Give Me That Mountain

Not an Obligation

The Law and Grace. Day sixty...

For a teenager to be trusted with the run of the house by his or her parents—away for a long weekend—has been the storyline for countless movies.

Of course, there's always the party—with the corresponding destruction of the house and the degradation of all those attending.

aftermath

God's grace can appear to give us the run of the planet—while we assume that God is off somewhere, doing His own thing.

But at some point, the mess we've made out of things, all on our own, comes back to haunt us.

We miss the entire point of God's grace if we think His grace is to just get us out from under the law. It is not beneficial to just get out from under the law.

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach more on grace than anybody else, says to the Corinthians:

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV)

Put in simpler language:

You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT)

We really need to have a paradigm shift in this area.

It is simply not in our best interest to think of God's grace as a way to get out from under the law.

Please note: I'm not talking about ceremonial law—as in keeping the Sabbath and circumcision. For example, the Sabbath is not a day but a person; Jesus became our Sabbath rest. And circumcision is not a medical procedure performed on boys at birth, but a circumcision of the heart performed on both men and women.

Jesus would not have been so tough on us in His message to the multitudes on the mountain (Matthew chapters 5–7) if He had no regard for the law and was just trying to get us out from under it.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17–20 NKJV)

While we have the choice to no longer live under the law in the new covenant, we are not free to ignore God's intent in the law.

Jesus made this quite clear as recorded in Matthew 5:17–48. He not only expects me to never physically murder another human being, but He expects me to never even think about it. He not only expects me to never commit adultery, but He expects me to never even look at another woman in lust.

And on top of all these impossible demands on my thoughts and behavior, He expects me to never think about how I'm going to take care of myself and my family. But instead to just focus on and seek first and foremost His kingdom and His righteousness. (See Matthew 6:25–34.)

“I don't know what He's thinking; I can never do that!”

But instead of just giving up on His standards and using His grace to cover mine, He wants me to give up on going it alone. The only place (and it is a place), the only place I can do what He expects of me is in His presence—a real‐time 24/7 working relationship with Him.

We have been taught to look at holiness as an obligation. It's no wonder holiness has become a dirty word—just another obligation to the Lord that we can't meet.

We think of holiness as an obligation, not a position.

But holiness is not an obligation. Holiness is a position—which I will teach more on tomorrow.

Have a good day,
Mike

Image credit: Lars-Erik Forsberg

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