Travel back to your days in High School or College English Literature class.
Recall a poem by Robert Frost titled,
“The Road Not Taken” (1951)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost talks about living life in two different ways.
As the narrator of the poem, he chose to live a different way than most people: one perhaps more challenging, and one perhaps requiring more of a personal investment and commitment than the other.
One way is a legalistic way. It’s the way of rote obedience, of diligently following all the rules, of faithfulness to religious expectations to a fault.
The other way of having a relationship with God involves faith.
It involves believing in the love of God in such a way that can’t be known by the mind but can only be known by the heart.
Now I’m the kind of person that can handle just about anything, as long as I know what’s coming, what to expect.
Car repairs, medical procedures, home improvements – it doesn’t matter. I believe I can deal with almost anything if I know what’s going on and what’s about to happen. I’m a person that likes to do my research and be informed.
But being informed, doesn’t address all of my needs. That the doctors know what medical procedure I need to have done, and can explain it all to me, doesn’t make the physician care for me on a personal, intimate level. The expertise of my personal mechanic doesn’t address my concerns and anxiety.
I can read up on my medical condition, I can take a class in automotive repairs, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still have a problem and doesn’t mean the doctor or mechanic will raise themselves up, be my Savior in my time of need.
Paul talks about two ways of knowing, and only one of those-knowing God by heart rather than by mind, knowing God by faith- is one able to truly know God.
I know exactly how to “live in the world” by “heart.”
I also know its exact “message” of “salvation.” by “heart.”
The Question is – Do I know how-to live-in God’s Kingdom “by heart?”
Do I know God’s message of Salvation “by heart?”
Romans 10:5 Disciples’ Literal New Testament
The Law Requires Performance; True Righteousness Comes By Faith In Christ
5 For Moses writes [in Lev 18:5] as to the righteousness of the Law that “The person having done them will live by them”.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
There is a difference between the righteousness that the Law offers and the righteousness that comes by faith. Paul started out chapter ten by saying the Israelites were zealous for God, but their zeal wasn’t based upon the truth of Jesus and because of it they sought to establish their own righteousness based upon the law (Romans 10:2, Romans 10:3).
Then in verse 4 made an amazing declaration that Christ was the end (the aim, the goal) of the law so we could be righteous and holy by faith (Romans 10:4).
Thinking about this for a while, this is truly an amazing truth, but difficult to accept unless one’s heart is in alignment with this truth from God’s word.
Our relationship with God has always been based upon a heart change even at the time that the Law was given this was the objective.
Moses warned the Israelites when he gave them the law the man who obeys them will live by them (Leviticus 18:5). It wasn’t based on Ten commandments; it was more extensive and based on over four hundred laws and precepts.
If you religiously followed one law, then you had to follow all laws. Moses warned them about this. However, he also understood that this revelation of God’s decrees was simply intended to get them to practice God’s presence, get ready for the coming of the promised Messiah and not to be a means to an end.
It outlined everything Messiah would be, it showed us how He would be the one true, perfect sacrifice before God in our stead. Moses warned that if anyone was set upon hyper trusting in the law to save them, they would soon discover how completely impossible it was. If you live by the law, then you will die by the law.
James said the same thing, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
The Law is an all or nothing thing. So, in that sense it is impossible to live by it because of the sinful nature with which we were born.
Fortunately for us we do not have to live this way because “but the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The Amplified Version of the Bible put it in this way, “but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness” (Habakkuk 2:4 Amplified).
Meaning that our faith in Christ is how and what we must live by, and this faith fulfills the law in our own hearts and souls. Because the law looked forward to Christ and made him its bullseye. Jesus brings us into relationship with God and inevitably our hearts and our souls changes and aligns to His in the process.
What does Jesus say about the Law?
Questioned about it by the Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus quickly responded,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Fulfilling the first commandment can only be accomplished with true lasting heart change. We cannot hope to love God with all of our hearts when it is only perceived and acted upon as an exercise in being an intellectual ritualistic thing.
To love God takes every ounce of our being we can only do this when our heart is aligned to his heart. This only happens when we experience the love of Christ. John said, “we love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).
Our love is a natural response to His love towards us. We can all 100% love him with everything we are because through grace alone we are a redeemed and holy people. By loving God in this way, we fulfill the intent of the law because we are looking to become dependent on him for everything, not relying on ourselves.
In the same way, because of His love pouring out of us we can love others where before we couldn’t. TBT, we can love others more by accident than on purpose.
This is because we are living our lives from a real change of heart that focuses on God for everything. It is not a self-centered thing. Love flowed from the cross and overflows into our hearts and we have become like Him through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul encourages us with the same thought elsewhere,
“The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 3:14).
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8).
This love is based upon Christ who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4).
Today, my heart and my soul are indescribably thankful that Moses foresaw the coming Messiah and insightfully challenged the Israelites to look beyond and then forward to Messiah in faith instead of living by the dictates of the Law.
I am unbelievably thankful Christ has come in the flesh to redeem mankind. By trusting in Jesus, you are 100% saved and 100% loved and equipped to love one another. May the truth of this revelation of Jesus Christ bless you today, Amen!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
let us Pray,
All Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.