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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (3)


Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (3)

 

Andreas: What is the New Covenant?

 

Russ: The New Covenant is described in Jeremiah 31: 31-34 and repeated in Hebrews 8:8-13. Jeremiah 31 also includes 31:35-37.

(1) It is “a better covenant established upon better promises” (Heb 8:6). It is not the Old Covenant reworded.

(2) Again, it is “the second” covenant and not the first reworded” (Heb 8:7).

(3) Like the first covenant, it is primarily made with the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah” (Heb 8:8). It was not made primarily with the Gentiles but they were later included when Israel rejected its Messiah and the Gentile dogs ate the crumbs which fell from their table. How do you explain this text?

(4) The new covenant is “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt” (Heb 8:9). Again we are told that even the new covenant was primarily for Israel but it was DIFFERENT from the first as we discover that Gentiles have much more access to it.

(5) For the third time, it is “with the house of Israel” (Heb 8:10a).

(6)  God will place His new covenant “laws into their mind and write them in their hearts” (Heb 8:10b). In essence this is a full manifestation or revelation of God’s will as opposed to the law written on stones (2 Cor 3:1-18).

(7) Like God’s original plan for Israel in Exodus 19:5-6, there will be a priesthood of every believer – no hierarchy of priests and no need for laws to support priests (Heb 8:11).  “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

(8) The moment one accepts Christ as his/her personal Savior, he/she is eternally saved and adopted into the household of God. The guilt of every sin which separated from a relationship with God is gone  -- God cannot remember them (Heb 8:12). SDAs have a serious problem with 8:12.

(9) The Old Covenant ended (8:13).

(10) The New Covenant and Israel will both survive as a nation as long as there are stars in the sky (Jer 31:35-37). This must not be in your Bible because you totally ignore it.

 

Andreas: And till when was it in effect?

 

Russ: Earth and time as we know it will survive until Revelation 21 after the 1000 year reign of Messiah on Earth.

 

Andreas: What does it mean to be under the New Covenant?

 

Russ: Its principles will guide the lives of believers as they are indwelt, guided and taught by the Holy Spirit. They will know God’s will.

 

Andreas: No rules, no commands?

 

Russ: Plenty of rules and commands – all written in the heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

Andreas: Sermon on the Mount "rules" - which were also said BEFORE Calvary, hence not for Gentiles?

 

Russ: Only those which were repeated to the Church after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant apply. What is your hermeneutic? What principle do you apply to bring material over from the Old to the New Covenant?

 

Andreas: You also see that the law will be written in our hearts. My question, what law did the writer refer to?

 

Russ: How do you answer your question? You discard most of the judgments and ordinances and then throw Mt 5:18-19 at me which you ignore.

Which parts of WWII Nazi law have been repeated in Austria’s present constitution? Does that mean Nazi Law still exists? Of course not.

Andreas:
My point of view is the following: Everything that was a shadow of Christ, e.g., the feasts, sacrifices, is not valid anymore (Colossians 2,16). It's that simple. Therefore food laws still exist.

 

Russ: What about killing your children and killing Sabbath breakers? Were these shadows of Christ? Do you destroy houses with mild? Do yo make your wife eat dirt from the sanctuary to prove she is pure? Do you pay tithes to deacons, choir and musicians as they did in the Bible? Do you give a third tithe to the poor? Do you cause others to work on the Sabbath? // How does your principle explain Mt 5:18-19? Colossians 2:16 is not the only text in the Bible! Read Exodus 21 through Deuteronomy and you will discover how very weak your answer is: literally hundreds would still exist that was not a shadow of Christ!

Andreas: Mt 28:9+35 does not contain "fulfilled". It is found in chapter 27.


Russ: O.K. So I made a typo, but you missed the point – Jesus totally fulfilled the righteousness of the Old Covenant Law with Israel. Where do you get the idea that God included the Gentiles in that Law?


Andreas: Mt 24,20  If the Sabbath is not valid anymore, why does Jesus ask them to pray this way?

