A Regulator of Church Purity: The Moral Law
The Spirituality of the LAW
Obedience thereto depicts a regenerated lifestyle.
My reader, can you see it? If a man is not a Willful Sinner, he is, positively, a Willful Commandment-Keeper! And what are the commandments of God, morally speaking, when and if they are kept? A close study will reveal the indisputable truth: obedience to the Law depicts a regenerated lifestyle.
A Historical & Progressive Development of Doctrine & Explanation Regarding “The Spirituality of the Law” in the Salvation Experience of the Church from Generation to Generation prior to the Moral Law
The real and true Jews in the sight of God lived in moral obedience both inwardly and outwardly. Therefore, Abraham, the Father of Faith and the Friend of God, heard the Gospel and was saved – and did thereby walk with God. In other words he was circumcised in heart, and so were his family, his disciples, his servants, The Church. He became an exemplary sojourner set-forth in typological application to New Testament Pilgrims (1 Pet. 2:9-11), and, furthermore, the experience of justification by faith apart from works and justification by works through faith are memorialized in his life. So also, Isaac, was called out by God through the Gospel and thereby “born after the Spirit” (Gal. 4:29) into a second birth, a birth beyond that of Abraham’s flesh, and thus he too walked with God. Evidencing this (being born again), Isaac was the object of animosity to those who were not born again (i.e. Ishmael). Jacob, also, was called out by God through the Gospel and lived a life in which he, upon conversion, walked in the footsteps of his father’s Abraham and Isaac who walked with God. These most notable and historical figures of the Church were the figure-heads by which men knew who God was in those days, as men called him, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”.
Years later, also, the Israelite people were called out of Egypt through the Gospel experiences which were formerly addressed and titled, “The Gospel of Sacrifice”, “The Gospel of the Spirit’s Baptism”, “The Gospel of the Imperishable Life of Christ”, and “The Gospel of the Unfailing, Living Waters of Christ”, hence they too walked with God. Thereby, Israel became “The Church” by title, near proximity, spiritual adoption, value, royalty, wealth, and location. It was explicitly stated that they were “saved” through belief by God’s presence performing redemption. It was said that they did indeed, therefore, in various terms and phrases, have the “Spirit” of God via the pre-Incarnate “Christ”. This meant, by necessity, their faith and covenant vows were truthful and authentic, they worshipped no other God but the One true God, they were legally and actually “holiness unto God”, they were made beautiful by God’s shining countenance as a Bride in the presence of a Bridegroom, and they were saints – holy ones – whom God loved and cherished infinitely more than a man would cherish earthly treasure, and because of this, behold, the LORD rejoiced over them to do them good and forgave them of all their iniquities (because of their inward and outward righteousness by grace through faith)! Might I say, my reader, this is no small presentation of salvation prior to when the Church was enlightened by the edits of the Moral Law.
A Historical & Progressive Development of Doctrine & Explanation Regarding “The Spirituality of the Law” in its Moral Expression via the Lifestyles & Relationships of Everyday Church Members
Upon the arrival of the Moral Law, behold, salvation continued in select and holy generations. The Moral Law depicted a lifestyle obtainable and walked-out by the Church of the Wilderness, before the Law, and the Church of Civilization after the Law (depending on the generation). These generations in which salvation thrived, they were second-born spiritual men who walked with God, evidenced by scripture, therefore they were free from what the scripture called presumptuous sin (conscious deviation from the Moral Law). Therefore, in other words, they were unwaveringly, consciously, and continually devoted to the moral commandments of God with all their hearts!
Therefore they had “the fear of the LORD”, which was the beginning of wisdom, and therefore they lived conscious of the threatenings of a Divine and Inescapable KING who abode among them and omnisciently observed them; thus they lived as though they were consciously standing before the gaze of their Royal, Dignified, and Holy GOD. This transcending KING was not a loathsome overseer to them, but a Darling Bridegroom. Out of love for God they walked in obedience to the Law in passionate desire, inexpressible joy, and unrivaled affection. They had so great a love for the Brethren of the Church, their fellow Israelites, that it was commonly believed and said by them, “wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous” (Prov. 27:4).
This means that, furthermore, they were free from personal vendettas and selfish desires expressed by the sin of wrath and the greater sin of violence, fighting, and murder. Their conversations were free from unbridled speech in general, and more so, free from lying and false witnessing, insulting and reviling, and the like. They were free from the sin of discontent desire known as covetousness and the greater sin of thievery. They were free from marital dissatisfaction which lead to lusting after other women and the greater sin of adultery. They were free, I say, in the liberty of Spirit-empowered righteousness granted as a gift of God’s grace through the Gospel! And, also, when and if any of the beloved saints of the Church were backsliding from the aforementioned ideals of holy character, lo, the Church Officers did intercept the backslider with proportionate punishments of Civil Justice which were, under God, effective to restore the backslider’s faith and repentance in God again! Therefore, because of this, righteous generations did flourish in the paradise and utopia called, “The Kingdom of God”, the place and people among whom God’s will is successfully and gloriously done on earth!
