Law wasn’t God’s first choice: relationship was. But He did give us law (the law was “added,” Galatians 3:19 tells us), and it is the highest form of law there is. Do you suppose He has something to say about it?
Who is more trustworthy when it comes to law – an attorney … or the Creator, the Law-Giver Himself? Considering that the law that attorneys are expert about – attorney-made law (statutory) – is the lowest form of law, upon whom should we rely for the final word on law? Most attorneys, for example, cannot deal with common law, though it is a higher form of law than statutory law and is the form of law upon which America was founded. It is law for which they are not qualified, however, so they cannot deal with it. Likewise God’s law: unless it has been codified into statutory law, attorneys cannot deal with it. Yet, most people in a pinch will turn to an attorney first with their questions about law.
Wouldn’t it be a hoot, instead, to have lawyers who first are believers and who know and speak the language of God’s law? What if we could go to church and find God’s law taught there in such a way as to educate both Christian lawyers and legal laymen in what God has to say about law?
Being as the church is an existing venue, a mostly-respected institution of long standing with a ready-made platform for oratory and teaching pretty much immune from outside interference, can there be a much better place to go to learn about God’s law? Who’s going to object? An attorney who is not qualified to speak to God’s law but who must nonetheless acknowledge that it is the highest law? After all, when judges are sworn in, do they place their hands upon a statutory law book … or a Bible?
God’s people are hungry to know the law, even without knowing specifically that they are. Paul used the law when he appealed to Caesar, a law superior that that which bound him at the time. Romans 13:1 instructs us to choose the HIGHER law, which means that it is incumbent upon us to know which law that is and how to access it. Imagine all of the scenarios in which knowing that they have access to the highest form of law, and knowing how to access it, could be most helpful to God’s people!
A venue that is established with the purpose of teaching God’s Word has the responsibility to teach the WHOLE COUNSEL (Acts 20:27) of God’s Word, which certainly includes complete coverage of God’s teaching on law. The first five books of the Bible – the Pentateuch – are called, after all, the Books of the Law.
Should we be satisfied instead with steady false indoctrination that what the Good Book teaches is for us to simply submit to any and all forms of “authority,” especially when that idea is clearly contrary to scripture itself? Should we simply submit ourselves to an institution that claims to speak with the authority of God when the authoritative source of that supposed authority makes no such grant of authority to it?
The practical relevance of the church is dwindling – attendance is down, giving is down, pastors quitting, church doors closing. But what if the church were to expand its horizons just a bit to take in more teaching of the Word of God in ways that would make it more relevant to the people it seeks to reach – teaching beyond the denominationally-produced Sunday School quarterlies or seminarian staples … giving more than just a fire-escape salvation message?
Teach the law.
This teaching cannot be seminary driven, at least not initially, for if the seminaries had an effective model they’d be using it now. Nor can it arise from typical lawyers and bar associations, for they are representative of and the source of the weaknesses in the law for which a resurgence of understanding of God’s law, the highest law, is needed.
Neither can this additional teaching be simply overlaid upon the Sunday liturgy, for it, too, is problematic in that it is mostly extra-biblical. But, rather, the facilities of the church could be used on a different weekday or evening, making the church far more relevant as an institution for teaching the Word of God in ways that are practical, effective and much needed by God’s people, the ecclesia.
There is no scriptural record that the early ecclesia met together just on Sunday. Acts clearly states that they met together DAILY, from house to house. If church is a one-day a week religious activity, as it typically is, it misses out on so much of what God has for us. One day a week set aside for studying law can help remedy that.
And yet there is more …