 

Russ: Matthew 24 takes place in the future Great Tribulation when the Antichrist will break his 7 year covenant with Israel. It is Daniel 9’s 70 week in which returning Jews who are not Christians will place themselves once again under Law contrary to the will of God.

Russ: At no time did God command Israel to proselytize Gentiles.

Andreas: What purpose then did the Jews have? Are you saying that Gentiles were never really meant to be saved?


Russ: If Israel had obeyed God and accepted its Messiah, it would have been so blessed that Gentiles would flow into Jerusalem and be saved. It will still happen as the last literal unconditional chapters of Zechariah are yet unfulfilled.

 

Andreas: In Acts we read several times that Paul went to the synagogues/temples to teach the people on a Sabbath. Why?

 

Russ: As a Jewish man, and, especially as a Jewish rabbi, Paul had an open pulpit in the synagogues until they cast him out. It would have been foolish not to take advantage of an open pulpit.

       However after being cast out of the synagogues Pau eventually taught the Gentiles on days other than Saturday. This is covered in detail in my book.


Andreas: (Concerning your BEFORE / AFTER Calvary hermeneutic) For example, the words Jesus said at the sermon on the Mount in Mt 5 are not applied to Gentiles, but to Jews. But, AFTER Calvary, they are also not applied to Jews anymore in case they are not mentioned AFTER Calvary.

 

Russ: Blessing are generic and is not a command. Much of what Jesus taught was generic and not covenant-related. How do you explain all the events in which Jesus commanded Temple worship. He even commanded Samaritan lepers to show themselves to the (Samaritan) priests. Jesus would have sinned if he had taught contrary to any part of the whole Law. Jesus could not possibly have taught his Jewish or Gentile disciples to tithe either to himself or to his apostles.
……………………………………………

Enough said about the law.

Now, let’s get to the real difference between SDAs and the remainder of the Christian world – the Investigative Judgment

 

How does Daniel 8:14 answer the question asked in 8:13 in the context of 8:8-12?

 

What “defiled” the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary:

the deeds of the little horn?

Or

the confessed and forgiven sins of God’s saints?

 

What gives you the right to change to question from “How long before the sanctuary will stop being defiled?

To

When will its cleansing begin?

 

The temple in 8:8-13 and chapter 9 is the one on earth. What gives you the right to change it

To

The one in heaven?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (2nd)


Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (2nd edited to remove duplication) 9-12-2014

 



Me, Dr. Andreas Starzacher

Your opinion 2 Some comments and questions to your last email: Russ: Matt 15:4 “For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother (Ex 20:12) AND, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death” (E

Sep 6

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Russ: Matt 15:4 “For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother (Ex 20:12) AND,
He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death” (Exodus 21:15).

Andreas: Actually 4b is found in Exodus 21:17.

Russ: Is that all you have to say. Many of the judgments were the PENALTIES for presumptuously violating the moral laws. Have you ever read Exodus through Deuteronomy?; have you ever read “the Law”?  A law does not exist without the PENALTY for violating it. Do you kill your children who hit or curse you? Of course not! Because the whole law ended as a covenant – including the penalty part of it beginning in Exodus 21.

 

Andreas: I agree, but, however, Jesus paid it all, so he freed us NOT from the law, but
from the curse of the law (meaning death penalty), as found in Galatians 3,13.

 

Russ: You say that the penalty for violating the law has ended but the whole law still exists. That makes no sense.

The law also commanded women to stay outside the camp while in menstruation. Did Calvary end that? The Law also commanded killing Sabbath-breakers. Did Calvary end that?

 

Russ: According to the amount of sacrificial animals required, the 7th day Sabbath was the LEAST important Sabbath day.

Andreas: I did not get it, can you please explain that in more details why you think in that way?

 

Russ: This is proof that you have not read the law you protect so hard. Read my free online book, chapter 20, Greater and Lesser Sabbaths (www.tithing-russkelly.com/sda).

