Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

How much do I love you?

 

Let me count the ways...

seekGodstruth.com 

 

1.   I will have no other gods.

2.   I will not make or bow down to any image.

3.   I will not dishonor you and your name.

4.   I will remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5.   I will honor my father and mother.

6.   I will not murder.

7.   I will not commit adultery.

8.   I will not steal.

9.   I will not lie.

10. I will not covet what belongs to my neighbor.

SeekGodsTruth.com

 

All about our Character

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The “Debate”

 

Christianity today teaches that faith in Christ and the grace of God is in conflict with the Law of God / 10 Commandments, and has essentially nullified it or replaced it. Churches throughout the world continue to teach this even though the Lord Jesus specifically said in the Sermon on the Mount that He did not come to destroy the Law, but instead to make it full or fully teach it, which He clearly did as He magnified it and showed us its full spiritual intent – see Matthew 5:17-28:

 

Matthew 5:

17   "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

18   For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

19   Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20   For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

21   "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'

22   But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.

23   Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

24   leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

25   Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

26   Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

27   "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'

28   But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.    (NKJV)

 

 

However, Christians instead say Jesus “fulfilled” the Law in verse 17 and interpret it to mean that He put a supposed end to it.  This is in direct contradiction to the Lord Jesus’ own words that He did not come to destroy the Law, and also contradicts the context of the chapter, because as we can clearly see, after saying He did not come to destroy it, Jesus then proceeds to fully teach on the Law.  The Bible makes it very evident He did not destroy or replace the Law, but actually revealed its fullest meaning. 

 

The fact that He came to actually “fully” teach the Law instead of “complete” it, can be found in the meaning of the word itself.  In verse 17, English Bibles translate the Greek word ‘pleroo’ (Strong’s 4137) as ‘fulfill’ which stems from doctrinal bias (the Law of God is no longer applicable to a Christian, or for Jews only).  We know this, because the word ‘pleroo’ is used elsewhere and it was translated as “fully”.  The word can mean complete, but it also means to fill to the full, to do something fully (not end it). In Romans 15, the apostle Paul “fully” preaches the gospel:

 

Romans 15:

19   in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.   (NKJV)

 

 

The apostle Paul went out to fully preach the gospel using the word ‘pleroo’, just as Jesus said He came to fully teach the Law and not destroy it, also using the word ‘pleroo’.  Why was this word translated differently when the context clearly reveals that Jesus expressly said He came not to abolish the Law, but to expand upon it (which He clearly proceeded to do by magnifying it)?  The honest and earnest seeker of God’s truth should see that the bias and tradition of men has hidden the truth and the truth is this:

 

The Lord Jesus came to fully teach the Law.  It applies to everyone who believes in Him.  Jesus came to fully reveal and declare the heart and will of His father, and part of doing this is to fully reveal the Law of His father.

 

The Law of God is often characterized as empty works so the argument against the Law is usually framed as there is nothing we can do, like empty works or the 10 Commandments, to justify ourselves for our salvation, but only faith in Christ justifies.

 

Of course it is Christ who justifies and it is His justification that becomes ours by the blood He shed for us and which covers us. We are nothing without Him. It is the perfection of Christ which justifies us and therefore who we must have faith in, because we can never be perfect like Him and can never justify ourselves. But this is not the true argument and it distracts from the truth of the matter.

 

To say that the Law of God is obsolete, because we can never perfectly obey it like the Lord Jesus did is not a credible argument at all. Instead, this actually reveals why the Law of God can never be obsolete at least until the heavens and the earth passes away:

 

Matthew 5:

18   "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,

      not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.   (NASB)

 

 

The 10 Commandments will always exist, because it defines sin:

 

Romans 4:

15   Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.   (AKJV)

 

Romans 7:

7     What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary,

      I would not have known sin except through the law.

      For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."     (NKJV)

 

1 John 3:

 4     Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.   (AKJV)

 

 

The Bible is telling us if there is no Law, then there would be no transgression or sin, but we know full well there is transgression and sin, so the Law is also there. Why? Because it is the Law which is the measure that defines what sin is.

 

Therefore, the Law of God tells us what sin is and shows us our imperfections, which shows us why we need faith in a savior. But at the same time, the Law shows us what holiness is, and how we are to be holy children of God. The Law is a measure and as long as this measure is required, then the Law will always exist. In other words, as long as sin exists, the Law will exist, because sin is the transgression of the Law.

 

Christianity today contradicts their own argument against the Law, because they also teach and know that though God is love, He is also holy, and therefore God’s grace and justice must co-exist.

