Saturday, September 08, 2007

Doggone

I have a dog named Tojo and he is a Jack Russell Terrier. Actually we have several dogs, but we have had Tojo the longest. He is a good dog who is getting on up in years. He is less hyper than he used to be and maybe a step slower. He is very smart and is patient with our grandson. He stays in our fenced back yard during the day and since the area is nearly an acre, he has plenty of room to run. He has food and water, companionship, and plenty of shade. It’s a good life! Or is it?

We have to be very careful how we go through our gate, because if we’re not on our toes Tojo will fly through the gate like a bolt of lightning. He has done this for years and our first inclination was to go after him, calling for him to come back. The more we chased him the farther he would run. What would cause him to do this? He has a good life and he isn’t mistreated. The problem is the fence. It takes from him the one thing he doesn’t have, his freedom.

At least from our perspective the fence is a good thing. It protects him from danger. When was the last time you heard of a dog being run over by a car while he was in his fence? It also keeps him from destroying other people’s property. From his perspective the fence represents bondage.

Another thing we noticed about Tojo is that when we stopped chasing him and went home he would come back within a few minutes and we would find him waiting at the front door. Now, when he escapes, we don’t bother to chase him; we just go inside and wait. In a few minutes he will be sitting at the front door wagging his tail and wanting to come in. It’s kind of humorous in that when we force him to stay in the fence, the only thing he wants is to escape, but when he has his freedom the only thing he wants is to do is come home.

Isn’t this a wonderful picture of the difference between Law and Grace? The Law is a fence; it defines the boundary of what is permissible and not permissible, what is evil and what is good, but the problem with the Law is that it puts us in bondage. (Galatians 5:1) Not only does the Law represent bondage, but the power of sin is in the Law. (1 Corinthians 15:56) The Law stirs up within us the desire to sin. Look what Paul said in Romans,

Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. Romans 7:7-11 NLT

Not only does the Law stir up our desire to sin, it is faulty. (Hebrews 8:7) It is important to understand that I am not saying the law is faulty in content. God's Law is perfect in content; it is holy, right and good. (Romans 7:12) The fault of the Law lies in its capability. It’s assessment of our shortcomings are right on the mark, but its ability to lift a finger to help us is nil. The Law does not have the ability to produce righteousness. It is like a mirror in that it shows us that our face is dirty, but it can’t wash our face for us.

Thanks be to God, Jesus tore down that fence (Law) when He died on the cross. He has lifted the veil that separated us from Him and has given us the privilege of being called His children. We have been given our freedom and have been set free from the chains that bound us. The Law that binds has been replaced with a new law, the Law of Liberty.

Since the Law stirs up our desire to sin, what does the Law of Liberty stir up within us? It produces same thing that freedom produces in my dog; the desire to return home. Look what the bible says,

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God produces in us the very thing that the Law could never do. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly and to do good deeds. These are the very things that were required of us by the Law, but they were only accomplished after the Law was “torn down.” Isn’t that good news? You're free! Free to live your life in complete abandon to Him. Free to run barefoot through the fields of grace. Why would you want to rebuild the fence only to spend your life plotting your next escape?

17 comments:

Judah Himango said...

Gary, if Jesus tore down the Law, as you say, what definition of sin is left? If the Law is torn down, where does the definition of sin come from?

To me, "tear down" is the same as getting rid of, or abolishing. Did Jesus abolish the Law, Gary? Do you recommend we do not need to keep God's commandments?

Judah Himango said...

Gary, a friend wrote an interesting article about being under different covenants and how it applies to Christians. I hope you can give it a read: Am I Under a Covenant?

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

Since you are cutting and pasting, I have one for you.

