The law of Christ and obedience

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JacobMartinMertens
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The law of Christ and obedience

Post by JacobMartinMertens » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:38 am

I believe the law of Christ is mentioned twice in scripture (1 Corinthians 9:21 NASB, Galatians 6:2 NASB) and that we are to obey God and obey Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NASB - 2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

The phrase "the law of Christ" is mentioned twice in scripture. Here is the first time, reading straight through the New Testament (not necessarily chronologically).

1 Corinthians 9:21 NASB - to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

Here we may need to look at the context.

1 Corinthians 9:19-21 NASB - 19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

Paul is talking about sharing the gospel. Winning people to God and Christ. So here "the law of Christ" is not at all against the law of God. Meaning, the law of Christ is good being of Christ or about Christ and what He taught or some might argue what can be taught to all or to Gentiles consistent with what He accomplished in dying for us on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead.

Paul was not without the law of God with the understanding of the law of Christ differing in no point from what the law of God is all about. If we have the law of God as good which we know it is, we want to know what the law of God is. Certainly a Gentile can understand the law of Christ. We can understand why Paul was under the law of Christ when ministering to those without the law, in that in this way he was not without the law of God. Whereas, when ministering to those who are under the Law he was as under the Law though not himself being under the Law. So this needs to be explained, and in light of what the law of Christ is, and I am trying to explain these things. Paul was not being duplicitous. He understood some were born with the Law being born under the Law, and some are not born under the Law... they are those spoken of as without the law. Basically this can only be Gentiles because the Jews and all Israel were to follow God's Law. This is the Law of Moses, they were under the Law of God. They were under the Law of Moses, the Law of God. Am I speaking to the effect that they are no longer? Not necessarily, just that those who were under the Law were those born under the Law. They were of Israel. In this way they were under the Law. But there is another facet of this. It is that Paul said that though he was (as) under the Law when ministering to those under the Law (basically sharing the gospel with them or giving them instruction about what the Law teaches though with the intent of his always to preach Christ and Him crucified this would not necessarily be just commands but would be that which pertained to Christ and what He accomplished in dying for us), he himself was not under the Law. Why or how not? I can answer this. The Law pointed out his (Paul's) sin, but Paul was forgiven his sin. So Paul didn't teach against the Law of God, the Law of Moses. But he did teach and preach that he was forgiven on account of what Christ did, all his sins. No license to sin here. But only that forgiveness in Christ does not do away with the Law, but that it is consistent with what the Law spoke of looking forward to the Christ (the Messiah) who is Jesus. So, Paul wasn't under the Law in that he was forgiven. Now, does that mean he did not keep the Law? Not necessarily. We must say that there are different thoughts about what it means to be under the Law and what it means to keep the Law. They may be the same. But, being forgiven in Christ is so much more than what the Law could do. And this is what Paul recognized. And this is why he taught Gentiles of salvation and justification by faith, and to be obedient in word and deed. That is, the standard of obedience demonstrated by Jesus is the measuring line for our obedience in that I believe He obeyed God in obeying and observing the Law of Moses. But then, having done so, you and I can be forgiven all our sin, whether we are under the Law and in need of forgiveness as all under the Law are or whether we are without the law and in need of forgiveness as all without the law of God are. Simply then, with the law of Christ... whatever it is... we are not without the law of God. And to say obedience is required, whether this is obedience being faith or obedience being faith and more, even that this is not a standard for being made right with God. We are not without the law of God. We have the law of Christ that we are under if we are following Paul when we preach to those who are without the law. And we have that that law, the law of Christ, is either our obedience demonstrated in that we bear one another's burdens if we can look to that, or that what Jesus taught or what Paul taught (these do not disagree) is not opposed to God. It is His law. Or it is the Law of Moses that is the law of God that Jesus obeyed and there we have the law of Christ. If the law of Christ is what we say and preach, it can condemn without the Law of Moses. If it is what we do (to bear one another's burdens or to live according to the teaching of Christ) then that simply means that all believers obey God. The point here must be made that without what we do forgiveness is offered. Consider no one can be saved by obeying the Law. Then no one can be saved either by obeying the law of Christ. Christ is better than the Law, because in Him we have forgiveness that we could not have by obedience to the Law in that all have transgressed the Law in one point if even in the heart and are therefore guilty before a holy God. So the law of Christ is either to be obeyed (two verses, not necessarily the same), or it is to show that we are sinners even without using the Law of Moses, or it is to say that we have forgiveness in Christ which is the point of why Paul is preaching. Then we are left with either that we need to obey to be saved or we need to have faith to be saved (forgiven). We can't remain without the law of God. And without the Law of Moses we have the law of Christ. If that is what Paul was under with those without the law of God it is either than he was under it like being under the Law of Moses which he himself was not under, and we have forgiveness in Christ, or that you can't come to God apart from obedience to the law of Christ. We unequivocally know that we who are without the law of God are not to be without the law of God and we who are with the law of God are either under the law of Christ in ministering or under the law of Christ in that no one who is saved, has been converted, has been born again, does not obey God and Christ.

