Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Colossians 2 does not teach that the Law has been done away with

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

Christians today believe that the Law of God has been removed and “nailed to the cross” by the Lord Jesus Christ when He came to suffer and die to atone for the sins of us all. The passage that is cited as evidence the Law of God has been made obsolete is in Colossians 2 below:

 

Colossians 2:

13   And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him,

     having forgiven you all trespasses,

14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.

     And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  

15   Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16   So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

17   which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

     (NKJV)

 

 

Christians interpret the “handwriting of requirements” in verse 14 to be the Law of God, and this is what they believe was nailed to the cross. Is this true? Did the Lord Jesus take the Law of our heavenly father and nail it to the cross? The Bible says an emphatic no.

 

Please see the article: ‘Reasons for Sunday are not Biblical’ for specific information on Colossians 2:16-17.

 

 

 

Christians teaching today in the churches, media, etc. are doing a huge disservice to earnest seekers of God and His truth. Through centuries of tradition, lies have been passed down from generation to generation and unknowing people just assume these lies to be truth without ever studying the Bible for themselves to see if these things are so as the Bereans did:

 

Acts 17:

10   The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived,

      they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11   Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness,

      examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

     (NASB)

 

 

Christian teaching today does not teach what the Bible’s definition of sin is; it is not teaching Biblical repentance. These are the things all people must know from the very beginning as a foundation of faith in Christ. If you do not know what the Bible says about sin and repentance, than do you know what sin is? And if you do not know this, how do you know what your sins are? Do you know what sins you must repent of and no longer do?

 

The Lord Jesus died for our sins. In other words, do you know what the Lord Jesus died for?

 

The Bible defines sin as the transgression of God’s Law:

 

1 John 3:

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

 

 

Therefore, we must know and observe the Law in order to know what sin is and to repent of them. This is how we no longer sin against God.

 

In Colossians 2:14 Paul is not talking about the Law of God being done away with when the Lord Jesus died for our sins. Let us review what the Bible really says about “the handwriting of requirements” that was nailed to the cross.

 

 

 

Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law

 

The first thing we must remember is that the Lord Jesus is the Word of God and therefore He cannot contradict the word of God. Jesus said that He did not come to do away with the Law:

 

Matthew 5:

17   "Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18     For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away,

       not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.

       (WEB)

 

 

He then proceeds to magnify the Law and show its full spiritual meaning:

 

Matthew 5:

21    You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall 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 shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool,

      shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

27    You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery:

28    But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery

      with her already in his heart.    (AKJV)

 

 

He says these things in the very same Sermon on the Mount where He tells all believers how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13).

 

 

Therefore, believers who say the Lord Jesus has nailed the Law to the cross are contradicting the Lord’s words and we find the following two questions arise:

 

1. Why do believers say the Lord’s Prayer applies to everyone today even though

    Jesus’ declaring the Law is magnified and even more stringent is ignored when

    they both come from the same Lord and sermon?

 

2. Jesus makes it quite clear the Law will endure at least till heaven and earth pass away.

     Has this happened yet?  

 

 

No, the Lord Jesus did not nail the Law to the cross. To say that He did means He lied when He said He did not come to destroy it.   To say that He nailed it to the cross brings up the impossible scenario where Jesus tells the people whom He taught how to pray that the Law is more binding than even heaven and earth, but “in reality” it is only for another couple of years until He is crucified? Then, for some reason, people continue to pray as He taught, but say the Law of God has been done away with.

 

Did heaven and earth pass away when He was crucified?

 

Or do we find instead that decades after the Lord Jesus was crucified, the apostle Paul states it is by the Law he and all believers know what sin is, and it is the believers in Christ who actually establish the Law?

 

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)

 

Romans 3:

31   Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.   (NKJV)

 

 

How could the Law be done away with when it is the believer who establishes it? Believers establish it, because they are the ones who do not transgress the Law of God. This is because at the same time the Law of God shows us what sin is, it also shows us what holiness is. According to God and the Bible, disobedience and transgression is sin; obedience and abiding by the Law is righteousness and holiness.

