How does the Law relate with Apostasy?

When reading with the Ten Commandments, the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” seems pretty straight forward. It is very easy to interpret, easy to understand, and yet also very easy to break.  One could venture to say that the first commandment is the most broken commandment in the everyday life of a non-believer and believer alike.  One could go even further and say that the first commandment is broken every time the other nine commandments are broken. This is because when one sins, they have in some way placed something – or someone – else as a god before committing the sin. But how does that relate with apostasy?  The answer is that one who has become an apostate has disregarded the first three commandments in the Moral Law.

Step One – making light the name of the LORD, and using it meaninglessly in life.

Step Two – finding fulfillment in the making and crafting of personal idols, and placing them before the LORD.

Step Three – leaving the Gospel altogether and placing other gods before the LORD.

The constant breaking of the Law and not properly understanding its usefulness for the believer’s life leads to apostasy from the gospel.  Apostasy is caused by a loss of the believer’s delight in what God has commanded and given to “His people,” and instead, finding delight in what the world has to offer.  It is extremely important to understand the proper relationship between man’s sinful nature – his desires to destroy the Law, to overrule the Law, to break the Law – and living for the gospel… that is, wanting to obey the gospel, yet at the same time, stuck with that every day nature that wants to continue to break the Law. Apostasy comes from allowing that sinful nature and the flesh’s desires overtake what the gospel has taught. This is precisely what Paul deals with in Romans 7:21-25, and it is no where else expressed so well but by him, through the Spirit:

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

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