Meditations on The Law and our works vs. faith and the Spirit

mosesHere’s what the Bible says about the Law of God and our Works in contrast with Faith and the Spirit of God:

“Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.” (Romans 9:31, 32)

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)

“We may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Gal 2:16)

“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.(Gal 2:19)

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal 2:21)

“Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal 3:2)

“Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3)

“As many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse…no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Gal 3:10,11)

Very Important — Faith PRECEDED the Law, and is not invalided by the Law:

“Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS…it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” (Gal 3:6,7)

The Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God. (Gal 3:17)

“If the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.” (Gal 3:18)

The Law was given to condemn us and imprison us:

“Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions.” (Gal 3:19)

“The Scripture has shut up everyone under sin.” (Gal 3:22)

Before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law.” (Gal 3:23)

The Law was given to lead us to Christ; we are no longer under the Law:

The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Gal 3:24, 25)

Here’s what the Bible says about the Law and our Works, Faith and the Spirit:

“Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.” (Romans 9:31, 32)

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)

“We may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Gal 2:16)

“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.(Gal 2:19)

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal 2:21)

“Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal 3:2)

“Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3)

“As many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse…no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Gal 3:10,11)

Once we are redeemed from the Law we receive adoption as sons:

“…so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Gal 4:5)

Once you are a son that knows God (Abba Father), don’t turn back again to the Law/legalistic observances:

“But now that you have come to know God…how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. (Gal 4:9, 10)

The slave and the free woman contrast the Law/Flesh vs. the Promise/Spirit:

“Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.” (Gal 4:22)

These women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.” (Gal 4:24)

“Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem.” (Gal 4:25)

“But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.” (Gal 4:26)

“We are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. (Gal 4:31)

Don’t fall back into slavery; stand firm in Christ:

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1)

“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Gal 5:4)

The Law is contrary to the message of the cross; although preaching the Law will result in LESS persecution!

“If I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.” (Gal 5:11)

The Law is fulfilled by Love:

The whole Law is fulfilled in… the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Gal 5:14)

Christians are not under the Law:

If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (Gal 5:18)

“Deeds of the flesh” vs. “Fruit of the Spirit” contrasted in Galatians 5:19-26: In the flesh our acts are unrighteous, whereas walking in the Spirit results in fruit produced by the Spirit’s presence in our lives.

The law of Christ is to love:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)

The Law results in boasting in our flesh, since it is our own obedience that is earning our favor:

“Those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. (Gal 6:13)

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15 Responses to Meditations on The Law and our works vs. faith and the Spirit

  1. This is very true Kurt, and many skip over Paul’s teachings on this because they don’t understand it fully. I myself am still coming to understanding with these things. Thank you, for bringing this to light.

  2. FX says:

    Bonjour Kurt,

    Thanks for the post. What about if your actual understanding were bias?

    In the eyes of our Heavenly Abba, it is not grace on one side and law on the other! It has never been this way!!!

    Since the very beginning of time, it has always been a question of grace because our Saviour is merciful and gracious.

    What Christianity has yet to fully comprehend is that once grace comes in one’s life through faith, this is when our Father expects we bear His Fruits and walk the way Yeshua/Jesus walked.

    There is only one way in order to do so, it’s to walk according to His way, His Instructions, His Torah/law. There is no other way around it. We either follow God’s own way and rightheousness or we follow ours.
    Walking according to Torah when one is saved is to please Abba and sanctify oneself, by walking like Yeshua walked. Nothing more and nothing less!

    I pray Abba open your eyes, your hears and heart about this very important end of time truth!

    With love, shalom and blessings from France,

    FX

    • Kurt J. says:

      FX,

      Thank you for reading the post and writing. You are always very polite and I appreciate your comments, even though we disagree on some issues like this one. If you are using the word “Torah” to mean “the instruction of God through the Holy Spirit” or “the leading of the Holy Spirit”, then I entirely agree with you. But if you mean “law as given by Moses”, whether the 10 commandments or an expanded version including up to all OT commands, then I find your equation of “grace on one side and law on the other” written in scripture here:

      John 1:17, For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

      No doubt, the law is good. Its ‘unkeepable’, but good. But the greatest thing it does, not according to me but scripture, is lead us to Christ, wherein we are “no longer under a tutor” (Gal 3:24, 25)

      The fact is, the Holy Spirit living within every Christian, each of whom actually comprise the corporate temple of God, has replaced the Mosaic law, including the 10 commandments (see Romans 7:7). The greatest illustration of this that I can think of is the fact that on Shavuot the 10 Commandments were given, and then, after Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit was poured out on the exact same Appointed/Feast day, as you well know.