 

Indeed, Romans 7:7 states without a doubt that the Law is “certainly not” sin (other translations say “God forbid”). The Bible states that the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself to take away our sins:

 

John 1:

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!   (NKJV)

 

Hebrews 9:

26   He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages,

         He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.   (NKJV)

 

 

As the Law is not sin, we see the Bible clearly states that the Lord Jesus did not come to take or do away with the Law. He came to do away with sin which is not the Law, but the transgression of the Law.  And where there is still sin (transgression) – and we all know there still is, there remains the Law of God that is transgressed.

 

Paul taught decades after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Law clearly still existed when Paul was alive. According to Paul, the Law has not been done away with.

 

If we establish the Law and use it as a guide to know what sin is and therefore what to repent of and walk uprightly, it is evident that when the Lord Jesus said He did not come to abolish the Law, then that is exactly what He meant.

 

Jesus did not come to “nail the Law to the cross”; the Law is even more enduring than heaven and earth itself:

 

Luke 16:

17   "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.   (NASB)

 

 

 

Proper context of Colossians

 

We must know what the correct context is of Colossians 2:14. What is the apostle Paul really writing about in Colossians 2? Is he really writing about the Law of God? We must read Colossians 2 thoroughly and objectively.

 

In the verses before Colossians 2:14, we are told that we must not be deceived by the traditions of men and elementary principles of the world, that take us away from Christ and His teaching:

 

Colossians 2:

6     Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

7     having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,

     just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

8     See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception,

     according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

     (NASB)

 

 

In the verses after Colossians 2:14, we are told again to not be cheated of our reward and follow the false beliefs of men. Paul even lists some of them.

 

Colossians 2:

18   Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels,

     intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19   and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments,

     grows with the increase that is from God.

20   Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world,

     do you subject yourselves to regulations ---

21   "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,"

22   which all concern things which perish with the using --- according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

23   These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body,

      but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.   (NKJV)

 

 

The handwriting of requirements that was nailed to the cross is in the middle of Paul’s warnings for us not to be deceived and cheated by the traditions and doctrines of men. The handwriting of requirements is related to these bad things that come from the fleshly mind of men.

 

This handwriting refers to the weaknesses of the flesh and carnal minds which result in: empty philosophy and deception from the traditions of men and elementary principles of the world (Colossians 2:8), with some given as false humility, worship of angels, visions not from God, asceticism, etc. (Colossians 2:18-23).  

 

What Paul writes in Colossians 2 supports what he wrote in Romans 8 --- the things that come from the fleshly minds of men opposes God and His Law:

 

Romans 8:

5     For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to 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, nor indeed can be.

8     So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9     But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.

     Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

10   And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.   (NKJV)

 

 

But the Law of God is heavenly and not fleshly – the Law of God does NOT oppose itself.  


Therefore, what was nailed to the cross was not the Law of God, but the record of our sins and its penalty of death; this is the handwriting of requirements that was done away with by the blood of Christ.

 

The Law of God is not being referred to in Colossians 2. It is impossible for God’s Law to be the subject.

 

Why?

 

It is because God’s Law is not a tradition and doctrine of man. God’s Law is not an elementary principle of the world. God forbid such a thought. What the Lord Jesus did away with was the penalty of sin – these sinful practices that come from the mind of man and the world which we must not continue to practice.

 

After being freed from sin, we must not continue to sin though we are saved by God’s grace. We must be holy and righteous, and not sin against God. Sin is lawlessness, the transgression of God’s Law:

 

Romans 6:

15   What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

16   Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey,

     whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

17   But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form

     of doctrine to which you were delivered.

18   And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

19   I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members

     as slaves of righteousness for holiness.   (NKJV)

 

 

The proper context is also supported when we look at the Book of Colossians as a whole.

 

In Colossians 1, we are told that through His death, the Lord Jesus reconciled our wicked works – which is sin, and in doing so, we are to be holy and blameless before God. This shows us from the beginning of Colossians that what was nailed to the cross by His atonement, are our sins (and death, because the wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23):

 

Colossians 1:

19   For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

20   and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven,

     having made peace through the blood of His cross.

