Looking for the laws of God

Jeremy Smith wants help identifying the laws of God.

You can read about his questions and offer your thoughts at his blog.

For what it is worth, his post gives me an excuse to include another excerpt from John Wesley’s “The Character of a Methodist.”

For as he loves God, so he keeps his commandments; not only some, or most of them, but all, from the least to the greatest. He is not content to “keep the whole law, and offend in one point;” but has, in all points, “a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.” Whatever God has forbidden, he avoids; whatever God hath enjoined, he doeth; and that whether it be little or great, hard or easy, joyous or grievous to the flesh. He “runs the way of God’s commandments,” now he hath set his heart at liberty. It is his glory so to do; it is his daily crown of rejoicing, “to do the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven;” knowing it is the highest privilege of “the angels of God, of those that excel in strength, to fulfil his commandments, and hearken to the voice of his word.”

Wesley often referred to the Sermon on the Mount as presenting the law of God. He also used the exegetical device of dividing the laws of the Old Testament into ceremonial, political, and moral laws. Scholars will point out that no such division exists in the Bible, but the New Testament discussion of the law certainly seems to make some sort of distinction in the law in light of the advent of Christ.

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2 thoughts on “Looking for the laws of God

  1. I am going to reference Luther on this topic because the Father of the Reformation is the man who hated abuse and over extension of law and explained the law much clearer than Wesley did.

    To understand law one must understand what freedom is first.
    In Luthers words:
    “The preface of the Epistle to the Romans [chapters 1 & 2]…is, however, the right freedom from sin and from the Law about which he [Paul] writes up to the end of chapter 6
    It is a
    freedom to desire to do good alone, and to live well without compulsion of the Law. Therefore
    The freedom is a spiritual freedom which does not abolish the Law, but which achieves that which the Law demands

    Key point:
    “freedom to desire to do good alone, and to live well without compulsion of the Law”

    “Therefore our freedom is not a wild, fleshy freedom that has no obligation to do anything. On the contrary, it is a freedom that does a great deal, indeed everything, yet is free of the law’s demands and debts.”

    In other words because the saved are indwelled with the Holy Spirit of God they are now able to have the desire, or nature to want to do good. Prior to conversion man does not have the desire to do good let alone the ability to do good. Those in Christ now have a the ability to have a natural desire to do good freed from the bonds of sin. Those in Christ do not follow the law because of force, or fear. The law is no longer their enemy .

    Will this thread run the length of time needed?

  2. Law is generally defined as:
    A body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority.

    So what is law as understood under the umbrella of Christianity?
    There is the written laws found in scripture.
    There is natural law that is imbedded in all of mankind.
    There is spiritual law only understood and revealed by the Spirit of God.

    All three forms of law, (written, natural and spiritual) are given by God. Christ said, “I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose“.

    The purpose of the law is designed to condemn man and turn them away from lawlessness.
    Christ’s accomplishment was to provide a “door” or path to reconciliation with God.
     “I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7
    The laws given by Moses stand according to Christ.
    Law spoken of by the prophets stand according to Christ.

    The Great teacher explains who the controlling authority is,
    what responsibilities are given to those under the controlling authority and the consequences of doing and or not doing the will of the controlling authority.

    Martin Luther
    …..Christ, has rightly fulfilled the law. But to take away the law altogether, which sticks in nature, and is written in our hearts and born in us, is a thing impossible and against God. …. Moses and the Holy Ghost more clearly declare and expound it, by naming those works which God will have us to do, and to leave undone. Hence Christ also says: “I am not come to destroy the law.”

    “When the law is taught, and the Holy Ghost comes thereunto, touches the heart, and gives strength to the Word, and the heart confesses sin, feels God’s wrath, and says: Ah! this concerns me; I have sinned against God, and have offended. Then the law has well and rightly finished its work and office.”

    Of The Law and The Gospel

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