If you are saved you are not without the law of God in ministering (teaching and preaching the gospel), or you are not without the law of God in regard to your obedience in that you obey God in and by obeying Christ. The commands of God in Christ are to be obeyed, whether you were born under the Law or not. This means that whether you obey the Law of Moses which is the Law of God or whether you obey the law of Christ which is the law of God you are obeying God. If you are under the law of Christ or you obey the law of Christ then you obey God and Christ. If you are saved you obey because you bear one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. If the verses are talking about the same thing then you bear one another's burdens as obedience to God and this is what it means to be under the law of Christ or what to not be without the law of God which is at minimum the law of Christ which can only be obedience to Christ. So we can't get away from one of these verses being an instruction that believers either obey because they are saved (the fruit and result of being saved, or the required action of the believer in that he or she is saved) or which we have as an instruction for those who are believers whether they are perfect in obedience or not (but which would still be that we either obey imperfectly or we are able to obey as saved believers or which we just obey naturally in that we are saved). Having been forgiven we obey and bear one another's burdens.

If you are saved you are called by God to obey. Or if you are saved you obey God naturally in this, observing the law of Christ, because you are saved and you have a new nature in Christ.

So, whatever the argument, bearing one another's burdens is obedience. And this instruction, to bear one another's burdens, is only for the believer (it was written as instruction to believers). So, obedience is required for the believer. To bear one another's burdens it to obey a command. It is called the law of Christ. And we cannot say then that obedience is not something a believer must do. There is grace in this command, is my opinion. That is, obedience on the part of the Christian is the result of God's grace. We obey because of the grace God has shown us. We love because God first loved us. But we can't say that believers don't have to obey God for reason that they were forgiven without obeying God. Whether we are forgiven apart from repentance unto faith and obedience is one thing. No one is saved by works. We are all saved by what Christ did and only by what Christ did. But we have a decision to make. With that you can be forgiven if you repent, we must find out if you can be forgiven if you are not obedient. If you repent are you now obedient? If you are forgiven you can be obedient because the power that sin had over you has been broken. What Christ accomplished on the cross is the only way for a person to be saved. Those who have faith are saved. You can't have faith without having repented. And if you have faith you are obedient or faith is a gift. If faith is a gift you are obedient in faith. But it doesn't make sense to say that if faith can be commanded that it is not a choice and not obedience. Thus, we have a person's faith, unto their saving, is obedience. But that the saving is in Christ alone. It is not your faith that saves you it is what Christ did in dying for you that saves you, and then a work of the Spirit in accordance with your faith. Such that, you have faith as obedience to the gospel (of Jesus Christ) and thereby you are saved by what Christ accomplished.

The details of this can be looked into further, but suffice it to say a person cannot say the Christian believer does not need to obey God. We can even say that regardless of whether or not a person obeys God and Christ... Christ did die that they would repent and believe the gospel, have faith unto your saving. So, obey the gospel. Repent. Believe. Have faith. Trust God and trust Jesus Christ for your salvation. May God be your Savior. May Christ be your Savior. And may you live a life of obedience having "died" with Him. May the life that you now live in the flesh be lived to the glory of God. May you have victory over sin by the blood of Jesus who died that you would be forgiven. Having been forgiven, that you would live in newness of life. That you would obey God and that you would obey Jesus Christ.

