Wednesday: The Rule of Holiness is God’s Law
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We know that God calls us to keep His law. The question arises, though, why should we keep His law if we cannot be saved by it? The answer is found in the idea of holiness.

Read Romans 7:12 and 1 Timothy 1:8. What attributes does Paul use to describe the law? How does the law reflect the character of God?

God's Law

Image © Phil McKay Goodsalt.com

The law is holy, righteous, and good. These three attributes properly designate only God Himself. Thus, the law is an expression of God’s character.

To live a Spirit-filled life means that we live according to the law of God. The law is the unchanging rule of His holiness. The standard that the law sets does not change any more than does God Himself. Jesus affirmed that the law is not abolished, but that every part is to be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-19). To keep the law is not legalism; it is faithfulness. The law does not save us. It never can. The law is never our way to salvation. Rather it is the path of the saved. The law, so to speak, is the shoe in which our love walks and expresses itself. This is why Jesus could say in a most remarkable manner that when “lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12, ESV). Love diminishes when the law is not appreciated.

Read Romans 13:10 and Matthew 22:37-40. Why is love the fulfillment of the law?

While the rule and norm for holiness is God’s law, the heart of His holiness is love. Love is the response to God’s saving acts and is manifested in faithfulness. You cannot be a good disciple of Jesus without being a conscientious and loving law keeper. While it is possible to keep the letter of the law without love, it is not possible to exhibit true love without keeping the law. True love desires to be faithful. Love does not abolish the law. It fulfills it.

Why is the law an expression of God’s love for us? How are love and obedience related?
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Amen!(28)

Comments

Wednesday: The Rule of Holiness is God’s Law — 124 Comments

    • A good question Cyrus. There are a couple of problems. Somewhere deep in our thought processes we have this notion that we have to be good (law-keepers) in order to be saved; even when we notionally say that we are saved by grace. Secondly, we watch one another like hawks, eager to pounce on someone's transgressions as evidence that they are not ready for salvation. It is so easy to be critical when you think you are standing on the high moral ground.

      Now for the good news: Salvation is not a destination but a commitment to a journey, a relationship with Jesus. Law-keeping is a good idea, but it comes as a result of our salvation, not its cause.

      A bit of an illustration:

      Scenario 1: I am married, and I don't chase after other women because I have a marriage certificate and I made a legal vow that I would be faithful to one woman.

      Scenario 2: I am in love with a beautiful caring woman, who I love sharing my life with. Who cares that there are other women in the world. Oh by the way I have a marriage certificate somewhere in my filing cabinet.

      Which attitude is the basis for a long term journey together?

      Amen!(55)
      • Mauurice, I think the original question was, how does the law secure our salvation? I would also mention that if we disregard commandment keeping, there are serious consequences to be had in terms of our salvation.

        Amen!(1)
        • I don't interpret salvation as a destination or a journey but as the state of being saved... of being redeemed. This puts salvation in its proper place... that of a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved [you have received salvation] through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God")

          It also underscores how salvation is received ("by grace, through faith, not of yourselves") so that we can stop trying to earn it on our own merits (by law keeping). It is ours as a gift from God based on the merits of Jesus Who redeemed (saved) us from our sin and from its deadly wages (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.")

          Then as Maurice stated, obedience (law keeping) is the result of our salvation, not the cause of it.

          Salvation is ours as a gift from God, paid for by Jesus and claimed by us through faith in Him.

          Amen!(6)
      • Good illustration; when two fall in love they do not try to impress each other by living up to the standard of the other, they can't help it. Living up to someone's expectation is a reaction motivated by someone's overwhelming love. Everything depends on the motivation. Is it fear, like Lucifer, or by love, like Jesus? Many will be lost keeping the law, because of their motivation is self protection,(fear). It is not by their overwhelming love relationship with Jesus. To have this love one needs to spend quality time each day with the one you have fallen in love with.

        Amen!(16)
      • But when one is forgiven, or saved, does that mean the Law is eradicated? Then, murder, adultery, idol worshiping, stealing, etc., would be lawful? The Law reveals what love is in God's definition. Love to Him and love to others. Humans cannot perfectly love by their own efforts, which is why we need a Savior. Sin is failure to love, including disobedience.
        Salvation is the gracious love of God covering our sins. The Law is a description of how to love. Since God is love, He has every right to define its standards.

        Amen!(10)
    • Cyrus, I think Maurice hit it out of the park with his explanation and analogy. When my girls asked me about this while growing up I told them one thing, "Keep it simple". One verse says it all, Michah 6:8: "He has shown you, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? (Here is the simple part) To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God". That is it! If you follow this you will be keeping the law and honor Christ's sacrifice.

      Amen!(2)
    • Salvation is a free gift (Eph. 2:8) and refers to healing of the heart and mind from sin. "You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21). The word 'save' is translated from the Greek 'sozo' which also means to heal or to make whole. That is why the Scriptures tell us, "Unto you . . . shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings". (Mal. 4:2).

      "God's forgiveness is not merely . . . forgiveness FOR sin, but reclaiming FROM sin (capital letters supplied).It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) {MB page 114}. It is this reclaimed, transformed and clean heart that renders to God a service of love.

      Amen!(1)
    • Cyrus, you asked, "What is salvation?". Well, here's the strangest answer you've never heard...it is the restoration of your/our brain to the full functionality intended by your/our Creator at the creation of our common ancestor--Adam.

      Please allow me to explain by telling you something about myself--I wear glasses. I've worn glasses since I was about 12 or 13 years of age. My glasses corrects a very common problem called, in my case, near-sightedness. I see things that are close fairly well but not so with things that are far. I'm told that the problem generally runs in families and has to do with the shape of an eyeball. Like my improperly shaped eyeball that doesn't allow me to see properly, the human brain is also defective and doesn't work as our Creator designed, since Adam's fall.

      You also asked, "If the law has got nothing to do with salvation why must we keep it?" Since those are your words, they reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of Scripture's teaching regarding salvation. Again, back to what I told you about myself. The Law (whether the Ten Commandments or all of Scripture) is like my glasses--they help me to see better, but they DO NOT FIX the PROBLEM of my MISSHAPED eyeball! If I throw away my glasses because they do not correct the ESSENTIAL problem, I'll do myself (and others, especially because I drive a car) a great disservice!!

      God wants us to understand the human problem that is sin in relationship to His love, in giving us a body of instructions--whether in Ten Commandments or sixty-six books. Paul in Scripture uses the word "law" an awful lot, and the same word has different contextual meanings related to usage. In Romans 7, for example he uses the word "law" twenty-three times by my count in the NKJV.

      - He appears to be referring to the writings of Moses when he uses it in Rm 7:1-3.

      - He uses it in specific reference to the Ten Commandments in Rm 7:7.

      - He uses it to refer to a principle governing a function in Rm 7:21 (for example, like when someone says "the law of gravity").

      Notably though, he also uses "law" to speak about the REAL PROBLEM affecting ALL of Adam's family. He says that he "find(s)" or discovers a "law" or principle operating "in his members", which he calls "the law of sin" (Rm 7:23,25) and "the law of sin and death" (Rm 8:2). Paul goes on to say that even the "holy and just and good" commandment (Rm 7:12,16) is ineffective in restoring health to our now defective brains (Rm 7:21, 23)--just like expensive, prescription, designer glasses will NEVER RESHAPE my eyeball!

      Scripture reveals the ONLY salvage for our minds, torpedoed and sunk by evil (Rm 8:3-4)!!

      Amen!(1)
  1. The beginning of the very first commandment of the law clearly shows that the law is given to a people who have already been saved out of bondage. Exodus 20:2. Thus the law is a gift that keeps us out of that bondage. It helps us identify our God and maintains a good relationship with Him as well as with our neighbor. True love is expressed and can only flow within the bounds of this law. Without it is chaos and a slipping back into the bondage of sin. Let us live it and contemplate upon it until it is written upon our hearts and forms our natural character so that the spirit of this law directs our thought process. Then we will move in the right direction.

    Amen!(40)
    • Agreed!! I have recently understood Exodus 20:2 to be God's promise "because I saved you from bondage (to sin) this is what YOU WILL look like" then He lists ten characteristics that show me what this journey of commitment is to look like and is the light on my path as I go there with Him!

      Amen!(19)
  2. Yes we are saved by grace not by law. But the law is there to help us achieve the holiness in our journey that we can maintain love to God and our neighbors.

