such a large post… wish me luck!
Let’s start in Galatians. Here we find that there is a purpose for the Law. It here that we hear the admonishment the Paul writes:
Galatians 1: 6. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7. which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. 11. I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (NIV)
First thing I want to point out is that Paul is saying that if someone is out to pervert the Gospel and preaching one that is different from the one that Paul preaches… he is to be accursed. First off I know someone is going to go off and say, “See iggy. All your lovey, dovey, mushy loves stuff is so weak and see that there is a time to “judge” another and point out that they are teaching false doctrine.” To that I will say, ‘I never said there was a time not to discern that a teaching is not sound, even more if you read I live by this as I do stand up against those who teach error in the name of Jesus and condemn others because they do not “believe” as they do’… the issue may be two fold
- They are preaching a for of religion that is based on their performance and that if someone is not deemed as performing to their standard, then I will stand against that as WE are not the standard, Jesus is and none of us can stand up to that standard.
- Many teach false doctrine that is not “sound” as they are passing down traditions and what someone else taught. This can be generational and denominational… in that many have no idea that their view may not be correct… and in all sincerity they attack out of their own ignorance as they have never tackled the teachings or issues themselves. Often this is most prevalent for those who grew up in the church… many who come to Christ later and have never grew up in the church can’t understand why so often these seem to “know” the right answers, yet do not “live” out the teaching they profess.
Of course there could be many other points, these to me have been the most common. Paul went on later to explain what the Gospel we are to preach is.
Galatians 3: 8. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
9. So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10. All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." 11. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." 12. The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." 13. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." 14. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
I wont go into this right now, but notice that it says the “scripture foresaw”? This is connected to the teaching of “foreknowledge” which I will unfold it with predestination later. Just pointing out that foreknowledge is about what is revealed in scripture and not some Calvinistic predestinational teaching. In this though on the topic of obedience and the Ten Commandments, notice that before the Law was given, just as Abraham was justified by faith the Gentiles would be also. And that the gospel was announced to Abraham… that “All nations will be blessed through you.”, so one of the components of the Gospel is that the Jews will be a blessing to the Gentiles.
Galatians 3: 19. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27. for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments and the legal and ceremonial laws of Moses? To add transgression! Meaning, it is to point out we are sinners. Paul also states this.
Romans 3: 19. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Notice that we now have righteousness from God APART FROM THE LAW?
This is even the testimony that the Law and Prophets reveal… it is now the righteousness from God that comes through faith in Jesus that is now our righteousness. In this Jesus IS our righteousness… we have none of our own… that is why Paul stated just before this:
9. What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.
10. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11. there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
13. "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." 14. "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
15. "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16. ruin and misery mark their ways,
17. and the way of peace they do not know." 18. "There is no fear of God before their eyes." 19. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
We have no back up plan… it is either, stand on your own righteousness… or stand on Jesus and His righteousness. We can not add to the righteousness of Christ if one tries they only take away from the finished works of Christ. We are no better than those that professed Jesus, then at the time of the temple sacrifice, ran and got a bull, and offered it for their sin… this is what the writer of Hebrews was talking about.
Hebrews 6: 1. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2.instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3. And God permitting, we will do so. 4. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5.who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6. if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (NIV)
Here is an example of this.
I am going to a large city I have never been to before. In that I can see the lights and a lot of activity as I get closer. I can smell the restaurants and the yet, even before I get to the city, I see a restaurant that has some of the food from the city. I stop and taste the food and find it delicious. Someone tells me of a great city relic outside the restaurant and I look at it and a touch it as it is so inspirational… I do desire more, in some ways I have seen, tasted and even felt all this from the city… yet I have not even crossed the city line and really entered it.
In that I turn around and go back as I think I have been to the large city… and yet, I have never been… so I can’t truthfully say I have been there, though I can deceive myself into thinking I have.
One can see, hear and taste the wonders of God, they can come to the cross and sit at the feet of the crucified Christ and get all emotional, but if they have never repented, nor received the Life of Christ… they are still dead in their sins… they can not repent again, as they have not repented n the first place.
Many would do this as they profess Jesus and still felt they needed to get their sins forgiven by giving a bull for a sacrificed… They were not depending on Jesus for their sin… they had not received the Life… and where still dead in their sins… as they did not walk in faith that Jesus had done it all for them on the cross.
So, all this talk about the Gospel… what was the Gospel Paul taught?
Colossians 1: 13. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14.in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20.and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—23.if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)
Now, with that, this is the Gospel… broken down and nothing added to it. This is where and from “sound doctrine” must come. First as Paul states from a revelation, (Gal 1:12, Gal 2:2) from Jesus, then proclaimed to us, for us to bless others with and proclaim to others… interestingly… it is to “every creature” so it is even bigger as it includes all created beings…
This seem so much simpler than many of the “we believe” I have read in many churches.
Now, that we have tackled the issue of how a believer should use the Law properly… and some added stuff to boot, I will tackle the misunderstanding of what and how obedience works in a believer’s life. Sometime soon!