In this sermon, Pastor Babij teaches on the third body of law Christians must know and follow: the Law of Christ. Pastor Babij explains through numerous Scriptures how the Moral Law is not nullified but expanded and elevated by the Law of Christ and how the Law of Christ is designed to engender love for the Lord Jesus. Pastor Babij concludes by admonishing Christians to constantly examine themselves to confirm their status in Christ.
Most likely, I will get into the first commandment next week, but today is more introduction because this is a very difficult subject believe it or not and I want to lay some things out for you, so you get a better understanding. When somebody asks if we keep the law as believers, you can give them the right answer. Exodus 20:1-17 says:
Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 8“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 13“You shall not murder. 14“You shall not commit adultery. 15“You shall not steal. 16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Father, as we approach Your word, let us have a correct understanding of the law of God as it is given in the word of God, as it moves into the New Testament, and what it means for us today. I pray that You would allow us to understand those things for our edification, for our knowledge, and for our stability as a believer to know whether we are honoring You or not. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.
Last time, we ended with the three functions of the moral law. The civil function was the first function of the moral law. The laws of God were given as a guide to the nation’s as information for their laws. Then, there was the pedagogical function, which simply means that the law was a teacher, an instructor, or tutor pointing something out that we all needed to know.
Also, the law revealed sin, but could not remove sin. The law pronounced guilt, but it could not provide Grace. The law carries the curse of death, but it had no cure. The law was designed by God to shut up everybody under sin. Galatians 3:22 tells us:
But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin…
You may be thinking: if that’s the case, then what hope does anyone have to be saved? Of course, we do know that the law has good news connected to it, and that good news is that the law is really our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. Galatians 3:24-26 says:
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
In that passage of Scripture, we see that the law brings us to the very place where it shows us that we are a sinner, shows us that we cannot rescue ourselves, and it actually magnifies sin. Then, it brings us to the one who can do something about it, which is our Lord Jesus Christ. Martin Luther had said:
The law is a mirror which reveals to us our uncleanness and causes us to fly to the laver to be cleansed by the blood of Christ.
When sin drives us to the Cross for redemption, it brings us to Christ, His death, His burial, and His resurrection, which is where we can be saved. The only person that can make anyone right with God and bring them into the family of God is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Again, Galatians 3:26 says:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
God gave us a clear definition of sin in His Ten Commandments. Without this, people can’t recognize their pitiful condition, especially their need for a Savior. They can realize that they need help, but they just don’t know who to go to for that help. We do know from Scripture that help comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
By way of review, we saw that there were several categories of the law. The reveal law was revealed in the law of the conscience. For 2,500 years, man lived on the earth without the Ten Commandments, the written law, prior to Mount Sinai. During that time, what governed them was the law of conscience. Then, the Ten Commandments came later after this time, but this was from the verbal word of God that was given out to people, which they were to obey it or disobey it. They were aware of their sin because of what was said by God.
This inner monitor that God gave called the conscience either accused them or defended them. Remember, the conscience is not infallible because it is informed by many things such as different types of traditions, philosophies, societal factors, and religious doctrine whether good, bad, true, or false. Therefore, for the conscience to operate fully and in accord with true Holiness that honors God, it’s thinking has to be informed by the written word of God, so that on the day of judgement, your conscience will side with God, the righteous judge. The worst sin-harden evil-doer will discover that before the Throne of God, their conscience will testify against them. Romans 2:16 says:
on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Of course, the secrets of men will be contained within their own conscience and God will judge using not only creation and conscience, but the word of God and what they have done with Jesus Christ. The second thing that was revealed in Scripture was that of the revealed law of God. Again, the law of God is called the moral law, the two tablets of testimony, the law of love, or the decalogue. We also know that law of God is considered the Ten Commandments, which we’re heading towards.
Remember, the law of God was written on stone, and then the Ten Commandments were placed inside the ark showing the permanence of the law right under the mercy seat. The moral law, given by God, is summed up in what we know as the Ten Commandments.
