Christ's Law

2Cor 9:7 . . Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not
reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.

Towards what end is the giving spoken of in the New Testament? To finance
ambitious building programs? Well; Christians back then met in homes. Did their
contributions go towards obtaining more homes to meet in? No.

Within the context of the New Testament; giving in the early church was charitable.
It met needs rather than expenses; and those needs were typically congregational
rather than universal; viz: their charity went towards those amongst themselves
and/or other congregations that were hungry, sick, injured, homeless, alone,
helpless, missionaries, full-time-church officers, orphans, widows, abandoned,
and/or oppressed, etc.
2Cor 10:7 . . If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should reconsider
that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

It's amazing that any Christian's ego would be so inflated as to think themselves
holier than an apostle. However, there are some people out there infected with a
pretty bad case of conceit who are up to it.
2Cor 13:5 . . Examine yourselves, whether you're in the faith; test your own
selves. Don't you know of your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, unless
you're all reprobates?

The only proof-positive way for individuals to know for sure whether Christ is in them
is by getting it from the horse's mouth.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Rom 8:15)

The Greek word translated "testifies" means to corroborate; defined by Webster's
as: to support or help prove (a statement, theory, etc.) by providing information or

This kind of support usually isn't public: it's private. In other words: it's one on one,
spirit to spirit, heart to heart. Needless to say then, this kind of corroboration is
supernatural rather than academic which is why Paul said to test "your own selves"
rather than others because no one but you and God together can do this for you.

Smokey the Bear says: Only you can prevent forest fires, whereas scripture says:
Only you can know whether Christ is in you.
Gal 1:8 . . Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto
you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

The Greek word for "accursed" in that passage basically has to do with banishment,
shunning and/or disassociation.

An application of this, within the epistle to Galatians, is 5:4 where it says:

"You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you
have fallen away from grace."

Whenever Paul spoke of "law" he was usually referring to the five books of Moses
per Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. So, in a nutshell; the
anathema clearly applies to people who insist that it's necessary to comply with the
Ten Commandments to get to Heaven, e.g. Acts 15:5.
Gal 5:1 . . Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

The yoke of bondage about which Paul wrote pertains to the covenant that Moses'
people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy;
which is described by Acts 15:10 as "neither our fathers, nor are we, able to bear"

A very serious problem with that covenant is that it allows neither pardon nor
atonement for willful disobedience.

"Anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes The Lord,
and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised The
Lord's word and broken His commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt
remains on him." (Num 15:30-31)

FAQ: David knew that an affair with married Bathsheba would be adultery. How
then was God able to let him off with a mere rap on the knuckles, so to speak,
seeing as how that covenant was David's religion? (2Sam 2:13)

REPLY: David was a man of faith and also a prophet. He was spared a full cup of
the wrath of God by means of Jesus' crucifixion. (Rom 3:21-26 & 1Pet 1:10-11)

FAQ: Jesus was crucified ex post facto. How then was it legal to apply his cross to
David retroactively before it even took place?

REPLY: Jesus was designated, and scheduled, to give his life for the sins of the
world very early-on: prior to anything created. (1Pet 1:18-20 & Rev 13:8)
Gal 5:2-3 . . Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised,
Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets
himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

The Greek word for "man" in the above passage is anthropos (anth' ro-pos) a
common word in the New Testament for humans of either gender. The specific word
for males is arrhen (ar'-hrane) and/or arsen (ar' sane).

Modern females undergo conversion to Judaism by means of a ritual bathing called
Mikveh; which, for them, is equivalent to male circumcision. The exact process by
which females in the Old Testament underwent conversion-- e.g. Ruth --is
unknown, but for certain, covenanted circumcision is specifically a requirement for
Jewish men. (Gen 17:9-14)

I think it safe to assume that the circumcision Paul warned against was a
nondescript label that included not only the male kind but also by whatever means
that females in his day underwent conversion to Judaism.

Seeing as how the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon per Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy doesn't specify a God-given procedure for female
conversion to Judaism, then I'd guess that just about any method would be
sufficient so long as the ritual is conducted by someone authorized to do so.

