The Whole Christ: The Law of God

Updated on February 27, 2018
Chase Chartier profile image

Chase is a recent graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and a minor in Biblical Studies.

What Law?

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. -Psalm 119:97

How many of us might say the same thing? I can’t recall the last time I looked through the Ten Commandments and thought something remotely like this. This sounds like a super-Christian if there were such a thing. The law here is listed in Strong’s Concordance as Torah, the Hebrew name for the first five books of the Old Testament. We see from this that there is a whole lot more instruction here than just the Ten Commandments. In their time this would be a reference to the entirety of the scriptures revealed up to that point in time. In “The Inerrant Word”, John MacArthur describes this term as synecdoche, referring to a part that represents the whole. If I said I got a new set of wheels you’d know I was talking about a vehicle. Likewise, ‘law’ here is a reference to scripture in general, not just the Ten Commandments. As New Testament era Christians, we have the entirety of the Bible, God’s revealed instruction. Since the psalmist is referring to God’s word, this same love for the Torah can be applied to the entirety of the Bible. For the sake of brevity I'm focusing on the law in the sense of a reflection of God's moral character and not the civil/ceremonial aspects.

Viewing the Law in Terms of Our Standing

Yet it can also be said that the entirety of the law or Torah can be summed up in the Decalogue (10 Commandments). Even further, it can be summed up as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself”. I expanded the meaning of ‘law’ to show that the whole Bible is for our instruction and deserving of our devotion, and then centralized it to the Decalogue for the sake of focusing on the all encompassing law given. This law, before anything else, is a reflection of the nature and character of God. The Marrow of Modern Divinity addresses the Law in three phases. I call them phases because the Law itself does not change but has different functions in relation to mankind. They are as follows:

The Natural Law: In this case, the Law is the Decalogue in terms of the relation to God’s nature. It is the Law that is written on man’s heart, whether it is followed or not. Before the fall it was imprinted on Adam in a way that it could be carried out fully without deviation.

The Law of Works: After the fall, sin so corrupted us that we became completely unable to fulfill it. Failing to meet the standard of an infinite God is deserving of punishment, which for a finite being is eternal. The Law then becomes a system we follow to merit salvation, yet it condemns us because we cannot.

The Law of Christ: The good news is that Christ was sent to fulfill the law and take the punishment for those who cannot fulfill the Law (which is everyone). Those in Christ receive forgiveness based on His merit- not ours, and the Law changes (in terms of our relation to it) from an impossible standard to reach to a way to live our lives. There is no condemnation for them, as it becomes a rule of life to the believer marked by grace.

What Then?

Those Ten Commandments don’t change, but in relation to mankind, their function is radically different. It is amazing to think that those who were once hopelessly bound to obey the Law in every aspect are now free from the penalty that comes with failing, even though they have failed. Some questions arise from this discovery. If we are free from condemnation, then do we have to follow the Law? What place does the Law really have in the Christian’s life? Depending on your natural disposition, it is very easy to fall into one of two major errors. These errors are known as Legalism and Antinomianism. Next week I will discuss the concepts of both and misconceptions some may have about them. I found their descriptions revealed inclinations in me I didn’t even know I had. Take time to look at both subjects, their relation to each other, and their relation to the Law. Because these errors are so subtle, it can be very easy to miss their symptoms in our own hearts. More on this next time.

Until then I recommend reading The Whole Christ as it is a very comprehensive and enlightening work on The Marrow Controversy and this subject in general.

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    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      Both.

      He made it known fully so that they'd understand their traditions covered up their inability to keep the law. He showed it to be far beyond our ability to perfectly obey, which is what is required. He also fulfilled it, in that he perfectly obeyed it and through his death became the believers' righteousness.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      Matthew 5 17 says he fulfilled the law. Fulfill it, or make it known?

