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Thread: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

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    "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    I've had this interesting discussion on the degree to which Christianity is a religion of law. Obviously, we all agree that Christ had commandments for us to keep. But since the Law of Moses went away, how much left of "law" is there remaining in Christianity?

    I would argue that we still have everything that was in the Law, stripped of everything connecting it to the previous covenant, the Covenant of Moses' Law. Once we're rid of things such as 613 burdensome laws, the temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, we sitll have the nature of God, good human charactor, neighborliness, love for all, etc. There is still the need for a relationship between God's word and our obedience, and the need for a spiritual connection between God and ourselves based on our obedience. There is still the need for holiness, keeping us from being contaminated with things that separate us from God and His word.

    So we are still a religion of law. But to what degree is law *essential* in Christian salvation? I would argue that it is inseparable from salvation itself. It is only "earning salvation" that is impossible. Salvation comes to us as a gift from God. He has the virtues. We are the willing recipients.

    But practicing law is an essential feature in accepting grace and virtue from God, in my opinion. How can you ask for, and receive, God's virtues if we don't intend or begin to practice them? My argument is that contained in the principle of law is the expressed willingness to obtain a gift, including the desire to be saved. Law does not save, but it opens the door for salvation. And without opening the door, salvation is impossible. All opinions welcomed...

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    People often confuse "the way" with "the law" as much as they confuse "The Torah" with "the law."

    We both know "the way" or "the Torah" is limited when defined as "the law."
    Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I've had this interesting discussion on the degree to which Christianity is a religion of law. Obviously, we all agree that Christ had commandments for us to keep. But since the Law of Moses went away, how much left of "law" is there remaining in Christianity?

    I would argue that we still have everything that was in the Law, stripped of everything connecting it to the previous covenant, the Covenant of Moses' Law. Once we're rid of things such as 613 burdensome laws, the temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, we sitll have the nature of God, good human charactor, neighborliness, love for all, etc. There is still the need for a relationship between God's word and our obedience, and the need for a spiritual connection between God and ourselves based on our obedience. There is still the need for holiness, keeping us from being contaminated with things that separate us from God and His word.

    So we are still a religion of law. But to what degree is law *essential* in Christian salvation? I would argue that it is inseparable from salvation itself. It is only "earning salvation" that is impossible. Salvation comes to us as a gift from God. He has the virtues. We are the willing recipients.

    But practicing law is an essential feature in accepting grace and virtue from God, in my opinion. How can you ask for, and receive, God's virtues if we don't intend or begin to practice them? My argument is that contained in the principle of law is the expressed willingness to obtain a gift, including the desire to be saved. Law does not save, but it opens the door for salvation. And without opening the door, salvation is impossible. All opinions welcomed...
    I think if we return to the beginning we can have clear view of what God planned. After making man, man was placed before the Tree of Life. Man is made of three parts, body, soul and spirit. The life if the body is the blood. The life of the soul is pleasure to the faculties of mind, emotion and will. The life of the spirit is God's breath and when a man dies it is because the spirit removes itself. All who died in the Bible "gave up the spirit (or ghost)". See James 2:26. The life that men got in Genesis 2:7 was the same vitality as cows and crows get (Eccl.3:19). But man is made in the image and likeness of God and thus his spirit was designed as a vessel.

    Man ate from a Tree that caused the corruption of his body and anon he dies. If man had eaten from the Tree of Life, his spirit would have been permeated with the Life of God - that is eternal Life and the nature of God. And because the spirit is the vitalizing organ of man, he would have simply lived a God-like life without effort. Dogs bark because they are dogs and have the dog-nature. Man can bark but it is an effort and against his nature. Thus, the Life and/or nature of God would have permeated the man and caused him to live like God without effort. We have one example of this - Jesus. He was born of Mary, making Him 100% man. But the Male part was the Holy Spirit, making Him 100% God. He was a Man with divine nature, and although seriously tempted, was able, by simply applying His intrinsic nature dwelling in His spirit, to do everything as the Father wanted.

