Tag Archives: love

WHAT REALLY WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW?


Bro. Hess has given a good presentation on the law

            Being the God who knows everything, is the same God that gave the Law as is recorded throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  So did the all-knowing (omniscient) God really think that it was possible for man to be able to keep the whole law without messing up at all?  If so, why would He give such a law that would condemn those who broke it to death, physically and spiritually?

            Look at what James wrote in James 2:8-11. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11  For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 

  So what does this tell us?  Any one infraction of the Law, regardless of whether one considers it a “small” infraction or not, it still pronounces us as guilty and therefore, we have missed God’s mark of perfection, which is what is called sin.  What are we told in Romans 6:23?  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

            So, in this respect, the Law worked against man in that it showed man what God considered as sin and therefore man is guilty if he breaks the law in any way.  Man has absolutely NO excuse for doing ANYTHING that God doesn’t want him to do.  The Law, that Paul wrote about in Colossians 2:14 is called “the handwriting of ordinances”.  What did he say about the law?  “.Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  So why did God give us a Law “that was against us and contrary to us”?

            Here is what Paul stated in Romans 7. In verse 7 Paul said that “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.   In his early years, Paul THOUGHT that what he was doing was right in the sight of God and that he was safe.  But when the law was revealed to him, it was by the law that he knew what God considered to be sin.  Now look at what he said in Romans 5:20.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

  The law exposed sin in such a way that it gave sin a broader perspective in the mind of man.  The Jews did not fully understand how big sin really was in God’s eyes.  They considered, as many do today, that there were “little” sins that didn’t carry as much weight as the “bigger” sins.  But in God’s eyes there are NO “little” sins or NO “big” sins.  Sin is sin.  So the law made it possible for man to see just how “BIG”  ALL sin was in the eyes of God.  And as such, sin of any kind had the overall penalty of death.  Therefore, the necessity of “GOD’S GRACE” became more important and necessary to a man.  We see these words when we read all of Romans 5:20-21. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 

            In Galatians 3:10 Paul wrote For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  In Galatians 2:16 we read, “ Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.  Then on to Galatians 2:21 where we read, “ I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”  And what about what Paul wrote in Romans 3:20?  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  Isaiah 64:6 gives a message of no hope when it comes to what we can do of ourselves.  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” 

            So seeing what we have read in these references, what really WAS the purpose of the Law? 

                        (1)  As we saw in Romans 5:20 and 7:7 God gave the Law so that man would be able to see sin through the eyes of God.  Sin was “bigger” than man realized.

                        (2)  As we saw in Galatians 3:10; 2:16,21 ; and 3:20 the law was totally impossible to keep to the point of gaining righteousness in God’s eyes.

                        (3)  Isaiah’s message from God was that our best “good” doesn’t even come close to bringing us to God.

            But look at the beautiful information that Paul gives us in answer to the question, “What really was the purpose of the law?”.  In Galatians 3:23-25 we read these magnificent words. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” 

Notice these words; “…kept under the law, …”we were imprisoned under the law.  Those words were followed by “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,”the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ.

            Man needed something to show him how helpless he was in being able to make it possible for him to come into the  proper relationship with God. The law was what God used to show man that he needed a MEDIATOR between himself and God.   Jesus Christ was that Mediator.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; ” (I Timothy 2:5).  Jesus was the One and only Way to the Father.  Jesus was the REAL truth in physical form to point man to the Father.  Jesus was the only one who could give man the spiritual, eternal life that was necessary to prepare man to meet and live with the Father.  No human being can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ.

            I hope and pray that this lesson has answered the question “What really was the purpose of the law?” for you.

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VALUE ADDED


God does not love us because we are valuable. We are valuable because God loves us. – Adrian Rogers

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THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE UNIVERSE OF MANKIND


