What is the Purpose of the Law?

November 3, 2020 // 59 Comments

Watchman Nee tells a wonderful story about a clumsy servant. As long as the servant sits still and does nothing, his clumsiness is not apparent. But the moment you ask him to serve, trouble begins. He knocks over furniture, drops plates, and makes a frightful mess. In Nee’s parable, we are the clumsy servant [...]

How does Faith Establish the Law? (Romans 3:31)

August 31, 2017 // 71 Comments

The Bible makes some interesting comparisons between faith and law: We are justified by FAITH, not by LAW (Rom 3:28, Gal 2:16) Abraham and his heirs are blessed on account of FAITH, not LAW (Rom 4:13-14) You can live by FAITH or LAW (Rom 4:14) No one who relies on the LAW is justified for the righteous live by [...]

The Three Uses of the Law

January 12, 2017 // 71 Comments

On October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. The Reformation that Luther and others started led to a whole new way of thinking about God, church, and the proper use of the law. In the Formula of Concord, the Lutheran Statement of Faith, the three [...]

What is the Law Written on our Hearts?

April 23, 2015 // 124 Comments

Six-hundred years before Jesus came, the prophet Jeremiah spoke of a new covenant that God would make with his people: This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they [...]

The Law Written on our Hearts is NOT the Ten Commandments

April 17, 2015 // 129 Comments

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time,” says the Lord. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Heb 10:16) What is this law that God writes on our hearts? “This is obviously a reference to the law of Moses,” says the law-preacher. “The Ten [...]

The number one verse on the Old Covenant

April 5, 2015 // 24 Comments

Some time ago I published a list of the top 12 verses on the new covenant. It seems only fair that I also give some air-time to the number one verse on the old covenant. Here it is: “It is finished” (John 19:30). What is finished? That old rule-keeping order that demanded perfection from you without lifting [...]

Is Christ the end of the law for you?

January 19, 2012 // 64 Comments

Those who insist that you must obey the commands of Jesus in order to be saved/blessed/forgiven/righteous/holy are assuming that you are either (a)  a time-traveler from Israel’s distant past (b)  the devil If you are (a) I suggest you pick up a Sports Almanac, go back in time, and make a lot of money à la [...]

The Greatest Law Preacher

January 14, 2012 // 105 Comments

“Don’t stray too far from the red letters,” is a piece of advice often given to new preachers. It means, stay close to the teachings of Jesus and you can’t go wrong. It sounds good, but it’s bad advice. Everything Jesus said was good, but not everything he said is good for you. Read the red letters of [...]

When doing good is bad for you

August 7, 2011 // 21 Comments

Ever since our ancestors ate the forbidden fruit, we humans have had an innate sense of good and evil. You help a blind person cross the street and you just know you’re doing something good. You use a cat for a football and you just know you’re doing something bad. You don’t need anybody to tell you. Being [...]

Chop off your hand?! Was Jesus serious?

April 7, 2011 // 79 Comments

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole [...]

Seven Signs You Might be Living under Law

November 6, 2010 // 86 Comments

This week I finally got to see the movie, The Book of Eli. If you like stories where a lone man stands up to the wicked while trying to distribute the word of God in a post-apocalyptic world, this is the movie for you. Just don’t show it at your youth group. It is extremely violent. Still, it made me think [...]