The Gospel Truth Recovering the Truth from Corruption

Our Faith & The Law
(work in progress)


The Law in Paul's Writings

1. Jews were under the Law; Gentiles were not

Since "the Law" was a covenant which God had made with the nation of Israel (descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), the other nations (Gentiles) were not under the Law. Gentiles did not have the Law; they were not under the Law. For this reason, Paul contrasts those who are under the Law and those who are not. At Romans 2, Paul does not have Jewish or Gentile Christians in view. He is contrasting the state of Jews and Gentiles before and apart from Christ.

For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law. For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous (dikaios) before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified (dikaioō. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law by nature, do the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts either accusing or else defending them, on the Day [of wrath] when, according to my Gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:12-16

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; 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. 1 Corinthians 9:20-21.

2. Jewish Christians were set free from the Law.

Since Gentiles were never under the Law, they did not need to be set free from the Law. Jews who became Christians were no longer under the Law but under "the law of Christ." They had been set free from the Law.

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; 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. 1 Corinthians 9:20-21.

For sin shall not be your Lord for you are not under the Law. Romans 6:14.

For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. Galatians 2:19.

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:10-14

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24

So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:3-7

... if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Galatians 5:18

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

Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the Law), that the Law lords over a person only as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:1-6

3. The 10 Commandments were not Excepted

When Paul says that Jews had been set free from the Law, it also means the Law with the 10 Commandments.

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. Romans 7:6-8

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:2-9

Such passages make it clear that nobody was making an exception for the 10 Commandments. Christians are not under the covenant of the Law which includes the 10 Commandments. For that reason, Paul also makes the following statements:

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands - that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall [between Jew and Gentile]*, by nullifying in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in decrees, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace... Ephesians 2:11-15
* Paul is saying the Law was the thing which divided Jesus from Gentiles. A Gentile could convert to Judaism and come to be under the Law but he was no longer then a Gentile. Paul's words also invoke the imagery of the court of the Gentiles in the Temple which separated them from the Jews. The Gentiles were not permitted to go any further toward the Holy of Holies than their designated space in the outer court.

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, having canceled out the writing of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through it. Colossians 2:13-14.

When a contract has been fulfilled, it becomes null and void. Christ did not dismiss the Law but fulfilled the Law. Having fulfilled this contract/covenant with God, it became null and void. This does not mean the Law was fulfilled in a global sense. He fulfilled the Law in terms of he himself. The wages of sin is death but this particular flesh named Jesus died sinless and the Law did not condemn him. In this way, he nailed the Law to the cross and defeated the powers of darkness. The Law which condemned every man of flesh had failed to condemn this particular flesh named Jesus because he overcame and did not sin. Satan, who holds the might of death, the crown prosecutor, had nothing to accuse him (see John 14:30) and so death had no right to him and could not hold him.


4. The Purpose of the Law

The purpose of the Law was not to make a man righteous but to identify and expose sin.

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” Romans 7:7

for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. Romans 4:15

for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not regarded/reckoned when there is no law. Romans 5:14

The Law came in so that the transgression would increase but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21.

So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans 7:12-13

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. Galatians 2:21

Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.... For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the writing (i.e. the Law) has locked up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being locked up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Galatians 3:19-23. See Romans 11:32

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. 1 Corinthians 15:56

Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped shut and all the world may become accountable to God because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20

5. The Problem with the Law: Human flesh

The problem with the Law is that Jewish humans are not inherently good; Jewish humans are flesh and flesh only knows how to do evil. Flesh is hostile to the Law of God. The Law demands that Jewish humans be righteous but it could not make them righteous. So in the end, the Law condemned them as sinners. So Paul says the Law was a ministry of death and condemnation that was death to the Jew. Paul explains the Jewish problem here:

For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through the Law sin killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Paul explains our problem. Our problem is what we ARE - flesh. And it is for this reason that Paul says no FLESH will be justified before God by works of the Law. Romans 3:20. So the result of being under the Law for a Jew (not a Jewish Christian) is that the Law ends up condemning the Jew. And that's why Paul says these things about the covenant of the Law:

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone (10 Commandments) but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones (10 Commandments), came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:2-9