21   And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

22   in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight ---

23   if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast,

     and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

     which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.     (NKJV)

 

 

After having told us in Colossians 2 what some of those wicked works are, in Colossians 3, we are told we must set our mind on heavenly things, not earthly things. It is another way of saying we must set our minds on the spiritual and not fleshly:

 

Colossians 3:

1     Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

2     Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.   (NASB)

 

 

And again, we see it is impossible for the Law of God to be the handwriting that was nailed to the cross. The Law of God is not of the earth, but comes from above – God. The Law is spiritual, holy and good:

 

Romans 7:

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

 

14   For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.  (NKJV)

 

 

The Law of God is perfect and good, and given to us from our father in heaven:

 

James 1:

17   Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,

     with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.   (NASB)

 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the Word of God and given to us as gift:

 

John 3:

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish,

      but have everlasting life.   (AKJV)

 

Romans 6:

23   For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.   (AKJV)

 

 

As the Word of God and only-begotten Son given to us so that we may have the gift of eternal life, Colossians 3 tells us further that we must let the word of the Lord Jesus dwell deeply in us:

 

Colossians 3:

16   Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms

     and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  (NASB)

 

 

We know what the word of Christ is: the Lord Jesus did not come to destroy the Law of His father, but to magnify it and show us its full spiritual meaning. He also said:

 

Matthew 7:

21   "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22    Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name,

      cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

23    And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'  

24   "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25   and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house;

       and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26   "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them,

       will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

27   and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."    (NKJV)

 

 

Notice that Christ reminds us that we must “do” – we must do the will of His father and we must do all that He taught in the Sermon on the Mount.  So let us actually listen and do the words of Christ, and not be found guilty as one who practices lawlessness.  And what were the words of Christ which we should be obeying:  He revealed more fully the Law to all believers, just as He also gave us the Lord’s Prayer and these warnings to all believers.  He said these things to everyone – both Jew and Gentile, who have faith in Him and would not just merely listen, but actually do, the things that He taught and apply it to their lives.

 

 

 

What was truly nailed to the cross

 

The Greek word translated as ‘handwriting’ is cheirographon (Strong’s #5498).

 

Strong’s definition is:

 

something hand-written (“chirograph”), i.e. a manuscript (specially, a legal document or bond (figuratively)): -- handwriting.

 

 

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon definition is:

 

1) a handwriting, what one has written by his own hand

 

2) a note of hand or writing in which one acknowledges that money has either been deposited

     with him or lent to him by another, to be returned at the appointed time

 

 

Is the handwriting in Colossians 2:14 referring to God’s eternal Law (note that the Ark of the Covenant which houses the Law of God appears in Revelation 11:19 & 15:5, after the 7th trumpet is blown)? Or does it mean a handwritten record of something owed that must be paid back?

 

It does not mean the Law of God, but stands for a handwritten record of something owed. It is a ledger account that has a negative balance against us. It is a certificate of debt and should be translated that way:

 

Colossians 2:

13   When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

      He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

14     having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us;

       and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  

15     When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them,

       having triumphed over them through Him.  (NASB)

 

 

Ancient Jewish apocalyptic literature uses the term cheirographon/certificate of debt to represent a recording of our sins before God. The evidence can be seen in verses 13 & 14 themselves. The list of our transgressions forgiven in verse 13 (“forgiven us all our transgressions”) is the certificate of our debt that has been cancelled in verse 14 (“having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us”).

 

The Bible tells us that what the Lord Jesus nailed on the cross is not the Law of His father, but our sins which carry the penalty of death. God’s Word tells us that what is destroyed on the cross is the work of the devil, which is our sin debt.

 

 

Work of the devil is destroyed

 

In verse 15 we are told the Lord Jesus triumphs over and makes a public display of the rulers and authorities (principalities and powers in NKJV) who are the adversary, Satan, and his demons.

 

We must think: does it really make sense that the Lord Jesus triumphs over them by destroying His father’s Law?

 

Is it the Law that has been nailed to the cross or is it really all our sins – the certificate of debt, that has been nailed to the cross which the father of lies, Satan, has caused man to build this debt of sin when he tempted and deceived Adam and Eve?

