In the last post we attempted to put some definition around the New Testament law. We are now brought to the climax of the law, which is the person of Jesus Christ. As we have seen in these last installments, God’s requirement of mankind in the New Testament, far from being minimized, is actually filled up and maximized in the revelation of Jesus Christ. As God has now indwelt man, He now has every legal right to make inner requirements of man that far exceed the Law of Moses. We have seen how this dramatically affects our evangelism and our understanding of our own calling.
The Great Need of Mercy
You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48 (AMP)
As we consider the requirements of God’s morality upon the inner man, we see that absolute need of Christ. We see that there is no way any living human being will ever be able to assert any measure of morality against the standard of God, for we are all left completely helpless before His requirements. When we finish the words of the Sermon on the Mount, if we have truly understood it, our hearts cry out, “What shall we do?”
The requirement of God is so deep, so vast, and yet so just that you and are are left without excuse and without hope before the judgment bar of God. This is not without purpose however, for we are left in this great place that God may be all in all. God Himself, in His own perfect love for man in our predicament, brings salvation through His own right hand in the person of Jesus. By understanding the law, and its present application, we can understand more than ever the great need of the person of Jesus. Jesus said, “those who are forgiven much love much,” and as the law of God penetrates our heart, our inner man should sing the highest praises to the One who has made a way for us to be redeemed from the just and proper condemnation of God’s law.
Let us now see that great paradox that God uses our very violation of the law to bring us into the demonstration of its requirements. As the gospel is proclaimed in truth and power our hearts become heavy under the weight of condemnation and conviction. This condemnation is just and true for we can never fulfill God’s requirements on us. Many avoid this pressure point by lessening God’s requirements, but the solution is not to lessen God’s requirements, but to come into the reality of our spirit’s situation and then receive God’s solution.
While we struggle under the weight of our own condemnation and the black hell of hopelessness closes in on our hearts which have been awakened to God’s law, God comes in like a shaft of light and presents Himself as the ultimate sacrifice and rescue from our own black heart. We see Him in that instant as the liberator from all that we are and all that we have become. This experience is slow for some and quicker for others, but for all there is that moment when light dawns and we see that the very One who has condemned us by making just requirements of our heart, now offers Himself to us as the very redeemer for our blackness. At this moment, we are born again as we grab onto the glorious hope of God whose love is so vast that He is, in that moment, both the One who condemns and the One who rescues.
God’s plan is so glorious though, that it continues from there. Being liberated by His glorious love, the natural response of the human heart is then to love Him desperately, passionately, and completely for His act of redemption from our own condemnation. In the wisdom of God then, it is the pressure of our condemnation that forms in a heart a love for the God who rescues us and this love then naturally begins fulfilling the first great commandment of God’s law to love God with all our hearts.
You see, it is the knowledge of the depth of our depravity and condemnation that leads us to the heights of love. We become those with the capacity to fulfill the law only once we have been awakened to our birth position as those under the condemnation of the law. Only the wisdom of God could take the very thing that condemns us and sets us at odds with Him and use it as the seed of eternal love and holiness in His redeemed people. Once again, we find that God is all and all and that Jesus is worth of supreme adulation for His great redemption. He alone provides mercy for our sins as we stand helpless before the judgment bar of God. Let us love Him desperately for the mercy He provides and then vigorously share that mercy with others understanding that God uses the tool of condemnation as the key to open the door to divine mercy.