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Ephesians 5:13 (ESV) – But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible…
It may seem that what Paul wrote in this verse is blindingly obvious (no pun intended). And, I suppose, in a way that is true. Things that aren’t exposed to light are in utter darkness and you can’t see them. You can’t see their shape, size, utility nor if they are alive or inanimate.
We need light not only for visibility, but also for life. Popular Science says that if the sun were to disappear, the earth would drop to zero degrees Farenheit within a week, and within a year, to 100 degrees.
The Bible has a lot to say about light and our need for it. But here’s a thought that you may not have considered in this age of anti-nomianism (anti-law): we tend to think of the old Law of Moses as being a bad thing, a useless thing that could do nothing to save us. And that is true. But that doesn’t mean the law wasn’t good. Jesus was very clear about that – that not even a single period at the end of a commandment would ever be done away with. He said he’d come not to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it.
So, how precisely does the Law work? Romans 5:12-14 is a difficult passage where it seems that Paul is saying that without the Law, there was no condemnation. He’s clear that death comes as a result of sin which is a breaking of the law. Yet, even before Moses’ law was given, death reigned. Why? Because of the law of right and wrong that was written on humanity’s heart, even before the giving of Moses’ Law. That’s why those before Moses died.
But is the knowledge that is written on our hearts all we need? No, because not all hearts are equally sensitive or yielded to it. That’s where Moses’ Law came into play. It defined sin for what it is.
This past Sunday, the preacher used the illustration of light to explain it. You’ve seen beams of light pouring through a window many times. And when you do, what do you see? You see small particles of dust floating in the air, moving, dancing, shifting. You wouldn’t know they were there without the sunlight. And that sunlight is like the Law…it reveals truth to us about ourselves in places that we would not otherwise see.
So rather than throwing out the moral law portions of Moses’ Law, we would do well to study them diligently, and let the Light reveal to us where things are wrong and where we need to change.
What is the Law saying to you? Are you still listening to it? Or have you thrown it out totally in a headlong rush to embrace grace? If so, I’d encourage you to reconsider because if Jesus said it will never pass away, we’d better pay attention to it and learn from it! It will never save us, but it can teach us.
PRAYER: Join our hearts with that of your servant David, Lord, who said, “I love Your law” (Ps. 119:97)! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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