Friday, August 13, 2010

The Law

"We don't obey the law so He'll love us. He already does... We come before the King and say, 'I am Yours. I am Yours until I die or the world end.' That is what the law does. Then when we read the law we find out what it is that He would have us do." ~ Steve Brown, "Whoppers from the World: The Lie of Antinomianism"

I have been accused on occasion of being antinomian. (For those of you who do not know what that is, being antinomian means you teach that those who are saved can do whatever they want and violate the law because it does not matter.) I am really big on teaching grace and think that if you do not get accused of being antinomian from time-to-time then you are not really teaching grace (even the apostle Paul was accused of being antinomian). I agree completely with my friend Steve when he says, "The only people that get any better are those who know that if they don't get any better God will love them anyway." That kind of statement, however, can sound antinomian. It sounds like it does not matter what you do because God will love you anyway. It is not antinomian. The law of God is good (if you do not believe that read Psalm 119, the longest Psalm in the Bible and all about how great the law is) and it is something we should strive to obey. We do not, however, strive to obey it because we are afraid that God is going to punish or because we think we need to obey to make Him love us. God is not a policeman, He is our Father. When we love our parents and we know that they love us unconditionally, we do not strive to obey them because we are afraid of what they will do to us but because we are afraid of what our disobedience will do to them--how it will hurt them.

Steve tells a parable about a friend of his who was a pretty bad teenager. She hung around with the wrong crowd that was pretty sexually promiscuous. One day she was with these friends when her older sister walked by and saw who she was with. Her sister said to her, "If you get pregnant it will kill our father." That really shook up Steve's friend because, even though she was on the wrong track, she loved her father and knew he loved her. Later she was being pressured by her boyfriend to sleep with him and she kept refusing. Finally, he said, "You know the only reason you are rejecting me is because you are afraid of what your father will do to you." Steve's friend replied, "No, the reason I am rejecting you is because I am afraid of what me sleeping with you would do to my father."

The law is a great teacher for Christians. It tells us how God would have us live and what He expects of us. Jesus has already fulfilled it perfectly and that has been credited to our account. We are now in a safe place where we can strive to obey the law and know that even when we fail God loves us as much as He did before. The reason we strive to obey the law is not because of fear of what God might do to us if we disobey but because we are His and our disobedience will hurt Him, the one who loves us and whom we love.

By His Grace,

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