Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Faith or Observance of the Law/Traditions

Could the Law of the Old Testament be compared to traditions of today’s church? This thought came to me as I read the letter to the Galatians. It is an interesting comparison.
• Paul asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit by observing the law or by believing what you heard? (Gal. 3:2)” I would ask a similar question, “Do you receive the Holy Spirit by observing Christian traditions?”
• Paul said, “After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Gal. 3:3) As we work toward the goal I see so many decisions being made to continue the traditions of the past and thus neglecting the fresh wind of the Spirit for the future.
• Paul said that all who rely on the law are under a curse (Gal 3:10). I would say that those who are trapped in traditional Christianity are also cursed; not necessarily to hell but to a very legalistic version of faith.
• As the law is not opposed to God’s promises (Gal. 3:21) therefore neither do our traditions.
• Paul noted that the law held us prisoners until faith was revealed therefore the law helped lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:23 &24). “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law. (Gal. 3:25)” If the comparison can be made, traditions can hold us prisoners until we come to faith. Traditions can help lead us to Christ.

Perhaps I am bending this scripture too much but not so much that I am breaking it. The Law has its purpose but it also has its limitations. Like wise, traditions have their purpose but they have their limitation as well. We are not a people of just the Law or just of traditions. We are people of faith in Jesus Christ. The law is still apart of us as well as our traditions but must not let these determine who we are on what we do.

Bottom line, I think Paul was trying to make faith if Christ supreme in these verses. Like wise, I believe today’s Church needs to make faith in Christ supreme over the it’s traditions. The tradition are not wrong but they can be limiting.

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