The Royal Law

Dear Brethren,

Today is the seventh Sabbath, and day number forty-nine in our count to Pentecost, the fiftieth day.  Tomorrow is the Day of Pentecost.

Leviticus 23:15-16  You shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the Wave Sheaf Offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:  Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days.

God entered into a covenant with Old Testament Israel on the Feast of Weeks, (also called the Day of Pentecost in the New Testament), giving them the Ten Commandments engraved on two tablets of stone.  We have seen that Jesus Christ consolidated the Ten Commandments into two Commandments.  He took the first four and combined them together as the first and great commandment.  And then He brought together the final six Commandments to establish the royal law which states, You shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

James 2:8  If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love thy neighbor as thyself, you do well.

At Mt Sinai, God gave us the codified Ten Commandments.  God’s purpose in giving us the Ten Commandments is so that we can have an orderly and peaceful society, and begin to put-on His character and likeness—and be as He is.  God does not expect us to be living in fear, oppression and want.  He does want us to be His representatives among mankind.  With the coming of the New Testament Day of Pentecost God’s people were, for the first time, enabled to live in accordance with His Law.  God’s Spirit is the means and the motivation that make it possible for us to keep the Ten Commandments.

God did not intend that Israel secretly enjoy the blessings associated with Commandment keeping.  No!  God fully intended that Israel’s prosperity be seen and witnessed by all the surrounding nations for them to know how near and great Israel’s God was.  We see God dealing directly with Israel through Moses:

Deuteronomy 4:5-8, 13  Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.  For what nation is there so great, who has God so near unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? … And [God] declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.

During His public ministry, Jesus reiterated the Ten Commandments and consolidated them into two great Commandments when He was asked:

Matthew 22:36-39  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, You shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

In the same way that ancient Israel was to have an impact on all the surrounding nations by keeping God’s Commandments, the Church of God is supposed to be a light to the all world by loving their neighbor.  And in the same way that Israel failed to be the good example God intended, the Church of God today is deeply divided into rival groups that will hardly acknowledge the existence of their brothers and sisters in Christ.  On this Day of Pentecost, our example does not correspond to the accord we find in the biblical record:

Acts 2:1  When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all together with one accord in one place.

Why is the Church of God divided – when Jesus Christ calls for unity?  Do we not realize that by breaking God’s Royal Law – when we do not love our brothers and sisters in the other groups – that we are also breaking God’s first and great commandment to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind?  This is a serious matter and time is growing short.

Contrary to the lip-service being paid to, “We are all a part of God’s Church,” we should all recognize that there is a unspoken pressure for members to primarily remain loyal to their organization and not go traipsing about to fellowship with their neighbors in other Church of God groups.  Thankfully, there are a growing number of saints who are extending the right hand of fellowship (Galatians 2:9) across the artificial boundaries of corporate organizations—because to wait for the church leadership to do so may prove to be too late.

Who was immediately inspired by those first Christians on that first Day of Pentecost?  The answer is: Devout men, out of every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5).

Why are so few taking notice of God’s Church today?

Sermon:  "The Royal Law"