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Friday, August 23, 2013

A Living Law

'There is a Law for God's people'!

You may have heard that the Law ( yes, the so-called Mosaic Law ) was abrogated at the cross, when, as Scripture says, 'having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.......He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross' ( Colossians 2:14 ), but Jesus said, 'Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill' ( Matthew 5:17 ). The apostle Paul also wrote in another place, 'Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.' ( Romans 13:10 ) So, was the Law abrogated, put aside, and ended, or was it the Mosaic Code, or contract that passed away?

In a recent post, I pondered shortly the notion that the written code given to Moses on Mt. Sinai was a contract, rather than, as it has been traditionally ( orthodoxically ) viewed, a covenant. The Ten Commandment, as summed up by Jesus in Matthew 22:34-40, although given through Moses, and thus seen to be a part of the so-called Mosaic Law, ought more correctly to be seen as God's Law, or the Law of Love. The 613 some odd 'commandments' or stipulations given in the Mosaic ( written ) Code should be viewed simply as terms of a contract, which conditions to these terms are spelled out in Deuteronomy 28 and surrounding.

This contract, as also discussed previously, and by more learned men, might better be viewed, also in opposition to traditional orthodoxy, as a betrothal contract, or covenant. You may remember that, in a previous post on this subject, that I discussed the differences and similarities concerning contracts and covenants. A contract may be given as part of a covenant, but as a contract may involve, for instance, the building of a house, when the house has been built, the contact has been thus fulfilled and necessarily comes to an end, whereas if the contract is based in relationship, which may continue, it is seen to have simply part of a covenant. So with the Mosaic Code, or contract; as simply a part of the greater Covenant that God formed ( 'In the beginning' ) with His people, it was given as a betrothal contract of sorts, wherein God said, 'if you will keep my Law, at the consummation of the ages, I will come in to you and you will be My people ( Wife ) and I will be your God ( Husband )', and they lived happily ever after!

This Law of which we speak, better known maybe, as the Law of Love, the Law of God, may be seen to have been personified in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God! 'God is Love' is a familiar and most famous and well-known fact; the Son of God was sent, not only to fulfill ( fill up ) the Law, but to become the Fulfillment of the Law, thus God, being Love, is also, by extension, the Law Himself!

I have reasoned previously that, as any earthly father; God has given His children a set of natural laws to live by, if we are to enjoy the blessing of His Presence!

Not only do we have this natural law of sowing and reaping to think about, when we fail to keep the Law of Love as we should, there are also blessings and cursings involved. If we love our Father, and our neighbor ( brother, sister, mother ) as yourself, we reap the blessing of Joy in the Presence of God, but if we fail to love as we aught ( and we all fail at times ), we experience the ( cursed ) loss of that necessary communion with our Father, and so live a cursed existence until such time as we return to that communion where we can enjoy the blessings of His Presence!

This is not to say that when we ( ourselves ) fail to love as we aught, that we are cursed forever. Since God sent His Love to dwell in us, that is, in His New Temple, we are thus filled with the Love of God, and because He is faithful, even though we are not always, His Love trumps our lack of love; Love wins!

Through the Fulfillment ( again, 'filling up' ) of His own Law; God has shown Himself to be a Living Law, One that is unchangeable, inscribed indelibly on our 'hearts', not just engraved in stone or written on papyrus!

As we continue to 'fill up' this Law of Love', let us always remember, that even though we fail in our labors of Love, it is His Faithfulness that guarantees us a seat at His table and a place in His Holy Family!

Even so let us strive to love as we are loved, and live in the Law that gives Life!

Amen,
Charles Haddon Shank

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