By James A. Fowler


The most popular proof-text of those who argue for the continuity of the Old Testament Law is Matthew 5:17-20. A more prolonged explanation of these verses is therefore in order.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish,..." (Matt. 5:17). The Greek word for "abolish" is kataluo, which has a root meaning "to set loose." Jesus was fully aware than He was inaugurating a "new covenant," radically different from the old covenant and the purpose of the Old Testament Law. But neither was it His purpose to disconnect or detach the old from the new. The same God was acting perfectly from the beginning. Jesus did not come to be an iconoclast, a Law-basher! He did not come to set loose the Law from its moorings in the activity of God. He did not come to set the Law adrift as a meaningless "social experiment" in religion and morality from the past. He did not come to "trash" the Law, to denounce it derisively as God's disaster of the Old Testament. He did not come to discount and devalue and defame the Law of the Old Testament as a failure, a fiasco, a "dud," a "raw deal," a plan that did not work. He did not come to write the Law off as God's mistake, as wrong, useless, having no good purpose. He did not come to demolish and tear down the Law in contempt and disgust. He did not come to denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, or decimate the Old Testament Law with disdain and derision. Jesus knew that the Law had served God's good purposes historically, both essentially and instrumentally.

Jesus then continues, "I came to fulfill the Law" (Matt. 5:17). In other words, "I came to fill the Law full; to bring to full fruition all that the Law pointed to pictorially and custodially." "I came to fulfill the Law, by being the dynamic directive of God, the living Torah, in the lives of His People." To "fulfill" means more than just to fulfill the promises and the prophecies historically. It carries with it the theological meaning of completing, actualizing, consummating the Law by becoming its full intended content.

"Until heaven and earth pass away, not iota or even one stroke of the Law shall pass away..." (Matt. 5:18). God's purposes for the Law are as firmly positioned as the heaven and the earth. There is a definite purpose for how the earth turns in the heavens. There was a definite purpose for the Law. But they both "come around" (parerxomai) to a "new day."

The Law does not "pass away until all is accomplished." The Greek word for "accomplished" is ginomai meaning "to become, to happen, to take place, to come to pass." When did all that God intended for the restoration of His creation in mankind happen or take place? In the death, resurrection, ascension and Pentecostal outpouring of Jesus Christ. God's purposes for the Law were accomplished in Jesus Christ. God's purpose for the restoration of His life to man was accomplished.

"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19). Christians are participants in the "kingdom of heaven." (Luke 17:21). A Christian who "sets loose" (same Greek word, kataluo, as was used in vs. 17) to the Law, who discounts, devalues, derides, denigrates or disconnects the Law from the perfect activity of God, shall be called "least" because he is doing a disservice in misrepresenting God's perfect activity in human history.

"...but whoever keeps and teaches the commandments of God shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19). How are we as Christians going to keep the commandments? The essential intent of the commandments is kept as Jesus functions as the Law-keeper in and through the Christ, manifesting the character of God by the grace of God. Those who live by grace and teach grace shall be called "great" in the kingdom of heaven.

"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:20). Righteousness does not come by the law (Rom. 3:20,28; 10:4; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:11; 5:4). Human efforts to keep the Law produce only pseudo-righteousness, self-righteousness, unrighteousness. Such was the religious striving of the scribes and Pharisees. The righteousness that God desires in the Christian "comes from God on the basis of faith" (Phil. 3:9). It is the result of Jesus Christ, "the Righteous One" (I John 2:1) living in us. Righteousness in Christian behavior is the fruit (Eph. 5:9) of the Spirit of Christ manifesting His divinely righteous character in our behavior, evidencing "good works" which "glorify the Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Such righteousness certainly surpasses the so-called righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees and evidences that we are participants in the kingdom of heaven.

In this important passage Jesus has affirmed the historical purposes of the Law but has not necessarily "confirmed" the continued efficacy of the Law. Much of the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the import of Jesus' words is due to mistranslation of key words such as "set loose" and "fulfill."

Continuing then, we shall consider the affirmation of the Law in other passages of the New Testament.

Writing to the Romans Paul rhetorically asks, "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary we establish the Law" (Rom 3:31). Those who advocate continued application of the Law are quick to affirm that "the Law is not nullified," rather "the Law is established." Paul uses the Greek word katargeo, which is here translated "nullified." At the root of this word are two other Greek words, a meaning "no," and ergeo meaning "work." Paul is asking, "Are we saying that the Law did not work, that it was a failure historically? Most definitely not. We establish that the law served God purposes. We affirm that the Law "stands" within its historic purposes and validate the Law as having fulfilled its purposes." Contextually, Paul seems to be making the point that the disengagement of the Law does not necessarily crate an antinomianism which would allow for behavioral chaos in lawlessness, as would have been the assumption of Jewish thinking.

