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Abandoning Fleshly Righteousness — 1 Comment

  1. (Something I posted elsewhere some years ago that is applicable…)

    It is very easy to treat the New Testament in the same way the Pharisees treated the Old Testament, i.e. by the letter instead of by the Spirit. What is the intent of the Law? What is the intent of the N.T. instructions to us? – Example of divorce:

    I’m a biblical conservative by today’s definition of the word. But I recognize the tendency for both conservatives and liberals, myself included, to defend our beliefs based on what that we’ve been taught versus what we’ve learned and proven from personal unbiased study of the scriptures. (By ‘proven’ I mean taking God at His word, stepping out in obedient faith, and seeing how He reveals Himself.)

    Without this ‘trust and obey’ factor, we’re just arguing doctrinal theories – and this tends to become a platform for pride (the besetting sin of us all).

    Conservatives tend to approach the scriptures like the Pharisees, and liberals like the Sadducees. One had a fixation on the letter of the law, and other disbelieved much of what the scriptures said. Neither saw the big picture – the overall intent of what God said.

    For example, the Pharisees saw the letter of the Law as allowing divorce. While most conservatives would disagree with that viewpoint, we still think of divorce in a similar ‘letter of the law’ manner. We could be having all out brawls with our spouses or we could be living in separate houses, but as long as we haven’t filed for a divorce, we think we haven’t sinned. This ignores God’s intention for marriage: unity, oneness, selfless humble love for the other. Many married couples are living as practical divorcees, even if they haven’t signed the dotted line. This is just as sinful – perhaps more so, because it goes on and on. The choice shouldn’t be which is less sinful, or what does God permit, but what does God desire?

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