“Thus says the Lord GOD: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.” (Ezekiel 28:25–26, ESV)
For thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel, therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 25:6–7, ESV)
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. (Deuteronomy 30:15–16, ESV)
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58, ESV)
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17–18, ESV)
‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 8 section ‘Still a Tutor’
Some people think and teach that if we have the Christ, then we “don’t need the Law” (there’s that lucky rabbit’s foot again). “Having Christ” to these teachers’ means to like Him a lot. Or ‘believe’ without action. Or to think that He’s a great teacher or prophet and nothing more. There’s a technical term for the “we don’t need the Law” teaching, which is ‘horse hockey.’ If we have the Christ, we have God, and we get God’s Words, including the Law. If we reject the Law, we are rejecting God’s Word to His people, which would show that we do not ‘have Christ.’ It’s a package deal.
If we say we “have Christ” yet do not do what the Christ says, then we are nothing more than clashing gongs and clanging cymbals (1 Corinthians 13:1). And that not even in time with God’s music. When we pick and choose through the Word for what we will do and what we won’t, it does not jive with the example that Jesus set. He did it all, and perfectly. He expects us to do the same. And ‘perfectly’ means confessing and repenting when we make mistakes instead of looking for excuses or rationalizing.
We need to understand that the Law still functions as a tutor to lead a person to the Christ. It tutors anyone on their way to maturity with God. This means that God still uses it to draw people to His Son, and by living it, we can draw people to Him, too.
Further, the Laws do not go away just because we are now old enough or ‘have Christ.’ When I was a child I learned not to stick the wrong object into an electrical socket. But when I ‘grew up’ that law did not cease to be. I just graduated to the proper use of the socket without having to be told. I still don’t stick the wrong object in the socket. In the same way, when we graduate to Christ, the Law still functions. It’s just that I don’t need to be told. It is written on my heart. Having reached maturity, the Law does not cease to function. Instead, it is written on my heart so that I do what it says automatically. The Law becomes ‘second nature.’
“Be still, and know that I am God:” (Psalm 46:10) Do you ever have trouble being still? I wonder why we feel the need to try to make the rain fall, instead of waiting on God to send it in His perfect time. I am learning much about this right now. What is God teaching you?
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3As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 8But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:3-11 NASB95)
Some struggle to see the Word or parts of the Word as relevant in their lives. The center of this struggle is not the Word, but the self. Confusion is caused when we refuse His plain teaching. All of His Word is relevant to our lives in every way. Every word He speaks is as relevant as a heartbeat. If relevance is hard to find, it’s more likely due to church dogma or the condition of a person’s heart.
His word does not age or fade away; it does not change or fall apart. People, on the other hand, easily change, fade, age and harden. We move away from the Word but the Word, like bedrock, never moves. Circumstances change; people die, but the Word of the Lord and its relevance lives forever (Matthew 24:35).
The Word is one complete book of living oracles (one faith) given to all people by our one God and Savior Jesus the Christ. It is not ‘old’ and ‘new’ in the sense of outdated and updated, nor is any part of it irrelevant. It contains a great deal of wisdom, but it is not a book of disconnected wise sayings. It is full of many practical life instructions, but it is not a book of suggestions. It is a puzzle book to the lawless (1 Corinthians 1:18) yet plain and easy to understand for the humble and obedient heart.
From the book manuscript presently titled ‘Whole Bible Christianity.’
Like the New Covenant, most ‘New Testament’ or part-Bible Christians cannot tell you what the gospel is either. We tend to think of it as a feel-good message about Jesus being our buddy and saving us from bad stuff. Then He allows us to do whatever we want.
The gospel, which means ‘good news,’ however, might really make us feel good, and it should, but the message is not about feelings. It is about ‘God with us,’ which is the meaning of one of the names of Jesus (Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23).
Did you know that the gospel was preached to Israel at Mount Sinai by God through Moses? So says the writer of Hebrews.
2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. (Hebrews 4:2 NASB95)
Stephen calls the group at Sinai the “congregation in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) and that they received “living oracles” to pass on to their kids. These living oracles were none other than the Law. So this is another way of saying the gospel was preached to the church at Mount Sinai.
Here’s a riddle for you. Why is the Law called ‘the gospel’ in Hebrews 4:2?