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Thread: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

  1. #1
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    Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    What does it mean to be a "slave to the Law?" Paul mentioned this is Rom 7. Some Christians feel that the Law of God is a source of condemnation, if we try to accomplish any works for God. So are we able to produce righteousness by the Law of God at all? And is the Law of God still in effect?

    Paul saw himself, as a Jew, as having been bound to the Law. This is regardless of the fact the Law was no longer in place as a covenant. As a Jew Paul only had recourse to the Law of God, and without Christ he had the sentence of death.

    The Law of God therefore remains, in the NT, as a source of condemnation, just as it had in the Garden of Eden. What we are required to do, by God's Law, simply arouses the sin that lies within us. And thus, the Law may have us do things that are right. But at the same time it exposes our sin nature, which displays ungodly things, as well. We produce, by the Law of God, a "mixed bag."

    So Paul saw himself as a "slave to the Law." He was strapped to God's requirements to produce righteousness. But apart from Christ he was also in bondage to the production of sin which, without Christ, produces death.

    Paul was not saying that the Law of God was gone, even though the Law of Moses as a covenant was indeed passé. Rather, he was saying that being under the Law, for all of its righteousness and grace, was still a sentence of death, since the sin nature was still in him. Without Christ, that sin would still be on record, and subject to the sentence of death.

    Paul was arguing that the substitution of Christ for the bondage to the covenant of Law was critical if the sentence of death was to be lifted. There would always be the sin nature in man, as long as he remains mortal. And the only way to lift the sentence of death for sin was by submission to Christ.

    To be enslaved to the Law is fine. But to be enslaved to a covenant that excludes Christ, requiring rituals that remind one of the death sentence, is not something Paul wished to be enslaved to. With respect to the Law as a covenant, Paul pursued liberty from the Law. As a requirement of righteousness, Paul was ready to be enslaved to that.

    The critical thing is to pursue the Law of God through Christ, not as though the Law still existed as a covenant without Christ. Rather, the Law is now centered in Christ, who has released us from a covenant that would sentence us to death for our sin, inasmuch as without Christ our sins remain unreconciled.

  2. #2

    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    I don't see the exact phrase "slave to the Law". Which verse in particular are you referring to in Romans 7?

    Romans 6 talks about being slaves to sin/uncleanness and slaves of righteousness. Romans 7 talks about being under the dominion of the law and bound by the law (which means we are required to follow its rules). Romans 7:23 talks about being in captivity to the law of sin (the power/principle/tendency to sin in our lives). Do you refer to Romans 7:25 about serving the law of God and with the flesh the law of sin?

    Galatians 5:1 (NIV) seems to say that it is not ok to be enslaved to the Law of Moses.

    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

    Is that what you are referring to? The Law of Moses? Or the law of liberty? (James 1:25; 2:12) The law of Christ remains, but it is not the same as the Law of Moses. We need to work righteousness but not depend on works to have a righteous standing.

    Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenonions View Post
    I don't see the exact phrase "slave to the Law". Which verse in particular are you referring to in Romans 7?

    Romans 6 talks about being slaves to sin/uncleanness and slaves of righteousness. Romans 7 talks about being under the dominion of the law and bound by the law (which means we are required to follow its rules). Romans 7:23 talks about being in captivity to the law of sin (the power/principle/tendency to sin in our lives). Do you refer to Romans 7:25 about serving the law of God and with the flesh the law of sin?

    Galatians 5:1 (NIV) seems to say that it is not ok to be enslaved to the Law of Moses.

    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

    Is that what you are referring to? The Law of Moses? Or the law of liberty? (James 1:25; 2:12) The law of Christ remains, but it is not the same as the Law of Moses. We need to work righteousness but not depend on works to have a righteous standing.

    Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
    Right, thanks for responding. I know this is convoluted, but it is something I've been working on for some time. I'm just trying to get the biblical verbiage right. If I'm to argue, using the Bible, I have to define my terms correctly.

