What did Jesus do? A Biblical case for using the Law in evangelism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Before we dive into what Jesus did lets focus on some other characters in the Bible and examine what they did. Lets first examine John the Baptist and see what he did.

    Notice that John did not preach God's love but rather preached the law and the divine wrath of God. When John's audience asked what they should do, he gave them things to do to apply the essence of the law (Lk 3:8-14). But perhaps the best example of John using the law to convict someone of sin was when he confronted King Herod that he was living in adultery which was a violation of the 7th commandment (Mt 14:4). John the Baptist would have a hard time getting invited to preach in many churches these days because he was not friendly towards his audience and frankly could care less what they thought about him.

    Next lets look at what Peter did. On the day of Pentecost his audience was made up of "devout men." Peter told these men that they were "lawless" and had violated God's law by murdering Jesus (Acts 2:23). After the law had convicted them of their sin Peter offered them grace (Acts 2:38).

    The apostle Paul also believe in the biblical principle of Law to the Proud and Grace to the humble by his statements in Rm 2:12 in that God would judge humanity by the moral law. Then in verse 15 tells his audience that the work of the law is written on their hearts (v.15).

    Next we will look at what Jesus did and how he also used the law in evangelism.
     
  2. Jordan Kurecki

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    As you know Evan, I really am in favor of using the Law of God in Evangelism. however, Jesus did not always use the Law, though that is my preferred Method.

    I have a whole message I preached on using the Law of God.

    I will say this though, Jesus was always filled with the Holy Spirit when he did witnessing, He always walked in the Light and he always had power.

    We are fools to think that using the Law or any other method in evangelism will take the place of us being surrendered, filled, and yielded to the Holy Spirit.

    As I look back in my own life, I can say I have done a lot of Evangelistic work in the flesh. which profits nothing. Our greatest need for evangelism is to be filled with the Spirit.

    Who reading this post can say they are filled with the Spirit right now?
     
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  3. JonC

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    Brother, so that I can understand clearly, exactly how are you defining "the law"?

    I ask because it seems reasonable that John the Baptist was referring to the Law given through Moses, but Paul seems to be speaking of a different law which accomplishes these works apart from the Law in Romans 2:15 (there is an authoritative distinction between the two).
     
    #3 JonC, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  4. evangelist6589

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    That would be the moral law (10 commandments).
     
  5. JamesL

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    Where does scripture ever att ach qualifiers to the Law? You did say this would be based upon scripture, right?

    So where is this "moral" Law mentioned as being distinct from any other part of the Law?
     
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  6. evangelist6589

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    Check out Matt 5:21;22;27;28. Jesus clearly is referring to the 10 commandments here.
     
  7. JamesL

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    He was referring to something written in the Law. He never used the word "moral" or Big10 or anything like it.

    Arguing from inference isn't a biblical argument.

    Hebrews 7-10 is an excellent read concerning the Law, temple, utensils, sacrifuces, Priesthood, etc.

    There is no distinction. It's all part of the Law
     
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  8. evangelist6589

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    That's your opinion. It was very clear that Jesus was referring to the moral law regardless if he mentioned the 10 commandments for you.
     
  9. Don

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    Evan - I think the question being posed to you is, there are many other parts of the law that might/could/should(?) be considered moral law; for example, man lying with man as he would a woman; or lying with beasts. Aren't these also moral laws?

    In the Matthew 5 passages you referenced, look at 5:43; which of the 10 commandments is that one?
     
  10. JamesL

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    I'm on the flip side of the issue, in that the Decalogue is only 2% of the Law that Jesus spoke of.

    And no writer of scripture mentions any dicing up of the Law.

    The only divisions I see are:
    Law (or Moses)
    Psalms
    Prophets

    100% of the Law is the Law, just like Psalms means all the Psalms. And Prophets means all the Prophets.
     
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  11. JamesL

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    Iwrote quite a few things which you've bunched together as "that"

    Do you think it's mere opinion that Hebrews 7-10 is a good read?
     
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  12. JonC

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    Thank you for your reply. I think that this could be an interesting discussion, but we might need to look at some things in a bit more detail. I am looking forward to JoJ's contributions as well and just wanted to define a few things so that I did not misunderstand your position here.

    I can see the law being three things.

