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gt768
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Joined: 2019/6/12
Posts: 37


 Did Jesus teach a higher Law?

I want to ask if you believe that Jesus taught a higher moral standard in the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels than the standard that the Law of Moses taught? Another related question: Did Jesus change the mechanics of salvation so that people are saved by grace through faith now in a way that they were not prior to Christ?

I'll state my position off the bat that God's Law was already perfect (Psalm 19) and perfection cannot be improved upon. In the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels Jesus is defending the proper interpretation of the Law of Moses (the Law which He Himself inspired) against the abuses of it which were being taught by the Jewish religious leaders of His day (Matthew 5:17-20). Any who try to go to higher than the Old Testament moral standard will end up with something lower and be in danger of being shut out of heaven as workers of lawlessness. I'll also state that people were saved by grace through a living obedient faith from the times of Genesis- and Jesus never changed that. Abraham and David were the two men whom the Apostle used to illustrate salvation by grace through faith in Romans 4.

If you agree or disagree please state at least one reason why and also state practical implications of your agreement or disagreement.

 2019/6/24 21:27Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1711


 Re: Did Jesus teach a higher Law?

Quote:

I want to ask if you believe that Jesus taught a higher moral standard in the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels than the standard that the Law of Moses taught? Another related question: Did Jesus change the mechanics of salvation so that people are saved by grace through faith now in a way that they were not prior to Christ?



I do not find these 2 questions being related. Salvation is by faith.

I believe that Jesus lived a higher standard than that was possible by any old testament person. He preached what he lived (Acts 1:1).

The very proof that Jesus preached something higher is the way he presented the sermon on the mount.

Matt 5:20 - “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

The scribes and Pharisees were those who kept the law outwardly. Jesus called them white washed tomb. Because they were good outside but dead inside. Jesus said under New Covenant our righteousness should surpass that of scribes and Pharaisees, this is because New testament standard is not external purity but internal. That is why JEsus said, clean the inside of the cup first and the outside will be clean by itself.

9 Out of the 10 commandments are external. Only thou shall not covert was internal. Paul accepted that this one law he could not keep under old covenant. God kept this one internal law to keep them humble.

But in New Covenant, everything is inner, it is inner cleansing.

5:21 “You have heard that [k]the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be [l]liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be [m]guilty before the court

If we ask a Child to read this above verse and ask what is Jesus trying to say, the child will plainly say that Jesus is telling something different from what the people were told under the law. The phrase "BUT I Say to you", is very clear that Jesus taught something different. Something higher. Something that purifies a man inside. Example Murder (external sin) vs Anger (inner sin); Adultery vs Lust in heart;

In old testament the standard was jumping 10 feet then Jesus raised the bar to 100 feet. The one who jumps 100 feet automatically jumps 10 feet, that is why we do not need to keep external laws. If we are internally pure then we already cross 100 feet.

Jesus said the greatest man who ever lived under old covenant was John the Baptist. But the least in the New Covenant will be greater than this greatest man, because of the higher standard of New Covenant life (Matt 11:11).

Even under Old Covenant, God's desire for a man is to be pure internally as well, but it was impossible to be achieved unless the Holy Spirit could live inside them. Now we have the Holy Spirit living inside us under New Covenant. That is why it is possible to be cleansed inside out.

In either way New Covenant is far more higher standard than Old.


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Sreeram

 2019/6/24 22:01Profile
gt768
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Joined: 2019/6/12
Posts: 37


 Re: Sree

Thank you sir for your answer. I was hoping to tackle many of the points you brought up because they are significant.

The two questions I asked are related because they both deal with whether the New Testament Scriptures complement or oppose the Old Testament Scriptures.

You wrote "I believe that Jesus lived a higher standard than that was possible by any old testament person. He preached what he lived (Acts 1:1)."

Obviously Jesus was sinless and perfect- and no other person under the Old nor New Covenant ever was besides. We're dealing with whether the Law that Christ lived and taught was a higher law morally than what had been revealed in the Old Testament. The words you wrote afterwards show that you know this is the issue, but I'm just clarifying that for the others who read this thread.

