| Re: |
The law is good and holy, Paul tells us in the book of Romans, and it is. The law is a reflection of God's true holiness and requirement for our own holiness if we are to be right with Him. Yet Paul also tells us in his letter to the Corinthians that the law, actually the ten commandments that were engraved in stone specifically, was a ministration of death. In His letter to Timothy, Paul tells us that the law is good, IF it is used lawfully. That is, the law is not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient.
The law has the purpose of making our sin exceedingly apparent to us. It has the purpose of revealing to us our need for a savior. Paul tells us in Romans that the person who determines to obtain righteousness by the law must now live perfect according to the law, must do it on his own efforts.
I say that to say this. If the lawgiver dwells in our hearts, we will not need the written commandments, or as some separate them from the rest of the law, the moral law of the old covenant...and if I understand the OP correctly, we are talking specifically about the moral law of the old covenant. I do not need anyone to tell me not to kill, steal, or commit adultery. I have been born again, and have the Holy Spirit of God living in me.
But that does not mean that the written word of God does not have any place, nor that I can live a life void of obedience to the word and simply say, "If the Holy Spirit wants me to know something, then He will tell me." We need to not only study the word, but allow the word of God to shape us and direct us in every area of life. If I am studying the word and find an area in which I am being disobedient, the Holy Spirit will deal with me about that area, and I will desire to bring my life into alignment with the written word.
The Spirit and the word work together. The author and the book work in unison.
By the way, I can find no clear teaching in scripture that separates ceremonial law and moral law in the old covenant. I believe that this is a manmade construct. It is OK to categorize the law this way if it helps us to understand it, but we cannot then use our own construct to interpret scripture where doctrine is concerned. We cannot say, in my opinion, "Well, that was the ceremonial law and this was the moral law, and that means that we must keep this and are no longer required to keep that.", because the distinction is one of our own making. The word of God simply says, "the law". The only clear exception that I can think of is the distinction of the ten commandments that I referenced earlier, and that reference tells us that the ten commandments ministered death to us as it condemned us for our sin.
| 2016/6/10 22:07||Profile|
| Re: |
by twayneb on 2016/6/10 22:07:05
If the lawgiver dwells in our hearts, we will not need the written commandments, or as some separate them from the rest of the law, the moral law of the old covenant...and if I understand the OP correctly, we are talking specifically about the moral law of the old covenant. I do not need anyone to tell me not to kill, steal, or commit adultery. I have been born again, and have the Holy Spirit of God living in me.
Yes, we have all often heard, "keep the commandments of God", yet this verse seems to be used all too often, inappropriately (and without understanding).
This is another favorite proof-text of those advocating continued efficacy of the Law (I John 2:3,4 - "We know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.") The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." Well, if we make these "commandments" synonymous with OT Law then we are all LIARS aren't we?
"Keeping His commandments" is not synonymous with keeping all the commandments of the Old Testament Law.
When Jesus spoke of keeping His commandments as an imperative it carried with it the understanding that He, Himself, is the keeper of His own commands and the dynamic of all His commands to us by His Spirit. When one is now walking in obedience to the Spirit within him, the character of Christ is outworked and manifested in the believer and is evidence that the believer "knows Him" in personal relationship, union, communion and intimacy. Christ will lead us by His Spirit to "put to death the deeds of the flesh" (Rom 8:13) and "walk in love" with Him and others, (Eph 5:2). It also signifies that the personal Truth of Jesus Christ (John 14:6) dwells in us, which is the ONLY WAY anyone can manifest the character of God. This IS being led by the Spirit as we "obey the commandments" of the "Living Torah" Who dwells in us.