    But unfortunately man did not eat of the Tree of Life, and besides a corrupted body, his soul was polluted by the demands of this corrupted flesh. The result is recorded in Genesis 6:5. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." For 2,000 years man was left to his only remaining faculty that could decide good from evil - his conscience. But instead of heeding his conscience, he "seared it" (1st Tim.4:2). So when God raised up Israel to be His People, He gave them about 620 Laws that were to be kept under pain of retribution. These ca. 620 Laws are divided into three main sections. (1) Give God His due. (2) Give man his due. (3) Give the creature its due. But by its very position outside of man, this Law could only be carried out by extreme self-denial. And Roman Chapter 7 presents us with the fact that because of the Law of sin and death in our members, we have no chance of keeping this Law. Thus, the only good that the Law did when men attempted to keep it was that it was like a "schoolmaster" keeping you disciplined until a better solution could be found.

    This better solution is a masterpiece. Christ takes the nature and form of a Man, but has the intrinsic nature of God in His spirit. He lives a perfect life and thus fulfills the Law - the only man to do so. Then He dies and is resurrected, making the human experience complete. Now, because He was God, all that happens to Christ became eternal. That is, He is the Full Package of God (Col.2:9), with the full package of perfect human life added to Him and made eternal. Then, He removes Himself from among men, and returns as a Spirit to dwell in the spirits of men. And the circle of God's council from the beginning is ALMOST complete. The Christian now has access to all that God requires of him in the spirit. But his corrupted body and polluted soul are still with Him. So a battle ensues. Galatians 5:17 tells us; "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." God in the Person of Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit makes demands from His throne in the human spirit. The flesh screams its demands and the soul is caught in the middle. The solution to this battle ... ? - Luke 9:23. "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

    That is the basic condition every one of us Christians finds themselves in after rebirth. Where then is the Law in all this. It is nailed to the cross. Why? (1) Man cannot keep it. (2) Man only brings God's wrath upon himself. (3) Christ's life, death and resurrection are imputed, as a package to the Christian, and so the Christian insults God when he tries to keep the Law. He is, in essence, saying, "I can do better than Jesus". So what standard of behavior is the Christian then attached to? The INSTANT and IMMEDIATE leading of Christ in the human spirit. That is, we live by His LIFE. Romans 8:1-2 and 14 show the way.
    1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    ....
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."


    To close, let us take two examples.
    1. Jack kills John. John's family, according to the Law of Moses, which was given by God, may in turn kill Jack (Deut.19:21). But the brother of John, Jules, a Christian, turns to his spirit and asks God what he should do. God answers that this brutal sin (1) has already fallen on Jesus on the cross, and asks Jules to forego retribution. But (2) God promises Jules that if Jack does not repent in his lifetime, God will settle the vengeance Himself (Rom.12:19; 1st Pet.2.23). Jules, with gnashing teeth, obeys. He has been led by the the Spirit of God in his human spirit. He did not need any of the 620 Laws of Moses. He just had to be obedient to the LIFE of Christ in his spirit. And why the gnashing teeth? because he had to deny his nature and his sense of righteousness.
    2. Jack not only killed John, but he is a lazy bum and will not work. He makes his wife work for them to live. Jack's wife gets very ill and can't work, and Jack is left without food. Shall we help him? The Law of Moses says, "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother" (Deuteronomy 15:7). But we turn to our spirit and God says NO! NO HELP! Let Jack starve! What is this???

    The answer is that because Christians are to forsake earthly wealth and give freely, there will always be those bums who leech off the hard workers. So God, who cursed all men in Eden with work, sweat thistles and thorns, does not allow this practice of bumming by Christians. He says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12;
    10 "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
    ....
    12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."


    It will seem strange to the others. What! A Christian who will not help when a man is starving? What kind of Christian is he? Yes, he will be reviled, but he has been obedient to God in his human spirit.

    If a Christian is nourishing his human spirit with prayer and fellowship with Christ, and he is denying himself and crucifying the flesh daily, he will LIVE by the "Law of LIFE in Christ Jesus" and be obedient. He is not only above the Law of Moses, but he is fulfilling God's original plan to have man eat of the Tree of LIFE and LIVE by the intrinsic nature of God in him.

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    People often confuse "the way" with "the law" as much as they confuse "The Torah" with "the law."

