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Spirituality And The Law September 21, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.

All religions have rules, some have more rules than others.  When you’re talking about anything in religion the first question to ask is:  Is it from God or man?  People will add rules upon rules to their religion, this is not what I want to discuss today.  God has at various times given out rules, the rules or laws from God are under consideration here.  Why the need for rules?  To answer that question let’s look at the reasoning behind rules or laws.  Let’s say we have an imaginary community and each of us has our own automobile.  We all of course are of a mind to operate our cars in a safe manner not only for our own safety but also for the safety of the community.  As time goes by we notice a number of accidents at a particular intersection.  Visibility is limited so we put up a STOP sign to solve the problem.  The rule is when you see the stop sign, stop and look to see if it is safe to proceed into the intersection.

So, what does this have to do with spirituality?  In our example: everyone is of a mind to be a safe driver yet there have been accidents.  The introduction of a law has two effects, obedience to the law benefits everyone and it makes it clear who in truth are not driving their cars safely.  It is clear that those who break the law and run the stop sign are not operating their cars safely, no matter what they think of themselves or the law for that matter.  The law is not the object here, the benefit of everyone is the object, the law is just a tool and an indicator.

The purpose of the Law given by God to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament is very much like what we have been talking about here.  This is God carrying out his promise to Abraham to bless the whole world, first the world has to see clearly that despite what we may think, we are not doing the right thing for ourselves and others.  The Old Testament Law embodies the mind of God and indicates clearly how everyone is in disagreement with God on some point or points.  This proves that we need a mediator between us and God.  This is what God promised Abraham.  This is Jesus Christ.  He interceded for us by paying the penalty for our transgressions of the Law of God.

But there is an even larger spiritual thing happening here.  Jesus Christ did not break any of the Laws of God in his life.  He was always obedient to God and he always said exactly what God wanted him to say.  The only one who did not need to pay the penalty, paid the penalty for us.  After he paid the penalty with his life, he was rewarded by God and is now at the right hand of God as Lord over all creation.  What does this mean for us?  We each have a choice, we can be identified with Christ and benefit from the work he did or we can be identified the disobedient.  We can be exalted with Christ or live out an eternity without God. 

If we follow Christ we acknowledge that the Old Testament Law has done it’s job and we no longer have the burden of the Law.  All we need to do is follow Christ’s example, just as Christ was obedient to the father we are obedient to Christ.  The teaching of Christ is a much easier burden to bear than the Old Testament Law.  Christ’s teaching is not rule upon rule but we do indeed need to be obedient to Christ, not out of fear of penalty but because we believe the promise he made to us of eternal life.  I did not intend for this to turn into a gospel sermon but it sort of is.  Human nature is always at work to drive us away from God.  One sign of this in religious life, is an ever increasing body of rules that come from man.  Just as in the time of Christ all these additional rules and traditions do not bring us any closer to God in fact they draw us away.  A religion that consists of rule upon rule is a religion that has wandered away from God.  I hope this has shed some light on the topic of Spirituality and the Law.  Please feel free to add your comments on this topic.        


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