Friday, September 13, 2013
"Against Such There is No Law"
A Brief Defense of the Perpetuity of the Moral Law of God
When Paul adds the phrase, “against such there is no law,” to His list of the fruits of the Spirit, the obvious and plain implication is that against the opposing list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5, there is a Law. We are supposed to assume, though, that it cannot be the Law of Ten Commandments, although it be admitted that the precepts of the Ten Commandments do stunningly meet the specifications of condemning just those kind of acts. But we also remember that in another place Paul contrasts the fulfilling of the Law in the believer through the Spirit, with the outworking of the flesh. In Romans chapter 7, he quotes from the Ten Commandments and then identifies that Law as spiritual, bemoans his lack of obedience to it in himself, then in Romans 8 upon entering into Christ rejoices that the Spirit brings him into harmony with the "Law of God" in contrast to being of the "carnal mind" that was not subject (obedient) to the Law of God and couldn't be, as manifestly demonstrated by his "carnal" experience in Rom. 7.
The Ten Commandments, indeed all statements of Moral Law in the Scriptures, stand firm and sure, the very standard against which and by which "sin" is determined. "For sin is the transgression of the Law." 1 John 3:4 Can then, Christians sin with impunity? Nay, God forbid. Rather, then it is unbelief to think that men may not be subject to the Law of God and be saved, for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ so that the Law shall "be fulfilled in (them), who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit," "he is none of His." Rom. 8:4, 9.
To those who claim that we are trying to enforce the letter of the Law, we say, nay, but we would enforce the Spirit of the Law, bringing all into the New Covenant by which they shall keep God’s covenant, for the problem with the Old Covenant, was that under it, the people did not keep His Covenant (which is directly defined to be the Ten Commandments) so that He could not accept them. Deut. 4:13; Heb. 8:8,9. Although we believe that the letter is still in force to condemn any that break it, only those who observe the Spirit, can escape the condemnation of the Law, no matter whether they think that they are free from having to observe it or not, for upon their observance of the Ten Commandments shall all be judged. By whether one is a law breaker or a law keeper, shall his entrance into the City of God be determined: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of Life and enter in through the gates into the city." Rev. 22:14 This is the definitive evidence of whether one is experiencing the true salvation which is by faith alone, or not.
Now, is it not a strange thing that the “rest” of God described in the fourth chapter of Hebrews, is now being defined by so many as freedom from having to obey the Law of God in righteousness, when that rest is so manifestly declared to be the same rest that the children of Israel were supposed to enter into, but by sinning demonstrated that they did not? Heb. 4:1-2 From which illustration the author of Hebrews, would gather a warning for us, to make sure that we do not come short of it through sin and unbelief also. Those who have entered into rest do "cease from their own works, as God did from His." Heb. 4:10. Why? Because they have entered into Christ in whom is the true rest, they have the mind of Christ and it is not a mind of sin. They have the mind of the Spirit that is subject to the Law of God. In fact it is from that Divine mind that the Law originated and of which the Law is an expression. It being holy, righteous and good; perfect, just as its Author. Rom. 7:12; Psalm 19:7. Those who are saved are necessarily saved "unto good works that God prepared before (before the foundation of the World , and before God first rested on the first Sabbath day, in Christ) that we should (upon entering into Christ by faith) walk in them." What kind of salvation then is there that frees men to disobey the Law of God? None. In order to be saved one must obtain the Spirit, the very third person of the Godhead, who is of the very holiness and righteousness of God, who causes us to manifest the fruits of the Spirit rather than the condemned works (notice how works are the opposite of rest) of the flesh. But it will be argued that such righteousness is only an accounting. But the Bible says, "no," for we are to "walk in them" for "as He is, so are we (to be) in this world." 1 John 4:17. So the definition of those who have entered in rest is that they cease from their own works, no longer manifesting in their lives sin, but the righteousness of God. And John makes certain then to warn the believers that they do not be deceived on this very point. "For he that doeth righteousness (righteousness if something that is done--it is right-doing) is righteous, even as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7. Now it is unbelief that disbelieves the words of God and those who transgress the Law and claim that they are entered into rest, had ought rather to "fear" for they are certainly of those who "come short of it." Heb. 4:1.
--David L. Wilson
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