    We both know "the way" or "the Torah" is limited when defined as "the law."
    I'd like to better understand what you mean here? Are you saying that the path to salvation is separate from obedience to Christian law?

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I think if we return to the beginning we can have clear view of what God planned. After making man, man was placed before the Tree of Life. Man is made of three parts, body, soul and spirit. The life if the body is the blood. The life of the soul is pleasure to the faculties of mind, emotion and will. The life of the spirit is God's breath and when a man dies it is because the spirit removes itself. All who died in the Bible "gave up the spirit (or ghost)". See James 2:26. The life that men got in Genesis 2:7 was the same vitality as cows and crows get (Eccl.3:19). But man is made in the image and likeness of God and thus his spirit was designed as a vessel.

    Man ate from a Tree that caused the corruption of his body and anon he dies. If man had eaten from the Tree of Life, his spirit would have been permeated with the Life of God - that is eternal Life and the nature of God. And because the spirit is the vitalizing organ of man, he would have simply lived a God-like life without effort. Dogs bark because they are dogs and have the dog-nature. Man can bark but it is an effort and against his nature. Thus, the Life and/or nature of God would have permeated the man and caused him to live like God without effort. We have one example of this - Jesus. He was born of Mary, making Him 100% man. But the Male part was the Holy Spirit, making Him 100% God. He was a Man with divine nature, and although seriously tempted, was able, by simply applying His intrinsic nature dwelling in His spirit, to do everything as the Father wanted.
    Well, I certainly wouldn't say the "male part" of Jesus, because Jesus was all male, and not female at all. Perhaps you're referring to his "masculine side," or something like that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    But unfortunately man did not eat of the Tree of Life, and besides a corrupted body, his soul was polluted by the demands of this corrupted flesh. The result is recorded in Genesis 6:5. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." For 2,000 years man was left to his only remaining faculty that could decide good from evil - his conscience. But instead of heeding his conscience, he "seared it" (1st Tim.4:2). So when God raised up Israel to be His People, He gave them about 620 Laws that were to be kept under pain of retribution. These ca. 620 Laws are divided into three main sections. (1) Give God His due. (2) Give man his due. (3) Give the creature its due. But by its very position outside of man, this Law could only be carried out by extreme self-denial. And Roman Chapter 7 presents us with the fact that because of the Law of sin and death in our members, we have no chance of keeping this Law. Thus, the only good that the Law did when men attempted to keep it was that it was like a "schoolmaster" keeping you disciplined until a better solution could be found.

    This better solution is a masterpiece. Christ takes the nature and form of a Man, but has the intrinsic nature of God in His spirit. He lives a perfect life and thus fulfills the Law - the only man to do so. Then He dies and is resurrected, making the human experience complete. Now, because He was God, all that happens to Christ became eternal. That is, He is the Full Package of God (Col.2:9), with the full package of perfect human life added to Him and made eternal. Then, He removes Himself from among men, and returns as a Spirit to dwell in the spirits of men. And the circle of God's council from the beginning is ALMOST complete. The Christian now has access to all that God requires of him in the spirit. But his corrupted body and polluted soul are still with Him. So a battle ensues. Galatians 5:17 tells us; "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." God in the Person of Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit makes demands from His throne in the human spirit. The flesh screams its demands and the soul is caught in the middle. The solution to this battle ... ? - Luke 9:23. "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

    That is the basic condition every one of us Christians finds themselves in after rebirth. Where then is the Law in all this. It is nailed to the cross. Why? (1) Man cannot keep it. (2) Man only brings God's wrath upon himself. (3) Christ's life, death and resurrection are imputed, as a package to the Christian, and so the Christian insults God when he tries to keep the Law. He is, in essence, saying, "I can do better than Jesus". So what standard of behavior is the Christian then attached to? The INSTANT and IMMEDIATE leading of Christ in the human spirit. That is, we live by His LIFE. Romans 8:1-2 and 14 show the way.
    1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    I think you're confusing the inability of man to do good with the inability of man to meet the demands of God's Law to obtain eternal life. Man has *always* been able to do good, to obey law. God would never have given the Law of Moses to Israel if they couldn't do it. They simply could not meet the demands of the Law of Moses with respect to *obtaining eternal life.*

    It was the old story of Man in the Garden of Eden. Once he had eaten from the forbidden tree, he became permeated with the forbidden fruit, and could no longer do good in the sense of justifying what he had done. What he had done could not be erased. He had to die, and start all over again.