Also, the moral law reflects the very nature of God. Once we get into the commandments, you’ll see that it’s the very character of God and the declaration of God’s will towards His people, which directs and binds all men from every age and every place to their whole duty to themselves, to the Lord, and of course to their neighbor.
This led to the reveal law of God and the law of Moses. Remember, the law of Moses is also known as the book of the law, the book of the covenant, or the Mosaic law. The law of Moses was written in a book, not written by the finger of God on stone. It was written on parchment in a book, and that book was placed not in the Ark of the Covenant, but beside the Ark of the Covenant.
Now, we see that this is how it unfolds: we have the conscience, the Ten Commandments, and we have the laws of God given to the people of God. Of course, those laws were broken down in several ways to the civil law, and the civil law simply meant that Israel had certain directives given to them in their community to organize things.
They would have civil management as far as where they’re going to camp out, what marches they are going to go on, what wars they are going to be involved with, the inheritance that were promised them from God, and how the marriages are supposed to work. Also, if you disobey the law, what punishments come with that. Then, what ruler should rule amongst them and what their character is to be.
All of that was related to National Israel. Meaning, the civil law has been nullified for us who are believers. We are not under a theocracy like Israel was, but we are to obey, according to Romans 13, the governing authorities that God has ordained and live righteously while we are on this Earth.
Then, there were the ceremonial laws, which were the rights of worship given to Israel so that they would be a nation like no other nation around them. In their worship, they had the day of Passover, the day of atonement, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the wave offering, and various other sacrifices were combined in that regard, which were all a foreshadowing of what was to come.
They all foreshadowed Christ, and it was a shadow of the Cross extending backward through the centuries before He came. When Christ came, the shadow faded away. Meaning, the ceremonial laws were abrogated or nullified by the coming of the One whom they foreshadowed namely, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:7 says:
For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
The offering of the body of Jesus was done once for all. By 70 A.D., the whole sacrificial system and the whole priesthood was done. Even until this day, there’s no more sacrificial system. If you talk to a Jewish person today, they would say that they are waiting for their temple to institute the sacrifices again. So, they have their Shabbat meal, which is a forward-looking to the Messiah coming, or the first coming of Christ that they have rejected and continue to reject.
As believers, we know that Christ is already our Passover. When the Father looks at us, He sees the blood of Christ and He passes over us with judgment. There are no judgments to a believer, which is a great comfort to us. Therefore, we don’t need to make sacrifices. You didn’t bring any animals this morning to offer on the alter, right?
You don’t have to do that because we’re not under the Old Testament economy anymore. Christ has fulfilled all those types and shadows of the Old Testament, which is the amazing thing about our Lord. He has taken care of every single thing that can possibly hinder us from being right with Him and then coming into His presence someday as a person who has trusted Christ alone for eternal life. This is a great blessing to us.
Also, Moses recorded 640 separate ordinances in his own handwriting that they were to carry out on a regular basis, which is listed and found in the Old Testament. However, it said that every single day had to do with God. Every single day had something that you had to focus in on because what the Lord required of you on that particular day.
Sometimes, we don’t do that as believers. We come Sunday and then we divorce the rest of the week as something that is secular, and this is sacred. Everything is sacred, right? Everything we do every day should remind us of God’s goodness and cause thankfulness to rise up in our hearts, so we can praise Him. That’s what the Christian Life should be about. We should be living in the constant realm of thankfulness and joy every single day. Do you do that? So, the law of Moses really demanded things that we don’t put into practice anymore because Christ had come and fulfilled things.
When the apostles were preaching in the book of Acts, the question comes up: should the gentiles keep the moral law? Should they keep they keep the Mosaic law? Acts 15:1-2 says:
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
We see them go up to Jerusalem, and Acts 15:6 says:
But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
So, there was confusion about this thing. The apostles are saying that God brought the same Gospel to the gentiles. They believe that they received the spirit of God. Then, Acts 15:10-11 says:
“Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
Meaning, the Jews and the gentiles we’re getting saved the same exact way. Then, Acts 15:28-29 says:
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: 29that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
These are the only things required of you as a gentile living in that economy. Meaning, they didn’t have to keep the ceremonial and civil part of the Mosaic law. That’s why some of the apostles were found guilty of preaching against the law, which is why most of them were killed.
