Shut your mouth!

Do you justify your life and your relationship with God and others based on your ability to measure up to your own interpretation of the law and your obedience to it? Or do you walk by faith in the One who fulfilled the law on man’s behalf? The way in which a person answers the preceding questions will determine whether or not he or she actually understands the purpose of the law. Sadly enough, for many christians because they do not understand the purpose of the law, the law stands as a tool to be observed in order to remain in right standing with God and others. In other words, the law is used in an attempt to produce righteousness which is something that it was never intended to do. The law was not given to make man more righteous; it was given to shut his mouth. That he may turn to God, and receive the only righteousness that is valid; which of course is the righteousness of God in Christ! The following verses are a short account of the laws intended purpose.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation, by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sin that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No. But by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. ~ Romans 3:19-28

Upon close examination of the preceding verses, what we see is this:

  1. What the law says it says to those under law
  2. No one can be justified by attempting to keep the law
  3. The law brings knowledge of sin
  4. The righteousness of God is something apart from the law
  5. The righteousness of God is by faith in Christ, the only requirement is to believe
  6. Everybody sins
  7. We are justified freely by His grace, through Christ’s blood
  8. God demonstrated His righteousness, long-suffering, forbearance, and mercy at the cross
  9. That we would understand now that God is both just and the One who justifies those who have placed faith in Jesus
  10. What is left to boast about? We can’t keep the law, and our works can’t justify us!

In conclusion, and notice this is a restatement from verse 21, that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Authors note:

The frustrating part about this subject is that these verses from the book of Romans are taught in churches around the world on a daily basis. And yet a large percentage of the Christian community remains deadlocked under law; diabolically held captive through the co-mingling of two systems that were never intended to work together. Remember, the letter kills but the spirit gives life! The New Covenant is our hope my beloved, and Christ is our life….period!!!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

P.S. For a closer look at how the covenants are being manipulated, go back and check out my post called Living in the substance of God’s forgiveness vs existing in the shadow of a sacrificial system written in Nov. 2015.

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Stuck in the seat of Moses!

One of the most profound errors in modern Christianity is its failure to recognize that the New Testament did not come into effect until the cross; which means quite simply, that the gospels are in fact Old Testament; and Jesus was teaching under law.

The following passages are taken from the New Testament letters and should substantiate the two points I am trying to make. #1 – The fact that Jesus was born under law and therefore taught under law. #2 – A will does not come into effect until the one who made it dies.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. ~ Gal. 4:1-5

And for this reason He is the mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. ~ Heb. 9: 15-17

My friends, if we are unable to discern what is old and what is new, how in the world can we even begin to discern things like proper interpretation, let alone fruitful application? Let’s make no mistake here, if we don’t understand the timeline between the Old and New Testament, our understanding of the entire bible will be jaded. You will have one piece over here, and another over there; and none of them will fit together as a cohesive unit. The worse part of this confusion is that by nature this teaching can do nothing but put the saints directly under law.

The following verses are an example of how easily this law based nonsense can get stuck in the heart of the believer:

Enter Matthew 23:1-3 – Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Now upon close examination of these verses, it is very clear that Jesus admonished the multitudes, as well as His disciples, not only to observe the law of Moses, but to perform it as well. Now let’s take a look at modern christianity! Making statements such as the Ten Commandments are the christians moral standard for life; and wa – la! Everyone is quite effectively placed under law.

Authors note:
There are very few pastor teachers that teach the gospels are Old Testament. Therefore, as a result, they themselves remain in the seat of Moses. My advice my friends is that should you discern your pastor, your teacher, or even your best friend attempting to bring you under law; that you do exactly the opposite of what Jesus told His disciples and the multitudes and do neither what they say nor what they do. Lest you find yourself stuck in the seat of Moses with them! God bless!

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Subsequent reading:
Hebrews chapters 7-10
Romans chapters 5-8
II Cor. chapter 3 verses 4-18

P.S. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ~ Gal. 5:1

A ministry of death!

Since the beginning of recorded history, law based theology has made the attempt to prove itself on the battlefield. One nation against another, each bringing its most highly esteemed set of principles to bear against another; only to find death in the end; which of course is all the law will ever produce! Sadly, man somehow believing he could actually accomplish in the flesh that which only God Himself can accomplish in the supernatural. This story is as old as the nation of Israel’s first dealings with the Gentiles; yet as new as the way we deal with one another as people or peoples of other nations today.

