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“The Spirituality of the Law” – Seventh-day Adventist Church

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November 14, 2022  | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, President, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Greetings, friends! Today we continue our journey through the wonderful book,

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing by Ellen White. If you do not yet have a copy of this marvelous book, I encourage you to download it from the website below [Insert: egwwritings.org].

We have finished going through the wonderful blessings, known as “the Beatitudes,” and will now turn our attention to the chapter titled, “The Spirituality of the Law.”

Sometimes people think of “spirituality” and “the law” as two separate things, but this chapter shows how the two blend together perfectly. For you see, the law is a transcript of God’s character—it tells us what true spirituality is all about.

We read, “The law given upon Sinai was the enunciation of the principle of love, a revelation to earth of the law of heaven. It was . . . spoken by Him through whose power the hearts of men could be brought into harmony with its principles” (MB, p. 46).

Unfortunately, however, too often the law is considered a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” to  be checked off as an indicator of spirituality. But Jesus shows us that spirituality goes much deeper than just trying to keep the letter of the law.

He said in Matthew 5:19, 20—”Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19, 20).

Here, Jesus is pointing out that the law goes far deeper than simple outward appearances. Citing the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” He explains how harboring hatred and anger in the heart is just as serious as the act itself. And regarding the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery,” Jesus said, “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28).

He continued explaining to His listeners what it means to keep the commandments of God—urging them to “be reconciled to your brother” (vs. 24), to “turn the other cheek” (vs. 39) when others mistreat us, and to “go the second mile,” (vs. 41) even for those whom we don’t think deserve it. He urges us to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (vs. 44).

And why does He ask us to do these seemingly impossible things? So we can be like Him. “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (vs. 45).

Amazingly, Jesus then states, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (vs. 48).

How can this be? Through our own efforts, it is absolutely impossible! But, praise God, Jesus declared, “. . . with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26)!

In Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing we read: “By His own obedience to the law, Christ testified to its immutable character and proved that through His grace it could be perfectly obeyed by every son and daughter of Adam. . . . Because the law of the Lord is perfect, and therefore changeless, it is impossible for sinful men, in themselves, to meet the standard of its requirement. This was why Jesus came as our Redeemer. It was His mission, by making men partakers of the divine nature, to bring them into harmony with the principles of the law of heaven” (p. 50).

So, when we surrender our hearts to Jesus, He does an amazing work within us, transforming us so we can actually be partakers of His divine nature, helping us to become more and more like Him each day.

Friend, would you like to be more like Jesus? Would you like to have His law written in your heart? This is what He is offering to you and me today. Why don’t we pray together just now, asking Him to do this wonderful work in our lives so we might glorify Him.

Father in heaven, we thank You that, through the power of Jesus, His justifying righteousness, His santifying righteousness, that we can truly live more and more like Jesus. We’re so grateful for the plan of salvation. We’re so grateful for the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us and imparted to us. So Lord, we ask now that You’ll change our lives, give us a heart of flesh, give us a heart in tune with You. Thank You for hearing us in this prayer. In Jesus name we ask it. Amen.

https://sdahymnal.net/

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