Christ or the Law

by Lynford Heron
The Centurion Press - Posted Saturday, September 29, 2001

Galatians 3:21
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Many theologians and denominations are presenting the Law as a prerequisite for heaven.  The emphasis is on the Law as the qualifying factor in the equation of who will be presented righteous before our lord and savior.  The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul made it clear that if there was a Law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law.  So then, why are so many preaching the Law and not Christ?  Well, the devil knows that if he can confuse our understanding on how we should relate to the Law, then he will be successful in keeping us in sin, thus like him, we will reap hell as an inheritance.  When we understand why the law was given and to whom it was given, then we will understand the purpose of the law and its application after Christ.  Click on Testimony or Law to find out why the Law was given.

The Law our school master
"The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
Galatians 3:24.  Considering the study "Testimony or Law" we found that the Law was instituted because of transgression.  It was given to sinners - 1 Timothy 1:9-10.  Its purpose was to keep the children of God in the path He would have them go, until Christ our righteousness come to redeem man.  At that point, the keeping, protective, and educational role of the law was to be transferred to Christ.  The Law, like the serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness, was the object of the Israelites faith before Christ.  Now that the true object of their faith has come, Jesus Christ, they are no longer under a school master.  Our complete focus should only be on Jesus Christ and nothing else.

Romans 7:1-6
7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Paul used a beautiful analogy to explain that we are no longer under the law, instead we are to look to Christ.  The states that a woman is bound to her husband as long as the husband is alive.  She cannot go and marry another, else she will be called an adulteress.  It is not lawful, it is not permissible for her to have two husbands.  That just will not work.  Bear that point in mind for it will be used to bring out a very important point. However, if her husband is dead, she is freed from that law is a able to remarry.  Paul puts everything together in verse 4 and onwards so that we can see the big picture and understand.  The first covenant was ratified by the offer and acceptance of law.  We where then married to the law.  However, we are now dead to the law by the body of Christ.  Now like the woman, we are now free to marry another.  Which other?  Even to Him who is raised from the dead, Jesus Christ.  As a result, in verse 6, we are delivered from the law that we should serve in the newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Our forefathers tried to keep the law, but they could not.  They were legalistic.  They thought righteousness was by the law.  Therefore, if they kept everything contained in the law, they were righteous.  That was why there where so many self righteous people walking around in that day, especially the Scribes and the Pharisees.  They concluded they were righteous by suggesting that they kept the law.  A new covenant was needed.

Romans 8:6-7
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Nothing is wrong with God's law, for it is His character.  It had its purpose as we found out in the study "Testimony or Law."  God new that only an intimate relationship with Him could save man.  But at that time, they did not want anything to do with Him.  So to keep them until the Redeemer came, the people of Israel covenanted to keep the Law.

Romans 8:3
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Question:  Is righteousness by faith or by the Law?  Can looking to the Law make us righteous or is it by looking to Jesus Christ?
This is a question that everyone must find the answer to, because on it, hangs life or death.
Galatians 3:23-25
"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed."
The Bible makes it plain.  We were kept by the Law before faith came and we will understand what "faith" means in the next few verses.
"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
So, here we are told that after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  The keeping responsibility is now entrusted to "faith."  
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
So, here we understand that the law was to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  Faith in Jesus Christ, the ultimate object of our faith.
"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made;"
We should not continue to serve the Law.  It was added because of transgression for a certain amount of time, and that is, "till the seed should come."  After the cross we are no longer under a schoolmaster, we should look to Jesus Christ "who is the author and the finisher of our faith."

Paul makes it clear that we are justified by Jesus only and not the Law.
Acts 13:39
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Romans 8:3-4
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The Law cannot and will never save us.  Righteousness is by faith only and not by the law.  Look to Jesus completely, friends.  He is doing it, and He will supply all our needs.
Romans 4:13
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Again the Bible says, after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  Honoring our parents will not save us, not coveting, stealing, killing and keeping the Sabbath will not save us.  Only a relationship with Christ will.  However, that relationship will not tell you to dishonor your parents, it will not tell you to covet, steal nor kill.  It will tell you to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy as well.  Therefore, we are accomplishing the same objectives that are outlined in the law, but indirectly.  The difference is that, we will do it out of love and not just mere legalism.  Through faith in Jesus Christ all are accounted as heirs and not through the Law.

