According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3
I have been blessed with the opportunity to have witnessed many mighty moves of God over the years. I’ve seen people run, dance, shout, and fall to the ground in services. These things may happen but we are not to seek manifestations.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
There are far too many Christians judging their walk by God according to the physical manifestations. Jesus told us to seek the kingdom not an experience. This is an important revelation.
People want to be entertained. This is why the churches with exciting music and sermons seem to have the largest crowds. The problem with this type of Christianity is that it is based on entertainment which is very hard to differentiate from what the world is offering.
So am I against having an experience in Church. No I am not! My concern is that we are spending more time seeking a physical manifestation than we are the Word of God. Physical manifestations are not going to help us when we are standing in front of a doctor who has just given us a terminal diagnosis.
Peter tells us that God has supplied for our needs through the knowledge of God. This knowledge is found in His Word. We seek first the kingdom by first seeking His Word.
Jesus totally changed everything and took away the condemnation of the Old Testament Law. The book of Romans provides us with a complete revelation of this work. I personally believe that every Christian should spend time meditating in this book until they are able to gain revelation of Christ’s redemptive work.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Paul made a point in the two previous verses that sin is not imputed where there is no law. He tells us that the Law did not come until nearly two thousand years after the fall of Adam. This means that God did not impute the consequences of man’s sin until the Law was given.
So if God was not imputing the consequence of sin we must ask why people died before the Law was given. I believe that the answer to this is found in Romans 5:14. People died because sin had a two-fold effect on mankind.
Sin was an offense against God that brought His wrath and judgment. It also opens the door for Satan to work in our lives.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Paul tells us that yielding to sin is also yielding to its author, Satan. This is why sin provides him free access to our lives.
I think the easiest way to think of this is by looking at sin as having a vertical and a horizontal effect on our lives. Even though God was not imputing man’s sin (vertical effect), sin still opened the door for death to work (horizontal effect). This will be discussed in future posts.
We have been talking about God not imputing sin. Let me provide some examples to help us understand what this means:
- Abraham: Sarah was Abraham’s half sister. Leviticus 18 tells classifies their marriage as a sin but because the Law was not given Abraham could be called the friend of God. Under the Law his penalty for marrying Sarah would have been death.
- Jacob: He married two sisters which Leviticus 18 classifies as sexual abomination. Jacob became Israel because God dealt with him through mercy and did not impute this sin against him.
People died before the Law because sin opened the door for Satan to bring destruction even though God was not imputing their sin against them.
God’s original covenant with Abraham was based on faith. The Law was not part of this but was added to make sin so hateful that people would realize they could never overcome it without God intervening.
I believe the Law’s purpose was to cause people to see sin for what it is. Sin is awful and impossible to break free from without the blood of Jesus. The Law was added to make sin so bad that people would despair of ever overcoming their problems on their own.
In its proper context the Law will cause people to turn from their self righteousness and receive the free gift of salvation offered through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. It seems as if the devil has deceived a large portion of the modern day Church that it is possible to keep the commandments found in the Law to earn God’s favor.
The Law was not given to bring mankind to a place of acceptance with their creator. Instead it was given to show us how impossible it is for us to become righteous in our own effort. We cannot earn God’s favor!
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