Biblical Law is its own reward.
We need to understand that shalom is both requirement and reward. We need to keep before our eyes how Biblical Law is the character of Christ. We should desire it by reflex as the best we can have in this life. But the power to obey is part of what God grants to us as a blessing to our faith.
We need not worry ourselves about the mechanism of faith when dealing with others. There is no mechanism; it either lives or is dead. We aren’t in a position to know if another person has faith, and faith has them. We can sense in our hearts that God is making someone our mission, and we can by faith discern how to handle them in grace, but we cannot know for sure they are spiritually alive. All we know is how God wants us to treat them.
There is no objective reality that we should worry ourselves with; there is only mission and calling. With this lack of certainty about the state of any other person in this world, we seek to build a shalom that is organic. It is alive of itself and is not under our control. It is a partnership, an alliance under Christ’s dominion.
Thus, we dispense with trying to know factually whether someone has the same faith we do. Instead, we focus on that vibe of compliance with Biblical Law. That’s the ultimate sense of reality we need to live in Christ. In this focus on Biblical Law as the Presence of the Holy Spirit, we then organize our mission of living in terms of apparent compliance. This is what mysticism means for us; it’s an otherworldly sensing of things with a very practical focus on what we can do about it.
What can we do about other people with whom we are serving and worshiping the Lord? We seek compliance with Biblical Law in the sense of cooperating with God and His revelation. We don’t have to judge; the living Law of God does that. We go on what it tells us, not in the sense of judging but in the sense of how we plan and implement our own cooperation.
People stuck in the Western mode of thinking will tend to see this as legalism because they cannot see what we see. Be prepared to endure this misunderstanding in their minds. Press on with cooperation with Biblical Law. “Keep your eye on the prize” means just that; it’s the upward calling of Christ. It’s increasing cooperation in your own conduct and in how you encourage others. It’s seeking the vital life force of holiness. In terms of practical communication and action, the focus is Biblical Law.
In the process, we make room for a lot of people and their behavior that doesn’t seem to reflect this holiness. We have enough weakness in ourselves, so we should hardly be surprised when it shows up in others. But we give people in our mission field of operation room to be something less than holy. We give them room to find grace through Biblical Law. We build a community of faith that includes people who don’t appear to have the full backing of faith. We build a religion of cooperation in the assumption there will always be some growing toward full faith and conviction.
We don’t worry about what we cannot know. We cooperate with those who appear to cooperate with Biblical Law. That’s enough. Law remains the focus of activity, because it is for us the manifestation of grace and the divine Presence.
Law is grace.