Under the covenant of the Law, a Jew ended up being condemned because of his sins. The flesh is hostile to the Law of God and only knows how to sin. But that is what a Jew is - flesh. Because of the Jew's problem - that he is flesh - animal sacrifices were required for purification of the flesh. This is explained in Hebrews:

Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the flesh imposed until a time of reformation.... the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh... Hebrews 9:9-10,13

6. The Solution: Flesh which overcame and did not sin - Jesus Christ

A Jew could never be reckoned righteous before God because he is flesh and flesh only knows how to sin and since flesh is what he is, he is caught in a real predicament. But Christ overcame the flesh and walked a perfect and righteous life and offered himself up for the sake of the sins committed by the people of Israel.

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8. See 2 Corinthians 5:16.

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh Hebrews 10:20.

When Jesus died on the cross sinless, he overcame the flesh. And in doing so, he nailed the Law to the cross in the sense that the Law could not condemn him as a sinner. The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the Law. Jesus died offering up himself up to God, and the Law was powerless to condemn him because this flesh was dead and never sinned. In this way, he nailed the Law to the cross. The powers of darkness were defeated and stripped of their main weapon - human flesh.

even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (we now know Christ risen, Christ according to the Spirit; see 1 Cor 15:45; 2 Cor 3:17.)..... [God] made him who knew no sin to be sin for our sake so that in him (the risen Christ) we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16,21.

At 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul is alluding to both Christ's death (to be sin) and resurrection (in him).
Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer lords over him. For the death that he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. Romans 6:9-10

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3

Jesus Overcame

Jesus overcame and provided us a way to overcome. By dying with him and walking in his footsteps, we may overcome just as he overcame. God empowers us to overcome. It is not by our own effort but by the power of God by His Spirit in us. Not by our own effort because we have died to ourselves, died to the flesh, but by the power of God walking in His Spirit.

He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, he learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:7-10

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10

[Fix your] eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

[Christ] through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God. Hebrews 9:14.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your rational response* of service.
* logikos - adjective form of logos, "word," "reason." The idea here is that in view of God's mercy, serving him in this way is our reasonable or rational response to His mercy toward us.

Death no longer lords over Jesus because he died in the flesh on the cross and flesh was how sin and death lorded over mankind including the human being Jesus. Led by the Spirit of his God, Jesus defied sin's dominion over the flesh and he overcame and defeated sin because he never himself sinned. He rebelled against the dominion of sin over man and his flesh and in this way he defeated sin. Jesus made a new way for us to be led by the Spirit and overcome. This is what it means to have faith of Jesus Christ. So we walk as Jesus walked and to overcome just as he overcame. He denied himself and the flesh's desires which is the way of the world. He only did the will of his Father and gave no provision to his own human and fleshly desires. Because of this, God raised him up from the dead by the power of His Spirit and the Holy Spirit which gives life to men is available to every human being. It makes no sense for us to die to ourselves unless there is another life available. And there is new life available - the life of walking in the Holy Spirit which gives us life. We die to the life of the flesh and this world to enter into the resurrection life of Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. We do this by repenting of the old for the new - metanoia, change of mindset. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God and so we change our mindset from flesh to Spirit. In other words, we repent of our old ways, the ways of the flesh and the world. We were children of wrath walking in the filthy rags deeds of the flesh, dead in our sins. But we may die to ourselves and walk in the Spirit doing the works of God which He prepares for us to do bearing fruit to God for the sake of righteousness.

We walk in a righteousness which is apart from the Law and superior to the Law, the law of Christ, the law of freedom, the law of love. The Law condemned the flesh and its sacrifices were for the purification of the flesh having sinned. Our Christian walk is about the redemption of this body of flesh and the way this is accomplished is by denying the flesh to walk according to the Spirit in order that we walk in the footsteps of Jesus yielding up our bodies as living sacrifices suffering together with him. His yoke is easy and the commands of God are not burdensome. It is easy to fulfill the law of Christ - to love one another. However, the world hates the children of God and all kinds of pressures and persecution will come from the world. For this reason, the way is narrow.