The primary "value" of Christ that's lost by conversion to Judaism is access to God
via Jesus' high priesthood. Judaism's high priesthood gets no closer to heaven's ear
than the inner sanctum in the back of the Temple down here on the ground; and
even that's only once a year on Yom Kippur; whereas Christ's high priesthood is
seated in heaven at God's right hand 24/7/365; which of course is far and away
superior to Judaism's access to God.
Gal 5:13a . . You, my brethren, were called to be free. But do not use your liberty
to indulge the base nature;

Christ's followers are sometimes accused of practicing a religion that gives people a
license to steal, so to speak. Well; that's true to a certain extent because his
followers do have immunity from any, and all, of the curses that the Old Testament
imposes on scofflaws per Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 because
their association with God is via a different covenant wherein are no curses for non

So then; for sure there's a bit of a "moral hazard" within Christianity. However, God
prefers that people dead to Old Testament law not allow human nature be the
dominant force in their lives. (e.g. Rom 6:1-13 and Col 3:1-17)
Gal 5:16 . . I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not
fulfill the lust of the base nature.

Some years ago, in a boatyard where I was employed on Shelter Island in San
Diego, I was listening to a young Christian boast of his dedication to Christ. So I
asked him: What about the command to walk in the Spirit? How are you doing with
that one?

Well, the brash, pleased-with-himself youngster admitted he didn't even know what
that meant, let alone how to do it. (chuckle) In regards to "dedication" Mr. Super
Saint hadn't even got to first base yet. (judging by the fact that was on a third
marriage the last time we spoke, I'd have to say he never did get the hang of it.

Anyway, there's nothing mystical about this. Walking in the Spirit is just simply
complying with Christ's instructions rather than letting your natural impulses and/or
your own thinking control your conduct all the time.

For example: "Abstain from food tainted by idols, from promiscuity, from the meat
of strangled animals, and from blood." When a Christian complies with those
instructions; they're walking in the Spirit, but when they're indiscriminately eating
whatever, drinking whatever, and sleeping around without regard for God's feelings
about it; then they're fulfilling the desires of the base nature. It's that simple.

NOTE: The Greek word translated "lusts" can refer to bad lusts as well as good. For

"And he said to them: I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I
suffer." (Luke 22:15)

Christ's eager desire is translated from the same Greek word as the lusts spoken of
in Gal 5:16
Gal 5:25-26 . . Since we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us
not be conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

The sentient consciousness we have as our normal selves is dried up, i.e. it's
decrepit and infertile. (John 6:53 & Eph 2:1) whereas regeneration gives folks
something viable and sustainable. (John 3:3-8 & John 4:10-14)

Webster's defines "conceit" as excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or

To my knowledge, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong core values
and/or believing in yourself, but if you should find yourself somewhat indignant
and/or resentful when others don't believe in you, or when they think very little of
your core values; then watch out because that's a symptom of conceit, and it will
hinder you from complying with The Lord's instructions in regard to getting along
with fellow believers.

The Greek word translated "provoke" basically means to challenge; viz: to get in
somebody's face in an obnoxious, assertive, militant manner.

The Greek word for "envy" basically means hostile toward a rival, or towards
someone believed to enjoy an advantage. In other words: we're talking about a
competitive spirit-- not the good-natured, friendly kind but a malicious kind of
competitive spirit that resents others doing better than itself, or more popular than
itself, or more recognized than itself, or more admired than itself; viz: it's all about

Rivalry is a very destructive passion. It got Abel slain by his own brother, and it got
Christ slain by his own people. Rivalry makes otherwise sensible people behave
contrary to their own better judgment, and gets them embroiled in oftentimes
unnecessary vendettas; e.g. gender rivalry, political rivalry, financial rivalry, and
racial rivalry. Those kinds of rivalries are very destructive influences.
Gal 6:1a . . Brethren, even if someone is caught in the very act of any trespass,
you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;

The Greek word for "trespass" is interesting. It can refer to willful misconduct
and/or to unintentional misconduct. Seeing as how willful misconduct is dealt with
harshly and summarily per 1Cor 5:1-13, whereas in this situation gently, then I'd
say Gal 6:1 is referring to unintentional misconduct; which doesn't merit a public
flogging; but rather a quiet talk; and the more private the better in order to avoid
embarrassing the unintentional offender.

Restoration does not apply to visitors; only to members on a church's roles; i.e. the
congregation. The visitors' business is none of our business so don't go sticking
your nose in it.

The Greek word for "restore" basically means to repair or adjust, viz: restoration
applies to maladjusted Christians, i.e. the ones whose misconduct is habitual, and
quite possibly detrimental to a church's overall health.

A spirit of gentleness precludes the use of bullying, intimidation, rage. yelling,
demeaning comments, lecturing, scolding, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping
criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no,
they're cruel and abusive. They're also unwarranted when the accused has
committed an unintentional trespass.

NOTE: The instructions given in Gal 6:1 pertain only to spiritual Christians. The
garden variety, rank and file pew warmers-- viz: marginal Christians --need not
concern themselves with it.