In Romans 7 Paul affirms the Law and its purposes in several verses. "The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good" (Rom. 7:12). "The Law is spiritual" (Rom. 7:14). "...I agree with the Law, ...that it is good" (Rom. 7:16). Obviously Paul is not equating God and the Law as some seem to do, and thus in effect deify the Law. God is good and holy and righteous. Nothing else can be said to be "good and holy and righteous, in the same sense that God is essentially good and holy and righteous. Attributes of God are not to be attributed to something else. The statement that Paul makes here in Romans 7 must mean that the Law serves a beneficial purpose that is good, holy and righteous. Contextually, Paul is making the point that the Law is not to be faulted for our sinfulness. "Is the Law sin? May it never be (Rom. 7:7). The Law is good. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It served an instrumental purpose to expose our indwelling sinfulness (7:17). The Law is "spiritual." Not that it provided the indwelling dynamic of the Spirit of Christ, but it was used by the Spirit of God to serve the purposes of God. It was used instrumentally for a spiritual purpose, so that the law-directive of God might be internalized in out spirits (Heb. 8:10; 10:16), rather than just externalized in directives for external behavioral activities.

In Romans 8:4 Paul explains that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Walking by the Spirit, allowing the Spirit of Christ (8:9) to live in and through us, allows the character of God in Christ to be expressed in our behavior. This is what the Law required, but it did not provide the necessary enabling to fulfill.

I Cor. 7:19 is another text which affirms the Law but is often used to confirm the continued application of the Law. "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God." Using the man-made categories of Law, some argue that the ceremonial Law does not matter, but what matters is keeping the commandments of the moral law. Such employment of arbitrary categories for Biblical exegesis is illegitimate. It is more contextually appropriate to recognize that Paul was combatting the legalism that was being introduced into the Corinthian congregation by false teachers in contradistinction to his gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. Why would Paul capitulate and say that we should keep some of the Law, but not all of the Law, when he notes the inconsistency of such elsewhere? (Gal. 3:10;5:3) Paul is eschewing the keeping of all law and indicating that since we are "joined in one spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ" (6:17), what really matters is allowing the divine directive of the Lord Jesus Christ to function in and through us to manifest the character of God.

"Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be!" (Gal. 3:21) Paul is arguing that the promises given by God to Abraham (3:16) 430 years prior to the giving of the Law to Moses (3:17), have precedence over the Law. This does not mean that the Law is to be disdained or discounted as contrary or contradictory to the promises of God. The Law simply served its historical, instrumental purpose "until the seed" (Jesus Christ) should come, concerning whom the promise had been made.

James writes, "...if you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law, but a judge of it" (James 4:11). Some have claimed that to teach the inefficacy of the Law for Christians today is to "judge the law" as invalid, and thus to violate the intent of God. James is writing to Christians within a new covenant context. He explains that when we set ourselves up as self-appointed arbiters to criticize, condemn, find fault and judge our Christian brother, we set ourselves up to "play God," to "play Holy Spirit" in the life of another. This is an attempt to usurp the role of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the life of our brother. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the Savior, Jesus Christ. We must never set ourselves above Him, attempting to judge or criticize or find fault with how He wants to implement His activity and character in another Christian brother. Instead, we are responsible to allow the "royal law" (2:8) of God's love, the "perfect law" (1:25), to be expressed in our behavior.

Judah Himango said...

Gary, the piece he wrote here,

"to the Law, who discounts, devalues, derides, denigrates or disconnects the Law from the perfect activity of God, shall be called "least" because he is doing a disservice in misrepresenting God's perfect activity in human history."

Modern Christianity, though not ancient Christianity, is doing precisely this. We are saying, hey, we don't need to follow the Law, least or greatest. The author doesn't answer this any further. What is your take on this?

Judah Himango said...

Gary, I think you said it yourself in this quote:

"At least from our perspective the fence is a good thing. It protects him from danger. When was the last time you heard of a dog being run over by a car while he was in his fence? It also keeps him from destroying other people’s property. From his perspective the fence represents bondage."