      I am not saying “don’t keep the 10 commandments”, or any other number of other biblical commands (there are hundreds in the NT, for example). I am saying Christians are no longer to have a “law consciousness” but a “Spirit consciousness”. As soon as we are primarily aware of “the law” we begin to approach God on the basis of what/how we’ve been doing, and not on what Christ has done. Scripture is clear that we are to approach the throne of Grace because of His blood alone.

      I highly recommend a book by an author I know personally, “Love Revolution” by Gaylord Enns. Here’s a link: http://www.gaylordenns.com/love-revolution-book.html

      Bless you, and here’s an example of what “the law” does; normally I would have no hesitations of wishing someone Joyeux Noël this time of year, but I know messianics/law-oriented believers generally do not celebrate Christmas…

      So, simply, love in Yeshua,
      Kurt

      • FX says:

        Bonjour Kurt,

        It is also always a pleasure to interact with you. I pray that one day we both come to the same understanding…Whether I correct mine or you adjust yours, if one of our current understandings is not biblical. As we both know, our Abba has no greater joy to hear that His children follow the truth.

        In my reading, John 1:17 reveals the complementarily (not the opposition) of both the Torah given by Moses and the grace and truth realized through Jesus. The Torah/Law of Moses is the word of YHVH, but grace and truth revealed in Yeshua are the impelling forces that uphold all righteousness and keep the word of YHVH (Torah) positioned in our hearts.

        “He who says he abides in Him [Jesus] ought himself also to walk even as He walked” 1 John 2.6.

        Based on the above verse, here are interesting questions to ponder:

        Did Jesus rest on Shabbat? Yes? No?
        Did Jesus eat pork and shrimps? Yes? No?
        Did Jesus celebrate pagan festivals? Yes? No?
        Did Jesus celebrate the Biblical festivals? Yes? No?

        Am I called to walked like Jesus walked? If yes, then,

        Do I obey the 4th commandment? Yes? No?
        Do I eat things that Jesus calls an abomination (Lev 11)? Yes? No?
        Do I celebrate pagan festivals? Yes? No?
        Do I celebrate the Biblical festivals? Yes? No?

        At the end of the day, we may decide to do things our way (and let’s be honest: our way usually happens to be the way of the world), instead of Yah’s way (ie: follow His Instructions/Torah in order to be set apart from the world), one thing is sure; we’ll all stand before Him one day. He will judge and reward us according to the way we walked on this earth. What will be His judgment standard?

        With love and Shalom,

        FX

      • Kurt J. says:

        Bonjour FX,

        Regarding your questions, I agree the answer to each is “yes”. Yeshua perfectly fulfilled the law, keeping it exactly as the Father intended. The problem is your conclusion, that now you and I must do the same. When Jesus kept the law, He kept it for all Christians, just like He paid the penalty for all Christians. I don’t also need to go and be nailed to a literal cross like Jesus did, because IN HIM I died to sin. When I am “crucified with Him”, it means I accept what He did for me. Its the same with His keeping of the law (which “was added”, according to Paul). IN HIM I (and all believers) kept the Law.

        People who believe as you do never address the key scriptures I included in my original article. What does it mean that:

        The Law is the tutor to lead us to Christ? (Gal 3:24)
        That we’re no longer under a tutor? (Gal 3:25)
        That if we’re lead by the Spirit we’re no longer under the Law? (Gal 5:18)
        That we died to the Law (including the 10 Commandments) thru the body of Christ? (Rom 7:4-8)

        And of course many other instances of the same idea, that Christians “are done” with the Law. I’m not making these up, they’re right there in scripture.

        I think you agree that Paul who wrote the above statements and was a Pharisee, whose “righteousness which is in the Law, (is) found blameless” (Phil 3:6) would understand the current relationship of the Law and the believer. You would probably also conceded that he kept the Law better than just about anybody, but considered his righteousness “filty rags”. He became “all things to all men” so that he could win them to Yeshua.