    Amen!(24)
    • The Apostles Paul appears to say quite the opposite about the Law in Romans 5:20. He writes that the Law makes *sin* increase, and not holiness. I We are all sinfull, and but the Law makes our sinfulness evident and drives us to Christ who can save us.
      Thus the Law does not help us "achieve holiness." Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
      I recommend reading Romans 4 through Romans 8 - that is, the full chapters - for clarity on this. Reviewing our full lessons should help too.

      Amen!(2)
      • True Inge, but doesn't the law help us to achieve holiness by showing us we need it? Isn't the beauty of the law desirable? The Psalmist is rather eloquent concerning the law in Ps 19. It depends upon which side of the law we are on doesn't it? Paul states that those who walk by the Spirit are "fulfilling the righteousness of the Law".

        There are many psalms and proverbs that exalt the law as leading the sinner to holiness. Yes, we understand that this path lies through Christ alone, but without the law and it's condemnation of sin, we would remain in blissful ignorance. David was doing fine until Nathan pointed out the law. What was the result? No law = no Ps 51. Quite likely anyway.

        To cite just one (of many) Psalm: "How shall a young man cleanse his ways..."? Know the response? 😉

        It would seem that Paul is in contrast to the Psalms and Proverbs, until we understand what ideas he was combating against in the prevailing ideas that the law alone was the means to salvation, being a gross misunderstanding of what the Psalms and Proverbs and the law itself is actually teaching. But again, no law = no need of a Savior for most. This is why Jesus commissioned the apostles to "teach repentance"...for what? Without the law there is no need to repent. He added: "Teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you".

        I'm sure you realize I'm not disagreeing with you.

        Amen!(1)
        • Robert, before this law-thread I “amened” you a few times; but here, there is a disconnect: both “covenants based on law”? I will respond to that later. “No law = no need of a Savior”? It should be “no sin = no need of a Savior”. Rom 5 teaches that sin existed before the Law came, because people died. People were ignorant of their condition as sinners under God’s wrath, condemned i.e. Israel. God introduced Law to Israel for a purpose to discover themselves as sinners, slaves of sin, so they would see their need of the covenant of promise.
          “Without the law there is no need to repent”!? You mean “without sin there is no need to repent”. Is Law = Sin? I know you don’t mean that. We *define* sin as the transgression of law. The Scripture also says that we sin with and without law. Rom 2:12

          Amen!(1)
          • Kenny, looks like you figured out the equation yourself. No law = no sin = no need for a Savior. I gave the short version. See this pointed out by Paul in Rom 7:7-11.

            Sin could not exist before the law, since sin is transgression of the law. "Thou shalt not eat of the forbidden tree" is the law that was transgressed, otherwise how would eating of that specific tree be forbidden and thus sin?

            What Paul was referring to was the Law(s) given to Israel after their Exodus from Egypt. But these laws existed previously as we see in the Eden account and more specifically in Gen 26:5, and in other passages as well, long before Sinai. Also, the wicked destroyed by the flood were guilty of breaking God commandments or why would they have been condemned and called wicked, with evil thoughts by God (Gen 6:5)?

            God never changes, so the law is not a "new thing". It may have been reworded to fit the condition and need of sinners, but the principle of love is changeless, as defined by the Divine Nature, which we(fallen) may be partakers of.

            If you define the terms of the covenants, you will find the Law as the basis of them. Otherwise why make or even need a covenant?

            Amen!(1)
  3. Jesus said in John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. Our obedience to God is demonstrated by keeping the 10 commandments. We can not say we love God and hate our neighbour. Through Gods law we are called to do that which is good for us and all of mankind.

    Amen!(22)
  4. How do we reconcile what the study says with what Paul said in Galatians 4:

    These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother

    We know the 1st covenant which includes the Law was given at Mount Sinai and Paul here clearly says we ought to do away with the first and go with the second covenant.

    The first covenant was between God and man hence the laws given which by the way was not of faith but the second covenant is between God and Christ, meaning to us we receive all things by mere grace...We are Mephibosheth

    Amen!(2)
    • First and new covenant are the same covenant in God's eyes! Humans did not get the first covenant's faith in a Savior so He gave a new covenant that explains it to our dull brains "I will write my law in your heart" now "I live, yet not I but Christ lives". As I abide in Christ the law becomes a part of my pores and I (by faith in the Christ who did the obeying of the law to perfection) too obey the law!

      Amen!(8)
    • Hi, Thabiso, I think we are invited to be children of God with His Character fully developed in our lives. This character is given through the work of the Holy Spirit (with our permission) in each issue of our lives. Issue by issue we leave the selfishness-based character behind and walk in the Love-based behavior until it is part of our character always motivated by the Spirit of God.

      Amen!(3)
  5. Did Jesus change the law? If he didn't why are we changing it today? Remember Daniel 7:25 and here is where we are getting into. Secondly we preach that the beast in revelation 13 and 14 will go against one of the ten commandments, why are we interested in this and yet the commandments do not save?

    can we distinguish the law that is spiritual from the law of ordinances!

    Amen!(2)
    • If one tries to change the law, (Daniel 7: 25), he is not living by faith motivated by love, but rather he is living by presumption motivated by selfishness, like Lucifer.

      Amen!(3)
    • Cyrus, if you will read the books of Moses carefully, you will discover that the tables of the Ten Commandments were kept inside the ark of the covenant above which the Shekinah (visible manifestation of God) was made manifest. The symbolism seems to indicate that the Law described for humans in the Ten Commandments is the very foundation of God's government, His throne, so to speak. Thus the principles of the Ten Commandments are spiritual and eternal

      The "ordinances and statutes" given to the Israelites were not kept within the ark. They were temporal, adapted to the condition of the people at the time. That doesn't mean they were/are bad. We can learn from the principles in these laws, but they are no longer applicable in their entirety. Christ was the fulfillment of all the laws connected to the sanctuary, including the festivals, and since He came as the divine fulfillment, these are no longer applicable. The civil and health laws are no longer applicable in their specific form, because our circumstances are different. Yet we can learn from the principles embodied in them.

      That being said, when Paul talks about the law that cannot save us, he means *all* of the Torah, including the Ten Commandments. The latter cannot save us either. Only Jesus can save us. When He saves us, He puts His law of love within our hearts, and our lives will demonstrate that love which is "the fulfilling of the law." (Ro 13:10)

      Amen!(7)
  6. Christ died in our place to save us from the death we deserved because of breaking the law. So if I accept this gift of Christ dieing in my place I am saved. So will it make sense to go back and do the very same things that caused the death of Jesus Christ? In this case being saved does not abolish the law for me, but rather it gives me a second chance to walk according to the law which is good.

    Amen!(5)
  7. We should always measure our actions by Love, not by the Law. Our problem is that we make rules by which we need to live by because we have grown "cold" in love. If we could live just bases on love, we would need no rules. Rules are made for weak people (like us). Love overcomes anything! In the begining, God made us perfect, He did not gave us any instructional manual thus we could live by. He did not handle the 10 Commandments to Adam. But He did all with love. Perfect love. The Law was handle to weak people (like us). We are at the end of this long and degenerative chain! That's why we feel the need for the Law. Because without it, we feel lost. But what we have really lost is the sense of real love - that's what happened to us! What we miss is Love. When we place love first in our hearts, all laws fade away. Not because they simply loose value, but because we perfectly fulfill them!

    Why foccus on the Law if Love is what can really save us?

    Amen!(5)
    • I appreciate the intent of your comment and agree with it.

      However, we might run into a problem if we ignore God's Law and attempt to live only by "love." That's because God's Law defines what love looks like in action. For instance, some people demonstrate their "love" by engaging in sex with their "loved" one to whom they are not married. But God's Law says this is *not* love but fornication or adultery. (Other examples may be less obvious.)

      God gave us His Law as a mirror into which we can look to see if we are in a relationship with Him (Compare James 1:22-24)- a relationship that makes us into loving and lovable Christians. But God went even further than giving us His Law - which we tend to misinterpret. He gave us a demonstration of what love looks like in action: He became human and lived a life of Love in the person of Jesus Christ. So now we can compare our lives to the life of Christ to see whether or not we are living the kind of life that reveals God's character to the world.

      And we also need to remember that even if we live loving lives, that can not save us. We will always be dependent on the grace and love of Christ to save us.

