The Weight of the Law
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners... 1 Timothy 1:8-9a
We need to talk about God’s moral law so that we can use it lawfully. God's law reveals His holiness to a generation who has been indoctrinated with the belief that it is intolerant to ever suggest that someone's lifestyle is wrong. The law shows us we ought to obey God, but we have failed miserably; even worse, we can’t keep it. It’s not in our will power to do it. And so we’re condemned. God's moral law brings conviction of sin by revealing God's holiness and His perfect standard, thus humbling us and pointing us to Jesus!
The gospel proclaims, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13)!
Many pastors and churches today are reluctant to take public stances on today's culturally celebrated sins (particularly homosexuality and abortion), even as they privately acknowledge the sinfulness of these choices. Why is this?
- Christians have a difficult time loving sinners. Sinners sin. That is their nature. Jude 22-23 reminds believers, "And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh." I agree with Paul Tripp when he says the key to being an effective instrument of heart change in the life of another person is to start with your own heart. We must be motivated by love when we say tough things.
- Many pastors buy into the idea that a larger church is better.Many pastors believe this with good intentions--"If more people who hear the gospel, more will be saved." Others allow their ego to drive them. They love the power and attention of influence. There is nothing inherently wrong with a big church. But if a church compromises in preaching the full counsel of God in an attempt to appeal to and attract the lost, this "church" will be destined for spiritual destruction.
I say over and over, the reason I primarily teach books of the Bible is to keep me accountable to the full council of God. I must preach what God says on issues that offend Him and not just the ones that offend me.
We love people by treating them with dignity and respect as well as by caring enough about them to share the truth of Jesus. We hate sin by not condoning or excusing it. In both our love for the sinner and our hate for the sin, we must be careful to act in a way that honors God, letting our reasonableness be known (Philippians 4:5) and speaking with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
How are you doing in your witness? At work? On Facebook? In the marketplace?
Trevin Wax writes, "In a culture that has lost its appetite for truth and has developed an appetite for coarseness and sensationalism, cable news plays to our worst tendencies. A steady diet of cable news reinforces the idea that everything is about politics, that everything is life or death, and that we should all devote our attention to the big news story every day." He continues, "Does a regular rhythm of cable news make us better neighbors? Better moms and dads? Better church members?"
If we allow our favorite news programs to indoctrinate our thinking, we will begin to see our mission field as our enemy. A regular rhythm of God's Word is what we need if we are going to fulfill our mission of being salt and light in this crooked and twisted generation.