Law Versus Love

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by NetChaplain, May 25, 2013.

  1. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). To “walk in the Spirit” is the only measure of right living for the Christian. Do you inquire, “What is it to walk in the Spirit? It is to walk in communion with the Father, by the Holy Spirit, having the Lord Jesus Christ as my one Object. Nor am I left in this to the sentimental fancies of my own mood, nor to the fickleness of my own impulses, nor to the bias of my own religious likes and dislikes.

    “The Word of God must necessarily be my only chart. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Ps 119:9). Look at the martyr Stephen for a blessed pattern of it. What engaged the attention of this man of God, “full of faith and power,” this man full of the Holy Spirit? Two things. The Word of God on earth, and the Son of God in glory—Acts 6 and 7.

    Many Christians fall into the serious mistake of making the moral law their standard of holy living. But the law never gave man an object outside himself; grace does. If I am trying to keep the law for salvation, who is it for? Myself. Yes, self is my real object. If, when I have once possessed salvation, I am trying to keep the law in order to retain it, what is my object? For whom do I want to retain it? For myself, to be sure. Then self is my object.

    On the other hand, grace puts a new object before the saved one, and the Holy Spirit supplies a new spring of action entirely. Self is displace by the Lord Jesus, and human efforts by the Spirit’s activities. “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor 5:15).

    “But I thought,” says one, “that though we are not under the law for justification, we are under it for holy living.” No. There is no higher standard of holiness than “walking in the Spirit,” and on this point the Word of God could not possibly be plainer: “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal 5:18).

    Do not be alarmed. We are not fostering the lawless spirit of the age, nor granting to anyone, much less the Christian, a license to break the law. No, the very opposite. Rather, the righteous requirement of the law is “fulfilled in us (not by us), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 8:4). We have seen in Galatians 5:18 that if we are led of the Spirit we are not under the law. So that it is as though the Apostle had said that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who are not under the law (all who are saved are led by the Spirit through the “new man” and the unsaved by Satan through the “old man”: note mine—NC).

    “The law was not made for a righteous man” (1 Tim 1:9). In itself the law is “holy, just and good; but when it was applied to man in the flesh, the unrighteous man, it only made manifest what was already there. “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom 8:7).

    Let us now look at the other side. And what a refreshing contrast it is to turn from the old to the new. But what, it may be asked, is the new spring? It is nothing less than the Spirit of God—“the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). And what do we get from this source? Why, the first fruit produced by the Spirit is the very thing which the law demanded, but could not produce, love!

    Every one born of God loves (1 John 4:7, 8; 1 Cor 13:1-3); but it is not after a natural order at all. Man naturally loves because of what the object is. But that is not the way the Christian loves, at least it is not the only way. He loves not merely because of what he sees in another who is naturally amiable and attractive, but because of that which the Father has put into him; that is, a new life—a life in the power of the Spirit, a life in the Son who is Love.

    The Father did not love us because of any merit in us to draw it out, but because of what was in Himself—because of what His own heart was. Our love, as Christians, is after the same order; it is divine in character. Hence, “Everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.” “We love Him, because He first loved us” (John 4:7, 12, 19).

    Henceforth we are exhorted to “walk in love”; that is, we are to allow the divine life—this life, after a new creation order—to have, so to speak, its own way in us; we are to follow its divine instincts, and to find our happiness in its unhindered manifestation.

    We are not to use our liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but in love to serve one another. The only thing that can now avail, says the Apostle, is the “faith which worketh by love” (Gal 5:6). In other words, the very thing which the law vainly demanded, grace has richly supplied. Thus the righteous requirement of the law will be fulfilled in us who are not under it—who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    While the law told me what I ought to be for God, and that I came short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), even at my very best, grace tells me what God has been for me at my very worst. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” The very person who, in the light of God’s presence says, “There is no good thing in me,” that is, in my flesh, can say with equal certainty, “There is no condemnation for me,” in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    More than this, the Father is causing the worst things in our earthly path to work together for our heavenly good (Rom 8:28). So that the believer can say, “Though no good thing I deserve, yet no good thing will He withhold (Psa 84:11). If He gives me to see no good here, I can with confidence turn my heart away and say, it is all good there. My Father has found all in His Beloved Son, and all I want I have in Him also.” “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:1-3).

