Monday, October 23, 2017

The End of God’s Law – The Rule of Law: First Things (4)

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 0:01
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The End of God’s Law

The Rule of Law: First Things (4)

We should fear what this God can do to people like us.

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him…” Deuteronomy 10:12

Learning to love God can be difficult—a bit like learning to delight in a dessert you’ve never tasted, a place you’ve never visited, or a person you’ve never met. God is invisible and dwells beyond all created existence. Even for those who have come to know Him, if only barely, through faith in Jesus Christ, loving God—especially with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength—can be a real challenge.

So many visible and tangible things compete for our affection! We are easily distracted and only with great difficulty and constant exertion sufficiently well-disciplined to be able to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord with any consistency or depth (Ps. 27:4).

The way to the love of God is through the fear of God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; it is also the handrail along the path of love. As we seek the Lord in His Word we discover a God Who is all powerful, able to destroy every enemy, adamant and unbending in His opposition to sin, and exacting in what He requires of men. We see many examples of His terrible wrath and, the more we study and consider Him, the more we realize we are precisely the kind of people against whom His wrath was routinely delivered throughout the pages of Scripture.

We should fear what this God can do to people like us. And, as we do, we come upon His mercy toward us, expressed both in His steadfast love and faithfulness but, above all, in the sacrifice of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption. We fear God, because we must. But when, fearing Him, He meets us with His love, how can we not give thanks, fall down at His feet, and pour out our heartfelt love for Him in obedience to all He requires?

The Law works to teach us love for God. Love for God equips us to love our neighbors. But love for God must be anchored in and reinforced by the fear of God; and the Law, together with all of Scripture, is able to teach us this as well.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Bookstore, then Church Issues.

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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