 

 

 

The True issue

 

People who consider the commandments of God empty works are demeaning not only the commandments themselves, but also the one who gave them to us. A holy God gave us His holy 10 Commandments:

 

Romans 7:

12    Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.   (NKJV)

 

 

The Law of God is a mirror of the Law-giver.

 

It is holy, just and good as our God is holy, just and good.

 

 

At the core of the argument is that Christians call the Law of God an empty work, as if it was something mindless we must check off a list to do and this is emphatically wrong.

 

The Law of God is the moral law of God and therefore it is not about empty actions as many Christians seem to say it is, but it is all about our behavior. How we behave is not empty works. The 10 Commandments are a reflection of the holy character of God and is what God wants us to model – it is the standard of behavior for a child of God.  

 

The argument Christianity today poses between faith/grace and the Law then is fundamentally flawed, misleading and untrue. If Christians stopped to seriously think about it, and not continue to be influenced by the false teaching that God’s holy commandments are of no effect, then they will easily see why the Law of God is still very much valid and essential to the Christian.

 

The 10 Commandments not only shows us that we need a savior, but at the same time it teaches us what is holy and what is sin, and it exists to show us how we must behave so we may have the character of God. As children of God, we must be like God (Ephesians 5:1). As children of God and co-heirs with Christ, we must imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). The only way we can be like God and Christ is if we change our behavior.

 

As the Lord Jesus perfectly obeyed the 10 Commandments and we are to imitate Him, then what does this tell us? It tells us that in order to have the character of Christ we must change our behavior, and this begins by obeying the 10 Commandments which outline the behavior children of God should have, so that we may love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

 

The Law of God is not obsolete at all, but is absolutely essential to conform to the image of Christ as the Lord Jesus is the image of His father. To ignore the Law is to say that God and Christ do not walk by the commandments of God themselves.

 

 

 

An example

 

According to Christianity today, the Law of God is a useless work which does not have any bearing upon the Christian since faith in Christ is all that matters and Christ “did it all for us”. The error in this teaching can be illustrated in the following example.

 

“Let us say in a small country somewhere there is a criminal who has committed multiple crimes and he is sentenced to death.  He does not want to die. At the very last moment, the authorized official who can free him calls in and stops the execution. The criminal is set free.

 

Now the question becomes since this criminal is now free, will he continue to exhibit the same behavior which caused him to be imprisoned and placed on death row in the first place?

 

The authorized official who has freed him was working with him to change his behavior so that he would not do those things again. It is because of this change in behavior and the promise he showed that the criminal was released. The authorized official has given this criminal his freedom with the trust that the former behavior will not be manifested again.”

 

 

How does this apply to the Christian?

 

The believer in Christ knows he is a sinner and is deserving of death. It is only by the grace of God and the death of His son Jesus as our substitute that has freed us from sure eternal death. But after we are saved by His blood – do we go on sinning? Like the prisoner example above, does God save us and expect us to continue to sin or to change our behavior and not sin anymore?

 

The obvious answer is that God expects us to not sin anymore. He knows we are not perfect, but still expects us to not sin. As we saw in the beginning of this article, the Bible defines sin as the transgression of God’s Law. Therefore, according to the Bible, to not sin anymore, is to stop breaking the Law of God.

 

Many Christians say we “are not under law, but under grace” to support why they believe the Law is abolished, but this is an extremely misinterpreted verse taken completely out of context. Then what does it mean? To be under grace means that because of the Lord’s perfect sacrifice, we can be forgiven when we sin (fall short of and break the law), and not be held under law and its justified death penalty (not suffer the wages of sin which is death):

 

Romans 6:

11   Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12   Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13   and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;

     but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14   For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15   What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

16   Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience,

     you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

 

  23   For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (NASB) 

 

 

We must note in these verses in Romans 6 that the Bible makes it clear that even though by God’s grace we are freed from the wages of sin which is death (breaking the law which incurs a death penalty – this is also called the letter of the law), we must still not sin – and abide by the rule of Law – this is also called living by the spirit of the Law. The Bible’s definition of sin is the transgression of God’s Law, therefore to not sin means we must not break the Law any longer.

 

The Christian life in Romans 6 parallels the prisoner example exactly: the prisoner was set free from the penalty of the law which was death that he fully deserved, due to the gracious act of the authorized official. The prisoner was set free from the penalty of the law, but yet he is expected to still abide by the law.

