Part 3 (exploring Biblical Law)
We need to think in terms of Biblical Law. It’s a blessing from God that we have the written record of the Covenant of Moses, for it exemplifies Noah, which remains in effect. But the broader record of Old Testament history and prophecy also helps us understand the upper level of law as faith. We should learn to recognize that “faith” is just a synonym for commitment, trust and obedience. We trust God to stand behind His revelation, to perform what He promises in Moses to those who seek the true meaning of Moses.
We know that Christ taught a confirmation of Moses; every miracle and deliverance was entirely under the Law of Moses. His death was also under Moses, but His resurrection was a matter of faith. He knew beyond all doubt how things would turn out, and exemplified the extrapolation, not merely of Moses, but of the whole concept of law covenant as a manifestation of grace. The mightiest grace of God is declaring to us how we can escape the grip of the Curse of the Fall, and that’s what every law covenant does.
So the first step in thinking biblically is to return once more to that issue of Eastern feudalism: God is our divine sheikh, and we are His household. The only way to understand what He revealed in Scripture is to embrace the imagery within the context of the Hebrew traditions. We can’t extrapolate what that means in our lives until we get it right for the life of ancient Israel. So we envision Him as a potentate whose power over us is absolute. His wisdom is beyond knowing, and His choices for us are by definition in our best interest.
The second issue was must face is the otherworldly nature of things. We aren’t obedient simply so we can reap some visible blessing. We are obedient because the Law of God is its own reward. It defines for us how to reach the same blessings the whole world claims to pursue, but we are granted the enlightenment to see that this world is just a poor shadow of reality. This human existence is not precious; it’s a tool we will discard as soon as it wears out.
But while we are here, we shall embrace the moral character of God that can be found in this universe. We are fallen, but Creation is not. So every manifestation of the natural world around us hums and throbs with the divine character of our Creator. Disrespect for non-human life is disrespect for the Creator who made it, and who called us away from our fallen condition back to Eden. Treat nature with respect, but know that it exists for our use in seeking His glory. All of Creation, from reality as a whole, down to the invisible particles from which the substance of the universe is composed, and every recognizable entity in between, is alive. It is all people to us.
Whether or not that imagery is factual makes no difference. Jesus commanded the storms as if they were living, sentient and wilful, and that they could be commanded under the authority of divine revelation. How do you think Adam and Eve maintained the Garden of Eden before the Fall and it’s curse of the “sweat of your brow”? Adam didn’t have to sweat in the Garden due to hard physical labor; everything in the Garden responded to the voice of divine authority. Adam before the Fall was able to speak with that same authority that Jesus used throughout His ministry.
Your faith commitment to Christ restores a measure of that pre-Fall authority. But the clarity and vigor of that authority rests on your obedience to your own convictions. Not anybody else’s convictions, but you must obey your own. You must commit to seeking in prayer that God shows you your own heart. At first, the only clue you have is your conscience, and you need to recognize that your conscience doesn’t start pure and clear. It is a dirty window onto your convictions, and it takes time to test and discover what part of your conscience is deceived about reality as God made it. You have to obey your conscience until you know better.
Eventually your conscious awareness (ego) will become more sensitive to your convictions directly. This is where you seek to gain a living connection, to move your ego into your heart. This can be done and it must be done. This is the foundation of turning law covenant into faith covenant. This is where you extrapolate Biblical Law upward into the moral sphere of awareness, a place in your soul where there can be no words and no abstractions, only the very real communion between persons, between you and your God.