The Law is Death

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Old Testament Law is death. The law killed Jesus Christ. People who could quote scripture and lived blameless in the law killed the Word — made flesh (John 1:14). Even Paul, the Pharisee of Pharisee, had to die unto himself to escape a life lived perfectly in the law. The law had to die in him for the spirit to fill him with the love of the new, better and perfect covenant. Paul tells us (Philippians 3:8) For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Paul is saying that his life, perfect in the law of the Old Testament, was worthless (as dung), in comparison to knowing Christ and living in His spirit. Without the law, sin is dead. (Romans 7:8) apart from the law, sin lies dead. Sin is made alive in the law but cannot exist in love!

(Romans 7:5-6)  For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

(Romans 7:7) if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin    Apostle Paul

Knowing the Beginning from the End

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Throughout the Old Testament God uses His prophets to foretell the future. He uses these prophecies to warn people of His impending judgement and to prove His control over the universe. He also shows that He is not limited by the constraints of time. (Isaiah 46:9-10)  I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done

God explains the end from the beginning (prophecy) and the beginning from the end (fulfillment). Not only does God have prophecy and fulfillment within the Old Testament, but He uses the Old Testament to prophecy the entire New Testament. If the Old Testament is one prophecy, The New Testament is its fulfillment. (Isaiah 42:9) Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Take a look at the visions in the Book of Daniel. His prophecy was so accurate that scholars argue that the book had to have been written at a date later than they originally agreed on. He describes the coming kingdoms with their rulers and how they would dissolve into parts. Historians can attach names to the people described in the prophecy without debate. I’m not surprised that Daniel was so accurate, he was the mouth piece of God. I’m amused that people with try to explain away the date of the books authorship than accept the word of God as truth when it stares them in the face. What a gift to see the actions of God defy explanation. What ridiculous faith it takes to believe God is not in control of His creation.

Minister of God

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2 Corinthians 6:2-10

Working together with him (Christ), then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

God gives us a description of what the ministry of His kingdom will entail.

He uses the word “in” to show the potential conditions that must be endured in the name of Jesus for reconciliation of God’s people to Him.

IN: Afflictions-Hardships-Calamities-Beatings-Imprisonment-Riots-Labors-Sleepless Nights-Hunger

We are to endure these conditions with the power found only in the Holy Spirit and in a way fitting a child of God. He uses the word “by” to show us the way and how we are to minister for His kingdom as we serve as facilitators to show the light of Christ to the world.

BY: Great Endurance-Purity-Knowledge-Patience-Kindness-The Holy Spirit-Genuine Love-Truthful      Speech-The Power of God

Knowing the conditions and the way we are to react to those conditions we see how the world will react. He uses “through” to show opposite ends of the landscape (reactions) that exists during the journey of ministry.

THROUGH: Honor-Dishonor-Slander-Praise

Being a child and minister for God causes a sanctification for you as you grow in the Spirit and bear fruit in your spiritual maturity. As you move toward holiness (become set apart) the world should take notice. As with most things that are different the reactions can be difficult and most likely will be seeing as you represent an opposition to the world, a light in the darkness. This group of verses concludes with a description of the sinful view of this world and the contrasting reality found in God. Although their hardened and sinful hearts will not allow them to see God’s truth. Praise God that He has chosen you to be set apart in service for Him. Become resolute in your position as a minister in God’s kingdom, a source of light to this dark and lost world.

Position in World’s View Position In God’s Light
Imposter True
Unknown Well Known
Dying Alive
Punished Not Killed
Sorrowful Rejoicing
Poor Making Many Rich
Having Nothing Possessing Everything

Don’t miss God’s plan

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Old Testament Laws are like guiding lights/ bread crumbs/ a map/ a GPS. They were originally intended to bring the focus of the Israelites to God and at the same time serve as a guide to show His power in their lives to the rest of the world. Knowing that sin kept all people from fulfilling the laws God became man and a sinless sacrifice so that love could succeed where the law had failed. Mercy could succeed where judgement fails. Many people miss the point of Jesus and continue attempting to please God in obedience to law. They use the law as a tool to learn about God and try and grow in Him. They miss the opportunity to be filled with His spirit in complete intimacy as a conduit of His power. Focusing on the law will cause you to miss God’s desire which is to live in your heart and allow you to shine His light to this dark world. Keeping your eyes on the Map/ GPS God gave people in the Old Testament will cause you to miss the destination God gave us through Christ, His Spirit!

Bible of Legalism

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                Something occurred to me as I thought about the people I meet in my Christian walk who see God as a rule enforcer. They ridicule people don’t follow a written code or set of rules. Most of those rules were never of God. To be perfectly blunt, after Jesus, none of them are. Jesus came as a fulfillment of the law to bring a new covenant of love through His blood. The love developed through a walk with Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit make the law obsolete and unnecessary. The absence of The Spirit requires people to seek laws that they have not allowed God to write on their hearts.

                After seeing the rejection of all those who do not meet their legalistic standard, I had thought. If they reject those who are unworthy of God’s favor, do due lack of adherence to His impossible standard of holiness, or their man-made version of pleasing God; how could they accept God’s chosen of the past either? Wouldn’t they, based on their un-Godly behavior, have to reject the teachings and wisdom of those who fail according to the law? They would certainly reject a man who committed adultery and then had the husband killed to cover up the resulting pregnancy (1). They would certainly reject a polygamist who worshiped other gods (2). They would reject a murderer (3), a persecutor of Christians (4), a person who denied Jesus (5), people who would sell a family member into slavery out of jealousy (6). They would certainly reject these people and absolutely reject any advice/ wisdom from those same people. Agreed? Now let’s see what this looks like.