      "pléroó", a Greek word being incorrectly translated as fulfilled in Matthew 5 17. The word means to fill make full/complete. That is what the Savior did. He made the law known fully against the Pharisees who enforced their own traditions.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      The Sabbath was part of the civil law in the Mosaic/Sinaitic covenant. It was fulfilled in Christ and if you want to observe it, by all means do so, but please don't impose your preference on other believers as if it's legally binding.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      If the disciples rested on the Sabbath, why don't we? Should we not follow their example?

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      I think I'm starting to get what you were saying, there was a lot to read:). There are at least four views on what/when the Sabbath is for NT Christians, meaning it might be different from what it was before. As for the primitive Christians, it could be those in Jerusalem who were Jews and practiced it for its symbolism of biblical events, or it could have been out of ignorance/ not knowing it was no longer necessary (influence of judaizers?). Even civil/ceremonial laws can be read by Christians for insight to God's character. I'm also still learning about different views on the Sabbath

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      While there are different parts of the law, that in no way makes the law itself of no effect. A true faith, while obeying the law does not save, would produce works in accordance with the law, the same works shown in the New Testament. For example, the disciples kept the Sabbath.

      Luke 23:54-56

      54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

      55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

      56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

      "The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews;.therefore the Christians for a long time together, did keep their conventions on the Sabbath, in which some portion of the Law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council." The Whole Works of Jeremey Taylor, Vol. IX, p416 (R. Heber's Edition, Vol.XII, p.416)

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      I'm not a New Covenant Theologian (Doctrinally Antinomian) or an advocate for licentiousness (Practically Antinomian). I believe the law has a place in the Christian's walk as a rule of life/framework for conduct. I think where we differ is what part of the law we use for this purpose. I believe the law can be classified under civil, ceremonial, and moral- the moral law being what we look at for conduct. From reading your responses I think you don't make that distinction, but instead see all of the laws as a Christian's frame of conduct.

      I also believe that genuine faith will produce works, but those works in no way contribute to our salvation. Sanctification follows justification, but they are very much separate things. James uses a word that is often translated as justified when talking about works here but I think is better translated as vindicated, as in his works vindicated his faith before men.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      My apologies for taking so long to respond. The punishment and the sacrifice was what Christ got rid of (1 John 2 2, Hebrews 9 12, 1 Peter 3 18, and 2 Corinthians 5 21.) The law itself still stands (Matthew 5 17, Romans 3 31, and 1 John 3 4).

      Let's look at Galatians.

      GALATIANS 5 18

      Many believe that this implies that the law is done away with. But this phrase "not under the law" is referenced throughout scripture. Let's examine this. The first passage to mention this is Romans 2 12.

      "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;"

      Here, Paul is saying that without law, or under law, you will perish because of sin. This is easy to observe. The law refers to the commandments and instructions given to Moses on the tablets and books, also known as scriptures. Why would he say that whether you are with or without law you will perish for sinning? Here is why. What does 1 John 3 4 tell us sin is? Transgression of the law. If sin is transgression of the law, how can someone sin being without the law, or under the law? The answer is that the words of the law are still relevant. Under the law means those who are taught under the scriptures. Without law means those who had no access to the scriptures. There are the physical scriptures (tablets and books), and there is the spoken word written on the hearts of believers. The earlier examination of 2 Corinthians 3 is a good example. It explains that God is writing his word on the hearts of men, not on paper and tablets. No mention of the law being done away with.

      Paul is saying that regardless of if you are without the law, or receiving it by spirit, or receiving it by the book, and you sin, you will perish. We must not ignore the following passage after Romans 2 12. Romans 12 3. The doers of the law are justified. Obedience to the law is essential whether you are with or without it. Here is another occurrence of the phrase.

      Romans 3 19-21 and 27 says we can conclude that a man is justified by his faith and not the deeds of the law. But read Romans 3 31. We establish the law by faith. If one does not read until verse 31, one will think the law is irrelevant. Without this verse you will come to such a false conclusion. Paul is simply emphasizing faith over the works of the law. These are good deeds. If you do good deeds but have no faith in the Messiah, then your works cannot save you. Read James 2 as a witness to this. Following the law is the objective by faith. Read James 2 1-11. Verse 10 is often used to say Torah keepers are wrong. Read it within context. James 2 10-11.

