Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
There’s a little conversation I’ve had with many Latin students over the years. We end up talking about slavery, a common feature of Roman culture. I point out that, as in the United States in the 19th century, while slavery was fairly widespread, the average slave holder had somewhere between two and three slaves, and there were lots of people who didn’t have slaves. I compare it to people in the United States now who would hire a full time person to do something like cooking, cleaning, errands, or to be a nanny. Young people, easily intrigued by the idea of what they could make someone else do, ask about the slave who would go to school with the children. I point out that it wouldn’t be fitting for a rich man’s son to carry his own things to and from school. But I also point out that the rich man wants his sons to make it to school on time, in good order, with all their homework. He wants them to behave in school and to know what lessons need to be completed before the next day. He wants them to get home from school safely and do their homework. The slave who takes the children to school is described in Galatians 3:24-25. This is not someone who gets the children out of their responsibilities. It’s someone who makes sure the father’s will is done, that the children learn what they need to learn, and that if there’s a problem it actually gets reported back to the father.
God’s law takes us, the children of God, and tells us how to live our life until we are mature in Christ. It is a good thing. It manages us. Especially before redemption was completed in Christ’s death and resurrection, we needed this kind of direction. If we went our own way, just like the rich man’s sons, we’d probably end up fishing, losing our homework, getting in fights, or being abducted by someone who wants a ransom payment. We wouldn’t always pay attention to our lessons and we almost certainly wouldn’t do all of our homework.
The Law of God corrects us. It guides us to Christ, showing us our need, our sin, and the things that God is concerned about. We learn our priorities from God’s Law.
Does God’s law pass away? Not really. There will come a time, in the last day, when there will be no need for enforcement, because God will usher in perfection. But the Law will still endure. It is fulfilled in Jesus, but that doesn’t mean it is of no effect. It simply means that we look at Jesus’ righteousness and ask it to be applied to our account, since we aren’t able to keep all of the Law perfectly. Like children, even though Jesus has fulfilled the Law for us, we still need his guidance. We find it in God’s Law, which shows us our sin and shows us our Savior. We are the children in the house. One glad morning we will wake up in the heavenly realms and find we are the heirs. Until then, we need the care God has given us through His Law.
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