(This post was originally a facebook note. The comments on facebook are interesting to do something with, so expect a ‘part II’ when I find the time. And if you’d like to be updated about this blog, you can follow it on facebook also)
Now to go on with an important subject in Christianity: grace vs Gods commandments…
Let’s start with a quote from Scot McKnight (from a blog article on the 10 commandmenst: http://www.patheos.com/community/jesuscreed/2011/01/18/the-lord-alone-2/#more-12945)
What does it mean to be saved? to be redeemed? to be ransomed? It means to be a person who lives out that salvation, that redemption and that ransom by making God the Lord alone. It means obedience to the God who sets us free.
The biggest mistake of Christians today is to make obedience legalism and to think that God’s commands are somehow an inferior form of religion or spirituality. The second mistake when it comes to the Ten Commandments is to fail to see how they flow out of redemption and don’t stand alone as if they are arbitrary commands. The third mistake is to think they are only for the ancient world, or for Israel, and have nothing to do with gospel.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about when I hear some ‘grace’ preachers, and those who make a big opposition between ‘law’ and ‘grace’. Surely legalism is a big problem, and following laws will not save us. The fist law explicitly states that it’s about our heart anyway, not about following regulations (‘love the Lord, ect etc)
But somewhere among the line we swing too far to the opposite side if we want to abolish all law and put Jesus against it. Thereis something very twisted about the hyper-reformation that does not only believe that we are saved by faith not works, but also makes all kinds of good works suspect. Something is very wrong here! Jeremiah speaks about a new law written in our hearts, and paul speaks about fulfilling all of the law if we love our neigbor as ourselves.
The ten commandments are not evil. If God’d make a heaven with people who would break those commandments, it’d not be heaven at all, but a broken world like ours. So I agree with professor McKnight here: we live out our salvation, and that means obedience. Not obedience to get saved, but when we get tranformed by God we will not want anything else than living in His will.
There is no opposition between faith and works, and between grace and law. By faith we learn to trust Him, and follow Him. By grace we’ll learn how to live in His will. We do not get saved to just sit on our ass being saved, but as a part of a new creation, one that is different from the fallen world.