      "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

      "For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."

      So what is this saying? It is speaking out against those who are in the faith, but are not following all righteousness. It is saying, "So you aren't an adulterer? Great. But you just murdered someone. You are still sinning even though you aren't committing that other sin," not saying that following the law is a bad thing.

      Just to clarify on something real quick, loving your neighbor as yourself is not a totally new commandment. When the Savior said it was a "new" commandment, he meant he was renewing it. This is a commandment found in Leviticus 19 18. So we see even here there is a reference to the Old Testament law. And that last verse is very true. That is why the Savior came. He is the priest and mediator. This is emphasized in Hebrews 6 6, where it says those who fall away and come back are crucifying him again. He will not forgive you if you keep on sinning all you want. You do have to try your best to repent. If you mess up a few times there is forgiveness. But grace is not the excuse to sin. We read that in Romans 6 15-17

      JAMES 2 12

      "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty."

      Some may say that the word liberty means we may be free of following the law. But we already established how the royal law was a reference to the law of Moses. This by no means says we can forget the law. They are different terminologies for the same thing. And to clarify on that last verse there was indeed mercy throughout the Old Testament. This is not a new idea that only applies to the New Testament. He was very merciful to his people. There were those who deserved death but he did not kill them.

      James 2 14-26. What does this mean? It means what good does it do to have faith, but to not be a worker for the faith? Your works must reflect your faith. Otherwise there was no use for that faith. Even evil spirits believe. But they work iniquity. They do not do righteousness. Having faith without works makes you just like a demon. Is it not better to be better than a demon? How much more should we shudder than a demon does?

      We read that Abraham was also justified by works. But many will quote Romans 4 1-8 and say that Abraham was justified by faith. He was. But faith is only the first step. Faith and works must coincide. When we take both the scripture that says he had faith and the scripture that says he had works we see that his faith worked with his works and his works perfected his faith. This is what we can call perfected faith. This is why Paul said we do not do away with the law by faith in Romans 3 31. Without works, where is your faith? And without faith, where are your works? You cannot have one without the other.

      Now let's read Hebrews 4 1-3. To get the proper context of these verses one must read Hebrews 3 13-19, which speaks about the Jews when they were given the Law of Moses. As verse 2 says they were given the same gospel, meaning the Law of Moses is a part of the same gospel message. Faith must be mixed with the works of the law whether you hear it from scriptures or the Spirit. You are responsible to obey this law. Let's go to Romans 6 where Paul again references being under the law.

      Romans 6 14-17. This in no way says the law is not to be followed. Even though he is using this verse differently, it is the same as saying one is not under the law. Read from verses 15-17 to truly understand it. Verse 15 uses the term "under the law" and it is synonymous with sin having dominion over you. Not being under the law here means having the Spirit write the laws on your heart just as 2 Corinthians 3, Jeremiah 31 31-33 and Hebrews 10-12 says. Being under it means even though you were taught the law, you still sinned. And what is sin? 1 John 3 4 says it is the transgression of the law.

      Another time he used that term is 1 Corinthians 9 20-23. Paul is in no way saying he started sinning. We cannot say being under the law in this verse means sinning because trying to convert others is in no way a sin. It means being taught under the law and knowing what it says. But if you let sin come over you, that is another meaning he used when he said "under the law". But we see here that Paul did not use it in that way here. And we read in verse 21-23 how he became as one of them, not under the law. This means he came down to their level. He is not going to overwhelm them with information about the law. He is treating them as someone who is a new student. The same way you wouldn't give college grade math questions to a preschooler. You start them off with the easy equations. And in these passages he in no way says the law is done away with.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      If the only difference between the old and new covenants is that it is written on their hearts, then that includes more than dietary. That's mixed fibers, stoning those who break particular laws, tithing, abiding by their civil laws rather than any other nation's, and a number of other rules. More importantly, animal sacrifices, the kind made for atonement of sins. We know this is unnecessary because we already have a once for all time sacrifice in Christ. That covenant was a shadow of what has already come. It might be good to study the judaizers of Galatians because I'm not the best at writing it out but it could clear things up.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      Continued....

