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Monthly Archives: February 2021

Shine Christian Shine: Fulfilling God’s Glorious Law

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

–2 Cor. 4:6

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In the Nicene Creed, the church says this of Jesus Christ:

“God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God…”[i]

This is what we see today in the transfiguration, isn’t it?

He is revealed to be the Son of God – or maybe better, God the Son – as through this eyewitness account in the Gospels He indeed rises upon the world like the sun….

And we now, in this time and age, embrace in faith His glorious brightness – though it often be concealed beneath things like the cross, like water, like bread, like wine, like simple and humble words…

And we too then, Jesus says, are the light of the world (Matthew 5), as we walk in the Light that He is and He brings! (I John 1)…

Peter even says we are “partakers of the Divine Nature!” (2 Peter 1:4)

How different this is from what we hear about in the Old Testament!

There, after all, what stands out and looms large?

I don’t know about you, but I think many will say – and not without good reason! – Mount Sinai![ii]

As the Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Galatians, because of Israel’s sin, they needed to have a tutor, a pedagogue, a “child-leader,” given to them, meaning the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai…[iii]

And interestingly, as our Epistle reading this morning tells, us, this important moment of God’s people receiving the law and being put under its tutelage was represented by the veil that covered Moses’ face…

It appears that for many years in the desert, when Moses would spend time with God in the Tent of Meeting, his face would, mysteriously, shine with the light left by the divine presence… At the same time, that “glory…began to fade as soon as he left the divine presence” as well… (Murray J. Harris).[iv]

And in our Epistle reading for today, Paul appears to be saying “that the reason for Moses’s veiling or masking his face was not so much to prevent the Israelites from being dazzled by its brightness (cf. Exod 34: 30,31) as to prevent them from continuing to gaze in amazement [un]till his face had totally lost the brilliance of the reflected glory (cf. v. 7) (Murray J. Harris).”[v]

And Paul is saying that all of this represented the reality of the law, the tutor, the pedagogue, or “child-leader”…

Its glory was fading away…

You see, even those who trusted in the Lord’s promise… who put their faith in Him and His promise of the Messiah[vi], could not help but be left wanting more, living under the pedagogue as they were!

There was always something ultimately unsatisfying and incomplete about living under the law…

And not only this… Mount Sinai also could bring not only a lack of satisfaction but a kind of terror as well… it brought a cloud, a darkness of sorts, and thunder… condemnation…

And this went not just for those among God’s people who did not believe, but believing Israel as well!

As the presence of sin remained even in believers, there was always very prominently in the background that terrifying word that God had voiced to Moses: “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

As one man put it, “Truly seeing God as He is, in the fullness of His glory, is more than mortal man can tolerate…” (Isaiah 6:5).

Think about it: even though Moses talked to God as one would a friend in the temple, even he – the greatest of God’s prophets! – was told at one point that he could only see God’s backside…by hiding in the cleft of a rock and watching God’s glory pass by him…

And, again, when the face of Moses was transfigured by the divine presence, he at times veiled his own face so the Israelites could not gaze upon it…

But now, in this morning’s Epistle, we see something different: we hear about “God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

Now, with Christ, God in human flesh, all of His followers – not just Moses! – are not only able to look on His face and not be destroyed…

…but “we all, with faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord….” (see Chrysostom, ACCS, 223)

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And why is this the case?

It is because Jesus Christ, above all, reveals to us clearly the true heart of God… His true character… and we can now see what that means for us!

Even if it is true that “No one has ever seen God,” (I John 1) meaning God the Father

…Jesus Christ, God the Son, teaches us that through Him, the Father gazes upon His children with great joy and tenderness… The book of Zephaniah says that He even sings over them like a mother to her children!

This should take our breath away.

And the God-Man Jesus Christ reveals this to us by His life precisely because He loves all of God’s words…God’s commandments… He is the One who lives life as God intended, without sin!

You see, the Law of God breaks us but it didn’t break Him.  

And His fulfillment of the Law on our behalf and death on the cross for our sins makes it so that we have peace with God…

That we might, somehow, get a sense about what He really thinks about us… how He really feels about us…

And this is the ultimate glory of the Gospel that chases away the Law’s condemnation!