You wrote "The very proof that Jesus preached something higher is the way he presented the sermon on the mount.
Matt 5:20 -'For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.' The scribes and Pharisees were those who kept the law outwardly. Jesus called them white washed tomb. Because they were good outside but dead inside. Jesus said under New Covenant our righteousness should surpass that of scribes and Pharaisees, this is because New testament standard is not external purity but internal. That is why JEsus said, clean the inside of the cup first and the outside will be clean by itself."

You seem to be saying that hypocrisy and being a white-washed tomb was acceptable under the Old Covenant. Was it okay for the Scribes and Pharisees to only look righteous externally but not be righteous internally until Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount? How would the need for our righteousness to surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees be a requirement to follow a higher law unless it were replacing the law already in place- a law which permitted hypocrisy and had no internal requirements? Were the Scribes and Pharisees righteous men up until Jesus preached the Sermon on the mount???

You wrote "9 Out of the 10 commandments are external. Only thou shall not covert was internal. Paul accepted that this one law he could not keep under old covenant. God kept this one internal law to keep them humble. But in New Covenant, everything is inner, it is inner cleansing."

All of God's commandments have always had an internal requirement which was expressed externally when met from the heart. Look at the spirituality seen in the Law of Moses:

Leviticus 19:17-18 " 17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord."

This is what Jesus also taught on the Sermon on the Mount and He couldn't improve upon the perfect law which He had already given through Moses. And Paul never said that thou shalt not covet was the one law you could not keep under the Old Covenant. Look at what the Holy Spirit says about Zachariah and Elisabeth serving God under the Old Covenant:

Luke 1:5-6 "5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

You wrote: "But in New Covenant, everything is inner, it is inner cleansing. 5:21 “You have heard that [k]the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be [l]liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be [m]guilty before the court. If we ask a Child to read this above verse and ask what is Jesus trying to say, the child will plainly say that Jesus is telling something different from what the people were told under the law. The phrase "BUT I Say to you", is very clear that Jesus taught something different. Something higher. Something that purifies a man inside. Example Murder (external sin) vs Anger (inner sin); Adultery vs Lust in heart. In old testament the standard was jumping 10 feet then Jesus raised the bar to 100 feet. The one who jumps 100 feet automatically jumps 10 feet, that is why we do not need to keep external laws. If we are internally pure then we already cross 100 feet."

The child would say that if he didn't know what the Law actually said as opposed to the corrupt interpretations of the Law that were prevalent in Jesus' day. Jesus never corrected nor improved upon the OT Scriptures since they were His own Law. Every commandment, whether it is Old or New Testament, challenges the heart and requires external conformity. I quoted Leviticus 19:17-18 above to show that the Law of Moses did deal with the heart and Paul himself said in Romans chapter 7 that "the law is spiritual" There are also external commandments in the New Testament (not brand new commandments, but echoes and re-phrasings of the morality of the Old Testament). Obviously God expects a heart in line with what He commands and the corresponding external practice.

1 Timothy 2:9-15 "9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."

You wrote: "Jesus said the greatest man who ever lived under old covenant was John the Baptist. But the least in the New Covenant will be greater than this greatest man, because of the higher standard of New Covenant life (Matt 11:11).

Jesus did not say the reason the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater was the higher standard of life. Consider what a poor forerunner John the Baptist would have been to Christ if he had been calling people back to a law that Christ was about to improve upon and change.

You wrote "Even under Old Covenant, God's desire for a man is to be pure internally as well, but it was impossible to be achieved unless the Holy Spirit could live inside them. Now we have the Holy Spirit living inside us under New Covenant. That is why it is possible to be cleansed inside out."

You had said before that 9 of the 10 commandments were external and now you say something which implies they went deeper. But yes, God did indeed desire internal purity under the Old Covenant (and before that all the way back to the beginning). The godly people who inherited salvation before Christ were pure internally since they understood the spiritual nature of God's Law and walked in it in a manner that God was pleased with and commended.

Look at Job: Job 1:1- "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." Job 31:1-3- "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? 2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?"

