Are Christians under Any Law? What about the Law of Christ?

Is there a “law of Christ”?

  • Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Are we under law toward Christ?

  • First Corinthians 9:20-21, “and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law [the Gentiles], as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;”

Should we serve this law?

  • Romans 7:25, “I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
  • Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.”
  • Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

What kind of law is the law of Christ?

  • Romans 3:27, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.”
  • James 1:25, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
  • James 2:12, “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.”

How is the Gospel described?

  • Isaiah 2:3, “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

Should God’s laws be written on our hearts?

  • Hebrews 10:16, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” (Jeremiah 31:33).

Should we be lawless?

  • Romans 6:19, “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
  • Second Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
  • First John 3:4, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

Why all the confusion? These verses are taken out of Biblical context confusing the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ.

  • Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
  • Galatians 2:16, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
  • Romans 7:4-7, “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’
  • Romans 9:30-32, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.”

Other articles:

What is the Law of Christ?

Are We Under “Law” or “Grace”?

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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5 Responses to Are Christians under Any Law? What about the Law of Christ?

  1. Bible Study says:

    I recently had and indepth conversation on this topic at another blog. You would be suprised at how many people believe it is impossible to cease from sin, even with the power of god dwelling in us. With God all things are possible, and we cannot continue in sin that grace may abound. Your thoughts?

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  2. Pingback: The Law of Christ « Prodigal’s Knots – Untied?

  3. ProdigalKnot says:

    Thank you, Scott. I did get a little long, didn’t I?

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  4. PK,

    I certainly agree. You’re comment is a post. Put it up. You expanded where I should have.

    Like

  5. ProdigalKnot says:

    The “Law of Moses” could not free anyone from the power of sin or compel us to be righteous through coercion or threats. Paul says that particular Law actually stirred up more sin.

    So, if the “Law of Christ” can free us from another law, it means it is much stronger than the old law. Which reminds me of Christ speaking about “plundering” the strong man, but only after overcoming and binding him (Mark 3:27). Some take this to mean that sin literally no longer has power over us and we “cannot sin” in the truest sense of the word, according to their interpretation of 1 John 3:9 and Paul’s declaration in Romans 6.

    But, we are also told that the Law of Christ sets us free from condemnation AND the law of sin and death. The “law of sin and death” IS the Law of Moses, correct? Isn’t that what Paul was emphasizing in Romans 7?

    So, we are no longer under the condemnation that comes as a result of breaking Moses’ Law, our natural inclination, but the law of Christ is the OT law fulfilled for us in Christ and we are freed from it’s implied punishments. Which means we are released from spiritual death, because, obviously, no one is freed from physical death.

    So, when we do sin, does that imply we are temporarily “slaves” of the flesh? I struggle with where the line is drawn in Paul’s statement that says “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? ” (Romans 6:16 ESV)

    When do we cease being slaves of Christ and bcome slaves of sin? Is there a specific tally or type of sin that causes us to switch masters? Or are we truly “free” and simply trapped in bodies that want to sin? I believe that is the case, especially when we consider Paul’s conclusions at the end of Romans 7, “So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” and again “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23 ESV)

    It was a great enlightenment to me to see that Paul emphasizes that what counts, and is evidence of our salvation, is whether or not we are spiritually MINDED. The emphasis is no longer on what we do, but on what we honestly WANT to do, don’t you think? A carnal and unregenerate sinner doesn’t want to be righteous and doesn’t care if he sins, as long as he can postpone any consequences. Those who are in Christ DO want to be righteous and hate and detest it when they sin through their flesh.

    The attitude of our hearts (out true mindset and interests) is what Paul says is what counts as righteousness, because only the Spirit of God can affect such a change of mind. This change of the mind is the effect of the Law of Christ.

    Do you agree?

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