This brings me to the third function of the law and it is that of a didactic function; meaning, it is still teaching. So, we have the civil, the learning part, and then we have the ongoing teaching of the law. In other words, the moral law is a guide for the Christian life. It functions as a teacher for us.
Now, does the fact that a Christian is justified by faith alone without the deeds of the law mean that the law of God is nullified? Absolutely not; it is not nullified. Romans 3:31 tells us:
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Now, we’re seeing that the moral law of God is not abrogated. It’s not nullified, which becomes an important point. However, it does mean that our relationship to the law has changed. To show you what I mean, I want you to direct your attention to two passages of Scripture that will shed much needed light on a Christian’s relationship to the law of God.
Remember, when I say the law of God, I am talking about the Ten Commandments after a Christian comes to believe in Christ, confesses, and follows Christ as their Lord and Savior. Now, how are they to live their life? Under what standard are we to live our life? There’s still another category of the law of God that we must examine and understand, which is the law of Christ, the most important one.
Before we look at the passages of Scripture, there are a couple of respectable theologians I would like to quote. John Feinberg says:
We are not bound to the civil, ceremonial, and moral law, but the law of Christ binds us.
Also, Doug Moo says:
The Mosaic code is no longer enforce. The law of Christ has superseded it. We must fulfill the law of Christ.
As believers, it is an obligation to know the law of Christ and what it actually entails. Now, the law of God and the law of Christ is clearly suggested in 1 Corinthians 9:21 where Paul is speaking as a free man, not someone who’s bound by the rules and regulations of the ceremonial and civil law under the Mosaic covenant. However, he is under a law that he’s following and obeying:
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.
As a human being created in the image of God, he was still under the obligation to obey the moral law of God, his Creator. However, in his new position as a saved person in Christ Jesus, he now belongs to Christ, who is his new master. Christ is the mediator and the go-between of his redemption. Christ has purchased him from the slave market of sin, and he is now Christ’s possession. Therefore, he is now under the law of Christ, which is the principle of living as a believer under Christ.
That passage of Scripture becomes very important for us since it highlights very clearly all the things we talked about. Now, let’s think through this a little bit. As creatures, we are under the bonds to serve the law of God. There’s nothing wrong with the law of God. The arch enemy of God’s people is not the Mosaic law or any laws. Romans 7:12 tells us:
So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
The problem is not the law. The problem is sin and that we are enrolled in the service of sin. Actually, we’re slaves of sin, and that’s what you learn when you become a believer. Sin’s basic objective is to drive the law keeper away from the lawgiver through death. Romans 6:23 says:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin encourages its victims to do several things. Number one, it encourages its victim to disobey the law. As victims of sin, knowing the law induces a person to break it rather than to keep it. When you walk past a lawn that says, “Don’t step on the grass,” like when the parent tells a child not to do something, then they are tempted to do the exact opposite of the command. Because of sin, the command itself brings a person to break the commandment instead of keeping it. This was the whole ordeal when Paul was trying to explain that in Romans 7:7-13:
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.” 8But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13Therefore 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.
In other words, Paul is saying that as he tried to keep the law, the sin in him caused him to say, “I don’t want to keep the law.” If you go through the Ten Commandments, you break all ten at some point because of your sin. Sin doesn’t want you to keep them. Therefore, as you break them, you realize that it doesn’t result in life, but that it results in death and separation from God.
Also, the law magnifies your sin. It brings you and I to the point where we say, “I am utterly sinful,” which is what the law is supposed to do. If it didn’t do it, we would never really know we sinned against God. So, sin encourages its victims to disobey the law.
