The Ultimate Truth

The Ultimate Truth

I definitely went overtime, but here’s this week’s Five Minute Friday entry.  

The prompt: Truth

Rembrandt_Christ_and_the_Woman_Taken_in_AdulteryThen the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”

 

They confronted Him

with the truth…

they confronted Him

with the Law.

Now they would see. Would He obey it?

“But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger…”

To this day it remains a mystery. We don’t know what He wrote.  But we do know this…that finger had written before.

And He gave unto Moses…tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Yes, once again, the finger of God wrote.  And although we’re not told, could it be He wrote what He’d written before? What He’d written with His finger before… on those tables of stone?

Maybe by what He wrote He did what these scribes and Pharisees, these  “teachers of the Law” had done when they’d come to Him. Maybe…

He confronted them

with the truth….

He confronted them

with the Law.

 Now they would see. Had they obeyed it?

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

One by one they left, confronted with the truth…of their own sin.

Yes, I’m convinced that, once again, God’s finger wrote truth.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?” She said, “No man, Lord”. And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee…

Oh the glory, the overwhelming goodness of grace! She was shown mercy.  He had ministered grace…the grace of no condemnation.

But what about truth?  What about that truth written by the finger of God?  What about the Law? Does grace compromise truth?

With this adulteress, did Jesus end with “neither do I condemn you”?  No, He went on. He went on to say,

“Go and sin no more.”

He confronted her

with the truth.

                  He confronted her

with the Law

…the Law that said adultery was sin.

No, Jesus didn’t deny the truth.  He didn’t show grace at the expense of truth for grace never lowers truth’s demands. But Jesus knew something. He knew that the Law demands but it does not provide the power to meet those demands. Only grace does that.  The grace of no condemnation is the power to sin no more.  Yes, Jesus knew that grace makes possible what truth demands.

And He knew something else too. He knew that the Law He had written thousands of years before and just possibly then, in the presence of this woman and her accusers…He knew He would write it again.  But this time it would not be written on the stone tablets of Mount Sinai or on the dusty ground of Judea. No, He knew that when He wrote it again, this time He would write it on human hearts. Hearts that had been softened by the ultimate truth…the truth of His amazing, empowering grace.

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  John 1:17

 

The Power of Grace

The Power of Grace

Today being Friday and November 1st required two posts in one day.  Today begins November’s Mark 4:30 Photo A Day challenge, a one-of-a-kind photo challenge that puts the focus on God’s Word. Check out today’s other post for all the details.  I’d be tickled for you to join us. And since it’s Friday, it’s also time to link up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is GRACE.  Here we go…

I have this tendency. I think we all do. I tend to think more about goodness than grace.

And it always leaves me feeling condemned, not clean…and my life reflects it.

But shouldn’t thinking about the shoulds make me more obedient? Well, that’s where we miss it.  That’s where I miss it.

I…constantly…miss it.Continue reading

Handling the Glory

Handling the Glory

More on the subject of Law and Glory    New to the subject? …begin here

While Moses was on Mt. Sinai, God gave instruction that the children of Israel were to give an offering in order to build a sanctuary.

Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.  Exodus 25:8

Moses receives specific details as to the exact pattern of every part of this sanctuary and is warned to see to it that everything is made according to that pattern. Exodus 25:9  The sanctuary and its furnishings are constructed from the inside out, beginning with the holy ark of the covenant.  This ark was to be constructed so as to be carried with poles…poles which were never to be removed from the ark.  Exodus 25:10-15  The ark would be covered with the mercy seat where God Himself, in all His glory, would meet with them.  It would also contain the tablets of the Law. Ex 25:21-22  As we’ve seen before, the combination of Law and glory is a dangerous thing.  Thus far, every time the people have encountered this, it was best to create a separation.  It proves no different this time.Continue reading

Unveiled

Unveiled

II Corinthians 3 ~ Gaining Insight on II Corinthians 3:18

In Monday’s post, A Glimpse at Glory we discussed the nature of the glory of God as revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Getting a glimpse of the true and total nature of God and His glory helps us understand the reason for the fear that struck the children of Israel upon encountering it.  Being under the law and having violated that law, seeing the glory of God on the face of Moses evoked fear, an expectation of God’s wrath proceeding from the “justice side” of God.  In this condition, they feared to draw near, unable to even look at the glory emanating from Moses’ face.  Therefore, Moses created another distance, shielding the people from the glory by placing a veil over his face.

