The Whole Christ

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17)

Embarrassed of the Bible

Are you ashamed of the ‘messy’ portions of the Bible?

Sometimes I hear Christians, even pastors, suggest that some parts of the Law were just an ‘accomodation’ to the sinful tendencies of the Israelites. For example, I hear that although God has always hated all forms of slavery and considered them totally unjust, it was permitted in the Law simply because the Israelites didn’t know any better. Or that stoning adulterers to death was only allowed because the Israelites were a barbaric people who only understood violence. Below are some parts of the Law which we often find tough to accept.

1) Stoning to death for adultery, incest, homosexual fornication, bestiality, blasphemy, idolatry, murder and other capital crimes.

2) Selling people into slavery as a payment for debt.

3) Institutional patriarchy and polygamy.

But what does God himself think about the Law? His servant David says the following:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”

(Psalm 19:7-8)

The Apostle Paul is in complete agreement with King David on this matter when he writes that “the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12)

Now, there are some parts of the Law which no longer apply in the New Covenant. But that does not mean that those laws were inherently wrong from the start. It simply means that they are less appropriate in the New Covenant situation. Circumcision is a good example. There is nothing inherently wrong with the practice of circumcision, but it is now fulfilled in the ‘circumcision’ of Christ on the cross (Colossians 2:11), so it is unnecessary under the New Covenant. God, in the person of his Son Jesus, has been ‘cut off’ for us so that we can be welcomed into his arms of love.

But this does not give us the liberty to despise the Word of God. Whenever we come across parts of the Bible which we find difficult to accept, we must accept that it is we who are in the wrong, and not God. We must let the justice of God reign in our lives, not the ‘social justice’ of secular humanism.

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