Works brought about by Faith

It is absolutely crucial that we understand that our works arise from faith in the fact that we are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ and that alone.  Our works have no merit at all in relation to our legal standing before God our Father and our ability to come to Him freely.  We approach God our Father freely because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.

That is basic theology.  It needs to underpin everything we think about who we are and what we do.

So, with that understanding, we read the rest of the Scriptures in a different light.  The Old Testament Law (the Torah, or first five books of the bible) are now expositions of what pleases God.  They become a place to learn how to live in a way that blesses both God and us.  The 10 commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), for instance, describe the fundamental ways in which we can please God and be a blessing to others.

All of Scripture is God breathed and useful for instruction (2 Timothy 3:16).  In Exodus 18 there is a lovely passage about Moses father-in-law Jethro.  The respect that Moses shows Jethro is an example to us all of how we should treat our elderly relatives.  Moses bowed low before Jethro and kissed him (Exodus 18:7), he showed respect and affection in equal measures.  Moses then took on Jethro’s advice without quibbling with him.  Considering that Moses was hearing directly from God and would go on to write the Torah, this was an impressive sign of his humility.  But then he was the most humble person on the face of the earth at the time (Numbers 12:3).

One of the most fundamental ways we can read the Old Testament with New Testament eyes is to understand that the law is not given as a stick to beat us with but that that stick was already used on Jesus (Col. 2:14).  The Law is now powerless in that regard. But as a way of knowing God and what He wants, the Law is crucial.  If you love God because of what He has done for you, then you will also love His Law because it shows you His heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s