Every righteous person to ever live had the heart expressed here in Psalm 119:1-8 since God's law is eternal and also spiritual: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly."

The righteous people before Christ had the Holy Spirit with them in some way to some measure which enabled them to keep His law acceptably as they sought Him and cooperated with Him by following the Truth they knew with an obedient faith. Remember how in Psalm 51 David prayed for God not to take his Holy Spirit from him as he repented and sought forgiveness and cleansing? (Psalm 51:11)

You wrote: "In either way New Covenant is far more higher standard than Old."

There is a major difference between a better covenant and a higher law standard of law. The New Covenant allows the faithful to be nearer to the Lord and indwelt by His Spirit to a depth and degree which enables an even better quality, more pure fulfillment of the same moral law which existed from the beginning.

Romans 8:4 "4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Thank you for being willing to reason.



 2019/6/25 0:21Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1986


 Re: Did Jesus teach a higher Law?



Q. "Did Jesus teach a higher Law?"

A. No He did not! There can be no higher Law.

"If you agree or disagree please state at least one reason why and also state practical implications of your agreement or disagreement."


I agree. Salvation is, and always has been, by grace through faith.


The Old Covenant saints looked forward to the righteousness of God in the Messiah Who was to come. The New Covenant saints look back to the righteousness of God in the Messiah.

As it is written, by the Law shall no flesh be justified.

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

That, according as it is written,

He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:30,31

 2019/6/25 4:12Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 391
Cambodia

 Re:

Yes, Jesus taught a "higher" law. He introduced to God's people the law that they should love their brothers the same way that Jesus loved them and that they should love their enemies. Before, there was the law to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. It is debatable that the law to love your enemy is new but the new standard of loving the brethern in this high and sacrificial way was "new" in that the standard was so high. The OT law was "perfect" in a morally pure sense, but the standard of brotherly love was more perfect.

The New Covenant people of God are called to a much higher standard of love in this most particular and special respect. It is the mark and most evident fruit of a New Covenant Spirit indwelled believer.


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Robert

 2019/6/25 4:45Profile
gt768
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Joined: 2019/6/12
Posts: 37


 Re: CofG

There is no doubt that Jesus as a man demonstrated the perfect love that the Law of God required and calls those who would be His disciples to that same love. You could say that was the highest revelation of love in that it was a perfect demonstration of God's law which had never been seen in a man before; and also a higher challenge in that the cost to Jesus to walk in that love was higher than any man had ever been faced with before in order to fulfill it and be faithful. Yet that is not a higher standard than the Law, rather it's a perfect demonstration of the Law and the love that always reflected God's perfect character.

The everlasting principles of God's law make a higher standard impossible and would make God opposed to Himself if He were to attempt to ordain a different standard and call it higher.
Psalm 119:142 "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."
Psalm 119:160 "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."

I don't know what this standard of brotherly love is that you're referring to besides the standard of the Law demonstrated to the highest height and breadth by Jesus. I see the Apostles quoting the Old Testament to teach Christian brotherly love as well as love of enemies since God's morals and ethics cannot change.

Obviously "the beginning" in the following quote is referring to the earliest generations of mankind in the Book of Genesis. 1 John 3:10-15 "10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (a lesson taught from the beginning)

 2019/6/25 5:20Profile
gt768
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Joined: 2019/6/12
Posts: 37


 Re:

Here is the Apostle Paul teaching Christian love of enemies and not rewarding evil for evil- quoting from the Book of Proverbs to give an exhortation on these things. Romans 12:17-21 "17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

