Are Christians Above The Law?

 

The Apostle Paul must be turning in his grave! He never said that Christians could ignore God’s commandments.

Yet, when defending the doctrine that “faith alone saves,” theologians and members of the clergy will often quote the Apostle Paul as biblical support for such a disastrous idea of throwing the Decalogue into the trash heap.

The reason for this false belief, according to Emanuel Swedenborg, is from a misinterpretation of a single saying by Paul in Romans 3:28, that “man is justified by faith alone without the works of the law.”

In his work, Apocalypse Revealed, Swedenborg points out that what was misunderstood was that Paul was referring to the Mosaic law, which were statues specifically incorporated for Jewish life at that time. These  “works of law” included:

The law of the meal-offering.

The law of the sacrifice.

The law of the sacrifice of the peace-offering.

The law of the burnt-offering

The law of the beast and of the bird.

The Law of leprosy.

The law of him that hath an issue.

The law of jealousy.

The law of the Nazarite.

The law of cleansing.

The law concerning the red heifer.

The law for the King.

It is these specific Jewish laws that Paul is referring to that are unnecessary for Christians to uphold in order to obtain salvation. Swedenborg points out that Paul clearly states the importance of fulfilling the commandments (Romans 8:8-10) through good works or charity:

For he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit whoredom, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is comprehended in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; therefore charity is the fulfilling of the law.

The importance of love, is also confirmed by the Lord’s own word’s, in a response to a trick question by one of the Pharisees as to which is the great commandment in the law. The Lord responds by saying:

Thou shalt love the Lord God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mathew 22:37-40)

Who is unable to grasp that loving God and neighbor is the very life of Christian faith, and that to remove these activities from faith is a dead faith.

So, if anyone tells you that faith alone saves, then simply respond by saying that they are full of red heifer chips.

Posted on July 18, 2008 by thegodguy

http://www.provinggod.com

This entry was posted in god, Inner growth, love, Reality, religion, spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 thoughts on “Are Christians Above The Law?

  1. This might be one of the cases where I would respond with, “I am hearing what you are saying but I’m not sure what you are meaning.”
    Truly, we are to love God with all our being and the second commandment is like it, to love our neighbour more than ourselves. Truly, the commandments, all ten and not just nine as most do, are still valid and if one chooses to break them with all his/her heart we must wonder if that person is really walking with Jesus. Our works reveal our faith.
    However, Paul says repeatedly, and I believe the Bible as a whole shouts, that we are saved, justified, made righteous, by grace alone. We don’t serve, love, act justly (noting that all our righteousness is filthy rags) to gain God’s favour, love, acceptance or salvation. Rather we love because he loved us first. We serve because it is our joy to serve the one who gave up everything to serve us first.
    My favourite author put it this way:
    “I ask, How can I present this matter as it is? The Lord Jesus imparts all the powers, all the grace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon of sins, in presenting His righteousness for man to grasp by living faith–which is also the gift of God. If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man, and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason.” {EGW 1888 816.1}

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    • I am not suggesting that Paul was not a smart guy. The problem is that finite human prudence does not equate to the Lord God’s Holy Word.

      Remember that the canonical Bible contains stories that were chosen based on the judgments of merely mortal men. Some of their picks represent the true Word of God and some don’t.

      The only real way a narrative in the Bible can be verified as a legitimate part of the Holy Word is if it contains, deeper, coherent spiritual teachings. In this way we get a glympse of the depth of God’s INFINITE wisdom.

      Paul’s writings do not contain this inner depth. What is even worse is that Paul’s message is misinterpreted. He himself states that charity and love trump faith alone and hope. Out of this misinterpretation has emerged false doctrines of salvation and making God into three Persons.

      Those who have studied Swedenborg’s multi-leveled exegesis of Scripture grasp doctrinal things that you have no access to with your mere literal and “linear” understanding of God’s Truth. Look at it this way, all the various Christian denominations have emerged from their own LITERAL interpretation of Scripture. Quoting the literal words solves nothing. This doctrinal divisiveness and subjectivity can only be remedied by the discovery of higher levels of meaning in the Holy Word. These higher meanings also offer rational explanations for some of the more fantastic stories and strange visions depicted in its pages.

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