Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Death Penalty: Now – The Law of God: Questions and Answers

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 0:01
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The Death Penalty: Now

The Law of God: Questions and Answers

How shall we understand and apply God’s Law today?

We live in an age of grace, but the Law still serves to define sin.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 1 Corinthians 5:1

 

We live in the age of grace, when, through the preaching of the Gospel, the Spirit of God is awakening people to the Good News of the Kingdom and forgiveness of God. We are under grace in the sense that, in Jesus Christ, God is calling the world to repent of its sins and to find in Jesus the promise of and power for eternal life.

As a further measure of God’s grace, He is working by various means to restrain the wickedness of men, so that righteousness may take root and flourish, thus bearing witness to His saving mercy and grace.

 

But living in an age of grace does not invalidate the Law of God, beginning with its ability to guide us in the path of righteousness. In addressing the situation in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul confirms Deuteronomy 22:30 and Leviticus 20:11 as guides to moral conduct. What these statutes teach about proper moral conduct remains intact for the age of grace. Violation of these statutes is immorality. What was sin in ancient Israel is still sin today. Period.

 

A member of one of the local house churches—and thus of the larger community church—in Corinth was discovered to be involved in an adulterous relationship with his father’s wife, not his mother. Paul is outraged that the Corinthians, rather than acting to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ, were rather congratulating themselves on being so tolerant and non-judgmental (vv. 2, 6, 7). They seem to have regarded themselves as paragons of grace; Paul insisted, however, that they were enablers of sin and scandal.

 

The Law of God still functions to define the terms of sin and holiness. In cases like this, where a straight line is drawn from Old Testament statutes to New Testament teaching and practice, we can take the statute or teaching as originally intended to be valid yet for our day, as I have previously explained. Thus, for a church member to indulge a sexual relationship with a woman married to his father is sin, and must not be tolerated, much less encouraged.

The same is true with respect to any other Old Testament statues and their teaching, when these are confirmed in the teaching of the New Testament.

But there is more.

 

Order a copy of The Law of God from our online store, and begin daily reading in the commandments, statutes, testimonies, precepts, and rules of God, which are the cornerstone of divine revelation. Sign up at our website to receive our thrice-weekly devotional, Crosfigell, written by T. M. Moore.

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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