Also, sin encourages its victims to view the law as an end in itself. Sin encourages a person to be law-centered rather than God-centered. Keeping the law rather than knowing God becomes the highest goal. As a result, you find people who become legalist and it’s all about the rules and the regulations. It’s all about keeping the law rather than getting to know God more.
In addition, sin encourages us to receive the acclaim of people rather than the acclaim of God. The desired goal is to have accolades from people instead of from God. John 12:43 tells us:
for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
That’s what happens when somebody tries to keep the law and avert from the original intention of the law. Thus, people become law-keepers. Sin also encourages one to finally forget the grace of God. Sin seeks to divert its victim’s attention from the promise of salvation to that of law keeping.
Law keeping becomes the substitute for the way of salvation. If you ask people today if they are a good person, then they say they try to keep the Ten Commandments, so they are doing exactly what sin is dictating them to do because they’re a victim of sin. They will say, “As long as I do these things, I’m going to be right with God.” Here’s the catch: you could ever be that good. You have to be perfect before God and you cannot make yourself perfect.
For them, the law becomes the way of salvation. It becomes a substitute for salvation where law-keepers expect wages to which that person would be entitled, or they boast about how well they keep the law. When a person, as a creature, is under the law of God, several things take place.
Now, the law could not deliver us from the slave-market of sin and this body of death, but there is somebody who can deliver us. Romans 7:24-25 tells us:
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks 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.
As a redeemed sinner, we are bond slaves of a new master, which is Christ. We are not slaves of sin anymore. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:6:
not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
As slaves of Christ, Paul is saying we are doing the will of God from the heart. We couldn’t do that before, but as believers, we can obey the will of God from our heart. The intention of living under the law of Christ is:
I want to obey. I want to love the Lord.
So, is the moral law nullified? Absolutely not. It is included in the law of Christ. Meaning, Christ is the end of the law. Romans 10:4 says:
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
He is the end of the law to everyone who believes, so everyone else is still under the law. In that passage, the term “end” means the purpose of what Christ came to do. Once the law reached the goal, it was terminated, which was terminated by the Lord himself. For everyone who comes to Christ, the condemnations of the law have ended. Meaning, Christ is the goal of the law. 2 Corinthians 3:14 says:
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
The reason people do not believe is because they’re blinded. They have a veil before them, especially those who are Jews. If they don’t want to believe in Christ, the Messiah, then they’re in their unbelief. 2 Corinthians 3:15-16 says:
But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
When we come to Christ, it is lifted from us, so Christ is the goal of the law. Christ is also the exemplar of the law. Christ is the object of the ceremonial dimensions of the law because He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. In the book of Hebrews, Christ is the aim of the law. Meaning, Christ created in Himself a people of God, Jews and Gentiles. in which He exercised His sovereign kingship over.
When Christ came, the shadows all disappeared, and they were all fulfilled in Christ, so He is the end of it. Christ created in Himself a people for Himself and we’re part of that people. We’re part of the people of God because we have come to Christ. The veil has been lifted, the end of the law has come, and Christ fulfilled the law.
Secondly, Christ is the Lord of the law, and as Lord of the law, Christ conquers sin. Romans 8:3 says:
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.
He conquered sin by condemning it. Then, He snatches the law from sins grip in Romans 8:4:
so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
He snatches the law from sins grip by meeting the requirements of the law, which is by satisfying all the justice of the Father on the Cross. He satisfies it all, so that we can be snatched from sins grip. Also, Christ disarms the hostile powers by taking away the weapons against us. Colossians 2:14 tells us:
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Then, Galatians 3:13 tells us:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law…
Christ secures our forgiveness. Colossians 2:13 says:
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
All of our lawbreaking and stepping on the grass when the sign says, “Don’t step on the grass,” the Lord takes and nails it all to the Cross. He takes all your unrighteousness, all your unholiness, all your ungodliness, and He secures and forgiveness completely and totally. Then, Christ unites us with Himself in His death, burial, and resurrection, and frees us from the powers that hold us. In turn, He brings us under His lordship and He becomes our master.