 

 

The Law is spiritual:

 

Romans 7:

  14   For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.     (NASB) 

 

 

And therefore, God gives us spiritual help to keep His spiritual Law. If we are Christ’s and have accepted His blood which He shed for us, then we must understand we can no longer be of the flesh like we were before, but we must be of the spirit. To be of the spirit means we must change our behavior and not break God’s spiritual Law. It means we must be like Christ:

 

1 Corinthians 2:

16   For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?"

     But we have the mind of Christ.     (NKJV)

 

 

The carnal mind does not subject itself to the Law of God and cannot please God, but those with the Spirit of Christ within them belong to Christ and do obey and please God.  If God abides in us and we have the mind of Christ, would God and Christ not obey the commandments which are spiritual, holy, righteous, and good?   God empowers us with His spirit so that we will be able to live according to the spiritual Law of God:

 

Romans 8

5     For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6     For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7     Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8     So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9     But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

     Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10   And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,

      he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.

12   Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13   For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.

14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.     (AKJV)

 

 

To be given the ability to walk in a holy and righteous manner by the spirit of God is again an analogy of the freed prisoner.  This is so, because the authorized official does not release the prisoner without first providing him counseling and the power to change his behavior so he does not repeat the offense.  Just as we would not want to release a prisoner who was sentenced to death without first ensuring he has changed his old ways and continues to walk in a new way, the same applies to God:  when we are freed by the sacrifice of His son Jesus on our behalf, we must also be changed from our old ways and become a new person.  When we are released from our death sentence, we must abide by the law – the Law of God.

 

Romans 8 above tells us that the fleshly man is like a prisoner still in his old ways and is not subject to the Law of God (does not obey the Law).  However, the prisoner who is now a new spiritual man will be subject to the Law of God, because he has repented and turned from his old ways – and now obediently walks and lives by the Law of God.  It looks like this:

 

Fleshly mind  =  is NOT subject to Law of God (old man still in old ways & breaks the Law)

 

Spiritual mind  =  IS subject to Law of God (now a new man who obeys the Law)


 

The spirit of God changes us from within so that we will put aside our old sinful ways, but now can live a new and holy way, abiding by the spiritual Law; we become like Christ.

 

Romans 12:

2     And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

     so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  (NASB)

 

Romans 13:

 14    But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.   (NKJV)

 

Galatians 3:

  27   For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.   (NASB)

 

 

Like the prisoner, we are both freed from the death penalty we deserved from breaking the law. However, now that we are freed by the gracious act which we did not deserve, we must change our behavior and we must renew our minds so that we will not break the Law of God anymore. We must become a completely different person.   The freedom from the justified penalty of the Law does not allow us to continue to break the Law. God forbid.

 

And this is why the Christian establishes the Law:

 

Romans 3:

  31   Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.   (NASB)


 

We establish the Law, because with the spirit of God within us, we are of the spirit and not the flesh; and as a new man we are therefore able to abide by the spiritual Law of God. This does not mean we are perfect, but it means the mind of Christ within us prevents us from sinning against God and His Law. The Law is a measure of what sin is and what is holy. We establish the Law, because Christians live by the Law according to the spirit of God within them and hence are called children of God, while those without the spirit, but are of the flesh, do not live by the Law and do not please God (Romans 8:5-14 above).

 

We establish the Law, because the old man and the old ways are no more, but we are now a new man and live the new way – God’s way, in true righteousness and holiness:

 

Ephesians 4:

20   But you have not so learned Christ,

21   if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22   that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

23   and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24   and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.   (NKJV)

 

 

Like the prisoner who was once destined to death, we are now alive to God in the Lord Jesus and are now dead to sin – we must sin no more:

 

Romans 6:

11   Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12   Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13   and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;

     but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

 

 

The common Christian belief that “Christ did it all for us” is not in the Bible at all and is proven to be untrue. What the Lord Jesus did was pay our death penalty which we rightfully deserve so we may have eternal life, but the sinner still must live his/her own life. They must live their lives for God in Christ and change their behavior to not sin against God and the blood of Christ any more.

 

Just think for a moment. In a smaller scale, if we robbed someone or if we drive and were guilty of speeding or passing a red light, but the officer overlooked the violation and waived the penalty, does this mean it is fine and appropriate to continue to behave in these ways? Of course not. To continue to act this way is to break the law, continue in self-destructive behavior which may also be dangerous to others, and to completely disregard the gracious act of mercy by the one in authority.

 

How much more than if we acknowledge our sin and must repent of them while putting our trust in the Lord Jesus since we know we are wicked and weak? After His precious blood was shed for us and covers us, making His righteousness our righteousness, does this mean we continue to sin against God and trample on the sacrifice and blood of Jesus? NO.

