The point is actually significant: reading the Bible as God's guidance vs. a lawbook is a big deal. If we listen to the Spirit we will do the sort of thing that is now found in Scripture.Without getting into David's thinking as we did a bit on that previous post, let's think about Scot's reply to me on e-mail on this.
I think Scot was simply saying that this raises a good and important point, and I agree: that there's a significant difference in reading Scripture as a law book and being bound to it in that way, and in reading Scripture as guidance from God, in a kind of dynamic, interactive, relational, life-orienting manner.
This brings into play whether our Scripture reading has to do with our loving God with all our being and doing, as well as loving our neighbor as ourselves. Is it a practice of love, and a relational one at that? And really first of all God reaching into our lives on our level, in Christ, right where we live, to bring his love by redemption, renewal and reconciliation into this world in and through even us.
If it's just a rule book for me to obey and judge others by, then I'm surely missing the point. The Bible is meant to be from God in a way that engages us in good relationship to God and to others, in the way of Jesus, and calls others in this love, into that same relationship.
Scot is not at all saying that there are no commands to obey; if anyone thinks so they've neither read Scot, or more importantly the New Testament. But in Christ by the Spirit God's word is a word of grace to us, showing us our need, but drawing us to faith and obedience from the heart, to be followers together of God in this world.
Another important dynamic in this is that of the Spirit of God: what part the Spirit plays in our reading of Scripture. God's word is living and powerful because it is a word breathed out from God by the Spirit. We need to take these words in that way, meant to penetrate into our very beings and change our lives as we seek to let this word have its way in our lives, in leading us increasingly into the good will of God in Christ.
These words from the Bible are meant to guide us as God's word, not to come down on us as a law that we seek to apply to ourselves and others. Rather it is bringing our story into the light of God's story so that we can find our identities and stories increasingly shaped by the good story of God in Christ. This is carried on right up to this present time, and will reach the goal of this new creation, of which our lives as part of this old creation, in Jesus, are also a part of now.
What would you say about seeing the Bible as God's guidance versus God's law for us? What difference does this make?