      MARK 2 23

      I assume you are using this to say that he broke the Sabbath, therefore nullifying the importance of it. But this is not so. We read in Matthew 12 1-8 how the Savior and his disciples were picking food on the Sabbath day because they were hungry (some theorize that corn is mistranslated, but wheat as ancient customs say that people would rub wheat in their hands to heat it and eat it) after he had just got done preaching in the previous chapter. This would count as a work because they are technically picking crops. But he gives us a clearer understanding of the Sabbath. The Pharisees saw this and tried to call them out on it. "Hey aren't you guys breaking the Sabbath?" They were quick to point this out because they were trying to catch them at anything they could.

      How does he respond? He referenced how when David was hungry, he went into the Temple and ate the showbread? This was unlawful. You read that in 1 Samuel 21 1-6. David had fled from This was consecrated bread meant for the Levites (priests), but out of generosity to David he allowed him to eat it. David was starving at this time because this was when he fled from Saul due to Saul trying to kill him out of paranoia. So common sense and loving thy neighbor as thyself trumps that, so it was good for him to give him the bread. And especially if there is no other food around, you have the right to eat. Sometimes human life and loving thy neighbor as thyself must come first.

      "What other Old Testament regulations might you think we are still required to follow? Is obedience to the OT laws part of the new covenant? Do you believe those who openly deny these ordinances are sinning? If that's so there are plenty of other types of laws, including ceremonial, that would still be in place."

      The purpose of the New Covenant was to put the law of God in the hearts of Israel. JEREMIAH 31 31-33 says a new covenant will be made.

      "not be like the covenant I made with their fathers"

      How is this new covenant with Israel different?

      "I will put the law within them, and I will write it in their hearts."

      Let's read on. What does this mean?

      Jeremiah 31:34

      [34]And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know Elohim: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

      Notice he says, law. He doesn't mention a few specific commandments, but just his law. And what is his law? The Torah. The way it is different is because the laws would be something they would know and keep indefinitely, not that anything has changed. The covenant beforehand had the laws written on stone and parchment. Here, these laws for his children will be remembered by them in the day of their redemption. What was brought away was the condemnation of the law, not the law itself.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      What other Old Testament regulations might you think we are still required to follow? Is obedience to the OT laws part of the new covenant? Do you believe those who openly deny these ordinances are sinning? If that's so there are plenty of other types of laws, including ceremonial, that would still be in place.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      I believe the dietary laws were civil, not moral. It's healthy but not something we are constrained to.

      Acts 10. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

      3They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from certain foods that God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected, 5because it is sanctified by the word of God and prayerMark 2:21

      No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, and a worse tear will result.

      Matthew 15:11

      A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it."

      Romans 14:6

      He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

      1 Corinthians 10:30

      If I partake in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

      Colossians 2:16

      Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath.

      Colossians 2:23

      Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

      1 Timothy 4:4

      For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected,

      Mark 2:23

      One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick the heads of grain as they walked along.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      Chase Chartier,

      What are some reasons you believe the dietary aspect of the law to be nullified? What verses can you think of that makes you think this?

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      I think dietary laws and civil/ceremonial rules are done away with and replaced with the new/better covenant. With the Sabbath I think it's a bit different because it's within the decalogue and has its institution based on the creation in Genesis. There are a couple different views on what it is now and how we should approach it.

      https://www.challies.com/articles/three-views-of-s...

      https://banneroftruth.org/us/resources/articles/20...

