"You have made know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." ~Psalm 16:11
Wow... wow... wow! I was just sitting here looking at some old posts of mine, and thinking about something Steve McVey said this past weekend in Atlanta about the command to love being the most legalistic teaching in the church, and I just happened to look over at my blogroll and saw this post of yours... and it sort of goes hand in hand!Great question! I think the command is bondage, whereas the law written on our hearts and minds is something new that springs from the life of God in us.
Interesting. I've just been on the 'Christ our covenant' blog, where some NCT guys have headed this direction - Christ himself is our law. 2Cor3 I think contrasts ' letter' and Spirit as having opposite intents. So new covenant commands (that is 'any ethical consideration applicable today in the age of the Spirit covenant') must be rooted in this dynamic 'under grace'. But Paul does say that he has received 'Commandments from the Lord', so the commands are commands after a sort, and that certainly seems to be the way they're delivered. I have to be honest, I'm not comfortable with calling them just 'good advice'. I think it could be said that they are 'authoritative descriptions' of what love looks like lived out in the power of the Spirit. But Paul doesn't pull any punches at times, and Rom6-8 seem to point out the new creation's ability to obey under grace, in 'the new way of the Spirit'. Just thinking out loud...Lydia, thanks for what you wrote me in the comments of your last post.
Joel.........Yes the Spirit is speaking, LISTEN UP, haha.........that's so cool!!Remember when I emailed you awhile back about some questions I had and we talked about how the law is written on our hearts and that the Holy Spirit would never lead us to disobey the law, such as lie or whatever. But then there's Rahab who lied and she was credited with great faith. So that kind of confused me and I really started thinking about this "law" that is written on our hearts. I don't think it could be the law, the written code, aka the 10 commandments, because they have been nailed to the cross and we have DIED to them. I think there is something more wonderful than that written on our hearts and it's more like a law, like the law of gravity is a law - IT JUST IS! And we now have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within our very hearts, Christ fulfilled the law and we have this new freedom in Him. So it's a new law, the law of the Spirit of LIFE!! Of course this is all out of my head and understanding of Scripture, I don't have any references off hand, so I would love to hear from anyone who does!! This is very helpful to clarify, especially when speaking with those who INSIST we still have anything to do with the law as believers!!
PhilGreat thoughts as usual! I agree Paul has been given commands by God, but they are not burdensome. However, he also says in Corinthians at one point that he is just giving advice, I will have to find the Scripture. I don't think we can turn the New Covanant teachings into commands or laws. I do agree under grace that will we learn to walk by the Spirit and live in obedience to Christ. But what is obedience to Christ? Is is the commands or teachings of Paul, or the commands of Jesus? Or is obedience more out of our relationship with him, where we see what the Father is doing and we follow in obedience, like Christ did - and we can only do this because Christ is living in us and through us!! What 'cha think?Oh and you are most welcome Phil!! Be blessed!!
Hey Lydia...my brain's coming to the end of it's day...if I remember right, I think Paul says he's giving advice and not a command on a particular point about marriage in 1Cor7. I reckon the commands are not burdensome because we are fully forgiven and righteous without them, thus relationally not under them, but in-law to Christ, who fulfils them in us. But I reckon there must be intent that we view them in Christ as indicatives of the out- flow of the relationship. And be able to have an ethical dimension to our thinking. Just we can't find the dynamic there. 2Cor3v17,18 surely means we can't see ourselves in God's mirror as the righteousness of Christ, and thus go from glory to glory, unless the veil of the letter has been taken away. I guess that must mean relationally rather than ethically- speaking...argh! I am struggling with this, sister. Want to be right.
Hey guys,I'm still putting some of this together in my brain, but overall I've simply come to see that life in Christ is not about keeping commandments. Obedience? Yes, in the sense that He's the Head and we're the body and the body works as it should when all its parts are moving along according to the signals sent from the Head! :)Not to mention that He's a loving Father, who is love, and love makes no demands! And so when I put it all together, I see that His law is truly already fulfilled in us, so our lives in Christ are in no way an attempt to try to fulfill any laws. And His commands... which are not laws and are not demands... are lived out as we abide in Him, looking unto Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.He has called us friends, and He said through Paul that it is for freedom that He has set us free! So back to the post... LOL... I believe that what's on our hearts is truly not the written code but rather "life in the Spirit of liberty and freedom." :)
If the law was weak through our flesh..............why would God write it on our hearts? Just a thought...
Very interesting question, Lydia. Great comments too...I have heard a reasonable interpretation of this and I think I kind of agree to it. I will put my laws in their heartsIt says "my lawS", not 'The Law' (mosaic law). Jesus summed the Law into two commandments ('Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.') and those are the laws which are written in our new hearts, the laws of love.In other words, as children of the Most High, we do not live by a 'written code' (like OT people), we live by the laws of love, which is nothing but living in the new way of the Spirit, controlled by His love.The thing is, if we try to make this happen it becomes legalistic, but if we let Christ live out it through us, its life changing.
