Tim Keller explains the foundation of the gospel from Exodus 19. He explains WHY we obey God’s law and HOW the reason we do it distinguishes Christians from Pharisees. Fantastic. He compares legalism with antinomianism as opposite ends of a continum and places Christianity squarely in the center of that continuum. We similarly discuss these polar opposites and the problem on both ends of that spectrum in our memorandum of law as follows:
Who Were the Pharisees and Saducees?, Form #05.047
He describes the sequence that produces obedience as follows, and he says we ABSOLUTELY CANNOT get these things out of order:
He says that if you swap 1 and 2 in the sequence and obey with the only purpose of pursuing justification or any other type of reward instead of ONLY glorifying God for His Grace, then you corrupt the religion (Form #08.012) and end up like the legalists and Pharisees, who sought obedience only as a selfish means of justification or reward. Keeping the above sequence IN ORDER is what we call the ESSENCE of the meaning of “meekness and humility” found in the Bible. Deut. 28 describes what happens when 1 and 2 are swapped and selfishness becomes the main reason for obedience to God’s law:
“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”
[Deut. 28:47-48, Bible, NKJV]
Notice that the above says the main reason for our obedience should be “joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything”. In other words, the ONLY righteous motive for our obedience is thankfulness for the GRACE of God. Any other reason originates in pride, which is the greatest of all sins AND results ultimately in a CURSE as indicated above and destruction as indicated in Prov. 16:18.
“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.”
[Prov. 16:18, Bible, NKJV]
The following companion video uses the theme developed in this video to show the main difference between Christianity and other religions. He identifies the source of that difference as the MOTIVE for why we obey God’s law. He says that justification by faith changes your approach to the poor and needy and that if it doesn’t, then you don’t have a right relationship with God. We believe that the “poor” includes NON-RESIDENT NON-PERSONS, because at one point, he talks about “strangers and foreigners”. Members of this site who are compliant with our Member Agreement would fit in this category of “non-resident non-persons” and therefore in the category of “stranger” or “foreigner” or “poor”.