So when the promise comes in human flesh and is received in faith, the veil is removed and our need for the tutor or pedagogue of the law – which aimed to drive home the truth of what love looks like… what love really is[vii]fades away as it should…

And the old Adam in us can continually die and the new creature in Christ, the new Adam, arise day by day – increasingly without fear!

This happens as we see more and more that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only good beyond our imagination… but the law that He fulfilled on our behalf as well…

What do I mean? Is that really true?

Well, we can confidently say that it is not only the Gospel that makes us expect good from God, but also that “the law… want[s us] to…. expect good from God…” (Luther (ODE, 195)

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Even as the law wants us to expect good from God, for those who don’t believe the Gospel, they remain under its condemnation.

And we see this clearly in our reading for today…

Here the Apostle Paul talks about a veil covering the hearts of the Israelites when they hear Moses read, and, then, he later goes on to even say this:

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…”

The Israelites, God’s chosen people, considered as unbelievers!

What is Paul getting at here when he speaks of the veil covering their hearts?

Well, when Paul tenderly talks about them – his fellow countrymen – in Romans 10, he says this:

“Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness…”

Paul is saying here that many of his brothers according to the flesh, that is the children of Israel, were relying on the law as their security blanket, their ticket to blessings in this life and the next life….

For them, the old covenant, the Scriptures, was not that which first and foremost spoke of a Messiah who would forgive them their sins!

And the law was certainly not that which first and foremost left them condemned, revealing their sin and leaving them naked before God!

Not at all.

And because of this, they could not see Jesus Christ as the One who by His perfect life and innocent death became “the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4, NASB).

Just what does that mean? “The end of the law for righteousness”?

Again, it means that many never perceived the true goal of the tutor, the pedagogue, the “child-leader”.

To explain a bit more here, in the Greco-Roman world of the Apostle Paul, a pedagogue, or child-leader, was a slave, a “guardian-slave,” who accompanied a schoolboy—a schoolboy who would also one day be the heir of that slave’s master—in order to make sure that he got to where he needed to go.

In other words, Paul is saying that the law was to function as a pedagogue, a very limited role: the pedagogue was put in place to make us pay attention to what God’s will is and what He wants to teach us… where He wants to lead us

The goal of the pedagogue was to make sure the child got to where he needed to go.  

Ultimately then, the law would drive home the realization that God’s purposes are good… and hence, that God is good and we are not… leading us right into faith in Christ…[viii]

But rather than recognizing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who perfectly fulfills and embodies the law while we do not – much less that He fulfills the law on our behalf – Paul’s Jewish brothers and sisters, he says, had a zeal, but without knowledge.

They, like many a human being, saw their hope as “getting right with God through this veil that makes them see the law way as the way to a right standing with God…” (Vallesky, 57)…

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Now, we might be tempted to say “How foolish those Jews were!” To miss Jesus and the Good News He brings!

In many ways though, this makes sense doesn’t it?

Isn’t it easy for us Christians too to see how people could fall into this trap?

After all, on earth, are not the results of good actions we take often the way that we attain success, status, and favor regarding our relationships with others?

And even win their approval and affection? 

Now, on the one hand, it is true that the world’s ideas of “good actions” are not always God’s… with many undermining the law of God more and more these days….

For example, throughout the book of 2 Corinthians where our reading comes from today, we see that Paul’s opponents were claiming to be self-sufficient… and this kind of thing is something that has now overwhelmed the age that we live in…

More or less thinking that they, like God, call things into existence and define themselves and their worlds[ix], people, like Paul’s opponents, seem more eager than ever to deceive, use craftiness and trickery, ready to do anything to get their way…. where the “ends justify the means…”

But.

