Hello Mr. Spencer,
I have read the Book of Galatians (as you suggested) over and over. My thought is that the law is still good and sacred. How can God do away with worshipping Him First and loving our neighbor as ourselves?
You know the 10 Commandments. If one offend in one,he has committed sin in all. So if we don't keep the 4th Commandmen which is to keep the Sabbath Holy, how then can we love God. How can we love Him and violate His laws? As John records, "If you love me keep my commandments." I've fought this over and over from the Book of Romans and the emphasis on being saved by grace. But the law is still holy and good. It reflects the character and nature of God...
[After being involved with Seventh Day Adventists] I am troubled and haunted if I go to Sunday worship services. But if I stay in that church the sermons are so dry and dogmatic. When I joined that church the 7th day was paramount over the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
Well, I guess I can start with your questions about the role of the law as it applies to us. First, I would take us to the third chapter of Galatians.
Paul says right off: "Who has bewitched you, fools, that you should not obey the truth about Christ's crucifixion?" Why would he say this to a group of people? Their problem was that they were trying to experience the salvation of Christ while at the same time returning to obeying the law as a way to become right with Christ.
The law is indeed good. It is sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. The problem is when we think that obedience to the law produces salvation, or puts us in right relationship with God. It does not. _Only_ faith in Christ and His sacrifice affects our standing with Him. So Paul then asks, "Then why have the law at all, if it is powerless to save us?" The answer is found in Gal. 3:19
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Paul makes another point. He says the law was not even in effect until four hundred thirty years after the promise to Abraham. There was no Sabbath keeping from Adam until Moses. Yet Abraham was saved by faith. He is the father of faith. The law ruled from Moses until Christ, but it did not save people, it corralled them. Now, the peace of God rules in our hearts. Christ lives in us. His Holy Spirit directs us into paths of righteousness. The law still stands to show us who we really are inside, but it is the Holy Spirit we obey, a deeper and higher law written on our hearts.
That is why Paul uses the analogy of Christ destroying the law (as it applies to us) Col 2:
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, _or of the sabbath [days]:_
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ. Paul knows, what all the saved eventually come to understand: outward observance looks good, but produces nothing!
Col. 2:23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
For us, the Sabbath is about the Rest of God. We _live in a Sabbath Rest because of the work of God._
Sahn, I hope this starts us in the right direction in our correspondence.