The Law of Liberty (20)
Readers will gain a better perspective on the main teaching of this series by reading The Ground for Christian Ethics, by T. M.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law…Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119.163, 165
Although the devil has been bound, and certain limits imposed on just how much he may be free to tyrannize humankind (Matt. 12.22-29), still, he’s out there, and we know it. He is a formidable foe primarily because he’s so good at lying. He makes things which are contrary to holiness appear to be just what we need. Then, by whispers of deception, he pollutes our thinking, corrupts our affections, and short-circuits our holy priorities so that, before you know it, you’re doing something sinful, and thinking yourself perfectly justified in doing so.
Before we became believers the problem was much worse (perhaps you recall?). We had no power to resist the devil and may not have even believed him to be a force to reckon with. That’s right where he likes people to be; then he’s free to toy with their minds and tug at their hearts in all kinds of vain, self-serving ways. But we have new hearts, minds, and consciences, which are being continuously renewed in the Law and Word of God. To the extent that we take seriously the challenge of hiding the Law of God in our hearts, we fortify ourselves against the devil’s every maneuver.
Is this not what we see in the Lord Jesus Himself? Tempted three times by the devil, three times Jesus appealed to the Law of God – even to trump and re-contextualize the devil’s own “proof text” from the psalms for his own suggestion – and, in the process, sent the devil scurrying for cover. Nothing can make us stumble – not even the prince of stumbling-stones, if we set our minds, hearts, and consciences on practicing the Law of God as He commands.
It will help us in this effort if we also work to hate that which is sinful and false (Ps. 97.10). The more we hate things contrary to God’s Law, the less likely we will be to take them up in our own practices. Hate sin, love the Law of God, and keep an eye out for the Old Tyrant: that’s a formula for growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Daily meditation in the Law of God helps us along the path of holiness, righteousness, and goodness (Rom. 7.12). Order your copy of The Law of God, a compilation of the Mosaic Law for contemporary believers.