To God, His commandments are a good thing, keeping us healthy, making us a holy people to Him, teaching us right from wrong. But to most Christians, the Law is bondage. We fail to understand the wisdom of our Master in the rules, regulations, and commandments. All we see is a fence.

So, we try to downplay the importance of that fence, some even going to the great length of saying Jesus abolished the fence, despite Jesus saying exactly the opposite.

You are the dog saying, "this fence is terrible! It's bondage! Boo!" But the Master knows better. He knows that without the fence, you can destroy other's property, you can eat unhealthy things and get sick, you could even die. Yes, Tojo may go out and come back in an hour unscathed, but sin isn't so forgiving.

Indeed, a life filled with sin will be nothing to be proud of on one's deathbed. Indeed, sin leads to death.

So while you curse the fence for keeping you sheltered from the sinful world, for making you want to sin, the Master in his wisdom hopes that you will see his infinite wisdom in his holy and good commandments that are Torah.

Grace is freedom from this Law. Grace is not opposed to God's commandments. Rather, grace is God's forgiving of our breaking the Law when we are repentant, even if we don't deserve it.

Daelon said...

Jesus meant exactly what He said when He said, "Whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven."

He also meant: "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go to hell."

"You therefore must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

I haven't cursed the Law and I haven't said that the Law was terrible. Perhaps you missed the part where I said that the Law was good. I don't lament the fact that the Law shelters me from the sinful world, it provides no shelter whatsoever. Why do you keep misrepresenting my writing?

It appears that our main difference is that you either believe that the Law has the power to keep you from sinning or you believe that you have the power to keep from sinning. I don't know which it is, but they are both in error.

I on the other hand have placed my trust in Jesus to provide the power to live a holy and righteous life. I don't know how many different ways I can say this. I have been freed from trying to keep the Law in my own power, which I could never do anyway. I don't need the fence of the Law to keep me in check (in the yard). I have a higher power working in my life through faith and it's that power that keeps me in the yard, not the fence.

In Christ,
Gary

Joel Brueseke - Grace Roots said...

Hi Gary,

I found your blog recently through comments on Daelon's blog. Just thought I'd pop in and say hi!

My dog does the same thing, except usually he's gone for longer. He always comes back! Last week he escaped out of our gate that was slightly open, at 10:30pm! After both my wife and I went out looking for him, he eventually came jumping on the door to come in around 1:30am.

I've often thought of exactly the same thing you've shared here. If we go chasing after him, he just runs, but if we let him be, he'll eventually come home.

The law is the ministry of death and the ministry of condemnation. As you say, the law itself is holy and just and good... and therefore the only thing it can do is to minister death and condemnation for sin. Its weakness is that it can't lift a finger to help anyone keep its holy and righteous commands.

The one thing it can do, which is the reason God gave it, is to act as a tutor, a schoolmaster, to lead a person to Christ. But once a person has arrived at this understanding of their need for Christ, they must choose only one of two options: They must either stay married to the law or they must die to the law in order to be married to Christ. They can't have both!

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I just wanted to back you up and say I enjoy reading your blog!

Toby said...

Judah,

Your questions to Gary about God’s Law (Did Christ really tear it down or abolish it?) and sin (What is sin in the absence of law?) are very interesting. A lot of people have asked the same questions since the coming of Christ. I’m sure that answers to these questions must reveal important truths to us as children of God. Please allow me to explain to you my beliefs about Jesus Christ and how my understanding of God’s Law as revealed by Christ is related to my understanding of God’s Law as revealed by our pre-Christian prophets.

First of all, I am not a theologian or an expert on the Bible, Judaism, or Christianity. So I am not going to list any Bible quotes or references here. I am a Christian, and according to my limited understanding, Jesus Christ does not tear down or abolish the Laws of Moses or any Laws of the Old Testament prophets. In fact, the opposite is true. Christ’s teachings build and strengthen within us a deep connection to our Creator that transcends any adherences to long lists of do’s and don’ts (i.e. laws and commandments).