 

Russ: Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments …” 

Andreas: … Jesus did not abolish the whole law, indeed. But, however, Jesus made such things as sacrifices obsolete …


Russ: Matthew 5:18 says “not one jot or tittle (dot or stroke).” Yet you just said that he “made such things as sacrifices obsolete.” That, my friend, is a contradiction. Again in Matt 5:19 Jesus said “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” This also goes strongly against your “Jesus made such things as sacrifice obsolete.”

You want it both ways. You quote Mt 5:18-19 to me to prove that the whole law is still in effect and then ignore the plain clear fact that those 2 verses condemn your interpretation. Either the whole Old Covenant law of commandments, judgments and ordinances is still in full force, or else none of it is. Make up your mind.

 

Andreas: At least those (commandments) mentioned in Matthew 5:20-48 are still valid, in my opinion, at the same level as the 10 commandments.

 

Russ: Including 5:23-24???

Since Jesus’ righteousness is at least equal to that required by Law (Mt 5:20) Jesus was then already CHANGING “dots and tittles” in the Law He gave. He upgrades “murder” to “hate”; He upgraded “adultery” to “lust”; He ended “eye for an eye” with “forgiveness”; He upgrades “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18) to the highest level of commandments.

Andreas: Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly. But that does not imply that the law is therefore obsolete.

 

Russ: The Old Covenant Law is obsolete; the New Covenant “law of the Spirit of life in Christ” has replaced it (Rom 8:3).

Remember you just said “Jesus made such things as sacrifices obsolete …” If He made sacrifices obsolete, then He made the whole Law obsolete as required in a literal understanding of Matthew 5:18-19.

 

Andreas: But, wouldn't you say that love neighbor is not obsolete? Jesus mentioned that one of the highest commandments is love your neighbor?

 

Russ: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is repeated in the New Covenant after Calvary; therefore it still applies, not as  the Old but as part of the New law.

My hermeneutic is: “If it is repeated in the New Covenant after Calvary, it applies in terms of grace and faith.” – like the U.S. Constitution replacing British Law.

On the other hand, SDAs have no consistent principle to apply when bringing things over from the Old into the New Covenant.

 

Andreas: Hence, Jesus redeemed us from the law in that sense that he paid the price for our transgressions.

 

Russ: That logic leaves the whole law intact -- all 600-plus commandments, judgments and ordinances – including the commands to sacrifice and the entire book of Leviticus. Do you observe the 7 festivals? Do you forbid mixed marriages? Do you cause anybody to work on the Sabbath?

 

Andreas: Important: what is "sin"? Sin is lawlessness (or transgression of the law) [1 John 3:4].

 

Russ:

(1) Which law? The law of nature? The law of conscience? The Law of Moses? The Law of Grace? The Law of Christ? Did you know this is the only use of “law” in First John? Except for the KJV, other versions read “lawlessness.”

(2) If you use I John 3:4 to refer to the Ten Commandments and Sabbath, then you are legitimizing slave ownership and condemning yourself for causing others to work on the Sabbath.

(3) If you use I Jn 3:4 to refer to the entire law of commandments, judgments and ordinances, then you condemn yourself for discarding most of the judgments and ordinances and violate your own “not one jot or tittle” argument from Mt 5:18 and “the least of these commandments” argument from Mt 5:19.

(4) If you say that “commandments” only refers to the Ten Commandments, then you ignore I John 3:23, 24, 4:1 and 5:2. In First John “keeping the commandments” refers almost exclusively to “loving God” and “loving others.” This is the “new/old” commandment of John 13:34; 1 John 2:7, 8 and 2 John 5.

(5) The definition of “law” has changed from a) natural law and conscience to b) the codified Law of Moses to c) the law of Grace/Christ which that which is eternal and moral from the Old Covenant has been repeated in the New Covenant in terms of grace and faith.

(6) This is my chief argument with your theology. You will not or cannot consistently define either “law” or “commandments” and that is why you will not and cannot consistently define “sin.”