    Yes, the verse is here:

    Rom 7.25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


    I'm making a distinction between the eternal Law of God, as existed in the Garden of Eden, and continues now to exist as the Law of Christ, and the Law of God as the Covenant given through Moses. I distinguish the Law of God from the *Covenant* of Law, aka the Law of Moses.

    Paul sought liberation from rituals under the Covenant Law that represented the unreconciled sin nature of man. Offering sacrifices for sins on a regular basis is premised on a sin nature in Man, as Hebrews indicates. see Heb 10. And an unreconciled sin nature meant death. Paul didn't want to stay there!

    But here, in Rom 7-8, it appears that Paul continues to consider himself enslaved to the Law of God in his mind. Only he does so *through Christ,* because in Christ the record of his sin is removed, and the rituals of atonement no longer stand as condemnation against him.

    I'm really looking for affirmation that I've defined the Law of God correctly, as Paul is using the term. It seems he is using it interchangeably with the Law of Moses and the eternal Law of God? The only difference is that after Christ, the Law of God no longer maintains a record of our sin nature for purposes of punishment.

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Right, thanks for responding. I know this is convoluted, but it is something I've been working on for some time. I'm just trying to get the biblical verbiage right. If I'm to argue, using the Bible, I have to define my terms correctly.

    Yes, the verse is here:

    Rom 7.25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.


    I'm making a distinction between the eternal Law of God, as existed in the Garden of Eden, and continues now to exist as the Law of Christ, and the Law of God as the Covenant given through Moses. I distinguish the Law of God from the *Covenant* of Law, aka the Law of Moses.

    Paul sought liberation from rituals under the Covenant Law that represented the unreconciled sin nature of man. Offering sacrifices for sins on a regular basis is premised on a sin nature in Man, as Hebrews indicates. see Heb 10. And an unreconciled sin nature meant death. Paul didn't want to stay there!

    But here, in Rom 7-8, it appears that Paul continues to consider himself enslaved to the Law of God in his mind. Only he does so *through Christ,* because in Christ the record of his sin is removed, and the rituals of atonement no longer stand as condemnation against him.

    I'm really looking for affirmation that I've defined the Law of God correctly, as Paul is using the term. It seems he is using it interchangeably with the Law of Moses and the eternal Law of God? The only difference is that after Christ, the Law of God no longer maintains a record of our sin nature for purposes of punishment.
    When a man gets a new electronic device, whether an old fashioned calculator or an Airbus Airliner, if he wants it to work he must be very precise with the Instruction Manual. This is even more so with the Bible. If one inserts words and concepts not found there, there is no way we can get to the bottom of it. Maybe, that is where you could start. ONLY use the words of the Bible. DO NOT add your concepts. Start with a clean page. If you start with a concept you will have colored and misty vision forever. All successful Bible students have a background. And all successful Bible students erase this background with malice. It is, "God's way and Word - NOTHING ELSE!

    With that said, Romans was written because in Rome the Church was divided. Those ex-Jews who had embraced Christ still clung to aspects of the Law. Those ex-Gentiles had no such constraint. Paul builds the case in the early Chapters of Romans that all men are concluded under sin - those with the Law and those without it (Rom.3:9). Then Paul enters the solution for this in Chapter 5 and 6. Then, in Chapter 7, Paul addresses the Law because every ex-Jew in Rome had had this Law in his blood and culture for 1,500 years. Paul shows it inherent goodness and spirituality as coming from God, but then shows it inability to bring justification. Because of the intrinsic "sin" (singular) nature of men, the Law could only convict of this sin and the trespasses it produced. The Law was good, but it EXPOSED the true nature of men. It gave the knowledge of sin instead of eradicating it. It called for curse instead of blessing. It called for death not life. It showed man under an INTERNAL LAW - the Law of sin and death. This Law is like gravity. It never lets up. It is firmly established in the flesh of men. Paul PERSONALIZES it. It DWELLS in man's flesh.

