The Correct View of God's Law

Soyeong

Active member
The view that we have of a law matches the view that we have of the lawgiver for giving it. For example, stupid laws come from stupid people, smart laws come from smart people, and stupid laws don't come from smart people. Likewise, God is trustworthy, therefore His law is also trustworthy (Psalms 19:7). A law that is holy, righteous, and good can only come from a God who is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12).

The Psalms express an extremely positive view of God's law, such as with David repeatedly saying that he loved it and delighted in obeying it, so if we consider the Psalms to be Scripture and to therefore express a correct view of God's law, then we will share it, as Paul did (Romans 7:22). For example, in Psalms 1:1-2, blessed are those who delight in the law of the Lord and who meditate on it day and night, so we can't believe in the truth of these words as Scripture while not allowing them to shape our view of God's law. In other words, anything less than the view that we ought to delight in obeying God's law is incompatible with the view that the Psalms and the books that quote the Psalms are Scripture. Moreover, the NT author considered the Psalms to be Scripture, so they should be interpreted as through they were in complete agreement with the view of God's law that is expressed in them.

As such, I use the Psalms as a test to determine whether someone has a correct view of God's law, so if someone has a view of God's law that is unsupported by the Psalms or contrary to the view of God's law that is expressed by them, then their view of God's law is incorrect, and they need to let the Psalms inform their view. For example, if someone has such as poor view of the God's law that they consider it to be bondage or as only bringing condemnation, then that matches their equally poor view of the God for giving it.
 
For example, if someone has such as poor view of the God's law that they consider it to be bondage or as only bringing condemnation, then that matches their equally poor view of the God for giving it.

This is both a non sequitur and condemns 2/3 of the NT as uninspired.

Just because a good thing becomes bondage to a bad person, does not logically mean the good thing is bad, see.

"The Law is holy and just and good."

But I also want to be righteous by it instead of trusting in the Work of Christ. (Rom. 9:32)


The goal and the means to a goal, are two different things: and these are constantly conflated by legalists.

See, the Law is not made for the righteous man.

Rather the purpose of the Law is to make sin come alive, to make you hopeless, to condemn you, to tutor you for Christ.


What sinful, limited minds start thinking here is, "That makes the goal bad."

Or, "Now sin doesn't matter."

Both of those are non sequiturs, because one can love and fulfill the Law without doing it through obligation and self-effort.


We call that, "Grace."
 
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Just so you know where I'm coming from I should explain my own position on works. I'm a Classical Arminian who embraces penal substitutionary atonement and the Trinity, and denies all forms of eternal security, believing in non-meritorious requirements to be saved. I appreciate the emphasis on the importance of holy living, but find that legalism actually hides sin and does not produce any real holiness.

I am always blessed by the testimony, the spirit and desire of all who wish to understand the things of God. I have some thoughts on balancing faith and works here, it is very difficult to understand how holy we have to be or what exactly even is this holiness. I like very much like the idea there are two ditches on either side of the road, pursuing sin or self-righteous works.

I can, as a strong advocate of grace, still agree with certain “legalistic” sounding things:

1. The Law is good.
2. The Holy Spirit will produce good attitudes in us by his grace.
3. We will be rewarded for good works.
4. There are unpardonable sins that forfeit the atonement.


But this is as far as I can go. I cannot agree the Scripture promotes the following:

1. Self-effort and self-goodness are the way to righteous living.
2. We are under the demands and obligations of the Law, which are clearly said to be perfection.
3. We will be judged for sins we are repentant of, including current struggles.
4. We have to fulfill a certain percentage of perfect character for righteous living.
5. We can live sinlessly perfect.
6. Our good works merit and earn for us a place in heaven.


If we go back to attempting to live righteously by our own efforts and under the perfection the Law demands, or if we mix grace up with works, claiming grace is just to put us back under the Law with a little helpful boost where we restart over and over to try to reach as much perfection as we can muster, while continually condemned to always falling short to just get "cleaned up" so we can try, try, again, like the little engine that could—the Law will produce sinful things in us, it will arouse our sin nature to lusting, it will encourage our pride in our own self-righteousness, it will secretly give us a sense of achievement even while paying lip service to grace, it will put us under demonic powers because we are attempting to earn God's favor, it will produce condemnation, shame and a constant sense of falling short, it will produce fleshly striving and a performance mentality where we are always under a sense of demand and pressure to produce more righteous living and try to atone or make up for past failures, all while minimizing the "little" sins we have that we can’t help, implying they don't count for much and are not really “hell worthy,” and inflating our sense of self-holiness, and on top of all this, it will encourage feeling superior and looking down on those who seem more sinful.