        You quoted 1 John 2:6, where John encourages us to walk as He (Jesus) walked and to “keep His commandments”. Here is the fuller picture:

        Phil 3:23, This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

        The singular “commandment” and plural “commandments” used by John are interchangeable, so don’t get distracted by that (for instance, he uses both terms above). The commandments he is referring to throughout this epistle are only two:

        1. Believe in Jesus Christ
        2. Love one another

        In John 13, John reiterates several times that Yeshua’s command is to “love one another”. Paul says that love is the fulfillment of the Law.

        Now, about whether we are to:

        Obey the 4th commandment?

        First, recognize that over and over Yeshua violated the Jews’ understanding of what it meant to do that. So if I keep it according to what men (like FX, 😉 ) think, I am bound to not keep it like they think I should. Second, Heb 4 tells me that the point of the Sabbath was to illustrate the rest in Christ that we receive from our works; that ironically, by going back to the Law, we go outside of the Sabbath rest we have in Christ. Third Paul says that some consider one day above another, others all days the same. You don’t think he was talking about the Sabbath? If not, I feel that you’re not being honest. Fourth, the day that believers met in the NT was Sunday, after Yeshua’s ressurrection. See my Prophesite article discussing this.

        Do I eat things that Jesus calls an abomination (Lev 11)?

        Under the Law, they were. We are not under the Law. Also see Acts 1:9-16, Mt 15:11, Mk 7:19, Rm 14:14 and 1 Cor 10:25.

        Do I celebrate pagan festivals?

        I would not; just because at some time in the past some aspects of Christmas had pagan roots doesn’t mean that it cannot be infused with new meaning. Christians celebrating Christmas are remembering Christ’s birth and getting together to share his love. Are you telling me that because this holiday is not perfect in every aspect that we should not celebrate it? Again, this is “legal” mindset, not a “Spirit” mindset.

        Do I celebrate the Biblical festivals?

        Colossians 2:16, Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.

        I would be glad to continue a dialogue, but honestly, I feel like I am addressing your concerns about the Law biblically while you will not address my central question: Why does the NT tell us we are no longer under the Law?

        I’m not going back under something that was meant to condemn me, that no one has fulfilled except Yeshua, and that I’m told I’m to die to.

        Love in our Savior,
        Kurt

      • I agree with you Kurt. I first studied this a few years ago, while trying to reconcile the question of many, “Is God finished with Israel” Well of course not, but that’s another topic. I hope to not bring confusion, but given that I tend be Berean by nature, I search the scriptures for myself, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Your post here has helped tremendously, and I value your opinions. So let me explain. This is my take, and I’m not nearly as eloquent or studied as you. Jesus did indeed come to fulfill the law, He tells us this. He didn’t come to abolish or enforce it, He came to fulfill it. If he was enforcing the law, when He came upon the crowd that was about to stone a woman for adultery, he would have joined in. But instead he said to her “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
        He also in my opinion instituted the first Christian Festivals. At the last supper He didn’t instruct his disciples to carry on the meal of passover. Did they not eat the unleavened bread, and bitter herbs to remind them of the bitterness experienced by the Israelites in the desert? Instead He gave us a new covenant, and one that we are to perform often, in remembrance of Him. He also introduced us to Foot Washing, which teaches us humility. As Jesus taught all throughout his life, He went about His Father’s business healing, teaching, and casting out demons, even if it were on the “Sabbath”. He rebuked the Jewish leaders who questioned this. He didn’t say that it was ok to forget about the sabbath, but he did show that sometimes it’s necessary to work. Now, Paul teaches extensively about the law, in Romans and Galatians, as well as many other of his letters. Galatians 3:23-25 “Before Faith in Jesus Christ, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” If the law could make us righteous, then why did Christ have to die? Paul tells us that there is not one righteous! All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
        As Far as our eating and drinking, Paul also teaches about this. He teaches us that everything has been made clean by God, he does caution about eating food sacrificed to Idols. As far as Christmas, it offends me when anyone say’s this is a pagan festival. I do not honor a man in a red suit. I honor my Savior’s Birth. The Angels announced His birth and I will honor it! Same with Easter, I don’t pray to an egg, or chocolate bunny, I honor the death of my Savior. The Jew’s have treats at various festivals so how is that different from us having treats at some of the festivals indiginous to us? Speaking of the Death of our Lord and Savior, at the moment of Death it was recorded that the veil in the temple was split in two. He Set Us Free!!! We are no longer slaves, but FREE! Halelujah! Thanks Kurt, and any advice, or input I always appreciate. And thanks again for this post, it gave me additional insight into important scriptures.

