Walking Together In Love
I have been writing a LOT of letters lately. I wrote over 70 of them in the past couple of months. Why? I meet the parole Board in October. I want to parole to a community corrections facility so I wrote to a bunch of community corrections and a bunch of prospective employers. I wrote one type of letter to community corrections and another type of letter to various companies. Why? Each was a different audience. I was the same person but the audience needed different information, had a different style of writing, and (in some cases) the entire feel of the letter had to be different. Each of us does the same thing in our lives. When we write a family member we write one way and we write differently when we write a memo at work, or a text to a friend.
Why do we approach the Bible from a different perspective? A friend and I were talking and we agree that salvation is by faith in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross and that He has risen from the grave, to die never more. We both agree that the Holy Spirit now lives inside of us, since we believed, and that the Spirit now gives us a renewed life that empowers us. We both believe in life everlasting and a great deal of other things.
We happen to disagree on the purpose of the Old Covenant Law in the New Covenant age. He believes that sanctification and holiness are worked out by obeying the law of the old covenant. In his view, this obedience brings about the blessings of God on his life. He believes worship should be on the Sabbath and all of the feast days should be observe.
I do not believe the law is gone. I do believe it is passing away and will soon be obsolete, where the author was talking about the laws that God would put in the believer's hearts so that they would not have to rely on the written code as stated in Hebrews 8:13. I believe the Law is just, holy, and good, as Paul said it was (Romans 7:12), because it was the Law that showed me my sin (Romans 7:7, 8) and then led me to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:23-24). Both my friend and I agree on this; it is from this point forward that we tend to disagree.
I also believe that it is from the time that law brought us to Christ that we were now adult sons and we are now free to walk by the Holy Spirit's leading. In fact, this is the premise (by my understanding) of Galatians 3, which has the conclusion starting in verse 25 that says, now that faith has come (which has brought our justification) we are no longer under the tutor of the raw. In chapter four, Paul continues with the same conclusions. I guess the differences in our interpretations lie in whose side of the letter we choose to look at it from. He chooses to interpret the verses differently because he looks at it from the writer's side and sees it as someone from a Jewish perspective. I choose to believe that a Jewish Paul wrote to a Gentile church in Galatia. I believe that Paul knew who they were and he wrote specifically to them, using terminology that they would understand and gave them a message for Gentiles to walk in newness of life.
So, how can my friend and I believe so differently and yet have an ever growing friendship? We aren’t trying to convert one another. We aren’t arguing. We know the other one is saved by the blood of Jesus and love of God.
So we choose to love. God loves us too. And we love that in each other.