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Theology Thursday: The Law

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
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April 6, 2023 1:34 pm

Theology Thursday: The Law

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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April 6, 2023 1:34 pm

Theology Thursday: The Law

Steve talks to Dr. Ken Casillas from BJU Seminary about the Ten Commandments and how they correlate too today.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. I was thinking about starting today's Theology Thursday with some really intense, dark music that would make you think that fire and brimstone would be falling from the sky in the midst of the Theology Thursday discussion today, but I decided to lighten it up and not be so intense. But this is an intense topic. It's one today on Theology Thursday that a lot of Christians kind of don't always know what to do with it, and oftentimes people outside of the church will use this topic to attack the church and to attack individual Christians assuming that they have the high ground, the moral high ground even, to come after us on some things that they can find in the Bible that in the 21st century world seem barbaric and uncivilized. And that, of course, when we crack open this can of worms, we're talking about the law, the Old Testament law, which is, yes, of course, the Ten Commandments, but a lot more than that.

You get into the hundreds when you start adding it up correctly and different aspects of the law. So what do we do? Well, hey, Steve, we're New Testament Christians, man. We're under the New Covenant, so that old covenant stuff. Just leave that half of your Bible closed.

You don't need to go back there. And that's why a lot of people, quite frankly, excuse me, don't study the Old Testament. They think it's just fire, brimstone and law. And that's why, you know, you're not spending a lot of time in Leviticus.

You're probably not spending a lot of time in Numbers and Deuteronomy. That's so then. And this is now. Well, the law is still in many ways still at play.

It's still a significant factor. What do we do with it? What does it mean that we're not under the law while the law still remains important? And so it's a great privilege today and an honor to have Dr. Ken Casillas back with us, who this is really the center of his wheelhouse in terms of teaching at BJU Seminary and dealing with the Old Testament. And by the way, Ken, thanks for being here again. I'd love to get a copy of your book, Law and the Christian, God's Light Within God's Limits. Sure thing. I'll be glad to send it to you.

Yeah, I'd love to get that. And this is a great topic, but it's one I think that, you know, there's some things I think that we get right here and kind of understand like that when I said it almost sarcastically, you know, that was so then, this is now. I think we have a general understanding. But why is this an important topic, especially today in the 21st century, don't we think? Everything in the Old Testament is kind of, well, that was back then, doesn't matter anymore. Well, I would say on a basic level, it's because it's a huge part of the Bible we believe to be the Word of God. And when, for example, Paul says that all scripture is given by inspiration and it's profitable. When you look in that context, he's actually talking specifically about the Old Testament and the law, the Torah, the first five books, a lot of which is laws, is the foundation of the Old Testament scripture. And so the New Testament actually assumes that foundation, assumes that we're working from it and with it. And so if we believe the whole canon to be God's Word, we've got to appreciate it for that point.

But beyond that, we live in a world that is just floating in terms of any kind of framework for making ethical decisions. And this part of scripture especially is rich in truth that the Lord designs to use to help us really analyze right and wrong. Which oftentimes, in analyzing right and wrong, which is why the culture doesn't like us much.

As soon as you identify, we're all about identifying, right, these days. So as soon as you identify yourself as a Christian, it's interesting, especially in America, in much of the Western world, but especially here in America, people have enough understanding of that, that they're quick to be offended. Because if you say you're a Christian, oh, okay, well, then your operating manual is the Bible. And the Bible is full of all kinds of antiquated statements about what is right and wrong. And so naturally, because we don't want to bow the knee to anybody, there's just pushback immediately because you represent a plumb line that is non-negotiable.

And it's just always been fascinating to me, Ken, that the average American kind of thinks that way. Because it's kind of baked into the cake here after 400 years of history, it's kind of part of the deal. I want to start, before we get into the fact like we're not under the law, what do we deal with that? Why was the law there? Like what was God up to?

Why so many? What was the purpose of the law in the first place? Well, there actually would be more than one purpose. On one level, when it was given historically, it was there as what we would call the constitution and the law code for one specific nation. And God chose Israel as his special people on earth. And just like any nation needs to have a set of laws and some kind of agreed upon basis for their society, this was it. This was given by God.