      • Kurt J. says:

        I am not ashamed,

        Yes I agree with you entirely. Good points about new traditions instituted by Yeshua and that He didn’t come to enforce the Law–had He, He would have stoned the woman committing adultery (and found the man who slept with her and stoned her too, BTW). No, He came to reveal “grace and truth”. One truth He revealed is that we are utterly incapable of keeping the Law, so He did it for us. In regards to the woman, He told her to “go and sin no more.” Again more truth, but with grace.

        Now, two questions FX asks is “Did Jesus celebrate pagan festivals?” and “Did Jesus celebrate the Biblical festivals?” Clearly the answers to these questions are “no”, at least scripture makes no mention of such celebrations, nor would we presume He would have. We do need to keep in mind that He said to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”; He does acknowledge that there are realities to be dealt with in this world that are less than ideal (i.e., taxes going to support causes we don’t agree with).

        But Jesus seems to have celebrated at least one non-biblical “feast”, Hanukkah. This is the celebration of the Maccabean revolt driving Antiochus IV from the temple when the miraculous candelabra stayed lit eight days with one day’s supply of oil. The celebration is called either the Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication as it is here in John 10:

        At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

        So here is an instance of Jesus “keeping” a non-biblical feast, albeit not a pagan one. I would put Christmas in that category.

        Many times the religious leaders in His day were upset at Him because He didn’t appear to be keeping the commands as they envisioned them. Not just their extra commands, but clear ones like the Sabbath. While Jesus kept the Law as His Father expected Him to, He certainly didn’t do it like they wanted Him to.

        How much more are we going to run into opposition today, when we are not under the Law but the new covenant (Jer 31:31)!

        Kurt

      • FX says:

        Bonjour Kurt,

        Let me try to be as short as possible to address some of your points!

        First, according to Scriptures, when one person is filled with the Spirit then the Spirit within, not only rejoices in the Torah (“For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man”, this is Paul, speaking!) but it strives to please God (by following His ways) out of pure love for Him and for what He has done in the person’s life.

        “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh, so that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God”. Ez 11.19-20

        You write:

        “People who believe as you do never address the key scriptures I included in my original article. What does it mean that:

        The Law is the tutor to lead us to Christ? (Gal 3:24)
        That we’re no longer under a tutor? (Gal 3:25)
        That if we’re lead by the Spirit we’re no longer under the Law? (Gal 5:18)
        That we died to the Law (including the 10 Commandments) thru the body of Christ? (Rom 7:4-8) »

        Once you approach Paul’s teachings with an Hebraic mindset (which was his actual mindset), instead of a Greco-Roman mindset (which is Christianity’s), then we can realy start to understand was Paul was talking about.

        Let me address each of the Scriptures you put forward in order to “prove” that Paul was teaching against the Torah.

        1- “The Law is the tutor to lead us to Christ? (Gal 3:24)”

        => Which law is Paul talking about in this verse? The Torah or the law of sin and death?

        If we put things back into context of verse 22, Paul is talking about sin. In verse 23, he mentions a law (“we were kept under Law”). The law in question here has to be the law of sin and death (which Paul explains in great length in Romans 3 and which keeps none believers in Yeshua under the curse of death) and not the Torah (“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Let it not be said!” Rom 7.7)

        We need the “curse of the law” or “law of sin and death” to teach us that we are in bondage (under sin-3:22) in order to “escort” us to our Messiah. It is to teach us to have faith and trust in His perfect grace as the perfect practicing of the Word made flesh who became the curse for us on the tree. (salvation 101)

        2- “We’re no longer under a tutor? (Gal 3:25)”

        => Paul is saying that after that faith has come, we are no longer under the curse (law of sin and death). Before faith we are under the law of sin and death (curse) and after faith we are no longer under the law of sin and death (curse).

        Let’s pretend for a moment that the “tutor” is the “law of God” instead of the “law of sin and death.” Here is what the verse would be saying:

        Before faith = we are under the “law of God.”
        After faith = we are not under the “law of God.”

