Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Abolition

Scripture: Ephesians 2 v 12 - 16: "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"

Galatians 3 v 11 - 14: "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Paul the Apostle was brought up and became a Pharisee of the Pharisees, knowing the Law of Moses, and all the more than 600 other laws pertaining to the Jews, very thoroughly.  He lived a rigid and strict life until he had an unusual encounter on a dusty road not far from Damascus.

He was on his way to arrest and punish those who had left the Jewish faith to follow The Way, as Christianity was known back then.  However, Jesus Christ appeared to him and none of his fellow-travellers could see Him, but Paul saw a being in a great light and cried out, Who are You Lord? And heard back, I am Jesus who you are persecuting!

Paul was instantly converted, blinded by the light, and had to be led by the hand to Damascus, where a scared Christian was sent by Jesus to pray that he may see and share the true faith with him.

Paul would later write of of all he had learnt as a  Pharisee - I called it all dungeons and threw it out.  Especially the laws.  Because the law is there to convict and punish you, not to set you free.

To Paul the Spirit of God had set him and every believer, free.  A freedom like no other.  He wrote that when Jesus died on the Cross He abolished the law of commandments, which caused enmity, and made peace between man and God.  Jesus reconciled us with our Father, whom we saw as an enemy, by taking everything that caused that separation and killing it within His own flesh on the Cross.

The cause of enmity is sin, which leads to sickness and death.  Some fast some slow but the wages of sin is death and it will come. The righteous never die, they fall asleep in the Lord and awaken in His Kingdom alive forevermore.  If you need proof Google the story of Betty Malz who died, went to Heaven and was restored to life here to tell people about it.

There are great moves of Christians returning to follow Judaism and keeping the Sabbath, all the feasts, laws and beliefs, assuring themselves that this is pleasing to God.  To do all this and keep faith in Jesus is not possible.  The first Jewish converts knew that they were on a new path walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5 v 22 - 23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

This is the life above and beyond the law.  There are no rules against love, joy, peace and self-control.  There is no prison sentence for gentleness, goodness and meekness.  There is no condemnation for patience.  This is the very nature of Jesus, and we are growing to be like Him.

He broke the rules and they killed Him for it.  He healed people on the Sabbath!  He said He could forgive sin!  He raised the dead!  He was from Nazareth!  He calls Himself the Messiah.  Blasphemer! Crucify Him!!  He threatens to destroy the Temple.  He refused to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery!  (I always wonder why the man she was caught with was not being stoned with her!)

And in His death He abolished the law.  The law is for sinners, to catch them doing that which corrupts, and punish them.  The saints, Christians, have been forgiven and cleansed of all sin by the Blood of the Lamb.  So many captured sinners awaiting trial, get saved so they can present a changed person but many just do it to get off lightly.  This does not work.

If you are sincerely saved and go to jail for your crime then Jesus needs you in there to save others.  Bloom where you are planted.  But getting saved after you have committed a crime is not a get out of jail free card.  Do the crime, do the time.

If Jesus abolished the law of commandments who gives anyone the right to reinstate them.  Paul had an argument with Peter about it because when Peter was around Jewish people, he went back to his old ways.  Paul let him know that this was undermining the true gospel.  

So if you have been caught up in this trend of returning to Jewish ways, please take heed of this message.  Read the whole book of Galatians and remember the one who wrote it kept the law more than anyone.  It did not save him.  Only faith in Jesus could save him.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You gave us free will to choose whom we will serve, You or Satan.  Anyone not serving You is knowingly or unknowingly serving Satan.  There are no grey areas.  There is no religion, rules, laws, rites that appease You.  Only faith in Your Son Jesus Christ, and a relationship with Him opens the doors of Heaven for us.  I pray for eyes and hearts to open today and true peace and freedom come to all.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Tut