    If Paul ended Romans with Chapter 7, both ex-Jew and ex-Gentile would have no hope. Chapter 6 shows that the only solution is DEATH, but that in order to continue His salvation work, God allows the man to symbolically die with Christ if he is Immersed. But this only fixes the POSITION of the Believer, not the problem of beating the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. It would be like a group of educated scientists, all standing around a steel block and admitting that Gravity keeps that block on the ground WITHOUT PAUSE. Then, Chapter 8 is like God appearing on the scene and saying; "Gentlemen, let me show you the LAW OF LIFT in aerodynamics". And without further ado, God shows them a NEW LAW that, if applied correctly, will overcome gravity. Gravity is not removed. But a NEW LAW is introduced that has CONDITIONS, the which, if kept, will allow us to lift a 600 ton block of steel, aluminum and rubber into the air and propel it at 600 mph (Mach .84 to .85 - the cruising speed of an Airbus 380).

    Romans Chapter 8 does not report the ABOLISHMENT OF THE LAW. It does not report the end of the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. It allows them both in their full force. But it INTRODUCES A NEW LAW - The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. For the Jew who refuses Christ, he CONTINUES under the Law of Sin and Death. He is condemned by it. He is cursed by it. He suffers the consequences of its righteous demands. HE HAS NO HOPE. He cannot be justified by it. He can only be found "blameless". He WILL SIN, and he WILL NEED THE SACRIFICES that cover, BUT STILL PROVE SIN. Romans 7 is a TRIBUTE to God's righteous demands and man's total inability to RISE to them. Romans 8 is the introduction of a The Law of Christ's Human Life that DID RISE to them and its availability via the Holy Spirit in fallen man's human spirit to OVERCOME the Law of Sin and Death.

    This brings us finally to the Christian, ex-Jew or ex-Gentile. What is his relationship to the Law of Moses? He has NO RELATIONSHIP to it! The Law of Moses was given ...
    • ONLY to Israel. The ex-Jew loses his ethnicity by the rebirth. His past is OVER. He is a New Creature. ALL Old things have passed away. He has no connection with the Law anymore (2nd Cor.5:17)
    • To Give God His due. Christ INSIDE the Christian, when obeyed, gives God His due (Jn.5:23)
    • To give men their due. Christ requires a higher standard towards a neighbor than the Law
    • To give the Land its due. The Christian is asked to forsake Land until Christ comes
    • To justify men. It proved unable. Christ then fulfills the Law and this justification is imputed to the Believer
    • To display God's righteousness. Christ's death and resurrection, as testified to by the Believer, is a higher display of God's righteousness
    • To being God's TEMPORAL blessing. The Believer become recipient of HEAVENLY and ETERNAL Blessings
    • To enable to Israelites to STAY in their Land. The Believer will one day OWN the Land. Now he must forsake it
    • To enable the Service to the Temple. The Believer IS THE TEMPLE of God

    It is abundantly clear that in ALL POINTS the Law is INFERIOR to Christ's LIFE IN US. To return to the Law by a Believer is, as the Holy Spirit says in Galatians 4:9; "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    This is an interesting Christian take on Judaism. Jews don't see ourselves as "slaves to the law". We see ourselves as infinitely fortunate that God revealed to us what sort of behavior He expects. Psalm 119 is a giant love poem to the Law. Some verses

    Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the law of the Lord.
    .
    .

    I shall thank You with an upright heart when I learn the judgments of Your righteousness.

    With all my heart I searched for You; do not cause me to stray from Your commandments.

    Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.

    With Your statutes I shall occupy myself; I shall not forget Your speech.

    My soul is crushed from longing for Your judgments at all times.

    Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it at every step.

    And I shall keep Your Torah constantly, forever and ever.

    And I shall engage in Your commandments, which I love.

    I loved Your commandments more than gold, even more than fine gold.



    Etc etc. It's hard to believe we're talking about the same religion, here. "Slave to the law"? No way.



    From a Jewish prayer said daily:

    How deeply You have loved us O Lord our God, gracing us with surpassing compassion! On account of our ancestors whose trust led You to teach them the laws of life, be gracious to us, teaching us as well. O Merciful One, have mercy on us by making us able to understand and discern, to heed, learn, and teach, and, lovingly, to observe, perform, and fulfill all that is in Your Torah.