He'd go on immediately in what we call Romans 13 (the original letter contained no chapter breaks) to the subject of governmental authority and use of the sword against criminals as ordained by God and an appropriate venue of God's vengeance. This is obviously consistent with Christianity. Many have the idea that Jesus' teaching on love of enemies means we ought not to support Government punishment of duly convicted criminals and some churches even forbid their members from serving in the military and law enforcement due to the erroneous belief that love of enemies is something different now than it was in OT times. A faithful Israelite was obligated not to take personal vengeance against his enemies into his own hands and would feed them, give them drink, etc if he saw their need and could meet it. Yet he also was permitted and even obligated to appeal to the Judges to prosecute criminal acts against him and his family; he was obligated to protect those being victimized by criminal action- even with use of force if necessary. Pacifism is a doctrine which originated by separating Jesus from the Hebrew context and mindset of His words. The same could be set of many other erroneous concepts which misrepresent God and alter Christian doctrine and living from its Apostolic authenticity. The belief that Jesus taught a higher and better morality than the morality of the Law of Moses has been a major catalyst for these deadly alterations of the faith once delivered to the saints. This is the reason for my bringing this up.

 2019/6/25 5:38Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1711


 Re:

gt768 - I appreciate the fact that you have tried to put your argument with some sense of logic.

Quote:

The two questions I asked are related because they both deal with whether the New Testament Scriptures complement or oppose the Old Testament Scriptures.



This is why I believe the questions are not related. I believe that Jesus preached a higher standard than OT. I have given the scriptural references in my previous post. But I also believe that OT and NT complement each other and do not oppose.

This is where you are wrong. You seem to think that OT and NT should say the same thing to complement each other. That is not true. That is why you misunderstood my post and my spirit because your initial assumption itself is wrong.

For example when my child in 5 years old, I tell my child not to use my laptop in my absence. When my child is 10 years old I tell my child to use my laptop in my absence but visit only certain sites. When my child is 15 years old, I tell my child to use the laptop as he wishes but not watch anything sinful like violence or sexual act etc.

Now if you see, I have given 3 different standards for my Child as my child grew. But all 3 are inline with one another. They do not contradict but complement. It is based on the Child's maturity to comprehend the command. My 5 year old cannot understand what is a sexual activity, hence I wait till 15 to tell not to watch Sexual activity, but at 5 I control my child from watching a sexual scene by other restrictions.

The objective of my commands to my child at all age level is same.

God always wanted inner purity, but it was impossible for a person who is not born again under OT to achieve it. David understood that God wants truth in innermost being. But he knew it was not there in him.

Even under OT people understood what God wanted from them like Job but not all of them could achieve it. That is why God had to restrict them with 600+ laws. And more than 90% of them are external.

Certainly using the laptop freely but yet not visiting the sites that have sexual content is a higher standard. But my 5 year old cannot achieve that.

Quote:

Leviticus 19:17-18 " 17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord."



This is nothing but an expansion of one shall love their neighbor. Like I said, the objective of God from Man is the same in both NT and OT, which is total purity.
So if you see any external command like thou shall not commit adultery then the heart of God is to have total sexual purity. But it is expressed by not committing adultery.

If we expand all the 600+ OT commands, we can also achieve internal purity, because that is the objective. But the requirement was only obeying those external command. Only those who meditated on the heart of God behind those external commands understood the inner purity. Like Job who did not even lust after a virgin.

Quote:

The child would say that if he didn't know what the Law actually said as opposed to the corrupt interpretations of the Law that were prevalent in Jesus' day. Jesus never corrected nor improved upon the OT Scriptures since they were His own Law.



Again you are missing the point here. Jesus did not correct or improve. Those are not my points. Jesus came to increase the standard. He did not correct a mistake. Like the laptop usage I told you, I did not correct my command or improve it but I kept increasing the standard as my child grew. It is hard to understand from the perspective that you have. Also it is hard for me to type and explain things.

Jesus did not give the sermon on the mount to oppose the corrupt law. Jesus quoted , ‘You shall not commit murder’ , 'You shall not commit adultery' etc. These are not corrupt laws of his time. They are the words from scripture not from any corrupt book!

So the Child is right because it is not having a confused theological box like you! It can see plainly that you cannot see due to your theological mindset.

Quote:


The righteous people before Christ had the Holy Spirit with them in some way to some measure which enabled them to keep His law acceptably as they sought Him and cooperated with Him by following the Truth they knew with an obedient faith. Remember how in Psalm 51 David prayed for God not to take his Holy Spirit from him as he repented and sought forgiveness and cleansing? (Psalm 51:11)



See David wrote in Psalm 51, that God wanted truth in innermost being. How did he know that? Which piece of scripture it is? They all knew the objective of God because they searched God beyond his laws and found it. Same was the case with Job.

