Law or Love?

 

I’ve been using a plan developed by She Reads Truth  to read through the Bible in one year. We finished up Leviticus last week and I must say I struggled through that book of the Bible quite a bit.

It’s hard for me to reconcile the God of Leviticus to the God of the New Testament. There were so many rules, so many ways to become unclean or to separate yourself from the Lord and His people. I know that God never changes, so how do I walk that bridge from the God of Law to the God of Love?

Then Thursday morning I received my morning Lent devotion from She Reads Truth {can you tell I really like them??!?} and the Holy Spirit pieced everything together for me. Side note: isn’t it amazing how He does this for us! It absolutely blows my mind!

1)      The Lord is holy. The laws of the Old Testament had to be in place for the Lord to dwell with His people. They had to remain holy or they would literally die in His awesome presence because He cannot dwell with sin. {There’s a post in and of itself!}

2)      When Jesus asked for the cup to be removed from Him in the Garden of Gethsemane {Luke 22:39-46}, He was referring to the cup of God’s wrath referenced in Isaiah 51:17. Jesus knew that by sacrificing Himself, He would pay the all-time price for our sins. He would be drinking the full cup of the Lord’s wrath.

This is why we no longer have the rules of Leviticus, or animal sacrifice, or separation from the Holy Spirit. With the atonement of all sin, all the wrath of God was poured out on Christ once and for all. With His sacrifice, He restored our relationship with the Lord back to where it was created to be. Back to walking with God in the Garden every day and just having relationship with Him. Back to knowing and understanding the fullness of God’s love instead of just His holiness. With the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice and the committal to live our lives for Him, we can live eternally under our Father’s everlasting forgiveness and love.

Not that God no longer cares about our holiness! Living under Christ’s sacrifice and the atonement of His blood changes us. Once we accept His salvation into our lives, a life-long transformation process begins where we are being made into His image. We leave behind sinful practices and enter into a pattern of repenting when we mess up and walking forward in grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE.

I’m also not saying that there are no longer consequences for our sin. There will still be consequences even under the blood of the Cross. But rather than being cut off from our people, or stoned outside the city, or burned with the holiness of God’s fire, or being unclean until evening, or any other of the Old Testament consequences, we can now repent of our sin and know that we are forgiven. We can suffer our consequences gladly, knowing that God’s love for us under the blood of Christ knows no bounds—that we can never be cut off from Him again.

Isn’t this amazing knowledge? It’s such a relief to know that our God never changes, and He is still the same God in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But what did change was how we approach Him. We can now boldly approach His throne under the blood of Christ, not under the blood of an ox or a bird or a goat. Were it not for Christ, we would still be bound by the same laws of the Old Testament and we could never have such pure communion with the Father. Can you imagine? Having to have a priest sacrifice an animal and confess your sins on your behalf…..unable to pray every day and the Lord hear you because of your daily sin?

So to answer the question, “Is He a God of Law or Love?” The answer is: both. His Law is Love and we can come to Him at any time under the covering of salvation. The price has been paid. The bridge has been built. Christ truly made all things new.

PS–I fully believe in seeking the Truth of God’s Word out for yourself. Here are some of the Scriptures that I used to assist me in writing this post. I encourage you and ask you to do some personal study and research of your own and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His Truth to you!

Luke 22:39-46; Isaiah 51:17; Hebrews 4:16; Revelation 21:5-7; Isaiah 43; Leviticus 10:1-3; Leviticus 4; Exodus 33

Have you ever struggled to bridge the gap between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament? What have you struggled with the most? Have you brought this to Him in prayer and seeking?

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