      Amen!(10)
      • Inge, I have a problem with your rebuttal to JC. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Heb 5:11-6:3. The 10 commandments were given to the Children of Israel because they were in fact children. We need to move on. In school we learn that 2+2 equals 4. When we move on to Calculus, 2+2 is still true. We don't keep telling someone who knows calculus that 2+2 equals 4. The last fruit of the spirit is self governance. 1 Timothy 1:9.

        Amen!(2)
        • Hi Larry, please note that, even before seeing your comment, I changed the beginning of my comment to indicate that I agree with the intent of JC's comment. It wasn't meant to be a rebuttal, although the original beginning made it sound that way. (I have the unfortunate inclination to see first what I don't agree with, so have a long way to go on this love journey!)

          When I look at my own heart and look at the world around me, I'm not convinced that we are by nature any closer to God than the Israelites were. We still need the Law as a standard to remind us when we are not living or thinking like Christ. However, better than looking at the Law is to study the life of Christ, because He lived the Law. Furthermore, when we focus on Him and on building a relationship with Him, He puts His Law, the Law of Love, within us. (See Jer 31:31-34)

          Going back to my original comment: You referenced that "Love is the fulfillment of the law. Heb 5:11-6:3." And, of course, I agree. However the problem is that fallen humanity is not very good at judging what "love" is, as I suggested in my example of what people do in the name of "love" which is not the kind of love that fulfills the law. Because of that, we still need the Law as a reference point.

          Amen!(9)
          • Dear Larry and Inge, your comments are awesome. We need more of this real stuff. We need more of being less formal and more open to the True! When I refer to the word love, I mean it. I know that people theorize about a bunch of meanings of this simple word. But true love is love. There is no false love. False love is not love. I continue to believe that once we can achieve this love concept, we need not the Law - because the Law was given us just because we forgot about what is to truly love. When we love for real, there is nothing that can go against! And fulfilling the Law will be natural. You may think this is just words, but I have trying really hard to learn and practice more love! Love you all.

            Amen!(1)
          • I agree, JC. The law is actually for those who have not yet accepted Christ as Savior. It allows us to feel our need so we can come to Him.

            Once we recognize Who He is and what He has done for us, we will allow Him to live in our hearts and thus fulfill the Law of self-renouncing love that is the law of life for earth and heaven.

            In order to nurture our relationship with Christ, we need to spend time with Him every day. As long as we do that, we will continue to grow in Him.

            Amen!(3)
          • Hi Inge,

            No, no one should remain confused as what love means! 🙂

            As you know, we do have a great description of what our LOVE should be like in 1 Cor. 13:4-8 and elsewhere. So it is unlikely that a sincere seeker after truth would not be able to discover the real meaning of love.

            The Ten Commandments are the absolute basic and are meant for "the lawless and disobedient" (1 Tim. 1:9-10). In fact they were "added because of transgressions" (Gal. 3:19). As we progress in our Christian walk, our concept of love must look more and more like 1 Cor. 13 and our goal should be to love "as Christ also loved the church" (Eph. 5:25). This is also the new commandment that Jesus gave (John 13:34). Can we love like Christ? Of course, not. That is why He has promised to write his love in our hearts and minds (Jer. 31, Heb. 8 & 10) so that Heaven and the unfallen worlds can truly witness that "they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).

            Our knowledge of sin does not depend only on the Ten Commandments. Not trusting God would be sin (Rom. 14:23) as would omitting doing the right thing (James 4:17). Even those who do not have the law "are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19-20; 2:14-15).

            Amen!(2)
    • Here is the problem with your proposal JC, our love is flawed. It is usually nothing more than indulgence, but "the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul". Read also Ps 119, and see how the law is magnified. God's law is the complete and perfect definition of true agape love, not the cheap, sentimental and indulgent love most exhibit.

      By the law we "understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God"(Prov 2:1-5), which Jesus said is eternal life.

      Amen!(0)
      • JC may be right, Robert, if the Holy Spirit is the author of our Love. I think that the way we may know who is the author of our Love is if our thinking and feelings are according to the law of God and the Character of Christ.

        Amen!(1)
        • Don, IF the Holy Spirit is the Author of our love, then the law is magnified and displayed in all our words, actions and thoughts. The love from the Holy Spirit is the fulfilling of the law. Look how much God exalts His law before sinners. Why do you think that is? If "love" was all we needed, why the law? Why is it sheltered in the Most Holy Place? Why is every sinner condemned by it and every saint justified by it? Why is the law constantly being honored in the psalms and proverbs if "love" is superior? Why does the wise man warn all that "ever work...and every secret thing, whether it be good or evil" will be judged by the law?(Eccl 12:13,14)

          Again, without the law, any spirit can deceive us into thinking it is holy, when the Law makes it clear to any who treasure it, whether the spirit is of God or not.

          Study closely the teachings of Jesus. Did He magnify the law? Why?

          Amen!(0)
          • Justified by the Law, Robert? We must allow you to correct that theology. The believer's life is Christ living in him or her. There is no law against that life!

            Amen!(2)
          • Robert, I think you are right that the law is necessary to help us to realize our need of the Love of God but I don't believe that it has the power to save us from our sins unless coupled with the Love of God via His Spirit. We have no power of our own to manufacture this Love that justifies us with the Law of God (character of God).

            Our choice is the only thing we are given which can allow the Holy Spirit to produce the motivation of God's Love in our hearts to perform the law properly.

            The law is very important but it cannot save us or justify us except that we are motivated by God's own Love. The keeping of the law is the natural result of receiving God's Love and walking in it.

            Men were saved before the law was written on tables of stone. By faith in God and by the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart mankind learned of the law as it applies to our human nature. It was written in the heart. The promise is that it will be written in the heart of everyone that allows the Holy Spirit to perform it in the heart by God's Love.

            Amen!(1)
          • My statement that the saints (not sinners) are "justified by the law" should read: "commended by the law" for better clarification. The law does both. It reveals what is sin AND what is righteousness. Solomon wrote that all works, good or evil, will be brought into judgment by the law.

            Correct; the law cannot "justify"(save from sin) the sinner. I've never said otherwise as it would be against the Truth.

            What I wrote above is in harmony with Truth. If not, please share the bible passage that is violated.

            To restate: the law condemns sin and sinners, but the law will not condemn the righteous saints.

            I would invite anyone to share your thoughts on Ps 119:9-11.

            Amen!(0)
          • 'Torah' is the word translated as 'law' in the Old Testament. The law in the OT could mean any of these---the Decalogue, the Pentateuch or any other instruction or a body of instruction.

            Amen!(0)
        • What Law? What Law did Jesus point to often, and expound upon in the Sermon on the Mount? What Law of liberty is James speaking of? What Law is called "holy, just and good" by Paul in Romans 7 and 8? What Law was the blessed man delighted with in Ps 1:1-3? What Law was so special God spoke it Himself to the nation of Israel and then inscribed on stone for all generations? What Law is kept in the ark of the covenant? What Law is kept by the remnant who have the faith and testimony of Jesus? What Law does Solomon tell us will judge every work, good or evil?

          Amen!(1)
          • Larry, while your question is somewhat vague, I will try to give what I think might be the answer to it. The law is where the conviction of sin comes to the sinner as Paul points out well in Romans 7. It may not come from the reading of the law as much as it might come from the righteous Example of the life of Christ, IF we are studying it, or if a genuine Christian is influencing us in some way. The Holy Spirit can bring this conviction, but does so through the knowledge of the law, which is why God spoke it Himself and inscribed it into stone as a lesson for all generations. From there, our focus must shift to Christ who is the propitiation for sinners, and as we become more familiar and acquainted with the knowledge of God, we will advance in holiness if we yield to the prompting of the Spirit and Word that will make us "wise unto salvation. Read Ps 119:mem (97-104) and see what it says concerning the law and it's affect on the willing soul. Seems the law is the beginning and end doesn't it? Jesus is the "end"(telos) of the law(Rom 10:4), so it must be our "end" as well as our beginning. As He fulfilled it, so will all who are filled with the Holy Spirit after being emptied of self.

            For the guilty, the law condemns, for the soul sanctified by faith, the law commends the righteous deeds now seen in the life filled by the power of the Holy Spirit(Rom 8:4).

            Does this answer your question?

            Amen!(0)
        • If I could chime in... I think we complicate things unnecessarily. There is no sin that does not violate the Law of Love (Matthew 22:37-40).