In churches where people are conceited, assertive, confrontational, embroiled in
petty rivalries, debating, quarrelling, and maybe even jostling for notoriety; the
spiritual ones are obviously going to be as scarce as California Condors.
Gal 6:2 . . Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law
of Christ.

It's human nature to shun people with problems as if they were lepers so they don't
drag us into a world of inconvenience and/or negativity. But that is not what I call
fulfilling the law of Christ; which reads like this:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must
love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love
one another." (John 13:34-35)

The love that is defined by "As I have loved you" is a kind of love willing to suffer
inconvenience, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and disgrace for the sake of
another. Christ's love isn't a fault-finding attitude; it's a supportive virtue: it doesn't
only feel your pain, it gets involved in your pain.

Church can be the loneliest place on earth when nobody cares enough about you t
get involved in your pain; but instead would just as soon not know about it. Sadly,
there is about as much love for one another in modern churches as there is
amongst an audience of strangers at the movies. I sincerely believe that a lot of
that indifference has to do with modern churches just simply being too big, too
busy, and too complex; where individuals are as anonymous and inconspicuous as
a drop of pigment in a bucket of paint.
Gal 6:6 . . And let the one who is taught the word, share all good things with him
who teaches.

I suspect that this is a bit different than 1Cor 9:11-14 and 1Tim 5:17-18 where it's
required that full-time church officers be compensated for their work.

The Greek of the verse above is vague, but seems to focus upon ordinary laymen--
likely both men and women --who voluntarily teach Sunday school classes and/or
speak to Wednesday night prayer meetings. These non professional leaders
appreciate feed-back, i.e. reports from their students and listeners how the
information they've received improves their lives; and quite possibly corrects their
Gal 6:7a . . Don't be deceived into thinking God is a silly old fool.

A silly old fool is a senior citizen that people know they can mistreat and/or take
advantage of without fear of complaint, resistance, or reprisal.

People in our day and age are easily persuaded that God is harmless and that the
Old Testament's version of God is obsolete, i.e. no longer someone to fear since
Jesus came along. But as God was capable of withholding blessing for conduct
unbecoming back then; He still is.
Gal 6:10 . . So then, whenever we have opportunity, let us do good to all men,
and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Good can take any number of forms but I think a useful description we could apply
here is "beneficial".

Jesus did good (Acts 10:30) i.e. he was very definitely beneficial; not just on the
cross or by his teachings, but in practical ways too.

Those who are of the "household of the faith" are actually kin; viz: siblings; and like
they say: charity begins at home.

Some churches have what they call a deacon's fund; to assist members who are
down and out and/or in dire straits.

And don't overlook your church's senior citizens. Some may be getting up in years
and finding it difficult to even maintain their own homes and yards anymore.
Chores may not seem all that spiritual; but pitch in anyway if for no other reason
than your assistance is beneficial.
Eph 2:11-22 . .Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birt
and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision-- that done
in the body by the hands of men --remember that at that time you were separate
from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of
the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

. . . But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near
through the blood of Christ. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens,
but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household

Gentiles are prone to forget; and one of the things they forget is that their religion
didn't begin with the Roman Catholic Church; no, it began with Abraham; and the
purpose of Gentiles hearing the gospel is not so they can replace the Jews as God's
chosen people, but rather, so they can join them and share in their blessings.

Rom 11:17-18 . . If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though
a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the
nourishing sap from the olive root, don't boast over those branches. If you do,
consider this: You don't support the root, but the root supports you.

Isa 49:5-6 . . And now says The Lord, who formed me from the womb to be his
servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of The Lord, and my God is my strength). He says: It
is too small a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the
nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

John 4:22 . . Salvation is of the Jews.
Eph 4:1 . . As a prisoner for The Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the
calling you have received.

Some time long ago, a pastor in Arizona utilized a highway billboard to poll people's
opinion not of Christianity, rather; what people think of Christians. Here's the gist
of his message:

Text Me @ xxxxxx-1152 (full number withheld for privacy considerations)

The results of the poll were open to view at iamlandonmacdonald on Instagram.

Some responses:


Not everybody despises Christians, but for sure everybody despises a phony. i.e.
Christians don't have to live the life of a saint to become a saint, but they do have
to life the life of a saint in order to merit the respect their religion deserves.
Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another
in love.

The Greek word translated "love" in that passage is agápee which is fortunate in
some ways because it doesn't necessarily speak of affection like the Greek word
phileo. It mostly pertains to personal conduct, e.g. civility, courtesy, sympathy,
thoughtfulness, tolerance, charity, kindness, lenience, understanding, diplomacy,
tact, etc. which are common social skills that even the most insensitive clod on
earth can practice if they put their mind to it.