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE UNIVERSE OF MANKIND

This is a story of extreme opposites: of love and hate; of joy and despicable shame; a consummation of the crowning act of victory in experience marked “finished” from the foundation of the world. It is a story of the ultimate encouragement and motivation of God’s people in every generation until the age is closed. It is a story that will be the song of the saints while eternal eons roll ever onward in the endless bliss it provides.
Here then is the story so powerfully condensed in the words of Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It is a story of love and hate. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting live.” How deeply did and does God love the creative work of His own hands, especially the crowning act of it all, mankind. Yet He patiently endured such great contradiction of sinners against Himself. It is also a story of joy and despicable shame: “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the same.” What enormous joy is that of the post resurrected Jesus. While His crucifixion and resurrection was predetermined and foreordained, the experiential side of it all is the grandest story of the universe. Shame? Indeed much shame! How may one fairly estimate the shame of one sinless voluntarily taking upon Himself the sins of the world, and bearing the consequences of it? Though minor compared to this, how much shame was endured on the cross as a beaten body near death was lifted up as a scoffing point to the world? How much shame was endured as He was stripped of His clothing for rogue soldiers to gamble over, while He must die in sight of all in nakedness, bearing the full force of sin for others?
Yet, it is a story of encouragement and motivation for His people in every generation of the age. It is He who is both author and finisher of our faith. We are to look to Him in this crucial event, and we are to rejoice in His victory, lest we become weary and faint in our mind, which too many have done.
Here then is the story that will be the song of the saints in the never-ending, day of the final heaven age. It is recorded in Rev. 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people , and nation.” Then again, Rev. 5:12-13, “. . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. . . “ AMEN! AND AMEN! WHAT A STORY!!

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THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE

Some of the most beautiful word pictures fraught with deep meaning are found in the common denominator of term usage. Are you ready to think with me a minute for a blessing?
Please consider that the spokes of a wheel are essential to its existence and usefulness. Also, the fillets of a building are essential to its standing and usefulness. Similarly, the desire (attachment) of one’s heart as in a man for a woman as a potential mate is what makes marriage happen, and work. Truly, the love that one cultivates for a person, place or thing is what gives that person, place, or thing prominence and importance in the heart and mind.
Okay, okay, I am a little impatient. Where are you going with this? Well, hang on!
The spokes of a wheel are mentioned in I Kings 7:33. The ancient Hebrew word designating “spokes” is “Chashaq.”
Furthermore, the fillets of a building, especially a portable building such as the Old Testament Tabernacle, are referred to by the word, “Chashaq.”
Moreover, the strong desire for a life mate is expressed by the same word, “Chashaq.”
Then, there is that strongest of bindings referred to as “love,” and it is also referenced as “Chashaq.”
I know, I know, you are getting the picture, but it isn’t finished just yet. So, the climax of the picture drives home a reality that lives on shouting ground. It is Isaiah 38:17, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Folks, the phrase “love to my soul,” is a translation of the Hebrew term “Chashaq.”
How important are spokes to a wheel; fillets to a building; desire to a life-mate? None of these work without them. That is just what exists in the love of God to the soul of a believer, and how important it is. An attachment has been made. God has reached out and united Himself with the soul of every believer in Christ Jesus, and one may be sure He will never let go, nor His arm be broken.
No wonder then that Jesus declared that the Father had given His people to Him, and no man could pluck them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29. In Paul’s words, “. . . neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God ,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Governmental officials have their secret service agents; Brinks has armored trucks, cities have police, but there is no security in all the universe close to equaling that of the believer in Christ Jesus, whom He has attached to Himself!

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APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity


APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity

Psalm 133:1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 

2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 

3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. 

Unity, often discussed, difficult to attain. Unity is so important in the work of the Lord. There are times where dis-unity causes the work of God to be hindered. Unity promotes and encourages the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should be united in Sentiment. Sentiment is a tender feeling or emotion for others that are engaged in the work of the Lord. It is that part of mankind where joy is shared by all and death is mourned together and those that leave our union brings great sadness. This sentiment is coupled with a union of feeling. This feeling brings a confidence among those that are in union. When we are in union with sentiment and feeling, we will be united in effort. When we are united in effort, the Lord’s work will be accomplished.

Church union is very important. The Church must be united in the teachings of the Scriptures. We must agree on core doctrines that relate to God, Jesus, and the Church. Without this union on Scripture, there is division which hinders the work. Unity is strength. Where there is unity there is strength to do the work. Unity brings happiness. When all are pulling the yoke together we have a unity of purpose that brings us together to pursue a goal. Where there is unity, there is love. A love that overshadows the work that is done for the Lord. Through all of the discussions on God, Church, and Doctrine, we should have unity even in our disagreements.

May we unite for the sake of the work of the Lord.