    - Geo. Cutting
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    NetChaplain


    .

    Paul did not see it as a mistake;
    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

    9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law


    This is a mistake.Galatians is speaking of not being under law for justification.
    God puts the LAW in our heart in the New Covenant....The Spirit leads us to be law keepers...love fulfilling the law.
     
  3. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    It may complete this statement to add that to "walk in love" is always the desire and goal of the inward man but not always practice due to indwelling sin (Rom. 7:18-22).
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    Paul is not contradicting what he said at all. The law is SPIRITUAL, meaning it applies to more than external actions and that it is based upon a PRINCIPLE - called love. You can obey the Ten commandments externally and yet defile them spiritually. On the other hand, you can disobey a specific commandment, such as the shew bread cannot be given to any but priests, and yet the high preist gave it to David and his men, and be blameless because there is a HIGHER principle behind specific laws that would have been invalidated if the High Preist had kept the letter of that law.

    Moreover, law does not equal love and love does not equal law. Law is largely restrictive and negative whereas love goes beyond what you should not do to what you should do. Moreover, it is greater than any specific law about any specific thing.





    He is condemning the doctrine of justification by works under the law - especially the ten commandments. The Spirit does not lead us to be lawkeepers but to live ABOVE the law by a greater principle of LOVE that no law can ever always apply correct to every circumstance - e.g. the case of David and his men and shewbread.

    Keeping the law is not love as the law is limited, negative and restrictive. Love is a principle that more appropriately reveals the righteous nature of God whereas law always comes short of manifesting His nature. However, all sin and come short of the Law.
     
    #4 The Biblicist, May 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2013
  5. BobRyan

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    Though is certain to be a few that will object to the mere quote of this part of scripture - I post it in hope.

    1 Cor 7:19 "what matters is keeping the Commandments of God"

    1John 2:
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.


    Rev 22:
    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.(KJV)

    Christ said

    Mark 7

    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
    10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
    11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
    12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
    13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.


    Matt 5
    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


    Exodus 20
    6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.


    John 14
    15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.


    1 John 5
    2 By this
    we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    Rev 14:12
    12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.


    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #5 BobRyan, May 25, 2013
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  6. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Nobody disputes that love for God is manifested in obedience to God's Word. However, love is not law but surpasses law. Love cannot be reduced to law keeping as that is the mind set of any Pharisee legalist (SDA).

    Law merely sets the MINIMUM boundaries of DUTY whereas LOVE goes beyond DUTY as it flows from a righteous motive out of pure PLEASURE in seeking to please God that surpasses the letter of the law. The Scriptures plainly distinguish between keeping the "LETTER" of the Law versus the "SPIRIT" of the law which far exceeds the letter. We are not under Law but under grace for salvation, for justification, and for sanctification. We do not serve to be saved, justified, sanctified, but serve from a true heart motive to PLEASE God out of pure delight because we are saved (a new heart/regeneration) - we have been justified (by Christ's satisfaction) and being sanctified (by the work of the indwelling Spirit). Love is the fulfilling of the Law not in the sense of obedience that attains sinless righteousness demanded by the law but in the sense of obtaining the greater goal of the law which is service out of a righteous heart that delights to please God and treat others better than themselves - that is the true intent of the Law of God which cannot be obtained by obedience but only by new birth. The Law of God in its written form reveals the righteous NATURE of God which is the cause of the righteous actions of God. God does not do right actions to become righteous but does right actions because He IS righteous by nature. The actions of God are the CONSEQUENCES whereas the NATURE of God is the cause of righteousness.

    In fallen man there is no RIGHTEOUS NATURE and therefore no amount of ACTIONS - OBEDIENCE can produce such a nature. Therefore, no man can be JUSTIFIED by his obedience to God's Law, no man can be SANCTIFIED by his obedience to God's Law, no man can be saved by obedience to God's Law. The fallen man is "ungodly" (Rom. 4:5) and nothing can originate from this state of ungodliness that justifies, sanctifies or pleases God. Any Law keeping that attempts to obtain a new heart, justification before God, sanctification in the sight of God is regarded by God as "workers of iniquity" because there is no moral basis within fallen man from whence these things can flow from within any lost man.

