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Pastor Granillo: Confusing Laws

on August 20, 2017 - 5:29am
By PASTOR RAUL GRANILLO 
La Vista Church
White Rock
 
The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law. - Jeremy Bentham
 
Imagine a person from a country outside of America. This person began sharing why he believed America was not what it claimed. This person would say that, in America, it is illegal to sell a firearm to American citizens and references 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(1) as proof. Imagine this person also saying that according to 18 U.S.C. 922(g), American citizens are not even allowed to be in possession of firearms.
 
He goes on to say that even the states contradict the freedoms claimed by America. He quotes New Mexico statute 31-13-1 and claims that in New Mexico, American citizens are not allowed to participate in elections.
 
Imagine how many American citizens in New Mexico would be confused by this statement since they both own firearms and vote. Would this person be lying? These are very real laws. How do we reconcile what we know to be our American rights with these laws that this person cited? (Yes, New Mexico is one of the 50 United States of America.)
 
“How can you claim to be a free country if you are not allowed to own a gun or even vote?” he asks.
 
I often hear people make similar accusations of Christianity. They ask why Christians pick and choose laws to keep, and laws to ignore.
 
Often, they cite Old Testament passages and ask why we don’t stone a couple for pre-marital sex as prescribed in Deuteronomy 22:23-24, or why Christians eat pork when it is condemned in Leviticus 11:7-8. It seems, to these people, that Christians are either commanded to keep unreasonable laws or are hypocrites for not following them.
In either case, their argument is that true Christianity is not what it claims. Many Christians find themselves wondering the same thing.
 
The laws brought up by the first individual are as real as the laws found in the Bible. The problem is that they are trying to apply them to the wrong people.
 
The federal and state laws are real, but are specific to those with a felony conviction. They do not apply to every citizen, only those under censure for breaking the law.
The same goes for the laws found within the Old Testament. Most of them are not for Christians, but for those who are under censure. Just as a pardon removes the yoke of these federal and state laws, so the pardon that is given by Jesus removes the yoke of the Mosaic laws.

Paul wrote:
For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:5-6 NASB)
 
The fact is, it is a false belief that the Bible commands any Christian to keep the Mosaic Laws. The very essence of Christianity is that we are under grace, and thus free from the law.
 
Confusion about this is caused by our ignorance of the Spirit behind the law and the motives of God. It is further exasperated by our incessant need to pursue legalism over purpose. Jesus makes it clear that purpose is, really, all that matters: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment.
 
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)
 
Sometimes Christians fall back toward legalism. The commands become all that matters, so they begin chanting them, enforcing them, and even pressing for them to become secular laws as well.
 
Legalism causes us to forget what grace is. We miss the love of God, from which that grace was born. When we forget the purpose, we cannot understand how to apply the laws found in the Old Testament. When this happens, it becomes obvious to the non-Christian, who then begins the process of improperly citing Old Testament laws to prove that Christianity is not what it claims.
 
It is the responsibility of the Christian to know how to properly apply the messages found in the Bible. For this to happen, the Christian must read the Bible. More than that, the Christian must study its words in humility, proper context, and with honest consideration.
 
The Christians must understand the importance of loving God and neighbor before applying the law. Only when we do this will we be able to enlighten the confused unbeliever.
 
What are you doing to ensure that you properly apply the commands of the Bible and give clear witness to others?

If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at raul@lavistanaz.org. To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007

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