Sunday, August 9, 2009

Law and Grace

This is a reflection based on a part of the talk/sermon/presentation by Pastor Dave in International English Service today and some Q&A by McManus during my Summer class.

The Old Testament rules no longer apply to us today because Jesus has come down to this world. He came down not to abolish the laws but instead to fulfill them. I was quite confused by what that means until I have done some processing today, with some ColdStone ice cream freezing my brain - figure how my brain actually works when it's frozen.

Truthfully, we would not want to live according to the 10 commandments anyway because if we were to follow a law, we must follow all laws; and Jewish laws are pretty detailed, and there are hundreds of them. No pork, prawns, lobster... I think that is a pretty big loss to our tasting buds. Anyhow, the 10 commandments are not sufficient to live by, so living by the Law is not enough. Those are the basic guidelines to living morally (and ironically, we can't even follow them all obediently). For example, is it acceptable to follow all 10 commandments perfectly and abuse your children? Morally, no; but if you are talking about just following the 10 commandments and you are good to go, yes. I think that is pretty messed up. So 10 commandments are really something that we follow to make us mere humans, but we need more than that.

Jesus came down to fulfill the laws. It's no longer about not committing murder, it has become not hating; it's no longer about committing adultery, it has become not lusting, etc. Instead of the Law, it has become Grace. Grace allows you to do beyond what the Law has required, not doing less than what the Law has stated and be forgiven for our shortcomings. The Law tells you to love your neighbor, Grace allows you to love even your enemies; the Law tells you to tithe 10% of your income, Grace allows you to give even more than that. Thus, Grace is not an excuse for committing sins. At this point, I actually think that Grace sounds much harder than the Law. But nevertheless, act upon Grace, for God has given us His Grace through His Son, Jesus.

P. S. Try ordering Our Strawberry Blonde in ColdStone Creamery, changing the base ice cream to Cotton Candy, or Sweet Cream if the former is too sweet for your taste. Giving such a delicious experience beyond customers' expectation? THAT is Grace. Maybe.

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