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sermonette: The Operations Manual

Guidance and Preparation

Given 23-Feb-13; Sermon #1144s; 17 minutes

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David Grabbe, reflecting on Protestants denigration of God's Law when they twist the apostle Paul's use of the tem "law" in Galatians 3:19, compares the function of God's Law to an operations manual for a large hotel, describing (or prescribing) the ideal guest experience, a checklist meticulously written out by the owner, covering every conceivable system in hospitality management to be carried out by each employee in the hotel. The ideal guest experience was conceived in the mind of the owner and then broken down into systematized lists for the employees to execute with precision. God's Law also is a systematized set of rules describing the conditions or an ideal pattern upon which an optimal spiritual experience will be realized, namely the approbation of wisdom in the eyes of the nations. The tendency of many Protestants to be confused about the "Law," assuming it refers to the Ten Commandments, perhaps stems from the apostle Paul's use of the term in several different contexts, including the Old and New Covenants, agreements people make to fulfill obligations. The covenant was added—not God's Law. A hotel employee, by signing a contract, agrees to carry out his prescribed set of duties, but fulfillment of these duties does not make him a part owner or partner in the hotel's operations. Likewise, living up to our obligations to God does not guarantee our salvation. The Old Covenant had no provisions for justification, forgiveness, let alone salvation. God's Laws are so important that in the New Covenant, they will be permanently etched into our minds and hearts, making it impossible to forget them, no longer a checklist, but instead the heart and core of what we are, motivating us to fulfill the perfect spiritual experience.

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