Thursday, June 02, 2005

A quick note on being a doer of the Law

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." (James 1:22-25)

Let us be doers of the Word, and let us know that God blesses doers! In my zeal for distinguishing Law/Gospel, it became all too easy to neglect these passages -probably because of various misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the doctrine itself. God blesses obedience. It says it right there, and we are called to be obedient as Christians. We are called to be disciples. This means that the Law has a very real place in our lives. It will still show us that we have no righteousness in ourselves, but then after the Gospel reminds us that our righteousness is Christ's perfect righteousness, we are brought to a new realm never discovered before by natural man. With the condemnation aside, we see that we are called to hold this Law dear to us because it is so closely tied to the holy character of the One who now owns us. To love God is to love His Law. To take pleasure in God and His nature is to take pleasure in His ways and His Law. So we are called, as servants of Him who reigns, to truly love Him with all of ourselves. We are called to love neighbor as ourselves. This calling is not feigned simply because we are not able to fulfill the Law's true demands. It is a calling that is apart from our abilities (or lack of) since the Law's righteous requirements have already been met in Christ. This is something I did not get at first and is probably why I bounced back and forth so much. This fact is good, because it means that we cannot use our obedience as a means to exalt self, and we cannot neglect our calling to obedience by claiming we are unable to render it. It is in this sense that we have both died to the Law and been raised unto God in Christ as servants of righteousness (Rom 7:4). Through (faith in) Christ it is a Law of liberty for us then, a yoke that is easy (Mat 11:28-29).

1 comment:

Jeff said...

well said!

crapfully yours,