    1. Civil Law (I know we are not talking about civil law)
    2. Torah
    3. An absolute moral standard rooted in God's own nature (God's law)

    What we are discussing is authority. Do we fall under the authority of Torah or God's moral law.

    Torah of course reflects God's moral law (God's nature, absolute moral standard), but it was given through Moses to Israel as a covenant. This cannot be extended beyond its time, purpose, and people. Torah also cannot be broken or divided in terms of its governance. Jews are under the Law, gentiles are not (Some Early Church Fathers actually narrowed it a bit more to conclude that Jews living in Jerusalem were under the Law, others were not).

    God's moral law is God's own moral standard. This law is an authority over men because of the relationship between the created to the Creator. God is God,he is sovereign and absolute. His moral law (this standard) did not come into being 400 years after Abraham (Gal. 3:17). Instead, God's moral law is as eternal as God is eternal (Ps. 119:160). This law is reflected in the Ten Commandments, in Jesus' life, and in all of God's acts throughout redemptive history. But this moral law is not the Ten Commandments.

    I can see where Scripture speaks of the Law, God's moral law, and civil law. So again, for my clarification, when you say that people are "under the law", do you mean: 1. Torah 2. a moral fragment of Torah (the Ten Commandments) or 3. God's moral law as being an authority?
     
  13. Don

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    Gentlemen - let us not forget that some circles make a distinction regarding ceremonial law....
     
  14. JamesL

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    I think Evan's whole premise is based on a misreading, misunderstanding and misapplication of Galatians 3:24

    The Law is a tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    It is commonly thought (and taught by WOTM advocates, i think) that Paul meant Law to unbelievers to teach them they've offended God, then grace that they might believe and be saved.
    Law = bad news
    Grace = good news

    I believe Paul had in mind that believers were under the Law until Christ came and freed us from it
     
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  15. Martin Marprelate

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    Deut. 5:22. 'These words [the Ten Commandments; cf. vs. 1-21] the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.'
    So right from the start, the Decalogue is distinguished from the rest of the Mosaic law by being forst of all spoken to the assembly by God (v.4) and being written on tablets of stone. The Decalogue is a summary of God's moral law. Details are given in the rest of the Decalogue. For example Exod. 21:12ff clarifies the sixth commandment.

    A number of other verses also make clear the difference between the moral law and the rest of it. I can quote them later if you like, but right now I'm rushed.
     
    #15 Martin Marprelate, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  16. JonC

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    That is a good point, Don. I am not certain, however, that this can be defended either in the OT Hebrew to 1st century Jewish mindset or via Scripture. A violation of Torah was a moral transgression of the Law whether it was theft or violating dietary restrictions. This is essential to understanding the Law. It was covenantal and binding.

    It is interesting that the idea of these distinctions also translates to Scripture as a whole. Many divide NT commands as either moral and applicable to the Church or as inapplicable concession for that ancient culture. This would perhaps be a good discussion as well.
     
    #16 JonC, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
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  17. JamesL

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    Yes.
    Moral, ceremonial, civil, dietary are common ways in which men try to dice up the Law, in order to keep a yoke upon those who have been freed from it.

    But the entirety of the Law, according to Jesus, was wrapped up in these 2 commandments:

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength

    You shall love your neighbor as yourself

    So which ones fall into which category, if they were categories? Moral and ceremonial are how we love God, and civil is how we love men?

    And then, if we aren't under civil Law anymore, have we been released from the obligation to love our neighbor?
     
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  18. JamesL

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    I acc
    i accidentally "disliked" your post, then changed it. I also edited mine to include dietary Law as a distinction, which I wasn't thinking of til I read your post. Good stuff, brother
     
  19. JamesL

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    I'd love to have the exchange
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

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    The Golden Rule (Mark 12:29-31) is our Lord's summary of the two tables of the Decalogue.
    All those "Thou Shalt Not"s that people find so restrictive are actually based on love.

    If we love God with all our heart, soul, mind etc., how can we have other gods before Him, make images of Him, take His Name in vain, not honour our parents or (dare I say it) despise the day that He has commanded us to keep?

    And if we love our neighbour as ourselves, how can we steal from him, hate him, lie to him, seduce his wife or covet his goods? 'For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder,"..........and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself"' (Rom. 13:9).

    It's all very simple really.
     
    #20 Martin Marprelate, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
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