    So man has always been able to do good. Israel could keep the Law. We can now obey the Law of Christ. We simply cannot obtain eternal life by our works. We can never justify ourselves. But if we accept Christ he becomes our justification as we obey his commandments. We keep his rules. He justifies us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Walls

    ....
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."


    To close, let us take two examples.
    1. Jack kills John. John's family, according to the Law of Moses, which was given by God, may in turn kill Jack (Deut.19:21). But the brother of John, Jules, a Christian, turns to his spirit and asks God what he should do. God answers that this brutal sin (1) has already fallen on Jesus on the cross, and asks Jules to forego retribution. But (2) God promises Jules that if Jack does not repent in his lifetime, God will settle the vengeance Himself (Rom.12:19; 1st Pet.2.23). Jules, with gnashing teeth, obeys. He has been led by the the Spirit of God in his human spirit. He did not need any of the 620 Laws of Moses. He just had to be obedient to the LIFE of Christ in his spirit. And why the gnashing teeth? because he had to deny his nature and his sense of righteousness.
    2. Jack not only killed John, but he is a lazy bum and will not work. He makes his wife work for them to live. Jack's wife gets very ill and can't work, and Jack is left without food. Shall we help him? The Law of Moses says, "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother" (Deuteronomy 15:7). But we turn to our spirit and God says NO! NO HELP! Let Jack starve! What is this???

    The answer is that because Christians are to forsake earthly wealth and give freely, there will always be those bums who leech off the hard workers. So God, who cursed all men in Eden with work, sweat thistles and thorns, does not allow this practice of bumming by Christians. He says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12;
    10 "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
    ....
    12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."


    It will seem strange to the others. What! A Christian who will not help when a man is starving? What kind of Christian is he? Yes, he will be reviled, but he has been obedient to God in his human spirit.

    If a Christian is nourishing his human spirit with prayer and fellowship with Christ, and he is denying himself and crucifying the flesh daily, he will LIVE by the "Law of LIFE in Christ Jesus" and be obedient. He is not only above the Law of Moses, but he is fulfilling God's original plan to have man eat of the Tree of LIFE and LIVE by the intrinsic nature of God in him.
    Ah, a good conservative Christian, who is not an enabler. Bravo! But seriously, these are matters of following laws that you are yourself proving by your references to Scriptures. We are not to fellowship with the idle Christian. We are to judge immoral Christians within the church fellowship. These are all rules we can do. But Christ is, as I said, our justification. None of our works can justify our sin, which is still within us, and which we still live with, to some degree.

    Thanks for your comments!

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I'd like to better understand what you mean here? Are you saying that the path to salvation is separate from obedience to Christian law?
    The path to salvation is through Jesus through faith alone.

    I’m referring to ‘working out your salvation.’ It’s not a legalistic walk that builds our character in His image but a spiritual walk.

    “The way” is given by God for discernment.

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I've had this interesting discussion on the degree to which Christianity is a religion of law. Obviously, we all agree that Christ had commandments for us to keep. But since the Law of Moses went away, how much left of "law" is there remaining in Christianity?
    Since we are not under the Law of Moses, does this leave us with no moral direction? Absolutely not. The old covenant is obsolete to "put legally into place" the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6-9; Hebrews 8:6-13). The life of discipleship flows out of the new command, to love one another as He loved us (John 13:34), which Paul refers to as the "law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Love fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10). Out of this single command comes other commands, including references for the moral aspect of 9 of the 10 commandments, which are reiterated under the new covenant, yet the command to keep the Sabbath day is not binding on Christians under the new covenant.

