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The Perfect Law

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Man makes many things of value, but all have some imperfection. There   is a poem that speaks of the loveliness of a tree. It concludes, "Po­ems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree." God makes that which is perfect. In Psalms 19:7 David wrote, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." James 1:25 tells us, "Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueeth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
The forgetful hearer may never be converted. The key phrase is, "continueth therein." The Word of God is not lacking in power. The prob­lem is how we hear. Jesus warned in Luke 8:18, "Take heed how ye hear." We must hear with intent to obey. Jesus referred to one who heard and obeyed not as one who built his house upon the sand without foundation. The perfect law of God cannot convert the impeni­tent heart. The first message of Jesus was, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The law of God identifies sin, but mankind takes plea­sure in sin. Hebrews 11:25 tells us Mo­ses chose rather "to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Why did he make that choice? Verse 26 tells us he had respect unto the recompense of reward. The pleasures of sin are temporary. God's reward is eternal. God's perfect law lays before us the reward for obedience and the penalty for disobedience. Any act of disobedi­ence is unrighteousness. Paul warns in Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungod­liness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." It is possible to know the truth and believe it and still be unrighteous. Obeying the truth is righteousness. We must be what James called, "A doer of the work." Jesus' question was, "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to com­plete God's perfect redemptive plan. John 1:11 tells us, "He came to his own and his own received him not." He told the Jews in John 5:46, "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me."
Even though God promised in Jere­miah 31:31, "I will make a new cove­nant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," the Jews did not understand the mission of Christ. They thought only in physical terms, expect­ing a fleshly kingdom. Jesus told them in Luke 17:20-21, "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation neither shall they say, 'Lo here! Or Lo there!' For behold the kingdom of God is within you." He also said in Mark 9:19, "Verily I say unto you, that there be some of those that stand here which shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." On the day of Pentecost, the kingdom came with great power and the rules for obtaining citizenship were given. The apostles were endued with power from on high. Acts 4:33 tells us, "With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus."
The ability to perform miracles given by the power of God failed to convince the rulers that the kingdom had come. They became angry and closed their eyes to the possibility that the promised kingdom had come and the new cove­nant had been given. They could not believe that the Law of Moses was done away with. Hebrews 8:13 tells what they should have understood from Jere­miah's prophesy. "In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
In verse 7 of that same chapter, he records, "For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for a second." Was the law in error? No, in Romans 7:12 Paul wrote, "The law is holy and the commandment holy, and just and good." God makes no mistakes; the law served its purpose. Paul said it was a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Hebrews 8:6 speaking of Christ says, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises." The old covenant promised an earthly inheritance. The new prom­ises a heavenly, eternal inheritance. Furthermore Hebrews 8:12 promises, "For I will be merciful to their unrigh­teousness, and their sins and their ineq­uities will I remember no more." This is a great and wonderful thing about the new perfect covenant. Hebrews 10:1 says, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect." Why? Verse 4 says, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin."
Thus a perfect God sent a perfect Savior to bring man the perfect cove­nant; which is contained in the New Testament. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:15, "Brethren, I speak after the man­ner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulled! or addeth there to." The New Testament was confirmed by the death of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:16-17 says, "For where a testament is, there must be of necessity the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
Our Lord lived and died under the old covenant. With his death, the per­fect new covenant was confirmed. Woe to those who add to or disannul parts of that which is perfected by the will of God. When corrupted by the doctrines and philosophies of men it loses its per­fection. It is the perfect law of God that converts the soul and promises eternal joy to the faithful. Revelations 2:10 promises, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
The doctrines and philosophies of men that question the accuracy or deny the power of God's Word and deny the divine nature of Jesus, strike at the foundations of our faith and hope. As David asks in Psalms 11:3, "If the foun­dations be destroyed what can the righteous do?" God's eternal, unchanging Word, the perfect new covenant is the foundation for our faith. "How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word." -105 W. Jefferson, Richland, MO 65556


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