Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God's Law is God's will

4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.
(Psalm 40:4-9)

Here, as in other parts of the Scripture, the will of God is linked to the Law of God. In other words, if we are not walking in the Law of God, then we are not doing His will; or conversely, if we want to know the will of God, in regards to a certain action, then we need to consult the Law of God.

But the point is, outside of Christ, the hearts of men hate the Law of God, and so set up all kinds of man-made rules that enable self-righteous self-justification. In the New Covenant, we come to Christ, made conscious of our utter sinfulness by the Holy spirit shining the Law of God upon our wickedness, and God gives us the gift of repentance, the gift of justification, the gift of adoption and then calls us to delight in His will, which is obeying His Law from the heart out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us while we were yet sinners. Not only that, God fills us with His Holy Spirit, and He causes us to walk in the Law of God.

I was watching a 4 Corners episode the other night of a cult leader (Michael Travesser of Strong city) who was recently tried for sexual assault of minors. In the cult leader's address to the court he mentioned that he taught his followers to follow after their consciences. The cult leader had created material for his followers to read, and in the context of that material, he sowed ideas that suggested the acceptability of immoral behaviour; the leader moulded the consciences of the followers that he then told them to follow. The conscience is a fickle faculty. The conscience is moulded by the input it is given over time. The conscience can be trained; can be seared; can make us uncomfortable doing the right thing, and comfortable doing the wrong thing. The only objective, external measure of right and wrong is the Law of God, as revealed in the pages of the Bible. Without the Law of God, we only have fickle consciences which can be moulded to respond in infinitely different ways according to the input given to it over time.

In the first instance, the above passage talks about Jesus. Jesus was the ultimate Law-keeper, and He fulfilled all of God's righteous requirements in the Law. If our trust is fully in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we too will become Law-keepers as the Holy Spirit teaches us to fulfil the righteous requirements of God's Law in our lives over time. The Bible calls this process: 'Sanctification.'

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