But, at the same time, on the other hand, they also still cannot get away from the fact that when it comes to their individual relationships with family members or just people that they want to know and be connected with, they know – yes, they know… even if they suppress this truth – that they basically need to act in accord with the law of God in order for things to go well…

We do this all the time on earth. Everyone, for example, even criminals, realize the wisdom of the second table of the 10 commandments…

The 18th century Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid said:

“[m]oral indignation is evident even among those, who, like robbers, have little active regard for the common good. Gratitude for favors only makes sense because a favor goes beyond what is just, and resentment for injury only because it falls short of justice. All these natural sentiments presuppose the idea of justice. Property rights likewise depend on it” (Holmes, Fact, Value, and God, 1997, p. 117)”

Intelligent people know that it is neither right nor useful – to say the least! – to dishonor one’s parents, kill, commit adultery, steal, slander, and even, to some degree, live life desiring what everyone else has…

And yes, most everyone in the world other than very relatively small numbers of people throughout the world, — particularly in the Western world – find it unthinkable to not believe in a Higher Power who is responsible for the world we know…

In sum here, regarding God’s commandments, they know that if they can avoid doing those things the commandments prohibit, life will generally go better for them.

They will not just have the “face that only a mother could love,” as people used to say, but the respect of others…

At the very least, in order to secure the confidence of others, they want people to think they are following these commandments!

Even if they aren’t…[x]

But note what is happening here. They think this…

“If I choose to exercise my freedom to follow those commandments in the world and others appreciate that I treat them with that respect, they are generally going to approve of me….

Therefore, the same must be true about God…

God should reward me! I deserve to be rewarded!”

But this, Paul shows us, is wrong…. Such people are not really free, and do not really understand love.

Remember what Paul said about his own race?:

“Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness…”

This is true of all those who do not know and embrace the Gospel!

They remain in bondage!

Outwardly good though their actions might be, their desires are still corrupt!

There is darkness, and not light…

As Romans 3:23 puts it: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

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They are both in and of the world.

And, remember, this world is passing away…

And this brings us back to our Scripture reading today, where we hear that the law was a “fading splendor”…

Why does Paul say this?

Again, it is because here on earth the ministry of death is certainly not God’s final or ultimate word!

If that were the case, none of us would be saved!

We could only try to do, do, and do some more…. and the goal would never be accomplished.

The target would never reached – for all human beings were never meant to use God’s law to try and climb a ladder to God!

….much less to do so with intentions and motives and desires as imperfect… even twisted… as ours!

The law only tells us what is good and must be done.

It provides no power for us to do it!

This is why, for the sinner on earth, the law is only and must only be weak or a “fading splendor”…

It is, again, because in the light of the Gospel we see the law’s temporary need….

How?

Well, when we truly understand the wisdom of the gospel we see that Jesus’ perfect life and innocent death fulfilled for us the law that we love but could never fulfill on our own.

He loved the Lord His God with all His heart, soul, strength and mind.

He loved His neighbor as Himself.

What the law was weak to do – because of our sin and stubbornness – the gospel has done for us, and so now, the law of God lives in our hearts and we have begun to desire to walk in it…

This means, that unlike the unbelieving, a veil no longer covers our hearts and we are no longer in bondage to sin…

and no longer under the law’s condemnation!

For we see that Paul also talks about the how where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom….

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So, what is this freedom really?

What is Paul ultimately getting at here?

He is saying this: it is only free people who will shine as the image of God, and who will therefore reveal the face of God….

Again, all of this relates to the tutor’s, the child-leader’s, pedagogue’s “fading splendor”, surpassed by the Gospel.[xi]

I’ll tell you though, there are some that would tell you I am not properly distinguishing the Word of God…. I am not going far enough, they would say.

They would say that the law and the gospel, for example, “are exact opposites. One destroys ; the other creates.” 

I’d respond though, with the 16th century church reformer Martin Luther, by saying that the law kills us because of sin, not because it is the law.

In fact, as I have been trying to demonstrate today, both the law and the gospel reveal the character of God!

The main ideas of this text are really not that complicated.

Paul is just saying that the letter which brings condemnation is God’s law, and the Spirit that brings freedom is God’s gospel, and that the latter is more glorious and superior.

Again, the former – that is the law — because of the sin that inheres in us, does indeed destroy us. The problems in us are what make the pedagogue weak, and what ultimately makes it fatal to us…

That makes it break, kill, and condemn us.

