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The Law and the Spirit

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Loyal
The Law vs the Spirit?

This is kind of related to the thread @Brother-Paul started about the Law.
I thought about continuing it this there, but this is a slightly different take.

Some think Christianity got easier when Jesus came. In some ways it did.
But in other ways I don't see this.

For example... in the Old Testament we have the 10 commandments. Most people
say they were hard to obey. Even impossible.

You might say I've never killed anyone. You might even be able to say I've
never had an affair with someone who was married. But then then it's gets a
little more difficult. Can you say you've never told a lie? Can you say you've
never stolen anything in your life? Can you say you've never envied?

Yes, in some ways the commandments of the old testament were hard.

===============================================================================

But then Jesus comes along and makes things.... ummm... easier?
Like I said, some things didn't get easier. They got harder.

In Matt 5 Jesus says you were told ... "You shall not commit murder".

OK, easy enough... I've never done that.

But then Jesus says.... "everyone who is angry with his brother is guilty,
whoever calls their brother "You good for nothing" is guilty, whoever calls
their brother "You fool" is guilty... whoops...

A little later Jesus says you were told... "You shall not commit adultery".

You say to yourself... piece of cake, I've never done that.

But then Jesus says... "everyone who looks at a woman (or man) with lust for them
has already committed adultery in his heart...

... whoops...

So according to this, I have already committed murder and adultery.

A little later jesus says you have heard... "You shall not make false vows, but fulfill your
vows to the Lord".

OK, no problem, I can do that....

But then Jesus adds.... "Make no oath at all, don't swear by heaven, byt the earth, by Jerusalem,
or even the hairs on your head. Let your yesy be "yes" and let your no be "no". Anything else
is evil...

... whoops...

A little later Jesus says it was said "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy".

Alright Jesus... now you're talking... I can hate my enemies... no problem!!

But then Jesus says... " Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"...

... whoops.

We jump over to Matt 6. In verses 9-13 Jesus tells people how to pray.
In verse 12 it says... "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us".

Well... OK... I guess I can do that sometimes... if I have to.
But then in verses 14 and 15 Jesus adds...

If you forgive others, God will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, God will not
forgive you.

... whoops.

I'm not doing so good here. I'm only half-way through the sermon on the Mount and I've broken
just about every single commandment.

Wow... that's hard.

We finally get close to the end of the sermon of the mount in Matt 7.
...and Jesus says... "Not everyone who calls Me "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven.
... are you kidding me Jesus?

... but wait... there's more!!!

I said this was about the law AND the Spirit.. but so far I've only mentioned the law.

..to be continued ..
 
Loyal
In Rom 8:2; it says...
For the law of the Spirit has made me free from the law of sin and death.

.... Hmmm... what is this "law of the Spirit"?

Romans 8...
almost the entire chapter is about the flesh vs the Spirit.
verse 4 says.. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.

... the law is righteous? It still has to be fulfilled in us?
But only if we don't walk after the flesh... we have to walk "after the Spirit".

Verse 7 says..
The fleshly mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God,
nor can it ever be.

.. but didn't you just say..?? Apparently there is still a law of God.
If the flesh is under the old law... then what is this law of God that the flesh is not subject to?

verse 12 says... we are under obligation... to not live according to the flesh.
We ourselves have an obligation? Really?
For if you are living by the flesh.. you must die;
But if by the Spirit... you are putting the deeds of the flesh to death.. you will live.

So "we" are under obligation to put the flesh to death. Jesus doesn't do it all for us.

But he does "help" us. The Holy Spirit is called the helper. (not the enforcer).
In verse 16 it says.. the Holy Spirit helps our weaknesses. Notice it doesn't say
He does everything for us. It says He"helps" us.

So OK... we aren't under the old law anymore. Now we are under a "law of God"
and/or a "law of the Spirit".

What are these things?
Well everyone agrees... we should be born of the Spirit. We should be led of the Spirit.
What does that mean?

Maybe the answer is in Galaltians 5. Paul has spent practically all of the 1st
four chapters of Galatians they were trying to get saved by the law instead of faith.

Gal 5:13; For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Gal 5:14; For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Gal 5:15; But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But wait a minute Paul... you just spent the last four chapters telling me the law doesn't
matter anymore? Now you're telling me I still have to love my neighbor.

Gal 5:16; But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:17; For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Ok... the Spirit is against the flesh, we've already establish that.

Gal 5:18; But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Uh oh, there's a condition here in order to be "not under the Law". We have to be led by the Spirit.
How do we do that?

