Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Can't Unless...

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets...I tell you the truth...not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law...Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-19*

Old Testament:
"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3
New Testament:
"Put to death...greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

Old Testament:
"You shall not murder." Exodus 20:13
New Testament:
"...anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." Matthew 5:22

Old Testament:
"You shall not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14
New Testament:
"...anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28

There is often the misperception that when Jesus came to earth he lightened the load of the law. In fact, he made it more stringent. He made the law applicable not only to our actions but also to our thoughts. If God's people of the Old Testament found it impossible to keep the law how then can I, now that it is more exacting? I can't.

I can, however, when I live in relationship with Jesus, made possible by his death on the cross and by his Spirit living in me.
  • "What the law was powerless to do...God did by sending his own Son." Romans 8:3
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
  • "He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit." 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • "...we serve in the new way of the Spirit...." Romans 7:6
  • "...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:4
  • "...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace...." Romans 8:6
Father, thank you for making it possible for me to live in relationship with you. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross. Thank you for sending your Spirit to live in me so that I can live in a way that honours you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me. Amen

*All Scripture quotations from the NIV.

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