I have heard comments, and seen comments on social media...From angry non-believers and even questioning believers...Concerning why Christians seem to act so hypocritical when following the Commandments of the Bible!
I've heard examples quoted in anger or ridicule, such as:
So let me say first of all, that at a casual glance these accusations and questions seem valid and justifiable!
But the Scriptural answer is simple, crystal clear, and rock-solid/air-tight! This whole line of questioning either comes from:
Someone who knows Scriptures well enough to twist them to their benefit... (By using verses completely out of context for their purpose)Or, someone who purposefully knows nothing of Scriptures, isn't interested in Them, but grasps for anything they can find to justify themselves...Or from someone who has only a very limited contact with Scriptures, and innocently misunderstands their meaning...Such as someone who only reads a chapter out of a book and cannot understand how it fits into the plot...It is a common and tempting mistake that we all make at times...Judging something or someone before we know all of the information...But it is a mistake that is especially dangerous when the stakes are so high!!
Would a jury decide a verdict involving a death sentence with only the partial testimony of one person, and no study of the mounds of evidence that exists before them?
Then, how much more important is finding the clear Truth...
So let's take a look at the explanation for the seemingly hypocritical actions of Christians when it comes to following God's Commands...
There are a couple of clear, key things we must all see about God's very Character, and His Laws throughout mankind's history! Since the beginning of Creation, God has always communicated clear, "Moral Laws" to mankind...Laws which were present long before Moses introduced the Mosaic Law to the Israelites...
These Laws reflected God's very Character...These Laws are the literal basis for loving selflessly as He loves!
These Laws are written by God in the minds and conscience of men whether they have even heard of Him or His Word!
The often quoted "Levitical" or "Mosaic" Law given in Leviticus and other parts of the OT...
This Mosaic Law was given to the nation of Israel to...Set them distinctly apart from the Pagan nations and gods around them... Marking them as God's people...Give them a governmental system as a newly formed nation... (As slaves, they'd had no economic, social or justice system!)Show the Israelites, which had lived for hundreds of years under Egyptian rule, with Egyptian gods...The Holiness and Righteousness of their God...To show they could not be Holy without Him...And to give them a means of temporary covering for their sins when they failed Him!
So...Though this Mosaic Law was for the Israelites only...The Moral Law that was before that written Law...
Became part of that written Law...And was never done away with... It still exists TODAY!!! Before believers begin to yell, "Blaspheme!" Before nonbelievers scream, "Why aren't you holding yourselves to your own Laws then?!"
The Law was never done away with, or else we would all be innocent and no one would be judged!
The Law wasn't ended... It was fulfilled... By Jesus Christ!!!!
HOW?! The penalty of the Law was death, right?!And that is why Jesus came to earth as a Human...
A Perfect Human! To die as a Human for US!
He paid the final penalty for our sins according to the Law!!!If you die... The Law doesn't cease...
It is just no longer relevant to YOU! Because It was fulfilled to the letter... You died for your sins!!!
Yet it wasn't you who died, but HIM for YOU!
And since He was Perfect, and not destined for death...He was the only Sacrifice so complete that NO MORE SACRIFICES HAD TO BE GIVEN!! The Sacrificial system of the OT wasn't stopped, it was forever fulfilled by Jesus Christ!!
Hebrews 10:1, 2, 5-7, 12-14
THEREFORE NO SIN COMMITTED BY A PERSON WHO HAS ACCEPTED JESUS' SACRIFICE CAN EVER BE COUNTED AGAINST THEM!!!!We cannot legally be held to a single Law of Scriptures in order to save ourselves ever again! So why on earth do we have Commandments and sin in the New Testament?!! Because God is a Righteous God...Because the Moral Laws given by Him since the beginning were to teach us how to be righteous and love others perfectly...We do not keep the Ceremonial Laws of sacrifice and worship because they were for Israel only... And especially because Jesus was the Last Sacrifice! But God still expects us to keep the Moral Laws today and forever!!! Not to save ourselves... He took the Law's penalty away! But because in our love for Him and other people... In our understanding through His Spirit of the goodness of the Law...In our desire to be holy as He is Holy...God wants us to CHOOSE to fulfill the Law from the HEART NOW! Without fear of penalty, but with the motivation of love, as He loves!
The Ten Commandments, which have been quoted so many times...And hung in many churches and courthouses throughout the country...Do not have one hold on us legally...And were for the Israelites only...But, like all Moral Laws of the Old Testament...Every one of them is reiterated in the New Testament!!!As a Command of God, to fulfill with a heart of LOVE... NOT to save ourselves!