Humility is relative to humbleness of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as
free from conceit and/or vanity. Humility is one of those virtues that people love to
talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

Conceit is defined as excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue, viz:
arrogance, i.e. a superiority complex and/or a master-race mentality. (A conceited
supervisor was a very key factor in the Chernobyl disaster. Had he been more
reasonable, and less arrogant, the disaster might've been easily averted.)

Vanity is defined as inflated pride in oneself, viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.
Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of
vanity that Paul is talking about; which goes way beyond just trying to look your

Vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing and it isn't gentle either, on the
contrary; vanity can be quite cruel and competitive, caring only what's best for
itself. Vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below
its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to
correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

Patience"is defined as the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint
something and/or someone difficult or disagreeable; especially when it comes to
certain folk who seem to have a natural aptitude for getting on people's nerves.
Eph 4:3 . . Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of

The Spirit is the one thing that all born-again Christians have in common regardless
of their denominational affiliation. The Spirit keeps them combined in a fraternity
held together with stronger force than a labor union.

* Unity isn't necessarily achieved by conformity. Folks can still be unified even
when in disagreement. For example the USA at one time nurtured differences of
opinion; yet we remained a cohesive nation. Dictators, despots, and tyrants achieve
cohesion by means of edicts, violence, fear, suppression, injustice, and abuse of
human rights; but here we achieved unity by working toward resolutions via
democratic processes before folks in high places began favoring Socialism where it's
a brave new world and 2+2=5.

Peace can be roughly defined as the absence of strife, e.g. hostility, grudging,
quarrelling, and rivalry, etc.

The Spirit has much to say in regard to Christian social skills; and if each and every
believer would listen to Him, the natural result is going to be harmony wherever
and whenever they associate with one another.
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Eph 4:17-19 . . So I tell you this, and insist on it in The Lord, that you must no
longer live as the pagans do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in
their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance
that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they
have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity,
with a continual lust for more.

The Greek word translated "sensitivity" basically pertains to apathy; defined by
Webster's as a lack of feeling or emotion and/or a lack of interest or concern, i.e.
indifference. This is the only place in the entire New Testament where the word
appears so we can't compare its use in other contexts.

There are immoral people out there who wish they could stop themselves but can't.
I wouldn't call them indifferent: apathy, in this instance, applies to hard-core
immoral folk who view themselves as perfectly normal and satisfied with
themselves just as they are; having neither wish nor interest in any other way of

The Ephesian church had a number of those hard-cores in their midst that needed
to wake up and realize that their attitude was maybe acceptable as citizens in the
Ephesian culture of that day, but thoroughly unacceptable as Christians in any day.
One of the very things they cherished, and that made their lives worth the living,
had to be let go.
Eph 4:20-24 . .Surely you heard of Christ and were taught in him in accordance
with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of
life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be
made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be
like God in true righteousness and holiness.

When God completed the six days of creation, He went on sabbatical (Gen 2:1-3).
The six days were all bounded by an evening and a morning. The seventh wasn't
bounded; i.e. it hasn't ended, indicating that God has yet to resume creating things
for the current cosmos. So then, the new self spoken of in the passage above isn't
for the current cosmos, rather, it's a self created for a cosmos yet to come. (Isa
65:17, 2Pet 3:13, Rev 21:1)

The Greek word translated "desire" basically means: a longing.

A longing by itself doesn't always indicate sinful desires. The very same word
describes The Lord's personal desire to dine in the company of his apostles just
prior to being crucified. (Luke 22:15)

The kind of longings in view here are "deceitful" which is from a Greek word that
basically pertains to delusion, which Webster's defines as: a persistent false
psychotic belief regarding the self, or persons or objects outside the self, that is
maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary-- in other words: deceitful
longings are delusional, a.k.a. pipe dreams.

For example: the old saying "The grass is greener on the other side" which of
course is an unreasonable expectation. Some people sincerely believe that they
would be happier if only they had more money. Well; sad to say, money can be
guaranteed to buy you neither love nor happiness.

Delusional longings get people to chasing after pots of gold at the end of rainbows
that may or may not satisfy; viz: sometimes the dream is better than the reality.
Meanwhile, their life clock is winding down while they're in pursuit of those pots and
they are steadily becoming more and more secular and unspiritual. Paul "insists"
that Christ's followers be practical, i.e. avoid squandering their time and energy
chasing after pipe dreams; viz: keep their feet on the ground and their heads out of
the clouds.
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