Thirdly, in Christ, the law is newly administered, and its essence explained. Meaning, Christ, not the law is the believers Master. Not only is not sin the believers master, but also the law is not the believers master. Christ is the believer’s master, so as believers, we live under the law of Christ.
The law of God is now named the law of Christ. As it relates to Christians, the law of Christ is God’s moral law at the hands of a mediator. Meaning, it is the moral law of God that Christ himself was made under. Galatians 4:4 says:
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law
It is the moral law of God that Christ came to fulfill. Matthew 5:17-18 says:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“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.
Also, it is the moral law of God that was in the heart of Christ. Psalm 40:8 says:
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.
In that passage, the word “law” is the word Torah, the law of God. Jesus knew the full end and result of God’s law. You may say: well, what is the full end and result of God’s law? When Jesus was asked that question by a Jewish scribe Jesus answered him from the Old Testament Torah, the Shema in Deuteronomy 6. He said in Mark 12:28-34:
One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; 33AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
Jesus takes the moral law of God, the Ten Commandments, and He breaks them in two places. They’re not really broken. He actually synthesizes them. He says that the first four commandments are to love the Lord, thy God, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. In His second commandment are the last sixth commandment, which is to love your neighbor as yourself.
These two commandments are now the synthesized, and it brings in not only the ten commandments, but also the ceremonial and Mosaic part of the law come into these statements. Galatians 6:2 says:
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
The moral and the Mosaic law all come together in Jesus Christ with its civil and ceremonial aspects. Under the law of Christ, we are no longer sold under sin and its condemnation. Under the law of Christ, we are born again into the family of God with all its rights and privileges. Under the law of Christ, we have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit sealed unto the day of redemption. Under the law of Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, which is no longer our master.
The law of Christ is not a new set of laws that has taken place of the old set, but it is the law of God written on hearts of flesh, not hearts of stone. Ezekiel 36:26 tells us:
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Meaning, a heart that’s pliable, foldable, and a heart that wants to love God. That’s what He gives us when we become a believer. He continues to say in Ezekiel 36:37:
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
That’s what He does to our hearts, which desire to be obedient not to the law, but to Christ, the person in whom we want to affectionately love. When we do so, we fulfill the law of God, which are the two great commandments just mentioned. Those who are bound to Christ enter into a life of liberty and love as they bind themselves to His law.
Christ is the reality that all the Mosaic regulations foreshadowed. Christ expounds His law by calling believers to love God and to love neighbor. The Holy Spirit is the One who implants that love in our heart. He puts it there when we become believers.
Again, the law of Christ is not a different law from the law of Moses. Each law comes from God and each is given for the same purpose, which is to enjoy the love of God and the love of neighbor. Of course, the understanding of the law and the law-keeping is radically affected by the coming of Christ.
Accordingly, His law is a further expression of the law of Moses. It is not the same expression. Rather, it is more than a mere repetition of ancient laws by virtue of who Jesus is and what He came to do. The law is now newly administered and more deeply expounded than ever before.
In summary, the law of Moses is related to the law of Christ. It is not cut off then the law of Christ begins, nor does the law of Moses come to an end and the law of Christ is elevated and continues. Rather, the law of Moses and everything connected to it is elevated and moved into the law of Christ, which is love of God and love of neighbor.
When somebody asks you, “As a Christian, do you keep the law of Moses?” You say to them, “As a Christian, I keep the law of Christ.”
The law of Christ has two main ingredients to it: love God and love my neighbor as myself. Namely, to love and to honor Yahweh, the Lord, and one’s neighbor from the heart. 1 John 5:2-3 says:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
They’re not a weight upon us. They are something the spirit of God gives us liberty to do. Galatians 5:14 says:
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
James 2:8 tells us:
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.
If that is the end result, which has always been the end result of God’s commands to love God and to love His people, then how are we doing? How far are you growing in Biblical love? Love is the badge and the character of Christianity.
