In the last chapter we continued our treatise on Governmentalism. We trailed the phenomenon of the writing hand from ancient Babylon back into ancient Egypt. Then we arrived at Mount Sinai where the finger of God wrote the Ten Commandments. We followed the finger of God into the New Testament and came across Jesus writing in the sand. On that occasion a woman caught in flagrante delicto in adultery was brought to Jesus for condemnation. Under the “Ten Comnandments” – the laws of Moses – she must be stoned to death. We saw a new dispensation of mercy enacted on Earth as Jesus spared her life and forgave her.
This same law upon which the woman was condemned is also the basis of OUR condemnation. The Bible called it “the handwriting of ordinances (laws) against us”. The laws are hostile and it must come as a surprise to God that people seek to use them to obtain salvation. The laws (Ten Commandments) were nailed to the cross of Jesus, we’re told in scriptures. The power of the Law was nailed to the cross. As they tore into the flesh of Jesus the veil of Moses was torn. Now, we were told that when they brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus he bent and began scribbling in the sand.
The truth is, when the religious folk brought the woman to him they were setting a trap for him. The Bible says they were watching out for what he’d say. They presented him with a dilemma. They knew he was given to compassion and preached a message of compassion. Would he save the woman and contravene the laws of Moses? Would he be in contempt? If he endorses her death on the other hand he contradicts his own teachings, not to talk of being responsible for her death. Instead Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand. Then he rose and made a pronouncement: “He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone.” And they slid away one by one.
Why did Jesus write in the sand? He was always deliberate. He used a lot of symbolism. Why write in the sand? In writing in the sand Jesus reminded them he wrote the law; and that man was made from the dust of the earth. He knows our makeup the Psalmist says. We are dust. Our thoughts are continually evil. In forgiving the woman he demonstrated the mercy of God to hopeless sinners – we the mere dust of the earth. He wrote in the dust to remind them that he is the Creator, the maker of man and maker of the laws. He is Lord over law and man.
Jesus always chose compassion over robotic adherence to the laws of Moses. He would heal on the Sabbath day for example. Even animals are shown compassion on the Sabbath he would say. You cannot access the grace of God through the laws of Moses. The law cannot save. Obeying the “Ten Commandments” won’t save you. The purpose of the law was to make obvious to everyone that we can’t cut a relationship with God through human effort. The law shows the futility of devising some religious system for getting by through our own efforts. Indeed we are taught that the law came in order to highlight the sinfulness of man vividly. And the law makes some very extreme demands just to highlight the impossibility of salvation through it.
Some people think the Ten Commandments is the totality of the Law. No! There are hundreds of these laws. You couldn’t wear a shirt of mixed yarn, say polyester and wool under the law for example! Such was the sense of absurdity embedded in the law. They were impossible to keep. And you have to obey ALL the laws. If you break one you’ve broken ALL. “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.” Surely you can see the absurdity of salvation by morality.
Salvation by morality is an impossibility. What then was the purpose of the Ten Commandments? The Ten Commandments was a tutor to point us to the salvation based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Salvation is based on righteousness not morality. This righteousness about which we speak is not self righteousness. It is imputed or gifted righteousness. God gifts us with his righteousness when we acknowledge the atonement of Jesus. This righteousness is not based on what we do. It is based on what Jesus did – his sacrifice on the cross.
What is righteousness? It is sometimes defined as right standing with God. But that is the RESULT of gifted righteousness, it is not the definition of righteousness. Righteousness is simply the sovereign rights of the Sovereign King. It is founded on governmentalism. Imputed righteousness is the gift of rights and privileges legally assigned by the Sovereign King and proceeding from His status. These rights are actually not transferable. They are the rights of God. They are tied to his person and status.
To facilitate the assignment and transfer to us, an ingenious legal solution was devised. The rights were domiciled in Christ the Son of God. That way the rights are still retained in the Godhead. The Bible speaks of the righteousness of God IN Christ. We were then brought into Christ. We were made sons in order to access the rights of sonship in Christ. We became righteous in Christ. Because we are IN CHRIST we partake of the rights and privileges domiciled in Christ.
This is legal engineering at its finest. God is so brilliant and awesome! *SMH* Just so brilliant! Ah! Our righteousness is exactly the same righteousness Christ has. Our righteousness are HIS rights and executive privileges. Indeed we became the righteousness of God in Christ. It’s why no one can condemn us and nothing can separate us from his love. The New Testament (new contract) is the documentation of our bill of rights. This new contract supercedes the old contract popularly known as the Old Testament.
If you’ll like to enter into a new contract with God please pray this prayer: Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge I’m a sinner and that you ransomed me with the blood of Jesus. I receive Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour. I am now righteous according to your word. Amen.
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org