So it had that historical purpose. But what you also want to see is that when the New Testament starts to discuss it, it brings out another point, and that is that there is this role where whenever people are exposed to God's requirements, and specifically when it's in such detail as the Old Testament law, we end up realizing that we can't keep it. And that if we are basing our sense of righteousness before God on the basis of obeying all these things perfectly, we're doomed, we're hopeless. And so another part of the law's purpose was to show us that. You can study, especially Romans chapter five and six, Galatians chapter three, and they really hammer this point that the law was designed to bring out the idea of a trespass. It gives you certain rules and it makes it very clear so that it's incontrovertible. You have actually crossed the line here.

You have not kept this. And it's not because God wanted to just humiliate us and cause us to live in guilt forever, but that was designed as sort of a holding tank till Christ came and made clear and worked out through his death on the cross that our salvation, our righteousness is through him, not through our own performance. So those are some of the purposes, two of the main purposes of the law. Yeah, sometimes it reminds me, I don't know if you have any streets or roads like this down in Greenville, South Carolina, but up here in Raleigh, there's a few areas. There's one in particular that I use three days a week when I'm transversing from my house down to another place in town where I teach some of my classes and they have that stupid machine on the side of the road that shows you your speed limit, which I think is from the pit of hell. It smells like smoke, but it's so you're faced with the fact there's the speed limit sign 35 and then that thing clocks me 42 and then I realize 42 is greater than 35 and that's a problem.

I violated the law. So interesting that we're both ending up at the same place. I just use kind of a silly present example. We'll be right back.

It's like the speed limit line sign, yeah, but. Perfect example right there. Welcome back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary. Dr. Ken Casillas is back with us and we're in his wheelhouse here when we're talking about the Old Testament and especially the Old Testament law. But what would the Old Testament law say about the fact that your favorite Christian talk radio show host just utilized a secular song to start a segment of Theology Thursday?

Because I guarantee you there's a few people out there that are like, huh, Steve, I've got a major problem with that. OK, you want to drop the law on me. Should you?

Is that the right thing to do? I mean, what's the deal with that? So oftentimes we struggle to really understand the purpose of the law and then the application of the law especially. We're going to talk about the application of the law to our lives in the second half of the show. But we're still working through just kind of our general understanding. Ken's here with us.

And again, Ken, thank you so much for your time. And we were talking about the purpose of the law. You mentioned like the Constitution, God set apart these chosen people and like any other nation, like our nation or any other nation, you have a certain set of laws that applies to your nation. So that's kind of a this is what the nation is going to look like.

And the only way you can define that is to have like a constitution. There's that. Then there's the mirror. So you're mentioning that obnoxious machine that some police officers and cities will use. They'll set it on the side of the road. And it's basically going to tell you how fast you're going. It's always conveniently located right by the speed limit sign.

So you can compare, oops, I'm going 42 and a 35. So the law also makes you aware of your sin. And then you also mentioned Deuteronomy as well. So help us understand that so we can make sure we understand the purpose of the law.

Yeah. So I'm going to read here from Deuteronomy chapter four and Moses is following up on some things he said about God's laws. And he tells them that if they will do this, it will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who, when they hear all these statutes, they will say, surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

And he goes on to say that they'll ask what great nation is there that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today. And the vision that was there was that Israel would be a beacon of righteousness in the world and that the nations of the world would be drawn to God as they observed how well ordered, how wisely worked out, how just the society was. But what that implies is that there was something in those laws for them, for the nations. In other words, it's not just for Israel. It's to be a testimony of the wisdom and righteousness of God so that those laws are to inform those other nations beyond Israel, how they were supposed to live their life, what works best in the world as God created, what he thought about their lifestyle. And so you can think of those three purposes.

There's the sort of original national purpose for Israel. There is the redemptive or soteriological issue where, and Paul really hits this one hard, it makes us aware of our sins so that we're ready for Christ. Right. Otherwise, why do I need a savior? Exactly.