(7) Rom 5:13 “(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

a) Until the formal codified law

b) Sin was in the world because of the law of nature and conscience

c) Imputed refers to accountability

(8) Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”Death reigned because the law of nature and conscience still existed to condemn mankind

Andreas: Same as in James 2:10, if there is no law, why mention this comparison?


James 2:9 “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

James 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”

Russ: Must you quote every text out of context?

(1) James 2:1-9 is a discussion of respecting persons, not the Ten Commandments.

(2) While the Ten Commandments do not call having respect of persons a sin, 2:9 adds yet another commandment.

(3) You dare to quote 2:10 and then dare to teach that the “whole law” does not include most of the judgments and ordinances.

(4) Important. The purpose of James 2:9-10 is to demonstrate the futility of pleasing God by good works.

(5) The answer to the dilemma of James 2:8-10 is found in 2:11. The “royal law” is neither the Law of Moses nor the Ten Commandments. The “royal law” is superior to regular law. In order to obey the “royal law” of “not respecting others,” one must obey the whole law of love. For example, one can kill without committing adultery or steal without killing – but one who respects another cannot kill, steal or commit adultery. Therefore, “not respecting others” is “royal” compared to “thou shalt not kill, steal, and commit adultery ”or“ dis-honoring parents.”

 

Andreas: Jesus was the foreseen Messiah and fulfilled a lot of commandments.

 

Russ: Yes, but the text says that “not one dot or dash of the whole law will pass away until all be fulfilled” (Mt 5:18). Therefore your answer is inadequate, lacking and wrong. Either we are still under ALL of the Law (as the Old Covenant) or NONE of it. Again, my consistent hermeneutic is: “Only that which is repeated to the Church after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant applies today.” You lack a consistent principle for applying the Old Covenant Laws to the New Covenant. That is why your doctrines of tithing and Sabbath-keeping are wrong.

 

Andreas: Concerning judgments: what do you particularly mean?

 

Russ: That part of the Law which judges decided is generally called judgments, beginning in Exodus 21. They were civil as opposed to cultic ceremonial worship laws in which the priests managed. Priests only dealt with sins of omission and accident. Judges dealt with willful, presumptuous, high-handed, deliberate sins.

 

Andreas: In general, I agree with Romans 6:23. The wages of sin is death. This is still valid.

 

Russ: Of course it is. The primary definition of sin has not changed, but the definition of “law” has changed. Have you not studied Romans 5:11-21? Many died before the formal codified law was enacted through Moses.

How do you explain John 16:8-9? The definition of sin has changed drastically from nature’s law to Moses’ law to Christ’s law.

 

Andreas: Concerning ordinances: Here the question is (I) "why I teach that Jesus abolished e.g., the feasts". This was a shadow (Colossians 2:16-17) and
(ii) "why I teach that Jesus abolished the purity laws", but not the "food laws". To be honest, I cannot answer this.

 

Russ: Again, my concern is that you are taking apart the Law one piece at a time contrary to Matthew 5:18-19. At least I can re-instate many of those good laws because they are repeated after Calvary as part of the New Covenant (i.e. British to U.S. Law).

 

Andreas: Galatians 3:19: concerning "the law was added [had a beginning]" Sure it has a beginning. But this beginning must not be at Exodus 20.

 

Russ: Why not? You are confusing the eternal law of nature and conscience for all mankind with the temporary Law of Moses only for Old Covenant Israel (Ex 19:5-6).


Andreas: The word "till" is quite interesting and I need to think about it carefully. Cannot give you any answer on that issue.

 

Russ: Again, English Law, all of it, GOOD AND BAD, ended on July 4th, 1776 when my representatives signed the Declaration of Independence.