And all of this—all of this—instead of simply resting in the Work of the Cross, proclaiming its finality, and watching the Holy Spirit work miraculous grace inside of us with no burden of self-improvement or threat of judgment for falling short. The automatic rejoinder is always "But that means we can sin all we want!" yet what we need is an inner change, not forced actions. Freed from law, no longer do we spiritually navel-gaze at how good or bad we are performing, but come to a complete place of reliance and dependence and peace in the knowledge that God will do it all in us, constantly being covered in mercy, no matter how weak we feel or badly we perform. Be aware that the focus and preaching of "Lordship Salvation" and righteous striving, produces secret spiritual pride and places one under the Ministry of Death and Condemnation the Law was always meant to be. One cannot promote verses that say “keep the law” or “keep the commands” and just explain away and ignore verses that clearly and directly say we are not under the law, we are dead to the law.

Sneaking legalism back into Christian living is very tempting because it appeals to our self effort and our prideful desire to earn things and feel good about ourselves. Yes, the Law is necessary for the Gospel, yes, the Law does not ever die in and of itself, but the true Gospel is that we died to the Law and all of its demands because the Law was perfectly fulfilled on the Cross. Wanting to contribute to that Work of the Cross with our own efforts and goodness is the perennial temptation of the sin of self-righteousness. Whatever God requires of us in the matter of holy living, cannot be based on the demands of the Law that only grace could fulfill for us. These are non-meritorious requirements fulfilled by grace itself in us, not as an expression of fulfillment or requirements of the Law that only the Cross could fulfill for us, but as the non-meriting demands of a gracious Savior whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, and who asks nothing of us that he himself is not willing to fulfill through us and in us, just the bare acceptance of the free gift of grace.

Yes, we know this will produce some kind of change in us and we cannot outright reject that grace, but sneaking the Law back in is a subtle and nuanced attack on grace itself as addressed in Paul's letter to the Galatians, and removes the power, freedom and confidence of walking without any demands from God that only Christ could ever fulfill for us and in us. Through the Law I died to the Law. By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified. The Law manifests sin. If a Law could give life, the promise would indeed come through the Law. The Law brings wrath. The Law is your tombstone, the warrant for your arrest, the diagnose of your incurable disease, the sure death knell of all your own goodness and efforts, the Law is sent to kill you, show you that you are not good enough, and display your bondage to Satan, and that is its spiritual purpose. The Law is merely a symbolic shadow of the good things to come. Cling to the Cross alone as the only adequate and full fulfillment of all the Law's requirements, and every other requirement the Lord asks of us must always and only be met by his grace alone, it will happen freely and automatically as a gift when we quit striving in the flesh and learn to rest in our gradually improving imperfections.

Scripture gives us some sins that will either temporarily lose salvation or be unpardonable, even with the atonement not being based in merit. Blaspheming the Spirit, refusing to forgive a person, refusing to trust in the atonement for righteousness, denying faith in Christ before men, deliberately pursuing pride, rebellion and the occult. These sins do not lose salvation because we are on a merit-based system and Jesus' atonement is insufficient, but because Christ has the authority to set non-meritorious requirements. Murder and certain higher sins would lose salvation but can be restored with repentance, as King David clearly says salvation was restored to him in Psalm 51. But murder is not "the greatest sin," that is a man-centered valuation. And causing a person to go to hell through false doctrine would be spiritual murder, far more serious than physical murder. But all sins against God (even so-called "tiny" ones, like not loving God perfectly) are all more serious because God is the center and source of all valuation, not his creation, and that is why they require a correspondingly great punishment for devaluing God.

Under this system of grace, one actually more upholds the seriousness and evil of sin, and produces more real emphasis on loving the Law of God as a gift of grace instead of effort. The reason is, not that suddenly sins become permissible, but that instead of trying to conform outwardly to a standard, we are instead changed inwardly. We become holy accidentally more than we ever did on purpose, and boy how that offends our pride in achieving something, but shows a real instead of superficial love for holiness.
 
