This is love for God: to obey His commands – and His commands are not burdensome.
Why was Paul so insistent that believers did not return from grace to law? Wasn’t the Law of Moses given by God? Wasn’t it good and didn’t it point to Christ? What is wrong with trying to keep the Law of God? And what is so important about the age of grace for Christians today? Well God has established a divine program for the whole of human history and God has scheduled certain events within a series of set time-periods, (or dispensations).
God set a time for Israel’s Messiah to come to earth and to die as Saviour of the world. We read: when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son. He has set a time for Israel’s restoration, when Christ will set up His kingdom on earth: Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, Jude 1:14. and God chose to reveal certain events on His ‘calendar’ through His Word. At first God spoke through the prophets: but hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. Hebrews 1:2. How vital it is, to know the things on God’s prophetic ‘timeline’ that are relevant to us.
God scheduled certain events to take place in different time-periods or dispensations, and unless we identify our place in His program, we miss His plan. One time-period was in Eden. Another epoch was during the Patriarch period. Next was the era of Law, followed by Grace – with the Millennial period yet to come. Every time period, epoch or era has its own code for living; its own ‘laws’; its own indigenous rules, requirements and regulations. The Hebrew word for ‘Law’ is “Torah” and ‘directions’ or ‘instructions’ for the nation of Israel were given to Moses in the Torah.
Those living in Eden also had laws for living specific to that era:- be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, tend the garden and don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – but man failed. Similarly, those living at the era of the Patriachs had a code unique to their time-period and though there is little information of this code in scripture, Noah obeyed God’s rules, for we read that: Noah walked faithfully with God and did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:9. Abraham also was part of this patriarchal era and also obediently trusted God’s voice: Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. Genesis 26:5.
The Greek word for “law” is “nomos” and also means ‘rule’ or ‘instructions’ and since Calvary, believers have been in a specific period of time called the Age of Grace. Christians living in this Church age are given a set of instructions; a set of rules for living – guidelines to live godly lives and ‘laws’ specific to this time-period – and they are almost exclusively laid out in Paul’s epistles. Laws given in Eden or during the time of the Patriarchs are not for the Church today – nor are the rules which will be implemented in the Millennial age. And neither is the Mosaic Law, with its 613 commands that was given to Israel, relevant to Christians – although most of the moral laws [the 10 commandments] are certainly repeated in the epistles.
Some Christians mistakenly adhere to Israel’s Law, but Paul argues that: we are not under law but under grace, Romans 6:14. and yet we are not exempt from a godly code of living, which Paul calls: the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus Romans 8:2. and which is seen in Romans 8. James also writes about: the perfect law of liberty, James 1:25. or the royal code and Paul reminded the Galatians to: bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2. Indeed the law of Christ, [the law of the Spirit of life] Romans 8:2. freed us from the heavy bondage of the Old Testament Mosaic Law – and yet we are called to the highest standard of all of God’s servants. Christians are to love as Christ loved us. John 15:12.
Only as we live by grace and allow the Spirit of Christ to live in us and through us.. can we fulfil the new commandment of Christ. Only as we abide in Him and He in us can we love as He loved us. We have been set free from the bondage of the hundreds of Old Testament commands contained in the Mosaic Law, and we are been called to love. John declares: beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God… 1 John 4:7. and this is love for God: to obey His commands, and His commands are not burdensome. 1John 5:3. Never forget that: the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2
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