Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, January 17, 2008

God is Love, The Law

Submitted for your consideration; there is little written about the conditions which produced our world in the state it is in. The following is my theory as to the role played in this story by God’s Law. It is based largely on my understanding of the entire Bible beginning to end.

Sometime ago undoubtedly before the creation of Earth, there existed a Law. A law I will refer to as the Law of God. This law in its basic nature was extremely simply yet profound. The Law is "God is Love". Like the law of gravity this law can’t be broken. It is a fact, it is just the way things are, it exists because that is what the character of God is. Nothing anyone can do can change this law, however someone could distort, or misrepresent the law. To use and old English word, the law can be transgressed. Say I am a cleverly deceptive person and I try to tell you that gravity is not a result of the mass of an object, but the result of a giant gopher who is trapped in the center of the earth and by his animal magnetism he draws all objects toward him. Lets say I got a lot of people to believe my explanation of gravity. In fact in doing all this I have not changed the law of gravity, it still exists as it always did. However I have gone beyond the bounds of the law (transgression). I have violated it by my bizarre reinterpretation of the law of gravity.

Now lets move from earth to heaven in the beginning (whenever that was). There is a law in heaven, not a set of written precepts, but one based on the nature of the author of the universe. That law is "God is Love". Like the law of gravity on earth, this law can’t be broken, it exists and it is true. But this Law of God can be reinterpreted in such a way that it is violated. Say there was a cleverly deceptive person, lets say Satan. Now if Satan were to say that God is not really loving, that He is hiding important information from us, information that could make us just like God. And that basically God is not a truthful person, Satan’s reinterpretation of the Law of God would violate the true Law of God. The law that "God is love" still exists and is still true, but Satan’s transgressed against the law, his redefining what God is, has confused other persons.

At this point it is important to note that God has no law that says you must love Him. He wants us to love Him but love can never be forced, in fact to force love would be against God’s Law, i.e. "God is Love". It is His kindness which leads us to repentance, and repentance leads us back to loving God. Do what I say or else, is one of the deceptions. Because of Satan’s distortions of God, Satan is removed from Heaven and God proceeds with His plan to answer Satan’s inaccurate and slanderous view of God. Because God is love and love answers questions though not necessarily in the way we may want, love is not defined by what we want as that is selfishness.

The Law "God is love" is the foundation upon which all other laws dealing with humans is based. It is to what all other laws point. The laws given in the Old Testament are intended as our school master to point us to the one supreme law of God. This is why on the Sermon on the Mount Jesus points out that even our thoughts quite apart from actions can be counted as sin. Or as Paul tells us even good things done, if done apart from faith in God are sins. We violate the law when we misrepresent, or ignore "God is love". If someone says God loves good little children but He cannot love naughty little children. That is as much a violation of the law of God as to say that we are gods. The law of God stands not on written instructions on how to live and what not to do, but upon the very nature of God Himself.

Many in our church today will say that the 10 commandments are a transcript of God’s character. I pity anyone who reads the 10 commandments as God’s character. What a distorted view they must have of God. He would be seen as someone demanding human worship, punishing those who reject Him and showing mercy to only those who obey Him. Not a particularly loving God, rather one who loves you only after you first love and obey Him. This is not to disparage the 10 commandments, there is nothing wrong with them, they are good. However they must be viewed in the context derived from the entire Bible, that is that "God is love". They are instructions on how to live toward God and man. They point to the one law, "God is love". They do not provide anyone with salvation, rather they instruct the reader as to how to live in harmony with the supreme law of God. They are as Paul says, our school master teaching us of our need to return to God.

In the Genesis story Abraham acting out of a close relationship with God, and guided by the Law of God, followed God’s instructions to offer up Isaac. Realizing that God’s actions are out of love, Abraham trusted that whatever was going to happen would be for his own families good. And true to the law of God the ending was good just as he expected. When a person comes to this point in their lives, that is, they know that "God is love" they are meeting all the requirements of Gods law. No other laws are needed in their lives.. Because this one law is the summation of all others. Their faith is counted as righteousness. This is why Paul could say:

Col 2:14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (NIV)
Because the Law of God’s love was so completely revealed to us through Christ’s life death and resurrection, the written code is no longer the best method of bring us back to repentance. Gods kindness is shown so perfectly through Jesus Christ that He is now the central point of the gospel message. If there remains any reason to teach the law, let it be the law of Love.

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