Love And The Law Of God
I John 3:7 — Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression
of the law.
I John 4:8 — He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
So, did God do away with His Law because Jesus came and showed us the better way of Love? If so, how are we supposed to know what sin is apart from knowing what the Law says sin is? “Sin is the transgression of ….”
For many years I parroted what I was taught concerning the Law and the love of God. Somehow or other, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament were different — so I was lead to believe. After all, didn’t Paul teach us that “love is the fulfilling of the Law?” And what about the fact that Jesus came to fulfill (end) the Law? How can Law and Love abide together? — Sounds pretty convincing.
But I must confess, that in the back of my mind, this line of thinking never sat well with me. It seemed to me that the whole tenor of Scripture didn’t agree with the theory that the Law was null and void for the Church because God is love and Jesus came to do away with the Law.
The truth is that no society can survive without law. And, no society can survive with only love. Human nature is such that it needs law and love. But who is to determine what laws are sufficient? And, who gets to define what love is? Then, throw on top of that a God who changes — and you have a mess.
This becomes pretty sticky.
We’ve been taught that God sort of changed strategy when He got to the New Testament era of the Church. He had a new Economy that He was going to use with the Church. That sounds OK; but, what’s to say God won’t change His mind again? Will He give us new teachings that supersede what we already have now? If He did it once before, why not again?
Can you live with a God like that? I can’t.
So, what are we to do?
I’d like to propose some things for you to consider:
God doesn’t change from one era to the next. God has always and will always be the same.
God is a God of love as well as a God of laws. The two are compatible.
God knew the Temple would be destroyed and that His people would be scattered. Therefore, He knew that His people wouldn’t be able to live out ALL the Torah.
God does want His people in every generation to live out as much of His Word, Old and New, as they can. There’s no reason to make this any more difficult than that.
God doesn’t have two people groups: The Jews and the Christians. He always had only one people: Israel. Those of who are saved (“Jew” and “Gentile”) are now Israelites. Just like Ruth the Moabite became an Israelite by faith and came to live in Judah.
God does expect His people to set aside their biases and read and the Word for what it says. Come to God’s Word every day a clean slate. Ask God to open your eyes, that you may behold wondrous things out of His Law/Torah. Ps. 119:18
When we came into this Hebraic mindset (about 10 years ago), one of the first things we noticed was that our thinking was off about 180 degrees on these issues.
Here’s a couple of things we began to understand.
For example ..
We had been taught that Jesus came to do away with the Law. However, we began to realize Yeshua didn’t come to free us from the Law. Rather, Yeshua’s fulfillment gave His people the assurance that God was pleased with them through Yeshua’s finished work on their behalf. God knows we can’t keep all the Torah in the Diaspora without a Temple or priesthood. But, He does want us, in Yeshua, to do what we can until He comes again. — That was 180 degrees off from where we were.
Or this … Hurray bacon; Boo buzzard.
But, since God said not to eat a buzzard maybe we shouldn’t eat a pig either. They’re both unclean in God’s food list. — That was 180 degrees off from where we were.
When you come to passages which seem to scream the Law has been abolished, see if you can think about that verse/passage with a 180 degree mindset from what you now have.
What could this be saying if I looked at it 180 degrees differently? You might be surprised how well all the Bible fits together as a unified whole rather than a jig saw puzzle that needs pieces to be reshaped in order for it to fit.