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I have some serious concerns about your beliefs. You seem to have a legalistic and law-centered understanding of righteousness, when the Bible clearly tells us that by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. The more one tries to keep the Law either two things happen: you realize you are not perfectly loving God and loving your neighbor, because no one can. Or you start to be deceived that, even though you are not perfect, you are pretty damn close to perfect, and you pridefully start being self-righteous about how holy and spiritual you think you are for keeping some commandments, and start feeling superior and critical of people less holy than you that don't keep as many commandments.

The truth is, we all fall short, we all have idols, we all love ourselves, when we keep a bunch of commandments we are in the end just holding a big old praise and worship service for our own glory and our own self and our own sense of attainment and secretly praising our own holiness, but God says that anything short of less than absolute, total, complete, perfection is just not going to be good enough for him.

So the Law being a means to make ourselves justified before God is a blindness and a distraction and a delusion of self-righteousness, which Christ Jesus directly and distinctly condemned, when he told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and the "I thank God I'm not like THAT sinner over there that doesn't keep the Sabbath, doesn't follow this and that regulation, does all those sinful, wicked things." Does that Pharisee in the parable think he's holier in the end and justified by tithing his mint and spices? You think that Pharisee never lusted in his heart? He was playing the hypocrite.

The Law had one purpose, and that's it: to show EVERYONE they ALL not good enough, they ALL sinners, they ALL messing up every day bro, you keep the sabbath on Sunday and lust in your heart by Monday morning, it isn't going to work. The Bible directly says the Law CONDEMNS, the Law shows you are NOT GOOD ENOUGH, the Law brings out the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN, the Bible say, the Law shows us we were disrespectful and resentful towards our parents even if they legitimately did us wrong, the Law shows us we were REBELLIOUS in spirit because we got hurt and offended over abuse or injustice in life, when Jesus perfectly accepted abuse and always perfectly forgave his abusers, and underneath we want the power and kingdom Jesus offers us so that like Peter and John we be at his right and left hand and call down fire, we can just find self-gratification and self-glorification and get revenge on our enemies while Jesus is saying, "Father, forgive them."

The Law kills, the letters written in stone manifest and surface the sinful, rotten nature of all mankind, the commandments bring out the grossest and darkest of our self-righteous religious secret pride, and looking down on all our fellow men and condemning them in our heart, when we know, deep down somewhere, that we ain't all that, we ain't even close to perfect, and the Law and legalism just feeds our blindness and being puffed up in pride at more and more.

Legalism does not encourage real holiness or real righteousness—it actually minimizes sin far more than grace. Because we recognize sin is SO serious only a crucified God could fix it, not our self-efforts that fill us with pride and minimize all our mistakes.
 
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This is both a non sequitur and condemns 2/3 of the NT as uninspired.

I was taught to have a negative view of God's law, but I came to the realization that if I was going to continue to consider the Psalms to be Scripture, then I needed to change my view of God's law to match the one that they express. For example, Psalms 19:7-11 is incompatible with the view that God's law is bondage and only brings condemnation. Furthermore, I came to the realization that the authors of the NT also considered the Psalms to be Scripture and therefore held the same view of God's law as expressed in the Psalms, so I experimented with interpreted the NT from that lens and found that it made much more sense and had much more continuity than I had given it credit for. So what I said did not condemn 2/3 of the NT as inspired, but spoke against interpreting the NT as though its authors held views of God's law that were contrary to what they considered to be Scripture.

Just because a good thing becomes bondage to a bad person, does not logically mean the good thing is bad, see.
God's law can be perverted into legalistic bondage by obeying it without regard the intent of what God commanded and why He commanded it, but it would be the perversion of God's law that is bondage, not God's law itself.

"The Law is holy and just and good."

But I also want to be righteous by it instead of trusting in the Work of Christ. (Rom. 9:32)
I have not claimed that. Jesus is God's word made flesh, so it is contradictory to trust in him instead of trusting in God's word.

The goal and the means to a goal, are two different things: and these are constantly conflated by legalists.
How have I conflated them?

