In Loving Christ, Christians Love, Delight In, and Serve His Law
Of a truth, “Sin shall not have dominion over [the Christian]: for [we] are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid!” [Romans 6:14-15]. For “whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” [1 John 3:4]. “But God be thanked, that [though we] were the servants of sin, but [by His grace, we] have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered [unto us]. 18 Being then made free from sin, [we] became the servants of righteousness” [Romans 6:17-18]. Ye, “with the mind [we, ourselves, as Christians] serve the law of God” and “delight in the law of God after the inward man” [Romans 7:22, 25]. The Christian has been delivered from the law (the bondage, dominion, subjection, curse, wrath, and judgment of it — and in this deliverance, we have been set at liberty to be servants of righteousness, to serve the law with our minds, even to “serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter” [Romans 7:6] seeing that we have been manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ (if we are quickened in Christ) written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart [2 Corinthians 3:3]. God himself declared “This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” [Hebrews 10:16-17]; therefore, the Lord hath made us able ministers of the New Testament [with all of the commands/imperatives, admonitions, exhortations, types, figures, etc. found therein]; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life” [2 Corinthian 3:6]. We have been set at liberty from the bondage of law and from sin so that we may walk in a way that is pleasing to God; in a way that manifestly fulfills the law/commandments of God before men.
In light of this, the Christian can say “I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts” [Psalm 119:45]. We are to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” [Galatians 5:1] seeing that if a man or woman seeks to keep any aspect of the Mosaic law, or any other law, to obtain, maintain, or improve upon the righteousness of Christ, Christ shall profit them nothing. For I testify again, says the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul, to every man that seeks to [use any aspect of the Mosaic law, to obtain, maintain, or improve upon their objective righteousness and sanctification before God], he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” [Galatians 5:1-4]. However, if we are justified by the finished work of Christ alone, and not the law; if He (alone) is already our perfect Righteousness, Wisdom, Justification, and Sanctification, then the law is not against us, it is for us, seeing that we walk in harmony with it after the inward man, by the grace and effectual working of God.
Whereas the old man could only sin, being spiritually dead within a body of death, the Christian cannot sin after the new man, the inward man, which is our quickened spirit eternally and vitally yoked with Christ and the Holy Spirit (and, thus, the Father as well). All the new man can do is work righteousness by the internal operation of the Holy Spirit through union with Christ. All the new man can do is walk uprightly in accordance with the word, will, and law of God seeing that “whosoever is born of God [i.e. born from above, born of the Spirit, quickened, regenerated] doth not commit sin [doth not transgress the law]; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin [he cannot transgress the law], because he is born of God [1 John 3:9]. In light of this truth, and despite our being yoked to this flesh (and the sin that indwells us and which keeps us from doing so anywhere close to perfectly), we are still commanded to “lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted WORD [which, when spiritually discerned, includes the commandments and admonitions of the New Testament and whatever was not abrogated of the Old], which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” The perfect law of liberty declares that we have been set free from the bondage, curse, and dominion of the law after the old man, and have been set free to walk in harmony with the law after the new man, the inward man — being not hearers only, but doers of the work, even keepers of the commandments, guarding them in our hearts so that, at God’s appointed time, the Holy Spirit can make use of it (applying it to our hearts) so that we can do that which we formally could not do, at all, in our unregenerate state.
The quickened saint has been given a new heart, a new spirit, and also the Holy Spirit to indwell us. We have the law of God written in our hearts and minds; God’s word is spiritually applied by the Holy Spirit making it so. We are at liberty, having God-wrought faith to work that which is pleasing in God’s sight, to work that which is in complete accord (after the inward man) with His perfect law. “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all [men]. LOVE the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” [1 Peter 2:15-17]. We are to serve, honour, love, and fear righteously. Now, note that love, agape, is a summary term, a synopsis, an encapsulation, a heading for all of God’s spiritual commandments (which is His law) seeing that “Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is **briefly comprehended** [literally, “summed up (again), repeated summarily, condensed into a summary”] in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” [Romans 13:9].
Christian… you know all of this. You know that you are not free to kill but you are free to eat pork. Both were law but one was spiritual and the other Mosaic; the Mosaic has been done away with. We can travel, and start fires, and work on the seventh-day today but we cannot steal from others. We are no longer required to kill witches, homosexuals, children who assault their parents, etc. but we are not free to engage in witchcraft, homosexuality, or physical abuse. We are prohibited from committing adultery, or coveting that which belongs to our neighbor, but we are no longer prohibited from trimming our beards, eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it, etc. The Mosaic law is behind us — done away with forever. However, this does not mean that the Christian is not without law or commandment. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, rules, and constrains but He does so through His word. Again, Christian, you know this… and if you don’t, then you should because the Bible makes it clear. Even the Mosaic law, when spiritually discerned has real instructional application, or why else does the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, declare in 1 Corinthians 9:7-11 “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he [it] altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, [this] is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”
You must understand, we are not under law; we do not serve the law after the letter; we are under grace, under the Spirit, but the Spirit wields His sword, His word, as a light and a lamp for His people. He uses it to show us the right way as He orders our steps, constrains our steps, and brings us back onto the right path when we temporally go astray. God’s word, His commandments, admonitions, exhortations, types, and figures (both overt, hidden, and historic), are to be delighted in, meditated upon, loved, discussed, and yes… even served (by the effectual working of God the Holy Spirit in us). To deny this is to deny God’s own instruction that all scripture [is] God-breathed, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works [2 Timothy 3:16-17]; this all scripture includes all of the commands (imperatives), admonitions, exhortations, etc. found therein. We must have a holistic, thorough view of scripture wherein the whole counsel of God is honoured, revered, and respected.
So once again, in closing, I will quote the following passage knowing that it applies to all of God’s extant (non-abrogated) commandments and not just to the one highlighted below:
1 Corinthians 14:34-38 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is NOT PERMITTED UNTO THEM [THAT IS, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR THEM] to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, AS ALSO SAITH THE LAW. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THE THINGS THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. 38 But if any man be ignorant [That is, if they want to disagree, wrangle, argue that we have no commandments for our day, insist we have no positive relationship to the law, etc. then..], LET HIM BE IGNORANT [it’s on him; it is between him and God. He will have to explain why he led others down such an Antinomian path, one that serves to only devalue and undermine the word of God in the hearts and minds of men].
Remember also that we are not perfect, manifestly, in this life; our walk is not perfectly uptight. If we [as a united being, a quickened spirit in a body of death] say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us [1 John 1:8]. Thankfully, if we (as Christians) sin, if we transgress the law, then if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9] knowing that though we ought not sin, if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous [1 John 2:1]. Nonetheless, the exhortation to abstain from sin stands and we do not abstain from sin mystically. The Holy Spirit does not restrain us in a vacuum; He uses His blessed word to transform our minds and to lead us in the way that we should go. Who can deny this? How absurd it is to do so? If all scripture [is] God-breathed, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works, we know that it can only be profitable if Christ makes it so, through the Spirit of God, all as perfect gifts of the Father. Now, if God’s commandments and admonitions are profitable, and they are used for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction, then they serve as a rule and guide for us because the very words rule… and guide… incorporate said meanings into it. This is truth, no matter what erroneous dogma man wants to cling to. Yes, the Holy Spirit must make the words spirit and life for Him to use it as our guide, our rule, our lamp, our light, but uses it as such He does and the Christian rejoices in this, delights in this, and thanks God for it… they do not rail against it, at least not without some real consequence as a result. God will set His own straight at some point.
To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.