Take David for example, he did not get convicted for lusting against Bathseba but for committing adultery and killing her husband.

Even though he had forgiven Shimai who cursed David publically. He kept the anger and grudge in his heart till death bed. Proof that he wanted the man dead by his son.

Even the man from God's own heart could achieve only external purity but not internal.

John the Baptist, Jesus said was the greatest of all OT saints. This is Jesus own testimony. Others were also Good but none close like John. Still even the least in NT will be greater than John in terms of Standard of life.

Quote:

1 Timothy 2:9-15 "9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,



Yes even under NT, there are few but very few external commands. Even here Paul does not write exactly what dress women should wear! There is a liberty in Christ because of the indewlling of Holy SPirit.
Another example is head covering. That is why it is important to obey the external commands in NT because there are very few of them.

Quote:

There is a major difference between a better covenant and a higher law standard of law. The New Covenant allows the faithful to be nearer to the Lord and indwelt by His Spirit to a depth and degree which enables an even better quality, more pure fulfillment of the same moral law which existed from the beginning.



I agree that we can be nearer to the Lord than OT. Naturally the one to whom more is given, much more is expected. Hence our standard should also be higher than that of OT. We cannot keep hatred in our heart like David (forget about adultery), be discouraged like Elija, tell lies like Abraham, or doubt Jesus like John the Baptist! All these are OT saints whom God accepted and was not ashamed to be called their God. But in NT these things are not acceptable because we have God living inside us.

Heb 11:39 - 39 And all these, having [y]gained approval through their faith, did not receive [z]what was promised, 40 because God had [aa]provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

Abraham, David and John the Baptist all got approval irrespective of their imperfections. But now we have something better, which is Jesus who is our example and forerunner and also the Holy Spirit living inside us.



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Sreeram

 2019/6/25 7:38Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1711


 Re:

Quote:

The belief that Jesus taught a higher and better morality than the morality of the Law of Moses has been a major catalyst for these deadly alterations of the faith once delivered to the saints. This is the reason for my bringing this up.



I see that the greatest danger is in believing that OT and NT standard of requirements are the same.

How many times we hear of Pastors falling in adultery with their assistants and then claim that David fell so it is fine? A man after God's own heart can also fall so there is nothing wrong in them falling!

Another example is tithe. There is no mention of tithe in NT. Still if you go to any Church today, you will hear some part of teaching on tithe, and how God is dependent on the money that people give etc.

The NT standard is, God loves a Cheerful giver and not one who tithes 10% for the sake of giving! NT standard is not 'do not commit adultery' but to not even lust with another women. So the Pastor should have repented of his lust well before it turned into Adultery!

Quote:

some churches even forbid their members from serving in the military and law enforcement due to the erroneous belief that love of enemies is something different now than it was in OT times.



I personally believe a Christian should avoid serving in Military and law enforcement as much as possible. The reason is not what you think. It is difficult to be a Christian in these environment. In those 2 jobs one is required to have absolute obedience to their boss and it is punishable to disobey. What if your boss orders you to do something unChristlike? Why do one inflict punishment by working in such jobs when plenty of other jobs are available.

I have spoken to believers in my CHurch who have served in armed forces, they too believe it is difficult to be a Christian in that field.

Temptation to sin is there in every field. But it is better to work in a restaurant than to be a bouncer in Strip club! Same logic.


_________________
Sreeram

 2019/6/25 8:41Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1244
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Did Jesus teach a higher Law?

Yes and a straightforward reading 📖 of Hebrews 8-10 will plainly establish this -

Brother Sree has done well to articulate Paul’s use of the “schoolmaster” analogy, which itself is expounded upon in Hebrews-

There cannot be an honest comparison of Old Covenant and New Covenant without the book of Hebrews which straightway addresses these very questions 🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2019/6/25 10:11Profile





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