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MARCH 26 – Happy is the man


MARCH 26 – Happy is the man

Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 

Punishment looks to the past and past deeds. It looks to the law that was broken and the penalty of punishment that the infraction brings. Chastisement looks to the future to bring an effect to the mind of one that will benefit them and raise the character and moral standard of one. It is a correction to the path and the deeds of one of the children of God.

The one that sends chastening to us is a Holy Righteous God who loves us and desires the best for us. “Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:12. Here we see the origin of chastening is held in the Divine love that God has toward us. Within this chastening, we find the mercy of God in that we were not destroyed.

The chastening is upon fallen man. We have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We do find that in repentance, we have been cleansed and forgiven. Yet as long as we are in this carnal body, we will stray, say things we should not and do things we should not. Because of this God will use an instrument to chastise us. Ii might be a calamity or some kind of trouble. There certainly will be affliction that will get our attention.

Chastisement is not because God is cruel. God does this out of love and mercy to reform man. Make man more like Jesus. The purpose is to cause us to eliminate some bad things in our life and to add some Godly things to our life.

Happy is the man whom God correcteth because this is a sign of being a child of God. Have you ever been chastened? If not, check your salvation.

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CONQUERING THE COSMOS


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
CONQUERING THE COSMOS

A supposed contradiction in scripture presented to this writer a few years ago goes like this: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . .” contrasted with “Love not the world . . .” I John 2:15. Are we to conclude then that the Bible is telling us to not love what God loves? That is contradictory. Well, think with me a minute.
God created a cosmos (order of things). It was so perfect, so beautiful, so desirable from every viewpoint. Its zenith was manifest in Eden when the climax of creation (mankind) was made the federal head of it.
Willful transgression by the federal head, caused the entire cosmos to be cast down. From that casting down, the Lamb slain was the plan of God to redeem it unto Himself. Rev. 13:8. Thus were the works finished from the foundation of the world (casting down of the cosmos). Hebrews 4:3.
Inasmuch as mankind was made from the earth and installed as the federal head of it, all of creation became subject to his actions. When sin entered into mankind, it changed the then known and wonderful cosmos of peace and life into a cosmos operating on the laws of sin and death. Moreover, all of creation was subjected to that disastrous decision of man, and it groans, awaiting its liberation which will occur in the final liberation of the people of God in the resurrection and rapture heralding the beginning of a new age. Romans 8:19-23.
That being said, thoughts return to the supposed contradiction, and how these thoughts apply to it. God loves the work of His hands. When all the work was finished, He beheld it, and it was very good! Gen 1:31. It is then the purpose of God to redeem His work from the “cast down” state to the fullness of His plans for it during the millennium, and on to the ultimate goal of it in the heaven ages to follow.
It is the cosmos that God so loved, and that Jesus came to redeem. However the cosmos that the Bible commands us to not love is the present one of sin and death. It is destined to eternal removal from the presence of God. Of it, John wrote, “Love not the world (cosmos) neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.
Alas, we are all in the cosmos and doomed with it except for the success of the second Adam, Christ Jesus. Being born from above and following Him involves one in a dimension of life unknown to the present cosmos. It is an earnest of the inheritance that is to come in all of its unspeakable joy, peace and beauty. As the decision of one man cast down the cosmos and all in it, so through repentance and faith in the work of one man, Jesus, one escapes the laws of sin and death, and is admitted to the wonderful laws of life in the redeemed cosmos!

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WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS LEARNING