The gospel on the other hand – the message that Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification — is what really gives us life.

Joy.

Peace.

Again, the difference does not so much lie within the law and gospel as it does us…

The law tells us what to do, in God’s love, and the gospel tells us what God, in love, has done for us.

That is indeed a critical difference. But at the same time, note that both are rooted in the love of God, which is kind, compassionate, and merciful.

In fact, the law even demands that God’s people be merciful, even loving their enemies…

For both the law and the gospel are good, eternally good, in fact. God’s moral law simply becomes a part of us when the gospel changes things.

It is just like Jeremiah said!:

“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”[xii]

The freedom which is a light to all is gained when, living in Christ, we know this….

The real freedom and light comes in knowing of this true love that only the Gospel can make us understand… 

Being those who are no longer trying to use the law when it suits us and to rationalize why we are good and attractive people to others and God, we are no longer “under the law” (Gal. 5:8)…

We are simply those free men and women who joyfully walk in it… who joyfully call ourselves slaves to Christ and His glorious future and not to sin!

And so now, just like Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in His own life, it is fulfilled… embodied, in us! This is why Paul will write just before our Epistle reading today, for example, that:

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

And we are those letters, who, as Paul says, are gradually being transformed into the likeness of God… We are like Moses’ shining, but we have the full glory of the Gospel… and so the glory that we have surpasses that even of Moses!

This indeed, is the glory of the love of God working in and through us to which the law always imperfectly pointed us to…

We saw it perfectly in Christ.

And it is now being perfected in us.

This is finally why Paul here, while focusing on the Gospel, also points out that the law is glorious…. It is glorious because it condemns everything in sinful man that is seen in us but is not seen in Jesus Christ…

And really, much to the surprise of many – sadly – this is right in line with the kinds of things that Martin Luther said…

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Martin Luther is known to be a preacher of the Gospel, and sometimes people have the impression that he thought that the law was somehow less than good…

Certainly not something we should expect good from!

(one theologian very popular among sophisticated Lutherans today even says that the law is a nasty and disposable tool)

… but nothing could be further from the truth!

For Luther, note that:

  • “[the law] is satisfied and fulfilled if it is loved”
  • “the purpose of all laws is love”
  • “[love] agrees in all things with the law”
  • “[love is] the essential meaning of the law,”
  • “all the commandments of the law depend on love.”[xiii]

As my own pastor puts it, echoing Luther:

“….when we speak of the law being fulfilled in eternity, it is not that it is like a bucket that has now been filled and we can move on to something else, but a stream that continues to flow throughout eternity, for love and the fulfilling of the law, i.e. the [Ten Commandments], are in effect, the exact same thing[xiv]

Frankly, I’m not sure where a lot of these modern Lutherans are getting their information or if they even read Martin Luther in order to understand him! [xv]

Again, Luther does not say these things because He is trying to stand before God by the power of his own goodness and good deeds!

No.

Rather, he believes this:

Because one is justified by faith in Christ, one knows him or herself to be God’s own precious child… and wants to bring glory to Him by embodying the law — the law of love seen perfectly in Christ! — which brings goodness to all![xvi]

As Luther would put it, the cross shows us that “Sinners are ‘attractive’ because they are loved; they are not loved because they are ‘attractive’”….[xvii]

And so here, of course, God becomes attractive to us as He made us attractive to Him!

And if we get this, we are much like those disciples on the road to Emmaus who said “Were not our hearts burning within us when he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24)

I’ve got to come back to Jeremiah again, one more time….

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom

or the strong boast of their strength

or the rich boast of their riches,

24but let the one who boasts boast about this:

that they have the understanding to know me,

that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,

justice and righteousness on earth,

for in these I delight,”

So, finally, what does this all mean?

It means we are not those who are left with the word:

“you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

We are instead those who repeat what Jesus said to Philip:

“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).[xviii]

…and say “Amen!” This is it!

Shine Jesus shine, indeed.

And therefore, let the Christian shine as well, as we reflect His light.

And this light will never be done away with, never fade away! (see Lenski, 928)

Amen.

