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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New Testament and Law - the Foundation

1 John 2:

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

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.

This is the beginning of a lengthy study I'm going to go through concerning the law and the New Testament. There is a complete misconception by concerning law because of the confusion over justification.

The Bible is very clear that justification isn't by works, but only be faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. It is not of works in order that no one can boast that they are righteous. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and only saving faith in Jesus Christ saves us from our sins.

Justification only be faith in Jesus Christ

That said, what we call the New Testament as far as it relates to the Holy Scriptures, is full of references to the law of God, with most of it focusing on it not being the source of eternal salvation, but rather what follows afterward, as far as obedience to the law.

It needs to be understood that not all the law has continued. I still see some people learning of these things asserting that we still need to follow the feasts of the law, even though Jesus totally fulfilled them, as He has done in other areas of the ceremonial law as well.

We'll more into what has been discontinued of the law and what parts of the law are required to be obeyed after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, throughout this series of articles.

But first it must be proven and established that parts of the law are still required to be obeyed, and weren't discontinued after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The key verse in the New Testament that clearly affirms this is in the first letter or epistle of John.

You can read the full test I'm using above, but I want to focus on the two verses listed below in this article.

1 John 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.

Without a doubt the Holy Spirit had John write in this clear manner so there was no confusion by those reading what he wrote in the future. None of it can be carelessly tossed aside or ignored. If a person really has been regenerated, they will keep the commands of God. If an individual isn't keeping the commandments, it's very clear concerning their testimony: it's a lie. The truth isn't in that person according to John, as inspired to write by the Holy Spirit.

There is no getting around this. There is no way any other scripture can be used to counteract it. All other mentions of the law in the New Testament must be understood based upon this clear revelation from John.

We know him, if we keep his commandments

Obviously the next question by many will be what commandments is John referring to. The answer is all of them that were given to Moses that weren't fulfilled by Jesus Christ, or those that the New Testament mentioned have changed.

Those that oppose this conclusion don't really think through their false beliefs. The reason why is this. Do they really think because Jesus died on the cross that it's okay to murder people now because of some false interpretation or misunderstanding of justification versus the moral requirements of the law that are still in effect?

Is it not only okay to murder now, but also to commit adultery and every other type of sexual sin? What about theft? Obedience to parents? Lusting or coveting anything and in some cases, everything our neighbor may have, including their spouses? The list goes on and on.

The idea that the death of Jesus Christ for our sins releases us to harm our neighbors is so outrageous it can't be taken seriously. Love is the fulfillment of the law, and that means we are to interact with and treat our neighbors in accordance with the revealed moral laws of God.

Sure, we must learn their application today, and we also must diligently search out what penalties are still in force, and which have changed as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus. But one thing is for sure, the laws remain in place and we are expected to obey.

It is so true that John said it is how we know whether or not a person is truly saved or regenerated. As the earlier verses above state, it's not talking about someone sinning, as any of us could fall into a sin, it's the lifestyle of sin that John is referring to here, where a person says they no Jesus Christ but are disobeying the laws of God.

After all, if a person is regenerated or born again, the Spirit of God takes up residence in them. That means the laws of God are not written in our hearts, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to obey them internally and externally. As mentioned, we may occasionally break a commandment, but it's impossible to do so as a way of life. The person doing so is a liar, according to the very words God gave us.

We are to walk as Jesus walked, meaning with the goal of obeying all the laws of God that remain in force.

It's our duty to study and understand them so we know how to treat our neighbor. That's how love is truly defined by the Bible, as those that do no harm to our neighbors. How do we know if we're doing harm to them or not if we don't know what the law is in the first place.

The law has been placed within us by the Holy Spirit, but we also need to understand and reinforce the work of the Holy Spirit by searching out the scriptures. They work together.

Not only is the moral law of God still in place, our salvation is identified in regard to whether we obey them or not. we are never justified by obedience to God's laws, but whether we're saves or not is. We can't live a life of disobedience and be born again. It's impossible. It's a lie.

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