And so then number three, there's this sort of testimonial aspect where it's revealing to people something of the righteousness of God and that has relevance for them. And the way I like to illustrate that is to go back to the idea of a constitution, right? Let's say that you got into a lot of money and you bought some island out in the Pacific and you said, you know, I'm done with all the problems in my country, I'm going to start a whole new country here. I'm with you so far. Okay. Okay. But you've got to organize it somehow, right? You've got to set it up, structure it, government laws and whatnot. I'm going to imagine that you're going to import quite a bit from the US constitution.

Agreed. Now there may be some things in there that are either ambiguous or outdated or not relevant for your new culture. So you're going to sift through and make some distinctions, but a lot of it, at least in terms of the principles, are going to carry over into this new situation. And that I think is how the New Testament approaches the law. We are under a different covenant. We are Gentiles. We are not a nation. There are new things going on in this age, but there's still a huge amount of carry over in terms of the ethical patterns and principles that the Lord is instructing us through the law to flesh out in our situation today.

Yeah. And that's why it's to our peril when we kind of take what the scripture teaches us that we're, quote unquote, not under the law, but that doesn't, to borrow from Thomas Jefferson, a massively misapplied statement that doesn't set up a wall of separation between a New Testament Christian and the Old Testament law. So what does that mean that we're not under the law? Well it is not our, I put it this way, it's not our covenantal authority, okay? God is operating under a new structure today. We would connect that with the new covenant. We would talk about the church. We would say that our primary document would be the New Testament.

And so we recognize that, I don't want to minimize that at all. We're not under the law in the sense that it's not the, the overall structure is not the thing that God's using to rule over us and to guide us. But that doesn't mean it doesn't instruct us. And it continues to have bearing for various reasons, but at the very least it's because it's the same God who gave it. And in terms of basic ethical teachings, God doesn't change.

How do we then determine what things to bring forward and apply versus things to leave behind? For example, homosexuality is always kind of a hot button issue when you start talking about this. The Old Testament is unambiguous when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. We carry that into the present day. We all know that that's a sinful behavior, sinful thoughts.

But I'm pretty sure neither you nor I are checking other people's wardrobes for mixed fabric shirts. So we kind of left that one in the past. Like I'm not going to go hang, even though I ate lunch yesterday with Pastor Stephen Davy, as a matter of fact, at Shepherd's at Red Lobster, I didn't then stalk outside afterwards, try to figure out who had shellfish for lunch and then stoned them to death when they walked out. So exactly so. So how do we kind of how do we deal with that? The things we leave behind and the things that, quote unquote, still apply today? Yeah. Well, I mean, that is the crux of the matter.

I think in principle, most Christians anyway would agree with what I said earlier. But we get into the complications when we then say, OK, what are these transcendent ethical principles? What carries over?

What stays behind? And different theologians have different emphases or methods to to to answer that question. So one of the traditional ones is to say, OK, we can divide the law into three categories. There are some things that are inherently moral. There are some things that are civil in that they had to do with Israel as a nation. And there are some things that are ceremonial that has to do with their worship.

The ceremonial ones, we would say that has been done away with because that was all about prophesying about Jesus. So we're not going to offer sacrifices. We're not going to have priests and that kind of thing. The civil law, they would say we're not the same nation.

We live in a different culture. There may be things we learn from that, but we're not going to impose that over to today, especially when it gets down to the weeds of actual penalties for disobeying this. So even though we might make a case against homosexuality, we're not going to do a sort of a tit for tat comparison to governments today and say that people who commit that sin need to be executed.

That's not a capital punishment. But then the moral, they would say, that's what we need to primarily hang on to. And they're going to define that largely in terms of the Ten Commandments.

Yep. So hold your thought there. We're going to pick it up there and then we're going to talk about applying. We're going to continue to talk about that.

Well, if there's one word. Welcome back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show, Theology Thursday, as it is every week with our friends at BJU Seminary down in the beautiful Greenville, South Carolina. And by the way, there's all kinds of resources available to you from our friends at BJU. And so whether you're talking about the seminary, BJU Seminary, of course, Bob Jones University itself. But over the last almost two years now that we've been doing radio together, most of the time there's actually a blog post that goes along with the show.

