Posts Tagged ‘Mosaic Law’

The Heart of the Mosaic Law

March 7, 2016

As Christians we tend to think of ourselves as being free from the Mosaic Law.  Many Christians do not spend much time reading the Old Testament, and many others will read Genesis and parts of Exodus, but then skim through the rest of the Pentateuch.  (The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy.)  I would suggest that at the Heart of the Mosaic Law are the same basic themes that are in Christianity.

I.  Seek God:  Deuteronomy 4:29

 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

It should be obvious to us that God is not lost.  Rather, we need the eyes of our heart to be opened that we may see Him.  We need the ears of our heart to be opened that we might hear Him.  We need to take our focus off of the things of this world so that we can focus on the things that are not of this world.  This was true in the Mosaic Law and it is still true in the New Covenant that we have through Jesus Christ.

II.  Love God:  Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

We may recognize this verse.  When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, this is the verse that He quoted. God has always desired that we would love Him.  Of course, we know that “we love Him because He first loved us.”  (I John 4:19)

III.  Please God:  Deuteronomy 8:2-3

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

You might recognize these verses as well.  Jesus quoted the last portion of them when He was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  (Luke 4:4)

A.  Humble You:  God allows the circumstances of life to humble us so that we would recognize that we need Him.  Pride is a dangerous sin.  We should diligently guard against it.

B.  Test You:  God uses many ways to test us.  Do we trust God even when things are not going well?  Do we trust Him to guide, provide and protect?  We can trust God, for He is able to take care of us.  He is the Good Shepherd.

C.  Know You:  God wants to know what is in our hearts.  How will we respond to success, or to failure?  Do we love and trust Him, or do we just desire the blessings of this world?

Throughout the events of this life, it should be our desire to please God.  Hopefully, we can pass the tests of this life.  We can, if we place our trust fully in Him.

IV.  Remember God:  Deuteronomy 8:11-18

 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’

18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

We should beware of the dangers of success!  When times are tough, it is easy to remember to call out to God.  We need His help and we know it!  When things are going well, sometimes we forget that it is God who has blessed us with success.  Sometimes we allow the things of this world to take priority in our lives.  We should remember to keep God first in our life at all times.  (Matthew 6:33)

V.  Serve God:  Deuteronomy 10:12-13*

 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

These verses are similar to Micah 6:8.  They give us a condensed statement of what God desires of us.  My focus for this message will be the part to serve God.  God has given us everything that we have in this life and the next.  It is appropriate to serve Him.  We serve Him in a wide variety of ways, but it involves our whole life, not just a portion of it.

We should not quickly dismiss the Mosaic Law.  It is true that we are no longer bound by the sacrificial system, or the dietary requirements, but the heart of the Mosaic Law: to seek God, love God, please God, remember God and to serve God, still apply to us as Christians.

These are the sermon notes from 2/14/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

 

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Be Like Our Father

June 17, 2013

These are the sermon notes from June 16, 2013.

Today is Father’s Day.  I find it to be both comforting and challenging to be able to call God our heavenly father.  It is comforting because I appreciate the understanding that God loves us like a father loves his children.  I appreciate that He provides, protects and guides us throughout our lives.  It is challenging because as a father myself, I am challenged to treat my children in a way that is similar to the way that God treats us.  That seems to be a tall order, but I understand that, as Christians, we should all seek to be like God, at least as much as we can, given our obvious limitations.  It is natural after all, for children to want to be like their father.

I.  Challenged to be Holy:  Leviticus 11:44-45

 For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

We have been set free from the Mosaic Law.  We are no longer concerned about the dietary laws, but what are we concerned about?  In I Peter, we are again admonished to be holy, but the question then becomes, if we are set free from the Mosaic Law, then what is holiness?

II.  The Need to Judge:  Leviticus 10:8-11

Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

We no longer have priests who are responsible before God to discern holiness for us.  There are religious leaders, of course, but  to which one do you listen?  Ultimately, each individual will stand before God and give their own account.

III.  Deadly Serious:  Leviticus 10:1-3

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’”

So Aaron held his peace.

Nadab and Abihu were priests, but they took it upon themselves to offer this incense.  They were struck dead on the spot as an example of the serious nature of the holiness of God.  Again, as Christians we are set free from the Mosaic Law, but question remains, “What is holiness?”

IV.  Before God and Man Leviticus 19:15-18

‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, he replied that the greatest commandment was to love God and to love one’s neighbor.   We are no longer required to keep the Mosaic Law, but we are required to keep the law of love.  We are to love God with our whole heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.  This begins in the attitude of our heart, and is revealed by our words and actions.  Some people would prefer nice list of does and don’t.  In some ways that is easier, and more clear.  Certainly there are things that I would like to place on a universal list, but then we would find ourselves arguing over the list.  For the message today, we simply want to recognize the starting point, and the starting point of holiness, is love.

V.  Pursue Holiness:  Hebrew 12:14

  Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

As Christians, we recognize that we are saved by grace, through faith, for good works.  (c.f. Ephesians 2:8-10)  We do not pursue holiness out of fear, or an attempt to earn our way into heaven.  We pursue holiness, because God is holy, and we want to be like our heavenly father.