Excellent comment Bino - I agree wholeheartedly!!! I just wanted to tease this question out, because a lot of Christians think that the 'law' is written on their hearts and I find that extraordinarily confusing.
Hi Lydia, LOVE your blog. You've got some links and some people I've never heard of, so I'm going to have to spend some time checking them out. I'm really glad to find this topic. It is near and dear to my heart. I've come out of a very legalistic situation, right smack-dab in the middle of our unschooling years! It sort of snuck up on us and when we realized what was going on, we had to leave. That was really a traumatic experience. I'm looking forward to reading more from you and your friends.Thanks for blogging.
Welcome Jena! Thanks, I am glad you stopped by!! I am glad you were able to get out of the legalistic situation you were in, and at the same time am sorry you had to go through that. But you are not alone. God is waking up His church to the truth and purity of the Gospel these days and it's exciting!! Hope you stick around, I am sure just based on what I have read on your blog that you have a lot to offer me as well!! Grace and peace to you!!
UH OH!!!!I'm going to stir the pot!! I LOOOOVE stirring the pot!Lets check the scripture: 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."PEEPS!! If you believe these are commandments we must keep, you are placing yourself back under Law!! These are just the two GREATEST!! The most IMPOSSIBLE!! This truth is taught incorrectly. We are not under these laws. We are under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. The Law of Liberty. Christ in us. Christ as us!!We can only love God because He FIRST loved us. We can only love OTHERS because Christ LOVES THROUGH US! This life is NEVER about us mustering up ANYTHING, not even LOVE!! Nuh-uh!!!He initiates; we respond. We rely on HIS LIFE IN US and reflect back His great love for us!! And to others! Thoughts???
Jaimster!!!I don't think you're stirring the pot... rather you're preaching to the choir!... and rephrasing what we've said about the legalism and futility of trying to keep the laws to love God and others. =DI think I said the same things you're saying just the other day as well, here and here. :-D
Heehee, you are just preaching it and double clarifying what we already said, my girlie!!!
Okay, so to be clearer we have a few different Scriptures going on here. We have the one that says, "I will put my laws into their minds and I will write them on their hearts" and we have the verse from Romans 8:2 that says " for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death" The second is what you are talking about Jamie, and I think it includes the first as well, but what it is clearly suggesting is that we have a law or principle that says the Holy Spirit is the imparter of life, He is our new life freeing us from the old law that only promoted sin and death. He is our source and guide!! Right!! But the verse that says I will write my laws on their hearts and minds, is what we are suggesting are the New Covenant commandments, or better promises, based on faith in Christ and based on Christ's very life within us!! Does that make sense?
I think the law written on my heart and mind is the life of Christ in me...His mind, His heart. Christ in me...law of the Spirit of life in Christ. All the same, nothing different.
I was reading John14 the other day. The chapter where Jesus says 'if you love me, keep my Commandments'. He sets it in the context of what's upcoming at Pentecost. The disciples know him, but not like they will. Pentecost will bring a knowledge (v20) that Christ is in the Father, they in Christ, Christ in them. An intimate knowledge by the Spirit's witness. But what's this, other than the gospel message?! In other words, Christ's 'Commandments' or 'words' (v23) or 'sayings' (v24) resolve into believing the gospel, empowered by the Spirit. The believer loves Christ by believing him, and The Father receives the believer in love, and Christ loves him and manifests that love (God's love shed abroad in the heart) by the Comforter and Teacher who convinces the believer of his righteousness in Christ, Jn16v8-11. In other words, the power to 'fulfil' the righteousness described in the commands is filled out in us, as us, by believing the gospel. The ethical dimension to the Apostles' writing shows how this grace affects the heart. It is indicative of the inherent righteousness of Christ, and us as new creations in him. It is also descriptive of the believer's transformation into the same image, where from glory to glory he looks more like the glory he is already a partaker of by new birth. The way to add virtue, knowledge, temperance etc (2Pe1) in accordance with the commands, is through faith in the exceeding great and precious promises which our ours in Christ. That bring us consciousness of sins forgiven (2Pe1v9), therein our calling and election (the dynamism of love us-ward), and have made us partakers of the divine nature. Where the glory imparted cannot fade, as it did on Moses' face in the Old wineskin of the Old covenant that could not contain the glory. But, with faces unveiled from the law (legal obligations) the glory which tabernacles in us with an eternity shines forth from greater glory to glory, as we behold ourselves the righteousness of God in him. We in him, he in us. Co-heirs with the Lord of the estate...We are 'not without law to God', 1Cor9v21, but the 'law of Christ' or the 'law of the Spirit of life' works only through faith alone. Deliverance from letter. All Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, instruction in righteousness', but when the Word is 'rightly divided' such that any considerations resolve to the one thing that counts- believing the gospel. Faith working by love, by the Spirit of grace.
Amen Phil - the letter kills but the Spirit gives life!! Thus the new law on our hearts can only be the Spirit of liberty and freedom - Jamie I think you are right :)
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