        Does that even make any sense? Of course not! When we apply the context here is what happens:

        Before faith = we are under the “law of sin and death(curse)”
        After faith = we are not under the “law of sin and death(curse)”

        Paul is saying the same thing as in Romans 8:2:

        “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”.

        It was the “law of sin and death” that places us in bondage, not the “law of God.”

        Why would we need to be freed from the “law of God” when Scripture calls the “law of God” freedom? Do we need to be freed from freedom? Again, does that make any sense? In fact, God’s law is called freedom in cripture (i.e. Psalm 119:45). Why would Paul be teaching us we need to be freed from freedom itself?

        What a twisted mess men’s doctrines have created for us to untangle!

        3- “If we’re lead by the Spirit we’re no longer under the Law? (Gal 5:18)”

        => Once again, the context helps us see clearer what Paul is really saying here.

        Knowing that the whole point and purpose of the Spirit is for us to do the “law of God.” (see Ez 11.19-20 above), could Paul be saying the following:

        Ga 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit (to do the “law of God”), ye are not under the law (of God).

        Does that make any sense? No, it doesn’t. So Paul must be referring to “another law.”

        Once again, Paul refers to “another law” called “the law of sin” (Romans 7:22-23) and the “law of sin” leads to “death” (Ro. 5:12) thus the understanding of the “law of sin and death” that we are no longer under (Ro. 8:2).

        Ga 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit (to do the “law of God” – to not sin), ye are not under the law (of sin).

        That makes complete sense. If we are led by the Spirit to do the “law of God” we will not sin. If we do not sin then we are not under the “law of sin.”

        4- “We died to the Law (including the 10 Commandments) thru the body of Christ” (Rom 7:4-8)

        => Knowing that:

        “The Law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making the simple wise. The Precepts of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandments of Yahweh are pure, giving light to the eyes” (Ps 19.7-8)

        Did we die from something perfect, sure, right and pure or did we die to the law of sin and death?

        In Roman 7, Paul is dealing with the the same exact struggle as he does in Galatians 3 and 5. We all do not listen and obey the Spirit like we should 100% of the time and we all struggle with the “law of sin.”

        “And of course many other instances of the same idea, that Christians “are done” with the Law. I’m not making these up, they’re right there in scripture”.

        The truth is Scriptures do not teach that we “are done” with the Law. God’s Holy Instruction have always had up-most importance to His eyes (once we are saved/covered by the blodd of the Lamb, the Torah is the way Abba wants His children to walk). The reality is that a lot of our brothers and sisters within Christianity, have a flawed understanding when it comes to Torah. This prevents them to be fully set apart from the world, equipped to fight the enemy and promote the One True God.

        Will you act like the Bereans and study the Scriptures to see what they have to teach in regards to the Law (and remember, they only had what we call the “OT”!)?

        With love and shalom,

        FX

      • I am fully aware that every one of the apostles taught from the old testament, they were all (except John) killed, Stephen was stoned by the Jewish sanhedrin for his testimony. Stephen in Acts chapter 7 called them a stiff-necked people, with uncircumscised hearts and ears! ” He say’s you are just like your fathers; You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered Him-you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.” We can all search the scriptures, but if you do so without the Holy Spirit’s guidance it is all for naught. Now here is the introduction to Galatians in the NIV: ” Paul wrote this letter to the Christian chuches in the Roman province of Galatia. These churches were being confused by false teachers called Judaizers, WHO WERE TEACHING THE GENTILE CHRISTIANS THAT THEY WERE NOT REALLY SAVED UNLESS THEY OBEYED ALL THE JEWISH LAWS-such as circumcision, eating special foods, and celebrating Jewish feast days. This group also said that Paul did not have God’s authority and therefore was not to be listened to. Paul begins the letter by telling the Galatians what gospel it is that he preaches and that his authority is from God. We cannot be saved from our sins by obeying the law, we are saved only by believing in Jesus Christ, Paul adds. Christians are free to live by the law of love, not the law of Moses. Faith, says Paul must be shown in love and believers must live by the spirit.”
        That said, there are 3 laws in Christ’s House:
        1. The law of Love. John 13-14 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you that ye also love one another.
        2. For the offender: The Law of confession. Mathew 5 :23-24 If thou bring thy gift to the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift.
        3. The Law of Forgiveness: Luke 17:34 If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespasses against thee 7 times in a day and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying I repent, thou shall forgive him.
        The apostles indeed taught from the old testament, but as Paul spent so much time in Romans and other chapters going over the law, you can’t miss the point on why he did that, it wasn’t to teach Christians that they had to become like the Jews in order to be saved, if you believe this then you are believing the eroneous doctrine that Paul spent so much time warning us about. If God wanted us to think like a Hebrew than He wouldn’t have sent us Jesus. If I am wrong, I’ll be judged by Jesus. But I know when I’m guided by the Holy Spirit, and when I’m guided by a mans understanding. And I do not analyze every comma, every thee, and every though, that is exactly what Paul warned us about. God Bless, and praying for wisdom, knowledge, and guidance for all. Thanks Kurt, I had forgotten about Jeremiah.

