Day 16 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Law keeping turns love into charity
Law keeping turns love into charity
In an earlier blog I mentioned the fact that all religions apart from Christianity have some sort of goalkeeping purpose, which when achieved rewards you with heaven or eternity. Unfortunately Catholicism breaks two commands of God, the first being that you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not bow down to any other gods, so praying to Mary, Paul Saint Anthony and all these others are a direct violation of the prime directive. The second problem with Catholicism is that it centres on actions which the perpetrator of God’s law needs to fulfil to keep in good standing with God. This is in violation of the new Testament, the new Testament makes it clear that it is not by works that we are given our salvation but by grace alone.
Firstly, Jesus came to breakdown the old temple model, which included sacrifice and penance. Catholicism, and many other religions including the Islamic faith is based on the maintenance of the temple model.
When the primary law in the religion centres on your ability to keep a set of rules, possibly written on stone, your psyche becomes materialistic in the worst possible way. The church, such as Catholicism, maintain their coffers by getting you to pay penance feeding off man’s natural instinct to worship God. If the priest or imam tells you that you have to do this, or pay that, to release your burdened spirit from its flayed guilt ridden state you lose. Christ is the only way that you can find peace. No pope or priest can forgive you your sins. They are not gods and there is nothing in the Bible that supports this.
Is it not the fact that many religious institutions focus on the Mosaic law that religion is in such drastic decline. Law keeping cannot be an external stone written obligation, it has to be an internal heart changed directive.
Gamaliel’s advice “So in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.” At this, they yielded to Gamaliel. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them.” Acts 5:38-40 (BSB)
Gamaliel’s advice some 2000 years ago to the Sanhedrin reverberates truth through the centuries and dams the religious institutions still based on the Mosaic law. It is truth that the temple model is based on an integrated institutionalised system that is failing in many ways. If the modern church “of quasi-Christians” do not realign themselves with Christ’s law the decline within the religion will be a downward spiral. The focus has to be aligned with the gospel and mystery of Christ.
When our focus is on keeping a set of rules and regulations we forget to love. Christ’s command is so much bigger than simple law keeping.
The law of Moses was written on stone but the law of Christ is written on your heart. The law of Moses guides your mind whereas the law of Christ guides your soul and your emotions.
The Mosaic law is an external awareness which we are trying to internalise whereas the law of Christ is an internal rebirth which finds its fruition in external actions.
Maybe Rick Warren, in today’s passage (day 16) purposely wrote focusing on the love we should have for our fellow Christians and co-inhabitants of this earth. When I read this passage it vexed me because it does not focus primarily on our love for God. Rick does in the passage mention that the prime directive is love for God. We have to learn to love God first, we have to learn and fully understand the gospel of Christ. We have to have a realignment purpose, recognition of our sins, and have seeked and found God to have experienced a rebirth or else we cannot love in the way God expects us to love the co-inhabitants of this earth.
If our love for our neighbour is based on law keeping it fails at the outset. Law keeping turns love into charity. Go and read what law keeping did to 1 Corinthians 13 in the King James version of the Bible and you will see what I mean. (http://biblehub.com/kjv/1_corinthians/13.htm). The problem was that when the King James version of the Bible was originally written and you seriously got all these people to start loving each other and looking out for each other the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England would have been de-institutionalised.
Compare the Charity version of 1 Corinthians 13 in the KJV with current translations. Included below is the Berean Bible version here for ease of reference;
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 (BSB)
You have to totally submit to Christ for him to enter your heart and write his law on it. When that has happened you do not need to keep the law to love your neighbour, it becomes a natural out flowing of your existence.
Forget about trying to love your neighbour. Start by truly knowing our triune God, ask him to take out the biggest meanest knife his got and write Christ’s law on your heart. Now when you have cried your way through that pain every person you meet can and will be naturally loved by you.