“You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who have separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”
Obedience to God’s Law makes His people distinct from the nations around them. Israel was sternly warned against incorporating into her worship or daily life any of the practices of the pagan nations she was going to displace. Doing so would make her an offense to God and would short-circuit receipt of the promises. God’s intention was that, through obedience to the Law, Israel would transform the pagan lands she was inheriting, bringing goodness, love, justice, and truth to light where formerly only darkness had prevailed.
So it is today. God calls us to be holy, as He is holy (Matt. 5.48), so that those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and born again of His Spirit might take up obedience of His Law of liberty, life, and love, and, by so going, bring the glory of God to light in every area of life. Christians must keep and teach the Law if they would know Kingdom greatness (Matt. 5.17-19) – not for salvation, but unto sanctification and life.
This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.