Keep THE Law! Which Law?

One of the statements that is bandied around in some circles is that one must "Keep the Law!" Usually the Ten Commandments is the Law that is in their minds, though sometimes the whole of the Torah is intended! That's as many as 613 laws in all. On the other hand we find that some say it's the "Law of Christ" or the 'Law of Love' that we must keep. So what's the best answer?

A good starting point when thinking about the things of God is the realization that God is love. It's not just that God loves certain things. Love is what is at the fundamental core of God. God IS love! (1 John 4:8)

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

So if we start at that point and look at God's requirements and provisions for mankind we get a most interesting view of the Law of God!

If, as we see in the bible, God is love, then we can also see that the top-most law in the universe would be - The law of Love! That would be, and is, the guiding principle for everything that God does. We can put that at the top of the triangle of law commands that God wants us to follow - Love.

It's interesting that when Jesus was asked which is the greatest of all the commandments, He did not pick two from the ten commandments given at Sinai. He pointed to the two laws of Love given to Israel. But we are getting ahead of the story!

God wants us to live in Love. To enable this, and empower this, He has done something very special to His Christian followers. This is what Jesus promised to His followers...

John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

We as disciples of Jesus are in Him and He is in the Father. And Jesus said that He would never leave us or farsake us. So that means that we are in God the Father 24/7! All day, every day, we are IN Love! If we have that revelation then we will have the same focus as God. We will look to Holy Spirit in us to be our Guide in living according to the law of Love; For God in us is Love.

But you might say, "How does that translate into our level of action?"

Well Jesus is our model and we can also rely on Him to tell us how we should live as Christians. Let's look at what Jesus Himself told us.

John 13:34 "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples".

I suggest that in this, Jesus, the only perfect man, tells us what our focus becomes in keeping the law of Love. We are to focus on Jesus and as we focus on Him we grow into His character as we are guided by Holy Spirit.

John 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you".

We should see that we are not just to love one another as Jesus loved but we should, by extension, love the Lord our God as Jesus loved the Father. These two commands would be the top-most commands under the law of Love.

These laws call us to sacrifice for others as Jesus did because of His love (and God's love) for us!

Now what laws come below them? What laws did Jesus say were the greatest commandments given before He came on the scene. What did God give people as the highest to which to attempt to attain, of themselves.

Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 22:39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Here we see the commands given to Israel - to love as much as they were capable of doing of themselves. These are commands of love but I trust that you realize they are not quite at the level of loving as Jesus loved; because we (of ourselves) are not of the same maturity or spiritual stature as Jesus!

Now what other commands were there give to mankind and where are they in terms of love?

The ten commandment and all the other commands not so far mentioned which are in the Old Testament are also commands based on love. But rather than calling us to sacrifice, these are on the level of "Try not to kill anyone!" In other words they are in the vein of the doctor's motto - "Do no harm!"

This, while reflecting some love, is obviously not at the level of loving as Jesus loved! Or loving with all one's heart, soul and mind.

So, based on this understanding that I have, I consider that if we are aiming to keep the ten commandment as though they represent the highest to which one can attain, we are unlikely to reach the level of love to which Jesus wishes us to attain, by knowing Him!

On the other hand, if one aims at loving as Jesus loved through relying on Holy Spirit in us, then reaching the lowest level of the ten commandments is virtually automatic! It will be as Jeremiah told us in Jer 31:31-34.

Jer 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.

33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

You see, "Proximity is power!" Through a new 'better covenant' being close to God gives us greater access to the power of God! We are beneficiaries of His mercy, we are saved by His grace, and through Jesus we have ALL authority delegated to us!

So now we should know that it's IN Christ we keep the Law of Love, and through doing that, in the manner God requires, we also keep the sub-set that is the ten commandments. It's also IN Christ that we are enabled to be Christian overcomers. Operating from a position of being IN God enables us to draw on the power of God (His Grace!) to say NO to all ungodliness and live overcoming lives!

You may ask, "How?"

1. We overcome the world by our Faith! (1 John 5:4-5)
2. We overcome the flesh by walking in the Spirit! (Gal 5:16)
3. We overcome Satan by the Word and the Blood! (Rev 12:11)

These are all free gifts of empowerment from God because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Seeing all this, we boast not in ourselves but, we boast in Christ Jesus.

Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.


Another thought....

Article Index

Christ Alone? Click Here.
Is Holy Spirit God? (Pt 1) Click Here.
Sand On The Seashore. Click Here.