It's not true today, although I do have a great document from Dr. Ken Casillas that I'm going to put up on Rumble and Facebook on the live video parts that we post today. That's just a great outline of kind of walking through this conversation about the law and discerning the application of individual Old Testament laws. Like what do we do with it?

We're not under it, but we don't jettison it. But there's all kinds of other resources there. You can get to a lot of other things at the seminary as well as the university. So we have a special landing page for those of you on the radio and that watch on Rumble and Facebook.

It's just seminary.bju.edu backslash radio seminary.bju.edu backslash radio. And you can literally go back in time. There's so many great and there's the calendar there all the way back to September of 2021.

There's just so much great content there. When people ask me why I do Theology Thursday, I'm like, hey, when I can get access to some of the greatest Christian thinkers and that level of wisdom at the seminary level and bring that to the rest of us, 99% of us will never step foot on a seminary campus, man, I would be a fool not to do that. And I would, I would consider a dereliction of duty. So it's a great privilege to do it every Thursday. I benefited from my, for myself and my walk with the Lord. So it really is a great opportunity because the most of you listening to me right now are never going to seminary.

That doesn't mean you can't get access to seminary level teaching, which is what we do every Thursday. So just a little side note there, but again, Ken, thanks so much for your time to be with us today. It's really a great topic. Good to be here. So we were talking on the break and people on the radio and on the break, we're still having a sidebar conversation.

That's Facebook and rumble. So if you want to join that, you've got to jump over there on the video, but just kind of discussing the role of the law. And one of the things that I really appreciated that you said earlier, it's just this testimonial aspect and the notion of, and I was mentioning to you, Ken, and I'm sure you run into this with seminary students as well, when you go, hey, God's just not arbitrarily throwing something out there just to make you look different and act different. The law is actually good for anybody that tries it.

It works every time, not necessarily immediately, but it's good. That's why you mentioned the Old Testament continually is like, so it will go well with you. God actually does love us. He does care about us. And just like a good parent, he's saying, yeah, do this.

This will be good for you. Don't do that, Steve. That's a bad idea, right? I mean, it's care and it's love, even though we tend to make the law seem like anything but. Yeah, I think we have such a negative perception of it, whether it's, you know, the laws of our country or the Old Testament law.

And this is part of what the Lord is doing is to show us our heart and cause us to repent, turn to Christ, be justified through him. But on the other side of that, the law is not a bad thing. I mean, you think about some of the statements in the psalms where David talks about, I love the law. I delight in the law.

Well, why is that? It's not that he's kind of obsessed in some kind of weird way, but he sees the wisdom of it, that this is designed to protect him, keep him from making mistakes, keep him from the path of destruction. And he's like, hey, God loves me and he's given this to me for my own good that that really is the attitude. Yeah, which is a beautiful thought, it reminds me as a parent and now a grandparent. You know, when you're really young, you just kind of see your parents' law as negative. But then you get older and all of us, I think, can come into this deep appreciation for our parents and how they protected for, they protected us, they provided for us, and that they actually knew what they were talking about. I was amazed between the ages of 21 and 30, how much my parents learned. 30, I'm like, wow, you guys are, there's a lot of wisdom there. What happened in the last 10 years?

They didn't change. I just started to mature. Let's go to a book that a lot of people don't want to go to, Leviticus, because we were talking about the moral law and I know you wanted to pull something out of there to help us. So let's jump into that book that for a lot of people is like, I don't want to go there.

Okay. So I had talked about moral civil ceremonial, right? And I'm not going to go so far as to say that that's some kind of heresy or something like that, but it's not really the method I prefer because the Bible also teaches that the law is a unit. It all hangs together, that it all reflects the character of God, that if you've broken one, you've in principle broken them all. And so we want to find a way to approach this to where, yes, we're going to have to make some distinctions, but we don't want to foist on any law, our own made up framework.

And so the approach I'm giving here is a little bit broader than that. It's a matter of looking at a law and asking questions about that law that reflect the kinds of things we find in the New Testament when individual laws are discussed. And so maybe I just read the questions here and then we can probe them one by one and some of it has to do with Leviticus. So the first is, what were the nature and the purpose of the law in the first place? Like why did God give that to them? There had to be a reason.