Christ or the Prophets
Likewise, in addition to the law, the Lord had mediators between Himself and man.  Why?  Well, man did not want to speak to God directly, so the Lord in his love for man had to find a way to communicate his saving, protective truths to His rebellious children.  Remember, they did not want to talk to God.  In Exodus 20:19 we find this account.  And it reads, "And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die."  The people went a step further by requesting a earthly king.  The Lord wanted to be their King and their God.  Like any other parent, and more so because he is God, the request pained His heart greatly.  The Bible has this account in 1 Samuel 8:7 "And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."  

Therefore, during the time of the law, the prophets had a complementary role in ordering the steps of God's people in the straight and narrow path.  Remember, God never wanted things to be that way.  He always wanted a "one on one" intimate relationship with every man.  He wants man to come to him directly.  If we lack understanding, He wants us to seek Him and not the writings or councils of man.  When we seek him first, He might send the answer via a just man, or it may come through the study of a book.  The important thing is to seek God first in all things and He will direct our path. 

Luke 16:16
16  The law and the prophets were until John
The Bible says, "The law and the prophets were until John."  Why?  Because Jesus has come.  The "keeping" responsible is transferred to Jesus.  No other prophet was prophesied to come.  The last prophecy of a prophet is found in:

Malachi 4:5-6
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Was this prophecy fulfilled?  Let us consult the scriptures for the answer.

Matt 3:1-3
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John the Baptist was that prophet.  Let us make sure by consulting the next scripture.

Luke 1:17
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Speaking of John the Baptist, the Bible said that, "he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just."  Notice that the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6 used the same words as Luke 1:17 - turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.  It is evident that John was that prophet.  In fact, Jesus puts it this way.

Matt 17:10-13
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come ALREADY, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

It is settled.  Jesus said that Elias (translated Elijah the prophet) is come already.  Then why are we looking for him, or suggesting that a 19th or 20th century individual is that prophet.  Jesus made it clear that John the Baptist is that prophet, the Elijah that should come.

In addition, the Bible makes it clear that, "The law and the prophets were until John."  Therefore, there are no other prophet after John to come.  Yet almost every church, every movement, every group or denomination seem to have a present day prophet.  A kind of prophet that seems to have the same function as the prophets old.  The Bible makes it clear that prophets will exist in the last days.  Therefore, it is important for us to understand their function.  Currently, it seems as if a prophet is a qualifying requirement in identifying the "true" church.  This is the belief of many.  Many believe that they are spiritual Israel, thereby, needing a prophet. Therefore, a church "without" a prophet is immediately disqualified from the consideration of the possibility of being the remnant church.  Jesus Christ exclaimed in  Matthew 22:29 to all churches that holds that belief, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."  Friends, the prophets where guardians, in other words, guiding God's children in His way.  This responsibility, as it were for the law, was to keep men until Christ.  That responsibility was under and attached to the old covenant.  But sinful man could not keep man, and they did not.  It would take a righteous God.  Therefore, a new covenant was needed.  The old covenant, with all its components, the prophets and everything else had to be replaced.  Therefore, God gave man a new covenant.

Hebrews 8:6-7
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

The new covenant is all about Christ in us the hope of glory.  Christ is the mediator of this better covenant and not man.  We are to run to Christ, not a prophet, not a man.  Christ has become our everything.  Christ first, then based on His providence, He will lead us to the medium of His choice.  We need each other and he will use man to help man.  But like Cornelius and Phillip, He will tell us which man to go to, or send the right one to us.

Now that Christ is here, the function of the prophets has changed.  The new covenant prophets has a different role and function.  Under the old covenant, the people would look to the prophets.  Consequently, the Bible says, "For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel."  Psalm 78:5.  Why did he establish a testimony in Jacob?  Because Jacob looked to God directly.  A testimony is a first-hand authentication of a fact.  Israel got it second-hand through man.  Did the Bible say, "Life eternal is to know the prophets or is it to know Jesus Christ?"  We should not look to prophets, to serve in the same capacity as under the old covenant.  Instead of going to the prophets, we must turn to Jesus.  The Lord wants us to change our attitude of running to man as the children of Israel did, to running to Jesus.  He wants a one to one relationship with every man.  Every man need to have a testimony.  We cannot truly know God via the testimony / experience of another man.  No friends, we must have our own testimony, our own experience, for life eternal is to know God the father and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.  I pray that we understand the seriousness of this message.  This is not a message of doing away with the prophets, but to explain their present day function.

Presently, their are many who are preaching in the name of a prophet.  When a Bible study is given, it is given from the books of a present day prophet.  Such words as "Jesus says" are replaced with "the prophet said."  Painstaking, diligent time is not taken to know Christ and His word first-hand, instead, like the children of Israel, we are still saying, "Don't let God speak to us."  Rather, we want to read the testimony of someone else, rather than getting a testimony from God, by going to Him directly, for ourselves.  We need to re-evaluate our actions and our practice.  We need to look to Jesus.  We need to read His words.  With Christ leading, he might direct us to read the writing of one of His servants, and I say Amen.