 

Satan would be absolutely ecstatic if it was the Law of God that was destroyed. After all, Satan is the very first one who transgressed the Law and sinned. It would show that God cannot forgive by providing for our atonement and so instead just throws out His Law and contradict His own holiness. This, of course, makes no sense at all. We know our God is holy and abides by His own Law, and even more, we know God is also love. It is because God is love that He saw to it that atonement would be made on our behalf.

 

It is the Law of God that is the anchor of both God’s holiness (standard of measure for sin) and His love (when we fall short, He shows His love, mercy and grace by providing our atonement and forgiveness of our sins).

 

Colossians 2:15 tells us that Satan thought by killing the son of God he would gain a victory over God, His son and man, but instead the Lord Jesus’ death was a victory for us all and a defeat for Satan, spelling the beginning of the end for him. It tells us that what Satan thought would happen, did not happen and instead it has turned against him.

 

The Lord Jesus contradicting Himself by destroying the Law, which He affirmed as being more durable than heaven and earth and He came not to destroy, would have been a victory for Satan. The enemy would relish the destruction of the Law which he had transgressed so greatly. He hates anything that comes from God.

 

However, the Lord Jesus undoing the damage Satan has created by saving us from our sins – wiping out the negative balance against us, would be a defeat for the enemy and be totally unexpected as verse 15 shows. Remember, the enemy hates God and His son; and he hates us, too, because we were created in the image of God.

 

Would the enemy have wanted to kill Jesus if he knew what Jesus’ death would do? Absolutely not. The accuser can no longer accuse us before the heavenly father. We are justified by the Lord Jesus’ blood that has cleansed us of our sins and wiped them off our account, and therefore we must not trample on His blood and continue to sin and transgress God’s Law.

 

It was not the Law of God that was done away with. What was done away with was the record of our sins – and the wages of sin is death:

 

2 Timothy 1:

10   But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death,

     and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel   (AKJV)

 

 

The Lord Jesus’ crucifixion did not nail His father’s Law to the cross, but it destroyed the works of the devil who had the power of death. The work of the devil is sin and death. What Jesus nailed to the cross was not the Law, but our transgressions against God and His Law – our record of sins that had a penalty of death:

 

Hebrews 2:

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same,

    that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

 

1 John 3:

8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

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

 

 

Sin is debt in our accounts

 

The Bible likens sin to be debt on our accounts. The Bible truth that it is the record of our sins which is treated as debt, like a balance sheet or ledger account that has a great debit balance (“in the red”) from the accrual of our sins, is shown in many places in the Bible. Our sins are called debt that must be paid – unless by the mercy of the one to whom we owe this sin debt completely cancels out the balance against us. It is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that wipes the slate clean by providing atonement and forgiveness of our sins.

 

We see reference to our sins as debt in the model prayer the Lord Jesus taught:

 

Matthew 6:

9     In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

10   Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

11   Give us this day our daily bread.

12   And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

13   And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

      For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14   "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15    But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

Luke 11:

4   And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

    And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."

 

 

In the Lord Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant, we see sin being referred to as debt on an accounting ledger fully explained. It illustrates the truth that sin is like debt that cannot be repaid, but it is only by the compassion of the master that the debt/sin can be forgiven. This parable also shows us the principle that we must be forgiving just as we are forgiven, as the Lord teaches in His prayer:

 

Matthew 18:

23   Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

24   And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

25   But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had,

     and that payment be made.

26   The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

27   Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28   "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii;

      and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!'

29   So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

30   And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.

31   So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved,

     and came and told their master all that had been done.

32   Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.

33   Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'

34   And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35   "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

 

 

What happened with Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who wiped the tears off the Lord Jesus’ feet with her hair and was condemned as a sinner by the Pharisee, is used by Jesus to teach us a lesson about sin as debt. Jesus again tells us that sin is equated with debt, and also shows us the principle that though both are forgiven, the person who has more debt/sin forgiven, is the one who is more appreciative of having that greater burden of debt/sin removed:

 

Luke 7:

37   And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house,

     brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,

38   and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears,

     and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

39   Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet,

     would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner."