Can I figure that out? Number two, is there any reason to conclude that the law applies to me directly? In other words, where this is just like on the surface, a universal moral statement. Number three, kind of on the other side, was the law tied so tightly to national Israel's role or culture that, yes, it applies to me, but it's not that I just lifted and just feel like I have to do this directly.

There's a more indirect application. Number four, how did the teaching and work of Christ affect the application of the law? So is there anything in the New Testament that sheds light on it? Number five, what does the law teach about the character of God? Six, how does the law relate to creational norms? And then seven, what does the law teach about love for God and neighbor?

So I could look at basically, for all of these, New Testament verses that are kind of suggesting that this is the kind of question to ask. Yeah, because there's underlying principles in the law that we should be aware of. Exactly.

And we should be applying. Exactly. And that's the indirect versus direct. Like you mentioned in the outline, which I'll put online here in a little bit, like in Leviticus 18, 24 to 25, which is a great verse, do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these things, the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean so that I punished its iniquity and the land vomited out its inhabitants. And you read that and go, oh, yeah, the Old Testament, I don't really have to understand that.

But should we? Well, the point is, God is putting these things off limits for Israel. But what that says is, all right, this is under the point about something in the context that might give me some idea that this has a broader relevance. He's saying, look, that the nations, the other nations did this.

In other words, they're bound to do the same things as far as I'm concerned. They have violated it. They've reached a point of no return. It's time for their judgment. So that tells me that the laws that he's referring to, which homosexuality is one of the big ones in this chapter, are not matters of, you know, some kind of ceremonial issue or some kind of highly Israelite issue. These are broad moral requirements. And so that is a good example of where in the context of the law, there can be clues that right off the bat tell me there's something pretty direct here in terms of broader relevance beyond the nation of Israel.

Yeah. And then when you understand that, you start looking in the Old Testament and you go, OK, if a culture starts to normalize this thing, that thing, the other thing, then there's a way that seems right to man and in the end, it leads to destruction. And that's what happens every single time.

We see it happening in America. You don't have to stray out of Romans Chapter 1 and just a decent understanding of the law to see why America is going down the road it's going down. There's just natural consequences for getting outside of God's law. Right.

Yeah. And there's a lot in the Old Testament about the nations. I mean, not just in a passage like this, but you've got whole sections of the prophetic books that are saying, hey, it's the times that time's up for Egypt.

Syria has crossed the line. Babylon is facing its judgment. God holds nations accountable, not just Israel. And there's some overlap between what he is holding them accountable to and what's revealed in the law of Israel. Things that have to do with idolatry, immorality, oppression, pride, all this kind of thing that was taught in the law. Yeah.

A lot of those principles are the basis of his judgment of these other nations. I'm going to I'm going to pick a couple of things out here. We're going to hit the break here in about a minute and a half.

But let me set this one up real quick and you can start and then we'll finish on the other side. Back to number four. The teachings and work of Christ affect the application of the law. Let's look at the example from Mark seven, which is unclean foods, because we're like, OK, I remember reading that somewhere. And then all of a sudden, Jesus in Mark seven, 18 and 19, brings up unclean foods and he's referencing the Old Testament.

Of course, that's all they all he had to reference at the time. But what do we do with that? Because Jesus brings it up. I mean, obviously, there's something there for us, right? So he's talking to the to the Pharisees about how they were so obsessed with those kinds of laws, even adding a bunch of stuff to it to make sure you would even come close to disobeying these laws of cleanness and uncleanness. And he says, don't you realize that?

Yes, that had a purpose at the time. But the real issue is what's going on inside of you, not something physical that you touch or eat, but spiritual, that the source of sin is actually from your heart is such a powerful point will be. Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BJ Seminary. I will not be in here tomorrow going to be enjoying Good Friday, of course. So I hope you do the same.

I won't be in here tomorrow, but I'll be back on Monday. And hopefully we will all not allow this weekend to be just another Easter. I know there's things that we all do and meals and things like that, but really to go back to to our own salvation and more importantly, the source of our salvation, what a great opportunity to do that, just like the incarnation at Christmas time. So let's let's all do what we can to draw near the Lord and have a deeper, more meaningful understanding of what Easter is all about. But today we're talking about the law, which you could factor without the law.

