Balance Old Testament Commands with New Testament Freedom
Psalm 15 opens with one essential question, phrased in two ways, that most everyone asks, either out loud or to themselves. In this Psalm, David asks God, “What must I do to live with you?”
The next four verses give us the answer. Actually, it’s a series of answers, a list of twelve things we must do if we are to live with God. Here they are:
- Walk Blamelessly: we should live a life above reproach.
- Be Righteous: we should do what is right in all things.
- Speak Truth: we must say what is true, not from a technical standpoint, but from our heart.
- Don’t Slander: we shouldn’t tell lies about other people.
- Don’t Do Wrong: we shouldn’t hurt others, not physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
- Don’t Slur: our words should not insult or speak poorly of others.
- Despise the Vile: we should oppose evil in every form.
- Honor Those Who Fear God: we should respect God-fearing people and implicitly follow their example.
- Keep Promises: regardless of the cost, we should do what we say we will do.
- Don’t Change Our Mind: we shouldn’t waffle with our words or what we decide.
- Lend to Those in Need: we should loan money to those in need and do so without interest.
- Don’t Accept Bribes: we shouldn’t allow others to improperly influence us in how we treat innocent people.
These are the twelve things we must do to live with God. Is this, then, the answer? True, the list contains admirable traits that we should all pursue, but I hope God doesn’t hold us to this.
Why? Because we can’t. We’re going to fall short at one time or another. We could miss the mark every day. Each of us. You, me, everyone.
A Better Way to Live with God
The Old Testament commands weigh us down, begging for a better solution. The New Testament offers us a better way. His name is Jesus. He is the light of the world that gives life (John 8:12). All we need to do is follow him (Matthew 9:9), and then we can live with God.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.