In this sermon on Loyalty, Pastor Miles introduced the Old Testament Law and how it governs the relationship between God and His people by using the metaphor of marriage. Marriage is an all-encompassing relationship between two people and includes vows or a set of rules so that each partner knows what to expect. It isnt right for the wife to end a marriage when money is short or for a husband to leave because his wife is aging. A marriage covenant is supposed to be for life, as is our relationship with God. If a vow is broken, the relationship is damaged, sometimes beyond repair.
A marriage covenant is supposed to be for life, as is our relationship with God.
This week we are continuing our journey into the Royal, a series about a young boy (us Christians) who seeks wisdom (Biblical scripture) from a sage (the Holy Spirit) on how to rule the kingdom that he is going to inherit. As the Royal, we must learn to read and properly understand Gods Word.
- The Law is another name for the first five books of the Bible, but the rules of the Law are actually found in books 2-5; Exodus 20 Deuteronomy 33).
- Old Testament Law outlines a covenant relationship between God and the ancient Israel. As in a marriage, there are rules to govern the relationship between God and His people. God expected the Jews to follow these rules, so they had to be clearly outlined.
- The word covenant also means testament. The old covenant sets the stage for the new covenant, which is established by Jesus in the New Testament. God is the covenant Giver and the covenant Enforcer, so when the rules get broken, God Himself gives the consequence.
- Old Testament Law consist of over 613 rules and regulations which are summarized in two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked which of the commandments is the greatest and His answer is to love God and love each other.
- Old Testament Law describes loyalty to God in three relationships: the Israelites to God, Jew to fellow Jew, Jew to Gentile. The Law governs all possible relationships the Jews could have they could have in their day, and it applies to us in modern times as well (ourselves to God; ourselves to fellow Christians, and ourselves to non-Christians).
- Old Testament Law reveals that:
- God requires holiness
- God has provided guidelines to holiness.
- Neither holiness nor salvation can be attained through obeying the law.
- Old Testament Law lays the foundation for establishing and maintaining a relationship with Jesus.
- Old Testament Law is Gods word to us but not necessarily Gods commands to us. Remember, this is a contract and we are free to choose to follow it or not. The consequences for not following it are laid out before us.
The Jews, newly freed slaves from Egypt, are now out in the middle of the desert on their own, so God wisely looks out for them by laying down these laws. In a life of slavery, these people were accustomed to doing only as their masters commanded them to them to do. They didnt know how to govern themselves, handle money, or treat one another.
Here Miles told a funny story about being a child in a grocery store. Miles and his siblings saw a child throwing a fit because he wasnt getting what he wanted. The McPherson kids where in shock, as they would never do such a thing; it would result in a whooping! This brings home a good point; love doesnt mean giving someone whatever he wants. God knows this, so although we may through a fit, we best beware of the holy whooping coming our way!
Wait a minute. The third comment just contradicted the first two, right? Not quite, though it seems that way. The fact is that God laid down the law, but the Jews couldnt keep it perfectly, nor can we. We are born into sin; without the new covenant we would be doomed! But thanks to the new covenant through Jesus death on the cross, we can obtain salvation.
First we READ and discover what God communicated to the people then.
- Identify for which of the three relationships the law gives the Israelites guidance:
- Relationship with God
- Relationship with fellow Israelites
- Relationship with Gentiles
- Identify which of the three categories of the law is being taught:
- Religious Rituals
Next we DISCOVER.
Ask: to what attitude or behavior were the laws attempting to teach the Israelites loyalty?
Keep in mind that the Israelites were required to be loyal to the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law represents the heart or intention of the law. Sometimes a law is broken without the intent of disobedience. For example, running a red light is against the law, however in the odd case that the light isnt functioning properly and does not change to green, breaking this rule is understood; in the spirit of the traffic law, one should proceed when safe to do so.
Then we REFLECT, pray and determine what God is communicating to us now.
- Apply the letter and the Spirit of the law to yourself if it is repeated and/or reinforced in the New Testament. Miles gave a great example of this. Back in the day the Jews where forbidden to eat pork. Today it is easy to understand why this was so, for if pork is improperly cooked, it can make us ill or even kill us. Today we do not need to follow this literally, but the spirit of the law tells us to put only good things into our bodies.
- Apply the Spirit of the law to yourself only if the law is not reinforced in the New Testament or if it is fulfilled by Christ. Ask: what does the law reveal about the heart of God? To what attitude or behavior are the laws attempting to teach you loyalty?
This is a lot to take in, but next week we are getting some meat and potatoes as we dive into the Ten Commandments!
- Part 1, The Journey
- Part 2, Foundations
- Part 3, Preparations
- Book One: Warriors (Week 1)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 2)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 3)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 4)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 1)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 2)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 3)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 1)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 2)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 3)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 1)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 2)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 3)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 1)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 2)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 3)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 1)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 2)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 1)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 2)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 4)