 

In other words, just because the penalty of the Law (being under the Law) has been paid for, we must still abide by the Law to live holy and righteous lives unto God in Christ. Just because someone paid the penalty for us does not mean we continue to sin and break the law.

 

As we read earlier in Romans 8, the spirit of God is what changes us from within to abide by God’s spiritual Law. We do not obey to be saved, but once we are saved, we obey – because the spirit of God writes His Law into our hearts.

 

 

 

Beauty is as Beauty does

 

The Bible teaches God wants a holy people for Himself and without holiness we cannot approach Him:

 

Hebrews 12:

  14   Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.   (ESV)

 

How can people who were once awash and lost in their sins become a holy people? This can only happen if one changes their behavior. The Christian belief that the Law of God is a useless work is hopelessly wrong and misses the mark completely. The 10 Commandments is a moral law and so by definition it lays out behavior which is good and holy.

 

There is an old saying that goes like this: “Beauty is as beauty does”. What does it mean? It means that true beauty is not based on external and physical beauty, but it is based on inner beauty, and this inner beauty is manifested by our actions and behavior.

 

For a believer in Christ, true beauty is the Lord Jesus who is the image of His father. For a believer in Christ, what true beauty does is what Christ did – His actions and behavior. It comes from within, a manifestation of who He is and what kind of person He is:

 

Isaiah 53:

2     For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground;

     He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

3     He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

     And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4     Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God,

     and afflicted.

5     But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

     The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

6     All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;

     But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

7     He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

     And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.   (NASB)

 

 

But we must always remember how and why the Lord Jesus did all these things – it is because He was obedient to His father’s will. He was without sin, because He never transgressed the Law of God. His behavior was holy and righteous; He was without blemish. As imitators of Christ, we are to strive to do likewise. And if we do not, but instead continue to sin and transgress God’s Law, then we are not being children of God and are biting the pierced hand that reaches out to us in forgiveness.

 

However, God does not want mechanical observance of His Law. He wants us to conform to the image of His son (Romans 8:29), meaning He wants us to lovingly be obedient and trust Him completely. God wants children who love and obey Him, because they love Him, trust Him and want to please Him, not because they feel "they are forced to". Being obedient to God should be a natural show of affection. This is similar to what any loving parent wants in their children. A child’s behavior should be good and for the right reasons – this is what abiding by the spirit of the Law means. A child’s behavior should reflect the true character within, which should be righteous, true and of love.

 

For the Christian who is a child of God, this means our righteous behavior is an indicator of holy character within us. How do we get this holy character? We get it by imitating the Lord Jesus.

This requires we become new people in Christ:

 

Colossians 3:

5     Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth:

      fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

6     Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

7     in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8     But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

9     Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

10   and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

11   where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free

     but Christ is all and in all.   (NKJV)

 

 

We can clearly see in becoming a new person in Christ, it is unavoidable that we must change our behavior. This change is internal, not external. It does not matter what kind of person we are on the outside, but what must change is our mind and heart – our behavior. It is a complete renewal and change; we become an entirely new person.

 

Our Heavenly Father loves us perfectly, knows what is best for us, and has saved us. He knows we are not perfect and this is why God gives of His spirit, so that we will be molded into the children He wants us to be.

 

When we imitate the Lord Jesus, we are following the example of His behavior. We are to walk as He walked:

 

1 John 2:

  6   the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.   (NASB)

 

 

How did the Lord Jesus walk? He obeyed the 10 Commandments. Our Heavenly Father wants children who love Him and in that love obey His will.

 

The beliefs that “Christ did it all for us” and “we can never be perfect” as reasons to disregard the Law of God falls flat, because God commands us to imitate His son anyway even though He is perfect. Now why would God do that if He knows we cannot be perfect? That is a silly question. For why does a father ask his 13-year old child to obey him, knowing full well that there is a chance his child may disobey? Does this mean he is not justified in asking for and expecting obedience?

 

Are we to continue our sinful behavior even after the Lord Jesus’ blood covers us?

 

Or do we model the Lord Jesus as the Bible commands us to do where we know this means we must completely change our person and behavior, to have the holy character of the Lord and we strive to sin no more:

 

1 John 3:

4     Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

5     And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

6     Whoever stays in him sins not: whoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

7     Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8     He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning.