          That's why The Scriptures tell us in Matthew 22:40 "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (note "all")

          When the Law of Love is made perfect in us, we have met ALL of God's law (Romans 13:10; 1 John 4:17), we are fit for Heaven and sin will be no more (i.e., there are no further laws to meet).

          Simply, the Law of Love IS God's law. Every other "law" is a derivative of that law.

          Amen!(1)
          • Now you are talking. The law of love IS the creator God's law. Violate it (selfishness) and you die. The other laws or rules were all added because of selfishness. No "propitiation" is need here, whatever that means.

            Amen!(0)
          • Larry, unless you have lived a sinless life, you need the propitiation of Jesus' death for your(everyone's) sin. This is why Jesus died, to be our propitiation where the law demands justice upon sinners, which we deserve. Grace is what God showed toward us in allowing Jesus to propitiate for us, and being without sin, His death was not forever, though He suffered the wrath of God that puts sinners in an eternal grave.

            If we don't accept Jesus sacrifice for us, we will propitiate the law with our own death, and that death will be without any hope of resurrection because we deserve it(Eze 18:4, Rom 6:23).

            IF this still makes no sense, look up the definition of propitiate and it should make perfect sense then.

            Amen!(1)
        • "If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”(Gal. 2:21, NIV).

          What law?

          "I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments." {1 Selected Messages, p. 233}.

          Amen!(0)
          • Reply to Roberts comment about propitiation. I don't believe that. Not Biblical. Not about legal. About transformation. "Unless you are propitiated you will not see the kingdom of heaven?"

            Amen!(0)
  8. Romans 13:10 Love is the fulfillment of the law. The law is love to God and our fellow man.

    To me, it is not like a "chore list" but rather the outcome of letting Christ live out his life within me. Psalms 119:11 explains the law as having been written in our hearts, an internal motivator rather than external.

    The law is the outcome of our relationship to Christ, rather than a list of "have to"s. I find approaching it with that attitude to be essential in my walk with God.

    Amen!(13)
  9. Being holy is being like God — and God is loving AND righteous. And it is easier to keep the law for love that it is for legalistic reasons. Maurice Ashton's marriage certificate illustration helps explain it so well. Thank you Maurice.

    Amen!(2)
  10. The law is holy, righteous, and good. These three attributes properly designate only God Himself. Thus, the law is an expression of God’s character.
    What more is there to say? God doesn't change and neither does His law.

    Amen!(2)
  11. Rom 7:12 ''Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good'' If the law is holy then only holy beings can keep the law. ''...But l am carnal sold under sin Romans...''Romans 7:14 how can l keep the law which is the rule of holiness. Then it means l have to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to keep the Holy Law of a Holy God. Keeping the law doesn't necessarily makes us holy, but Holy ones definitely keep the law....what makes us Holy is gift of the Holy Spirit in us given to us as a GIFT by Christ. When this gift is manifest in us, it will bring forth fruits that replicate the character of God. Oh Lord we need the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into your likeness.

    Amen!(4)
    • That's right, Mandlenkosi. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God to us. Without Him we cannot know the Love of God for ourselves.

      We can have this gift any time we permit Him to motivate our basic thoughts and feelings with His Love. In this state we cannot transgress the law of God because we are not motivated to do so.

      Amen!(0)
  12. The law is like the stones set up as a memorial in Israel (Joshua 4). God knows our frames, that we are frail and faulty spiritually (but dust, Psalm 103:4). He expressed His law in words that we can constantly go back to and read to refresh our memories of what 'holy' 'good' and 'right' are in His sight.

    The law is where we can go to see what we've been rescued from (sin). It clarifies what the work is that's being done in us (Philippians 2:13).

    The law reminds us of the loving and just character of the God we serve. It encourages us that by the power of His Spirit, as we have surrendered all to Him, it's the guarantee of what we're becoming.

    By His power we're becoming just like Him.

    Amen!(4)
  13. If the Law is the transcript of God's character, how come we say that the Law cannot save. Are we suggesting that God's character cannot save? Aren't we saved because of God's character of love?

    If I am about to enter the freeway and I see a sign that reads: "Wrong Way," and I turn around. Didn't that sign saved me from an accident?

    Of course, someone could argue that it was the one who ordered the posting of that sign that saved me, but the sign itself was an instrument used to save me from a car accident.

    If I am about to enter into a sinful relationship, and I remember God's rule that reads: "You shall not commit adultery," and I resist the temptation, did not said rule save me from pain and remorse?

    Amen!(3)
    • Actually it's not the law that saved you but the fact that you:

      1) saw it
      2) understood what it meant
      3) you actually believed and accepted the law to be of value and true
      4) you responded by observing it

      This is what the Holy Spirit does for us, otherwise we wouldnt even see the law. We wouldn't value or understand the law or the importance of observing the 'law'.

      Amen!(8)
      • But it goes beyond that.
        God wants His law to be placed in our minds, and written on our hearts. Jeremiah 31: 33. Once we open our hearts to God, we allow Him to fill every space there is. As we are loving God\'s presence in our hearts, we are loving His Truth(Law). We are no longer guided by a set a \"law\" but we are led to become \"a letter from Christ....written not in ink but with the Sprit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts\" 2 Corinthians 3:3
        However, God is not talking about a different or new law, But of His law/Spirit dwelling inside of us, so we can one day say:\"I do no longer live. But Christ lives in me.\" At the end, if we LOVE the LAW, we are no longer under the law.

        Amen!(2)
    • We are not saved by any law, ever. Read the letters of Paul for clarification.

      The law is the standard of righteousness that allows sinners to see their need of a Savior. Only Jesus Christ saves.

      Nic, you wrote

      If I am about to enter the freeway and I see a sign that reads: "Wrong Way," and I turn around. Didn't that sign saved me from an accident?

      If we want to use your illustration we need to recognize that you are a sinner who obeys a particular sign/law. Obeying that law prevents you from a particular bad consequence. But it doesn't make you sinless or prevent the consequences of your other sins. Only Jesus was sinless. And only He can save.

      Another way of looking at it: If a murderer obeys a traffic sign, that does not change the fact that he is a murderer. Neither does obeying any Law of God change us from being sinners into holy beings worthy of salvation.

      We are saved by grace through faith alone. Being saved, we allow Christ to live in us and demonstrate His character through us. We often stumble and fall and thus reflect His character imperfectly, but if we persist in clinging to Him, He will finish the good work He started in us.

      There is nothing whatsoever we can add to the salvation Christ offers to us. We cannot earn it or deserve it. It is all by grace. Always and forever. Any good works done are the outworking of His grace in our lives.

      Amen!(5)
      • Yes!!! Thank you for making the relationship between the law and salvation so clear. There is no other way to salvation but through faith in Christ and no genuine transformation but by the Holy Spirit.

        Amen!(1)
      • I did not say that God's Law can save us from past sins! We should not create a dichotomy between Jesus and his Law. His Law is a transcript of his character. There is a seamless connection between God and his Law.

        Ellen White did say that God's Commandments are like a hedge designed to protect us from evil. God's Law cannot forgive past sins, but it can protect us from future sins.

        Amen!(0)
        • Yes, indeed, the Law is a hedge to protect us. But only the Holy Spirit can overcome our natural bent to go through/over/under the hedge. The hedge cannot save us. Remember that the hedge is not solid. It is very porous and has lots of room for free will to go through it.

          The "hedge" only establishes the boundaries within which we are safe. The Holy Spirit transforms us so that we *enjoy* living within this hedge of protection and have no desire to gp outside of it.

          But to take your analogy further, as I did earlier: Even if we could live within the hedge the rest of our lives, we are still dependent on Christ to save us. (And, in reality, we cannot live within the hedge without the Holy Spirit's power. )

          Amen!(1)
          • If the Law is a transcript of God's character, there is no need to place a wedge between the two.

            Amen!(0)
          • The hedge, as I see it, sounds like we are being controlled vs self governed that Paul talks about.

            Amen!(0)
          • Larry, while the law is a "hedge" or wall of protection, it is only as we choose it to be so. It is only there at our request and acknowledgement, and yes, we surrender our corrupt will so the Holy Spirit can work out God's will in us. As we are acquainted with the "perfect law of liberty", we are able to detect the temptations of Satan that would lead us to transgress it, even though it seems natural and "right" to the unconverted. The law refines and sharpens our "vision", makes us wise unto salvation, and acts as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.