Christ reveals to us God’s overriding commandment or law that must govern not only our external actions but also, and most importantly, the innermost intentions of our heart. This law is love: not only the ultimate love that a creature owes to his Creator, but also a love that interconnects all of mankind together as God’s most beloved creation. If one is looking for commandments and laws from God, Christ tells us that God’s most important and overriding commandment is to love Him and to thereby love each other. There is no way you can violate any of the Ten Commandments if there is Love in your heart. That is Christianity in a nutshell as I understand it.

As long as we, as Christians, conform this most basic law of God that was given to all of us by our supreme Rabi, the Messiah, God incarnate, Jesus Christ, then we will not only obey the Ten Commandments and all of God’s other laws, but we will also loose the powerful desire to escape from Gary’s metaphorical dog fence because God, our Creator through Christ our Messiah is always with us while we are inside the fence. Therefore, we feel no desire to escape like the dog does from his fence. As long as we love God and love each other, and as long as we make love the basis for all of our actions, then we are following God’s law. So in my life I don’t focus as much on the many layers of fencing (i.e., laws) that God has provided to protect mankind in the past (i.e., before the coming of Christ) as I do on the grace, love, and salvation that God now offers to me as personified by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Maybe all this talk of spiritual love between man and his Creator and between man and his neighbor is an irritation to strict law-lovers – those people who love the law above all else. Maybe it is easy for non-Christians to reject love as God’s most important commandment. Love is something deeply personal within each of us. It is something very powerful that fuels our very existence by controlling our powerful desire for self preservation and pro-creation. We love our life, in spite of its physical brevity on this Earth. In fact, our yearning for love is probably as great as our yearning for life, eternal life. We all understand, therefore, that there is no greater act of love than to lay down your life to save someone else. Through Christ’s teachings and by bearing witness to his entire life from conception through death and resurrection, we can truly understand what love is. Jesus Christ, in spite of his infinite powers as God the Creator of the universe, freely chose to experience a brutal and painful death as a mere mortal man. This shows us that Jesus Christ IS God’s Law of love personified. Jesus is the realization and the personification of all of God’s Law because by laying down his human life on our behalf we can all see the extent of God’s love for us and the extent to which we must love Him and one another as obedient children to Him.

I greatly respect and empathize with your adherence to Judaism. That is certainly where I would be in my faith if I did not accept the teachings of Jesus Christ who was himself a Jew. I often wonder if the Mishnah, Talmud, or Torah ever convey or adequately emphasize God’s highest commandment to love – to love God, to love our neighbors, and to love our enemies. As far as I know this supreme Law of Love along with the "Golden Rule" are both given to us by Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah and our almighty Creator in human form. Neither Moses, nor any of other Old Testament prophets clearly revealed God’s law of love and the path to salvation and eternal life that comes from an acceptance of Christ’s teachings. Therefore, to reject Jesus Christ is to reject love, to reject the Golden Rule, and to reject God’s love that is freely given by His own grace through the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Before Jesus, as described throughout the scriptures of the Old Testament, man could only hope to earn God’s love by strict adherence to various laws and rituals including animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, genital mutilation, dietary restrictions, forced prayer, numerous death penalties, and many other rituals and laws that continuously changed with the winds of time as God’s people strayed toward Him and away from Him through history. In fact, there are so many laws in Judaism that no one can ever be sure which ones apply at what times and which ones can be ignored at certain other times. This leads to major conflicts between groups of Jews who think that their laws are better than their brothers’ laws. So we now have the Hasidic Jews, the Orthodox Jews, the Conservative Jews, and the Reform Jews (just to name a few). Which ones are obeying the correct Laws of God? This proves to me that “Laws” are not the path to communion with or obedience to our Creator. These laws are more a list of consequences that are the end result of a communion with God, not the means to achieve the communion. Jesus Christ tells us clearly that the only way to achieve communion with God is through him (i.e., through LOVE).

Christianity makes it clear that God judges the internal more than the external attributes of our lives. In other words, according to Christ, our innermost feelings towards our Creator and our fellow man matter much more than our external actions. So whether we abstain from eating certain foods such as pork, or only eat fish on Fridays, or never shave our faces, or never wear silk clothes, or part our hair on the left or right, or have no hair, or participate in group worship on Saturday or Sunday or Wednesday, whether we are circumcised or not, whether we speak our prayers in Hebrew, English, French, or Swahili, whether we kneel on our left knee, right knee, or both knees, or even if we have no knees, whether we pray 2 times per day or 100 times per day, whether our IQ is 20 or 200, whether we wear sandals or shoes -- none of this matters to God as much as what is in our heart. And what we must keep in our heart at all times according to Jesus Christ is an undying love for our Creator and an undying love for each other (i.e., our neighbors and enemies).