     For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9     Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him:

     and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.   (AKJV)

 

 

And when we fall short and do sin, God has made a way out for us by His son Jesus:

 

1 John 1:

5     This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

6     If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

7     but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another,

     and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8     If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

9     If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10   If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.     (NASB)

 

 

The Lord Jesus is the holy and sinless Lamb of God who is obedient to the 10 Commandments. He is the prime example of beauty is as beauty does. As we are to imitate Him, then His actions and behavior – His loving obedience, is the example that we must follow, so that our inner beauty which is the true beauty, is also revealed in loving obedience. His beauty as beauty does will become our beauty and what we do. The Law of God is all about our behavior as loving children of God.

 

When the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ covers us and we have the mind of Christ, it is impossible to say that the Law of God has been made obsolete. This is because it is by the Law that we have knowledge of sin and we will not continue to sin and transgress the Law of God.


So we must change our behavior after our lives are spared from a deserving death by God’s pardon. The 10 Commandments are not an empty work. Holy behavior is what the moral law of God – the 10 Commandments, outlines for us. It shows us how to be like Christ. We must live to God in Christ.

 

 

 

We do not obey the Law to be saved, but we obey because we ARE saved

 

The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of God’s Law.

 

Unfortunately, Christianity today has everything backwards and teaches that the 10 Commandments are obsolete or trivial.

 

It dismantles the Law in two major ways:

 

1) It teaches falsely that just because the Lord Jesus paid the penalty of our sins,

    we are not accountable to the standard of the Law which defines sin.

 

2) It teaches us to repent of our sins, but since we are told the Law,

    which is the Biblical measure of what is sin and what is holy, has been thrown away as a useless thing,

    we have no idea of what sin is and therefore what true repentance is.

 

How can we truly repent of our sins if we do not know what the Bible says is sin?

 

 

To say that the Law and obedience to it is a useless work does not make sense, because as the moral Law of God, it tells us what the behavior of obedient and holy children of God should be. To throw out the Law as a useless work is to essentially say that one does not need or want to be holy and obedient. To say this is the same as saying one does not want to be a child of God, because being a child of God automatically means obedience in love and righteousness.

 

But if we are saved by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, then we must not continue to let sin be master over us, and it is by the Law we know what sin is. This is why the Law can never be obsolete at least as long as sin still exists.   The Law is not a useless work at all, but it has everything to do with our behavior.

 

We are also told to imitate the Lord Jesus who perfectly obeyed the Law. Therefore, the ultimate conclusion of throwing out the Law of God is that we cannot be like Christ.

 

Christians today are not taught to take the 10 Commandments seriously, if at all.  The reason given to believers is that the Lord “did it all for us”.  But believers are being done a disservice and not told the truth.  The Bible says only the perfection of the Lord Jesus and His shed blood can pay for the just penalty of breaking the Law of God. However, this is not an excuse to go and continue to sin – break the Law.

 

We must remember Paul’s issues on the Law were always against those who insisted we must obey in order to be saved, even at the expense of faith. No one, including the apostle Paul, says we obey the Law to get saved. It is faith in Christ that saves.

 

However, once we are saved, we do obey God’s Law – it is the fruit of God’s spirit that writes His laws into our hearts. We now know what sin really is and in good conscience with the spirit of God working within us, we cannot sin against our God. God draws us and wants us to be obedient and loving children. As we saw, once we are saved by His grace, do we go on sinning and being disobedient? The Bibles says God forbid and the holy spirit of God helps us and prevents us from sinning. And sin is the transgression of God’s Law.

 

The Lord Jesus is perfect in His sinlessness and God commands us anyway to imitate Christ and God empowers us to do so by His spirit. What is of the flesh cannot please God and is not subject to God’s Law, but what is of the spirit is subject to God’s Law and does please God. God does not demand from us to do what we cannot do and also provides the means to do it.

 

To imitate Christ and therefore be a Christian, means we must have the character of the Lord Jesus and do as He did. Do we have this Christ character in us?

 

Are we truly one of His if we continue to sin which is to transgress God’s law:

 

2 Timothy 2:

19   Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and,

     "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."   (NKJV)

 

 

We are supposed to be a new creation in Christ who now have the mind of Christ to think and act like Him:

 

2 Corinthians 5:

17   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (NKJV)

 

1 Corinthians 2:

16   For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?"

     But we have the mind of Christ.     (NKJV)

 

 

We are told to imitate Him:

 

Romans 8:

29   For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,

     so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;   (NASB)

 

 

If we have the mind of Christ and are to imitate Him, should we not also be obeying the 10 Commandments of God?

 

1 Corinthians 7:

19   Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. (NASB)

 

1 John 5:

3     For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.   (NKJV)

 

 

 

Please also see articles: 'What Paul really taught about the Law' and 'To Imitate Christ'.