 

Image: https://goodnessofgodministries.international/2010/09/07/the-magnificent-calling-ye-are-the-light-of-the-world/

Notes:

[i] More: “And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.”

[ii] Certainly yes, they had the great Promise of the Messiah who would overcome sin, death, and the devil – first revealed as far back as Genesis 3:15, with Eve told that her offspring would crush the serpent’s head, even as Satan would strike His heel…

[iii] As Bible reveals to us, also because of man’s sin, they needed to reminder of who they were and whose they were! Who they were created to be!

[iv] As the book of Hebrews tells us, it is the new covenant that is permanent in every way (Heb. 13:20), while the old covenant was destined to be outshown by the new as the sun outshines the moon (Murray J. Harris).

[v] Originally, when Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.

[vi] These were the ones who understood that the main point of the Scriptures, even for the Old Testament saints, was the precious promises of the Messiah, as Paul explains in Galatians 3 and 4. The Old Covenant was not really defined by Sinai, even if Sinai was a big part of it. Paul says here in 2 Corinthians 3: “ But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away…” but such words also remind us that some of God’s chosen people did hear, understand, and believe as well….

[vii] Even as it provides no power to fulfill that love

[viii] From a past sermon: “In Paul’s time, in the Greco-Roman world, a pedagogue, or child-leader, was a slave who accompanied a schoolboy—a schoolboy who would also one day be the heir of that slave’s master—in order to make sure that he got to where he needed to go.

In other words, Paul is saying that the law is a pedagogue, whose role was very limited: the pedagogue was put in place to make us pay attention to what God’s will is and what He wants to teach us… where He wants to lead us.

More specifically and historically, Paul is saying that for Jews to be ready for the Messiah, one needed the “pedagogue,” or family slave, to basically force us see who and what is true and good – and what is good is certainly good for us and all our neighbors

Again, the pedagogue was needed in order to help God’s people to see that who He is and what He sets up, what He commands, what He decides to punish, etc. is simply and unapologetically good.”

[ix] Article from Tom Gilson, published on February 6, 2021:

“Rich Bordner, a high school teacher with 15 years’ experience, from the inner city to the suburbs. Students in every context, he says, have a common way of understanding the world….

You can tell that Bordner loves his students. He listens to them. Carefully. Intentionally. And in getting to know his students, he’s discovered that virtually all of them see themselves and everyone else as autonomous, self-deciding, self-determining centers of their own meaning and truth…. It’s “not just the secular kids” ….Most of all they share a “really aggressive individualism.” They’re “sold out” to it. They’re dogmatic on it… It’s in their homes, perhaps best exemplified in Disney movies of late, all of them focused on someone casting off some false self and becoming who they really are…. So it’s, “I am my own. I define myself. Period. Full stop.” If there’s “some kind of limit to your self-expression,” as Bordner put it, then you’re not doing right. You’re not authentic. You’re not being you…

… “My body doesn’t determine my sex. I do.” I am not my body. I can’t escape it, but I won’t let it define who or what I am. I define myself.” Period. Full stop…. we own our own worlds. We define them. We rule them. In effect it says we’re all gods….  “No one but I can decide what sex I am. What I have spoken is true, because I have spoken it. You must agree and comply with what I have spoken. If not, I brand you a bigot, worthy of being fired, shunned, canceled, boycotted … .” This is what gods do. They build and shape worlds, they control them, they decide what is moral and immoral, and they mete out punishment and rewards accordingly…

Of course we Westerners are far too sophisticated to create gods by our own hands, made of wood or stone, inert, motionless, unable to hear or speak. We have active gods instead. Our gods have voices (our own). We still manufacture them, but that’s okay. We are gods of our own worlds, each one of us. We have power and authority to make ourselves gods….I do not mean that anyone actually thinks of himself or herself as a god. The deception is way more subtle than that. It persuades people that it’s just an ordinary, human, and even moral thing to have such authority. “You have a responsibility to be yourself.” We don’t realize how culturally conditioned that is, or how strange, wrong, or even inhuman it would seem in other times and places….”