            None of this will be imposed, and must be chosen, daily.

            Amen!(0)
          • "The Law" is a standard against which the behavior of created beings is judged. It can only condemn, because we have all violated this Law. But God saves us from our sins.

            The Law, while being a transcript of God's character, is not God. The Law condemns us. It does not save. Jesus saves.

            Amen!(2)
        • Nic, even if we could keep all the laws to the letter we still would be lacking the right motivation (LOVE). The Bible says that this kind of righteousness is like filthly rags because it is motivated by our selfishness.

          Only righteousness motivated by the pure unselfish Love of God is the righteousness of Christ in our lives.

          In the end God will not accept "filthy rag" righteousness as the righteousness fit for Heaven. He will say, "Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you."

          Amen!(3)
          • If the Law is the transcript of God's character, then there is no antagonism or contrast between Law and Love. God's Law is the expression of God's Love. Love prompted God to write his Law on tablets of stone and to write the same Law on the hearts of believers. There is no need to denigrate God's Law. The Law is holy and the purest expression of God's Love.

            Our human effort to keep God's Law is evidence that said precepts have not been written in our hearts and that our connection with Jesus Christ have been either broken or never established.

            Amen!(2)
          • Nic, I would not want to denigrate God's law. I would think to denigrate our "only human" efforts to do a thing as Holy as obedience to the law without choosing God's Spirit to motivate us with His Love to accomplish it (the same Love that motivated the writing of the Law). I don't think we have this kind of Love naturally without allowing the Holy Spirit to motivate us specially with it.

            Amen!(1)
        • In support of Nic's thoughts, I would like to share Ps 19:7, "The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul".

          Amen!(0)
          • The law and Gods law is like saying that I can know who you are by your DNA. I can't see your personality, your laugh, your likes and dislikes. Why Ellen says we are dry as the hills...

            Amen!(1)
      • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. AGAINST SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW.

        Amen!(0)
  14. if you want to enter eternal life keep my commandments Matthew 19:17-19. In the book of revelation 22 :14-15Jesus says; blessed are they that do His commandments,that they may have right to the tree of life,and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs ,and sorcerers,and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Therefore the law cannot be separated from salvation. The law gives us greater light in our lives in the sense that it points out what sin is. Remember the case of a woman who was brought to Jesus for condemnation. Jesus said to her, your sins have been forgiven, sin no more. What does that one mean to you?

    Amen!(4)
  15. As a church, we need to decide whether we are directed by the LAW in our Christian walk or it is the Holy Spirit (God) that convicts us and lead us unto all righteousness. The two cannot co-exist. The Spirit has an upperhand for it does what the law does and better.

    The law does not convict me when i do not greet a person in the street but the Spirit does. The law cannot tell me how to keep the Sabbath but Spirit does. The Law fails to tell me how to give life, tell the truth, help and do all righteous act but the Spirit does. So why should we depend on the law for our daily walk?

    Until we do so, no spiritual gifts will fall upon the church and no fruit of the Spirit will manifest. It will manifest in a selected few but not entirely because we are still hanging on to the 1st covenant which was a mirror of the second.

    Amen!(3)
  16. Deuteronomy is known as the Book of the Law, interestingly it is also in the top 5 of the Books in the Bible that talk about God's Love the most!!

    Jesus' statement: "If you love me, keep my Commandments" comes out of the heart of the 10 Commandments.

    Both in the OT & NT God & Jesus says : Be holy (perfect) because I am holy, or in the words of the chorus: Be like Jesus this my song, in the home and in the throng, be like Jesus all day long, I would be like Jesus.

    Fulfillment of the Law:
    Free from Indwelling Sin
    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
    Sonship Through the Spirit
    12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

    Amen!(3)
  17. The Law *was* “the rule of holiness” under the Old Covenant, not in the New Covenant. The Law, as an expression of the Will of God for man, is the standard of man’s righteousness (Phil 3:9). It is not a transcript of the character of God. According to the Scripture the Law cannot transmit righteousness, although it is righteous, because it cannot give life, like Christ can (Gal 3:21). The law perfected nothing (Heb 7:19). The law was “weak” because of our corrupt fleshly nature (Rom 8:3).
    God repeated the refrain, “ My Righteousness, My Salvation, is near”(Isa 46:13; 51:4-8; 62:11). This was referring to Christ (Rom 3:21).
    The overseeing of the Law was until Christ who is the exact image of God, and the Righteousness of God. He is the promised Prophet that the Law testified of, and pointed to. The ministries under Law and under Grace are compared (Heb 2:2,3; 10:28,29; 2 Cor 3:6-11). The young ruler kept all the commandments, but he needed to be perfect which could be attained only through Christ. Everything of or from God has been placed in Christ (John 3:35) - holiness, righteousness, faith, repentance, forgiveness, justification, sanctification, Sabbath Rest... The rule of holiness is found in and with Christ.

    Amen!(6)
    • Kenny, do you understand the different between "old" and "new" covenants? The Law is the "covenant" in both. One was ministered with the blood of lambs/goats/bulls, the other by the blood of Christ. One had a tent in the desert, the other has the temple in heaven "made without hands". One was the type/shadow of the other, and in both, the Law of God was/is central, and the standard of God's will for sinners.

      Whichever dispensation one might find themselves, the covenant with God was unto salvation through faith in the blood of the propitiating Sacrifice required by my violation of God's Holy Law.

      All who argue against the law are missing something important concerning it. Look where it resides. Look who Authored it. Look at how it's violation cost the Life of our Savior. What does all of this (and more) tell us about the Law? Why is it the focus in the Revelation and the people of God shown as keeping/observing it?

      Any thoughts?

      Also, don't misapply my meaning concerning the law and salvation, but if it's meaningless or not "a" means of finding salvation, why does it exist in such a vital fashion and is the focus of God's communication from Genesis to the Revelation? While we don't want to make the mistake of many in Paul's day, let's not perpetuate the argument of those against the Law today. There's a fine line to walk and if yoked with Jesus, we walk it safely, glorifying God and magnifying His Holy Law.

      Kenny, the law spoken of in many of your references is the law of types and shadows. Also, the rich young ruler did NOT keep the law as he had supposed, and this is what Jesus was pointing out to him. When asked what must be done to obtain eternal life, what was Jesus' answer? What did He point to? Was Jesus asking a trick question? Was Jesus kidding?

      My last question here to everyone, how did Adam and Eve lose eternal life and earn the wage of death? (They had the daily relationship, they had the garments of light, they had no evil tendencies.)

      Amen!(0)
      • Because they did not Trust God. It is not about us. It is about God. If we are going to be quoting Ellen, then we should remember that she said we preach the law until we are very dry and boring. Isn't this weeks lesson about the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

        Amen!(2)
        • Larry, the quote from Ellen concerning the preaching of the law (to the exclusion of God's grace through the imparted and imputed righteousness of Christ) is not relevant here is it? The discussion here is over certain comments made about the lesson(?), but in my opinion veer off on a questionable path. Seems important to address what seems a misstep rather than ignore or overlook it.

          The reformation faced a similar crisis when a few thought they needed only the Spirit and not the letter, which opened the door to error and fanaticism. If we forget the past, we will repeat it.

          Speaking for myself only, I do not advocate the Law to the exclusion of all else, but we cannot discard the Law. It is central to the whole issue of salvation, and God has place the central focus on it Himself. You can't get away from the Law from Genesis to the Revelation. Seems it must be vital for our own good.

          Amen!(0)
          • That kind of theology is way over my head. Imparted, Imputed, Law central to our Salvation. I don't understand. I think I will just stick to what Christ taught. Thanks.