Paul refers to this entire chronicle in his letter to the Corinthians.  (Remember, these Old Testament accounts serve as examples to us and are for our instruction)  In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul uses these events at Mt. Sinai to reveal profound truth by comparing and contrasting the old with the new.Continue reading

A Glimpse at Glory

A Glimpse at Glory

Exodus 33, 34 ~ Resolving the Conflict of Exodus 34:6-7

Continuing the topic of “distance”….

In Friday’s post, Law and Glory, we saw the deadly wrath that came on the children of Israel when they broke the Law, and we discussed the fear they experienced when Moses descended Mt. Sinai the second time carrying not only the Law but the glory of God.  The combination of law and glory is, in fact, a fearful thing.  As the story continues, once again, we see a distance created between the people and God.  How?  Moses places a veil over his face creating yet another separation.  Why did a distance need to be constantly maintained between the people and the glory?  What is it about this glory?Continue reading

Law and Glory

Law and Glory

Exodus ~  What Else Came With God’s Law?

This subject of “keeping your distance” might seem like a trivial thing, but it is far from trivial. Ultimately it ends up being a matter of life and death, or worse yet, a matter of heaven or hell.  No, I’m not overstating it, and in the next few posts you’ll see why.

We began to learn about this matter of “distance” from an event recorded in the Old Testament.  It’s important for us to realize that these Old Testament accounts are not just stories.  They are much more than mere events of the distant past with no relevance beyond just the recording of history.

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  I Corinthians 10:11

Evidently, there are some important things to be learned from these “stories”.  So, let’s return to the book of Exodus and the “example” of the introduction of the Law to the children of Israel.  Let’s remind ourselves of what we’ve learned and see what other “instruction” we can receive concerning this topic of “distance”.Continue reading

Keeping Your Distance?

Keeping Your Distance?

Exodus 19, 20 ~ Can We Really Draw Near to God?

The dictionary defines “law” as:  rules that a…community recognizes and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

Simply put, once a law shows up, the penalty for breaking it does too.  A law, with its accompanying penalty, creates a distance between the lawgiver and the one under the law because the consciousness of a broken rule drives a person away from the one who can penalize.  Remember Adam and Eve?  Commands don’t promote closeness.  Decrees and rules result in distance.

The institution of the Law displays the distance that law brings between God, the lawgiver, and His people.  Exodus 19 and 20 tell the story of the Israelites receiving the Law.Continue reading

The Value of Rules

The Value of Rules

More thoughts from Friday, while we’re on the subject of law….

Do laws serve as a means to curb sin?  Do rules help to restrain the flesh?  The Bible refers to rules as ‘elementary’.  Speaking to the Galatians who were submitting to teaching that required a return to observing the Law, the apostle Paul compared the Law to ‘elemental things’, things that are fit only for children.

So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. Galatians 4:3

He went on to point out that rules and laws are not only elementary, they are also weak and worthless.

…how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? Galatians 4:9

What exactly are rules weak and worthless for?  What have we been trying to accomplish by obeying them? Continue reading

What Law Are You Under?

What Law Are You Under?

It took me quite a while to realize that it wasn’t works that led to righteousness, but righteousness that led to works.  My heart’s desire was to be righteous, so I spent most of my time trying to do something to become something.  By doing all the right things (reading, studying, praying), I was attempting to regulate my behavior, thinking it would come in line as a result of these efforts.  (Seemingly, there are numerous commentators who think the same thing.) Nevertheless, I had the cart before the horse.  Little did I know that there was absolutely nothing I could do that would make me righteous.  There were no rules to obey or laws to observe that would result in righteousness.  Paul said it like this:Continue reading

No More Debt Mindset

No More Debt Mindset

Many of us have come to realize the glorious reality revealed by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:14 that we are not under law.  It is positively liberating to know that we are exempt from the dictates and requirements recorded by Moses in the Old Testament.  And we say we are free.  But how free are we really?

It is true that we need not read and attempt to heed those burdensome ordinances of the Old Testament, but how many of us read the New Testament in just the same way…with the mentality of law? We read the Bible as though it is a bill we owe.Continue reading