In order to shed some light on this subject, I believe we need to go back to Gods initial dealings with Israel. Contrary to popular belief, God did not give the law to the nation of Israel so that they could lord over other nations! Nor did he speak or deal with them directly because He loved or esteemed them above other people. God gave them the law and spoke to them directly in hopes that they would be an enlightened generation, which in turn would bring the hope of a living God to the world. Unfortunately they misinterpreted both the meaning and purpose of the law, which by nature jaded their perspective of God Himself. The commandments were not given to make man piously holy! The law was given that Israel would trust God and in turn learn to love others as themselves. Yes, the Lord told Israel about the nations He would possess for them; but in the end they thought they were all that and a bag of chips; and I can assure you that He was not amused.

Authors note:
The Indians used to have a saying before they went into battle; saying to one another, “It’s a good day to die.” I have always loved this statement because for years I lived under extreme violence, and so understand their sentiment. With that said, my question is this: When is the Christian world going to decide that it’s a good day to live? And stop fighting one another over a set of principles that have never, nor will ever possess the power to change the human heart?

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

What is our part?

I hear a lot of talk in Christendom about the believer doing his or her part. It is said that if we do our part with reverent diligence, born of obedience to His commands; then He will do His part by blessing our lives and honoring us with His presence. On the other hand, if we do not do our part with reverent diligence, born of obedience to His commands; then He will not do His part, nor bless our lives by honoring us with His presence.

The problem with this line of thinking or teaching is that it is based entirely on the Old Covenant. A conditional covenant that God made solely with the nation of Israel, in which you and I never had a part. This covenant basically stated, ‘If you keep all my laws, statutes, precepts, and ordinances; then I will recognize you as my people. If you do not, then I will not be with you, nor call you my own.’ Of course the people of Israel agreed to this keeping of the law without realizing the impossible nature of honoring such a task; for no man is able to keep the law; which brings us to point.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God sent forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God has passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:21-26

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says; ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ In that He says, a New Covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:7-13

Authors note:

My friends, there is a new game in town! A superior covenant based on better promises! This unconditional covenant is established in the unfathomable love of God; and is found only in knowing Jesus Christ. Praise be to the King of kings who has done His part, that we may live in Him and experience ours!

Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’ ~ John 6:28, 29

And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. ~ John 17:3

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

B.I.B.L.E. – Basic instructions before leaving earth….Really?

Unfortunately, most of us are taught from an early age that the 10 commandments were given by God to man as a standard for living. And sadly enough, we are pretty much given this instruction concerning the bible even as believers. Chanting statements like, ‘The bible is God’s basic instructions before leaving earth.’ We are told by our pastors and teachers that our main ambition should be that of holiness and moral purity; citing the righteous standards of God’s laws as our rules of conduct. Now while all this may sound right in terms of what is noble, nothing could be further from the truth when considering the gospel of Christ.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a quick, yet profound look at what the gospel actually is; or rather what it really means and represents to us as believers. To gain a proper understanding of the Good News, it is paramount that we know what that news is first; which I believe can be summed up by the following. Please allow your spirit to bathe in the true meaning of these passages, and note with care the contrary structure between these verses, and the teachings and belief systems of those which claim God’s laws as a standard for living; and His recorded word not much more than an instruction manual for life.

But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.’ Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: ‘Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.’ ~ Acts 15:5-11

And we have such trust through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech – Unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with un-veiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as the spirit of the Lord. ~ II Cor. 3:4-18

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. ~ Galatians 3:21-25

For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. ~Romans 8:2-4

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical Priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another Priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For he testifies: ‘For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.’ ~ Hebrews 7:11-19

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of mutilations! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection. ~ Philippians 3:1-10

Authors note:

We are taught that the law is intended to produce holiness in man, but this was never God’s intention in giving the law. The law was given that we would see sin for what it is, and in that our hopeless inability to overcome it by merely following certain sets of principles or moral laws. That we would inevitably turn to God in Christ for salvation. If righteousness or life could be gained through using God’s word as a simple standard for living, then Christ died in vain. God’s word in its entirety is about the redemption of man, and is designed solely to lead us into His loving arms through and in the life of Christ.

O’’ foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? ~ Galatians 3:1-3

Commentary by:

George L. Miller