            Amen!(2)
      • Robert, the relevant covenants, that of Mt. Sinai(OLD) - “works of law for righteousness”(Gal 3:2-5, Dt. 6:25); and that of Abraham(NEW) - “based on promises through faith”(Gen 12:3; Rom 4:21; Gal 3,4 etc) are compared/contrasted and simply explained in the Scripture. We complicate matters when we don’t receive it as given.
        “But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise...these are TWO covenants: one from Mt Sinai bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mt Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem *above* is free; she is our mother.” Gal 4:23-26.
        According to Scripture, the Sinai covenant, called the Law, came in so that the transgression, Adam’s, would increase and to be a tutor “UNTIL the seed (of the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in the New Covenant) would come to whom the promise (through Faith) had been made” Gal 3:19; Rom 5:20. “But now that faith has come, we are *no longer* under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”(Gal 3:25-28).This transition is taught in the weekly administration of the Old Covenant, under law.
        Manna symbolizes the Word of God(Deut 8:3). The sons of Israel ate manna “until they came to the border of the land of Canaan(the Promised Land)” Ex 16:35 There *Moses died* and Joshua(Jesus) took them into the land. Listen to this --- “On the day after the Passover on the evening of the 14th day of the month... on that very day they *ate some of the produce of the land*... The manna CEASED on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel NO LONGER had manna, but they *ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan* during that year”(Josh 5:10-12). The weekly cycle: Manna fell for 6 days. The people had to go out and collect manna each day. They could leave none over to the following day. It would rot and stink if they did. However on the 6th day a miracle took place. When they went out to collect their omer of manna it became 2 omers (Exo 16:22,23). They must boil or bake the manna, “and ALL that is LEFT OVER lay up for you to be kept until morning”(Ex 16:23) Why, because the Sabbath had come.
        For 6 days they worked in order to eat. But on Sabbath no man must work, how then would he eat. Regular manna left over rots and stinks. Israel MUST BELIEVE that the LEFT OVER WOULD LAST. The ministry of FAITH had come --- “works of law for righteousness” had ended(Rom 10:4). The left over manna was different. It was manna that could ENDURE. Christ said, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which ENDURES to eternal life, which the Son of Man WILL GIVE to you...”(Jn 6:27)We see why Christ collected the left-overs. In the 6th day the Son of God, the true Bread of God from heaven, came, just like his type, Adam and was “boiled/baked”, made ready for consumption on the Sabbath. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” Jn 6:53-58 Jesus converts flesh and blood to “the WORDS that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are Life Jn 6:63. The woman at the well tasted “bigly” of the food of the promised land, so did the thief on the cross. The Law and the Prophets were until John! Jesus says again, “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son does remain forever. If the Son make you free, you are free indeed” Jn 8:34,35 This refers to the casting out of the Old covenant(Gal 4:29-31). Heb 7:11-17 teaches that a change of Priesthood necessitates a *change of Law*”. “Come unto me all ye that labor and heavy burdened (the yoke of the law) and I will give you rest... MY YOKE is easy...” Mat 11:28-30; Acts 15:10

        The time sequence of the covenants follows the divine plan - first the “natural” then the “spiritual” (1 Cor 15:44-46).
        Christ was promised from before the foundation of the world (1 Jn 1:2; 2:25; Tit 1:2,3; 2 Tim 1:1; 1 Pt 1:20). But before Christ came God *created*/formed Adam, the natural man. God promised Abraham a son. Abraham went about trying to produce the promise by natural means and presented his creation, the son of the flesh, his firstborn, to God (Gen 17:18). God told him he would bless that son and make him fruitful, and multiply him and 12 princes would come from him, and he would become a great nation; but “My covenant I will establish with Isaac, the son of promise”(Gen 17:18-21; 22:16-18) who would be born of the Spirit(Gal 4:29). God told Rebekah that The older of the twins would serve the younger according to His purpose of election. The younger, Jacob, went about his business trying, like Abraham, to accomplish it by his own works.
        Israel of the flesh was delivered from physical slavery and experienced a new birth and was designated “firstborn son” of God, like Adam. (From the divine pattern we should be able to forecast his “destiny”??). He was, however, still a slave of sin; and at Sinai, in fear of death, conceiving God to be a slave master, he promised, through mediator Moses, to “DO all that the Lord says, lest we die”(Dt 5:23-27). This was a covenant they were unable to bear up. Just like in Egypt, the load/yoke was to heavy to bear. The declaration of the covenant on Sinai involved a mediator, Moses. The 2

        Amen!(4)
        • Kenny, John the Baptist, the last of the OT prophets, would have said "Amen"...with different words (Jn 1:27; Mt 3:11)!

          Like the angel messenger (Mt 1:21), John (Jn 1:29), Peter (1 Pt 1:7-12), Paul (Rm 8:3-4; Heb 9:9-10,14) and Messiah Himself (Lk 4:17-21), Scripture is clear that a significant shift occurred in human history from the era of the OT to that of the NT (Eph 2:11-13; Rm 5:13-17)!

          YET, John who represented the OT had as much legitimacy (Jn 1:6-8) as the Messiah (Mt 17:5), seeing that BOTH were God's messengers--of course, one being temporary (Gal 3:23-24), the other eternal (Heb 9:15).

          John, the last of the OT prophets, UNDERSTOOD his Creator's DESIRES and dutifully subordinated himself to God's sovereignty (Jn 1:27; 3:29-30; 1 Pt 1:10-12; Mt 3:13-15). In contrast, those who DIDN'T understand their Creator's desires resisted His sovereignty (Act 15:1; Rm 2:29), igniting the persecution--actual AND spiritual--which Paul understood prophetically from Scripture (Gal 4:24, 28-30; Act 13:44-45; Gen 21:9-10) which was also foretold by Christ (Mt 21:23, 37-39, 45; Jn 15:20-21; 16:2-3).

          The Creator remains unchanged in His desire that, like John (Jn 1:6), those whom He now sends under the terms of His New Covenant (Heb 8:10) will be knowledgeable (Jer 9:24) practitioners (Col 3:10-15) of His will towards all who have been left crippled by Adam's disobedience.

          Amen!(0)
  18. Thanks Christian friends. Question; why did Jesus had come to this world? How did Jesus respond to the tempter when he testing Him? The same Paul we are talking about is the same paul who is telling us that we keep watch lest we become lawlessness like the man of sin? Does Paul mean that the ten commandments are the once that were against us so that they could be nailed to the cross? Remember the lesson is all about The Holy Spirit and Spirituality. May the Holy Spirit whom we are discussing about help us more and more to comprehend the whole matter of the law.

    Amen!(1)
    • Cyrus, why do you see this statement as relevant to the current discussion? It is indeed one of the seminal statements of Christianity, but I would be interested in hearing why you have injected this into the current discussion.

      Amen!(0)
    • I am not really sure why we have so much focus on the law. I think we need to get back to the basis of Salvation - love.

      If I can expand the illustration of marriage that I used at the beginning of this thread. I guess that in the country where I got married (Australia), there are quite a few laws on the books about marriage. Most of these laws are probably quite necessary, but neither Carmel and I have ever sat down and formally read these laws. Sure we knew what we were signing when we signed the marriage certificate and register, but we were in love and committed to one another. Even if the laws and documents never existed we would have chosen to get married and continued to choose to live together supporting one another. My guess is that if I went to the legal repositories of the Commonwealth of Australia and actually read the laws, I would find that we are keeping them anyway. The point is that all the laws in the state would not make one iota of difference to our relationship because we *are* in love and *are* committed to one another.

      I come back to the point that our spiritual relationship with God is not one based on legal documents. We could quite possibly mechanically keep the law, but without a loving relationship with God, what is the point? The Bible makes it plain that *love* is the first principle of salvation. God loves us; He wants us to love Him back; He wants us to share that love with one another. Get that principle fixed firmly in your sight and you will keep the law as a consequence.

      Amen!(7)
      • Maurice, for any who object to the focus on the law, you need to take it up with the one who wishes to write it upon every heart, who wrote it on stone, spoke it for His people to hear from Himself, sent His Son to die for your and my transgression of it, made it the foundation of His government and rewards all who keep it.

        Yes, we realize we are naturally unable to keep it, but this is where "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes" comes to our aid as we ask in the name of Jesus for God's saving grace, and His freely-give Spirit. WHY? Because the law stands against all sin while commending all that is holy, just and good. It is the lamp for our feet and light for our path, which leads us to Jesus if we believe God's promises at all.

        While we cannot be saved by the law, the law leads us to the only means of salvation, and without the law, sinners have no idea of their sinfulness(Rom 7:9) and thus, feel no need for a Savior. Sorry to mention this again, but the law is like the smoke alarm that warns you of danger, but cannot save you from the fire or put it out. It helps you to realize your danger and your proper action leads you to safety. Everyone sleeps better with the smoke alarm close and in perfect working order.

        "Great peace have they which love Thy Law: and nothing shall offend them".

