Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is Unspiritual? -- Part 1

In some ways, the Law & Legalism are things we want to avoid in our spiritual lives. And how often have you heard a derogatory statement, "That's legalism, not Grace!"? We know that the Jews requested the law so that they might obey it. The problem was (& is) that we can't obey anything in the efforts of our flesh. In 1 Corinthians 15:56b we read,"the strength of sin is the law." These are all things we already know all too well. But we tend to look at the Law as 100% bad. And that's not true, either.

Israel wanted God to give them the Law so they could obey it in the flesh. At first glance, that sounds absurd. We know that's impossible. But think about it -- without something to perform in the flesh, man could never have a comparison to realize the impossibility. So, God, in His wisdom & love, gave them the Commandments. Which the Israelites proceeded to expand to over 600 laws. I'm sure God was amused at that one! But He also allowed it to be part of His plan, a pointer to Grace.

After creating over 600 laws, God's chosen people focused so well on the Law that most missed that the Messiah had come. As a result, Jesus was crucified. He was condemned based on perverted interpretations of the Law. Which was exactly as it should be. If Jesus hadn't been condemned by the interpretations of the Law, He would never have gone to the cross & died for our sins. In God's economy, the thing least likely to demonstrate His wisdom & love can often be used most powerfully to do just that.

Now, that doesn't mean that everything has positive spiritual attributes. But when something looks the least spiritual, give it a second look. You might be surprised to find that the thing you determine as solely secular points directly to Christ Himself in a new & unique way. Remember, Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. " And we read in Titus 1:15, "To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. " We need to look at everything with spiritual eyes.

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