Thursday: Law and Judgment
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(John 5:30)

Although God’s law is a law of mercy, God will eventually use it as the standard of judgment. God has continued to provide opportunities for sinners to repent and pledge loyalty to Him, but the hour is coming when the cry will go out, Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy (Rev. 22:11, NRSV). This announcement serves as a prelude to the final judgment.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

In Revelation 14:7 the first angel proclaims God’s judgment, though a number of other texts speak of Christ’s judgment (for example, Acts 17:31, 2 Tim. 4:1, 2 Cor. 5:10). How does John 5:30 help us understand the role of Jesus in judgment?

Although Christ had laid aside His Divine nature when He became human (Phil. 2:5-11), He still had a special relationship with the Father. When the religious leaders accused Him of blasphemy, He informed His accusers that God had given Him authority to fulfill specific divine tasks (John 5:19-30), one of which was judgment. The fact that Christ has been assigned the responsibility of judgment demonstrates the mercy of God. Because Christ has become one with the human race, He is in a position to judge impartially. Given His familiarity with the human experience, Christ would not condemn a person unjustly. In fact, Christ suggests that condemnation does not come from Him, but that the unrepentant sinner condemns himself when he refuses to heed the command of God (John 12:48).

Many are familiar with the content of God’s law but don’t know how to keep it. The law is not a check-list we use to see how close we are to the kingdom; instead, it is an instrument that expresses various principles of love. Fulfilling the law does not mean we obey it to gain personal favor with God, but it beckons each Christian to share the love of God with those who need it. As the standard of judgment, the law serves to measure the level of love that the individual has shared with God and humanity. When Christ presides over the final judgment, He will use God’s unchanging law of love as the standard by which to judge (James 2:12).

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Thursday: Law and Judgment — 17 Comments

  1. May God help us to love His law because it is a forewarning to help us stand on His principles till His advent.

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  2. The lesson states that when Christ became human, He laid aside His divine nature. It seems to me that this would completely do away with the entire purpose of the cross. Wasn't and hasn't the argument with Satan been how God uses His power? Didn't the demonstration of how He uses His power start with creating Sabbath? Wasn't one of the demonstrations not turning rocks into bread? I don't know about you, but I have never been tempted to turn rocks into bread. If Jesus laid aside his divine nature, (which by the way the proof text for this is not proof)how did the question of how he uses His power get answered at the cross?

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    • @ Larry; I'm confused with your statement, what are you saying? You took me down so many cross roads until I don't know where to start. If Christ did not lay down His divine nature, it would be another reason for Satan to point his fingers saying; "He is divine and cannot put Himself on OUR level, but thank God He did come in Human form in order to pave the path for the Salvation of Souls on The Cross. Futhermore, satan's argument of God using His powers was and continues to be his ploy of throwing dirt in the Savior's eye. Accusing Jesus of something he himself did by changing himself into a serpent while deceiving Eve and...etc. And the demonstration of His (Jesus') powers started before creating Sabbath; It started on the six (6))days of creation it self and there after which includes but not limited to turning rocks into bread which is something we will NEVER be able to do. In conclusion, Jesus could have at any given time, used His powers to avoid the Cross, but it was His desire to do the will of The Father and free us from the condemnation of the LAW which is something NO ONE ELSE COULD DO. In doing so, he proved satan to be the LIAR he is and ALWAYS WILL BE A LIAR, by resisting His God given Divine Powers.

      Like(6)
      • Because Christ has become one with the human race, He is in a position to judge impartially. This statement from the lesson suggests that God could not judge impartially. Which means they are not in agreement? I'm confused.

        Like(0)
      • Lisa, I could be wrong about what Larry said but as I read his comment it seemed to me that what he was saying is that Jesus didn’t discard His divinity but instead chose to lay aside His prerogatives to divinity. In other words Jesus constantly chose to place Himself under the direction, control, and power of the Father rather than using His own power. In that way He placed Himself on our level using nothing more than what we have available through the Holy Spirit.

        The incarnation of Jesus says that He was the unique God-man, 100% God and 100% man. Philippians 2 declares that Jesus took, “the form of a bondservant” (Phil 2:7 NKJV) and came, “in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7 NKJV) and was, “found in appearance as a man” (Phil 2:8 NKJV). Make no mistake about it Jesus was fully God but clothed with humanity. He never became man without also being God.

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    • Quote: "I don't know about you, but I have never been tempted to turn rocks into bread."
      Hi Larry. If I had spent 40 days in a desert without eating I would have been tempted to eat the rock as is.

      Like(1)
  3. I have thought about the whole idea of judgment and I wonder if as God told Samuel, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7 NKJV) then why is the judgment based on works (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:12-13) rather than the heart? After all as Jesus said, “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit (Mat 7:17-18 NKJV). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Mat 15:19-20 NKJV).

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    • Hi Tyler,I like your import about works.Works is an outward expression and implementation of an inward decision by the heart, so,the genesis of sin is in heart and intent.God's Judgment is based on all the faculties of human mindRemember, God is the only person who knows our intents, and, so,we should guard all the avenues of our souls lest we fall a prey to sin

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  4. No amount of works can save us. The Bible says that "By grace are ye saved; not of works, lest any man should boast." "All our righteousness is like filthy rags in God's sight." It is through the atoning blood of Christ that we are saved.

    Like(4)
    • But because we have a relationship with Jesus we obey the law and we do what he asked us to do in his words. Eccles 12:13-14. ....fear God and keep his commandments....for God shall bring every WORK into judgment,.... whether good or whether evil. Do you see how our work is being judged. Matt 25:31-46 spoke about the goat and the sheep being separated. That separation is being brought about due to good works. Remember; works comes together with faith. It is faith which moves us to work. Hebrews 11 tells us about people of faith, save by grace and who did good works. Can you see how the all come together.

      Like(1)
  5. Jesus saves. It's not rocket science our works is the evidence that we know Him and have accepted His grace.

    Like(0)
  6. Good topic. That he who will be ashamed of Son Man on earth here by not sharing the "love/the good message" about God and Christ, "even God will be ashamed of Him on last day.
    Pray for me n others so we can open our hearts...always n always for by our own power we can not!

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  7. Work's can't save us. But if we are truly God's children our attitudes and desires would be like GoD. The good tree will bear good fruit.

    Like(2)
  8. Jesus was by nature God in human flesh. So if he was fully human then he would like Adam have a guilty conscience because of original sin (you cannot get something clean out of something unclean.).

    Question: How then could Jesus be without sin?

    Answer: Because he had permission, being God, to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is sin in us is not sin in Jesus. This explains how Jesus can in the same way heal on the Sabbath Day and tell the lame man to take up his bed and walk. Jesus is the law giver so he is greater than the law and can overrule the law without sinning and pardon the lame man for doing 'work' on the Sabbath, because it was done to glorify God.

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