We forget that back then there was no electricity, no internet, no police, no hospitals, and the ruling governments weren’t all that interested in things like free speech or trial by jury. The Old Testament law was a harsh and rigid guideline because the Israelites lived in a harsh and brutal world. God knew that telling the early Israelites to “turn the other cheek” would eventually lead to their destruction, so he took measures to protect them until the world was ready to receive the Gospel of Grace through his Son.
Throughout Israel's history, God set the stage for battles to be won, miracles to take place, and people to exercise faith. The stage was always set so that man could not take credit for what God did.
We Christians are not to be conformed to this world in the way we think. The world by its advertisements, its conversation, and its philosophy is engaged in a gigantic brainwashing. Not always consciously but sometimes unconsciously, the Christian is beset by secular and worldly propaganda, calling us to live for ourselves and to put things and selfish pleasure ahead of God.
However, above the din we can hear the voice of Scriptures "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2)
Now let me ask you something. Do you feel like you are missing out on something in life? Do you feel discontent or disappointed with your circumstances? We often try to find contentment by making surface changes in our lives—switching jobs, moving to a new city, beginning a new relationship—but nothing seems to work. We fail because we try to apply human solutions to a spiritual problem.
I think I have an answer.
There can be no triumph unless there is a trial. There can be no testimony unless there is a test. There can be no conquest unless there is a conflict. Many people want to be used mightily by God, yet they refuse to pay the cost. Are you willing to go through dark times so that God’s Kingdom may grow?
The burden that you are carrying can be a blessing if you trust in God. He can turn your burden into victory. He can turn your trials into triumph. We can rest easy at night, knowing that our Father holds our tomorrow in His hands.
God wants to give you a great victory, but first you must put your trust in Him. When we try to face the battle on our own, we are likely to fail. But with God at the heart of our battle plan, we can succeed. Only when our trust is in God will we find peace and rest during troubled times.
How can you tell whether or not you have the true gospel? Paul gives you three tests.
First, the source of the gospel. Where did it come from? God gave it. It is direct and divine revelation. The gospel is authenticated by its source.
Secondly, by its salvation. Any gospel that is not the gospel of grace is not the true gospel. You can’t beg it. You can’t buy it. You can’t borrow it. You can’t steal it. You can’t earn it. It was bought by Christ on the cross. It is the supernatural work of God.
The third test is its subject. It is the grace of Christ. Jesus is the subject. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is all about Jesus.
Time yourself the next time you read the Bible and pray. Compare it to the amount of time you spend watching television or surfing the Internet. Is God getting His share of your time and attention? Is the world shaping your mind---or is CHRIST?