    Enlighten our eyes with Your Torah, focus our minds on Your commands, unite our hearts in love and reverence for Your Name. Then we will never feel shame, never deserve rebuke, and never stumble. Having trusted in Your great and awesome holiness, we shall celebrate Your salvation with joy.




    And from a prayer said on the sabbath and holidays:

    With ever-enduring love You have loved Your people, the House of Israel. You have given us Your laws and commandments, statutes and judgements. Therefore when we lie down and when we arise we will speak of Your statutes and rejoice in the words of Your Law and Your commandments forever. For they are our life and the length of our days; and upon them we will meditate day and night.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    When a man gets a new electronic device, whether an old fashioned calculator or an Airbus Airliner, if he wants it to work he must be very precise with the Instruction Manual. This is even more so with the Bible. If one inserts words and concepts not found there, there is no way we can get to the bottom of it. Maybe, that is where you could start. ONLY use the words of the Bible. DO NOT add your concepts. Start with a clean page. If you start with a concept you will have colored and misty vision forever. All successful Bible students have a background. And all successful Bible students erase this background with malice. It is, "God's way and Word - NOTHING ELSE!

    With that said, Romans was written because in Rome the Church was divided. Those ex-Jews who had embraced Christ still clung to aspects of the Law. Those ex-Gentiles had no such constraint. Paul builds the case in the early Chapters of Romans that all men are concluded under sin - those with the Law and those without it (Rom.3:9). Then Paul enters the solution for this in Chapter 5 and 6. Then, in Chapter 7, Paul addresses the Law because every ex-Jew in Rome had had this Law in his blood and culture for 1,500 years. Paul shows it inherent goodness and spirituality as coming from God, but then shows it inability to bring justification. Because of the intrinsic "sin" (singular) nature of men, the Law could only convict of this sin and the trespasses it produced. The Law was good, but it EXPOSED the true nature of men. It gave the knowledge of sin instead of eradicating it. It called for curse instead of blessing. It called for death not life. It showed man under an INTERNAL LAW - the Law of sin and death. This Law is like gravity. It never lets up. It is firmly established in the flesh of men. Paul PERSONALIZES it. It DWELLS in man's flesh.

    If Paul ended Romans with Chapter 7, both ex-Jew and ex-Gentile would have no hope. Chapter 6 shows that the only solution is DEATH, but that in order to continue His salvation work, God allows the man to symbolically die with Christ if he is Immersed. But this only fixes the POSITION of the Believer, not the problem of beating the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. It would be like a group of educated scientists, all standing around a steel block and admitting that Gravity keeps that block on the ground WITHOUT PAUSE. Then, Chapter 8 is like God appearing on the scene and saying; "Gentlemen, let me show you the LAW OF LIFT in aerodynamics". And without further ado, God shows them a NEW LAW that, if applied correctly, will overcome gravity. Gravity is not removed. But a NEW LAW is introduced that has CONDITIONS, the which, if kept, will allow us to lift a 600 ton block of steel, aluminum and rubber into the air and propel it at 600 mph (Mach .84 to .85 - the cruising speed of an Airbus 380).

    Romans Chapter 8 does not report the ABOLISHMENT OF THE LAW. It does not report the end of the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. It allows them both in their full force. But it INTRODUCES A NEW LAW - The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. For the Jew who refuses Christ, he CONTINUES under the Law of Sin and Death. He is condemned by it. He is cursed by it. He suffers the consequences of its righteous demands. HE HAS NO HOPE. He cannot be justified by it. He can only be found "blameless". He WILL SIN, and he WILL NEED THE SACRIFICES that cover, BUT STILL PROVE SIN. Romans 7 is a TRIBUTE to God's righteous demands and man's total inability to RISE to them. Romans 8 is the introduction of a The Law of Christ's Human Life that DID RISE to them and its availability via the Holy Spirit in fallen man's human spirit to OVERCOME the Law of Sin and Death.

