THE LAW OF CHRIST


THE LAW OF CHRIST

He that heareth and doeth Christ’s “sayings” shall be saved; he that does not do so shall be lost (Matthew 7:24-29).

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that disbelieves shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15,16).

“Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

Regarding the Lord’s supper: “This do ye until I come” (1 Corinthians 11:24ff). “Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man ye have no life in you” (John 6:54ff).

Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 18:18-20).

Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments and teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).

“Abide in me … apart from me ye can do nothing.” “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and cast them into the fire” (John 15:4-6).

“Be ye therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

What is done to the church, the spiritual body of Christ, is also done to Christ (Acts 9:4ff).

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Etc.


This is no more than a few suggestions; but they do not represent human opinion at all, but what Christ said.

Let every man ponder this Law

The notion that the apostle Paul set aside all of the words of Christ and substituted a “faith only” way of attaining salvation fails to take account of the fact that Christ is the head of his church, not Paul.

Apostle though he was, he was a mortal, the eloquent and holy apostle and most distinguished preacher of all times; but he was the bond-slave of Jesus Christ who gave people the teachings of the New Testament.

Those who believe that Paul would have said or done anything to pervert or change the teaching of Christ understand neither Paul nor Christ.

A popular superstition is that “The Law of Christ is a positive law, not a negative law.”

In the sense of stressing many positive values, of course, it is; but the Law of Christ has many negatives also. Notice just a few of them from the Sermon on the Mount:

Swear not at all (Matthew 5:34).

Judge not that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1).

Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Be not therefore anxious (Matthew 6:31).

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs (Matthew 7:6).

In praying use not vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).

And ye shall not be as the hypocrites (Matthew 6:5).

Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19).

If ye forgive not … neither will your Father forgive you (Matthew 6:15).

Everyone that heareth these words of mine and doeth them not … like the foolish man who built his house on the sand … great was the fall thereof (Matthew 7:26-27).

The above are merely representative of a vast body of similar teaching in the Magna Carta of the Christian religion, called the Sermon on the Mount.

But, is not the Law of Christ a “law of liberty” in comparison with the Law of Moses?

To be sure it is.

All of the vast ceremonial, with its physical sacrifices, presentations upon certain days, and intricate, elaborate procedures for every conceivable kind of violation – all that is gone.

The subjection to priestcraft, which was an inevitable accompaniment of the Old, has been taken away.

There is forgiveness of violations under the New, but there was none under the Old.

The indwelling of the Spirit of God aids the Christian, but did not aid the worshiper under Judaism.

Not any of the morality, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, sobriety, chastity, etc., that were required under Moses have been abrogated or relaxed under Christ.

The notion that Christianity has a looser moral code than Judaism is ridiculous; and yet that is precisely the understanding some have regarding the wonderful “freedom in Christ.”

Such is a fatal delusion.

It will be apparent to any who will contemplate it, that if Christ came into the world in order merely to relax the will of God regarding what is or is not righteousness, such an alteration could in no case have required the death of the Son of God.

As a matter of truth, the morality of Christ is a higher, stricter and tighter code than Judaism ever was, as specifically elaborated in the Sermon on the Mount.

This undeniable truth sends shudders of apprehension through those who see it and draw back and cry:

“Impossible!

Who can be perfect?

Where is any possible ground of confidence?”

THE CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST

Despite the higher level of morality required of Christians, and despite the specific commandments of both a positive and negative nature which abound in Christian doctrine, and despite the fact that no salvation of any kind is promised to them who “obey not the gospel,” there is, nevertheless, the solid ground of absolute trust and confidence “in Christ.”

The forgiveness provided in the love of Christ in the New Dispensation is operative on a constant and continual basis, “cleansing us of all unrighteousness”; and two questions only, if they may be honestly answered affirmatively by the human conscience, bestow full and mighty confidence in the Christian. “Am I in Christ?” and “Shall I be found in him?”

All of our confidence is not in our own success as to meeting God’s standards, but it is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 RSV

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