Saturday, August 13, 2016


Do you believe the Bible, in the original languages, is God's Word?  Do you understand that God's Word presents "the good, the bad, and the ugly" when it comes to Bible characters?  In other words, Bible characters are not all to be our role models!  For if that were the case, we would be putting to death those who work on the Sabbath, those who are committing adultery, rebellious children, etc., etc.!  It is clear from the teaching of Jesus, that the Old Testament Law should not be taken simply at face value, but that one should diligently seek the spiritual truth upon which the text was written.  Here are just ten examples from the Gospel of Matthew:

*   Mt. 5:22 - "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:  and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council:  but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
*   Mt. 5:28 - "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
*   Mt. 5:32 - "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery:  and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."
*   Mt. 5:34 - "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne."
*   Mt. 5:39 - "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
*   Mt. 5:44 - "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
*   Mt. 11:24 - "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."
*   Mt. 12:6 - "But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple."
*   Mt. 12:36 - "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
*   Mt. 17:12 - "But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.  Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them."

So what is the spiritual truth that is the basis or foundation of the Law?  Jesus summed up the Law this way:  "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Mt. 22:37-40)!  Later, the Lord moved the Apostle Paul to simplify it even more; he wrote:  "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Gal. 5:13-14)!

Paul spent much of his time trying to convince legalistic brethren that the Law was merely a "schoolmaster" meant to bring Israel to faith in the Crucified, Resurrected, and Ascended Lord; once a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, he is free from the bondage of the Law, and is given liberty to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He wrote:  "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law" (Gal. 5:16-18)!

Do you want to please God?  Love your neighbor, even if he is an enemy!


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