    This brings us finally to the Christian, ex-Jew or ex-Gentile. What is his relationship to the Law of Moses? He has NO RELATIONSHIP to it! The Law of Moses was given ...
    • ONLY to Israel. The ex-Jew loses his ethnicity by the rebirth. His past is OVER. He is a New Creature. ALL Old things have passed away. He has no connection with the Law anymore (2nd Cor.5:17)
    • To Give God His due. Christ INSIDE the Christian, when obeyed, gives God His due (Jn.5:23)
    • To give men their due. Christ requires a higher standard towards a neighbor than the Law
    • To give the Land its due. The Christian is asked to forsake Land until Christ comes
    • To justify men. It proved unable. Christ then fulfills the Law and this justification is imputed to the Believer
    • To display God's righteousness. Christ's death and resurrection, as testified to by the Believer, is a higher display of God's righteousness
    • To being God's TEMPORAL blessing. The Believer become recipient of HEAVENLY and ETERNAL Blessings
    • To enable to Israelites to STAY in their Land. The Believer will one day OWN the Land. Now he must forsake it
    • To enable the Service to the Temple. The Believer IS THE TEMPLE of God

    It is abundantly clear that in ALL POINTS the Law is INFERIOR to Christ's LIFE IN US. To return to the Law by a Believer is, as the Holy Spirit says in Galatians 4:9; "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
    Well, that was interesting, but several points I feel need to be made.
    1) We share a belief in the eternal existence of God's Law. But we disagree on whether the Law of Moses remains in effect for Israel. I believe the Law of Moses was suspended at the cross, where Israel completed its transgression against God, and showed why the rituals of the Law were only a temporary substitute for the real thing. The Law was a temporary tutor, and not an eternal application to the Jewish People apart from Christ.

    2) You mention the superiority of Christ's Law over Moses' Law. Though I agree with you, we may look at this a little differently. I see the Law of God as having been present in the Law of Moses. And thus, it was the same righteousness, and yet inferior to the Law of Christ in the sense that righteousness through Christ has become a permanent gift, and no longer requires rituals of atonement, or temporary remedies.

    It isn't as easy as you make it, to get back to using only the biblical language. But I take your point in the right spirit. We can indeed wander too far off into trying to prove our own pet theology, which may have been the concoction of a failed theology. Good advice!

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    This is an interesting Christian take on Judaism. Jews don't see ourselves as "slaves to the law". We see ourselves as infinitely fortunate that God revealed to us what sort of behavior He expects. Psalm 119 is a giant love poem to the Law.
    ...It's hard to believe we're talking about the same religion, here. "Slave to the law"? No way.

    ...And from a prayer said on the sabbath and holidays:

    With ever-enduring love You have loved Your people, the House of Israel. You have given us Your laws and commandments, statutes and judgements. Therefore when we lie down and when we arise we will speak of Your statutes and rejoice in the words of Your Law and Your commandments forever. For they are our life and the length of our days; and upon them we will meditate day and night.
    I deeply appreciate the faithfulness of the Jewish People to their national religion, which I believe you observe as an example of righteousness for all nations. I find it unfortunate that Judaism continues to be inward-looking, making an example to the nations as if the nations were all still pagan.

    I believe that Israel was made to be the 1st nation of God, and for a while, the *only* nation of God, so that God could eventually not only give an example to the nations, but more, bring a vehicle of deliverance for the nations. This is so that all nations could be God's People, and not just Israel.

    Regardless, Jews still seem to want to observe the Law as an example to even Christian nations, which I find unfortunate. Since Jews and Christians serve one God, and share belief in the generic Law of God, you'd think we would have more of a brotherly relationship with one another--at least a respectful relationship with one another. But alas!

    We know the stories of human failure, both Jewish and Christian. We can set this aside for this argument.

    I don't know if I've even interpreted Paul correctly, when he said he was a "slave in his mind to God's Law." Under the Law of Moses, a man could make himself a perpetual slave to his master by piercing his ear on a door, or something like that? I think Paul was marking himself as *devoted* to God on an eternal basis, by declaring that he devoted his mind utterly to the Law of God.