See, the Law is not made for the righteous man.
In Isaiah 51:7, the righteous are those on whose heart is God's law. The righteous man already knows how to do what is righteous, so instructions for how to do that are not made for the righteous, but rather it is the unrighteous who need to be taught how to do that.

Rather the purpose of the Law is to make sin come alive, to make you hopeless, to condemn you, to tutor you for Christ.
If the purpose of God's law were to make sin come alive, then God's law would be sinful, however, Romans 7:7 says that God's law is not sinful, but is how we know what sin is. When God's law reveals our sin, then that leads us to repent and causes sin to decrease, so it is not the Law of God that causes sin to come alive, but the law of sin. In Romans 7:25, Paul directly contrasted the Law of God with the law of sin.

In Matthew 7:23, Jesus said that he would tell those who are workers of lawlessness to depart from him because he knew them, so the law leads us to Christ because its goal is to teach us how to know him, which is eternal life (John 17:3).

What sinful, limited minds start thinking here is, "That makes the goal bad."

Or, "Now sin doesn't matter."

Both of those are non sequiturs, because one can love and fulfill the Law without doing it through obligation and self-effort.


We call that, "Grace."
Something that was given to make sin come alive, to make us hopeless, and to condemn us is not holy, righteous, and good, but just the opposite. God is sovereign, so we are obligated to obey Him, and He is gracious to us by teaching us to do that (Psalms 119:29).
 
Just so you know where I'm coming from I should explain my own position on works. I'm a Classical Arminian who embraces penal substitutionary atonement and the Trinity, and denies all forms of eternal security, believing in non-meritorious requirements to be saved. I appreciate the emphasis on the importance of holy living, but find that legalism actually hides sin and does not produce any real holiness.
Please define "legalism". If it is legals for God to give His law and for Jesus to set a sinless example for us to follow of how to obey it, then legalism is a good thing, but I don't think that that is what legalism refers to. God's law was never given as a means of producing holiness even through perfect obedience, but rather it is God who makes us holy and obedience to His law is what that looks like.

But this is as far as I can go. I cannot agree the Scripture promotes the following:

1. Self-effort and self-goodness are the way to righteous living.
2. We are under the demands and obligations of the Law, which are clearly said to be perfection.
3. We will be judged for sins we are repentant of, including current struggles.
4. We have to fulfill a certain percentage of perfect character for righteous living.
5. We can live sinlessly perfect.
6. Our good works merit and earn for us a place in heaven.
Self-effort does not involve relying on anyone else, so it is incorrect to consider relying on what God has instructed to be self-effort. To deny that we are under the demand and obligations of God's law is to deny that God is sovereign. God's law came with instructions for what to do when the people sinned, so it never required perfection. I also cannot agree with 3-6.

If we go back to attempting to live righteously by our own efforts and under the perfection the Law demands, or if we mix grace up with works, claiming grace is just to put us back under the Law with a little helpful boost where we restart over and over to try to reach as much perfection as we can muster, while continually condemned to always falling short to just get "cleaned up" so we can try, try, again, like the little engine that could—the Law will produce sinful things in us, it will arouse our sin nature to lusting, it will encourage our pride in our own self-righteousness, it will secretly give us a sense of achievement even while paying lip service to grace, it will put us under demonic powers because we are attempting to earn God's favor, it will produce condemnation, shame and a constant sense of falling short, it will produce fleshly striving and a performance mentality where we are always under a sense of demand and pressure to produce more righteous living and try to atone or make up for past failures, all while minimizing the "little" sins we have that we can’t help, implying they don't count for much and are not really “hell worthy,” and inflating our sense of self-holiness, and on top of all this, it will encourage feeling superior and looking down on those who seem more sinful.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that faith is one of the weightier matters of the law, so it was never given as something that we can obey on our own apart from faith in God. The fact that we can repent after we have sinned demonstrates that the law does not demand perfection. In Deuteronomy 30:11-20, it says that God's law is not too difficult to obey and that obedience brings life and a blessing while disobedience brings death and a curse, so choose life! So it was presented as a possibility and as a choice, not as the need for perfection.

