'Blessed are those...who walk according to the law of the Lord.'
I love this Psalm because it's is a love song to God's law. When the Psalmist penned these words it was from a joy filled heart of wonderment that stemmed from a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Hear what the Psalmist says, 'with my whole heart I have sought You...' Psalm 119:10. The Psalmist had such a love for God that keeping His law was simply a reflection of the reverential awe he had for his Creator; he had intimacy with God.
A question that comes up from time to time among Christians is this: Are we supposed to keep a set of rules in our relationship with God? Well, from what I can see in scripture there is definitely a place for keeping a moral code as we pursue a relationship with our Creator.
It would help at this point to view God's law as a safety fence. Imagine for a moment children playing near a cliff edge without a fence. They would be in grave danger of falling over that edge, however, if there was fence there you could relax a little knowing that your children are safe.
God's law (moral code) is like a fence that protects us as we do life in a world full of sin and temptation. If we jump over that fence then only certain danger awaits us. If we're fortunate enough to survive and come back to the right side of the fence we would say, like the Psalmist, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word," Psalm 119:67.
We should also realise that God's law is not only a safety fence but also a mirror that reveals to us that we can't live up to these moral standards without His help. It is only when we comprehend God's love for us that we are willing to stay on the right side of the fence.
The ten commandments begin with: 'I am the Lord your God,' then goes on to list all the do's and don'ts. In the new covenant Jesus fulfilled the law and said,"Love the Lord your God with all you heart...and love you neighbour as yourself," Matthew 22:37-39.
Scripture, therefore, clearly teaches that with God it's relationship first, followed by the rules that govern it. So then, the Christian life is not a question of whether it's just relationship or just keeping rules. Those who say it's only relationship ignore the rules and are in danger of ruin, and those who say it's all rules miss intimacy with God altogether.
You could sum it all up with just one statement: A relationship with God is based on Morality because of Intimacy with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you truly understand this, you'll trust God no matter what He asks of you.
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