    But Paul's definition of the Law of God was different than the Rabbinic view of the Law, which adheres to the original Law, as interpreted under modern conditions. There cannot presently be a temple and a priesthood, although if conditions were right the same Law of Sacrifice would be applicable.

    Paul believed that Jesus fulfilled all sacrifice, that animal sacrifice under the Law was symbolic of Christ, or showed the need for Christ. There was a need, according to Paul, for a final and lasting sacrifice, and that of Christ--not animals. It is portrayed, we believe, in Isa 53, the Sacrifice Lamb, as Joel Chernoff put it. Song

    So, I see Paul as devoting himself to the Law of God as represented in the life of Christ, minus all of the rituals of atonement. It was a devotion *in love,* just as the rabbis and the devoted followers of God in Israel might've expressed it as a slave to their Lord and God.

  8. #8

    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    This is an interesting Christian take on Judaism. Jews don't see ourselves as "slaves to the law". We see ourselves as infinitely fortunate that God revealed to us what sort of behavior He expects. Psalm 119 is a giant love poem to the Law. Some verses ...
    randyk was quoting from Romans 7:25, which compares being a slave to the law of God (positive) vs. being a slave to the law of sin and death (negative). I agree that the world is infinitely fortunate that God has revealed so much in the Torah about Himself, His love for His people, and His requirements. The New Testament's message is that "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin" (Romans 7:14 NIV), so we need to be made righteous by faith in Jesus and enter a new covenant.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34
    31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
    with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
    32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
    declares the Lord.
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.

    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the Lord.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”
    Luke 22:20
    In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
    Isaiah 53:11
    After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Well, that was interesting, but several points I feel need to be made.
    1) We share a belief in the eternal existence of God's Law. But we disagree on whether the Law of Moses remains in effect for Israel. I believe the Law of Moses was suspended at the cross, where Israel completed its transgression against God, and showed why the rituals of the Law were only a temporary substitute for the real thing. The Law was a temporary tutor, and not an eternal application to the Jewish People apart from Christ.

    2) You mention the superiority of Christ's Law over Moses' Law. Though I agree with you, we may look at this a little differently. I see the Law of God as having been present in the Law of Moses. And thus, it was the same righteousness, and yet inferior to the Law of Christ in the sense that righteousness through Christ has become a permanent gift, and no longer requires rituals of atonement, or temporary remedies.

    It isn't as easy as you make it, to get back to using only the biblical language. But I take your point in the right spirit. We can indeed wander too far off into trying to prove our own pet theology, which may have been the concoction of a failed theology. Good advice!
    OK. Thanks for your reply. I propose a test for what you have said. The Beast will claim universal kingship over all men (Rev.13:7). At a certain point during his reign he, "... opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2nd Thessalonians 2:4). Since this has still not happened since the Crucifixion (when you say the Law was suspended), why would God be angry and precipitate "Jacob's Trouble"? If the Law is suspended then Israel may worship idols, may worship a Gentile king, may allow this Gentile king into God's Temple, may allow his idol-effigy into the Temple and allow him to stop the daily oblation. Why then does this "Abomination of Desolation" cause God to warn people to flee to the mountains, and express the hope that the fleers be not pregnant or that it be not a Sabbath. "Sabbath"!!!! Is that not the Law of Moses? Even if you place this at 70 AD, as you do, why, that is 40 years after the Law was suspended on the cross!

    And THEN, for 1,900 years plus, the CURSES of the Law have been the portion of the Jews as they face dispersion, hate, persecutions, pogroms and holocausts, one after the other. Suspended? I think not. Before my very eyes I see the Law being fulfilled in the lives of the Jews. Furthermore, how do you explain that Moses, under inspiration in Deuteronomy 30, calls Israel, AFTER the dispersion among all nations, to RETURN to what Moses was teaching THAT DAY (Deut.30:1-5)?

    What shall I say ..... ?