    1. You shall have no other gods before Me. - Acts 14:15
    2. You shall make no idols. - 1 John 5:21
    3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. - James 5:12
    4. Keep the Sabbath day holy. - Not binding on the Church - Colossians 2:16-17
    5. Honor your father and your mother. - Ephesians 6:1-2
    6. You shall not murder. - Romans 13:9-10; 1 John 3:15
    7. You shall not commit adultery. - Romans 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    8. You shall not steal. - Romans 13:9-10; Ephesians 4:28
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. - Romans 13:9-10; Colossians 3:9-10
    10. You shall not covet. - Romans 13:9-10; Ephesians 5:3

    More exhaustive list:

    Matthew 2:2; 2:8; 2:11; 4:9; 4:10; 14:33; 15:9; 28:9; 28:17, Mark 7:7, Luke 4:7; 4:8; 24:52, John 4:20,21,22,23,24; 9:38; 12:20, Acts 7:43; 8:27; 16:14; 17:23; 18:7; 18:13; 19:27; 24:11, Romans 1:25; 12:1, 1 Corinthians 14:25, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:18, Hebrews 1:6; 9:1; 9:6; 10:2; 11:21, Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 9:20; 11:1; 11:16; 14:7; 15:4; 19:4; 19:10; 22:8; 22:9

    Acts 15:20,29, Romans 1:25, 1 Corinthians 6:9; Chapter 8; 10:7,14; 12:2, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Galatians 5:20, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5, 1 Peter 4:3, 1 John 5:21, Revelation 2:14, 20; 9:20; 21:8; 22:15

    Matthew 12:36, Ephesians 5:4, Romans 2:24, Revelation 16:9

    Matthew 15:5, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10; 10:19, Luke 18:20, Ephesians 6:2

    Matthew 5:21; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 1:29; 13:9, James 2:11

    Matthew 5:27,28,32; 19:9,18, Mark 10:11,19, Luke 16:18; 18:20, Romans 13:9, James 2:11, 2 Peter 2:14

    Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 2:21; 13:9, Ephesians 4:28

    Matthew 15:9; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

    Mark 7:22, Luke 12:15, Romans 1:29; 7:7; 13:9, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Peter 2:14


    I'm not a bad guy. I'm just misunderstood.

    Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
    Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    The path to salvation is through Jesus through faith alone.

    I’m referring to ‘working out your salvation.’ It’s not a legalistic walk that builds our character in His image but a spiritual walk.

    “The way” is given by God for discernment.
    Good Protestant statement, which I grew up with. I was confirmed in my early adolescence, and signed on to this principle of justification by faith alone. But it didn't make total sense to me at the time. I've really tried, through the years, to wrap my mind around it, in the context of law. If faith alone is necessary, what about law?

    So we come to James, which Martin Luther had a big problem with. But it makes perfect sense to me. Without works our faith is dead! This means "law" plays a vital part in the process of faith. If we say we are saved by "faith alone," this "faith" cannot exclude "works," because works is part of the definition of faith. It would be equally accurate to say that "faith with works" alone saves us.

    But I do understand Luther's concern, and why he had trouble with James. In the environment he spoke into the problem was with a false sense of "works"--a self-justifying "works." This kind of "works" has no place in genuine "faith."

    So true faith has works, and works has law. All this excludes "self-justifying works."

    To continue with my testimony, my life changed one day when I read in Acts, "I give my Spirit to those who obey me." In other words, God was telling me that it is *by law* that I will receive the Holy Spirit. It is my *wish to do right* that will be construed as repentance, allowing me to receive the answer from God, which is grace, forgiveness, and spiritual righteousness.

    I've never been the same since. I understand that God's grace to me is tied to my willingness to be obedient to His laws. I'm not afraid, any longer, to use the sense of *lawfulness* in my Christianity, since I'm not referring to self-justifying law.

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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by mailmandan View Post
    Since we are not under the Law of Moses, does this leave us with no moral direction? Absolutely not. The old covenant is obsolete to "put legally into place" the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6-9; Hebrews 8:6-13). The life of discipleship flows out of the new command, to love one another as He loved us (John 13:34), which Paul refers to as the "law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Love fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10). Out of this single command comes other commands, including references for the moral aspect of 9 of the 10 commandments, which are reiterated under the new covenant, yet the command to keep the Sabbath day is not binding on Christians under the new covenant.

