Several Sabbaths ago I gave a sermon on the judgment of God and was impressed with the importance of a series of scriptures related to the character of God and His true judgment toward us. Since then I have been thinking more about this and the effect that it has in our lives, and I have been finding beautiful connections in the Bible. I want to thank Marié Synman for encouraging me to share these thoughts with you.
While on earth Jesus revealed to us that the law extends beyond our outward actions, penetrating to the level of the thoughts of the heart. He told us to love our enemies, to be kind and merciful to the unthankful and to the evil, and to resist not evil (Mat 5:39,44; Luke 6:35,36) Not only did He tell us these things, but He showed them to us time and time again by his actions.
Why did Jesus show us these things and instruct us to live according to the spirit of the law?
If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father...(John 14:9)
He taught the disciples to love their enemies because His Father in heaven first loved us when we were his enemies and at risk of eternal loss He sent His Son to show us who He really was. He loved us so much that He and His Son met us where we were at meeting the demands our own sense of justice, which demanded every sin must be punished. It demanded death.
For our Father to require death in order that we might be saved is the epitome of eros, or conditional love. The only condition of our salvation is to believe that our Father is truly unconditional love for it is in believing this, the goodness of God, that we are lead to repentance(Rom 2:4).
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer….1 John 3:15
To have evil thoughts in our hearts toward one another will lead to a change in how we treat them because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks(Mat 12:34), and we know that our thoughts, words, and actions create an invisible atmosphere around us that is unconsciously breathed in by all who come in contact with us (5T 111). These evil thoughts acted upon when we no longer want someone in our lives or withhold our love and kindness toward them, is eros, or conditional love. This is a love given only on condition that I will recieve something that I want in return. These judgments are the seeds of hatred, which deem that this person no longer has worth in my eyes. This is murder according to the spirit of the law.
The Bible tells us that by beholding we become changed, and here is what the Bible tells us about who our Father and His Son are:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end. Jer 29:11
Therefore Our Father is not a killer as He harbors no evil thought toward us, which according to the spirit of the law is murder.
Our Father is Love (1 John 4:8) and the law is fulfilled by love Rom 13:10, therefor the law is a transcript of His character. This is who He is.
Because it is a transcript of His character we can see that the reason we will not think thoughts of evil toward one another is because our Father in heaven only thinks thoughts of peace toward us, and these thoughts are more than can be numbered(Ps 40:5). What precious promises toward us!
James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Great peace have they which love the law: and nothing shall offend them Ps 119:165
The reason we are promised peace and freedom from taking offense is because we are seeing the law as it really is: promises to us to become like our Father and His Son because this is who He is.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever Is 32:17
Be careful(anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6,7
We are promised this peace and quietness in our lives my friends! Do we believe it? Let us take hold of the faith of Jesus:
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe...Rom 3:22
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Gal 5:6
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Gal 5:13
In Christ, we are not under the condemnation of the law (Galatians 5:16). Instead we are living by the Spirit of the law:
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh Gal 5:16
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Gal 5:14
And to walk in the Spirit is to receive the fruits of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:22,23
So my beloved brothers and sisters let us be encouraged as we see the law for what it really is; a transcript of a character of unconditional love.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ Gal 6:2
Let us be free to live in the law of love and prepare to go home.
If the Son therefor shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed John 8:36