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I deeply appreciate the faithfulness of the Jewish People to their national religion, which I believe you observe as an example of righteousness for all nations. I find it unfortunate that Judaism continues to be inward-looking, making an example to the nations as if the nations were all still pagan.
    The nations have come a long way since their pagan times. Having said that, they still have a long way to go in their morality.

    I believe that Israel was made to be the 1st nation of God, and for a while, the *only* nation of God, so that God could eventually not only give an example to the nations, but more, bring a vehicle of deliverance for the nations. This is so that all nations could be God's People, and not just Israel.
    Yes, absolutely. In the messianic era we will all worship God as one.
    Regardless, Jews still seem to want to observe the Law as an example to even Christian nations, which I find unfortunate. Since Jews and Christians serve one God, and share belief in the generic Law of God, you'd think we would have more of a brotherly relationship with one another--at least a respectful relationship with one another. But alas!
    I'm respectful to Christians as perhaps younger siblings. But even you would concede that many so-called Christian nations behave improperly. Mind, it wasn't atheists or Muslims or pagans that put the six million into the ovens. And if you tell me they weren't "Christian" either, then fine. But they were the children of Christians. So yeah, the whole world could stand to behave a little more morally.
    I don't know if I've even interpreted Paul correctly, when he said he was a "slave in his mind to God's Law." Under the Law of Moses, a man could make himself a perpetual slave to his master by piercing his ear on a door, or something like that? I think Paul was marking himself as *devoted* to God on an eternal basis, by declaring that he devoted his mind utterly to the Law of God.
    How could Paul be a slave to the law when he didn't find himself bound by it?
    But Paul's definition of the Law of God was different than the Rabbinic view of the Law, which adheres to the original Law, as interpreted under modern conditions. There cannot presently be a temple and a priesthood, although if conditions were right the same Law of Sacrifice would be applicable.

    Paul believed that Jesus fulfilled all sacrifice, that animal sacrifice under the Law was symbolic of Christ, or showed the need for Christ. There was a need, according to Paul, for a final and lasting sacrifice, and that of Christ--not animals. It is portrayed, we believe, in Isa 53, the Sacrifice Lamb, as Joel Chernoff put it. Song

    So, I see Paul as devoting himself to the Law of God as represented in the life of Christ, minus all of the rituals of atonement. It was a devotion *in love,* just as the rabbis and the devoted followers of God in Israel might've expressed it as a slave to their Lord and God.
    Paul looks down on the law so I'm not sure comparing him the rabbis is apt.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenonions View Post
    randyk was quoting from Romans 7:25, which compares being a slave to the law of God (positive) vs. being a slave to the law of sin and death (negative). I agree that the world is infinitely fortunate that God has revealed so much in the Torah about Himself, His love for His people, and His requirements. The New Testament's message is that "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin" (Romans 7:14 NIV), so we need to be made righteous by faith in Jesus and enter a new covenant.
    I don't think this concept of being a "slave to sin" comes from Judaism either.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    I don't think this concept of being a "slave to sin" comes from Judaism either.
    You might be right. Jesus introduced the concept and was immediately challenged for saying it.

    John 8:31-36 WEB

    31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

    33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, ‘You will be made free’?”

    34 Jesus answered them, “Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. 35 A bondservant doesn’t live in the house forever. A son remains forever. 36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.


    The concept of people who habitually sin and cannot stop is mentioned in the Prophets too.

    Jeremiah 13:23

    Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.

    Jeremiah 2:25

    “Keep your feet from being bare,
    and your throat from thirst.
    But you said, ‘It is in vain.
    No, for I have loved strangers,
    and I will go after them.’