40   And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it."

41   "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42   And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore,

     which of them will love him more?"

43   Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged."

44   Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house;

      you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.

45   You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.

46   You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.

47   Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven,

      the same loves little."

48   Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

 

 

Jesus had a certificate of debt. It was not His, because He was perfect and never sinned. He had our certificate of debt. We see an example of this in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus itself. The Romans placed a plaque above His head that signified the accusation of sin for which He was to die. The supposed sin for which He was crucified was written and placed above His head:

 

Matthew 27:

37   And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.   (NKJV)

 

 

This plaque which showed the reason why He had to die is only a microcosmic illustration of the sins of us all that were unjustly put upon the Lamb of God. In reality, it is the record of our sins that was put upon and above the head of the Lord Jesus Christ – all our sins is the true reason He had to die. It is this record of our sins that was nailed to the cross by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. He takes away and blots out the sin debt in our accounts that we can never pay when we are forgiven of our debts and He atones for us:

 

Acts 3:

19   Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,

     when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.   (AKJV)

 

1 John 3:

5     And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.  (NKJV)

 

 

The Lord Jesus was undeservedly and wrongly labeled with the sins of us all, but He lovingly took this burden that we cannot pay and paid it for us. It is the blood of God’s only-begotten son, the Lamb of God, that covers our sins and takes what is red – our sins (our debt), and makes it white like snow (takes it away/blots it out):

 

Isaiah 1:

18   "Come now, and let us reason together," says YAHWEH: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

      Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.   (WEB)

 

 

What list of transgressions would be labeling you? Will the debt be wiped off our accounts by Christ’s blood or will the negative, red ledger against you – the certificate of debt, still stand on our heads on Judgment Day? Will you be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life or will you be judged by the many books which contain all of our works – the record of our sins?

 

Revelation 20:

11   I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.

     There was found no place for them.

12   I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened,

      which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13   The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them.

     They were judged, each one according to his works.

14   Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

15   If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.   (WEB)

 

 

 

Conclusion: Die to sin, being like Christ

 

When we talk about sin, we must be completely objective and honest with ourselves. Do we really know what sin is according to what the Bible defines sin to be? Are we truly repenting if we do not know what sin is according to God’s Word? The apostle Paul knew and taught that sin is the transgression of God’s Law and the believer in Christ actually establishes God’s Law.

 

Since the Bible tells us sin is the transgression of the Law of God and it is our sins/transgressions that are done away with, are we free to ignore God’s Law which shows us what sin is, and then define for ourselves what sin is? God does not change, and neither does His Law.

 

What did the Lord Jesus do away with? Did He do away with sin – the transgression of God’s Law, or did He do away with the Law itself? How can He do away with the Law when it is by the Law we can know what sin and holiness are – and the Bible commands us to be holy and be like Christ? The Bible says that the Law is certainly not sin, so removal of sin cannot be and is not removal of the Law.

 

The truth that it is sin (the transgression of the Law) that was put away, but not the Law, is seen most explicitly in the prophecy of the suffering Messiah who comes to save us from our sins. In Isaiah 53 below, every reference to the Lord Jesus suffering and dying to remove our sins from our account is highlighted in red. Nowhere is removal of the Law mentioned, because it is by the Law sin is defined and the Law is certainly not sin:

 

Isaiah 53:

1     Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2     For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness;

     And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3     He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

     He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4     Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5     But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

      And by His stripes we are healed.

6     All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; 

     And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7     He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

      And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

8     He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation?

      For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9     And they made His grave with the wicked --- But with the rich at His death,

      Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10   Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin,

      He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

11   He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,

      For He shall bear their iniquities.

12   Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

      Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors,

      And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

 

 

The apostle Peter refers to the truth of Isaiah 53 that it is our sins that the Lord Jesus took upon Himself and did away with, so we may die to sin (die to transgressing God’s Law, but not the Law itself):

 

1 Peter 2:

24   who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins,

     might live for righteousness --- by whose stripes you were healed.

