What Law Are We Under Anyways
My favorite verse in scripture is an entire chapter really, Romans chapter3. This passage of God’s word I have written about many times before. There is so much revelation of God and His relationship with man in this chapter it is just astounding. The nature of man, the nature of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfect justice and wrath of God against sinful man, the love and mercy of God, the righteousness of God through it all, and that it is all of God; man’s only part in all of this is his sin.
I would like to talk today about the very last verse of Romans chapter 3. “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” ~Romans 3:31. Up until recently this verse was a conundrum for me. I made the assumption that the writer, Paul, was referring to the Law of Moses (The Ten Commandments) but that did not really fit since he makes it obvious through this chapter that man is saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. And states in verses 19 & 20 what the purpose of the Law is; to close every mouth and to make all accountable to God, to show that man is not justified by the law in the sight of God, that the Law brings the knowledge of sin. So if the purpose of the Law is to bring the knowledge of sin and close the mouth; what Law then is Paul talking about in verse 31? It seems that he is speaking of a new law, one that is newly established in the heart of the believer.
A brother recently had me listen to a sermon by Charles Leiter called; “The Law of Christ.” After having listened to this sermon and investigating many of the scriptures from the sermon for myself which lead me to many others throughout the new testament, I went back to Romans 3:31 with not only an understanding of this scripture but had began to look at my walk with Christ in a new and exciting way. I began to understand why I thought the way I had since coming to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and it was quite exciting and liberating indeed.
Let us go to 1 Corinthians 9:20-21 to begin to impart to you this wonderful revelation from the word of God. “To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.” Throughout this passage we see that Paul did not consider himself to be under “the Law of Moses” since he said; “though not being myself under the Law”. He also did not consider himself to be without law since he said: “though not being without the law of God”. So what law did Paul considered himself to be under?; the answer, “Under the law of Christ”.
So if Paul and all Christians are “under the Law of Christ”, what then is “the Law of Christ”? Do you think then that this may be of up most importance as a believer? The next time “the Law of Christ” is mentioned is in Galatians and this passage gives us a clue as to what “the Law of Christ” is. Galatians 6:2 says; “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ”. So if in bearing one another’s burdens we are fulfilling the law of Christ. What are we doing when we bear one another’s burdens? The answer, we are loving one another. So what is “the Law of Christ”?
In the gospel according to John, on Jesus’ last night with His disciples before His arrest and Crucifixion, He gives a wonderful discussion to His disciples and in that discussion he gives them a new commandment. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” ~John 13:34. So “the Law of Christ” is to love one another. That is the law that we as believers and followers of Jesus Christ are under; “the Law of Christ”, to love one another. This is not a worldly love (I love you because you can give me something I want or need), or effectual love (I love you because you make me feel good), or romantic love. He said to “love one another even as I have loved you”. That is a selfless love. Think about who and what we are; we are sinners from the time we were conceived in our mother’s womb. We have sinned against God our entire lives and yet He loved us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” ~Romans 5:8. Can you describe a more selfless image of love than that?
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I choose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give you. This I command you, that you love one another” ~John 15:12-17.
You have probably heard someone say before that we are no longer under the Law that the Law of Moses was done away with in Christ; and guess what, they are absolutely correct. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” ~Romans 8:1. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” ~Galatians 3:13. If you have repented and put your faith in Jesus Christ you are saved from the wrath of God in Him. There is nothing that you have done or will do that you will be punished for, all of your sin has been paid for in full by the blood of Jesus Christ. “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter” ~Romans 7:6.
Understand this, I am writing this for believers only, I would never tell an unbeliever that He is not under the Law because that is simply not true, he is under the Law. Who was the Law made for? “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted” ~1 Timothy 1:8-11.
Is it a lesser thing to be under “the Law of Christ” rather than the Mosaic Law? I think not, it is in all since of the word a much higher standard of Law, a standard that an unbeliever does not have the ability to abide in. I did not know love until I was born again in Christ Jesus, receiving the Holy Spirit. So until a man or a woman is born of the Spirit of God he/she is under the Law. But once born of God into the faith of Jesus Christ he/she is not under the Law but under the Law of Christ; which is to love one another even as He has loved us and he died for us. Think about this! If I love my neighbor am I going to murder him physically or by hatred in the heart? If I love my neighbor am I going to commit adultery with my neighbor’s wife either physically or by lusting for her in the heart? If I love my neighbor am I going to steal from him and won’t I instead rejoice with him over how the Lord has blessed him rather than coveting the things he has received from the Lord? I could go on with this but I think you see the point. The law of Christ, to love one another even as He has loved us is a much higher standard of Law. And it is the Law of Christ, by the grace of God I intend to live for His glory!
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