The Gospel and the Law

Holiness. Obedience. Righteousness. These words are not naturally well received by any human, and I have personally had enough bad experiences in the church to find them particularly threatening. Talk to me about grace. Or love. But don’t talk to me about the law. My study of Ephesians (which I’ve mentioned briefly before) is really changing how I think about this. God does not save us BY our obedience, but he does save us FOR our obedience. And though the concepts of obedience and holiness have been well abused by religious legalists of every persuasion, we cannot give these words over to them and lose their true meaning and God’s good plan for the obedience of his children.

In God’s design, obedience and holiness mean at the most basic level simply following God and being like Him. He is both the definition of what it means to be holy and the channel by which we can obey Him. He is the means and the end. And His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). If you are weighed down by the ideas of obedience and righteousness, you have let the wrong people define those terms for you.

This message on the 10 commandments was preached at church 2 weeks ago, and I found it a VERY helpful lesson on how we are to think about the law on this side of Christ. Thank you Jay-Thomas Hewitt for your clear, concise discussion of this.

3 Responses to The Gospel and the Law

  1. RJ May 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Amen! I finally understood obedience this summer when I taught the Jr. Church lesson on joy. Obedience = Joy. We even had older kids come in dressed up like robbers and try to tempt the little kids to disobey so they could steal their joy. I’m a bit thick, so this very visual demonstration finally cemented the relationship between obedience and joy for me.

  2. joydriven May 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Thanks, friend.

    I finally got a copy of PRACTICAL THEOLOGY FOR WOMEN of my own in the mail yesterday, was showing it over lunch to our old friend T.Manning who was in town.

    I will definitely download the sermon, too. I’ve listened to two of his others that you’ve recommended.

  3. Wendy May 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Wow. Tell TM I said hi if you get to see him again. 🙂