John later writes, "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4). Those who advocate continued law-keeping usually define sin as the failure to keep the Old Testament Law. What they have done without knowing it is what the Pharisees did and that is to equate the LAW with GOD. They had deified the LAW. But, the Bible is clear that God does not define sin as merely a violation of Law, but as that which violates and is contrary to His character. The Law revealed this partially in its essential purpose. The "mark that is missed" in sin is not a Law target, BUT THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Again in I John 5:2,3, John urges Christians to "love God and observe His commandments. This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." The keeping of God's commandments is fulfilled in the inworking of the Holy Spirit and the outworking of that LIFE (Christ's life) in Christian behavior. Loving character is the fulfillment of the Law. The scripture is clear about this. (Rom. 13:8,10; Gal. 5:14). The character of the "God who is love" (I John 4:8,16) is manifested in the Christian. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us" (Rom. 5:5).
Rather than producing righteousness, the Law brought only guilt (James 2:10), condemnation (II Cor. 3:9), "curse" (Gal. 3:10) and "wrath" (Rom. 4:15). It fulfilled its purpose and it had its day of glory (II Cor. 3:7-11). "The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). "The Law and the prophets were proclaimed until John (the Baptist), since then the gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed" (Luke 16:16). "All the prophets and the Law prophesied until John (the Baptist)" (Matt. 11:13).
The law did not die of "old age", rather God instituted the Law with planned obsolescence. The law was terminated at a divinely terminated time and that time was the death and resurrection of Christ. "Christ is the end of the Law..." (Rom. 10:4). But that is not all that happened at His death and resurrection.
Jesus came to fulfill the law, "I came to fulfill the Law" (Matt. 5:17). In other words, "I came to fill the Law full; to bring to full fruition all that the Law pointed to pictorially and custodially." When did all that God intended for the restoration of His creation in mankind happen or take place? In the death, resurrection, ascension of Jesus Christ and Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit of Christ. God's purposes for the Law were accomplished in Jesus Christ.
And with His death, resurrection, ascension and Pentecostal outpouring, God's purpose for the restoration of His life to man was also accomplished.
Christ is the END OF THE LAW.
| 2016/6/10 23:11|
| Re: |
"The law did not die of "old age", rather God instituted the Law with planned obsolescence. The law was terminated at a divinely terminated time and that time was the death and resurrection of Christ. "Christ is the end of the Law..." (Rom. 10:4). But that is not all that happened at His death and resurrection."
I have just understood something! I know why it is that when we walk in the flesh we are also under the law. It is not that we want to be under the law (as some say) but rather that we want to do our own desires and that automatically puts us under the law. Why? Because the termination of the law depended on the death and resurrection of Christ, and in our christian life this happens when we die with christ and are being resurrected with him at the water baptism, but not only than, it happens every time when we fall back to follow our own desires, but crucify the flesh and live according to the spirit.
Wh!... I hope it makes sense.
| 2016/6/10 23:31|
| Re: |
So when we walk in the flesh and as a consequence we are under the law, we can not pull ourselves from under the law by declaring that we are righteous, meanwhile continuing to do our own desires. In order for us to come out from under the law, we have to stop doing our own desires. The law helps us in doing just that. The holy spirit uses this law to help us crucify our flesh.
| 2016/6/10 23:54|
| Re: |
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The law of the Spirit of life IN Christ Jesus!!. Nothing else can set us free.
| 2016/6/11 0:18|
| Self-righteousness and Self-effort are hidden sins|
"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7:22&17)
It is obvious that the Christian cannot produce good, but it is not so obvious that the Christian cannot produce evil. Most Christians would say that the good I do is Christ, but the evil I do is my sinful flesh. If human flesh can produce evil of itself, then the implication is that flesh can produce good of itself! That is the subtle sin of self-righteousness. That is why this lie had be exposed. Paul discovers in Romans 7:17 that the evil he did was Satan disguised as him and operating in him. Satan had his hold on him, simply because Paul was deluded to think that he was the one who ought to have the power, and ought to overcome his coveting by self-effort.
Self-righteousness and Self-effort are his hidden sins.
I would like to reenact Paul's agony in Romans 7:7-25. He opens by asking this all pervasive question, (I will paraphrase):
What is wrong with me? I can't stop coveting other people's possessions. I'm trying like all good Christians should, but I'm not getting anywhere. Why can't I stop? What is wrong with me?
