Podcast Transcript: Click HERE to Listen to the full episode.
I don’t know about you, but I have always had a love/hate relationship with God’s Law or the Ten Commandments as they are often referred to as. In one sense when I read them it is obvious to me that they represent universal principles of truth, righteousness, and justice. The idealist in me gravitates to the wonder of living in a society where demonstration of these words permeate the thoughts and actions of its citizens.
On the other hand, there is a part of me that absolutely cringes at this law – mostly because I can’t and often don’t even want to live up these standards in my own life. When I read the words in a moment of self-reflection I can’t help but gasp in utter self-condemnation.
So, it is clear to me that my mind and my heart are not in harmony with one another – And I believe it is this way with all of us. We know what is right – we can recognize right and wrong when we see it – and yet how to actually do it? That is the question we can’t seem to answer.
So, what do we do with a law that we can see is right, just and true and yet at the same time makes us feel condemned when we look at it?
Well I suppose we have three options. We could just grit our teeth and force ourselves to keep trying to do the impossible – we can wake up every day and resolve to keep the law by sheer will power. This of course is what many have tried to do over the years – including the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus day. In fact, I have met many Christians today who still believe that keeping the law is choice any of us can make at any time.
However, I believe this viewpoint minimizes the power of sin in the nature that we were born with (I talk about this quite a bit in episodes 5 and 13)
The 2nd option of course is we could just minimize or do away with the law completely. This seems like the most convenient option – and allows us to admire the law from afar – like we would when admiring some other ancient relic at the museum of natural history and science. Yes, there was a law at one time but now it no longer applies to us. We can live and do as we please without feeling bad about it – or worse – we get to pick and choose which parts of it are still relevant today and which parts aren’t
Of course, this viewpoint – by far the most popular and common today – minimizes will of God and our accountability to Him for how we live out our days on the earth he created for us.
But there is a third option – and in short we often refer to it as the gospel and yet so many of us don’t really think about how the gospel effects our relationship to the law. Is the gospel antagonistic to the law as many suppose? Or does the gospel open up to us a whole new understanding and appreciation of God’s law – not as merely commandments but something so much better…
To talk about this more, I had the privilege to interview another fellow colleague in ministry – Michael Goetz – who currently serves as the senior pastor for the Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church – Loveland Co. I first met Michael in Seminary and we have stayed in touch ever since. Michael is not only a strong preacher – but a passionate teacher and student of the word himself. I know you will thoroughly enjoy his insights into this topic as much as I did.
Interestingly, i had never heard how Michael ended up deciding to become a pastor and so I started the interview by asking him when he began to feel the call to ministry…