Andreas: Mt 5:17-18

 

Russ: You are rightly puzzled by Matthew 5:17-18 because you do not want to let go of the Old Covenant Law which never did apply to Gentiles or the whole earth. It was their unique covenant Ex 19:5-6). They were the only nation God redeemed from bondage in Egypt (Ex 20;
Deuteronomy 5 preambles to the Ten Commandments). Referring to Jesus fulfilling prophecy, Matthew alone contains the word “fulfilled” 14 times: 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14, 35; 21:4; 26:54, 56; 28:9, 35. Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements  of the Law.

 

Andreas: Jesus' words "it is finished" or after the new Jerusalem will reside on the new earth? I have no definite answer to that.


Russ: The ripping of the Temple veil signaled that the Old Covenant had ended and that all believers could view the Most Holy Place as believer-priests.  The New Covenant Law of God’s will written in the hearts by the Holy Spirit had begun (Heb 8:8-13).

Andreas: Galatians 3:24.
Well, our schoolmaster was the law. When? Does this apply also to Gentiles?

 

Russ: Paul was speaking as a Hebrew from the Hebrew point of view. In Romans he changes his address from “we” to “they” often.

       In meeting the righteous requirements of the formal codified Law to save Hebrews, Jesus also met the requirements of the law of nature and conscience to save Gentiles.

 

Andreas: Or do I have to be first under the law, then, sometime later, I will be brought to Jesus? This is absurd.

 

Russ: You have to first be convicted of sin by the Holy
Spirit either through nature and conscience, or through the Law of Moses as a Hebrew, or through th Law of Christ.

       The absurd thing is that you want to place Gentiles under the Old Covenant law and condemn them as lawbreakers and completely ignore Romans 2:14-16 which you admit you do not understand.
a)    Romans 1:16-18 says that both Jews and Gentiles deserve the wrath of God.

b) Gentiles deserve the wrath of God because they have sinned against revealed truth of nature and conscience (1:19 to 2:26).

c) Hebrews deserve the wrath of God because they have sinned against the direct revelation of the Old Covenant Law.

d) Romans 3 quotes Isaiah and Psalms and concludes that both Jess and Gentiles are guilty before God as lawbreakers (3:19-20).

 

Andreas: Gal 3:25 implies that we once were under a schoolmaster. Consequently, this means that also Gentiles were under the law? Or is Paul speaking to Jews?

 

Russ: Again, to Jews per 4:4-5. At no time did God command Israel to proselytize Gentiles.

(3) May I clarify your statement to read: “Jesus Christ has not come to redeem us from the whole law, but only from the "curse of the whole law". Now do you see your error?
You would have us believe that the law forbidding leaving a person handing on a tree is still in effect and still defiles the land. Is that correct?


Andreas:
(3) To be consistent, yes that would be the case. Does anyone say that this is not true anymore? Why is such a thing a "sin" in God's eye "yesterday", but not "today" anymore?

Russ: In order to be consistent you would have to incorporate hundreds of other judgment-laws into your everyday life.  For example, women would have to stay out of town while on menstrual periods; houses with mildew would be destroyed and children who strike or curse parents would be killed.

Russ: (Concerning Matthew 5)
(1) The commands in Mathew 5 are before Calvary.

Andreas:
(1) Do you mean that everything Jesus said BEFORE Calvary is not "valid" for Gentiles?

 

Russ: No. The commands Jesus gave before Calvary in their Old Covenant context do not apply unless repeated after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant. That is how the U.S. treated English Law after our rebellion.


Andreas: Is adultery ok now? Or why should I not commit it? (Because Paul told the Corinthians?)

 

Russ: Of course not.

a) adultery is wrong because nature and conscience tell us it is wrong.

b) it is wrong because the sin of adultery is repeated after Calvary in the New Covenant.

c) it is wrong because the “Thou shalt not commit adultery” has been re-written in the hearts of New Covenant/new creation as “You will not commit adultery” (Heb 8:10-11). The New Covenant is not the Old Covenant re-stated. Rather it is “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers” (Heb 8:9).

d) In Galatians 5:19 adultery is called a “work of the flesh.”

Andreas: Well, what about the signs "people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus" (Rev. 14:12)? What commands are meant here?


