17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. – Matthew 5:17-18
Although we as Christians are not under the Old Testament law, we have commandments of God to keep. I think of something Jesus said.
“Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. This is the first commandment. Similarly, love our neighbor as ourselves. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Everything that the law and prophets spoke of hinges on these commands, and Jesus is the embodiment of what this means. He lived this perfectly.
If we follow Him, learn of His ways, and seek aid through the Spirit who “writes the laws of the Kingdom of God on the fleshly tables of the heart,” we are shown what this means and given strength to perform it.
If we sin, we are not obedient to God. We do not love Him as we should, and we are probably doing things that harm others. The nature of our earthly bodies is sin, so we need Jesus. We need His blood to forgive us and we need the Spirit so that we can walk more according to the Spirit of God and not the spirits of this world.
We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve sin and Jesus, and we cannot serve the things of this life and Jesus.
However, we have to live our lives.
Though we have lives to live, we should live them as Christians—not under the bondage of law nor under the bondage of sin—but free under the grace of God as servants of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As Christians, we have liberty in Christ because law, in a strict sense, cannot contain the perfect righteousness of God. However, as Paul the apostle reminds us of, “do no use your liberty as an occasion for sin, but in love serve one another.”
Liberty in Jesus so that we can keep His commandments is critical. Legalism gets in the way. When we place regulations on our fellow Christians about how they should dress, worship, or live their lives in matters of individual conscience, we are placing them under the bondage of law—and the strength of law is sin, and the result of sin is death.
As we draw nearer to God through Jesus, we will learn of the will of God and we will serve God according to the ordination of our Father in Heaven. This can mean many things, so we should be careful that we do not “judge another man’s servant.”
We each are instructed to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” It is a small thing to stand in the judgment of man. Jesus is judge, so fear Him. If you love Him of a truth, then trust in Him also and know that by Him you are “passed from judgment to life.”
One day, heaven and earth will pass away, though the words of God never pass away. One day, the fullness of His word will be done, and the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. There is more yet to be fulfilled in Jesus, and He will do it because He has spoken it by His prophets of old and of the present.
This present world is carnally minded, and so are many Christians of this world.
There are many carnally minded Christians who need to be revived in Spirit.
Carnally minded Christians are legalistic, self-righteous, and hypocritical. Carnally minded Christians use grace and liberty as an excuse for sin. Carnally minded Christians measure blessings of God in worldly prosperity. Carnally minded Christians seek power in this world and popularity in this world. Carnally minded Christians deny the suffering of the servants of God and make this glory into a shame. Carnally minded Christians persecute their fellow servants.
The heart of a carnally minded Christian is far from God, no matter how much they honor Jesus with their lips.
Carnally minded Christians do the works of this world: the works of iniquity, and apart from the grace and mercy God that is His to give to whoever He will, Jesus will say, “depart from me you who work iniquity. I never knew you.”
“I am He that searches the reigns and hearts and I will give unto you according to your works.”
We want to be judged according to mercy as we keep the works of Jesus through faith in His grace—grace that makes free in Spirit as it puts the carnal to death. Not just judicially, but literally according to the measure of faith and grace we receive of the Father.
Teachings of carnal Christians are hated by God, and He will judge it. We do not want to be children of the carnal, but of the Spirit.
If we are carnally minded, we need to repent. There is no room for it in the Kingdom of Heaven, and although “this mortal must put on immortality,” there is a Kingdom of Heaven that is “within you.” He must be within you in some measure, and He is for all who love Him.
If we love Him, we cannot help but learn of Him and keep the commandments of God in some form—better and better until the day when our lives end and He returns. What remains of this world will die and we are raised incorruptible, but if we are not living as if we are going to this Kingdom and instead live as if this world is all there is for us, then something is way wrong with our faith.
We need to seek Jesus so that we can learn what grace really means. We need to seek Jesus so that we can revere the forgiveness that was bought with the blood of the Son of God. We need to seek Jesus so that we can learn of Him and keep His ways, not by our own strength, but by the Spirit of God.
Our strength is carnal. Our strength is death.
If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
For more on what it is to be a carnal Christian, you can read 1 Corinthians 3. Though, all of scripture testifies to this if we have “eyes to see and ears to hear” by the grace of God. First seek God. Get to know Jesus: He who makes the captives free and gives sight to the blind. He who raises the humble and lays low the proud. He who to whom all glory belongs, who give us strength and a sound mind in this world of corruption and confusion!
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.