I often have this thought – if my life were perfect, would all of my problems be solved. If my clothes always fit and looked good. And my body didn’t hurt. And my government was the way I wanted it to be. And I could literally see God in front of me all the time. And I always had enough food to eat. Would I be happy? Free from sinful tendencies? Think about it. Would you be? Whenever I’m reading the stories of the Israelites, like the ones we see in the book of Exodus, I see how very real and very present and very obvious God was to them. And then they still complain about stuff like not having enough fruit or meat or whatever, I’m just like. COME ON. If I could see God like that, I’d never doubt and never sin, ever! But honestly? I’d be the exact same. Because the things that cause me to sin aren’t outside of me. They aren’t an unfair government and its not systemic mistreatment or prejudice or anything like that. It’s within ME. And if I want to be free of the slavery, that sin has on me, I need to rely on three things that God has laid out for me (and in this order).
First, His grace for me – I can’t earn this and I can never, ever be perfect or even close to it. Which means I can’t ever feel complete relief from my sin without being in the presence of God, in heaven, to which He has made a way through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Second, His laws. Yes, those 10 Commandments that look good in theory but way too hard in practice. Yet I think most of us can agree that God’s laws are good, even those who are on the fence about God’s existence. And we can agree that if we follow them, the world would be a good and perfect place. Except if I was in charge, I’d totally smudge some of these. You shall not covet (except for that one time I really coveted my friend’s new kitchen, but let’s forget about that law, it doesn’t count). You shall love your neighbour as yourself (except when they don’t agree with my political or sociological opinions, but that one doesn’t count because I’m SURE it says in the bible that my political opinions are the ones that are correct. Right?)
And Third, His blessing. Here’s the thing – God is going to show you that you are His treasured possession through your obedience to His moral law, the 10 Commandments. Obedience to those laws is a response to His grace. And contrary to a lot of secular public opinion, it’s actually motivated by love for God not by fear of God. God uses these laws as a means to intimacy, as a way to bring us closer to Him. How? Well, the reality of His law will impose itself on you if you disobey it. Just like the law of gravity – if you jump off a cliff, you’re gonna fall. If you disobey God’s law that tells you not to lie, well, you’re gonna fall eventually.
But you and I know, we can’t do it within our own power. We simply cannot follow these laws perfectly so that we can be perfectly intimate with our perfect Creator. So we need a mediator. Like Moses was the mediator between God and the Israelites, there is a mediator between God and ourselves. One that stands between our sin and our perfect God and lets us stand in his presence. And I bet you can guess who it it is – that’s right, its Jesus.
Romans 8: 3-4 says 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
What do you think? Is God’s law one that mocks us in our inequity ? Is it just a loose set of rules that we can bend to our will? Or is it a means to show us how He loves us, by laying down what is good for us, and making a Way for us to become righteous?
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