        Amen!(2)
  19. Hi all, if the word was there in the beginning was the law also there ? That's my last question as I say that as much as we are saved, the rule of Holiness in life is the law. Remember the Holy spirit is the word. 2timothy3:16( all scripture was inspired by the Holy spirit) May the Lord God of our saviour Jesus Christ be with you all all the time.

    Amen!(0)
  20. Hi Cyrus. I'll answer by sharing my view 🙂

    The "law" as in the 10 commandments did not exist before man else who would be "thy neighbor" (Exodus 20:17)?

    The law of LOVE is eternal. Since "I Am" has been, is, and will forever be, then so is Love since God is Love (1 John 4:8).

    That is why the Holy Scriptures tell us that "...love is fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10). When, by God's grace, Jesus' sacrifice and Holy Spirit's power we fulfill the eternal law of Love, we have met all other laws in full because "...as He is, so are we..." (1 John 4:17).

    Amen!(4)
    • Hi Maurice and Sieg:

      Thank you for bringing the focus back on LOVE. "In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven" {DA 19.2}

      "As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth". {The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 560}

      Amen!(1)
    • Hi Cyrus. I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. The seventh day Sabbath began after the 6th day of creation but will be celebrated for eternity (Exodus 31:16-17).

      However, unlike the very first Sabbath before which Adam and Eve did not witness the first creation, all of the inhabitants of New Jerusalem will watch and observe as God creates the new earth before our very eyes (Isaiah 65:17-18). What an AMAZING thought and what AMAZING Sabbaths we will celebrate thereafter.

      As to your other question, if you don't mind asking it again in a different way, I or someone else here will try to answer it. It will help you greatly if you first read Genesis 1, Genesis 2 and Genesis 3.

      God bless you and may Holy Spirit guide you as you continue to seek to know our Loving Father in Heaven.

      Amen!(1)
  21. Inge, you wrote above:

    ""The Law" is a standard against which the behavior of created beings is judged. It can only condemn, because we have all violated this Law. But God saves us from our sins.

    The Law, while being a transcript of God's character, is not God. The Law condemns us. It does not save. Jesus saves."

    While I agree that the law cannot justify a condemned sinner, to say it doesn't "save" is an oversimplification isn't it? Would the law have saved Adam and Eve had they obeyed the command to not touch/eat the fruit? Is not that which is called "holy, just and good" a savor of life to the obedient, trusting soul? The law does in fact condemn sin, but the law will also commend those who " who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" who fulfill the righteousness of the Law. Solomon tells us every work, good or evil will be judged by the commandments of God. It is the standard for righteousness and reveals who is righteous and who is not. While it cannot save sinners from their sin, (no one questions that) it can reveal Satan's clever temptations. Isn't this the purpose that God intends in passages such as Ps 1 and Joshua 1:8? Ps 119 is filled with the blessings of keeping God's law always before us. Proverbs 2 states that treasuring(storing up) the law in our heart will bring us the saving knowledge of God and lead us to "understand the fear of the Lord", which is part of the 1st angel's message to the world.

    Again, none of this saves the sinner from his sin, but it will be a lamp to the feet and light to the path of the faithful servant of God. The life of Christ is the very definition of the law reflected in the life. Love fulfills the law. It can save us from folly if we treasure and keep it always before us, walking by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit, who teaches us through our daily meditation of the law.

    Amen!(0)
    • No, Robert, I have to disagree. The Law does not save. (See Romans 3:20)

      The law is the standard, or the "hedge" as some have said.

      Adam and Eve would have been able to live eternally if they had trusted God completely (had complete faith in Him) and thus obeyed His law.

      Even they would have been saved through faith (i.e. total trust in God) and walking in obedience because of their. Fallen humanity no longer has that option, because all of us have sinned. Thus we cannot be saved by obedience. We must accept the salvation that Christ offers. After we accept His salvation, His Spirit in us enables us to trust and obey... with perhaps a lot of stumbles and falls along the way, all covered by the grace of Christ.

      Amen!(5)
      • Inge, while you stated it differently, we are in agreement. If you noticed, I said the law cannot justify(therefore; save) the sinner, which agrees with the scripture you cited. Yes, obedience to God's commands is only through faith. Any disobedience is evidence of unbelief.

        And if you agree with Inge Larry, then we agree as well!

        Amen!(0)
      • "The law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven" {DA p.20}. The law of love is the law of life! Without this love, "I am nothing" (1 Cor. 13:2). Without this love, I don't exist. When Adam and Eve sinned, they would have died just as God had said, "In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die"(Gen. 2:17), but for His grace.

        Now, through the plan of salvation, God is restoring this love in our hearts. In fact, "the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5, NKJV). That is, the fruit of the Spirit becomes a reality in our lives. Through the new birth, God is bringing us into conformity with THE LAW OF LOVE which, as EGW has pithily said, is the law life for earth and heaven. This is the great commandment in the law. And the second is like it. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matt. 22:36-40).

        What is God's standard of holiness? Here's EGW again: "Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and "God is love." 1 John 4:16. It is the law of love which is the standard of holiness. It is also the law of life.

        "When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. . . . Love for God makes their service a joy." {MB, page 109}. Love for God will make our service a joy. By this shall the entire universe know that we are His disciples if we love one another (John 13:35, paraphrased).

        Amen!(2)
    • Robert, I don't believe the law would have saved Adam and Eve. They were given the Holy Spirit to motivate them by Love. In order to disobey God's command not to eat of that tree in the midst of the garden they had to dismiss the Holy Spirit from the "driver's seat" so to speak and allow a motivation new to them to drive the will. In a sense they died to the perfect sinless self, motivated by the Love of God. (They gave up the Holy Ghost). The motivator of self-manufactured selfishness motivated them to eat of the forbidden tree. When they did this they were considered dead in trespasses and sin which led to lies and murder early in the experience of mankind.

      Thankfully they were given a way to be saved from this eternal separation from God and receive again that Holy Spirit of motivation which they had enjoyed in the beginning.

      I believe this gave them the ability to obey God's law again and they may have lived sinless lives after that as sons and daughters of God. There is no record of Cain's conversion, however, so this is the channel that may have corrupted mankind to the point of the flood and beyond.

      When we accept God's Spirit as our motivation for our thoughts and feelings, we are motivated by the Love of God too. We live a sinless life as long as we accept His motivation for our thoughts and feelings. This motivates us to keep the law perfectly--even though we have sinned in the past.

      It is our nature, however, to want to keep the law with our (more familiar) selfishness and perform "filthy rag" righteousness (as Cain did with his sacrifice). We must ever be aware lest we fall into this selfish motivation even if our goal is to "get to Heaven." Let us pray always that the Holy Spirit be our motivation with the Love of God instead of our lame offering of selfish origin.

      Amen!(2)
      • Regarding your last paragraph Don, it is useless to try and save ourselves from sin by "keeping" the law, yet the Bible clearly shows that the law and our meditation upon it is vital in the life of those saved from sin by the grace of God and blood of Jesus. It is not to be discarded, but written upon the heart, which the Holy Spirit does if we keep it before us. This doesn't happen without our meditating upon it "day and night"(Ps 1:2).

        The law can't save us from sin, but a knowledge of it and obedience to it can save us from sinning. The law, if written in the heart will reveal every temptation of the devil so we are not deceived, which is how Jesus overcame the Devil. Only in forgetting the law of God and ceasing to keep it before us will we be deceived. See the comment I just posted, probably below. It merely shows what God's word tells us concerning the Law and it's place in the lives of God's servants.

        The Holy Spirit cannot help any who do not make the Word of God their daily food. This is how the Holy Spirit teaches and guides us. He will never work apart from the Word of God if we neglect it's study.

        Amen!(0)
        • Robert, it seems to me you are referring to texts from the Psalms, and there's nothing wrong with that. (Wonderful texts, such as "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.) However, are you saying that people can't be saved by meditating on the life of Jesus and the teachings of the New Testament alone?

          My understanding is that Jesus demonstrated the real meaning of the Law in His life. Thus it seems to me that we are likely to have a clearer understanding of God's Law by meditating on the life of Jesus, especially the closing moments, than we are likely to have by meditating on the Ten Commandments given from Sinai. Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Can He not do that with the gospels and the writings of Paul, or is the Old Testament essential as well?

          What do you say?

          Amen!(1)
        • Robert, it would seem from the Bible that the law existed before it was written on tables of stone and before Moses since it is based on the character of God which is based on Love. His Character is written in all His creation. All those before Moses had no law to read except in nature and life's experiences and connection with God via the Holy Spirit.