I hope I have adequately summarized for you my understanding of the relationship between God’s Law before Christ and God’s Law after Christ. They are really one law that is personified by Jesus Christ. The revelation that Christ provides is the underlying foundation for all of God’s law. This enlightenment from Christ is the key to salvation and to eternal communion with God. As humble creatures that are only a small part of God’s divine creation, we can only hope to receive what little enlightenment we are capable of understanding from our Creator who has infinite wisdom. And we receive this enlightenment on His terms and on His schedule. We can certainly never second guess our Creator nor try to understand why He is doing what He is doing with the universe that He has created. We can only follow He teachings as they are revealed to us in our present limited state of Earthly existence. There is nothing to argue about here. We are all free to choose what we accept and what we reject.

If God sets a table for me and invites me to dine with Him, and there are pork chops or chopped liver or even asparagus on the table, will I refuse His offer of nourishment? If He offers me His eternal love and salvation through the life and teachings of Christ, the Messiah, will I refuse His gift of spiritual nourishment? No, I will accept gladly and with complete reverence any and all that God offers to me. As one who accepts Christ, I must also accept that only to the extent that my heart is filled with love for God, love for my neighbors, and love for my enemies – only to this extent – will I be in communion with God and in complete obedience to His Law. Such communion and obedience to God is the source of all of our manifold blessings in life. Thank you dear Lord for all the great blessings you have bestowed upon me and our great nation, and please continue to pour your blessings upon Judah and his family. In God We Trust. Amen.

TobyNorris

Gary Kirkham said...

Joel,
Thanks for dropping by and adding your insights and support. I will come over soon and check out your blog.


Toby,
Thanks for the excellent, well written post. You ought to start up a blog.

In Christ,
Gary

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

I liked Daelon's comments. If that's true I would be walking here with both eyes plucked out and blind, probably many other parts of my body lost. I thank Jesus that He did what I could never do.Fence would have never protected me. But now I don't even care whether there is a fence, all I want to do is snuggle back to my master's
lap and enjoy His love...

Daelon said...

Hey Gary,

I just wanted to make sure you knew that my comment was not directed toward you. Sorry if I confused anyone. =P

Gary Kirkham said...

Daelon,

Thanks for clarifying. I know it wasn't directed to me, but it's helpful to anyone else that may happen by.

In Christ,
Gary

TobyNorris said...

Thanks Gary.

I'm fairly new to the blogging scene. Your blog postings are really great and many of them have touched and inspired me. Thanks so much for sharing your faith and Christian insights with the world. If I ever set up my own blog it will be because of the inspiration I received from you.

I also very much enjoy reading all the responses to your postings. I just discovered that Judah has lots of postings on his own blog site. I probably should have put my long reply to him on his blog instead of yours. There is so much great stuff to read on his blog site too. Thanks be to God for people like you and Judah that share your faith online. You both probably touch and inspire a lot of people besides me.

Shalom Aleichem

Judah Himango said...

Gary, I'm sorry, where did I say you cursed the Law? If I accused you of that, then I apologize and repent, I don't see you cursing the Law anywhere.

Toby, thank you for the excellent reply. Respectful and thought-provoking, thank you. I have some disagreements with some small stuff, but it's OK, I'd rather just call you a brother in Messiah and not sweat the details. :-)

Shalom guys and blessings in Messiah.

Gary Kirkham said...

Judah,

I believe it was this bit:

"So while you curse the fence for keeping you sheltered from the sinful world, for making you want to sin, the Master in his wisdom hopes that you will see his infinite wisdom in his holy and good commandments that are Torah."

Judah Himango said...

I apologize, you're right, I did say that. I meant that more as an analogy; but a poor choice of words nonetheless. I apologize and repent for that, as you haven't cursed the Law.