Ending The Old vs. New Conflict

bible460Conflict is often the womb of confusion.  It certainly has been the case in the contest of the law vs. grace battle.

However, it has been my observation and conclusion that most of those with “drawn swords” defending their positions are people of the same desire, “To rightly honor God and His Word.”

There is – what I would call – a pharisaic heart in some.  Those are so invested in their “right to be right” they’ve developed a “wrong heart.”  But, the scriptures reveal that even some of the pharisees became followers of Jesus.  Why?  Because His love saw their deepest needs and conquered their hearts.

All Is Inspired And Can Be Inspiring

Paul said, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

God’s Words contain God’s heart, motivation, and purpose.  The Word (John 1:1 – Jesus) clothed that heart with skin.

The stories and instructions found in the pages of what is called, “The Old Testament” were never intended – in my opinion – to be formulas of lifeless structure containing punitive measures (although a disregard of same brings it’s own personal punishments).

The heart of the stories and instructions were intended to reveal the path of abundant pleasure and satisfaction in God and His Kingdom Life.

Grace Doesn’t Legalize Self Gratification

When it all boils down to it, what is termed as sin is basically “self gratification.”  The kindling wood is found in impatience with God.

The grace of God never returns selfishness, hate, greed, touchiness, etc to the throne of one’s life.  Sin stinks and trying to cover it with a brand of faux grace is like dowsing oneself with cheap perfume without taking a shower.

Grace invites us to the table, regardless. (read about it here)

The grace that invites us to the table is the grace that flips our old motivations on their heads.  The old way of acting was to protect one’s position with God and others.  The new way of acting is to demonstrate love’s honor for God and each other.

Practical Illustrations

  1. I see dirty dishes on the counter.  I think, “I better put those in the dishwasher.  If I don’t, my wife will be mad at me (which interpreted means, life is going to be a bummer for me)
  2. I see dirty dishes on the counter.  I think, “I’m going to put those in the dishwasher because I love my wife and I want to help make her life easier”

The Fellowship of Grace Involves Dirty Dishes

The question is whether one is motivated by the pharisaic structure of the old or the spirit of the old that is found in the new.

In other words, God’s heart is found in the stories and instructions in the section of our Bibles called The Old Testament.  If what you “feel” from these stories and instructions is harsh, angry, cruel, and vindictive, then you have not, yet, put on your Jesus reading glasses.  It’s those glasses that work like x-ray vision so that you can see the real beating heart of the matter. 

The old testament is profitable and super healthy.  It should never be disregarded.  Jesus fulfilled it.  Not for us to disregard it, but to see it with fresh eyes.

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