    1. You shall have no other gods before Me. - Acts 14:15
    2. You shall make no idols. - 1 John 5:21
    3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. - James 5:12
    4. Keep the Sabbath day holy. - Not binding on the Church - Colossians 2:16-17
    5. Honor your father and your mother. - Ephesians 6:1-2
    6. You shall not murder. - Romans 13:9-10; 1 John 3:15
    7. You shall not commit adultery. - Romans 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    8. You shall not steal. - Romans 13:9-10; Ephesians 4:28
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. - Romans 13:9-10; Colossians 3:9-10
    10. You shall not covet. - Romans 13:9-10; Ephesians 5:3

    More exhaustive list:

    Matthew 2:2; 2:8; 2:11; 4:9; 4:10; 14:33; 15:9; 28:9; 28:17, Mark 7:7, Luke 4:7; 4:8; 24:52, John 4:20,21,22,23,24; 9:38; 12:20, Acts 7:43; 8:27; 16:14; 17:23; 18:7; 18:13; 19:27; 24:11, Romans 1:25; 12:1, 1 Corinthians 14:25, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:18, Hebrews 1:6; 9:1; 9:6; 10:2; 11:21, Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 9:20; 11:1; 11:16; 14:7; 15:4; 19:4; 19:10; 22:8; 22:9

    Acts 15:20,29, Romans 1:25, 1 Corinthians 6:9; Chapter 8; 10:7,14; 12:2, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Galatians 5:20, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5, 1 Peter 4:3, 1 John 5:21, Revelation 2:14, 20; 9:20; 21:8; 22:15

    Matthew 12:36, Ephesians 5:4, Romans 2:24, Revelation 16:9

    Matthew 15:5, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10; 10:19, Luke 18:20, Ephesians 6:2

    Matthew 5:21; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 1:29; 13:9, James 2:11

    Matthew 5:27,28,32; 19:9,18, Mark 10:11,19, Luke 16:18; 18:20, Romans 13:9, James 2:11, 2 Peter 2:14

    Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 2:21; 13:9, Ephesians 4:28

    Matthew 15:9; 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

    Mark 7:22, Luke 12:15, Romans 1:29; 7:7; 13:9, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Peter 2:14


    I'm not a bad guy. I'm just misunderstood.

    Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
    You've certainly done your homework, and I respect that! I think the big problem, often, is that Christians don't recognize that lawfulness is retained by Christianity after the Law of Moses is done away with. The essential lawfulness, that was in the Garden of Eden, and that also existed in the Law of Moses, is retained in Christian law, minus all of the things Jesus has fulfilled.

    I like to refer to the distinction of these legal systems as "bundling." 613 laws were "bundled" together in the Law of Moses. The same laws may be utilized under the Christian covenant, but they are now "bundled" under an entirely new and different covenant, the Covenant of Christ.

    So when we as Christians observe the law to "not steal," we are not obeying that law as if it is any longer observing the Law of Moses. We are observing that law under the parameters of the Law of Christ. We are doing it, in a sense, not for Moses, but for Christ.

    When Jesus spoke, in Matthew 5, about the importance of the Law of God for all time he was not indicating that all laws would remain static forever. Rather, he indicated that *every law* would be fulfilled, so that the basic lawfulness of God for all of humanity would remain static forever. Clearly, this is a reason to retain lawfulness, and many of the laws in the Law of Moses, in Christianity.

  10. #10
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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Good Protestant statement, which I grew up with. I was confirmed in my early adolescence, and signed on to this principle of justification by faith alone. But it didn't make total sense to me at the time. I've really tried, through the years, to wrap my mind around it, in the context of law. If faith alone is necessary, what about law?

    So we come to James, which Martin Luther had a big problem with. But it makes perfect sense to me. Without works our faith is dead! This means "law" plays a vital part in the process of faith. If we say we are saved by "faith alone," this "faith" cannot exclude "works," because works is part of the definition of faith. It would be equally accurate to say that "faith with works" alone saves us.

    But I do understand Luther's concern, and why he had trouble with James. In the environment he spoke into the problem was with a false sense of "works"--a self-justifying "works." This kind of "works" has no place in genuine "faith."

    So true faith has works, and works has law. All this excludes "self-justifying works."

