|February 2015||A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships||Vol 06 - Issue 01|
The Relevance of “Having a Relationship with The Law”
The nominal, ecumenical churches have long accused Adventists of having a relationship with the law. This is really no surprise, for these churches stand against the keeping of all the commandments of God and have labeled Adventism as legalistic for teaching the Sabbath truth. Unfortunately, there are certain ministries today, among the Godhead movement, that are also taking up this same accusation. This raises a few questions. Firstly, what do they mean when they use the term “relationship with the law”? How can anyone have a relationship with an inanimate object? Let us consider from a couple of quotes from a prominent ministry among Godhead believers that is teaching this concept.
“. . . but what we are advocating is that we look to Christ rather than to to the law, to men, or to the past! That we seek a living relationship with the living Christ rather than with written instructions!” Open Face, 94 , page 8
“. . . we are declaring the biblical reality that when we have found Christ our relationship is with the living law and no longer with the letter of the law.” Open Face, 94 , page 9
No Christian will deny that we need to have a relationship with Christ, as a matter of fact, that is what Christianity is all about, being connected to Christ our Saviour. The quotes above are saying more than this though. They bring a clear implication that the law of God or “written instructions” (which would include the whole Bible), are no longer to be regarded if we are to have a relationship with Christ. And if we do have any connection with the law, for example, if we claim to keep the Sabbath because the law says so, then we have a “relationship” with the law and not with Christ.
This teaching I find to be imbalanced and un-Biblical. It is true that there are some in Christianity who do not have a living relationship with Christ. Somewhere down the road of life they lost their first love. They allowed the things of this world to take their eyes away from their Saviour. Jesus tells us that this happens to those who have thorny ground, for the thorns represent the cares and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14). But, because of this they only have a form of godliness and cannot bear fruit unto perfection. They know a lot about the Bible, including the law, but the spirit of Christ is not in them to make them living epistles. Their failure to be fully surrendered to Christ does not make the law or the “written instructions” the enemy of the gospel.
The Bible teaches that the word of God, which the law is part of, is to be the means through which we abide in Christ and the Father (John 14:23). It is in the meditation of God’s word and in the study of it that the spirit of Christ is able to reach and transform our hearts after his will. It is the means through which we have a relationship with Jesus. According to some, this equates with having a “relationship with the law”. Whatever one may call it; if it is a Biblical concept then we must accept it as truth. The word of God is an integral part in maintaining our relationship with Jesus and therefore also with the Father. If this is true, then we will see the relevance of the law among God’s people both in the Old and New Testaments.
MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. (Psalms 119:97)
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (Romans 7:22)
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Peter 2:21)
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)
(Nominal Protestantism would call this legalism – the idea that we receive answers because we keep his commandments.)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalms 119:165)
Notice that the attributes of the law are the same as the attributes of God. The law in fact, is a transcript of God's character. This explains why when we meditate upon the law of God; we are drawn closer to him, for in reality we are meditating upon God’s righteousness, upon his character. But, this can only be done through the working of the spirit of God. These points have been well explained by a Christian author in the following quote:
Since the law is the righteousness of God-- a transcript of His character--it is easy to see that to fear God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13. Let no one think that his duty will be circumscribed if confined to the ten commandments, for they are “exceeding broad.” “The law is spiritual,” and comprehends a great deal more than can be discerned by an ordinary reader. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14. The exceeding breadth of the law of God can be realized only by those who have prayerfully meditated upon it . . . (Christ and His Righteousness, p.48)
Recently there has been a lot of discussion regarding the law among those in the Godhead movement. Two sides have emerged preaching two seemingly opposing things. One side seeks to place the typical or ceremonial law (like the feasts) on the same level as the moral law, claiming that it is all still binding. The “other side” seeks to place the moral law on the same level as the typical or ceremonial law, defining it as a mere shadow. Both sides are making the same mistake by lumping the two laws together. They just draw different conclusions, but with both theologies being wrong, both conclusions are wrong also.
The truth is always balanced, and Satan would have us be at one extreme or the other, especially on a subject as relevant as the law. Brethren, let us remember that God would have us rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Christ in You
How does Christ dwell in the believer? Pastor David Sims explains his understanding on this important subject.
A Missionary's Story
Missionary Stefan Fred Skucy shares his experience on witnessing to souls in Las Vegas.
Read about the upcoming missionary projects and their needs in Peru and other places!
Are You A Legalist?
Is the true message of Seventh-Day Adventism legalism? Many claim that it is and even some within the circles of Adventism. This article seeks to examine and answer this question.
The 8 Laws of Health in the Bible
Have you ever wondered were we find the principles for the 8 laws of health in the Bible? This study seeks to find out.
Think on These Things
Of late there has been much talk about having a relationship with God versus having a relationship with the law. God and his law are placed opposing each other. But what does the Bible say about the law? Is the law the enemy of God?
Peruvian-Russian Potato salad!
Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.
Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships:
P.O. Box 262, Laconia, NH 03246, U.S.A.
Phone: 530 708-2381
Chief Editor: David Sims
Assistant Editor: Thomas Akens
Proof-reader: Alice Fredrick
Layout: Thomas Akens