What does it mean for Jesus to have fulfilled the Law of Moses? Do Christians abide by a strict code or can we do whatever we want without consequence? How does understanding the two parties involved in Matthew 5-7, Jesus and the Pharisees, change the way we understand this passage? Nick Shalna explains the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ, and how the Christian should live in regard to this!
The movement of history and the advance of technology have not, and cannot, invalidate or discount the Bible’s relevancy to the circumstances and dilemmas of anyone who has been created in God’s image. The disposition of the Bible is constantly up-to-date. It touches every present moment and speaks to that moment with power and relevancy.
James addressed a congregation whose members had made a dichotomy between faith and practice – as long as a person believed right, behaving right didn’t matter. In terms that are clear, James presented his audience with this biblical truth: We are held accountable by God for what we know.
We sometimes think that we are invincible, that we are without vulnerability, that we are beyond the reaches of disaster and calamity. Then along comes an unexpected, colossal reminder that, indeed, we are exposed and unprotected, that we are susceptible, that we are without defense. Then what?
Going beyond the first step of faith, i.e., being saved, to living by faith in the realm of the impossible is an essential element to following Christ. Further, believing God for the present and future is more important than believing Him for the past. The life of the believer is to be centered in what God is doing through our lives now, not what He did through our lives in the distant past. Just shut-up and drive!
James characterized his congregation with such terms as conflicts, quarrels, fights, anger, cursing, bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every evil thing. The admonition we might expect to require the least emphasis in the church is the shocking reprimand that arose as a primary theme of James’ preaching. Surely, today’s church is different. No way do we need such tough confrontation in century 21, or do we?