The Blessings of Moses' Law vs. The Blessings of Christ's LawBro. David Chancellor
3/21/2004 11:00 AM
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
These went on with religion, but it was different than what was provided by Christ. The righteousness of the law was based on doing. The righteousness of Christ is in who and what you are. It is in the heart; you've been changed and made right in the sight of God.
Under the law, you had to endeavor to do what is right, but under Christ, you are changed. There has to be a work of God done on the heart. There's been a change of law. There are blessings that come with each law.
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
These are the blessings of the old law. Generally speaking, they are for this life only. They're good blessings. Many people want these blessings. The rule of law could bring these blessings, but they are temporal blessings. Our nation was built on these precepts, but people are ignoring the basic precepts and consequently we spend a lot on peoples' disobedience.
The rest of the chapter gives the curses that would come if they disobeyed. The old law was built with an emphasis on this life and on temporal things. Temporal blessings are good, but what Christ brought is better.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
These are a different kind of blessing. These are spiritual blessings. God can supply for the outward as well as the inward, but Moses' law couldn't take care of the spiritual need in man. This is still a problem for those who are legalistic. There needs to be a change of heart, if the spiritual needs would be met.
Your station in life doesn't dictate what spiritual blessings you receive. You could be poor in this world's goods and be spiritually rich. Whatever we may go through, we can be blessed spiritually if we will stay with Christ.
It doesn't take pushy people to come out on top. Don't be set on having your own way. Adapt, adjust, and stick with God. The early church was meek people. They weren't pushing and shoving and resisting persecution. They just went somewhere else. People saw a spiritual "something" and desired that. You don't have to be great and prominent, just be faithful and godly. You'll be blessed spiritually and receive that which satisfies your soul. This is a blessing found in Christ. The mercy we've received should make us merciful.
The people of the Old Testament were afraid to see God. They were afraid that if they did, they would die. It was an irrational fear, because Moses had experienced this and he still was alive. The pure in heart can approach God themselves. They can have a personal relationship with God. You can see and know him because he's made your heart pure.
The peacemakers are called children of God. Sectism isn't peace-making. The peacemaker points people to God. Be on God's side. It doesn't mean that you'll be well-liked, but people will see that you're a child of God. They'll respect you for what you are. Peacemakers work to bring unity and agreement.
Even if you're persecuted, people can't put you out of God's kingdom. They may try, but they can't. We can't control what others say about us, but we can control what we say about others. Don't be the persecutor. People may kick us out of what man establishes, but man can't take away the spiritual blessings. Keep your focus on God and the spiritual blessings. If you're right with God, don't let the persecution bring you down. It's false. Lean on God and he will bring you through. People don't like it when you won't go along with them. These blessings are for more than this life. They're for the spirit and soul of man. Christ's law changes our being. Our lives are happy because we can enjoy the presence of God.
The old law helped men endeavor to be at peace with each other. Christ's law helps us to be at peace with him. He came to meet our spiritual needs.