Law and the Christian
MANY Christians are bewitched by the doctrine. “You are saved to keep the law,” thus losing out in their spiritual life by living by the works of the law rather than a life of faith. Having received the Spirit by faith, are you made perfect by the efforts of the flesh? “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Galatians 3:2. “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith” Galatians 3:11, 12.
It is evident from the above verses, that the just should live by faith and the law is not of faith. The law reminds us that we could never be saved without Christ, and if we are saved by faith in Christ, are we kept by the deeds or doings of the law? The law was added because of transgressions, till the seed (Christ) should come. Christ came and fulfilled the just demands of the law. Therefore, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” Romans 10:4.
Paul uses an illustration in Romans 7:1-6. A woman is bound to her husband by the law as long as her husband is living. If her husband dies, she is free to marry and would not be committing adultery. In the same way, we are dead to the law by the body of Christ, that we should be married to another, even to Him (Christ) who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God (Romans 7:4). To go back under the law by trying to do the deeds of the law, is committing spiritual adultery. There is no need to go back to the law of sin and death, but to walk guided by the royal law of liberty.
We as Christians, are now under a different law. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2. “But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law” Galatians 5:18. There is no law against the “fruit of the Spirit” Galatians 5:22, 23. Trying to keep the law is man’s feeble effort to live a righteous life. But those who say they are keeping the law do not realize that they are under the curse and condemnation of the law if they do not live a sinless life. Since sin is the transgression of the law, one is required to live, sinless before he can claim that he is keeping the law. As James 2:10 puts it, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
What guide do we depend on to live the Christian life? “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Romans 8:14.
What standard do we need as Christians? “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” Romans 13:10. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” Galatians 5:14. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” Galatians 5:22, 23.
But we can only love each other as we allow the Spirit of God to love through us. “And love maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” Romans 5:5.
Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Salvation begins with Christ, continues with Christ and ends with Christ. (See Hebrews 12:2).