You don't need a savior, right? You're not violating anything. And so the law really starts to show up in every aspect of the Christian life.

How do we do that? Well, that's why we're just happy to have Dr. Ken Casillas back in with us today on Theology Thursday, discerning the application of individual Old Testament laws and starting with what were the nature? What's the purpose of law in the first place?

So it's really been a great conversation. You mentioned when we were working through these seven different points, Ken, number six was how does the law relate to creational norms? That sounds a little seminarian to me, so I want to make sure we all understand what are creational norms and how does the law relate to that? It's a very important part of this topic.

Yeah. So that is just talking about the structure and design of the world as God made it. How he created it to function so that it would glorify him. What the purpose is of different aspects of creation, how it's designed, how it's supposed to be used.

There are things that are just embedded in the very nature of things. And these Old Testament laws are kind of articulating in terms of rules, dos and don'ts, truths that reflect, that correspond to the way things actually are as God created them. So one of the easy examples I have here is that if God created man in his own image, there is such inherent worth value to human beings, then that automatically rules out murder. And actually before the law was around, Genesis 9 6 made that connection. It says, don't murder because you're actually going after something that was created to reflect God. So that's a creational norm that would be violated by murder.

And so it's not a surprise that in the 10 commandments, it actually just comes out and says, thou shalt not murder. But I would say some of this discussion about homosexuality as well, we could get hung up on maybe some of the context in the law where homosexuality is prohibited and maybe make distinctions there, like trying to get out from under that regulation. But we have to say, even if we're not going to obey those laws just because they're in the Old Testament legal code, is there not something there that transcends the Old Testament law and that coheres with the creational norm? Well, as far as marriage is concerned, as far as sexuality is concerned, God defined that at creation, right?

In terms of one man, one woman, and the sexual relationship being a blessing to be enjoyed only in that context. So again, it's not a surprise that over here in the law, homosexuality and other sexual perversions are ruled out because they don't cohere. So we're looking for this consistency across the canon. And of course, the New Testament is just going to say the same sort of thing, it's just going to continue along those lines. So when you see something that is consistent across the canon that relates to the way things actually created them, then that is telling you that the statement in the law is a part of this argument and you need to accept it as part of expressing God's will. Yeah, and these creational norms in my ethics class, that's what I got my master's degree and that's one of the classes that I teach for high school age students, mostly homeschoolers. Going back to that, just like the sanctity of human life, because we're made in the image of God, goes into a whole lot of subjects beyond just abortion, because if the human being is special and unique because we were created in the image of God, that's got all kinds of ethical implications in all kinds of arenas. Then a creational norm being a man and a woman. For procreation, for marriage, sexual ethics, and then that creates a norm and everything outside of that. That's why it's interesting in the Old Testament that that are in the Bible, that homosexuality in and of itself is one of the few times where you see it described as unnatural, right? Meaning outside the created norm. And when you get outside the created norm, you're going to have problems. So setting aside what most people might think about in terms of homosexuality, go look at the fruit of that lifestyle. Same thing as like polygamy, which is reported in the Old Testament, but obviously never endorsed, never where you find it, you find a train wreck. But if you go study, you can do this on the Centers for Disease Control website.

I've done it. I've got about a 15-page document that I just went hours on the CDC website and pulled out all the data of now CDC gets away from the use of homosexuality. They call it MSM, men having sex with men. And then they go down the physical ramifications, the psychological ramifications, STDs, violence, drug use, alcohol use, all kinds of stuff. And it is not pretty. And when you go down that road, for me, it humanized people that are in that world. And I'm thinking, wow, look at, look, and back to Romans 1, look at what they're bringing upon themselves because they've stepped outside of this creational norm. And it's not funny.

And I don't jump up and down on it. It's heartbreaking. Right.