25   For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.   (NKJV)

 

 

As Peter states, the Lord Jesus bore our transgressions in His body so that we may die to sin and to live for righteousness. To die to sin means we must no longer transgress God’s Law. To die to sin means that the Law of God must still exist, because it is by the Law which we know what is sin and what is holy. It is our transgressions against the Law that the Lord Jesus has taken upon His own body and put to death, and it is not the Law that is done away with.

 

The apostle John supports Peter and Paul when they say we must no longer sin though God has saved us. Now that Jesus has taken away our sins, we must live to righteousness and no longer sin – we must no longer transgress God’s Law, if we abide in Christ:

 

1 John 3:

4     Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

5     And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

6     Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

7     Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.   (NKJV)

 

 

Remember the Lord Jesus’ words: “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.” It is important to note that heaven and earth only passes away after the Great White Throne Judgment we read above in Revelation 20, when a new heaven and earth are created, so the only time the Law of God can possibly be made obsolete is when the new are created:

 

Revelation 21:

1     I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.

2     I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.

3     I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them,

     and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

4     He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying,

      nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away."   (WEB)

 

 

However, will the Law of God ever be gone? No. The Law of God is only a reflection of God’s will, nature and character, and is therefore holy, spiritual, good, and eternal just as God is. What happens after Judgment Day and all the old things are now gone? It is revealed in Revelation 21:4. With the new heaven and earth there will be no more sorrow, pain and death. This does not mean the Law of God will disappear, but it means that there will be no more sin (sin is the transgression of God’s Law), because everything will be remade and perfected.

 

We will finally be truly like Him, conformed to His image:

 

Romans 8:

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

      that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30   Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified,

     these He also glorified.   (NKJV)

 

Philippians 3:

20   For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

21   who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body,

      according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.   (NKJV)

 

1 John 3:

2   Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,

    when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.   (AKJV)

 

 

However, until we are perfected to be truly like Christ, the Law will be continue to be used as the standard of measure it is, showing us what sin is and how to be holy. It will always be the perfect law of liberty that is a mirror of God’s holiness reflecting upon us what it truly means to be made in the image of God:

 

James 1:

22   But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

23   For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

24   for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

25   But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it,

     not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.   (NASB)

 

 

 

The Bible states it is our debt, the debit (red) balance of our sins that has been blotted out and nailed to the cross by the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice for our behalf. The Law of God was not taken away by the Lord Jesus’ death. The Law is not sin.

 

The Bible – the Lord Jesus, the apostles Peter, John and Paul, etc, states that we must die to sin. It does not say we die to the Law. Sin is the transgression of God’s Law, so what we are to die to is the transgression of God’s Law and not to the Law itself.

 

The Lord Jesus blotted out our transgressions, our debt, so we may be a righteous new creation in Christ. He did not blot out His father’s Law which only shows us what sin is and how to be righteous.

 

 

Let us be very clear:

 

The cancellation of the debt balance against us does not mean that the accounting rules by which the debt is calculated, incurred and accrues, is destroyed. Even more, once our debt is cancelled, we are supposed to learn a lesson and not continue to behave in a way that brings about the debt again.

 

And again, the pardoning of the penalty of one found guilty of a crime does not mean that the law which he had broken is destroyed. Once pardoned, we are not free to continue to commit crime, but must be changed from within and repent.

 

When we do something wrong, it does not mean that the standard which tells us what we did wrong is thrown away. It means our wrong must be made right; it must be accounted for by forgiveness and cancellation – and we must change our behavior and not persist in doing wrong.

 

When all is said and done, what do we find the Bible telling us?

 

The Bible states we must imitate Christ and keep the commandments of God. Our sins are a burden that the Lord Jesus took upon His head, and wiped them all out so that we may be a new creation in righteousness and not continue to sin against God and His Law. The commandments of God are not sin and are not a burden:

 

1 John 5:

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

 

 

We do not keep the commandments to be saved, but we keep them once we are saved. It is all about love, holiness and obedience of children to our heavenly father.

 

 

 

 

Please also read the articles ‘Biblical Repentance’, ‘All about our Character’, ‘To imitate Christ’, ‘We are One Israel’, and other articles in this section.