Is my problem God's law? The more I try to keep it the more I fail and end up doing the opposite. Did God give it to me just to torment me? Because the more I try to keep it, the more sinful I become. If the law wasn't there torturing me I would be much better off. Yet, I know better than that, the law is a picture of God's holiness. How can I blame God for giving us this standard?
God certainly used the law to break me in the beginning when I was first saved. It showed me how utterly hopeless and sinful I was without Christ. I consider it my best teacher. Could God be using it a second time to show me something else? Anyway, I can't blame the law, or God, for I am the one to blame, it is me that is unable to perform it. I love to keep the law, because I love to do what God wants me to do. Yes that is right, the law is not my problem for I know it is Holy, Just and Good. I am so frustrated, and then what is it?
Here I am again back to me--all roads end up here with me the guilty person, full of condemnation. But let me look deeper into myself and my motives. If I'm really honest with myself, I don't want to do the things that I end up doing--I even agree with the law that I shouldn't. For I know I should not covet, but how to have the power to stop is beyond me. There is a me that does not want to sin. Oh, then I see, that me must be right. Well then what is it, what is wrong with me? Please God tell me.
But wait a minute! Is there something, or someone else inside me using me, or should I say, misusing me? Now, I see it is not me producing my sins. It is sin (Satan) still dwelling in my flesh members. He is deceiving me to make me think that I am the one producing sin, when it is he disguised as me. What a deceiver! All this time he was talking to me in first person. He was telling me that I should try harder, and then accusing me for not being able to do it. He is a liar, and the Father of this lie.
Now I see, the human self cannot produce sins. I knew that I couldn't produce righteousness, but I thought I could produce sins. That is why I condemned myself so much. That is a lie. If there is a possibility of me producing evil, then I have the ability to produce good. I know better than that, because that is self-righteousness. But thinking that I could do the evil is just as prideful.
This lie was set in motion because the law shouted at me to not covet, and self-sufficient-self, which is Satan, automatically operated in me trying hard not to covet. Now how can I stop trying when it is so easy? There I am again trying to stop trying. This is a real death! How do I get out of this? I'm trapped! Who can deliver me from this body of death? Oh, God please help me.
Wait a minute, "trying" is works, and I am a faith person. All I can do is leap into the person of Christ in me, and trust him to produce His righteousness as me. This "striving me," that tries so hard, died with Christ two thousand years ago. Yes, I am still alive, humanly speaking, but my life is not me living; it is Christ living in me. All I can do is live by faith and not even by my faith, but this I do by the faith of the Son of God.
As for Satan, he was defeated at the Cross and faith renders him powerless in me right now. The Cross is the power of God unto completed Salvation, and our word of faith is the powerful sword of the Spirit. My true identity is Christ as me and I no longer have a life of my own.
Now I see clearly that the one and only function of the Christian is to believe. Jesus himself said, "Of myself I can do nothing". Yet I think I tried to make myself greater than Jesus, by thinking that I could do good. What pride!
I am so thankful to my Savior for setting me free from this lie. I surrender my whole being to Him who raised me with Jesus two thousand years ago, and will now cause me to know this power of His resurrected life. I will agree with him that I am already raised with him no matter how I look, or how long it takes to appear. In this transformation I will not lift one finger to make this happen; as a matter of fact I am going to just be myself, whatever that means. I've been so phony in my trying, that I wonder what I'm really like. It will be wonderful finding out. I can now accept myself as a right self.
To Paul, as well as us, the expectation for performance has always been the responsibility of the human self. Paul completely misunderstood how he functioned as a human receiver. He mistakenly thought that he was the producer of his own life, and ought to have the power to control himself. Operating in this lie causes us to do the very thing that we don't want to do, and traps us in the try and fail bondage of sin. This trap leaves us with an overwhelming sense of condemnation, failure, guilt and most of all self-hatred. We end up loving the Savior and hating the human he saved. Something is deadly wrong with this picture.
