Lorraine Hill’s lesson today is about how sin disrupts our fellowship with God and gives us the story of David and Bathsheba for an example (you can read the bible passage here if you like: 2 Sam 11 and 12) – this is a great example of the importance of repentance. Unrepented sin is very destructive to our relationships with others and with God. This week, we have also discussed legalism and how so much focus on strict adherence to “the rules” can actually be detrimental to our relationship with God. Today is an important opportunity for clarification about sin and legalism. First, if your or your church is adding more rules that you must follow to those in the bible – that is legalism and distracts us from our relationship with God. It should go without saying that the Church should help us apply what is in the bible to our modern life. For example, we should obey the speed limit laws because they have been set by our governing authorities: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Romans 13:1-2). Second, Jesus “broke the rules” (Ex 20:8-12) himself by healing on the sabbath and allowing his disciples to pick grain from the fields on the sabbath (Mark 3:1-4, Matt 12:1-8). “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matt 5:17)…Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal 4:23-25).
What does this mean? So what is the relationship between “the rules” and “sin”? What “rules” guide us now? Again, here we see Christ helping us to do what we could not do on our own:
- He kept the rules that we could not keep. He did it, in our place. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law,weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:3-4)
- Now He expects us to be obedient to Him, personally. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), but
- He simplified “the rules” for us: Jesus replied: “‘˜Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘˜Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40)
- He writes His law on our hearts. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke,though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer 31:31-34
- He gave us His Holy Spirit to help us to learn to hear Him and obey Him “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:25-26
- He always forgives us when we repent from our sins. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12)
I think God simplified things for me as I drew closer to Him. I still struggle with sin, but I understand it better now. It is not so much “my will vs. His will”. It is more like, how long do I want this thing to come between me and God?
JustaGirl…just like you