Ephesians 4:11-12
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The function of the new covenant prophets are the same as that of the apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  They are to edify the body of Christ.  Every gift is equally important.  All are members of the same body.  The prophets are not greater than the teachers.  The eye is not more important than the fingers.  Each has a specific function, yet equally important.  Friends, stop esteeming one servant over the other.  We all need to look to Jesus.  If we put the carriage before the horse we will not go anywhere.  Jesus is the horse and the prophets are the carriage.  Friends, put Jesus first.

Therefore, dubbing individuals prophets and reading there writings more than the word of God is not what the Lord wants for us.  We are still in the days of Israel if we do that.  The Lord wants to shift our focus from the law and the prophets to Jesus Christ.  Reading the testimony of a man or woman of God is not a bad thing, it is good.  For there is one spirit and one objective, which is to edify the body of believers and all men for the saving of souls.  Therefore, the councils of man can be followed if it is in accordance to the law and the testimony.  However, we must understand that we should only speak in, and profess the name of Jesus Christ to those who are dying in this perverse world.  Christ should be our focus at ALL times.

Is the law abolished?
No, the law will be with us forever, because it is the expressed character of God the father and his character is immutable.  The Lord and His character is eternal. 
Romans 7:1-3
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Paul introduced chapter 7 by saying that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth.  In addition, he presents an analogy that all can relate to in order to substantiate his claim.  Every Christian, we hope, and even those who are not Christians understand that if they sleep around while married they are committing adultery.  They understand that they are bound by the Law to their spouse as long as they live.  The world is still living by the seventh commandment, "thou shalt not commit adultery."  We know that Paul is talking about the Ten Commandments because the seventh commandment says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."  In addition, we know not to kill, steal etc... because the law of God tells us not to.
Galatians 3:21
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: 
We agree and understand that the Law does not give life, but Paul is also saying that it is not against the Promise.  What was the "Promise."  The promise of a savior, Jesus Christ.  He is the "seed" that should come.  Remember, the law is only the character of God written on tables of stone.  (there is a lot more to be said, read on for the punch line.)
Romans 5:14-16
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rightly said.  We are not under law but under grace.  However, consider verse 15...
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
God forbid, the Bible says.  In other words, "are you out of your mind?  Who hath bewitched you in believing that the commandments do not stand forever."  Sin should not reign in our mortal bodies friends.  Therefore, we understand that sin is still around even in this period of grace, because the Lord is telling us to sin not.  Every Evangelical pastor admonishes their members not to sin week after week.  They consider sleeping around while married sinning, as well as stealing, and lying for that matter.  How do we know that those things are sin?  The law tells us.  Why do we look upon them as sin, because the Law stands forever.
Romans 5:13
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Therefore, to speak of sin is to affirm the fact that the Law exists.  Because if there is no Law, sin will cease to exist.  So, the next question is, "what Law is Paul talking about?"  Is it the Ten Commandments or some other Law?
Romans 7:7
What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Paul said, "I had not known sin, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet."  In which law given by God do we find those words, "Thou shalt not covet."  Search the scriptures and you will find that quote in Exodus 20:17, the last commandment in the Ten Commandment.  Therefore, this New Testament preacher (Paul) is saying that the law will exist as long as sin is around.  In fact, he said that the law, which is the character of God, will stand forever.

The Bible said  that Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy it.  Remember, Christ is the only Man coupled with the requirement of love, that lived the commandments.  He did it for us, so that the life that we live in the flesh by the faith of Jesus Christ might be presented righteous as well.  Christ is our example, and we see him honoring his mother and father, he did not lie, steal, kill, covet, nor did He have any other God's before Himself and so on.  All those things are virtuous and He expects us to carry on therein.  Not in a legalistic fashion, but out of love, and that love remedy will only exist when we look to love, Jesus Christ.  He came and did it for us, therefore the law is embodied in Jesus Christ, which is His character.  We will always hear Him saying, look to Me, and you will be able to carry out the admonitions of love listed in the Ten Commandments.  He did it for us on the cross collectively, and he want to do it for us individually.  He is saying that you cannot do it, you will truly fail, that's why I came and fulfill that requirement for you.  I am your righteousness.  The only thing we need to do, is invite him into our hearts so that He can live out His sin-free life in us.

