Thursday, 11 February 2016 00:09
Proper Use of Law
With all this talk about marriage as a reflection of the Gospel, some might be tempted to conclude that the Law is of no consequence. This is simply not true. The Law has many applications to marriage and we should hold it in the regard it deserves. We will spend this section discussing the proper relationship to the three uses of the Law; a
curb, a mirror, and a guide.
The first use of the Law is that of a curb. God uses His Law as a means of curbing outbursts of sin in the world. The Law establishes government and other institutions intended to provide order in society. There is a proper application of the first use of the Law to marriage. God uses marriage to provide order in society, and to keep people from sexual sins.
This is a primary function of marriage to non-Christians. Non-believers make no attempt to reflect the marriage covenant of salvation. Their relationships are based solely on the Law written in their hearts. When they agree to live as husband and wife, they participate in God's ordering of society. While this is not God’s primary purpose for marriage, it has a significant effect on society.
The first use of the Law is a consequential aspect of Christian marriage. By uniting Christian men and women in this reflection of the marriage covenant of salvation, God also accomplishes the proper functions of the first use of the Law. The first use of the Law does not define marriage, nor is it our motivation for how we live as husbands and wives. Within Gospel centered marriage, however, God accomplishes the goals of the first use of the Law.
The second use of the Law is that of a mirror. The Law shows us our sins. We despair of any hint of self-righteousness, leaving us to flee to God for forgiveness and salvation. This function is essential in marriage. We constantly fail to love as we have been called. We are in constant need of forgiveness from God and from each other. The Law properly functions to call us to repentance. This function of the Law doesn’t define marriage or motivate us in our actions toward each other. It is, however, a vital function within the relationship.
The third use of the Law is as a guide. When the little angel on one shoulder argues with the little devil on the other shoulder, the Law is the information that the angel uses to win the argument about what is right. If the issue is between selfish actions or self-sacrificial love, the Law informs us that self sacrifice is the will of God. This does not define marriage, nor does it motivate our actions. Butit is important to know what God’s will is, in order that we may show love in the best possible way.
All three uses of the Law apply to marriage. None of them define marriage. Marriage is defined by the marriage between Christ and the church. None of them are the reason we show the love of Christ to each other. We love each other because of how we have been loved, and as an act of faith reflecting the loving relationship between Christ and the church.
CURRENT ISSUES: June 2015
Here in the State of Indiana we have been embroiled in a fight about the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Much has been written about it, as well as much on TV. Not much has been accurate.
Christians do not want laws enacted so that we can discriminate against, and show hatred for, anyone. To suggest that anyone who was for this act is hateful and wants to discriminate against others is the same as claiming that those who opposed this law are opposed to religious freedom and haters of religious people. Neither assumption has any basis in fact.
Many Christians, or their ancestors, came to America because it was a place where they would be able to worship God freely, without government intervention or interference. People of other faiths have come to America for the same reason, since our Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, not any particular religion.
Our first consideration is the preservation of our First Amendment rights, especially since those rights have come under fire in recent years. There are those who accuse us of simply wanting to discriminate against homosexuals. This is simply not true. We do consider homosexual behavior sinful. But if we wanted to promote discrimination against sinners, we would be inviting discrimination since we sin too. We simply wish to preserve the rights we are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. We invite you to read the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights if you have not done so. There will be discussion of marriage and sexuality on this website as time goes along, but we always welcome questions and will answer as promptly as possible.
May God bless you in the exercise of your citizenship. May God also bless our country, president, congress, governors, legislatures, and all our citizens.