The key to understanding the relationship between the Christian and the Law is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on Christians today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23–25; Ephesians 2:15).
In place of the Old Testament law, Christians are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40).
“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” — James 5:7-8
The farmer must wait patiently for his crops to grow; he cannot hurry the process. But he does not take the summer off and hope that all goes well in the fields. There is much work to do to ensure a good harvest. In the same way, we must wait patiently for Christ’s return. We cannot make him come back any sooner. But while we wait, there is much work that we can do to advance God’s kingdom. Both the farmer and the Christian must live by faith, looking toward the future reward for their labors.
Don’t live as if Christ will never come. Work faithfully to build his kingdom—the King will come when the time is right.
We all know that the Christian walk begins with faith in Jesus for the salvation of our soul. But faith is not a onetime act—it’s a lifelong path. And Hebrews 11:6 tells us why that journey is so important: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
The faith of new believers is immature and often restless because there isn’t yet a deep understanding of the heavenly Father. Therefore, when trials come, the tendency is to look at the problem rather than at God. But as we spend more time studying His Word and growing in our knowledge of Him, our confidence in the Lord begins to increase. The more we learn what pleases Him, the wiser our prayers become.
Another way faith matures is through trials. Jesus’ disciples became frightened in a storm and cried out to Him for help. We can relate to this scenario—at one time or another, we all have found ourselves in a desperate situation with no way to extricate ourselves. And the words Jesus spoke to His disciples could probably be said to us as well: “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26).
We’d all like a problem-free life, but that’s not possible. The silver lining is that trouble can strengthen our faith in the Lord. It’s one thing to read about God’s faithfulness in His Word, but we also need to experience it in our personal life. Each time we’re able to trust the Lord during a trial, we know our faith is genuine.
1 How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
When you read Psalm 1 it is clear there are two ways or paths we can walk. As a believer we can follow God’s word and receive the blessings of the Lord or we can walk in the ways of the wicked. God gives us a choice but what we do with that choice has consequences.
As in Psalm 1 above it states “his delight is in the Lord’s instruction” and “whatever he does prospers”. When we study the bible and live our lives accordingly, the Lord watches over us and we prosper.
However, if you live your life like an unbeliever “you will not stand up in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous” and “the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” God’s word is clear on the consequences of our choices.
Take time today and seek the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Worship Him with everything that is within you. The consequence of that choice results in “whatever he does prospers.” Remember, God is true to His word. He will do what He says He will do. Guaranteed.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—Proverbs 13:20
Compromise may be helpful for some relationships, but it can hurt our spiritual journey. Bending God’s principles is risky.
For example, suppose a Christian man makes some new acquaintances, who don’t share his beliefs. Having grown up in the church, he has practically memorized Proverbs 13:20—“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—and recognizes the verse is meant to protect Christians from worldly influences. But he rationalizes that spending time here or there with these friends won’t hurt him. Eventually, however, he ends up spending more time with them than with believers and begins to question his own beliefs. Heeding that proverb might have helped him avoid drifting away from the heavenly Father.
To navigate such situations, we must look ahead for possible danger. Even choices that seem trivial can have far-reaching consequences. But the Lord equips us with a conscience and the Holy Spirit, who sounds an alarm if we veer into dangerous territory.
For us to hear these warnings, our heart must be tuned into God’s Spirit and Word. Relying on our own understanding can lead to trouble. But those who trust the Lord and apply His principles will find straight paths through potentially dangerous situations.
For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.—Colossians 2:5
Christians generally associate faith with when they received the Lord as their Savior and rightly so. By believing in Christ, we enter into a relationship with Him. But that’s not the end—after our initial decision comes a lifetime of walking with Him.
The word walk is used to describe behavior and conduct. We may mistakenly conclude that after salvation, the Christian life is all about doing things for the Lord. Colossians 2:5-7 clearly state that we walk with Christ in the same way we received Him—by faith. This means we place our trust in Him for every circumstance of life.
Remember, God does not grade our daily life and performance on a salvation scale. He looks at one thing, as I’ve said. He’s looking at our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to walk with Him daily. Pull out all the stops and let faith be your guide.
When we become Christians, saved by the blood of our redeemer Jesus Christ, we have an obligation to conduct ourselves accordingly. I know that can be difficult in these days and times. It is now more critical than ever that we show the world that living in the darkness of despair and rebellion is not the way to go.
Unbelievers watch us as we go about our daily lives. For some they are just looking for an excuse to justify their worldly behavior when they see a believer acting the same worldly way. Our walk with the Lord is probably the only exposure they will have to God and Jesus Christ.
So, what steps can we take to provide unbelievers with a view of life that is modeled after Jesus? The following is a brief outline of the Christian walk, which can be found in Ephesians 4:22-32. If you don’t want to explore these passages in the scriptures, you can always print out this email message and use as a road map for your daily living.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the courage, stamina, and strength to walk in love like Jesus—Steps to walking, talking and acting like a Christian:
1. Lay aside the old self which is corrupt with lusts and deceit.
2. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
3. Put on the new self which is in the likeness of God.
4. Lay aside all falsehood, speaking the truth with your neighbor.
5.Whoever steals must steal no more but rather labor instead.
6. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification.
7. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
8. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you along with all malice.
9. Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you.