Russ:

a) I know your theology; I was an SDA pastor. SDAs teach that the 144,000 of Revelation 14:12 have become sinlessly perfect and can stand before God without a mediator.

b) Again you need a set of consistent hermeneutics (principles of interpretation). The first must be “to whom is the text speaking.”

c) Revelation 14:12 is speaking to and about 144,000 Hebrews of the last days (from chapter 7)). They are sealed and kept from harm during the Great Tribulation.

d) They obey what Jesus taught in the New Covenant; they have kept His commands/commandments.

e) This is not a description of the SDA church.

Andreas: Are there many plans of salvation?

 

Russ:

a) There is one plan of salvation -- by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior.

b) Although most pre-Calvary man never hears the name of Jesus, they saw His righteousness by faith.

c) God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2 all). He judges each person in the context of his/her knowledge and covenant.

Andreas: If we are no longer under the schoolmaster, we, however, needed to have been under it (even Gentiles?). Otherwise we cannot be "no longer under it".


Russ:

(1) As I said before, “we” is Paul speaking as a Hebrew.

(2) You sequence is illogical. If Gentiles were ever under any part of the Old Covenant Law, then they would have been under all of it. Nowhere, absolutely nowhere does the Bible say that God commanded the Gentiles to keep the Old Covenant Law, the Sabbath or tithing, etc.

(3) Gentiles have gone from being under the law/principle of nature and conscience TO being under “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:3).

 

Andreas: Rom 1:20.How can a person know that there is a Father, a Son, a Holy Spirit (Godhead) purely from creation?


Russ: Common sense says there is a godhead. God is love and love cannot exist by itself. I cannot fully answer your question, but I could never worship a twinkle in the sky or an idol I know was carved.

 

Andreas: It is mentioned that the Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel. But, why is there a connection to the creation, i.e., 7th Day God rested ...?


Russ: Read Creation Sabbath in my SDA book. The first Creation Sabbath was not bordered by an “evening and a morning”; the perfect sinless rest of the first Sabbath lasted until sin entered. We do not know how long that was. Adam did not begin to die until he sinned.

On which day of the week did Adam sin? We do not know. Therefore God had to re-introduce the specific day of the week in Exodus 16 only to Israel! – at least 2500 years later.

The second giving of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5 does not connect it to creation at all.

The Christian rests in the perfect sinless righteousness of Christ by faith (Heb 4:3). That is good enough for me. There are no holy days commanded in the New Covenant.


Andreas: Jesus said "keep MY commands". Are "his commands" the same as the commandments in the Law and the Prophets?

 

Russ:

(1) Jesus’ commands to Adam through Moses were not in the Law and Prophets. They were found in nature, conscience and direct revelation.

(2) Jesus’ commands from Moses to Jesus FOR OLD COVENANT ISRAEL were found in the Old Covenant Law.

(3) Jesus’ commands to Gentiles from sinful Adam to Jesus were found only in nature and conscience (Romans 1:18 to 2:16.

(4) Jesus’ commands to the post-Calvary Church are found in His Words which were REPEATED after Calvary to the Church in the context of the New Covenant.


Andreas: Rom 13:8-10
After reading the text again, I noticed that not only the commandments (listed from the 10 commandments) are summarized by "Love your neighbor", but also in the previous verses Paul lists several "commandments" (what to do), e.g., pay taxes, not owe. Thus, the term "law" in verse 10 does not necessarily refer to the listed commandments of verse 9, but also of verse 7 and 8.

 

Russ: Good observation. You have added to my knowledge.

 

Andreas: But, again, I come into troubles. If "do not murder" is not valid (even thinking badly of another is enough of being guilty of murderer), then to murder is not a problem in God's eyes? Because this command is given by Jesus BEFORE Calvary, isn't it?


Russ: You are still confused about the three uses of “law.”

(1) To the pagan Gentile in deepest Mongolia, Africa or South America – “it is sin to kill/murder.” Why? Because the LAW of nature and conscience convicts him/her (Romans 1:16 to 2:16).

