tirsdag 13. desember 2016

When the Law is used improperly

It is easy to find biblical evidence that the law of the Old Covenant could be used in an improper manner. Yesterday I read: 'We know that the law is good if one uses it properly', and it was a topic with which Paul was very concerned. Jesus had an equally clear focus on it. However, he also was clear on the fact that he had not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (1), but he was very hard on those who abused the Law (2).

Also in the Old Testament, God warned against abuse of the Law through the prophets. This was particularly true when the Religious exercises became more important than showing compassion expressed in practical action. William Booth used the 58. chapter of Isaiah and called it the Salvation Army's Charter, there we e.g. read:

No, this is fasting I have chosen: to loose unjust links, blast bands in the yoke, setting the oppressed free and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry and leave helpless and homeless get houses. You should see the naked and clothe him, you should not turn your back on your own.
Isaiah 58:6-7
This is not an attack on fasting, but a warning against forgetting the most important thing. In his "woe" of the Pharisees, Jesus says, for example:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Matt 23:23
The one does not exclude the other. So it is true that the Law is good when used properly, and cruel when used improperly. That is why Jesus attacked the Pharisees so hard:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
Matt 23:13
That is what Paul taught Timothy (3), and which is the truth that is vital for disciples to understand:

‘Manna’ for today:

Whosoever will may be saved (4)
(1) “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
(2) See Matthew 23
(3) 1 Timothy 1:8-11
(4) The Salvation Army's 6th article of faith: “We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.

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