    To continue with my testimony, my life changed one day when I read in Acts, "I give my Spirit to those who obey me." In other words, God was telling me that it is *by law* that I will receive the Holy Spirit. It is my *wish to do right* that will be construed as repentance, allowing me to receive the answer from God, which is grace, forgiveness, and spiritual righteousness.

    I've never been the same since. I understand that God's grace to me is tied to my willingness to be obedient to His laws. I'm not afraid, any longer, to use the sense of *lawfulness* in my Christianity, since I'm not referring to self-justifying law.
    The way it works for me is that if I obey the Spirit who obeys the law perfectly, then the law is provided for my discernment to “test the spirits” in any given situation. The standard is love. If I can’t obey the Spirit in love, then it all falls apart.

    For me this is the ‘work’ part of ‘working out my salvation.’ Less of me and more of Him. Once I realized He walks in the law perfectly and once I realized He dwells in me, James’ statement became clear. My focus became less on my works and more on His. If one has this faith, works are a natural outcome.

    It’s kind of like a logic statement: P➡️Q

  11. #11
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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by keck553 View Post
    The way it works for me is that if I obey the Spirit who obeys the law perfectly, then the law is provided for my discernment to “test the spirits” in any given situation. The standard is love. If I can’t obey the Spirit in love, then it all falls apart.

    For me this is the ‘work’ part of ‘working out my salvation.’ Less of me and more of Him. Once I realized He walks in the law perfectly and once I realized He dwells in me, James’ statement became clear. My focus became less on my works and more on His. If one has this faith, works are a natural outcome.

    It’s kind of like a logic statement: P➡️Q
    I think I understand. I also see us as the recipients of grace, and not the originators of grace. The virtue lies with Christ, and not with us. He is the vine, and we are the branches.

    But the idea of "lawfulness" is pointedly there in the very principles you lay out--even the sense of our passive role in salvation. By our willingness to admit passivity, and the need for divine initiative we play the role of penitent. We are indulging in a form of lawfulness in which we obey the need to be humble, and to admit our shortcomings.

    To "walk by the Spirit," and to "act in love," are both principles of law. To obey Christ's commandment to "love one another" is obedience to a law of sorts. We know the love comes from him, and we are to step forward to engage a gift that is there for the taking.

    I do think we have never lost the ability to do works and to do good. We've never lost the ability to obey God, to engage in His love. The problem is, we've poisoned ourselves, in the act of disobedience. Adam did it, and we still do it.

    As long as we live in this fallen flesh we will do both good and produce flaws in our works. We will always need justification from Christ as long as we live in these mortal bodies. But we can do good, and also know that we are being justified by Christ. If we do not choose to do any good, or to obey any law, I don't see how we can be saved?

  12. #12

    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I think I understand. I also see us as the recipients of grace, and not the originators of grace. The virtue lies with Christ, and not with us. He is the vine, and we are the branches.

    But the idea of "lawfulness" is pointedly there in the very principles you lay out--even the sense of our passive role in salvation. By our willingness to admit passivity, and the need for divine initiative we play the role of penitent. We are indulging in a form of lawfulness in which we obey the need to be humble, and to admit our shortcomings.

    To "walk by the Spirit," and to "act in love," are both principles of law. To obey Christ's commandment to "love one another" is obedience to a law of sorts. We know the love comes from him, and we are to step forward to engage a gift that is there for the taking.

    I do think we have never lost the ability to do works and to do good. We've never lost the ability to obey God, to engage in His love. The problem is, we've poisoned ourselves, in the act of disobedience. Adam did it, and we still do it.

    As long as we live in this fallen flesh we will do both good and produce flaws in our works. We will always need justification from Christ as long as we live in these mortal bodies. But we can do good, and also know that we are being justified by Christ. If we do not choose to do any good, or to obey any law, I don't see how we can be saved?
    I think I am following what you are saying, as Christians there remains some extent if the law to be followed. As we are aware, Jesus fulfilled the law in us, and by doing so, we follow the Spirit not the law. If we follow law, then we will be judged by the whole law, right?

    We put on Christ, abide in Christ, manifest Christ is the law of Christ, to love one another and by doing that one simple commandment, we can not help but remain inside the constraints of the 10 commandments and in this way we are not actually following the law, instead we are being free in Christ to love God and love others.
    Also, the freedom to surrender to God, completely in brokenness, to the point where all that is left is to do His will. Not law but a surrender.

