A few days ago I was driving along my narrow, winding mountaintop road with an impatient driver close behind, obviously pressuring me to go faster. A short time later I passed a police van parked nonchalantly on my side of the road. My immediate thought was: a speed camera. I checked my speed: 60 km per hour, exactly the speed limit.
Glancing at the car behind me I spoke to my rear-view mirror: “There, I probably saved you from a speeding fine!”
Impatient drivers who sit on my tail annoy me because I try always to keep to the legal limit and drive safely. But they try to make out I am the one doing wrong. One day a few weeks previously I had received a speeding ticket when I failed to see a 60 km sign and was driving at what I thought was the limit of 70 km per hour.
About an hour after I saw the police van, I drove back along the mountain road towards home. Coming over the crest, there it was, still sitting there. I checked my speed again: 70 km per hour! I’d failed to take take pressure off the accelerator for those few seconds after the upward slope. Arriving home I was so angry at myself for not keeping the road law I told Father to send me to Hell!
“No matter how hard I seem to try,” I told Him, “I can’t even be perfect at driving to the speed limit, at anything in fact.” I really let loose as I cleaned my front driveway and carport (cleaning always seems to calm me down), balling my eyes out.
You may see this as somewhat extreme, especially if you are one who subscribes to the doctrine of all grace and no law. But later as I sat sewing, Father spoke to my heart about His purpose in allowing me to possibly get another speeding ticket, when I had not had one for many years. His reasoning was the exact opposite of my excuse-laden, angry outburst an hour before.
Father said, “Until, like Me, you have sweated blood or died in your pursuit of keeping the Law and laws of the land, and obeying My will perfectly, your efforts will not be good enough.” I also saw that my outburst was sinful, by becoming unnecessarily angry and judgmental of myself. With this came the realization I still have work to do, to be a better driver, and to curb emotional reactions when things don’t go my way. In all this He, YHWH who loves me so much, will help and strengthen me. I should have simply thanked Him for showing me my weakness, and resolved to do better next time.
MISUNDERSTOOD AND TWISTED
Next in a series of posts about the Law and why it should be kept, we come to Scriptures in books that the apostle Paul wrote or is thought to have written. Before looking at them we should be aware that:
…in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest(twist), as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness (II PETER 3:16).
Please read the above verse again slowly. This is a warning from Peter. Paul’s letters are akin to Yahshua’s parables: they require earnest study, a deep desire of the heart, and revelation from the Holy Spirit to be properly understood.
To reiterate what Peter has written here:
- Paul’s letters can be hard to understand;
- The unlearned and unstable twist them to mean something else;
- These unlearned people–translators, teachers, pastors, etc–twist other Scriptures and say they mean something different to the truth also;
- These twisters of Scripture are going to eternal destruction;
- They are wicked;
- They lead others into error.
Let us then be most careful, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (PHIL. 2:12)!
First we come to ROMANS 6:14-15:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under grace? YHWH forbid!
Paul takes many words to explain the relationship between the Law and grace. He seems to say one thing then the opposite, but a careful reading shows he in no way writes the Law is done away with, void, or bad. In essence this is what he is saying: A truly spiritual person will not need the Law for they are led by the Spirit of YHWH, but everything else He leads them to do will be according to the Law, for we are dead to sin (ROM. 6:11) and dead to the Law (ROM. 7:4). However, we follow the Law–not out of fear of the death penalty for all sinners–but out of love for Yahshua Messiah, and a desire to obey Him who has saved us by His death on the cross. This is what Paul means in ROMANS 6:17:
But YHWH be thanked, that ye were the servant of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you (to which you were committed NASB).
All of Yahshua’s followers are or should be committed to doing righteousness (ROM. 6:16). We know from the Law what righteousness is:
And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YHWH our Father, as He hath commanded us (DEUT. 6:25).
The Holy Spirit dwells in a person so baptized in the region underneath the heart, but when Paul writes heart he means the regenerated spirit in connection with the soul, that is, the mind, will, and emotions, or the thinking part of us that determines our personality. So–before we knew Yahshua as Saviour, sin was our master and we needed the Law (of YHWH or of the land) to, in some way, curb this sinfulness into an acceptable form of behaviour. It is the nature of carnal or fallen man to rebel against rules and laws no matter how hard we try not to or how many New Year resolutions we may make (ROM. 6:19, 7:5).
A follower of Yahshua is no longer enslaved to sin, no longer under the Law, but ‘enslaved’ to YHWH (ROM. 6:22), so they serve in the Spirit (ROM. 7:6). Sometimes, albeit infrequently and for good reason, the Spirit leads a person to actually break His Laws, for example: when Rahab lied about the Hebrew spies in Yericho to preserve their lives; when the priests performed sacrifices on the Sabbath; when Yahshua healed on the Sabbath; when David ate the shewbread meant only for the priests; when Samuel and David lied out of fear of Saul. By the letter of the Law all these people deserve the death penalty.