#DailyDevotion The Good News Of The Glory Of God, The Blessed Lives Through Us
1 Tim.15The goal of our instruction is love flowing from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith. 6Certain people have failed to find this and have turned to silly talk. 7They want to be teachers of the Law but don’t understand what they say or the things they so confidently express. 8But we know the Law is good if it is used as it was meant to be used, 9if we keep in mind that the Law is not meant for a righteous man but for those who break the Law and rebel against it, the ungodly and sinners, those who live unholy lives and insult holy things, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, 10men who sin sexually with women or with other men, kidnappers, those who lie or swear to lies — and anything else that is contrary to sound teaching. 11This is according to the good news of the glory of God, the Blessed, that was entrusted to me.
Paul had been instructing the leaders of the church. The goal of his instruction is love flowing from a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith. You see, that is the result of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we have been confronted with the law so that it crushes our hearts and we hear the free forgiveness that Christ won for us from God, how he had died and rose again because of the love of God toward us, then faith is created in us, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us and Christ begins to live through us. Christ indwelling brings about his love dominating our lives. Our baptism into Christ gives us a clear conscience before God for our sins have been buried with Christ Jesus. The works we do flow from a sincere faith, i.e. a faith that believes we are God’s children by grace, a free gift of God.
Yet, even in Paul’s day, even among those he had taught and those who were taught by them, there were people who had failed to find this heart, conscience and faith. Jesus, his teachings, his salvific work aren’t enough. They were busing themselves with myths, speculations about genealogies and not understanding the Torah. They were turning Christianity on its head. No doubt they were among the Judaizers of his day. Later some of these would probably be among the Ebionites. We have people like this among us to this day.
Now Paul reminds us the Law is good when used appropriately. The law is not meant for people walking according to a pure heart, a good conscience and an sincere faith. Such people live in the law of Christ and the Holy Spirit has written the Law on their hearts (Jer. 31:31) and they just do what they are supposed to do. Paul says the Law is meant for law-breakers. It is meant for those who do not live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then lists off a number of sins but that list is not exclusive.
Now it is true, because we still live in the sinful flesh, the flesh wants to gain an upper hand on the Spirit that has been given us. It only and always wants to sin and rebel against the will of God. When we let sin in us get the upper hand, either by not being watchful, keeping our hearts and minds focused on what Jesus has done for us or perhaps we simply weren’t thinking at all, then we too need to hear the Law to crush that old man. The Law will then instruct us into the perfect will of God and put to death the old Adam living in us.
Having been crushed by the Law we need to return to our baptism. Paul tells us our baptism into Christ gives us a clear conscience and our sins buried with Christ. The Law of God does its job and the Gospel, the good news of the Glory of God, the Blessed, does its job. The glory of God, the Blessed is Jesus Christ upon the cross. There God’s justice is met as sins are atoned for. There upon the cross God’s wrath for our sins is assuaged. There, as the collect of the Church says, the chief glory of God is shown in being merciful to us. Jesus is that Blessed, the Glory of God. He takes away our false religion and beliefs and replaces them with himself.
Heavenly Father, fulfill the New Covenant in us, that your Law may be written on our hearts and we may live a life with pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith, to the glory of your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.