Why is it important to look to Jesus
With Jesus Christ, it is not a bunch of do's and don'ts.  With Jesus, your actions will be motivated out of love and not mere legalism, nor out of a mind set that just wants to fulfill a list of requirements to escape the consequences.  We cannot and will never keep the law.  Sinful humanity cannot keep a holy law.  It takes a holy man to keep a holy law.  Therefore, look at what Christ did for us.

Ephesians 2:15
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Have you ever heard about that great marriage that will take place, where divinity will meet humanity.  As a result of this process, then we will posses the power to be victorious.  Question?  Who's divinity?  Christ, right?  Who's humanity?  Many of us keep saying ours, but that is where we go wrong.  Christ was 100% man and 100% God.  Humanity and divinity was met in Christ.  Therefore, we should invite and allow Him to live out His victorious life through us.  Our humanity will remain with us until this corruption (our flesh, sinful humanity) shall put on incorruption and this mortal shall put on immortality - 1 Corinthians 15:52-53.  Until that time, enmity (the war within - flesh warring against the spirit) will remain with us.  However, we must be presented before God a perfected people, then how are we going to make it?  Through the righteousness of Christ.  Therefore, in verse 15, the Bible said, "Christ abolished enmity in "HIS" flesh, even the LAW OF COMMANDMENTS contained in ordinances;  for to make in HIMSELF to twain one new man, so making peace."  The flesh and the spirit cannot coexist.  Christ and self cannot be equally yoked together.  We are holding on to self, holding on to the flesh.  Remember, the woman could not have two husbands.  We cannot be married to the law and Christ at the same time.  We cannot do it.  We will never do it.  The law cannot and will never do it for us.  Look to Christ friends.  Allow Him to live out his life within you.

The entire conflict and controversy of this world is all about creator worship.  God is worthy to be praised, but Satan does not want us to look to Him.  Satan knows that, "this is life eternal, that we might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom God hast sent."  John 17:3.  The Bible did not say life eternal is to know the commandments nor to spend our entire life trying to do something that our forefathers could not keep.  No, it is to know Jesus Christ.  So how do we know him?  The same way we get to know a earthly friends, we spend time with them.  So, we should read His words, contemplate on Him and pray to Him on a moment by moment basis.  It is all about surrender.  Submit yourself to Him.  Lay your will on the alter of sacrifice and allow Christ to lead.

The Law is not complete, in the sense that it cannot save.  There are no examples of love.  The law is not love, it condemns.  The Bible said that love is the fulfillment of the Law - Romans 13:10.  Therefore, we need love to fulfill the law.  If the law is not love, it only condemns, then where are we going to get love from?  But if we look to Jesus, we will see how to walk (outlined in the law) plus love.  The Bible never said that the law is the way.  No, it said that Christ is the way.  If we look to the law, focus on it, we will miss out on love.  We should look to Christ completely.  He is everything that we need.  In him we will see how to walk (the law) and how to love in the true meaning of the word.  By beholding, we become change.  Looking to Jesus we see all the rich examples of love.  We see Him healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, feeding the multitude and hear Him speaking to His father about his enemies saying, "forgive them father for they know not what they do."  Christ is love personified and we should follow in His leading.

Consider the story of the rich young ruler.  One day he asked Christ this question, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"  Luke 18:18-23.  And Jesus answered saying, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother."  Jesus quoted the Ten Commandments.  Jesus in His wisdom wanted to communicate a message to all generations that the commandments does not save, and that is why he responded in that manner.  How do we know that?  It is made evident as we read the following verses.  The rich young ruler responded haughtily saying, "All these have I kept from my youth up."  Therefore, based on his response, it suggests that the rich young ruler was doing good, he was righteous.  He was qualified to inherit eternal life.  What else is there, he was keeping all ten?  Well, at this point dear reader, you will understand that the commandments does not save, for it could not save the rich young ruler and Christ is saying to us today, that it will not and cannot save us.  So, Jesus knowing the condition of the man's heart said unto him, "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."  Yet lackest thou!!!  There was something missing, and it is the most crucial ingredient, LOVE.  The commandments in itself is not complete, it cannot save.  Christ is saying to us, "do not look to the commandments for salvation, come and follow me.  Walk as I have walked."  He was dependent on his Father, likewise, we should be dependent on Him.

