Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wielding the Law

It should be of more than passing interest that in the New Testament the Law is never used with the intention of conforming the behavior of those outside the church (This is partly, but not entirely, due to the fact that the church had no power to require conformity by outsiders). It is used with those outside the church to show guilt in order to then point people to the good news of the gospel, whereby they receive forgiveness through Christ.
This is an important distinction. While the Law provides a guide for conforming behavior to the Word of God within the Church. It functions differently in preaching to those outside. There, it is used to draw people's attention to their need for Christ.
I am struck with the fact that many Christians use the Law in precisely the opposite way of the New Testament prescription. That is to say, they use it as an instrument to require conformity for people outside the church, and they use it as an instrument of condemnation for those inside the church.
This is a grave error. The church taught better when it recognized it had no power.

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