Wednesday, July 11, 2018

“Promise and Command”

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Promise and Command"


    Another significant difference between the law given to Moses and the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ involves the promise of enabling through Christ, and the absence of such assurance under the law.

    "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power" (II Thessalonians 1:11).
   "Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people.  For all the earth is Mine, and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:4-5).

    Note the one - the One - who fulfills "all the good pleasure of His goodness" in those who receive the grace of the Lord Jesus.  Our Lord works in us to motivate, lead, and enable, or as the Apostle Paul declared, "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).  Rather than dedicate, discipline, and deploy ourselves to do our best, we rather trust and submit to the Lord who does His best in us.  Dedication, discipline, and deployment occur, but as fruit rather than root.  "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  This was not the case under the law.  The issue rather involved human effort to fulfill the ritual and righteousness of an outward code that could not provide the inner enabling necessary for its fulfillment.  Thus, the law exposed human emptiness and frailty, serving as our "schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" (Galatians 3:24).

   Under the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus, we awaken each day to promises that enable the fulfillment of commands: "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).  We live in expectation and confidence of promised enabling, rather than seeking to summon up enough willpower and strength to walk in obedience.  Indeed, the standard is too high - "Walk even as He walked" - for even the most disciplined among Adam's fallen race (I John 2:6).  Israel could not and did not keep the law of Moses.  Nor can we, in and of ourselves, fulfill "the perfect law of liberty" under which believers live in Christ (James 1:25).  Thankfully, our Heavenly Father does not call us to live in and of ourselves.  We rather "live through Him" (I John 4:9).  God first empowers us through the Spirit of His Son dwelling within us.  Then He directs us to follow the path taken long ago by the Apostle Paul, the path of being…

"Found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
(Philippians 3:9)
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
(Philippians 1:9-11)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17)

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