      • Kurt J. says:

        FX,

        I understand clearly your belief, I think. Every time it says that we’re “no longer under the law” or that we “died to the law”, you believe that’s specifically referring to a conceptual “law of sin and death”. Since the OT says “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” etc, the NT cannot be talking about the law as written by Moses. Do I have it correct, more or less?

        You probably understand how I read scripture too. So I don’t know if we’re really getting anywhere with each other, but at least we’re sharpening our understanding of scripture.

        I think you have completely misinterpreted the meaning of “law” as discussed by Paul. You have taken the plain and clear meaning of what he has written and have reinterpreted it so as to preserve your belief that we are still “under the law”. I just wonder how many OT laws you believe we are under? All of them? Perhaps. Some Christians believe we’re still under the 10 commandments, but not the food laws. Some add those, but stop short of the sacrifices. Unfortunately, if you let the nose of the Mosaic law under your tent of belief, you are arbitrarily saying “no” to some, because I guarantee no Christians are sacrificing.

        Let me point out a few things about your position, and a few more insights I find in the Word. In biblegateway.com I searched “law sin death”. Here is the verse first appearing in the Bible with all 3 of those words:

        2 Kings 14:6, But the sons of the slayers he did not put to death, according to what is written in the book of the Law of Moses, as the LORD commanded, saying, “ The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, nor the sons be put to death for the fathers; but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”

        We find sin and death associated with the law of Moses. There exists the “principle of 1st mention” in the Word, where nearly always, the first time a concept, issue or item is first discussed in the Bible it carries extra significance and sets a precedence and infuses unique meaning to all the following occurrences of it. I think that is true of the above verse. Here are all the other times (only 4 more in the entire Bible) where “law + sin + death” appear in the same verse:

        2 Chronicles 25:4, However, he did not put their children to death, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, which the LORD commanded, saying, “ Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor sons be put to death for fathers, but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”

        Romans 7:5, For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.

        Romans 8:2, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

        1 Corinthians 15:56, The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

        So, the 2nd occurrence again mentions the “law of Moses”. The third time in Romans 7 is clearly saying “the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law”; it is the law (of Moses) NOT the ‘law of sin arousing sinful passions’ – since you bring up ‘twisted mess’ of ‘men’s doctrines’, you need to look more carefully. Paul makes it absolutely CLEAR he is talking about the law of Moses because he specifically cites “You shall not covet” two verses later.

        The fourth occurrence, from whence you derive your entire interpretational structure, is Romans 8:2. Paul has just finished making the argument that it is the law of Moses that arouses sin, which brings death. So the law he is discussing, from the context, which any honest person has to concede, is the law of Moses. Moreover, because of the 1st two verses in the Bible containing those three words I believe this strengthens the association of “the law of sin and death” WITH the law of Moses.

        The 5th and last instance again is clearly saying that sin is empowered by the law, which, from all of Paul’s other writings aligns perfectly with what he has been telling us; look at Romans 7:

        V1: You (the Roman Jews) know the law… The “law of sin and death”??? NO! the law of Moses; go back and look at Rom 2:12 “you who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law…” or 2:23 “You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?” I could go on and on. The VERY CLEAR context is the “Law of God”. That is only, ever, what Paul is talking about. You can look at Romans 2-4; over and over Paul is discussing the Law of God.

        V2: For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. Couldn’t be more clear, but Paul is saying if a husband dies the wife can marry someone else.

        V3: So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Once one spouse is dead, the other can legally marry someone else.