When Paul discovered it was ("not I, but sin") that dwelled in him, he was finally free, because his real problem was exposed. He finally rightly understood the human I. The human self cannot produce good or evil, for the human I is nothing but the neutral container that holds the content of the deity. Vessels are not producers of their own life, but simple receivers of the life of another. We humans are somewhat like a computer with wonderful capacities and faculties, but like the computer, we cannot operate without a programmer. We were wrongly programmed by Satan, and now through Christ, we are rightly programmed. The Bible definition of us is: vessels, branches, temples, slaves, wives, and bodies.
The good news was that Paul was not the wretch he thought-- the sin in him was not him, it was Satan. Therefore he had the authority of faith to say, "get behind me Satan." By a leap of faith, Paul went back to the Cross, and put the sin-spirit that indwelled and operated him on Jesus. For Jesus became that sin-Satan at the Cross. Then in Christ's resurrection, righteousness, which is the life of Christ, was transferred back into Paul as if it were his life. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Cor. 5:21).
Louis Tucker, a good friend of mine, asked me one time: "How do I get Christ who is in me, to express Himself out of me?" I simply answered, "Say it is already done." Say what God says about you, not what you think, or feel, or see. Say, "I am resurrected with him, and I am whole complete lacking nothing!" DARE TO BE BOLD, AND SAY IT. Later Louis wrote in a letter, "No longer do we have to stand on Jordan's stormy banks and cast a wishful eye into Canaan's fair land. Now we can get across."
| 2016/6/11 5:54|
| Re: Self-righteousness and Self-effort are hidden sins|
Well said, very well said!
I'd like to offer an analogy that has helped me, perhaps it will be of use to some of you here as well. As with any analogy there are limitations, tho this one still can serve its purpose to illustrate of of the many facets being explored in this thread.
The Law can be likened unto an MRI which is used to detect cancer. Whereas Grace can be likened into chemotherapy.
Now cancerous cells could never be accused of being "lazy cells" as they are in fact the hardest working cells in the body, hence systemic growth, yet while they labor tirelessly and are very adept at recruiting other cells, they are in fact in rebellion as they are not under the directive of the head (Christ) but are under another directive yet they themselves clearly believe they are "doing good". This can be observed by their urgency to grow and spread but are in fact deceived by a foreign directive.
Now the Law (MRI) can and will detect these rebellions no matter how small or great as well as to wether they are metastasizing (damnable heresies) or are benign (isolated misunderstandings). Once the MRI (law) detects these then the oncologyst (Jesus) applies chemo (Grace) to itradicate the rebellious cells.
So to get mad at the law because it exposes our sin is tantamount to being angry with an MRI for exposing the presence of cancer, (for without the law I did not know I had sin/cancer) is utterly absurd! Wether you knew it or not you did have a deadly disease and the MRI didn't "cause" it but rather simply exposed it.
So now after having it exposed and treated, one goes back to the MRI/Law to make sure it's all gone! And subsequently from time to time has additional testings to make sure it hasn't come back...
Now an MRI was NEVER INTENDED TO CURE CANCER anymore than the LAW WAS NEVER INTENDED TO CURE SIN...but rather expose it!
If a person attempted to use an MRI to cure cancer it would be no more absurd than a person attempting to use the LAW to cure sin! However if not for the MRI/LAW I would have died from it, so I am grateful for the MRI/LAW and praise God for it!
However to go and offer chemo/grace to people who have not yet received a terminal diagnosis is tantamount, and equally absurd, as offering grace to someone whom has yet to be convicted of sin!
They do t believe they need it so why would they subject themselves to its stripping down when they believe they are healthy?
Honestly just imagine if a person came up to you and offered you and your loved ones "FREE CHEMO" at your local hospital...?
Would you sign up and run down to receive it? NO! Of course not!
No matter how good of a "salesmen" they were you would think them crazy or misinformed at best...
Yet if you or a loved one received a stage 4 terminal diagnosis you would claw through a brick wall with your bare hands to get the cure!
Without the LAW of God there is no need for the GOOD NEWS of CHRIST!
Just like without an MRI there is no discernible need for chemotherapy...
| 2016/6/11 6:36||Profile|