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      Chase Chartier,

      I misunderstood you. I agree. "The apostle Paul (Ro 10:6-8) has applied this passage to the Gospel, for the law of Christ is substantially the same as that of Moses, only exhibited more clearly in its spiritual nature and extensive application; and, accompanied with the advantages of Gospel grace, it is practicable and easy."

      I just want to see if we are on the same page. What do you think of keeping the Sabbath, dietary laws, etc?

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      AF Mind,

      There were several issues with the Pharisees. They ignored the weightier parts of the law in favor of more external things, added regulations around actual laws so as to avoid the chance of breaking them and treated their regulations as if they were God given etc. There was definitely hypocrisy with them. I don’t think they’re condemned for preaching the law. I think we agree on these points, our difference might be on the ability to perfectly obey the law. I found this commentary on Deuteronomy 30 useful.

      Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

      De 30:11-14. The Commandment Is Manifest.

      11-14. For this commandment … is not hidden … neither is it far off—That law of loving and obeying God, which was the subject of Moses' discourse, was well known to the Israelites. They could not plead ignorance of its existence and requirements. It was not concealed as an impenetrable mystery in heaven, for it had been revealed; nor was it carefully withheld from the people as a dangerous discovery; for the youngest and humblest of them were instructed in those truths, which were subjects of earnest study and research among the wisest and greatest of other nations. They were not under a necessity of undertaking long journeys or distant voyages, as many ancient sages did in quest of knowledge. They enjoyed the peculiar privilege of a familiar acquaintance with it. It was with them a subject of common conversation, engraven on their memories, and frequently explained and inculcated on their hearts. The apostle Paul (Ro 10:6-8) has applied this passage to the Gospel, for the law of Christ is substantially the same as that of Moses, only exhibited more clearly in its spiritual nature and extensive application; and, accompanied with the advantages of Gospel grace, it is practicable and easy.

      Coffman: Whether in the O.T. or in the N.T., God's word and will for Adam's rebellious race is nothing so complicated and intricate that people need any special help to know what it is. "He who runs may read." It is not lack of information regarding God's will, but the lack of will to do it that plagues humanity now as it did in the days of Moses. As Dummelow expressed it, "All that is essential in revelation is plain; it is within the compass of human understanding and will.

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      Chase,

      Thank you for responding. I will respond to your other points in due time, but I feel your interpretation of the Jews and the burden of the law is false.

      Matthew 23:4

      "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

      A lot of people think this is referring to the laws of the Almighty. But if this were so, how come this isn't addressed earlier on? By now these laws haves been in effect for over a hundred years. And when we look back into the Torah there is no mention of the Pharisees adding these laws themselves. So why do we see so many times where the Savior scorns the Pharisees? What were they doing wrong? Was it because they taught the law? Or was it for another reason?

      Is the law a burden? Many people will quote Matthew 23 4 and say it is. "See? Jesus is saying that the law is a burden because the Pharisees taught the law." They tend to erroneously associate the word "Pharisee" with the law in most cases in regards to arguments against those who choose to keep the law. Before we address this verse in context, we need to go to the Old Testament to see if the law is indeed a burden. Deuteronomy 30 10-16 says this is not too hard for them. Verse 11 says this is not hidden. But what is the proper understanding of this verse? We read in the other translations that it means these commandments are not too hard. "This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach." It doesn't mean it is not hidden as in hiding somewhere. That is obvious as it is being presented to them at that moment. It further explains it when we read the next few verses regarding it to be far. If this was about actual hiding, then how do they know it is in heaven or beyond the sea? These verses are saying the commandments are not too hard. So when someone says they are a burden they are going against the scripture. These words are also from the Creator himself, so by default this would be calling him a liar. If someone says these commandments are a burden, show them these verses where it says otherwise. We see this being referenced in Romans 10 by Paul.

      MATTHEW 23 2-3

      "Saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:"

      "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."

