“And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
The Law of Moses for the Christian is a complicated matter. The Law is the perfect expression of God’s heart. It is the perfect standard of God’s righteousness and justice and equity in the world. It was given to Israel in full, and is written in large part on our own hearts, according to Romans 1. Moreover, it is clearly taught in Scripture, by Christ himself, that the law will not pass away until all is accomplished, that those who relax the law will be called least in the Kingdom of God, and still more, if we are not more righteous than the hypocritical pharisees, then we won’t even enter into the Kingdom! (Matthew 5) This is heavy stuff!
But, are we under the Law? The answer, of course, is a resounding ‘No! We are not under the Law.”
Many today say we are not under the Law (which I agree with) but then fail to handle the potential dissonance that this understanding of the Word of God creates. In what way are we not under the Law and in what we are we bound by it? The Bible says clearly that “we delight in His commandments” and that if we “loved [Jesus] we would obey His commandments”. Moreover, Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount declaring that He would declare, “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
I’ll post a blog in the next couple days to give my explanation as to what the Biblical answer is, in my estimation. In the meantime, meditate on this to noodle out the answer.
1. The beginning of the 10 Commandments says this: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…” It begins with grace. But the grace is not FROM the Law. Rather, the grace is from God. The Law is the result of the salvation of God. God says, “I saved you and love you. Therefore, here is my law.”
What are your thoughts?
(Big disclaimer: the “Law” is a big topic. The Old Covenant, sometimes referred to as the Law, is not at point here. All mediatorial (the aspects of the pascal lamb, the sacrifices in the temple, the types and shadows, dietary restrictions, etc aspects of the Law have passed away and found their completion in Jesus. This blog post is talking about those portions of the Law that Jesus says do NOT pass away per Matthew 5.)