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    The nations have come a long way since their pagan times. Having said that, they still have a long way to go in their morality.
    All nations, including Christian nations, and Israel, have a long ways to go, it seems. However, God's People have a way of reforming in time. And I think that's been true of Israel, through the centuries. And that's also been true, I believe, of Christian nations. God seems to take away His blessings from His people for awhile, but never forever. Israel is the greatest example of God's faithfulness in the history of the world, I feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Yes, absolutely. In the messianic era we will all worship God as one.
    I'm respectful to Christians as perhaps younger siblings. But even you would concede that many so-called Christian nations behave improperly. Mind, it wasn't atheists or Muslims or pagans that put the six million into the ovens. And if you tell me they weren't "Christian" either, then fine. But they were the children of Christians. So yeah, the whole world could stand to behave a little more morally.
    Yes, I'm as hostile to the idea that Nazis were Christians in the same way you would be opposed to my calling Jews "Christi-killers." It's an accusation of contempt, and has no place in civilized conversations. But I do acknowledge the fact that Germany had been, historically, a "Christian country." And nominal Christian citizens of Germany shared guilt in what Hitler did. They were certainly not my kind of "Christians!" And quite frankly, I'm half German, ethnically. I'm sure a lot of my distant relatives, with my last name, still live in Germany.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    How could Paul be a slave to the law when he didn't find himself bound by it?
    Paul looks down on the law so I'm not sure comparing him the rabbis is apt.
    Paul did not look down upon the Law. He absolutely praised the Law of Moses. But he did not praise Christians who failed to recognize that aspects of the Law had been fulfilled in Christ, and that no rituals of atonement were needed anymore. To go back to temple sacrifice was an insult to Christ, who claimed to have forgiven the whole human race, including the Jews.

    Otherwise, Paul had nothing but admiration for the Law. After all, he had been a Pharisee, and was ready to put people to death who wanted to devalue the Law in any way among the Jewish People. Accepting that the rituals of atonement had been fulfilled in Christ's death was clearly a major change for him. But I don't think it led him to diminish the value of the Law in any way. He just saw it as pointed in a different direction, admitting peoples that formerly had been banned from his religion.

    Gotta go....

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenonions View Post
    You might be right. Jesus introduced the concept and was immediately challenged for saying it.
    Because it's not a native concept. Genesis 4: sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.


    Not a slave. You must master it.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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    Re: Are we to be slaves to the Law of God?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    All nations, including Christian nations, and Israel, have a long ways to go, it seems. However, God's People have a way of reforming in time. And I think that's been true of Israel, through the centuries. And that's also been true, I believe, of Christian nations. God seems to take away His blessings from His people for awhile, but never forever. Israel is the greatest example of God's faithfulness in the history of the world, I feel.
    Sort of outside the topic here, but ok.



    Yes, I'm as hostile to the idea that Nazis were Christians in the same way you would be opposed to my calling Jews "Christi-killers." It's an accusation of contempt, and has no place in civilized conversations.
    No. You don't get to just sweep it under the rug. It happened. My calling attention to it is not "uncivilized". It's a discussion that needs to be had.

    But I do acknowledge the fact that Germany had been, historically, a "Christian country." And nominal Christian citizens of Germany shared guilt in what Hitler did. They were certainly not my kind of "Christians!"
    Yes. And so. What is it telling us? Some Christians have a long way to go.


    Paul did not look down upon the Law. He absolutely praised the Law of Moses. But he did not praise Christians who failed to recognize that aspects of the Law had been fulfilled in Christ, and that no rituals of atonement were needed anymore.
    It's not just "rituals of atonement" that he threw out, but the entirety of the law.


    To go back to temple sacrifice was an insult to Christ, who claimed to have forgiven the whole human race, including the Jews.
    Sin is a continuous, ongoing series of events, and overcoming it is a continuous, ongoing process. To say that one "sacrifice" could atone for all sin, past present and future quite frankly makes no sense to me.

    Otherwise, Paul had nothing but admiration for the Law. After all, he had been a Pharisee, and was ready to put people to death who wanted to devalue the Law in any way among the Jewish People. Accepting that the rituals of atonement had been fulfilled in Christ's death was clearly a major change for him. But I don't think it led him to diminish the value of the Law in any way. He just saw it as pointed in a different direction, admitting peoples that formerly had been banned from his religion.
    Yet he was "not under the law".
    Gotta go....
    Of course.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

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