Teaching the Law of God in the Church (2)
The Law of God in the Life of the Church (14)
“…but whoever does [these commandments] and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19
The Law of God is the Spirit’s curriculum for holiness in the life of the Church. At the core of the Law, and its objective, is Jesus Christ. The Spirit is working with the Law of God to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ, for the praise of the glory of God.
Thus, we need to work hard at restoring the proper place of the Law in the teaching ministry of the local church.
We restore the proper place of the Law of God in the life of the Church by, first of all, encouraging and exhorting every believer to make meditation on God’s Law part of his or her daily devotional life. If only to spend time each morning meditating in listening prayer on one of the Ten Commandments, this would be a quantum leap beyond where most congregations and believers are at present. But then we must also teach the Law of God in a thorough and systematic manner—through preaching, in Sunday schools and Bible study groups, and as part of the written communications of our church. It will not do simply to offer a series of messages on the Law from time to time. While that is a good idea, the Law of God, as a kind of cornerstone to all of Scripture, should have some place in all our teaching and preaching.
Then we must begin to use the Law in the work of disciple-making, including the work of church discipline. Elders and other church leaders should devote special attention to reading and discussing the Law of God, so that they may be equipped to deliberate situations that may arise from time to time within the church. Like Ezra, church leaders in particular should set their hearts to study the Law of God, and to do it and teach it in all aspects of the life of the congregation (Ruth 4; Ezek. 7:10).
Finally, the Law of God must feature in the church’s witness to the surrounding community—both to individuals in need of saving grace, and to the powers-that-be concerning their duty to rule according to God’s good purposes and plan. We must not be afraid or reluctant to say to the lost or to those in places of power and influence, “This is what the Lord says,” and then proceed to explain more carefully what, in their heart of hearts, they know most certainly to be true.
The Law of God must become more central to the lives of believers and their churches, for we will not know the fullness of God’s blessings in Christ apart from delighting in and obeying that holy standard.
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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