  • (1) King David (A man after God’s own heart)à His Wisdom/Influence: Psalms, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles [ 989 times mentioned in 28 books of the bible]
  • (2) Solomon (God made wisest to ever live) à His Wisdom/ Influence: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [283 times mentioned in 15 books of the bible]
  • (3) Moses (Chosen to lead God’s people to the Promised Land) à His Wisdom/ Influence: Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers [796 times mentioned in 31 books of the bible]
  • (4) Paul (Spread the Gospel to the gentiles) à His Wisdom/ Influence: Gospel of Luke, Acts, All (11) of the letters to the churches, (3) pastoral epistles [195 times mentioned in 15 books of the bible]
  • (5) Peter (Cornerstone of Christ’s Church) à His Wisdom/ Influence: Gospel of Mark, Acts, 1&2 Peter [162 times mentioned in 8 books of the bible]
  • (6) The Sons of Jacob (The heads of the 12 tribes of Israel) à Honored and protected as God’s chosen through-out all time

Add to this that the Gospel of Matthew was written by a tax collector, the fallibility of the Judges like Samson, and the sin of Adam/Eve/Noah/Abraham; we are left with a list of minor prophets and some writings by John (none of whom were sinless either). I only make this point to show the absurdity of legalism and that true redemption is found in God’s grace and the blood of Christ. Don’t let rules cloud the significance of Christ’s sacrifice for you. Don’t let the legalism of others draw you away from the truth, and your identity as a forgiven child of God in Jesus Christ.

Ask and it Will be Given (5 of 5)

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Knowledge

Reciprocations (Receive-Find-Enter)

We must allow God to fill our hearts with His Spirit and His Word to fill our minds with His truth. We have to be open to receive truth, in any way it is given to us. It may be through difficult times, quiet times, joyful times, times of fear, times of anger, times of panic. It may come through a person we love, someone we are fearful of, someone we respect, someone who is the opposite of what we desire to be. God is always speaking to us, always giving real life examples of His word. Are we always listening? Are we always available to find the application of His truth? Do we expect God to tailor His infinite wisdom to accommodate our closed mind? If He did, would we receive far less than He was willing to provide? We must use knowledge to help us receive God’s provision, and understand how it can mature our spirit, fill our heart, and direct our minds. We must finally enter into God’s Wisdom, God’s viewpoint. We can use the tools He makes available to us to enter into sanctification, holiness. Seeking God daily opens the doors to the life God desires for those who will enter into His kingdom, enter into His Glory.

 

(2 Chronicles 15:2) The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Ask and it Will be Given (4 of 5)

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Knowledge

Actions (Ask-Seek-Knock)

The other half of seeking God is knowledge that can lead to wisdom. God puts questions on our heart that spur us to deeper knowledge of Him, His Word, and His Will. We must always hunger to know what the Sustainer of the universe has for us. We must allow that curiosity to drive us to seek God. Our first action is allowing the questions of our heart to drive us to learn about, not to doubt, God. Seeking the answers of God drives us closer to Him as our Heavenly Father. We must spend time with God in prayer, time with God in His word (the Bible), and time with God living out our faith. We must always seek to go deeper and never be satisfied with what is around us. We will miss the unique relationship God desires with us and the plan He has for us. Knocking indicates repetition. We ask questions to determine God’s will, we seek to find His face and learn about Him, and we do this Daily. As His mercy is renewed daily, so should our hunger and thirst to stay close by His side. Close enough to hear His whisper to our hearts, close enough to receive His provision and light. A heart seeking God repels sin and temptation as it is filled with God’s Spirit and Love. 

Ask and it will be given (3 of 5)

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Prayer

Reciprocations (Receive-Find-Enter)

Many know that part of prayer is receiving the provision of God. Many have an unrealistic expectation of what that looks like. Receiving an answer to prayer involves an overlooked aspect of prayer: silence. We should spend the same amount of time and energy listening as we do speaking to God. God communicates in whispers to your heart. You must allow for God to reciprocate in your prayerful conversations with Him. Finding is a process of understanding God’s answer. People get lost as they look for God to answer them according to their expectation. The answer flies by as they look for their ideal, as opposed to being open, in submission, to the provision of God that surpasses their imagination. The process of finding also allows God to redirect our path by using His provision as a guiding light. Allow God’s provision to lead your heart into deeper communication and better understanding of His desire for you. You are now led to the opportunity to enter into God’s kingdom. Not Heaven yet, I mean to take your place in His kingdom where you can be used to show His light to this world. Through persistence and perseverance God will develop you to receive His provision and be directed to the place in His kingdom design specifically for, and available only to, your submissive heart.

Ask and it will be given (2 of 5)

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Prayer

Actions (Ask-Seek-Knock)

As believers mature in their prayer life they begin to discover the purpose of prayer. God knows what we need but wants us to ask as we submit to His will and admit our dependence on Him. God waits to give to us what we humbly ask Him to provide. Our first action, as desired by God is to simply ask. We are next asked to seek. This action is meant for the believer to look for the opportunity to see and experience answered prayer. The important thing to remember is that God answers prayers the way we need them, not the way we want or expect them. An important criteria for seeking God’s answer is an open heart and mind. This is possible through the same submission with which we initially asked. Then we must knock. Knocking signifies a persistence and an expectation. We must pray consistently in submission as we wait for God’s answer, in God’s time. We must also wait in humble, faithful expectation. Any prayer in submission to God’s will and for His glory will be answered. Continue to knock as He develops you in perseverance to receive His provision for you.