It was good to be in my home church in Bellingham on Sunday. Pastor Jonathan did a great job challenging all of us with keys to keeping our hearts connected to God and one another. Great job Pastor. I am again challenged with walking out the practical steps in growing in my relationship with God and others. It is great to be a part of a culture of grace in an intimate relationship with God and one another!
Grace is more powerful than law. God never intended for law or merely the human conscience to be the rule of administration for mankind. The empowerment of the heart of mankind was always meant to be by a personal relationship with God through the human heart. Jesus was a man full of grace and truth and He exhibited the testimony of a man empowered by the internal kingdom of God. Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit ruled in His heart and the testimony of the kingdom of God was preached through His life as a firstborn of a supernaturally born race of humanity. He was the proof that the internal empowerment of the kingdom of God was the way of life for all men.
Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”
The law and the prophets were good. They were teachers that told men who God was in His character, nature, way, power, and authority. Although man was created in the likeness and the image of God, the law revealed to mankind that they were no longer like God in their character, nature, way, power, and authority. They were guilty of being disconnected from their true-life source. Their identity and authority had been perverted from the truth of their creation. They needed God. The law revealed the flaws in the character of men and it revealed the mercy of God by the provisions given to atone for and cover men’s sin. The law revealed the failure of the character of men and the goodness of the character of God. The judgments of the law were not attributes of an unloving God, but a consequence of the flawed character of unloving men. The law told men they were guilty and they should die, but there were provisions to help men in their weakness. Those provisions include the giving of life of another to cover their sin with a testimony of love. This was depicted in the sacrifice of the lives of animals to make atonement for man’s sin. Adam’s shame was covered by a death sacrifice and the covering of the skin as Adam was to wear the testimony of that death. It revealed God’s willingness to give life to redeem the life of mankind.
When the law was given, it was only given for the hope of the day when the law would no longer be needed. In the Old Covenant, no one was saved through law. Those who kept the law were saved through Jesus without knowing it because the law cannot save anyone. God made provisions that pointed to the day when Jesus would be revealed as the Lamb who was slain before men sinned. So, the law and the prophets were until John. They were provisions for the kingdom of Israel. They were provisions given to Israel for the world to look at the kingdom of Israel and see the shadow of the kingdom of heaven that was destined to come to the hearts of all men. People should seek to act like God. They should desire to be like God in their character, nature, way, power and authority. The law was a provision for men to act correctly. It would not save men, but only empower men to make a confession of what God is like – I want to be like that. The law was a provision given to the kingdom of Israel, but it was not the administration of the kingdom of God. It only manifested the need for the administration of the kingdom heaven in the human heart. The law controlled the external actions of men, but it could not transform the hearts of men within.
Human beings ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God did not. The kingdom of God was never in jeopardy. The administration of life was never in trouble. Grace was not a new idea, it was always the plan of God for all of mankind. Only intimacy with God in our hearts changes our hearts. The kingdom of God is so powerful that even some people in the kingdom of Israel found God invading their system and they experienced God’s grace in various measures. They sometimes found themselves in a government that was under the law, but experiencing the testimony of God’s mercy and grace. Such was the case with king David. At times, they would even have a new heart and mind in measures, but they were still bound to the kingdoms of men and they longed for the kingdom of God. Even the least empowered by the internal kingdom of life is greater than the best governed by the external measures of law.
Ted J. Hanson
Once again, let me give a big thank to those who have and are supporting House of Bread Ministry in prayer and in finance. Without your prayers and support we are limited in our ability to do our part in the place of our calling in Christ. If God blesses you to bless us, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225
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