….Of course, Christians through the centuries have always found ways not to submit fully to God’s reign. (I’m talking about myself here, you must know.) This is just today’s version of an ancient tendency. Very ancient: “You will be like God,” as Satan said to Eve (Genesis 3:4). Today’s version is just as wrong, just as deadly, but much more carefully buried in a culture’s message of what seems right and good and ordinary.”

[x] Furthermore, even some non-Christians, some pagans, are readily able to recognize that the 10 commandments are connected to something everyone knows exists but struggles to perfect: love…

We know, deep down, that if you love someone you treat them in accordance with the second table of the 10 commandments. You don’t kill them, commit adultery against them, steal from them, or lie about them.

These days, people increasingly are just not convinced that they should act this way towards everyone — and not just the ones they value and want to keep relationships going with.

And most people, at least in their mind, don’t want to fully close the door on the idea of a relationship with God.

Therefore, in many ways it might seem perfectly reasonable for fallen man to conclude that all of this stuff we have been talking about is how they win God’s approval.

[xi] First of foremost, Paul is talking about the overriding significance of the message of grace, the Word of the Gospel!

Martin Luther put it quite beautifully when he said this…

“Who then can value highly enough these royal nuptials? Who can comprehend the riches of the glory of this grace? Christ, that rich and pious husband, takes as a wife a needy and impious harlot, redeeming her from all her evils, and supplying her with all His good things. It is impossible now that her sins should destroy her, since they have been laid upon Christ and swallowed up in Him, and since she has in her husband Christ a righteousness which she may claim as her own, and which she can set up with confidence against all her sins, against death and hell, saying: “If I have sinned, my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned; all mine is His, and all His is mine;” as it is written, “My beloved is mine, and I am his. (Songs 2:16) This is what Paul says: “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ;” victory over sin and death, as he says: “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Cor 15:56-57) [..]”

Words like this might make a person fall in love. The love songs that made everyone feel so alive and hopeful in the 1980s might make just a little sense again…

Still, not everyone liked what Luther was saying here. The Dominican inquisitor of Cologne, Jacob Hochstraten, for example, took aim and said this:

“What else do those who boast of such a base spectacle do than make the soul… a prostitute and an adulteress, who knowingly and wittingly connives to deceive her husband [Christ] and, daily committing fornication upon fornication and adultery upon adultery, makes the most chaste of men a pimp? As if Christ does not take the trouble… to choose…. a pure and honorable lover!  As if Christ requires from her only belief and trust and has no interest in her righteousness and her other virtues!  As if a certain mingling of righteousness with iniquity and of Christ with Belial were possible!”

But Luther persisted…

“Sinners are ‘attractive’ because they are loved; they are not loved because they are ‘attractive’”….

Don’t misunderstand. Luther is not saying that Christians can sin with abandon and not fear losing their faith and salvation. He is saying that God’s grace is persistent. And that we always live from grace. And that repentance is not just what happens at the beginning of the Christian life, but that grace is always needed.

And it saves even the failing Christian…

This, really, is the key to life.

To love.

To light.

To shining….

[xii] More context:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

[xiii] Also:

“the love of the law” is synonymous with “the fulfilling of the law”

[xiv] Lenski: “What was granted only to the highest minister of the old covenant and in a transient outward way is granted to all of us in the New Testament in a permanent, inward way.” (Lenski, 948)

[xv] The man who said “the love of righteousness and the hatred of iniquity: that is, the fulfillment of all laws.”

[xvi] Because the one who looks to and depends on Christ who embodies and fulfills the law on our behalf is forgiven and made God’s own by His perfect life and innocent death!

[xvii] Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 (post 95 theses).

[xviii] Web article: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). When Jesus walked this earth, His glory veiled, we could look Him in the face. “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). On one brief occasion, Jesus’ glory was revealed in this world, at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:2). Interestingly, Moses was there, speaking to the glorified Lord, face to face (Matthew 17:3).]”

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Is Steve Paulson’s Theology Driving 1517 Legacy Off the Cliff?

Conversation with Matthew Garnett this morning.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2021 in Uncategorized