MARCH 24, 2004

I’ve pasted a section of some thoughts from John Gavazzoni – for your consideration, as this topic continues to resurface in this forum, and is a very important one. John has made what I believe are some good points, but we are open to opposing positions.  The place of the Law in Christianity has a long history of differing views.  May His Spirit lead us on into the fullness of His Truth. Jonathan Mitchell


From John: I don’t believe that to say that the law makes cruel demands is in any way contradictory to the fact that it was given by God, is good, was ministered by angels, used by the Spirit in convicting of sin, etc. If we are to interpret Paul accurately on the subject and not ignore or minimize some of his statements in order to make his theology fit into our conceptual box, we must come face-to-face with the fact that, while maintaining the divine origin of the law, he associates it with bondage, futility and sin-empowerment.

It seems to me that the net effect of a system which makes demands but offers no provision to fulfill those demands is cruel. Does that mean that God is by nature cruel? Certainly not! But it does confront us with the fact that He has arranged for men to experience cruelty by subjecting them to that which is contrary to the nature of His relationship with them and, by so doing, He makes that negative into an instrument toward ultimately rooting all of us in His grace. How else would we know grace, that most essential element of relationship with God, had we not known what it was like to live within an essentially graceless system?

I do insist that, though the law, in type and shadow, pointed to the day of grace, it, in and of itself, offered none, if you define grace as divine enablement for pleasing God. I trace the law back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, created by God, and thus included in God’s description of His creation as, “very good.” But sin found opportunity by it to slay us.

To be exposed to the good and evil knowledge which God possesses without intimately knowing God by the tree of Life (Christ), is to be subjected to futility that undeniable, penultimate act of God which has behind it God’s expectation that all creation be set free by and share in “the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” The codified law of Moses, or any generic form of the same, serves to confront men overtly with that which Adam and Eve internalized by eating of the forbidden tree. When faced with the external form of that tree (the law), sin, that disposition of relating to God through legislation rather than by life, is activated and sin becomes exceedingly sinful.

In brotherly love,

LAW of GOD [John R. Gavazzoni] 3-24-04          1


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