William Andrew Dillard

PARSON TO PERSON
WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS LEARNING
Love is a highly prized dimension of life, but unfortunately, considered to be a non-essential to the majority of the world. Some would say, “Now hold on there, preacher! Psychologists insist that love is essential to wellbeing.” Well, injecting “well-being’ into the thought creates a different equation, but just think with me for a minute!
In the great love chapter of the Bible, I Cor. 13, Paul said he might speak with the tongues of men and of angel without it. He went on to say that he might possess the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, even possess such faith as to move mountains without love. He could be kindly minded toward the poor, and become a sacrificial martyr without love. But all of that would be for nothing…FOR NOTHING! It is love that survives, that preservers, that counts for something both in time and eternity.
Love is not static! It goes to the depths of problems. It is active in longsuffering, promoting others, hoping, believing, enduring, bearing all things. It rejoices not in iniquity, but in truth! Let the meaning of these words be applied then to the average Christian in modern times. Do they fit well, or seem to be all out of kilter with the status quo?
Most any churchgoer will tell you he loves the Lord; loves His Word; loves His church, but these are words; too often hollow words. Hollow words find their satisfaction in detached, mostly ritualistic, habitual actions of religion which are void of personal communion and growth in the grace of God and His inexhaustible Word. It is sad! Certainly, one can live in the same house with a spouse; provide material things, and appear to be the envy of the world, but not have love for that spouse or the true meaning of a home. This is often true in describing professing Christians. One might do well to ask himself how much time he has spent in prayer or in reading the Holy Word lately. One would do well to ask of self just when was the last time personal faith was shared outside the walls of a church house? One would do well to ask himself, when was the last time he actually learned anything at all from the Bible that had not resided in his consciousness previously?
Consider that a small child was given a wing pin by a pilot in an airport. He proudly proclaimed to his mother that he was now a pilot. His mother replied to him that in his eyes he was a pilot, and in her eyes he was a pilot, but in the eyes of a pilot, he was no pilot at all. Could this also illustrate the status of many professing church members. It is easy to say, “I love the Lord,” but love is not static. Love is active. Where love is, there is growth, progress, learning!

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ONE VERSE PREFERENCE


 Parson to Person

ONE VERSE PREFERENCE
If I could have in my possession only one verse of the Bible, which one would it be? Hands down, it would be John 3:16. It is so comprehensive that it pretty well covers all the bare essentials for fallen mankind. It is the key to evangelism. Think about it with me!
It begins, “For God.” Here is the presentation of the eternal, creator deity. There is no need to try to prove God. He doesn’t! He is, and it is literally the fool who does not know this.
It continues, “So loved.” Here is the essence of what God is. I John 4:8 says “God is love.” There is one God. He is the creator and eternal judge, and His essence is love. That draws me.
“God so loved the world.” Here is the object of His love: the inhabited world. It is unlimited to the world of men. As a part of that, I am then the object of His love. I am grateful, and I rejoice!
“That He gave.” Love is giving. Love is sacrifice by its own definition. God, the Creator is a giving God, not a taker. Rather than quake in fear, I run to Him in expectation.
“He gave His only begotten Son.” Love gives! It is not a trivial gift. It is not an expensive gift that would be trivial compared to His universal riches. It is His only begotten Son. The gift is the one and only expression of mankind who could pay the penalty of sin and did so from the depths of His essence of love and grace. It is as the scriptures put it, an “Unspeakable gift!”
“That whosoever.” What a wonderful word! Whosoever includes me! Whosoever excludes no one. The invitation to goodness, righteousness, life is indeed universal to the offspring of Adam.
“Believeth in Him.” The required prerequisite to everlasting life is to believe in Him. One might quibble about the degree of belief under consideration, but the term “believeth” is present tense, and means to trust for that which is eternal, and over which no mortal has control or authority in himself.
“Should not perish” Here is the opposite outcome for failure to believe in Him. Moreover, it is a divine statement that such belief produces the opposite of whatever ideas may be associated with “perish.” But for God, to perish is absolutely, universally certain!
“But have everlasting life.” Life: goodness in awareness minus any of the evils associated with present earthly life and sin. Life! Everlasting life! It is perfection, immortality, awareness in total righteousness without interruption or end. The very idea is overwhelming, but this is the greatest story ever told, the greatest gift ever given, the greatest hope of any human heart.
If I could have only one verse of scripture in my possession to love, live by, and share with others, it would be John3:16

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The Priority of Love  


 

1 Peter 4:7-9

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” 1 Peter 4:8.

 

Emergency! The end of all things is at hand! What does Peter advise us to do to get ready for the end of all things? Pay attention and pray, but above all things, love one another in sincerity.

Paul said that Jesus is coming back, and the most important thing he wants Jesus to find is church members who love each other(1 Thess. 3:12, 13). At the Judgment Seat of Christ, love will be the measuring stick to evaluate all our motives. Did we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind? Did we love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves?

Love is a supernatural, magnetic energy that draws the world to Jesus. The world knows we are His disciples if we love each other. Our love one to another helps us overlook the minor faults each of us have. This does not mean that love excuses and tolerates sin. It means we are all sinners and regardless of our sins, we love each other. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John4:20, 21).

 

 

JUST SAYING

God tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law and prophets. We should grow in the fruit of the Spirit,  and that would cover a lot of bases as far as  pleasing God is concerned.

Robert Brock

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