        V4a: Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ We died to the Law of Moses, not the Law of sin and death. FX (I’m shouting, sorry!), BE HONEST with the text and for goodness sake, yourself!!

        V4b: so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. We aren’t joined to the Law ANY MORE, but to Christ.

        V5: For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Here’s one of those 5 times “law”, “sin and “death” appear in the same verse. The context is clearly the Law that the Jews in Rome know, the law of Moses. Because we were in the flesh, the Law aroused sin. We died in Christ.

        V6: But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Since we are dead, we are free to marry another—Yeshua!! This verse says clearly “WE HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM THE LAW.” We serve in the “newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter”. This is exactly the formula I’ve been giving to you over and over.

        V7: What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” If there could possibly be any doubt as to what law Paul is discussing, he shuts the door here by referencing Commandment #10 of the 10 Commandments.

        We could continue in this passage, or go to other books, particularly Galatians and Hebrews, but it is abundantly clear that per the NT we are dead to the law of Moses.

        Here’s the real clincher: God doesn’t expect us just to obey the law, but the Spirit of the law:

        Jesus said not only can you not commit murder, you can’t even say “you fool”!

        He said not only can you not commit adultery, you can’t even look at a woman with lust!

        Not only can you only divorce your wife lawfully, don’t do it at all!

        He said not only to fulfill your vows, don’t even make them at all!

        Don’t only not resist an evil person, if he slaps one cheek, give him the other to slap too!

        The law of Moses IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! The Spirit inside us demands an EVEN HIGHER standard. It’s the standard of “love each other as I have loved you!” Its “be led by the Spirit, not by the flesh!”

        FX, you can reply if you want, but I can read the plain meaning of scripture, and WE ARE DONE WITH THE LAW. God has MORE for us now. He doesn’t want 10%. He doesn’t want to be “first” in our life. He wants to be, and is, the center of everything!

        Yes the law is good and perfect, but it’s the Law of God, not the law of Moses. It’s the Law written on our hearts of flesh, not on stone. I’m not going back to stone. Ever. Jesus has qualified me. Jesus gave me His Spirit. I’m not submitting to weak and powerless precepts. I’m going with God’s love.

        Amen, and bless you, and may Yeshua show you His great love and acceptance of you, plus nothing you do!

      • FX says:

        Bonjour Kurt,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

        Just to clarify one thing: I’m not saying that every time Paul talks about the law, he is referring to the law of sin and death. Sorry if I gave this impression. Of course, like you rightly point out, he is most of the time talking about the Torah.

        Having said that, it is very important to put things back into context. When Paul talks about the negative aspect of the Law, or when he says we are no longer under the law, he is referring to its power over those who are not saved.

        The Law/Torah brings death to those who are not covered by the blood of Yeshua.

        When Paul says we are not under the law, he is talking to saved believers. Indeed you and I are not under the law: the Torah does not condemn us anymore. We no longer have its curse of death over our heads. Our sins, past, present and future have been forgiven. This is very clear.

        What is also very clear according to Scriptures is that sin is the transgression of the Torah:

        1Jn 3:4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

        Therefore, if we follow your line of thought, and if Paul were saying that now we are in Christ, we do not have to follow the law anymore (and this is clearly your actual understanding, I quote: « I can read the plain meaning of scripture, and WE ARE DONE WITH THE LAW”), in other words, Paul would be saying that we are free to do whatever we want, even transgressing Torah, that is to sin.

        Let’s her Paul on this very matter:

        Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

        Unless Paul were schizophrenic, he could not say one thing in one verse and then say its contrary in another. Yet, this is exactly what happens if we follow your interpretation.

        “I understand clearly your belief, I think. Every time it says that we’re “no longer under the law” or that we “died to the law”, you believe that’s specifically referring to a conceptual “law of sin and death”.

        Correct!

        To repeat myself, as believers in Yeshua (having been washed by His blood and saved from everlasting condemnation) when the Scriptures through the mouth of Paul tells us we are no longer under the law, they mean that we are no longer under the condemnation of the Torah (= death).
        Contrary to your current understanding, in no way Paul could be saying that we do not have to follow the Torah/Law anymore, now that we are saved. Think about it, Kurt. If Paul were saying this he would be going against the very Word of God:

        “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl: 12:13

        A few simple questions for you: does God change? Do the Scriptures contradict themselves?

