Commandments and Statutes
Mark 3:4 -
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
In all religions there are commandments and statutes. In pagan religions these take the form of rituals and traditions. In a few they are considered as law.
In Christianity traditions are taboo for traditions are the doings of man unlike statutes which are of God. Statutes unlike traditions are temporary. Traditions over the years binds man and become a yoke of bondage that gets stronger and stronger on man making him spiritual blind, but physical and mental slaves to them. Statutes on the other hand are instructions that are followed over long periods to make one understand something that is hidden from the person.
Celebration of festivals for example are statutes, they have only one reason that is to witness the events connected to them and to make people to know about it so as to understand the things connected with the event and their purpose. Once their purpose is fulfilled the statutes are stopped in the physical but their purpose continues in spirit and understanding. Per say statutes are not for the spiritually mature but are kept for the purpose of those who are spiritually little.
Commandments on the other hand are not like statutes they have to be followed irrespective of one's spiritual state.
Statutes have a purpose to build spiritual understanding likewise commandments too have a purpose and that purpose is to build character. Both target the inner-man, one builds the contents and the other builds the vessel.
If we look at sin, it was born because of commandment. Had God not commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Good and Bad they would not have sinned. When we look at Paradise after the redeemed enter it, there is no Tree of Good and Bad but just the Tree of Life. Why then did God put that tree in the start, had it not been there Adam and Eve would not have sinned and we all would have been yet in Paradise?
When we look at Adam and Eve in the start even though they were made in the image of God and were without sin and called sons of God yet they were not perfect. In order to bring perfection in man God had to bring commandments into the life of man. No doubt commandments gave birth to sin but they exposed the imperfection that was in man. Had that imperfection not been exposed, it would not have been dealt with and removed.
Like statutes can take a poisonous form of tradition when done without understanding so also commandments can take a poisonous form when done without understanding. Like in today's message Jesus rebukes the Jews for abusing the purpose of the Law of God. The Jews made the Statutes and Commandments of God into traditions and spiritual yokes that did the opposite of their purpose. It only hardened their corrupt nature and blinded their spiritual eyes.
Commandments should not be done from the human mind or human body; they need to be done from the heart (spiritual mind and spiritual body-nature). In the start even though God gave man a few Commandments yet man was unable to keep them and because they kept it by mind and body. They took the opposite form of their purpose, this bought death and hardness of their heart. But when man received the Holy Spirit and when the Law got written in the hearts of man by the help of the Spirit of Truth the Laws started becoming easily to keep. They started bring out the perfection in man and making man more and more like the perfect image known to us in Jesus Christ the corner stone.
Jesus revealed the foundation of the Commandments which is love - love for God and for His people. Let us not try to keep the Commandments of God but just keep it. Let it not come from our human efforts but through the Spirit of God working in our inner-man. When we do this we will start to love the Law of God for His Law brings life and fullness.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we thank You on the day of Pentecost when You gave the Church your Spirit and wrote the Law into the hearts of the people with your Finger like you wrote on stone tables during the times of Moses. This Manna is now no longer Manna but Living Word from which flows springs of life. Lord, help us not to keep your Commandments by our strength and our mind but by surrendering to your Spirit...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Psalms 119:97 - O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Psalms 119:113 - I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
Psalms 119:163 - I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
Psalms 119:165 - Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Zechariah 7:12 - Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Jeremiah 31:33 - But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He (Holy Spirit ) had said before,
16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Galatians 5:14 - For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:8 - If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Romans 7:5 - For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Romans 8:2 - For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds (things done by the flesh) of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
1 Corinthians 15:56 - The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
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