And if it's heartbreaking to me, a sinner, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is to God. Yeah. And that's where, go ahead. You could just think of creational norms in terms of you're using something for a purpose that it was not created to do. So like I have a, if I have a laptop here, if I go home and my wife wants me to hang up a picture, I'm not going to use a laptop as a hammer. Right. That's not what it's for. And its qualities are not, don't correspond to that job.

And you're going to harm the laptop in the process. Exactly. And so we have to operate within the purpose and design of things that's got created.

Yeah. And when you don't, there's a consequence to be paid temporally in the here and the now and eternally outside of Christ. Let's jump to point seven.

I always love to kind of factor this in, in terms of like a show. When I talk about politics and all kinds of stuff, number seven, simply ask, what does the law teach about love for God and neighbor? Right. And then they're trying to trick Jesus to get him to rank everything. You know, that's the greatest commandment. Well, I love the Lord your God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. So when I tell my ethics students, the whole, the epicenter of ethics is love.

They're usually like, what? Yeah. But let's, let's deal with that one. What does the law teach about love for God and neighbor? So that's a big point, the new Testament makes, I mean, Paul says, love is the fulfillment of the law. And if we would just devote ourselves to love, we would find that we end up doing these things, whether or not we're consciously thinking about some rule that has to do with it.

Right. But, but I think of, for example, a law in Deuteronomy 22 eight. And it says that in that culture, as they build a house, they're supposed to put a little fence called a parapet around the borders of the roof of the house. And that's, that's because they were flat roofs. People would go up there at night and, uh, become a social gathering.

The fence is there to protect people from falling off. Now, we don't have houses like that. We don't, we don't have to obey that rule. It's just totally inapplicable. If you have a roof that looks like this, right? Right.

But, but what's the point? Because God says, if somebody is on your property, you have a certain amount of responsibility to protect them. That's how love for neighbor, what it looks like in that case. And so with that illustration in mind, I've got to be conscious of the things I own and the people that are on my property.

What reasonable measures can I take to show them love by protecting them? And it's going to look different depending on the culture, depending on the situation. But that's an example of where love is driving this. Yeah, which is great because, and that's why we have building codes.

So like in North Carolina, if you have a, if your deck is a certain, or even if your porch is a certain amount of inches or feet off the ground, by law, you have to have a railing. Exactly. And you go, okay, what does that have to do with my life as a Christian? Well, because you're supposed to love your neighbor as yourself. Right.

So there becomes this very practical application. You mentioned in that point, number seven, which I just wanted to ask you about it real quick. The prohibition of muzzling the ox. Right. There's another one.

Now people, their eyes are glossing over on that one. So yeah, this animal's working to harvest your field. You're not supposed to cover its mouth so that it can eat some of what it's harvesting. And what is the principle of love there? I mean, in that case, you're showing love even for your animal. But it speaks of a bigger point that God is concerned that whomever or whatever works for you, you have an obligation to compensate them in an equitable way.

And that's how love is shown. And Paul takes that law and he applies it to a totally different situation. In 1 Corinthians 9, he's actually talking about compensating pastors at that point. And he could have defended that point from a lot of places, but he chooses to go to this kind of random law about animals. And he's like, look, if God is even concerned that people show compassion, love to their animal, surely he would require you and expect you to compensate those who are investing in your life spiritually. Yeah, it's such an important point and just reminds me again, I think a lot of us with respect to evangelism, talking to outsiders about the faith. We stay away from the L word, we stay away from the law, but the L word is also bathed in love.

God loves you and he's trying to help you live a life that allows for human flourishing, for your own flourishing and the people around you. And who's going to have a problem with that guy? Right. Well, nobody. So don't be afraid of the law because the law is bathed in the love of God. Such a great point. You can see these points up on Facebook and rumble here in just a minute, discerning the application of individual Old Testament laws.

What's the role of the law in our life? Dr. Ken Casillas, BJU Seminary. Always great to have you. Thank you so much.

It was such a worthwhile conversation. I appreciate your time and your leadership. Great. Thank you.

You're very welcome. Hold right there. We'll pray together in just a second. Have a great Good Friday, a great Easter. He is risen. He is risen indeed. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. Like my dad always used to say, ever for another program powered by the truth network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 15:15:38 / 2023-04-07 15:32:18 / 17

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