LOVE IS THE
PERFECTION OF THE LAW
There are two kinds of law: (1) Laws which must be obeyed out of a sense of obligation irrespective of how one feels about them; and (2) Laws which are obeyed out of love. The Old Covenant Law falls within the first category and the New Covenant Law within the second.
One of the greatest heresies in Christianity is the dogma that in the New Testament dispensation Christians no longer live under law but under grace and love. Reduced to its simplest expression, this dogma declares that whatever is done out of love is correct, and that love is essentially that which makes you feel good inside. This wholly erroneous conclusion is based on an abuse of statements made by the apostle Paul on the relationship of the Mosaic Law with Christian Grace.
It is, of course, absurd to believe that the God of the Old Testament was a God of Law and that suddenly, by the death of His Son, He became a God solely of Grace, as though somehow Christ changed God the Father's nature! The fact of the matter is that the God of both covenants is, and was, a God of both law and grace. God has not changed.
There are two main differences between the "law of Christ" and the "law of Moses": (1) All the shadows and types of Christ, represented as they were by specific ordinances and rituals, are no longer applicable, since Christ has now come and fulfilled them; and (2) the external system of laws, commandments and ordinances, once imposed from without as an obligation, must now be planted naturally within through a personal spiritual renewal of the believer. In other words, once Christ is received as Saviour by a man, the law is supernaturally written on his heart and it becomes for him a natural desire to obey it. For one not born again, the law remains external and alien to his inner desires.
The Old Covenant says, in simplistic terms: Obey this commandment and live, disobey it and die. Or, in other words, obey and do, and you will be put right with God. The New Covenant says: Believe, repent, and receive God's free grace. Allow Him, through an act of total self-surrender, to write the Law on your heart so that you will obey it naturally. Or, in other words, believe, and you will be put right with God. And if you truly believe, you will live the Law naturally, in love, and without compulsion.
This page was created on 15 May 1998
Last updated on 15 May 1998
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