        If at one point the Bible says that the most important thing for mankind is to fear Yahweh and keep His commandments (follow His Torah) and then it says the opposite (i.e. we are no longer under the law meaning we do not have to follow His Torah), then the Creator of the universe has either changed His mind or has contradicted Himself.

        If we follow your line of thought, either God changed or the Bible contradicts itself. In view of Scriptures like Malachi 3.6, and Hebrew 13.8, I would be curious to know how you reconcile the above…

        In our exchanged, so far, I have been trying to show you the inconsistency of your current understanding. Once again, if we follow your line of reasoning, then we have serious problems, not only with Paul who contradicts himself, but also with the veracity of the Bible.

        With love and blessings,

        FX

  3. Reblogged this on "I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel Of Christ" and commented:
    Meditations on The Law and our works vs. faith and the Spirit

    • FX says:

      Bonsoir Kurt,

      I’ve just come across this post by Richard Rives and thought it was relevant to our discussion.

      Allow me to share it with you. It’s called, “Judge Ye Not What is Right?” :

      Each week I provide a video commentary entitled Biblical Christianity – Just the Facts. By way of my commentaries I provide indisputable evidence that while many aspects of contemporary Christianity are found among the traditions of paganism, they cannot be found in the Bible.

      I tell people that we should keep the Ten Commandments, and that the combination of pagan precepts with the worship of the Biblical Creator is in violation of the first four commandments which tell us how to love the LORD.

      I tell people that while we are saved by grace through faith sin is still defined as the transgression of the law – that the wages of willful and unrepentant sin is still death – and that we must not practice sin.

      Some people just don’t like the idea of having rules by which we must abide; and, as you can imagine, I receive a great deal of criticism. Why am I criticized? Not for presenting information that is false, but for presenting factual evidence that they do not like.

      Most often what I hear is excuse after excuse as to why it is permissible for Christians to adopt pagan precepts – excuses as to how God knows our hearts and that He really does not care.

      Some take it so far as to say that I am being legalistic and that I am going to be in big trouble on judgment day. The bottom line is that either I am right and we should keep our Creator’s commandments or my critics are right and we really do not have to do so. Both views cannot be right. Someone is wrong.!

      For the sake of discussion let’s just say that I am wrong. Come judgment day what will be my penalty for telling people we should keep the Ten Commandments – commandments that were kept by Jesus, his disciples and by believers of the first century and onward?

      What will be my penalty for refusing to accept pagan traditions described as abominations by the God of the Bible. What will be my penalty?

      Once again, for the sake of discussion let’s just say that I am right and that sin is the transgression of the law and that the wages of unrepentant sin is still death.

      The Book of Acts speaks of a time of ignorance that God winked at. With the facts at hand, regarding the pagan nature of major components of contemporary Christianity ignorance is no excuse. Come judgment day what penalty will be required of those who knowingly and purposefully break our Creator’s commandments?

      What penalty will be required for those who have willingly participated in activities well known to have been in honor of pagan gods? What will be the penalty for those who have taught unsuspecting believers to do so?

      Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints; I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts.

      http://www.toolong.com

      Love and blessing dear bro.

      FX

  4. Kurt J. says:

    FX,

    Its hard for me to want to continue this conversation with you since neither of us (apparently) are making any headway. For my part, what I see is that you will not deal with the plain statements of scripture by Paul, and particularly, the very plain meaning of his teaching in Romans 7.

    Regarding Richard Rives, I did read what you included above but I don’t have the time nor inclination to go to his website. The law is good, actually perfect, but it also kills. It leads us to Christ. It is the standard by which the people of the world will be judged. All outside of Christ will be condemned, all in Christ will be given eternal life, because of His keeping of the law, not ours.

    Since we have been reborn in Christ, we no longer keep a law chiseled in stone or written on papyrus, but we “keep in step with the Spirit” and “love one another.” Its really no more complicated than that.

    You will not convince me that I am under an obligation to keep the law of a previous covenant, which is “obsolete” (Heb 8:13).

    I wish you the best,
    Kurt

    • FX says:

      Dear Kurt,

      Thanks for your answer. I respect your choice and remain open to carry on the discussion whenever the Spirit leads you to it.

      In the meantime, lots of blessings.

      May the Holy Spirit lead us in all truth.

      A bientôt !

      FX

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