Finally, my reader, consider this: the true and authentic Israelite people, The Church, had a violent passion to seek after the LORD through devoting themselves to the entirety of the written word of God, no exceptions! Whatever the word of God said, however it increasingly and progressively matured in promise, prophecy, commandment, and covenant, these men were utterly devoted! Let us look upon the glaringly regenerate behavior, the overt and apparent spirituality of the Israelite people, The Church, in how they were inspired to read, memorize, understand, and never forget the Word of God.
In Relationship to the Word of God, Spiritually Speaking,
the Israelites were Violent Seekers after the LORD!
A man could not even obtain the (saving) knowledge of God except he was seeking the LORD with holy violence, according to scripture. Conveying this, the promise of Jeremiah 29:13 stated, “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with ALL your heart”. The holy violence of, “ALL your heart”, was the supernatural zeal granted to and enjoyed by all saints, both initially and present-progressively. Simply put, this was their life. By grace, the Old Testament saints were Whole-Hearted Seekers after the LORD in the totality of their faculties! This fact was noted before but is vibrantly evident here, according as it was written,
Proverbs 2:1-6 – Behold, my reader, the man was receiving God’s word, memorizing God’s word, inclining and applying his heart, not in some emotion-less conduct of exterior rule-keeping, no! But being so moved in the heart with holy desire and sincere conviction, the man was crying to God for knowledge, lifting up his voice for understanding, seeking it with relentless desire as a lost man would seek for undiscovered gold and silver in uncharted regions of Land!
For parallel reasons, then, King David was compelled to say, “my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee” (Ps. 63:1). Supernaturally, my reader, all Israelites breathed the same prayers before God continually! Those that kept God’s commandments were ravaged and soul-gripped by The Spirituality of the Law! It is evident that – through the Law! – the Israelites were having spiritual communion with the Living God. The general commonality among Israelite communities was communion with their GOD, the God of Israel. This fact, standing alone, made them different from every other Nation on the earth (“For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” – Ex. 33:16). Therefore, the amazing thing was, what was common behavior and common sense character (proverbial wisdom) of every Israelite can be seen in The Proverbs, as it was written,
Proverbs 4:1-9 -- Behold, the man was submissive and studious to his spiritual guides, retaining the words of God in his heart so as to never forget them nor decline from them, and, thus, he loved them, exalted them, and embraced them with all his heart! These men, the Isrealite citizens, were ever keeping their hearts with all diligence, looking straight-on without turning aside, continually pondering the path of their feet and removing themselves from all conscious evil (Prov. 4:23-27).
Proverbs 6:21-23 -- Their relationship with God was real! Yes, and God joined with them as they pursued holy affections! Even so, it was written, whenever they went He led them, whenever they slept He kept and protected them, whenever they awoke He talked with them, as a Lamp to their feet and a Light to their path He illuminated them (through His written word)!
My reader, by the shear experience of being loved by God, they love God! And being constrained thereby they hid God’s commandments in their hearts because they were dear to them!
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 -- Behold, the Israelites taught the commandments of God diligently to their children, so much so that they talked about them in every conversation in the house, they talked about them when they are walking by the way, they talked about them when they lied down and when they rose up, for, the commandments of God were ever-before-them like as the fontlets between their eyes, and, literally speaking, they wrote them upon the posts of their house and on their gates as a memorial of love! What a glory! “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge” (Psalm 48:1-3).
By the strong compulsion of love for God, His commandments were as the apple of their eye, they were written upon the tablet of their hearts; for they, being cherished, were like a sister and kinswoman to the soul (Prov. 7:1-4). Furthermore, also, nothing was comparable to their love for God and His commandments, which meant, expressly, nothing was more desirable or pleasurable to them! Etched into their very desires was God’s truth, “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Prov. 8:11)! For this reason, also, they looked after the Living God’s illuminating face forevermore, as it was written, “Blessed is the man that heareth Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors” (Prov. 8:32-36). [Let the reader take note of this key principle of salvation: KEY - Without this behavior one could not obtain the knowledge of God or understand the fear of the Lord, which means, in other words, one couldn’t hear God, see God, fellowship with God, or walk with God (John 7:11-12, Rom. 12:1-4). “A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth” (Prov. 14:6).]
Anyone who didn’t live a lifestyle in concert with this peculiar behavior of seeking after God, they would not presently and progressively find God… that’s a biblical fact. Such men would progressively slip further and further until, at last, if they did not find recovery through Civil Justice and Divine Chastisement, they would fall into a continuous state of presumptuous sinning and thereby be publically executed. The men who would not understand the fear of the Lord, they became examples of Divine anger which were thenceforth feared by all. Let us finally understand God’s truth, my reader, the lessons which took bloodshed for Israel to understand: all citizens of Israel were required to kiss their King, “lest He be angry and [they] perish[ed] from the way, when His wrath [was] kindled but a little” (Psalm 2:12)! Therefore what can be said of all the beloved Israelites who lived-on to tell the story? They were reconciled to and in friendship with the personality of God depicted by the Moral Law! Miraculously, they rejoiced in the demanding utterances of the Law even though they fell short of sinless perfection… but how?