The Daily Word of Righteousness

Untying the Knot, continued

That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (I Timothy 6:18,19)

In any case, the Evangelical viewpoint concerning the consequence of not keeping Christ's commandments has taken the life out of the Great Commission's injunction to teach people to keep His commandments. It has made a lot of passages of Scripture meaningless.

The four areas of difficulty we are discussing are:

* The consequences of not keeping the commandments.

* The approach we take to the commandments.

* The role of our own personality in keeping the commandments.

* What the results are of keeping the commandments.

The first area of disagreement is that of the consequences of not obeying the commandments. We think the Scriptures state there are dreadful consequences. Current Evangelical teaching is that there are few if any truly significant consequences. What do you think at this point?

Let's look at the second area of disagreement.

* The approach we take to the commandments.

The first viewpoint is that we are supposed to read what they are and then to pray to God for the wisdom and strength for the keeping of them. We see them as coming from God and therefore are to be regarded with utmost seriousness.

The Evangelical approach, however, seems to be that the purpose of the commandments is to convince us of our need of a Redeemer. God does not really expect us to keep the commandments, just to acknowledge we are hopeless sinners who must be brought to Heaven by grace.

Can you see again the uncrossable gulf between viewing the commandments as something we are supposed to do, and viewing the commandments as a way of reminding us continually that we are unworthy sinners who must always depend on the worthiness of Christ if we are to be admitted to Heaven?

How do you like this saying: we do not gain skill or muscle when Christ fights all the battles and does all the work? Think about it.

You can see there are two very different viewpoints here. One would compel us to keep the commandments of God. The other is relieving us of the necessity of keeping God's commandments. You and I have to make a choice, don't we? And how are we going to make the choice? By starting at Matthew and reading through the New Testament to see what it says, not what we think it says.

Let's move now to the third area of disagreement.

* The role of our own personality in keeping the commandments.

This third area may be the key to the whole business. The first viewpoint is that our own personality is responsible to keep choosing to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments. We cannot wait for Christ to do the work for us and in us.

The Evangelical viewpoint appears to make the first personality a nonentity. "All our righteousness is as filthy rags," and so forth. This statement is from the Scriptures. But God is not saying by this that we are not to keep His commandments! Good night, what are we thinking of?

To be continued.