    Hence, the righteous basis for all these things must be sought OUTSIDE of the fallen man in a SUBSTITUTE MAN who does have such a HEART/NATURE of righteousness from which flows righteousness that exceeds mere duty but originates from a pure intent to please God out of sheer delight. Only on this basis of this SUBSTITUTIONARY MAN can God justify justifying regenerating, justifying, sanctifying and ultimately glorifying the "ungodly" (Rom. 3:26). It is the finished satisfaction of Christ that justifies (Rom. 3:24-25) God imparting a NEW NATURE/HEART to the "ungodly" (1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:24) through faiith in CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS as their "propitiation" (satisfaction). Thus having received NEW BIRTH = A RIGHTEOUS HOLY NEW HEART = NEW NATURE - does righteousness now flow from a pure motive to please God out of sheer delight - thus the heart of God is replicated - thus the nature of God is replicated - which exceeds any written "letter" of the Law but is replaced by a NEW HEART for God - thus written upon the heart = love for what God loves and hate for what God hates.

    Hence, regenerated persons serve God, keep His commandments not to be regenerated, not to be justified, not to be sanctified but because they have been regenerated (saved), justified and are being sanctfied by the grace of God through faith, as their new heart IS a believing heart containing all the fruit of the Spirit in its very creation (Eph. 2:10a) that that is why "good works" flow from it (Eph. 2:10b).

    You have the cart before the horse. You are making the inferior "letter" of the Law superior to the "spirit" of the Law. You are making the consequences the cause of regeneration, salvation, justification and sanctification.

    Love is not the fulfillment of the law in regard to sinlessness, as demanded by the "letter" of the Law. Love is the fulfilling of the law in regard to its INTENT to serve God williningly, out of pure delight from a right motive IN SPITE OF IMPERFECTION and sins of omission.

    Furthermore, such love RESTRICTED within the NEW NATURE only finds external expression by the power of the indwelling Spirit. It is only manifested as we "WALK in the Spirit." At all other times sin is being manifested in the life of TRUE born again persons. However, even when they are not walking in the Spirit that does not alter the willingness or delight of the inward man/new heart at all. All it does is frustrate the inward man:

    18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.


    This internal warefare is not about obtaining new birth or justification but is the consequence of the new birth and justification. This inability of the new inward man to conquer sin proves that sanctification is not by law keeping or by our ability either. Sanctification is by grace through faith in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God (Rom. 8:4-13).
     
    #6 The Biblicist, May 27, 2013
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  7. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    Hi to all who've replied to this thread and thanks for your laborious work in the Word, which I find your posts instructional and caring to all.

    In brief, law is intended only to reveal sin and not deliver from it (Heb 7:19), thereby incurring guilt (John 15:22, 24; Rom 5:13), because deliverance is never effected by man, but by God--through the Holy Spirit within man (Zec 4:6).

    The Lord's spiritual state (sinless--Heb 4:15) and resurrected body exemplifies what is intended for the eternal state (1 Cor 15:37; Phil 3:21), apart from the deity of course, and was not intended (even in Adam and Eve) for this life, or God would have done everything differently. His intention has always been that His Holy Spirit would be an eternal part of the believer (John 14:16; Rev 22:17) once indwelt, which will forever sustain the life of Christ in the believer (Col 3:4).

    God has never intended for man to effect fellowship with Himself apart from the life of His Son; this the OT foreshadowed and the NT produced (complete in Christ, incomplete in self now but not later), which is the "Everlasting Covenant" or "testament" (Heb 13:20) made, not between God and man but between the Father and the Son, which began with the sacrifice of Christ in His blood (Matt 26:28; Mark 14: 24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Heb 12:24; Rev 5:9).

    At present, Israel has no covenant with God but will later (Millennium) and the believer never will need one, though he will be the eternal recipient of it.
     
    #7 NetChaplain, May 27, 2013
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