      The seat of Moses is a place of position where the teachers preach the law of Moses. The Savior just told them to obey what the Pharisees say. What do the Pharisees preach? The law. But it also says do not do their works, for they say and do not. The Pharisees preach the right thing, but they do not follow the right thing. They are being hypocrites. Example; you're crossing the street, and everything seems clear. But a man stops you. He says, "Don't go yet. There is a car coming." All of a sudden you see a car coming and you do as he says and do not cross yet. But what does he do? Cross the street as the car is coming. That is not only idiotic, but also hypocritical. But you were wise enough to do as he says, but not as he did. He warned you of the car, and you took that warning. But he did not. He went ahead and did it, and what happened? He got hit. He did not follow his own words. Even if a hypocrite is preaching the truth, you are still to listen. While they are being hypocritical and that is a sin, that is no excuse for you to turn away when real truth is being brought out. That would not count as obeying them. That is obeying the scriptures.

      Read the rest of Matthew 23 to see proof that the Savior is not condemning them for preaching the law. They themselves put on these heavy burdens, not the Torah. And when you read this chapter, you'll find a lot of things that they're being condemned for doing by the Savior, but not once are they condemned for following and teaching the law. Being prideful, obsessing over wealth (gold and gifts to the Temple), and ignoring the bigger aspects of the law known as justice, mercy, and faith. These are the things they're being condemned for, and more once you read more into the New Testament and see why the Messiah was so condemning of the Pharisees.

      Here is some more proof. John 7 14-19. Here he scorned the Pharisees because they did not keep the law, not because they kept it.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      Hi AF Mind,

      There are a couple places where our inability to keep the law is shown, the Old Testament demonstrates it and the New Testament has more explicit statements.

      One OT example would be Exodus 19. When God makes a covenant with the Israelites that was conditioned on their ability to keep it, they responded saying, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." The rest of the OT is pretty much them failing to do so, even though they set out to keep it.

      A NT example is Romans 3:19-20. The Jews sought righteousness through the law, and it is made clear that "by the works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight".

      Man used to be in a state that made them capable of full obedience until the fall, but just because we are now unable to keep the law doesn't mean that God has lowered his standard of righteousness. We are not perfect as you pointed out, and that's the problem.

      "If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" (Psalm 130:3).

      This is what the gospel is about. Christ acts as a substitute receiving our punishment for unrighteousness and we receive "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ".

      Another thought, if obedience to the law is what is required by us and the law itself is no heavy burden, then there's no need for the gospel. "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." (Galatians 2:21)

      Hope this helps :)

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 

      5 months ago

      I have a question.

      “Those in Christ receive forgiveness based on His merit- not ours, and the Law changes (in terms of our relation to it) from an impossible standard to reach to a way to live our lives. There is no condemnation for them, as it becomes a rule of life to the believer marked by grace.”

      Where do we see that the law itself was impossible to keep? God gave us an impossible law? We do sin and are not perfect, but the law itself is no heavy burden.

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 

      5 months ago from east coast,USA

      I believe that when we live as much as we can following Christ's commandments to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, all the other things, like the "Shalt nots" in the ten commandments, seem to fall into place. We do this not out of fear, but out of gratitude for all the grace and love that we receive from God. I enjoyed reading your article. Have a nice day.

    • Chase Chartier profile imageAUTHOR

      Chase Chartier 

      5 months ago from Northern California

      Yeah, it's interesting to see how our perspective on the law changes as repentance grows deeper. Righteousness no longer seems so stale, and we can pursue it without fear of condemnation. We see it as freedom From sin, not freedom To sin.

    • Jw Worcester profile image

      Jim JW Worcester 

      5 months ago from Riverside (Dayton) Ohio

      I've never had too much of a problem with the "law". I just think of it as the way to live per God's design. I also recognize that we are to obey civil authority unless they conflict with God's laws.

      Paul's logic is sometimes hard to follow. He argues against being saved by the law but also says the law is good and to be followed.

      (Romans 7:5-16 WEB) 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death: 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead by which we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? By no means. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] to death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me]. 12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death to me? By no means. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that [it is] good.

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