So... It is true we cannot quote Mosaic Laws, with all of their detailed legal and ceremonial requirements…To anyone and expect them to be obligated to keep them today!!!BUT... WE MUST QUOTE THE STILL EXISTING... FOREVER EXISTING...MORAL LAWS OF GOD...That reflect HIS Love and Character! And are given to us today in the New Testament to be lived from the heart!
WHY must we still have these Laws if God says follow your heart in love??Because good intentions will often still produce accidental bad results! Because even in love... We do not always have the wisdom and desire to do the most loving thing...We do not always even understand why certain things are the only way to real love! (One partner... Stay together when not deserved, etc.) THEREFORE GOD WILL HOLD US ALL TO THESE LAWS...TODAY AND FORVER... AS A SIGN OF OUR LOVE!AND... THE LAW OF GOD IS STILL THERE FOR ANOTHER REASON TODAY AS WELL... TO SHOW US THE EVIL IN OUR HEARTS... TO SHOW US THE NEED FOR SALVATION!
THE LAW OF GOD IS THERE TO POINT US TO THE ONE WHO CAN SAVE US AND TO PROVE TO US THAT OUR HEART IS SELFISH AND EVIL!THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO DIE UNDER THAT LAW WHEN WE SEE THAT WE ARE EVIL!
Let's summarize this with a perfect illustration of pretty much the whole message of the Bible... In terms of the Law and Grace of God!
There was this woman named Cindy Moore...We'll just call her, "Sin" for short! (Sin more)! She met the most wonderful man named Mr. Law...Moses Law! He was fair, honest, upright... Never did dumb or mean things...And was always right about anything you asked him...Just an amazing guy! He was pretty much just perfect! So they married! Mr. Law never went anywhere with Cindy...But always gave her a list of things she needed to be sure she did right before she left! And when she returned, he never met her with a hug or kiss… (Not mean, just cold and indifferent) But instead, he would always immediately asked for her list...Telling her of all the things she failed to do just right! This went on for years, never giving affection... Always condemning her actions and pointing out her faults. UNTIL CINDY STAYED GUILTY AND BEAT DOWN ALWAYS!
Then… One day… Mr. Moses Law killed over dead!!She publicly grieved, but in her heart she was dancing!! Sometime later she met another Man named, "Moe"...Mr. Moe Grace! He was just as completely perfect and right as Mr. Law...
(She had this thing for perfection...)But He was so completely different, in that He was so completely warm and loving! She was overtaken with His love and character,and married Him shortly after!! Their life was so completely different from the life with Mr. Law...Cindy was very scared at first, because of all of the condemnation from before...
But Mr. Grace didn't give her a list before leaving... He wanted to go everywhere WITH her!!! He couldn't stand to be away from her! Mr. Grace had the same desire to do right and treat people lovingly as Mr. law did...- BUT... She was so driven to try harder than ever to please Him...Because He was there with her, and she watched His love for others... Watched the worth and preciousness He placed on them...Watched His joy in putting others before Himself!
And when she failed to do everything as perfectly as He did... He would lovingly tell her that it was OK...Because He knew her heart and her love...And He would take her hand, and say, "Let's try it again, together!"
He never gave up on her... But always encouraged her and loved her deeply! Telling her, “He would die before He ever let her failures tear them apart!!” And they lived happily ever after!
The Law reflects God's Righteousness and Character...Shows that we can never be what we need to be!But it expresses NOTHING of His Love, Passion, and Desire to be with us anyway!! So if we accept His death for us, we are freed from the Law and It's Penalty! We are free....So that we might MARRY Another Who truly loves us!!We are free... To serve Him in a NEW WAY...With a heart of desire and love... Not fear and legality! Striving to follow His Moral Laws because they are truly good and loving...But never again worrying about losing Him or worrying He will leave us when we fail!
CONTRARY TO POPULAR ACCUSATIONS…He DOES accept me just as I am, wherever that may be!!! But in the same love He has shown me... My love FOR HIM makes ME WANT to become something better... That pleases Him! I want to become someone who loves as selflessly as He does! I want to trust and follow His lead as we learn to love together! With no fear or condemnation!
THE MORAL LAWS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT HAVE ALWAYS EXISTED… AND ALWAYS WILL…AND THEY DO CONDEMN US EVEN TODAY, IF WE ARE NOT DEAD TO THEM THROUGH CHRIST! Are you condemned or dead through a Him?)BUT EVEN WHEN FREED FROM THEM…OUR DESIRE IS TO FULFILL THEM BECAUSE WE LOVE AS HE LOVES ANYWAY!
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