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"Moore" Or Less Confused

"Moore" Or Less Confused

by Frederick J. Harris

Published in
The Christian Informer
March, 2003


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Last updated:
October 14, 2003.

ONE OF THE saddest things in the world today is the divided condition of those claiming to follow Jesus Christ. How tragic that those who believe in Jesus should be divided into hundreds of different bodies, all teaching conflicting, contradictory doctrines, wearing many different names. Oneness has always been important to God. Jesus prayed for His followers to be one in John 17, but also recognized that it would not be so. Matthew 7:21 proclaims, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Divided along every line imaginable, would-be followers of Jesus, while honest and sincere, have fostered an environment of mass confusion in the religious community. Many in search of Jesus today are like children in December, thinking that the jolly, red-suited fat man they saw at the grocery store is the same man simultaneously at the mall! While bearing similar looks, they are not the same. Surely no one believes that the lines of separation which caused all the different religious bodies are drawn by God. Does anyone believe that division and confusion in the religious world is what Jesus prayed for when He prayed that all believers "be one" (John 17:20,21)? Surely there are no rational people who can argue that the command to "all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perlectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" ( 1 Corinthians 1: 10) is being carried out in denominationalism today. Surely there are no honest souls who believe that the one Holy Spirit delivered different doctrines and practices for Christians to please God. The Apostles spoke in foreign languages "as the Spirit gave them utterance"(Acts 2:4) and, by inspiration of God, they recorded for us "all things that pertain unto life and Godliness" (2 Peter 1 :3). But the Bible is not responsible for the confusion that abounds in the religious community. Misunderstanding the Bible is what leads so many good people into religious error. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." Paul writes to the young evangelist Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 encouraging him, and all Christians a1ike, to "rightly divide the word of truth." This passage inherently suggests that the dividing of scriptures, "the word of truth," can be done incorrectly. Long ago God lamented the terrible condition of society and asserted that He had a "controversy" with the people. The malady which caused God's people to "perish" in Hosea was a "1ack of knowledge." God would pronounce the same sickness on religious people today, as the masses (including their preachers and leaders) have no idea how to place correct divisions in the word of God. If Christians wish to be pleasing to God, a ready answer must be at hand to guide honest hearts who are confused.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

A monument of The Ten Commandments of the Law of Moses weighing 5,280 pounds resides in the rotunda of Alabama's State Supreme Court judicial building in Montgomery. It is the fulfillment of a promise made by Judge Roy Moore that if elected Chief Justice to the state Supreme Court, he would take the Ten Commandments with him. Much controversy surrounded Judge Moore when he defied the several attempts of authorities to make him remove a wooden replica of the traditional "stone tablets" which hung on his chamber walls in the Etowah County Circuit Court. Roy Moore is a man of his word - he kept his promise by "taking the Ten Commandments to Montgomery" in the form of the afore mentioned two and a half ton block of granite. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) weighed in with a suit in protest of Moore's monument and the controversy revived. While seeming to be a respectable, honest man, our Chief Justice is sadly confused about what law of God is binding today. He shows honesty in keeping his word. He is to be respected for doing so, knowing it might cause himself personal and political harm. It is always honorable for a man to stand for his faith despite the hardship it brings. But sadly, Judge Roy Moore, along with many other honest but misled religious people, does not "rightly divide the word of truth," and has not yet learned that the Law delivered to Moses (including its Ten Commandments) was nailed to the rugged cross of Christ. Colossians 2:14 affirms that Jesus in His death was, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." It is declared in Jeremiah 31:31-34, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

THE OLD LAW WAS FULFILLED BY CHRIST

Hebrews 8:6-10 states, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant [New Testament], which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant [Old Testament] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second [NT]. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant [NT] with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant [OT] that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant [OT], and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant [NT] that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" The sacrifices for their sins which God required of His people under the Law of Moses pointed forward to the day when their sins would finally be forgiven. We are told that each time a Levitical priest offered a blood sacrifice it was "a figure for the time then present" but that it "could not make him that did the service perfect." Even though there was a remembrance of sins each year, these sacrifices pointed forward to the great day when Christ by His blood, would fulfill the figure and sins would be forgiven. The inspired record continues, "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands... Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they whicn are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Heb. 9:9-15). The divinely inspired writer of Hebrews makes plain the distinction between the Old Law or Testament [OT] and the New Law or Testament [NT]. We may also call these "Laws" or "Testaments" two covenants. A covenant is an agreement between two parties, both sides having responsibilities to carry out. God always kept His promises and never let His people down. When the people of God obeyed his commands, they were blessed exceedingly. However, mankind is imperfect and failed to keep God's commands on many occasions and suffered the consequences.

MAN COULD NOT KEEP THE LAW

The Old Law demanded obedience but none could live up to its demands - none, that is, save Jesus Christ who lived the Law perfectly (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). Upon His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus took away the Old Law with its "handwriting of ordinances that was against us" (Colossians 2: 14), and established a new and better way. Those who try to hang onto the old, make the death of Jesus and everything it meant absolutely useless. Furthermore, the apostle Paul explains in our next passage that not only is it possiDle for one to fall again into an unsaved condition, but also that one of the quickest ways to fall is to nullify the cross of Christ. The cross is made of no effect, the blood of Jesus is shed in vain for one who tries to keep the Old Law. We read in Galatians 5:1-4, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke or bondage [clearly the Old Testament, the Law of Moses]. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law [again, the Old Testament]. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Some had been teaching that in order to please God Christian men were to keep the ordinance of circumcision. But, to all others who might be persuaded to keep this rite, Paul would say, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love... but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (Gal. 5:6; 6:15,16).
[PART II NEXT TIME, LORD WILLING].

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