If you are a believer, obey Jesus. If you are not a believer, obey Jesus. Obey the gospel whoever you are, and remember that no one can take away from you the fact that you are to obey God whoever you are, whether you are a believer or an unbeliever. May unbelievers obey God by repenting and believing the gospel. May they trust in Christ alone for salvation. May they obey Jesus and be saved. May you go from being an unbeliever to a believer. A believer is one who obeys the gospel. Repent and believe the gospel. To obey the gospel is to believe the gospel. To believe the gospel is to obey God and Jesus Christ. To obey is to have victory in God and in Jesus Christ our Lord. To obey is a good thing. To obey is salvation for those who are rebellious or hard-hearted or those who simply do not obey God. It is easy to think that you only need to obey a little bit. But obedience to God requires everything.

Mark 1:15 NASB - 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

1 Peter 4:17 NASB.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 NASB. These verses made it by mistake, but not a mistake at the same time though I don’t know how.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 NASB - 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Obedience is good. We all need to obey God. We all need to obey the gospel. We all need to bear one another's burdens. We all need to love God and love our neighbor.

May you find the victory you need. It is found in Jesus alone. And obedience is a part of it, whatever that part is Theologically. That is, seek the right understanding of it. But I preach here one point in this whole post... obedience to God is of God. Obedience is for you.
John 1:41, 49 NASB - 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 49 - Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

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dizerner
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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by dizerner » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:45 pm

The day you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, the day you have no other gods before him, the day you love me, Jacob, as much as you love your own self, that day.... give me a call.

Otherwise you are preaching something you, yourself, do not practice.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
So, obedience is required for the believer.
Our obedience is trusting and believing in another to be our Savior, trusting in another whose obedience was indeed perfect, and nothing less.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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JacobMartinMertens
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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by JacobMartinMertens » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:53 pm

dizerner wrote:The day you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, the day you have no other gods before him, the day you love me, Jacob, as much as you love your own self, that day.... give me a call.

Otherwise you are preaching something you, yourself, do not practice.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
So, obedience is required for the believer.
Our obedience is trusting and believing in another to be our Savior, trusting in another whose obedience was indeed perfect, and nothing less.
I am saying that if you are saved you are obedient or need to be obedient. And that if you are not saved the standard of obedience is still there. That is, God doesn't give us the option to not obey Him. Whether the law of Christ or the new covenant and if there is a relationship between the two, neither say we don't need to obey God. If you were not born under the Law of Moses, can you still live by it or learn from it is one question. But that is not the question here. No one should teach that in the new covenant obedience is not required. And what is the law of Christ that anyone would say it is not for our obedience? Does anyone say the law of Christ is only to condemn, in the absence of the Law of Moses? No, we are to recognize that obedience is a part of the Christian life. Then we can ask about obedience to what.
John 1:41, 49 NASB - 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 49 - Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

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dizerner
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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by dizerner » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:10 pm

JacobMartinMertens wrote:No, we are to recognize that obedience is a part of the Christian life. Then we can ask about obedience to what.
You have cheap Law, Jacob. Even if you say you can throw away the Law of Moses (which you can't) and only obey the Law of Christ, you still don't love others the way Christ did or the way the Bible commands you to. You fail.

So what do legalists fall back to. Well, they fall back to "You have to try as hard as you can, and hope that's enough." I don't see any Bible verse for trying as hard as you can and hoping it's enough, do you?

We are called to obedience, but that obedience is trust or we are hopeless. I'm not saying if God directly tells you something or says it in his Word, you can ignore it or disobey it, I don't believe that. But if we aren't trusting God's grace alone, we never will really obey, will we. And I mean grace alone not this mixed stuff with demands, obligations and threats.

See, if God's Word comes to somebody with grace they don't need you to add your legalistic obedience to it. The grace of God teaches men to obey, because that's what grace does. And it comes as a free gift, so that you couldn't even stop a man from obeying God. Nothing you say could stop him! The Law is not made for a righteous man. Amazing isn't? You know law is not made for a righteous man? Why? Because a righteous man doesn't need someone to "tell him" what to do, he can't wait to do the right thing all on his own.

Don't try to produce resurrection life by preaching a form of law.

God bless!
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by JacobMartinMertens » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:16 pm

dizerner wrote:
JacobMartinMertens wrote:No, we are to recognize that obedience is a part of the Christian life. Then we can ask about obedience to what.
You have cheap Law, Jacob. Even if you say you can throw away the Law of Moses (which you can't) and only obey the Law of Christ, you still don't love others the way Christ did or the way the Bible commands you to. You fail.