A Christian may advance in many areas of the Christian life, but without growth in the most important Christian distinctive, which is love, then, as Corinthians 13 tells us, it profits nothing. We can have a lot of skill, a lot of know-how, and if we haven’t learned to love as Christians, then we have not learned. Maybe we’re not even a believer.
This becomes a very critical point for all of us. This is how you know you’re a believer. When love begins to diminish and grow cold, and when our sin increases itself, it doesn’t manifest in looking like Jesus. It manifests in the opposite, which is not looking like Jesus.
This is how a diminishing love looks: we lose patience easily, but like Corinthians 13 says, love suffers long. Unkindness becomes common, yet the Bible says love is kind. Sinful envy and bitterness are displayed, yet the Scriptures tell us love does not envy. We defend ourselves when confronted about our lack of love, but the Scripture tells us love does not parade itself or is puffed up.
We become less courteous and ruder with people, yet love does not behave rudely as Scripture tells us. We start trumping our rights over others, yet love does not seek its own. We become easily angered, yet Biblical love is not provoked. Fault finding becomes frequent, yet the Bible say love keeps no black book of wrongs and thinks no evil of the person.
When our love is not present and waning, projects become more important than people. We become unwilling to confront when necessary and we are not concerned with the lost all around us. See, that’s where the Lord leads. It leads us to the place that we are loving God, and as we’re learning to love God, He’s teaching us and demonstrating His love toward us in the word of God.
Then, we turn around and we show that same kind of love that God is showing us and giving us to other people. If we are not doing that, there is a great question mark on where you’re at spiritually. Those growing in a Jesus-kind of love will not only say loving words but will also do loving deeds just as He did. So, is the direction, not perfection of your life to honor and love God and love and honor your neighbor?
Christians have obtained new life in Christ, so under the law, you and I would not have the slightest chance of performing God’s commands with complete success. Your sinful nature and mine would not allow it, but because believers have obtained new life in Christ and have the indwelling Holy Spirit and the word of God, they become willing to want to please and obey the One who saved them.
As Christians, we have the privilege and the power given to us by God to fulfill the law of Christ. In the power of the indwelling spirit, the Christian is given the enablement to obey God’s revealed will from their heart, which involves walking in the Spirit in which there must be day-to-day yielding and dependence upon the Holy Spirit. When you walk in the spirit, you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, and if you don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh, you will be living according to the law of Christ.
That’s the goal of the Christian life and that’s where the Spirit of God is bringing us, but you have to examine yourself: how are you doing? Examine it right in your family. How are you doing as husband and wife? How are you doing as parents and children, and children and parents? How are you doing on your job with your employees or as an employer? How are you doing with people? That’s the test right there.
How you’ve grown in Christ is the test when you walk out the door and you deal with people. How much do we fall short of what God wants for us? Paul tells us in Romans 3:8-10:
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For 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.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
All of us must be examined by that standard, so you know what Christ does? He takes the Mosaic law, the ceremonial law, the civil law, and He elevates it higher. However, you have the Holy Spirit of God to actually do it. Before, you couldn’t because of your sin. Let’s pray:
Lord, thank You. The word of God is so incredible, Lord. I must say that when I think of what the word of God tells us about loving You and loving others, we must all be honest that we have a far way to go, but Lord, we want every day for the spirit of God to use us in a way where we are living under the law of Christ. That we realize it and are not ignorant of the very thoughts we have, the very words we speak, and the very body language that we present to people. Lord, if it is not representing You, please convict us of that and cause us and empower us to change it by Your spirit and Your word. That we may depend on You every day. That these two great commandments can be understood by us and maybe fulfilled in us every single day. I pray, Lord, You would give us, grow us, and mature us to the place where that is the case, and in doing so, we know that we will honor You, represent You well, and that You will give us many opportunities to serve You when we genuinely learn how to love You and others. I pray this in Christ name, Amen.