A Whole Lot of Learnin’ Goin’ On

I thought summer was for sunshine against skin, sand between toes, and laundry on the line.

It appears I just don't know how to relax because here I am reading textbooks and taking classes. Once again, starting on the journey of finishing. Finishing my degree, achieving a dream, a soaking up as much knowledge as I can because let's face it–I might just be addicted to learning. It makes me happy.

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6 thoughts on “A Whole Lot of Learnin’ Goin’ On

  1. So, if I may, let me ask you a question: How were people in the Old Testament saved? I propose they were saved by trusting in Jesus just same way you and I do (Hebrews 11, for example.) It seems like you might be saying the law was for them and Jesus is for us. . . .perhaps I've misunderstood you?

  2. Hey Megan, I'm going to stream of consciousness type for a second…That's a wonderful question…like Biblical mind-candy. The Old Testament seems to be the opening act for the main show, like you said–Jesus. Since they weren't introduced to Jesus, but given glimpses of Him through blessings and prophecy, I suppose we can guess that God wouldn't have wasted words–that He fully intended to reveal glimpses of Jesus to a people who would not be around to see Him resurrected. The Old Testament has a few things going on: 1. God is making a lot of promises and then keeping those promises. 2. God is working toward the plan of reconciling mankind to Himself through Israel. 3. He's teaching mankind how to love Him.God stressed the importance of obedience. Obedience. Obedience. But I don’t think that’s how the OT people were saved. I'm not God…so I'm thinking 'out loud'. Romans talks specifically to the Jews that were Paul's contemporaries and (Romans 10.3-4) says that Israel attempted to establish their own righteousness (law) and that Christ is the end of that law. He calls OT Israelites ‘children of the promise.’ In that chapter of Hebrews 11 is says "All these (heroes of the OT) were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us."What do you think about this answer:OT men and women who chose to have faith in God and believe in his covenant promises were operating in the gift of seeing what is unable to be seen (faith) and trusting that God would do what HE said He would do (hope) so that when the promise was fulfilled (Jesus) they were made perfect by God’s grace.Whew….You have to let me know what you think. 🙂 Thanks for that question, you made my night!Also, I contacted a friend I trust to seek out a higher educated level of advice. Here's a snippet of the email I opened this morning. Great stuff:The simple answer is that people in the OT were "saved" exactly like we are – "by grace through faith." The object of their faith was the revelation of God. Ultimately, we are all washed clean by the blood of the "lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." The blood of an animal never saved anyone. But they pointed to "a better sacrifice". It was by this faith that the future sacrifice was appropriated retrospectively to them.Abraham "believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now a credit is not a wage, it is not something earned. This is why it would be an error to think that Abraham was saved by obedience.

  3. Marian, thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with almost everything you have said here and in the above post except your conclusion that Christians no longer have a duty to obey the law.If we agree that salvation through Christ is necessary for God's people in every age, perhaps you will allow me to propose that the law has a consistent function in every age, too. I'll try to be brief, as I don't want your readers to think I've hijacked your blog :)First, I want to argue that the law falls into 3 categories, then, that the 3rd category (the moral law, summarized in the 10 commandments) does the same job today as it did in the Old Testament.(1) You are right when you say the law boils down to love God and love neighbor. We can also divide the law into 3 categories/types: civil, ceremonial, and moral. THe civil laws were written for the nation of OT Israel as rules for how their gov't and society should function. That nation has passed into history, so these laws are not binding on us. (But they do contain lots of wisdom, having been written by the all-wise God!) The ceremonial law–those laws for sacrifice and purification–were written as a picture of Christ. After Christ's perfect once-for-all sacrifice had been made, we have no need to offer daily sacrifices of animals (Hebrews 7:26-28).Still with me? :)That brings us to category 3: the moral law. This is summarized in the 10 commandments, and it IS different from the other types. For one thing, God wrote it with his own finger on permanent stone (Exodus 24:12). The other types he dictated to Moses to be written on parchment. Also, the moral law are the laws that are often repeated by Christ himself in his ministry and the apostles in theirs.Okay, so we've already agreed that Jesus saves us, and that keeping the law does not. The reason that keeping the law doesn't save us is because we cannot keep it perfectly. But we are still obligated to keep it, and this is what makes Jesus' work so glorious. He kept the law perfectly for us, and suffered the penalty that we deserve for law-breaking. In light of this, I would propose that the moral law has the same function today as it did in the OT and, therefore, God wants us to obey it. (1) It tells us what God's will is, so we can please Him, which all Christians ought to desire. (2) It shows us what sin is so we can learn to avoid it. (3) It reveals our need for Christ–we fail to keep the law , but He kept it perfectly. (4) It shows us what our sin deserves and the blessedness of doing God's will.Bottom line: Yes, Jesus saves us. Yes, He kept the law perfectly on our behalf. But I would add that God's people in every age, as a result of love for God, respond with cheerful obedience to His moral law.

  4. Oh, Megan. Yes, yes, yes. I think the foundation of the law as seen in the ten commandments (the moral law) does play a wonderful and intricate part in the life of a believer. And yes! They do reveal an amazing amount of wisdom that flows from God. I agree with all your reasons for keeping the ten commandments plus one: They are common sense. I love your break down of the law into the three categories and even more love the point you made about God writing it with His own fingers. I think what I found most beautiful about the section I just read was that I don't feel we are obligated to follow the law, but more than ever, because of Holy Spirit deposited in me is the same one present at Sinai, I want to follow it. Like you said, it pleases me to please God. It's the least I can offer in return. From your bottom line, I believe we are in the same destination point. Also…I have LOVED having you hijack the blog for a moment. You are a very intelligent woman and a pleasure to talk scripture with!

  5. Thanks, Marian, that was invigorating! Wondering if you'd like to do it again sometime? Perhaps each give our perspective on a single topic on our blogs. Worth thinking about. . . you can reach me here: megan (at) sundaywomen.com Thanks again.

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