7. Jewish Christians - those who were set free from the bondage of the Covenant of the Law

Jesus taught that all the Law and Prophets hung upon loving God with all our heart and soul and might and loving our neighbor as ourself. Paul said the same thing when he said the WHOLE Law was fulfilled by loving our neighbor. The WHOLE Law means the WHOLE Law. It doesn't mean "the whole law except [ x ]." It doesn't mean "the whole law except you have to keep [ x ]." Love does no wrong to its neighbor. The Law is about boundaries but you don't need to set any boundaries for Love. You can let Love do whatever it likes and it will always be good. Such is the freedom we have in Christ. So we do not turn back to the Law which condemns our flesh; rather we yield up our body of flesh to God to love one another.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.... You have heard it said (the Pharisees & the Law).... but I say to you (fulfill the whole Law).... I say to you, LOVE your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be complete, as your heavenly Father is complete (the Father's love is not limited but goes all the way). Matthew 5:17-48. Compare Luke 6:36. Compare Luke 24:44 with 5:17.

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hangs the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:38-40

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:8-10.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

For Christ is the telos* of the Law unto righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:4.
* The word means the end and goal of the Law. Compare the adjective form Matthew 5:48 teleios which Jesus is saying is the fulfillment of the Law (5:17) - to love completely just as the Father loves completely.

The Law of the New Covenant / The Law of Christ

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 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; 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. 1 Cor 9:19-21

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2. See 5:1,14.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25.

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom for judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13. Compare Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:46. Also compare Galatians 5:1,13-14; 6:2.

John explains the same thing from a different angle. The "commands" in the following verses do not refer to the 10 Commandments but the commands of God delivered to us through the teachings of Jesus (see John 7:16).

By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep His commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and does not keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (teleioō)... I am not writing a new command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning; the old command is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new command to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.... As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.... As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in Him.... Everyone who commits sin also commits lawlessness and sin is lawlessness....No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who does what is righteous is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who sins is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God sins, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not do what is righteous is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother..... But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commands and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His command, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.... let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.... God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this command we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.... By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commands. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commands; and His commands are not burdensome.....
John's First Letter

We keep God's "commands" by loving one another.


8. The Sabbath - Man's Sabbath rest vs. God's Sabbath rest

The Sabbath was made because of man not man because of the Sabbath. Jesus said the son of man is Lord of the Sabbath. And believers are in Christ and Christ in God who is in His Sabbath rest. Once we have died to the flesh and been raised up to resurrection life, our Sabbath rest becomes God's Sabbath rest. Our Sabbath rest is in the Spirit and we share in that rest in the Spirit. On that Day, we will enter that Sabbath rest when we are raised from the dead. Our seventh day is not an earth day on a 365 day calendar. It is God's Sabbath rest. We rest from our works, that is, we no longer do our own works of the flesh which is disobedience but God is at work in us to work according to his good will and pleasure (Php 2:13).

For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works” and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4.

An easy way to understand this is to think about entering the Kingdom. Some verses refer to believers entering the Kingdom on that Day (2 Peter 1:11). However, we also enter the Kingdom now (Colossians 1:13). This is true because we enter the reality of the Kingdom when we die to this world and are raised up in the Spirit to be seated with Christ in the heavenlies. He is the King of this Kingdom. But we enter the Kingdom when he comes because that is when we will be bodily raised from the dead and that is when we ourselves, bodies of flesh, will enter that Kingdom. The truth about the Sabbath works the same way. Our reality is the Kingdom of God reality where God is in his Sabbath rest. We will enter that Sabbath rest bodily when the Lord comes to save those who love him. No Saturday Sabbath keeping for the children of God. That would be the world's earthly seventh day, not God's heavenly Sabbath rest. See John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11.

Under the Law, the seventh day Sabbath was prescribed for those of the old creation. Under the Law, you kept times and season of the world and the Sabbath was one of those times and seasons. But we who are in Christ have died to the world with its times and seasons. We have died to the world and we have been transferred into the Kingdom of God. And we entered God's Sabbath rest. He has been resting from all His works since the foundation of the world. He isn't keeping a Sabbath every 7th earth day. And since we died to the old creation, neither do we. In the Spirit, we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies where God is in His Sabbath rest.




Created: January 8, 2018
Last Revision/Update: January 8, 2018 work in progress


 HOME