How to Be a Christian: Part II {law and love unite}

{typographic verses : where the spirit of the lord is, there is freedom}

It just wouldn't be right to leave last week's post about being a Christian by loving unconditionally without also saying a few words about the law.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. {Matthew 5:17}

Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. {Matthew 7:12}

It seems we're most often missing balance. The conservative legalists risk playing God and judging without first removing the plank in our own eyes {Matthew 7:1-6; John 8:1-9}. The liberal feel-gooders risk focusing too much on grace and love and using that to excuse our bad behaviors and not make the changes God requires of us {John 8:10-11}.

James 2:14-26 describes the balance we need--the balance of faith with works.
But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. {James 2:18}

What I find a little interesting in these verses, one of the examples given to explain the faith/works balance is Rahab, the prostitute that helped save two messengers. And that is what she did to show the works behind her faith, and to wind up in the faith chapter. {Hebrews 11:31} She didn't prove her faith with the good works of giving up harlotry. Even if she was no longer a prostitute, changing her lifestyle is not what she is forever remembered for. She is instead described as the harlot that helped a couple messengers.

Don't worry, I'm not condoning prostitution or any other sin for that matter. I'm just pointing out that we often get hung up on the things of this world that ultimately aren't what matters most to God. Afterall, this great woman of God mentioned three times (that I know of) in the Bible for her amazing act of faith, might likely have been asked to leave our present-day church.

So how can we know what matters most to God? I'm so glad Jesus lived on this Earth to help give us some clues.

My guess: Relationship with Him. And relationship with His children.
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. {Matthew 22:40}

And the great and baffling question:
Where does love and law unite?

They unite in Jesus Christ. Not at a meeting where church leaders decide who should be granted permission to be a member of the church and thus a follower of Christ. Not in friendly gossip where we talk {prayerfully, of course} of our peers' latest shortcomings. Not with our family, who may or may not accept us for the lives we choose to live.

Law and love unite in Jesus Christ. When we come to Him in faith, and choose to love Him and others as ourselves. When we save our judgement on others for our own humbling confession before Him. When we allow Him to transform our own ways of living and thinking and loving. We have only to answer to Him.

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. {John 8:12}

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As a brief disclaimer, I can only think of two instances when it might be okay to prayerfully intervene with what could be perceived as judgement:
{1} person is hurting self (i.e., drugs);
{2} person is hurting others (i.e., abuse).
In these two instances, we are still required to ask Jesus to teach us to love and forgive and know how to move forward. Intervention may be necessary, helping the person seek help or even setting boundaries for the person's access to continuing further hurt.