Monday, August 8, 2016

The Moral Law of God

Psalm 119:97 “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

What are morals? The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “moral’ as relating to the practice, manners or conduct of men as social beings in relation to each other, and with reference to right and wrong. The word moral is applicable to actions that are good or evil, virtuous or vicious, and has reference to the law of God as the standard by which their character is to be determined. In general, “moral” denotes something which respects the conduct of men and their relations as social beings whose actions have a bearing on each others' rights and happiness, and are therefore right or wrong, virtuous or vicious; as moral character; moral views; moral knowledge; moral sentiments; moral maxims; moral approbation; moral doubts; moral justice; moral virtue; moral obligations, & moral sense. Moral law is the law of God which prescribes the moral or social duties, and prohibits the transgression of them.  Creator God is the Lawgiver, who determines what is right and what is wrong. They are for our benefit. Do we love them and think deeply about pleasing Him and His moral law all day long?

1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

I read that in the Old Testament, God gave man three kinds of laws.: civil laws, ceremonial laws and the moral laws. The civil laws were given because God Himself was King of Israel and there was no governing body to make laws. Civil laws had punishments attached to then, such as the taking of a life or inflicting bodily pain. The civil laws ended when Israel was no longer a theocracy. The ceremonial laws consisted of religious ceremonies, such as Passover, or the Day of Atonement. The ceremonial laws foreshadowed Christ’s coming. Since He has come, we no longer need to observe them.
The third type, the moral law, is a reflection of the eternal, unchanging and holy nature of God. God’s moral law has never changed and will never pass away. It is summed up in the Ten Commandments. All other moral laws of the Bible can be placed under one of these ten. The moral law is important because by its promises and its threats, it restrains wicked people. It also brings us to Christ. IT smashes our pride and drives us to our knees at the foot of the cross. After we are saved, it provides a guide as to how we should live in righteousness.

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf  does  not wither - whatever they do prospers.”

In thinking about the moral law, people make two basic errors. Some suppose they can save themselves by keeping the law perfectly. Others believe just the opposite, that if they are saved, they do not have to keep it. I was totally shocked, one time, when a member of our church stated that since Jesus died for his sins, past present and future, then he could sin all that he wanted. Like Christ was some kind of “Get out of jail free” card and he could continue his willful sin-filled life, with no consequences.  Romans 8:7 tells us that “the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” But, the great end and aim of God’s creation is to create a perfect Kingdom of righteousness where, in joyful and willing obedience, men and women yield themselves gladly to the eternal law of God.

Romans 7:22 “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.”

Let us learn the lesson from the Psalmist. Let us delight ourselves in God’s moral law and keep it joyfully.

In Christ, Brian

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