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Cross

Christianity
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The Spirit of the Law

by George Jacob, PhD

Receiving Christ is a subject that is much misunderstood, and vitally important to our salvation. In John 1:11 it says, "He came unto his own, and is own received him not." That word received in the original, means, there was no intimate relationship between Him and them. There was no love union or bond, as in a marriage vow. There was a heart problem, an attitude problem, and a need of repentance, and they repented not.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13.

At the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount, our Saviour said, in Matthew 7:24, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock."

Look at the conclusion of the matter. The Lord Jesus Christ, for three chapters in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7, set forth the way of salvation. He set forth true heart religion. He pointed out that a mere form of religion is not sufficient and a legal religion is not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. We can have a legalistic bond (or a bondage), whereby we serve Him by the crack of the whip, and have no pleasure in the eyes of God at all, but the Lord wants us to serve Him from a motive of love, and from the heart. The Lord Jesus concludes His Sermon on the Mount saying that "whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Matthew 7:24.

The saying, "as many as received him," received His sayings, believed upon Him, and came under His authority. They are the ones who came to understand a true heart religion. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [but watch] even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12.

There is a holy reverence under the authority of that name, Jesus. The Lord Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount saying that doing what He said is building upon the rock.

When Jesus came to His own, they did not receive Him, because the True Light convicted their conscience. It caused them to turn from His presence.

In John 8:7-9 we see how the Pharisees, in their legal religion, brought a woman to Christ, whom they had taken in adultery. They were ready to stone her to death, executing the law, but they brought her to Christ to see what He would say. When the Lord Jesus saw that they came to Him, and asked Him what they must do, "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." John 8:7.

See the distinction between the legalistic, Pharisaical, letter of the Law, and the spirit of the Law. You are allowed to cast a stone at her, and kill her, but you first have to examine your own heart and sins! Make sure you're not guilty of the same sin. "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged…with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:2.

This spirit of the law is what the Pharisees did not understand. That is why they could not receive the Lord Jesus Christ; they did not believe on His name, and were not brought in submission and subjection to the authority of that blessed name, "Jesus Christ." What was it given to Him for? It was given to Him for a reward because He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. That name of authority they did not understand; they did not understand heart religion.

"Let him first cast a stone at her…." Who? "He that is without sin." In other words, are you going to sit in the judgment seat? When the Lord Jesus comes to judge the quick and the dead, you are going to be placed in the judgment seat, and it is you that are going to pass judgment upon you.

And the Lord is going to bring it, as we read in Matthew 7:1-2. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." The Sermon on the Mount is so rich when it comes to a heart religion.

On the Day of Judgment when all of your sins rise up before your face, how are you going to be judged? You are going to be placed in the judgment seat. How did you judge your brother? How did you judge your friend? How did you find him worthy of mercy? Did you show mercy? You'll receive mercy as you have shown mercy by the spirit of the law. JAM 2:13 says, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

The Lord Jesus says that you that are without sin, cast the first stone at her. "And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." .John 8:8-9.

He said to her, "Woman where are your accusers?" He only shone a little light into the heart of those wretched Pharisees, and they didn't have one stone to throw. These are the Pharisees, the ones who, concerning the law, were blameless. They didn't have one stone to throw at a woman that was guilty of capital crime. Under the law she was guilty to be stoned to death. When the Lord threw just one glimpse of light into their souls, they didn't have one stone left to throw. Do you see why they didn't receive Him?

"And as many as received him…" as many as were brought into an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and could humble themselves and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. They could write "death" on self, they could write "death" on the world, they could write "death" on sin. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." John 1:12.

Amen.

See Also:

Good Friday - A new Covenant of God for Humanity
The passion of Christ on the cross was the new Covenant and beginning of the new Chapter the process of salvation for humanity.

Intimacy of God
God knows each of us intimately. He knows our human-ness with all the accompanying flaws. He knows our hearts.

The Face of God
Have you ever wondered what the face of God looks like? Have you ever thought what you would say to Him? What you would do in His presence?

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