Recently I read an article in a very popular Christian magazine, written by a pastor who believes that the 10 Commandments is what the church needs in order to stop immorality among Christians:
"In some churches there is an atmosphere of loose living, with many involved in sexual immorality and drunkenness as well as other physical vices. The reason for this is 'the law is our schoolmaster that leads us to Christ' (Gal. 3:24) because through the (moral) law comes the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20). If the moral law of the Ten Commandments is not preached or alluded to, then in ignorance the people will live foolish lives…"
If we take both of those scriptures referenced in that quote and just keep on reading IN CONTEXT, we'll find a couple of extremely important "BUT's":
In the very next verse after Galatians 3:24, Paul said,
"BUT after that faith is come, we are NO LONGER UNDER THE SCHOOLMASTER." (Galatians 3:25)
And in the very next verse after Romans 3:20, Paul said,
"BUT now the righteousness of God APART FROM THE LAW is revealed." (Romans 3:21)
Paul also said,
"For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law [hmmmm...it seems that the strength of sin is the law!] were at work in our members to bear fruit to death." (Romans 7:5)
Once again, if we keep on reading IN CONTEXT, we'll find the Good News in another "BUT":
"BUT now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in THE NEWNESS OF THE SPIRIT and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6)
The external demands on the flesh for righteousness (the 10 Commandments) have been replaced with the internal promptings of the Holy Spirit. And now we bear fruit to life from the INSIDE OUT!
By fulfilling the law for us, Jesus replaced the relationship based on law and fear with the relationship based on faith and love:
He replaced labor with rest.
He replaced fear of punishment with perfect love.
He replaced separation with union.
John compared the new commandments of Jesus with the burdensome commandments of the law:
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments ARE NOT BURDENSOME." (1 John 5:3)
Imagine commandments with no burden! The law of Christ is not the law of Moses. It’s not the ministry of death and condemnation. It’s the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! His laws are...
"...the royal law of love..." (James 2:8)
"...the perfect law of liberty..." (James 1:25)
"And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23)
"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
We don't love to be loved. We love because we ARE LOVED.
We don't forgive to be forgiven. We forgive because we ARE FORGIVEN.
"We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave [PAST TENSE] you." (Ephesians 4:32)
"This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:10)
Immorality in the church won't be stopped by the 10 "Thou Shalt Nots" any more than it worked for the Israelites. No flesh will be justified by the law.
Immorality in the church will fizzle away when we preach Christ crucified.
Immorality in the church will fade away when we behold Jesus in His glory.
Immorality in the church will be seen for the case of mistaken identity that it is when the body of Christ looks in the mirror and sees what God sees: As Jesus is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)
by Tricia Gunn
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