So what do legalists fall back to. Well, they fall back to "You have to try as hard as you can, and hope that's enough." I don't see any Bible verse for trying as hard as you can and hoping it's enough, do you?

We are called to obedience, but that obedience is trust or we are hopeless. I'm not saying if God directly tells you something or says it in his Word, you can ignore it or disobey it, I don't believe that. But if we aren't trusting God's grace alone, we never will really obey, will we. And I mean grace alone not this mixed stuff with demands, obligations and threats.

See, if God's Word comes to somebody with grace they don't need you to add your legalistic obedience to it. The grace of God teaches men to obey, because that's what grace does. And it comes as a free gift, so that you couldn't even stop a man from obeying God. Nothing you say could stop him! The Law is not made for a righteous man. Amazing isn't? You know law is not made for a righteous man? Why? Because a righteous man doesn't need someone to "tell him" what to do, he can't wait to do the right thing all on his own.

Don't try to produce resurrection life by preaching a form of law.

God bless!
I actually don't know why you are saying these things. I said obedience. I did not say legalistic obedience. Whether legalists are saved or not is a separate question from if God wants you as His creation to obey Him.
John 1:41, 49 NASB - 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 49 - Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by dizerner » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:28 pm

JacobMartinMertens wrote:I actually don't know why you are saying these things. I said obedience. I did not say legalistic obedience.
I don't hear a lot of grace in your teaching. Maybe that's why I'm saying these things?!
Whether legalists are saved or not is a separate question from if God wants you as His creation to obey Him.
If you preach demands YOU are the legalist. Be careful about that.

Nathan then said to David, "You are the man!"

Here's the Gospel: You need to obey the Law and you can't. So trust Jesus to do it for you.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by JacobMartinMertens » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm

dizerner wrote:
JacobMartinMertens wrote:I actually don't know why you are saying these things. I said obedience. I did not say legalistic obedience.
I don't hear a lot of grace in your teaching. Maybe that's why I'm saying these things?!
Whether legalists are saved or not is a separate question from if God wants you as His creation to obey Him.
If you preach demands YOU are the legalist. Be careful about that.

Nathan then said to David, "You are the man!"

Here's the Gospel: You need to obey the Law and you can't. So trust Jesus to do it for you.
This says nothing of not obeying God and Jesus Christ His Son.
John 1:41, 49 NASB - 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 49 - Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by dizerner » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:32 pm

JacobMartinMertens wrote:
dizerner wrote:
JacobMartinMertens wrote:I actually don't know why you are saying these things. I said obedience. I did not say legalistic obedience.
I don't hear a lot of grace in your teaching. Maybe that's why I'm saying these things?!
Whether legalists are saved or not is a separate question from if God wants you as His creation to obey Him.
If you preach demands YOU are the legalist. Be careful about that.

Nathan then said to David, "You are the man!"

Here's the Gospel: You need to obey the Law and you can't. So trust Jesus to do it for you.
This says nothing of not obeying God and Jesus Christ His Son.
Our obedience is to trust. I agree we have to trust.

"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

Do you preach Jesus will free us from the law and freely give his resurrection power? If you do we are on the same page.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by JacobMartinMertens » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:34 pm

dizerner wrote:Our obedience is to trust. I agree we have to trust.

"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

Do you preach Jesus will free us from the law and freely give his resurrection power? If you do we are on the same page.
I can summarize in a sentence. I preach that no one is saved by the Law, that we are saved by what Jesus did for us in dying for us, and that we are to obey God and Jesus.
John 1:41, 49 NASB - 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which translated means Christ). 49 - Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

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Re: The law of Christ and obedience

Post by Paidion » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:02 pm

JMM, you wrote:Paul was not without the law of God with the understanding of the law of Christ differing in no point from what the law of God is all about.
Hmmmm... I think I mentioned previously that the law of Christ is found in the "Sermon on the Mount," Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Jesus completed that talk with these words:
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
If the law of Christ, given in Jesus' talk "differs in no point from the law of God", then why did Jesus bother giving his instruction? Why didn't He simply say,
"Everyone then who knows the law of God and does it, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock..., etc."? Instead, He contrasted "what was said to those of oldtime (the law of Moses, understood to be the law of God) with the law that He (Jesus) gave them. Here is just one example from many in Matthew 5:
38 "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Doing what Jesus said above is a HUGE contrast to the vengeance of the Mosaic injuction: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
Last edited by Paidion on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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