The Christian and God’s Moral Law

The Law
photo by Alex Bruda

Under the Law

In the Bible, ‘the law’ often refers to the covenant that God made with Israel, which Christians know as the Old Covenant. It required of them, amongst other things, to keep God’s moral law. It is especially in this regard that Paul called it a ministry of condemnation (see Gal. 3:10). For, though it was good, in that it highlighted God’s perfect moral law (see Rom. 7:12), it pointed out the error of those who were ‘under’ it, thereby condemning them.

The law was unable to save those who were ‘under’ it from the penalty of their past, present and future sins. Nor could it save them from their sinful nature or enable them to keep its requirements (see Rom. 8:3). It essentially pointed out human sin and sinfulness, and to their desperate need for another way. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Gal. 3:24).

The same principle is also true for those not ‘under the law’ (i.e. those not part of the Old Covenant). This is because, ‘They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them’ (Rom. 2:15 NIV).

In Christ

In contrast, Christians (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ) are in a new covenant with God. And, though we also seek to fulfil God’s moral law (see 1 John 5:3), we don’t do this by being ‘under the law’ (i.e. under the Old Covenant), but by being in Christ. We no longer try in our own strength to satisfy the law’s requirements in order to please God or avoid His punishment. Instead, the good news is that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice satisfies all that the moral law of God requires of us, justifying us (see 2 Cor. 5:21). Furthermore, His life in us enables us to keep His commandments (see Php. 2:13 & Rom. 6:4). This is especially true when we as a matter of lifestyle ask God to empower us by His Spirit and when we walk in step with His Spirit (see Eph. 5:18 & Gal. 5:25).

‘Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God’ (Rom. 7:4).

Rob Morley

From Dark Past to Profound Purpose

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Photo by JAZ1111 http://www.rgbstock.com/user/jaz1111

Who You Were to Who You Are

The Old Testament exodus narrative helps us to understand our own past and, more importantly, our purpose as believers today.

Old Testament Type

The Old Testament contains many types of our own reality. Consider these scriptures:

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex 19:5-6).

But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are (having been obedient?) this day (Deut 4:20).

The ‘if’ shows that being God’s people in the Old Testament was conditional.

New Testament Reality

Consider how these New Testament scriptures use the imagery and terms of the Old Testament to help us understand our own reality in Christ:

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ( 1 Pet 2:5).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9).

Faith in Christ, that produces obedience, is the only condition to being God’s people. Have you come out of spiritual darkness and become one of God’s own? Have you discovered your profound purpose? Do you need a Reorientation Miracle to help you see the light?

Rob Morley

Bound Again Christians

Bound Again?
Bound Again?

Christians in Bondage

As Christians, we teach on the wonderful truth of the freedom that’s found in Christ, yet, our lives often tell a different story. It appears to me that we’re often just as enslaved to wrong ideas, evil systems, traditions of men and even false religion as anyone else.

Any freedom that we have in Christ gets smothered by the nonsense that we think. Rather than experiencing freedom as a lifestyle, we’re left with only moments of knowing real freedom.

Captured in our Minds

Captured by thoughts that we haven’t renewed and by the negative influences from the world around us, we’re unable to access the freedom that Christ has given. Strongholds of thought so pervade our thinking that even scripture gets wrongly interpreted to slot in with our deep or current views on life.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” aptly describes the fragility that people have to their thought life. Enslaved by wrong thinking, we become what we think.

Slavery that will Free You

Paradoxically, it’s by becoming a slave to Christ that we are completely freed. It’s therefore sadly ironic that Christians are, in some ways, often more enslaved than even before. Imagine the wasted sacrifice! Christ died to set us free and we create more bondage.

Sure, we are freed from the wrath of God and His judgment on sinners, but aren’t we also liberated from so much more – from sin, Satan and this world?

Bound Again

”Do not love the world or the things in the world” is pretty plain to understand, but often so untrue of our hearts. And, sadly, when we let our hearts run off after these desires, God’s word says of us that “If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him”.

The Bondage of Religion

We were warned by Jesus to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”, yet we’ve become masters of speaking of freedom while baking with the leaven. You see, the solution to the things that easily entangle us is not in a religion which promises that if we keep the rules we will be blessed. Because we can’t!

Yet, don’t we put this on one another by the way we judge, rather than pray; scoff in our minds, rather than help; and by generally making anyone not making the grade feel unwelcome?

Bound for Freedom

Knowing that we are unable to keep His commandments, God’s solution was to give us a new life and join us to Christ, so that He can live His life through us. It’s here, in Him, that we can know true freedom.

Now that we are bound to Christ in spirit, let’s remain bound in heart and mind also. For, it’s only in this way that we will experience true freedom in all areas of our lives. Perhaps, by remembering what it means to be a slave, we can discover all the freedom Jesus has for us!

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

One way or another we are all slaves. Who or what are you a slave to?

Rob Morley