Christ knew that life eternal is not dependent on the commandments, for He already told us in John 17:3 that, "Life eternal is to know God the father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent."  Remember, the Jews divorced God and started looking to man.  The rich young ruler did not have a relationship with God, he had it with the law, man and the unfruitful things of this earth.  Paul, as a Jew, will give us a inside account.  I ask you to stop and pray again for reading this chapter, so that you will understand and hear from the Lord.  Read Philippians 3:4-10 - Paul is explaining the condition and the mindset of the young ruler and all those that look to the law.  The is a subject that we need to restudy and ask for the Holy Spirit guidance.  I am not speaking against the law, for the law is good and holy.  It is the character of God.  Then why not serve the law?  It might seem a little confusion, but when we come to understand why it was given and its purpose, then we will come to understand our relation with it.  The law is everlasting.  It will always exist.  Paul is basically saying that we should have no confidence in the flesh, and if any trusted in the flesh and in the law, I did the more at one point.  In other words, he was at a higher level than the rich young ruler, and if anyone should inherit eternal life through the law, it would be him.  He said he was circumcised the eight day, he was a Hebrew and as touching the law, he was a Pharisee.  He was legalistic in other words.  Concerning zeal, he persecuted the church, and as touch righteousness which is in the law, he was blameless.  When Paul was called Saul (the Pharisee), the kept the law.  It is important for us to understand that he was doing everything contained in the law.  He met all the requirement.  I mean everything.  He kept it perfectly.  The Holy Spirit is speaking friends, listen to what Paul is saying.  He was Saul, the persecutor of the brethren while looking to the law.  Speaking of his conversion, he said, "But what things were gain to me?"  He was speaking of his perfect observance of the law.  In verse 8-10 he said.

Philippians 8-10
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the "knowledge of Christ Jesus" my Lord.  What is most excellent to Paul?  The knowledge of Christ Jesus.  But why is this knowledge so good?  We will find that out latter...
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Paul makes it clear that the righteousness which comes from the law is self righteousness.  Listen to Bro Paul, friends.  The only righteousness that is count worthy, is the righteousness which comes through the faith of Christ, through knowing him.
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

The faith of Christ, which is the righteousness of God by faith, is the spring broad that allows us, that prompts us know Christ.  To know Him is to trust Him, to love Him and to have faith in Him.  That I may know Him, Paul says.  The rich young ruler wanted to know what will qualify him for eternal life.  Jesus says in John 17:3 that eternal life is to know God the father and Jesus Christ.  Paul eventually found that out and said, "That I may know Him."

There is a song that says, "Teach me how to love in the true meaning of the word, show me how to give expecting nothing in return."  The question is, "where are the examples of love in the commandments.  How can it teach us about love?"  The fact that Jesus told the rich ruler to give to the poor, suggest the probability that he gave to those who could return the favor.  Love motivates us to give expecting nothing in return.  When we understand that the imagination of our hearts are desperately wicked from our youth, we will understand that good deed springs from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our heart and not of self.  There is nothing that can recreate the image that we were made in, but through the recreative, redemptive power of beholding Christ.  Love is the fulfillment of the commands.  Christ is love.  We cannot get love from the commandments, but through Christ.

Christ is saying to us as He said to the rich young ruler, "leave your legalistic practises, stop looking to the law and come and follow me."  When we look to the law we miss out on Jesus and love.  But when we look to Jesus we see the Law and love.  We see the law in that, Jesus will never tell us that the Sabbath is abolished, He will never tell us to serve other Gods and He will never tell us to hurt our enemies.

The life that we now live in the flesh, we should live it by the faith of Jesus Christ and not by the Law.  For if there was a law given that could save, then righteousness would have been by the Law.  Look only to Jesus friends and live.  Remember, "Life eternal is to know God the father and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent."

The Final Conflict
The books of Daniel and Revelation portray the final conflict between Christ and Satan to be in regard to the Law of God.  So, do not be deceived, for disobedience where the law of God is concerned is sin, and no sin will enter heaven.  All ten commandments will stand for all time.  Many are led under the deception of the devil to believe that the fourth commandment is abolished.  God forbid.  It will determine our allegiance to God or to man.  Will we accept an imposed day of worship by man or will continue in the Lord's Sabbath which stands forever?

Most importantly, we cannot get rid of the fruits of sin if the root of sin is not addressed.  All the problems that we fight with on a day to day basis are the symptoms of a hidden, deep-rooted sin problem.  Christ is the only cure.  When we look to Him we will be changed into His likeness, crucifying sin in the flesh so that we might be presented righteous before a Holy God.

Study Topics

  The Gospel
  Creation or Evolution
  Accidental Sins
  The Sabbath Day?
  Man's Nature
  Testimony or Law
  Christ or the Law
  Religious Prejudice
  Successful Marriage  


















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