Saturday, July 12, 2008

I AM the Law!

In Mark Dever's The Gospel & Personal Evangelism, he quotes James 2:10:

    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
He adds, "The law of God is the expression of God's own character".

I extrapolate:
The Law of Moses is not a book of laws. It is not a group of individual laws. The Ten Commandments is not ten commandments. The law is one. As God is one, the law is one. To keep the law is to conform to the likeness or identity of God.

To fail at any point of the law is to break the entire one law. To violate any part of the one law is to diverge from the character of God.

If I am slightly idolatrous, I may as well have murdered because I have broken the same law that a murderer breaks and have as severely distorted the image of God in me as a murderer has done so in himself.

It's not difficult to see why this idea produces in me a deep desire for righteousness. Though it seems—it feels—most natural, I am a little surprised that it also produces in me greater love, a softer heart, and a grateful joy toward our Heavenly Father.

Jesus explains it.

    Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

    When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

    Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

    "Tell me, teacher," he said.

    "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

    Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."

    "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

    Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

    Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

    The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

    Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
    ~Luke 7:36-50

Our perception of forgiveness is greater if we have been forgiven of what we perceive as greater sin. One implication is that we do not love if we perceive that we have nothing for which to be forgiven. Also, the more forgiven we feel, the more we love. Therefore, I love more because I see now that I have broken the whole law AND have been forgiven for having broken all of it.

You see, I have done it all! I have committed all the sins, all the crimes, offended God in every possible way. With even one sin, the entire law is violated. No part of the law remains intact! The law is one, and I have broken it.

God gave his only son into MY law-breaking hands, so that I would murder him and shed his blood. And, so that Jesus' blood—the very blood that I, myself shed—would cleanse me so that I would be as righteous as if I had never sinned, even in the slightest. By Jesus' blood, the law has been restored!

    "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. ~Matthew 5:17




No comments: