GOD'S STORY Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: Part 4 Why the Law?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 4: Why the LAW?

“Open my eyes, that I may see

Wondrous things from your law.”

(Psalm 119:18)

I asked the LORD, What is the next thing to share of Your Story?

He led me to the Ten Commandments. Really? Yes! Okay.

Why the Law to share with you?

You will know Exodus 20, where the LORD lists the summary version of His Law: the 10 Commandments. Exodus and Leviticus are full of GOD’s laws for various contingencies. But the Law is encapsulated well in the 10 Commandments.

Exodus 20:2-17

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.”

But why was the Law necessary? 

Sin, yes. But why didn’t GOD just send His son in the first place? If Jesus didn’t come to replace the Law but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17), why didn’t He just arrive in front of the Hebrews in the wilderness?

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD.” (Romans 3:21) But first we need to know we’ve sinned in order to recognise we have fallen short. The Law teaches us our inability to keep it. Who hasn’t made a mistake and hoped and prayed we’d not suffer the consequences? That fear, that prayer, enables us to see we’ve fallen short. The Hebrews needed to learn GOD’s perfection before they could recognise their fallibility. So they needed to know GOD’s standard, His Law — They certainly weren’t going to find it in the heathen Egyptian society.

And so, why the Law? So we can know we’ve broken it, so we can know we’ve sinned, so we can know we’ve fallen short and need a Saviour… and then value The Saviour: Jesus, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.

What does the Law signify?

Whilst GOD very much wanted relationship with the Hebrews, the fear of GOD pervaded their hearts. They saw the power of GOD in the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. They saw His power in the parting of the Red Sea. And so, they pushed Moses up front and said, ‘You talk to GOD and then tell us what He says.’

“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Exodus 20:18-19)

This was immediately after the 10 Commandments had been announced. The people were willing to obey but didn’t want intimacy with GOD. The Law gives rules, requirements and we turn it into religion. But GOD wants relationship. 

So, why Jesus?

Millennia after the Hebrews in the desert Jesus arrived, and He fulfilled the Law we failed to follow, with two commandments that encapsulated GOD’s standard even more succinctly, 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your 

strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’ ” (Luke 10:27)

Even further, through Jesus we can receive freedom today… overcoming the Law through the grace of faith in GOD.

John wrote in chapter 8 of his gospel, “If the son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” Faith in Jesus, the son of God, offers us freedom from the Law as we receive Him and His love. We discover our choice to follow the Law changes; no longer do we follow out of a sense of duty or fear, but out of the desire to love others just as He has loved us. We are free as the yoke is lifted! “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Law makes us aware of our failure to keep it. But we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety about the consequences of our weaknesses. Rather, we can know we have been saved from ourselves — our sinfulness — through the blood of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) Like little children innocent of their faults, we can embrace Jesus and His Father, knowing Jesus is the Truth and GOD the Father is a GOD of love. The sin of the past is left behind and the new has come: walking as Jesus walks, saved through faith in Him and living beyond sin because through faith in Jesus our sin is forgiven and blotted out.

So, the knowledge of GOD’s Law provoked mankind to realise our sinfulness and Jesus has released us from the yoke of the Law when we choose to follow Him.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

God’s Story 

When we look at GOD’s Story through the lens of His Law, we recognise that the Hebrews and all the descendants, save one, were imperfect. It is through that one exceptional person that any and all can be rescued from imperfection. 

We cannot escape GOD’s Law but we can learn to live the Law as embedded in the principle of Love, GOD’s love. And a part of GOD’s story is to recognise His identity. GOD’s identity is that He is Love. 

Examining Biblical Scripture Watchman on Alert BLOG

When Tradition becomes our Truth: Time to Re-examine the Sabbath

What did Jesus mean by, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)

If we can understand him in this, we will be able to walk in the fulness of the will of GOD. I am convinced that, right now, the Church – as in the followers of Jesus in this day and age – is not doing this as well as it needs to.

What is the Sabbath?

The Sabbath is the day God rested; six days He created and on the seventh day He rested (Genesis 2:1)

In Hebrews 3 we are told to enter His rest; this is His rest: The Sabbath. Then the writer goes on to say, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

What I am introducing is a bit of a hot potato in the Christian fellowship. What I am provoking is thought, free from tradition, digging into the Bible to discover what God is saying to us… And I seek to encourage you the reader; if you get cross with me, go to the Father and ask, “Why am I cross?”

So here goes my effort to pull the curtain from the way things are to ask, is this the way things are meant to be?

What is the LAW?

The Law includes the 10 Commandments, the Food Laws, Cleanliness/Purity Laws and Justice Laws. The Laws are found in the Pentateuch – the first 5 books of the Bible, and particularly in Leviticus*. These were the books written down by Moses as dictated by Father God. God commanded that the Hebrew peoples keep these laws for their salvation and continued relationship with Him.

Contemporary Christianity rests on the Biblical Truth as synthesised by Paul in Ephesians,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

And also in Galatians, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (Gal 3:10)

We in the Evangelical fellowship have taken these things to mean that we do not have to keep the law in order to be born again and saved. In fact to keep some of the law means we curse ourselves.

But could this be an assumption or a mis-understanding of the Bible text? Or if not, then why is Psalm 119 full of “I love your statutes”; “I keep your precepts”; “Your law is perfect”. Please note, I am aware Psalms is in the Old Testament and Paul’s letters are in the New Testament. But I take the whole Bible to be perfect and that the fulfilment of the New does not cancel the Old any more than the value of a grandparent is cancelled out by a parent.

God’s Attitude to His Law

I’ve been thinking about this (and praying about this) for some time: What does the Father think of His law? Is it possible that He still loves His law and that we have used scripture to free ourselves from it, without considering the Father’s love for it?

If law and custom is a lifestyle and God has designed the customs and lifestyle, giving them to the Hebrew people that they might join with Him in fellowship, then what of us who have been grafted in? Jesus saves us; the law does not. But what about celebrating and living as God intended, just because God would love it? Are we mature enough to look upon the Father as one we love, not only as one who loves us?

The statutes, precepts, and ordinances of God are not rules; I know that much. They were a means to convey to the Chosen people how God wanted them to live differently – and better – from the heathens that surrounded them. How can we be any different?

If we continue to look at what we need to be saved, rather than at how God wants us to live, then we are still living as young children, considering how we stay inside the boundaries and what we need to do to keep our Father from getting angry. It’s all about us.

But what if we turn the perspective and make it all about God?

Only Jesus saves

I don’t want to be misunderstood… Nothing, nothing, nothing is better than or more complete than the saving work of Jesus on the Cross. He died for all humanity, that if any would receive him, s/he could draw to the Father just as Adam and Eve were in relationship with Him before The Fall. Nothing changes that. Nothing replaces that.

The Father’s Heart

But GOD. What about Him? What does He want? Does He not hunger for relationship with us? And does He want us to be perennial children: always asking for forgiveness, always making mistakes, always learning. Or does He want us to be Christlike: surrendered, mature, loving and yielding, so that the GLORY of GOD’s power and authority are pronounced in the earth, in and through His people.

The Sabbath… my own conviction

I have been convicted for some time about the Sabbath, to keep it Holy. What is the Sabbath? It is the 7th day of the week, what we call Saturday. God rested on this day and He asks us to do the same.

Does He prefer sacrifice or obedience? He prefers obedience to sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

That is not keeping the law to be saved, and thus to curse ourselves. Rather, that is honouring the Father.

Losing Tradition, Gaining Truth

There is so much more to say on this subject. I will look to it over the coming weeks. For now, I’d ask simply for you to consider what traditions we have taken as Biblical Truth that (may) need to be thrown away because otherwise, they get in the way of our growing relationship to God the Father who made us and made a way for us to have relationship with Him. The way is not through the law, but through Grace. And yet, the law is perfect and wonderful.

How can we justify the two? I think we need to find a way.

Our roots are in Christ, but as the Son he points always to the Father.

Staying in Relationship

Let us not harden our hearts toward one another. I believe, if reading this you feel angry or threatened, then know that I am neither judge nor perfect. The heart of the Father would not have us attack one another. And if you are like me, the more adamant or the more irked one is, the further s/he is from the Father’s heart.

God bless and Shalom.


*The Levite Priests and Pharisees, over time, added interpretations to these laws which made the life inordinately more difficult. Of this practice Jesus told the people to do as the leaders said but not follow as they did, and he was angry with the leaders for the burdens they lay on their people. (Matthew 23)