I like Michael Brown.
I appreciate his fervent advocacy for God’s Word against the secular, dying culture.
When it comes to distinguishing the Old Covenant from the New (2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 8:10-12), Brown throws a brick.
He criticized Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant about his new faith in Christ.
Check out his stellar interview in Gentlemen’s Quarterly:
He was raised to think: "If I do something wrong, I’m going to hell." Then he met Carl Lentz, who ministers to Justin Bieber and sometimes leads prayers before Knicks games. Carl taught him God was about love. Before, "I felt like I had to follow the Ten Commandments. But we don’t live by that no more. We live by the blood of Jesus. That’s how I feel."
Durant has passed from death to life—“Don’t call me the Slim Reaper”.
This basketball star is learning that God is LOVE!
A three-pointer out of the Word:
“And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Love does not mean that God accepts our sin, though!
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
Love means that God the Father has provided freedom from our sins and deliverance into His Life:
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12)
Dr. Brown faulted Durant’s “theology”, although he offered him the benefit of the doubt:
I truly hope … that he wasn’t saying, “Because Jesus died for me, there’s nothing left for me to do, since God forgives me no matter what.”
Yet indeed, that is exactly what Jesus accomplished for us at the Cross:
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2: 13-15)
Many are shocked to hear the fullness of the Gospel. Paul the Apostle wrote to the Romans:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1-4)
Michael Brown dismisses Durant’s righteousness enthusiasm:
Unfortunately, for many professing Christians today, they have forgotten the words of Jesus who said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” and, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me”.
What commandments was Jesus talking about?
Not the Big Ten handed down by Moses.
They contain the ministry of death:
“But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:” (2 Corinthians 3:7)
Trying to keep the law brings forth sin in us, the same way a spoon stirred in polluted water will manifest the dirt:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
These are the new commands which Jesus gave said to His disciples, and to all of us:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34)
John—the disciple whom Jesus loved—affirmed:
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” (1 John 3:23)
Believe on me. Love one another.
Like many, well-meaning Christians, Brown believes that once we are saved, we live under the Ten Commandments.
Sorry Dr. Brown, but the basketball player scored a slam dunk on this one.
We do not—cannot—live by the Ten Commandments.
Ever read over Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount?
“If you get angry without a cause, you have committed murder.” (Matt 5:21-22)
“If you lust in your heart, you have committed adultery.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
These absolute standards expose our need not just for behavior modification, but for heart transformation, a new life!
We receive that through the perfect blood of Jesus, in that all our sins are put away – forever!
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
Sorry, Dr. Brown, but Kevin Durant is right.
We no longer live under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
We live by His life, which we receive by His blood:
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)
So I say to Kevin Durant: Keep preaching the New Covenant!