Monday, May 14, 2012

Christ Died To Honor The Law

So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

-Romans 7:12 (NASB)

In an effort to explain his support for same sex-marriage, President Obama alluded to Christ's dying on the cross as a show of love, and from this position, the President deduced God's assistance in perverting His own moral order.  Our President would never have openly made such an announcement had he not known from polling that a majority of Americans stood on his side.  Sadly, President Obama's logic is also in sync with much of the evangelical church of today, a church that despises God's Law, despite the fact that the Law is what Christ died to honor on the cross.

Not too long ago, the outgoing governor of Mississippi exercised his ability to pardon.  Of the more than 200 pardons which he granted, many were convicted murderers.  This pardoning was viewed as outrageously wicked by the public at large, and the relatives of the victims were particularly outraged and upset.  For many, the internal injustice meter was kicked into overdrive, and rightly so.  These men had been convicted of breaking a good law, and for a good law men deserved to be punished, not set free.  For good laws, law breakers are expected to pay.  It is for bad laws that transgressors are freed.  Likewise, it would have been a great evil for Christ to die on our behalf for a bad law.  If the Law was really bad, the Lord would have been obliged to waive our blatant transgressions and falling short.  Forgiveness would certainly not have been a display of love.   To hold us guilty for a bad law would make the Judge of all the earth unjust.  In fact, forgiveness of our sins would be expected - if the Law were really bad. But God taught something different via the example of First Testament Israel.

Blood was a common sight in First Testament Israel, and this by God's purposeful design.  The blood from the daily sacrificing of bulls and goats was a witness to the daily breaking of God's Law by all the people at large, and it powerfully taught the people two things: one, the righteousness and goodness of God's Law - the Creator would not destroy all these animals for nothing - and two, the absolute necessity of payback for sin - every transgression demanded a payment in blood, it could not simply be overlooked by a righteous God. Likewise, to effect our salvation Christ did not overlook sin.  God overlooking sin is not what getting right with Him is all about.  God overlooking sin is not the gospel.  God hates and punishes sin - all sin - and He will not let the least thing slide.   His death on a cross was a public display of the righteousness and goodness of His Law.  Our turning to Christ is to be a corresponding public acknowledgment - Christ got what we rightly deserve. We are told by the apostle,  "...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8 (NASB)  The punishment and death of sinners in Christ is what the Gospel is all about.  This is the good news for all that believe.  Christ died to honor His holy, righteous, and good Law.  We should live and do the same.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where in the World Is the World Headed?

Recent elections in both France and Greece have set the minds of many into a spin.  At stake is the stability and predictability of global finance, with some seeing the disintegration of the present world order as imminent.  Events have taken many by surprise.  Where will it all end?  We are told by the prophet: “Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts that peoples toil for fire, and nations grow weary for nothing?  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." -Habakkuk 2:13-14 (NASB)  And again: "And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains.  It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it.  Many nations will come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.' -Micah 4:1-4 (NASB)

"Experience is the teacher of fools" as the saying goes.  Only fools cannot learn from the mistakes of others, but instead have to mimic the same destructive path.  In this sense our world is filled with fools, of which I must confess to be one at times.  Rest assured, God will ultimately break through:  "For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations.  Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.  Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken." -Micah 4:1-4 (NASB)

Earth - not space - is the real final frontier and at present, these are the voyages of the earth-ship Suicide.  History marks year after year of our rebellion against God, and it is not a rosey scene.  But the future is not extrapolated from a trend.  Thank God it will one day be gloriously different.  The law of God will one day go viral and men will be miraculously changed - the nations will be changed.  Both Church and State will recognize the righteousness and wisdom of God's law.  It will be the work of Almighty God.  It is a sure thing and we should take heart, "...for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken."