Transcript of “A Law Unto Ourselves”
As taken from the podcast section of this website.
The Bible: God’s message of love to humanity expressed in inspired, truly accurate historical writings that saturate our “today” with justification, peace and joy. To those who question its authenticity and accuracy, I have one question. If I handed you a blank sheet of paper representing a sum total of all of the knowledge in the universe; if I asked you to draw a circle around all of the existing knowledge of which you had revelation; how big of a circle would it be? Would it take up half of the page; one quarter of the page; an inch circumference; a pencil point? Whatever the size of your circle, is it possible that truth could exist outside of your circle? If your answer is “yes it may be possible for truth to exist outside of my circle of knowledge,” then you are teachable and the rest of this podcast is for you. Will I make statements that you may not agree with? Will I make statements that you do agree with? Will I present thought processes that challenge your belief system? Absolutely! But if the adventure of stepping beyond the boundaries of your existing knowledge base begins to radiate through a partial opening of the door of truth; dare to look into its light. Let the Spirit of Truth illuminate His words with revelation.
Let me begin with the following verse from Romans 8:2 which reads:
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
That sounds like very good news, alleluia! Now I need to further identify my audience, for I’m not speaking to just anyone who is listening. I am speaking to a specific group, of which if you are not a part, you are not the intended recipient of this audio. So let me ask another question, and because I distain trick questions, I must inform you that the following question is a trick question. Therefore, since I have informed you that it is a trick question, then I’ll consider it not a trick question because you were informed beforehand. Considering the previously read verse of scripture, how many of you are glad that you are no longer under the Law of Moses but have been set free!? Now let me ask another question. How many of you are Gentiles (Gentiles, of course meaning not of Jewish lineage) and how many of you are Jewish? This Law, the Law that God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai, was drafted by God and delivered to the Hebrews or Jews. It was God’s perfect standard establishing the parameters of the covenant agreed to by God and the Jews. It, the Law, defined this covenant that was legally binding on God and on the nation of Israel. It was never offered to any Gentile or Gentile nation and remains so today. So, if your response to my trick question, if you’re a Gentile and you have acknowledged your delight at being freed from this Law; then you’ve been miss informed about a truth. The truth being that you, a non-Jew, were never under the Law of Moses. It was never offered to you.
Now let’s peel another layer away from the onion. What about you Jewish believers who’ve acknowledged your pleasure in being freed from the Law? Well, unless you lived between the times that the Law was first given and the time that Jesus cried “It is finished” while He was on the cross, you also have been miss informed. The truth being that after the Law had completed its intended result, it was put away as the defining perimeter of this covenant that we now call the “Old Covenant.” Therefore, today there exists only one covenant that we call the “New Covenant” and that New Covenant exists between God and the God/Man, the Last Adam, the only intended representative of the human race: Jesus the Son of the Father-God. It’s this New Covenant in which we Christians are participants or beneficiaries. It’s this new law, or prescription of the Eternal Spirit that begins with the eternal life that’s in Christ Jesus. Today are you a Gentile who has believed on Jesus the Christ? Or, today are you a Jew who has believed on Jesus the Christ? Then you are in (immersed into) the life of Jesus, according to the law of the Spirit of Truth and this podcast is addressed to you.
Now, if it is then true that the Law of Moses, which was the very foundational boundary of the Old Covenant, has been folded up and put aside, then why are we Christians continuing to nurture it along by continuously speaking about it as though it, this Law, actually exists as an alternate choice to the Grace of God? We hear sermons based on such subjects as “The Law vs Grace.” We have entire churches that tout their independence from this Law by way of constantly examining it and presenting it as the nemesis of the “message of grace.” We study it. We ponder it. We warn others not to mix it with the New Covenant reality, yet in so doing we resurrect that which is passed and toss its seeds of accusation into the soil of the heart of anyone who will listen. Yes the history of the Bible acknowledges the giving of the Law to the nation of Israel. It also acknowledges the nation of Israel’s ready acceptance of it as the guidelines of the covenant that existed between God and them. This covenant, which we refer to as the “Old Covenant,” was legally binding (and I repeat with purpose the word “binding”) on God and on the Israeli nation/individuals. It was established for a very specific and very important purpose. That purpose was fulfilled on the cross and plainly realized at the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It bought an end/fulfillment to the Old Covenant and the Law of Moses; and with its death, the life of God contained in His New Covenant, burst forth into the world and was made accessible to all of humanity, by Grace and through the faith that is in His Son, Jesus the Anointed One.
Once again I use the verse from Romans 8:2, but I paraphrase according to context and understanding:
“For God, the Eternal Spirit, has established a far greater law; the law of life. It is this law of life, established in the faith of Christ Jesus that has liberated me from the law of sin and death.”
What an awesome statement of truth! But wait. Is not the “law of sin and death” referring to the Law of Moses? And if it is referring to this Law, then is not this “Law” a viable and real time opponent to real time Grace? And if it is a real time opponent, then it must still remain as an alternative that can be mixed with the message of Grace. No! No! No! This is not in reference to the Law of the Old Covenant. This is siting a law that was established long, long before the time of Moses. This is a law that was esablished as a reality in the life of every human being when God prophesied to Adam, in regard to the “knowledge of good and evil,” when He spoke the words taken from Gen 2:17:
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
One of the most interesting things about this verse is the last two Hebrew words in the sentence. Notice above that I intentionally underlined the transliterated phrase “thereof thou shalt surely.” One of the most interesting things about this verse is the last two Hebrew words in the sentence. The transliterated phrase, “therefore thou shalt surely” is actually one Hebrew word and its English translation is the one word, “die.” Then the same Hebrew word is immediately used the second time, in which case the translators felt comfortable in using the single word, “die.” Therefore, if I were to use the actual Hebrew meaning of this word in translating the verse, it would read:
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest die, die.”
What was God telling this human being, Adam? God was not surprised by the fact that mankind did eventually ingest and digest the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil. He knew well the transgression of His law of “thou shalt not eat of it” would become a reality and the reality would have a consequence. Just as in the Law of Moses each commandment or ordinance yielded a predetermined result of blessing or cursing, this first and only law carried the consequence of deaths. No my use of the word “deaths” in the plural was not a mispronunciation. So again I return to my question, what was God telling humanity? Was His revelation of this law nothing more than a warning? Listen to a better paraphrased translation of what God said to Adam:
“…for in the day that you do transgress, you will introduce a process of death in which you will eventually die.”
So then, by way of transgression, sin and death was established as a binding consequential law in and to humanity:
- Sin due to the condemnation in the soul of man, as man became keenly aware of his falling short of God’s expectations; while man’s actions of evil and his constant struggle to off-set those actions with good, continuously served as an ever present reminder of his inability to please God.
- Death due to man being removed from the Garden of Eden that held the “Tree of Life.”
Remember here that God told Adam that he could eat of all of the trees in the garden save one. Did that exclude the “Tree of Life?” Certainly not. Although we have no timeline for the length of time that mankind lived in the garden, we also have no indication that he did not eat of the “Tree of Life” while he lived in the Garden. What we do know is that the moment God denied access to the “Tree of Life,” the time clock of death began, resulting in an eventual physical death.
Another thing to realize, and I repeat what I’ve said before: the event of absorbing the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil by man was not a surprise to God. This was known by Him before the plan of taking the human creation into His family was established. It was known before the foundation of the cosmos was set. God, in His perfectly planned adoption of His creation, used the very result of the transgression (which was physical death) to bring many sons into His circle of life. With death being established as the end of man’s earthly existence, God was able to place transgression and death into the body of Jesus the Christ, as our champion. It is in His (Jesus’) death that we can also claim the truth of Rom 6:1-7 as it states:
Romans 6:1-7 (KJV)
“1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [immersed] into Jesus Christ were baptized [immersed] into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism [immersion] into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life [the law of life]. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man [which naturally tied us to the law of sin] is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Here Paul introduces the fact that we believers, even while we live in the earth, have died with Him (Jesus) and therefore are freed from sin. And because God considers us “in Jesus,” immersed or baptized “into” Him and His death, we are also seen by God as raised from that death and into the very life of God, which is known as son ship in the circle of His family, with all of the rights and privileges of that position. This is God’s plan for humanity: a place in His circle of Life by His gift of Grace and through the faith of His only procreated Son, Jesus. Yes my choice of words was intentional in that I said His only “procreated” Son as God’s seed was planted into the womb of the woman, Mary.
Can you see how the establishment of physical death, resulting from the choice of man in the garden, worked into the perfect plan of the Eternal Spirit? Can you see that in the death of Jesus how the perfect plan of the Eternal Spirit has established the path to son ship for all of humanity, scripturally referred to as the “adoption of son’s” into the family of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit? It is in this position of reality that we are able to say in truth, that we have been set free from the law of sin and death which began in the Garden of Eden. It’s this “death” that God spoke of to mankind (Adam) that would culminate in the ultimate death, the final victory: the death of the law of sin, thereby illuminating the gateway to the law of life.
I realize that I’ve said a lot in this recording. Please listen to it again, as many times as is needed. There are many helpful truths woven into its presentation that are essential to building a strong system of beliefs. There is only one foundation, and that is Jesus and Him crucified. The foundation is secure, but what we build upon it determines the course of our lives. Allow the Holy Spirit of God to take hold together with you while you build.