(2) To the Old Covenant Hebrew “It is sin to kill/murder.” Why? Because the Old Covenant Law convicts him/her (Rom 2:17-28; Exodus 20 to Deuteronomy to Malachi). The Old Covenant Law against murder ORIGINATED in the Law of nature and conscience.

(3) To the Christian “It is sin to kill/murder.” Why? Because God has written His will in the hearts of believers by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Heb 8:8-13). The REVEALTED WILL OF GOD – i.e. “law” principle – has moved from nature and conscience TO the Old Covenant  TO the New Covenant.

 

Andreas: Paul said in Romans 7:7 that he would not have known coveting as sin, if the law had not said so.

 

Russ: As you know theologians argue over the context of Romans 7.

(1) Is it before or after Paul was saved”?

(2) Does it reflect a time in Paul’s life in which he also was struggling with the concept of law? After all, look at his conclusion in 8:1-3.

(3) Why did Paul say that he was “dead to the law” in 7:4? Can law tell a dead person what to do?

(4) Is not “law” beyond 7:7 merely a “principle”?

(5) In my opinion, since “thou shalt not covet” is repeated to the Church after Calvary in the New Covenant era, then it has been brought over into the New Covenant “law of Christ”.

       (5) If all of the TC still Exists merely because Paul quoted 5 in Romans 13:9, then do all of the worship ordinances/statutes also exist because Paul also
quoted from Leviticus 19:18 “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”?


Andreas: that's a good point


Russ:
(6) Perhaps the best reason Paul quoted the second half of the Ten Commandments in Romans 13:9 is because he was using them in the strictly New Covenant sense as something eternal which should be repeated after Calvary in terms of grace and faith.

Andreas: yes, but also the 4th commandment must be viewed in a grace and faith perspective

 

Russ: Why? The Sabbath was never commanded to either Gentiles or to the Church after Calvary.

 

Andreas: By the way, what is your answer to John 8:51? What is Jesus' word? Before/After Calvary?

Russ: Have you read all of chapter 8? His “word” was what he was teaching. Sometimes it must be interpreted according to the Old Covenant context before Calvary (but not here).

 

Andreas: If there were no law, then sin could not exist (Romans 7:19 and similar verses).

 

Russ: If there were no Old Covenant Law Paul would not have been convicted by it –but-- that does not  mean the law of nature and conscience did not exist to convict him of the same sin (Rom 5:12-21; 1:18 to 2:16).

(3) The formal codified written law was “added” to the law of nature and conscience “until” the Messiah would fulfill it (Gal 3:19, 24-26; Heb 7:18).

Andreas:(3) True, but, actually, what sense does it make to add a law and after the Messiah has come (died and resurrected) it is again nullified?

 

Russ: ??? You confuse me here. The Old Covenant Law was added to the law of nature and conscience for Hebrews only. The New Covenant law replaced Old Covenant law for everybody.

 

Andreas:  1 John 3:4
(4) You said that "law" refers here to New Covenant terms as a "principle", in (4) you say it refers to everything God had revealed through the entire Old Testament. What is true?

 

Russ: Both. When applied to Jews before Calvary, it referred to everything in the Old Testament. Compare Romans 3:1-20).

Russ: Concerning Mark 2:27:
(4) In One who met the righteousness requirements of the formal Law (and the law of nature and conscience), Jesus was qualified to redeem both Israel (Rom 3:19) and Gentiles (Rom 3:20; check the lack of the definite article in 3:20).

Andreas: Romans 3:20 tells me … without law I cannot become conscious of sin as this verse implies.

Russ: “Without law as a principle.” From Adam to Moses sinners were aware that they had sinned against the principles of nature and conscience and even human government laws. A law principle – not necessarily the Law you refer to. The new law principle is seen in Romans 8:3.
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Dr. Andreas Starzacher
Margeritenstra├če 12 / D1
9500 Villach