Gal 5:19; Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20; idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Gal 5:21; envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23; gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Bingo!!
I notice there's not really anything here about adultery, murder, stealing, lying, per se.
But it does mention immorality and sensuality (which are sexual sins).
It mentions idolatry (which was one of the 10 commandments) and it mentions envy (which was also one
of the 10 commandments)... those who practice these things will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

But wait Paul... you said we weren't under the law anymore.. Oh yeah... "if" we are led by the Spirit.
I forgot that part.

If we are led by the Spirit we will be showing love... (hmmmm.. isn't loving God and loving your
neighbor in the 10 commandments?) joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control.

I mentioned in the first post above that everything didn't get easier. In some ways it gets harder.
You think it's hard not to murder someone? You think it's hard not to have an illicit affair with someone?
Ha... that's nothing.

Try never being angry, or having strife, or having arguments, or getting drunk, how many of us can
say we've never done the things in verses 19-21 above? Are you still doing them? Then you're being
led by the flesh... and guess what... you're still under the law!

Not try having love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control? Are you doing this
most of the time? If not... you're still led by the flesh.
But if you are doing these things. Congratulations. You are being led by the Spirit.
But it turns out that some of the things that are a part of the "law of the Spirit" are the same things
that were part of the 10 commandments. Mostly "love".
 
Loyal
The good news is... we don't have to be perfect. We just need to be led by the Spirit.
The other good news is... we have a helper to help with our weaknesses.
This helper even intercedes for us in our prayers.
 
Loyal
Thank you B-A-C, very well put together if I may say so.

But talking to yourself is that wise, is it a sin, does the law say anything about such a thing as you have to be in the flesh to talk to yourself. ;)

After reading your post I find myself having to say... The Law or not the Law that is the question.

Whoops!
 
Loyal
The good news is... we don't have to be perfect. We just need to be led by the Spirit.
The other good news is... we have a helper to help with our weaknesses.
This helper even intercedes for us in our prayers.
Don't we have to be perfect?

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt 5:48

Is not the Helper you mentioned to help us to be what God wants us to be? Perfect? Ah, but don't get too excited about this as Jesus means by perfect what God means by perfect. [I won't go into that here.] Men say they cannot do it, but is that not denying the power of God in us to do whatever is required? Is that not denying that the Helper has the power to make us perfect in the eyes of God? The only thing hindering the completion of this perfection in us is us!
 
Active

RJ

Don't we have to be perfect?

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt 5:48

Is not the Helper you mentioned to help us to be what God wants us to be? Perfect? Ah, but don't get too excited about this as Jesus means by perfect what God means by perfect. [I won't go into that here.] Men say they cannot do it, but is that not denying the power of God in us to do whatever is required? Is that not denying that the Helper has the power to make us perfect in the eyes of God? The only thing hindering the completion of this perfection in us is us!
It's not our perfection that God sees but the perfection of the one who is inside us. Just like when God says if we fail one aspect of the law, we fail the entire law. The same with perfection. Our perfection has not come yet. I believe that perfection is a goal but , if we are to please God, we would have to do it 24/7....we can't do that but, his son in us can. God calls us blameless, righteous and holy...not us but the one in us!
Be ye perfect is probably the same as "go and sin no more".... a vision for us and a goal but not realistic all the time!
 
Loyal
It's not our perfection that God sees but the perfection of the one who is inside us. Just like when God says if we fail one aspect of the law, we fail the entire law. The same with perfection. Our perfection has not come yet. I believe that perfection is a goal but , if we are to please God, we would have to do it 24/7....we can't do that but, his son in us can. God calls us blameless, righteous and holy...not us but the one in us!
Be ye perfect is probably the same as "go and sin no more".... a vision for us and a goal but not realistic all the time!
We are certainly not as far apart as far apart as I once thought we were. I would reconsider for your own information just what "realistic" means when it comes to the things of God. This is definitely not something a person can find in a Bible concordance.
 
Loyal
It's not our perfection that God sees but the perfection of the one who is inside us. Just like when God says if we fail one aspect of the law, we fail the entire law. The same with perfection. Our perfection has not come yet. I believe that perfection is a goal but , if we are to please God, we would have to do it 24/7....we can't do that but, his son in us can. God calls us blameless, righteous and holy...not us but the one in us!
Be ye perfect is probably the same as "go and sin no more".... a vision for us and a goal but not realistic all the time!
But the one who is inside RJ is already perfect, is God looking at our perfection or that of His son whom He knows is perfect?

Surely we are to aim for perfection although will never achieve full perfection?

The only other way I am trying to visualise this is, if as you say God is looking at Jesus in us, it is because we have 'marred the image of Him that is within us' with our sins. Thus making Him within us to be less effective in us or for us. The veil of sin.
 

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