Bible Reading: Galatians 3:10-14
Key Verse: "The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." –NKJV
Prior to the time of Christ, salvation was technically non-existent. For according to Judaism, all that was in place was a set of standards, or laws which no one could keep. (See 1 Kings 11:10, 2 Kings 17:19, Ps 78:10, Jn 7:19, Ac 7:53, Gal 5:13, 6:13, James 2:10) The Noachide laws (Genesis 8:20-9:17) were for all people and tribes, and the Mosaic laws – that is, the Torah – was for God’s chosen, Israel. The penalty for breaking these laws was death. (See Genesis 38:10, Exodus 21:12, 15-17, 22:19, 31:14-15, et al.)
But God did not create us just to destroy us. He created us to be with Him (Is 43:7, Ezk 37:27, Lk 23:43, Jn 17:24, 1 Thess 4:17, Rev 21:3).
In order to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, God paid the penalty required under the law, by sending His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. For the only way to atone for sin (breaking God’s covenant/law) was to offer a sacrifice to God. But not just any sacrifice. It had to be a sacrifice made according to the covenant God had established with His people Israel (Exodus 20:24).
That is why Jesus is called the Lamb of God (John 1:36); He was the ultimate sacrifice – the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. He laid down His own life (John 10:17-18) to satisfy – that is, to fulfill – the penalty required by the law for those who broke the law (covenant). That is how much God loves us and that is the glory of God!
With the advent of Christ - His sinless life and His torturous death – the penalty for all law-breakers (that is you and I) was satisfied. His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and the pouring out of His Spirit at Pentecost assures us of that fact and empowers us to live a holy life that glorifies God and to boldly share the Good news of God's salvation through faith in Christ. (See Philippians 3:7-11.)
God did what we could not do for ourselves, in the life and death of His Son, Jesus. He, Himself, paid the penalty for us! He put us under the law and then He redeemed us from the law, as only He could do. Now – through Christ – all people are once again equal in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28, Col 3:11). Everyone has God’s favor, not just Israel (Eph 2:12-16). Everyone – that is ALL law breakers; be they breakers of the Noachide laws or the Mosaic laws – has had their death penalty commuted via the death of Christ.
If we ignore what God has done for us via His Son, and continue to live as if our life is our own and has not been bought with the blood of Christ; if we slough off the knowledge of what God has done for us as if it were some myth and not the truth; if we choose to live and act as if God has done nothing for us and/or that God does not exist – then it shall be so for those who make that choice and God will honor their choice on the day of His Judgment (Heb 9:27, Acts 17:31). Christ Jesus Himself – the very one who laid down His life so that we might be forgiven and live – will stand in judgment of those who chose to reject and treat as nothing, His sacrifice (Hebrews 10:26).
We were created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27). We are His children. That is why we demand justice and judgment for those who break our laws here on earth, just as our heavenly Father demands justice and judgment from those of us who break His laws. Why should it be any different in heaven than it is on earth?
We understand perfectly the law of cause and effect. We know and understand that we are responsible for our own actions and that there is a consequence as a result of our actions, be they good or bad. We know we can chose to either obey the law and enjoy our freedom as a result of our obedience, or we can chose to suffer the consequence of our disobedience.
This is not something new and/or foreign to us. We learn this as children – though some learn it better than others (and/or accept it more readily than others) - and we live our lives accordingly.
Those who break the law know there is a penalty to be paid – whether they are ‘caught’ or not; for there is the consequence of knowing we have gone against what is good and right –- regardless of how we justify our action(s) to ourselves and others.
The same holds true on the day of Judgment. No matter how we have justified living as we have here on earth, God will expose our heart – that is, the truth – and there is no defense possible against the truth; only consequence.
Now is the time to make a choice – the most important choice of all. Now that we know the truth, will we respond as one who has been fully pardoned, or will we continue to live as we always have and hope that we never have to own up to the truth of who and what we are?
"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." --Joshua 24:15