Our young friend, Elihu, is on a roll and he continues to let everybody in on what he thinks. He is getting a little cocky, as he says, “For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.” (36:4) So Elihu thinks his reasoning surpasses them all.
Certainly this young man hits upon some truth as he exclaims the magnificence of our God. Our Creator is truly mighty and above reproach.
However, the big missing piece in all of the dissertations is evident to us on this side of the cross. God is credited or blamed with everything. There is no knowledge of the devil and his workings in the earth.
The full disclosing of Satan and his work wouldn’t be given until man would be able to deal with him. (And that would not come until man could be born again – after the resurrection of Jesus).
So Elihu is like his neighbors in that he thinks God is controlling everything, good or bad, that happens on the earth.
It’s time we hear from our Creator, Himself. We will tomorrow.
Today we encounter one of the greatest controversies in all of Christianity. The difference between the law and grace.
Until Jesus came and man could be born again, the Jewish law reigned supreme. The Jews were cultivated all of those years to protect the law and live by it. Not only the ten commandments, but the law of circumcision, and sundry laws which affected every area of life were given by God to protect His special people and keep them cognizant of His nature and His holiness.
Now all of a sudden, the rules change in a dramatic way. This is a difficult time for the Pharisees who have prided themselves on keeping the law. These Jewish leaders agree that the gentiles now have the benefit of the covenant with God, but they think that the new believers have to be circumcised.
When the council of elders meet, the men share their testimonies. Peter reminds everyone of how the Holy Spirit fell on the centurion and his family, with no mention of circumcision. The others share also, and the decision is made. Circumcision will no longer be a requirement. There will be very few requirements of the law for the Gentiles who believe.
The argument concerning the law versus grace is still troubling people today. Through the blood of Jesus we now have a righteousness based on grace and not works. Many misunderstand this. There are some who believe that outward dress and appearance are necessary to live a holy life. That’s not true. Others believe that grace means you can live a totally ungodly life and still be “okay” because of the blood of Jesus. That’s certainly not true either.
Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we now have the opportunity to be born again. Our spirits can now come alive, a condition that was not available to people since the fall of God’s first man. Through this miracle of rebirth, we now have the very nature of our God living on the inside of us – leading us, guiding us, and empowering us to do His will.
This is the life of grace. So what does it mean? It means that we are not bound by the law, but our standard is higher than the law. Under the law, we shouldn’t commit adultery. Under grace, we won’t even lust after another’s wife or husband (Matthew 5:28). Under the law, we were not to kill. Under grace, we won’t even hate others. (Matthew 5:21)
Our lives under grace are such that we are walking as one with our God, our lives totally committed to Him and His will. Now we can live as we couldn’t before. Now we can understand mysteries as we couldn’t before. Now we can benefit from His love and mercy – and extend it to others, as never before.
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