          Of course all this was meaningless without the acceptance of the forgiveness and repentance of God and walking forward according to the Word of God even though it had not been written on paper for anyone to read.

          For the Word of God to be of value the Holy Spirit must be allowed to bring the Love of God into the experience to motivate basic thoughts and feelings. The Word of God is not only the Bible, but it pervades all creation as the principle of life. His Word is His Law. We must have this Word in our hearts to live with Him.

          Amen!(0)
          • Don, from Adam the truth and law was passed down to each faithful generation. How did Cain know he did wrong and tried to hide it? How did Joseph know about violation of God's law when tempted? Also, read what God said to Isaac in Gen 26:4,5.

            The law was known by the faithful until the family of Israel was held captive in Egypt for all those years and forgot it. God then had it written for all generations to come so it could not get lost again. Evidently the degeneration of mankind has affected our ability to recall from memory and God has adjusted for it. You won't find much in the way of any writings farther you go back in history beyond the days of Abraham. The average person was far healthier mentally than would could ever be. Results of sin's power to degenerate mankind.

            Also, God spoke to men before His word was written, today, we have all He needs to say, if we're willing to receive it.

            Amen!(1)
  22. Adventist believes that true repentance results when you surrender your life to Christ (Salvation by faith). With repentance, comes obedience and a transformation to his/her character by The Holy Spirit.

    We are saved by faith and not works. That's where the confusion starts. Adventist believe that works are the manifestation of true faith when we are connected to the God. Works don't save us, but it is the result of our faith.

    As the lesson study points out only good fruits are produced if we are connected to Christ (John 15:5).

    Amen!(4)
    • "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. "Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV). Of course, I'm sure you know that we need to understand these verses in their proper context.

      Amen!(2)
    • The ministry of the Spirit of Life supplants the ministry of condemnation and death. 2 Cor 3:6,7 This is according to the prophecy of Deut 18:15-19. The New covenant supplants the Old covenant. The children of promise(Isaac, Israel of God) supplant the children of flesh(Ishmael, Israel of the flesh). Gal 4. The Spiritual(Christ) supplants the Natural(Adam) 1 Cor 15:45-48.
      The Word of God through Christ (John 14:10,21, 23,24; 6:68; 7:16,17; 12:48-50; etc) supersede the Word of God through Moses. God spoke in times past by the prophets, including Moses, but in the last days by His Son.
      Jesus spoke: In your Law it says; or the law of Moses says. In the sermon on the Mount he frequently said: “You have heard it said... BUT I SAY....” He repeated “...keep My commandments...”John 14:15; 15:10; 1 Jn 2:3,4; 3:22; 5:3. One specific commandment: “A NEW commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even *as I have loved you*, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 Notice it’s not love one another as we love ourselves.
      Paul says that if He is under law at any time, it is under the Law of Christ (Gal 6:2; 1 Cor 9:21; Rom 8:2; 2 Pt 3:2; Jam 1:25; 2:12). So the commandments of Rev 12:17 are the commandments of Christ - life sharing

      Amen!(2)
      • Kenny, can you please define the "law of Christ", who came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it? How do the "two laws" differ as you see it?

        I'm going to propose that Jesus did not call the law of Moses inadequate, but that the people's understanding and interpretation was inadequate, and Jesus was simply magnifying the existing Law to it's true meaning and purpose, which HE wrote Himself on the tables of stone He then gave to Moses, which the Psalmist calls "Perfect"(Ps 19:7) under the Holy Spirit's influence.

        The commandments of Jesus are what He(as God) wrote on the tables of Stone after speaking them to Israel. They are the same that are contained in the heavenly sanctuary right now, and the same as are written upon our heart if we will allow it.

        Amen!(0)
        • Robert, the letter kills, according to Scripture. The letter is meant for those under sin Rom 3:19,20; 1 Tim 1:9. It reveals to such that they are condemned to death. God does not write " Thou shall not ...." on the heart. The Spirit is Life and through the Spirit God's love is impressed on the heart/mind.
          Significantly, when or if the Sabbath is written in or on the heart/mind how does it actually affect the life?

          Amen!(2)
          • Kenny, can you explain the meaning of the text you refer to in it's original context? what is the question Paul is addressing there? Can you share any scriptures from Paul that upholds the law and how he tells us we "establish the law"? What is the context in those passages as it would seem to disagree with himself in this one?

            Not all that Paul wrote is relevant to just any discussion you wish to apply it to, and we must understand the difference if others would trust our judgment when sharing the truth with them in order to lead them to find eternal life. It's important to rightly divide the word of Truth.

            But let me ask this: are you suggesting that the law can only bring death, and that we must reject it fully? Is this the understanding you arrive at when reading this passage in 2 Cor 3? Is Paul in argument against the many Psalms, Proverbs and the writings of Moses and the prophets? Or is Paul addressing something else that was facing many in the church at that time?

            I'll close here with this thought: could Paul be addressing the "letter of the law"(outward conformity only) vs the "spirit of the law" (meaning that the law is only fulfilled by love toward God and our fellow man)? Remember, Paul also wrote concerning the law: "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin....For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:" (Rom 7:9-14, 22)

            Amen!(0)
    • I don't think I said that in so many words, Cyrus. But I did say many times that the Law has no power to save us. Only Jesus saves.

      Others have made some excellent comments with which I agree. Please read some of these:
      Maurice Ashton
      Sieg Hoppe
      My own comment
      Don Litchfield
      Another one by Maurice Ashton
      Pramod Hansdak

      But I must stop. There are so many excellent comments. I suggest you re-read all the comments to help you gain your own clarity on the relationship of the Law to the life of the Christian.

      Also consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:4-25 NLT. The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!

      Amen!(0)
  23. If I may share how the Bible defines the place of the law in the life of those who would serve the Lord:

    "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

    So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

    Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

    If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

    Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."
    Prov 2:1-5

    "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

    For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

    Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

    So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

    It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." Prov 3:1-8

    "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Ps 1:1-3

    "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8

    Keep in mind who the Author of all scripture is. For all who would quote Paul as suggesting the law is not important for the people of God; "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."Rom 3:31

    "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."
    Heb 8:10,11

    Read also Psalm 119. What do we learn there from the word of God?

    Amen!(0)
    • Thanks for all the Scripture quotes above.

      However, all the instances where the word 'law' is used, it is translated from Hebrew 'torah'. Torah may mean any of these: the Decalogue, the Pentateuch, any instruction or a body of instructions.

      Even in Hebrew 8:10, the word for laws in the Greek is 'nomos' which may refer to any law and not necessarily just the Ten Commandments.

      Amen!(1)
      • Amen. The law is entry level. Do we really want to hang around entry level? Just the bare minimum? Jesus said I no longer call you servants because servants only do what they are told, I call you friends because friends understand. Nothing wrong with servants it's just that we are called to a higher understanding of God. When we are friends of God we will be more winsome to those around us and that will be a natural way to spread the gospel here at the end times.

        Amen!(1)
      • Pramod, I totally agree and hope all others understand that. Yet, what "law" was so important to God that He felt the need to speak it to His people with His own voice, and then write it with His finger in stone? This law is the foundation of all others isn't it? It is the manner in which He chose to place Truth in His very presence as seen in the sanctuary. The other laws written by Moses were placed at the side of the ark, where the stone tablets were placed within and covered with the propitiatory(referred to as mercy seat since the day of Martin Luther).

        I believe we can see the importance more clearly when we examine such passages as Ps 119: he (33-40). Without the 10 commandments, the types and shadows have no need to exist, and there is no foundation for the other laws as well. Our main obligations to God and our fellow man are vital to understand or we will perish as violators of God's governing principles, and this is why He has exalted/highlighted them above all other laws. And these are summed up in the two great laws, which most would not understand how to observe if not for the definition provided in the 10 "choq"(statutes) of Jehovah.

        Amen!(1)
        • Yet, Robert, this all important law was given for "lawbreakers and rebels" (1 Tim. 1:9-10) and is like a mirror (James 1:23). A mirror is a diagnostic tool and just serves to reveal the reality of who I am---a sinner in need of a Saviour. The mirror has no power to change me.

          I am changed only by Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit producing the fruit of the Spirit, namely, love. And "he who loves another has fulfilled the law". (Rom. 13:8).

          Amen!(1)

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