I have been thinking about God’s Law quite a bit recently through the help of books, sermons, podcasts, and whatever I can find, and some of that will be pouring over into this forum. That’s what this is, a little thinking about God’s Law.
Something I have thought for most of my new life in Christ about God’s Law has been wonky to say the least. Practically speaking I have been an antinomian, someone who is against (anti) law (nomos), specifically God’s Law. One of the reasons for this was my own faulty understanding of His Law. I thought it was a cold, stiff rod to beat rebels with. Why would I, a Christian, need to be beaten with such a thing?
I never saw the Law of God as good. This was to my detriment. I thought the Law was a scaffolding used to build God’s House of the new covenant, and once the House was built, the scaffolding could be taken apart and hauled off to deep storage (with a big padlock on the sliding door). Now that I have been thinking about God and His Law, one of the many fundamental errors in my thinking was that God was not in the Law. In other words, I though God’s Law was impersonal, but now in Jesus, God is personal and the Law is void. And I called myself Reformed!
Anyway, here is a short thought on God’s Law being personal.
The Law of God is never impersonal, because behind the Law is the Lawgiver. This is where the Pharisees got it wrong, and this is where Jesus sets us straight.
For example, the Pharisees, in adding burdens on top of God’s Law (which is a law of liberty James 1:25), made Sabbath unnecessarily strict and they lost the Lawgiver for the sake of their tradition. The Lawgiver gave the Sabbath, and as His people they are also to give Sabbath. The Sabbath was not meant to be taken at the expense of another, but rather if it is within your power to give rest to someone, you are to do so. Jesus, in His grace and mercy saw a crippled man on the Sabbath, and He gave him rest by healing him. “For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath” (John 5:16).
The Pharisees accordingly thought this was blasphemous, but the Lord of the Sabbath shows us that the Law is personal, not abstract. It is warm, not cold. It is for the good, not for evil. The Law is a grace, not a rod. When the love of God leaves His Law, it ceases to be God’s Law. The love of God left the Pharisees, and their traditions were lawless. However, it is true that rebellious men may (and will) see God’s Law as a burden, but to the heart of faith, which has the Law of God written upon it (Jeremiah 31:33
), is a Law of liberty (James 1:25
) and by faith we establish the Law (Romans 3:31
). Our personal God has given us His personal Law and calls us to live according to it.