    Hopefully I am not too far off from your point and I make sense. lol

  13. #13
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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Well, I certainly wouldn't say the "male part" of Jesus, because Jesus was all male, and not female at all. Perhaps you're referring to his "masculine side," or something like that?



    I think you're confusing the inability of man to do good with the inability of man to meet the demands of God's Law to obtain eternal life. Man has *always* been able to do good, to obey law. God would never have given the Law of Moses to Israel if they couldn't do it. They simply could not meet the demands of the Law of Moses with respect to *obtaining eternal life.*

    It was the old story of Man in the Garden of Eden. Once he had eaten from the forbidden tree, he became permeated with the forbidden fruit, and could no longer do good in the sense of justifying what he had done. What he had done could not be erased. He had to die, and start all over again.

    So man has always been able to do good. Israel could keep the Law. We can now obey the Law of Christ. We simply cannot obtain eternal life by our works. We can never justify ourselves. But if we accept Christ he becomes our justification as we obey his commandments. We keep his rules. He justifies us.


    Ah, a good conservative Christian, who is not an enabler. Bravo! But seriously, these are matters of following laws that you are yourself proving by your references to Scriptures. We are not to fellowship with the idle Christian. We are to judge immoral Christians within the church fellowship. These are all rules we can do. But Christ is, as I said, our justification. None of our works can justify our sin, which is still within us, and which we still live with, to some degree.

    Thanks for your comments!
    Thanks too for your comments. As to the "Male part" I don't see the confusion. I sated clearly that is was the Holy Spirit (Matt.1:18; Lk.1:35). Mary could not conceive by herself and even if she did she could not impart the divinity that I wrote about too. But .. no problem.

    I also cannot see any serious Bible scholar thinking that any man can keep the Law after studying Romans Chapter 7. But ... again, no problem.

  14. #14
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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I think I understand. I also see us as the recipients of grace, and not the originators of grace. The virtue lies with Christ, and not with us. He is the vine, and we are the branches.

    But the idea of "lawfulness" is pointedly there in the very principles you lay out--even the sense of our passive role in salvation. By our willingness to admit passivity, and the need for divine initiative we play the role of penitent. We are indulging in a form of lawfulness in which we obey the need to be humble, and to admit our shortcomings.

    To "walk by the Spirit," and to "act in love," are both principles of law. To obey Christ's commandment to "love one another" is obedience to a law of sorts. We know the love comes from him, and we are to step forward to engage a gift that is there for the taking.

    I do think we have never lost the ability to do works and to do good. We've never lost the ability to obey God, to engage in His love. The problem is, we've poisoned ourselves, in the act of disobedience. Adam did it, and we still do it.

    As long as we live in this fallen flesh we will do both good and produce flaws in our works. We will always need justification from Christ as long as we live in these mortal bodies. But we can do good, and also know that we are being justified by Christ. If we do not choose to do any good, or to obey any law, I don't see how we can be saved?
    I agree with all of this

  15. #15
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    Re: "de-legalization" of Christian Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    I think I am following what you are saying, as Christians there remains some extent if the law to be followed. As we are aware, Jesus fulfilled the law in us, and by doing so, we follow the Spirit not the law. If we follow law, then we will be judged by the whole law, right?

    We put on Christ, abide in Christ, manifest Christ is the law of Christ, to love one another and by doing that one simple commandment, we can not help but remain inside the constraints of the 10 commandments and in this way we are not actually following the law, instead we are being free in Christ to love God and love others.
    Also, the freedom to surrender to God, completely in brokenness, to the point where all that is left is to do His will. Not law but a surrender.

    Hopefully I am not too far off from your point and I make sense. lol
    Following God's Spirit has always been the way of lawfulness. The entire Law of Moses was based upon following God's Spirit, even though it was encased in a structure that needed temporary justification until final justification could be had.

    So my argument is that within the Christian life we remain lawful, inasmuch as we continue to follow the Spirit of God. We just no longer have need of temporary justification since final justification has already been had. We now receive divine virtue from God along with justification. We have no more need to follow laws that have to do with justification.

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