There are many verses that show that God is gracious to us by teaching us to do works, such as Psalms 119:29-30, Exodus 33:13, Genesis 6:8-9, Romans 1:5, and Titus 2:11-14, so the problem is with people trying to separate graciousness from righteousness as if they were not compatible character traits of the same God that He expressed throughout both the OT and the NT. Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with trying to earn God's favor, having a good enough performance, producing condemnation, producing righteousness, minimizing sin, inflating our sense of self-holiness, or encouraging us to feel superior to others. If God's law were His instructions for how to inflating our self-holiness and God does not want us to do that, then it would follow that God therefore doesn't want to be obeyed, which is absurd, especially when all through out the Bible, God wanted His people to repent and to return to obedience to His law.

A law that is holy, righteous, and good does not also produce sinful things in us, but rather you are again confusing what Paul said about the law of sin with the Law of God.

And all of this—all of this—instead of simply resting in the Work of the Cross, proclaiming its finality, and watching the Holy Spirit work miraculous grace inside of us with no burden of self-improvement or threat of judgment for falling short. The automatic rejoinder is always "But that means we can sin all we want!" yet what we need is an inner change, not forced actions. Freed from law, no longer do we spiritually navel-gaze at how good or bad we are performing, but come to a complete place of reliance and dependence and peace in the knowledge that God will do it all in us, constantly being covered in mercy, no matter how weak we feel or badly we perform. Be aware that the focus and preaching of "Lordship Salvation" and righteous striving, produces secret spiritual pride and places one under the Ministry of Death and Condemnation the Law was always meant to be. One cannot promote verses that say “keep the law” or “keep the commands” and just explain away and ignore verses that clearly and directly say we are not under the law, we are dead to the law.
In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law is the way to rest in the Work of the Cross. Likewise, obedience to God's law is the way that the Holy Spirit works miraculous grace inside of us with no burden of self-improvement or thread of judgement for falling short (Ezekiel 36:25-27). Obedience to God's law is what inner change looks like. Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with spiritually navel-gazing at how good or bad we are performing. Obedience to God's law is the way to come to a complete reliance and dependence and peace in the knowledge that God will do it al in us, constantly being covered in mercy, no matter of weak we feel or badly we perform. God's law is not His instructions for how to produce secret spiritual pride. According to Deuteronomy 30:15-20, obedience to God is a ministry of life and blessing, while it is disobedience that is a ministry of death and condemnation. While we are not under and dead to the law of sin, we are still under and alive to the Law of God.

Sneaking legalism back into Christian living is very tempting because it appeals to our self effort and our prideful desire to earn things and feel good about ourselves. Yes, the Law is necessary for the Gospel, yes, the Law does not ever die in and of itself, but the true Gospel is that we died to the Law and all of its demands because the Law was perfectly fulfilled on the Cross. Wanting to contribute to that Work of the Cross with our own efforts and goodness is the perennial temptation of the sin of self-righteousness. Whatever God requires of us in the matter of holy living, cannot be based on the demands of the Law that only grace could fulfill for us. These are non-meritorious requirements fulfilled by grace itself in us, not as an expression of fulfillment or requirements of the Law that only the Cross could fulfill for us, but as the non-meriting demands of a gracious Savior whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, and who asks nothing of us that he himself is not willing to fulfill through us and in us, just the bare acceptance of the free gift of grace.
I've said nothing to support sneaking legalism back into Christian living or to appeal to self effort or prideful desire to earn things to feel good about ourselves. In Matthew 4:15-23, Jesus began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, which was a light to the Gentiles, and God's law is how his audience knew what sin is (Romans 3:20), so repenting from our disobedience to it is a central part of the true Gospel message.

In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law in contrast with saying that he came not to abolish it, so you shouldn't interpret fulfilling the law as meaning essentially the same thing as abolishing it. Moreover, Jesus did not say anything about his death on the cross anywhere in Matthew 5, but rather he proceeded to fulfill the law six times throughout the rest of the chapter by teaching how to correctly obey it. In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law has nothing to do with wanting to contribute to the Work of the Cross with our own efforts and goodness or with the sin of self-righteousness, but rather that is the way to believe in the Work of the Cross (Acts 21:20). In 1 Peter 1:16, we are told to be holy for God is holy, which is a quote from where God was graciously giving laws for how to do that. Obedience to God's law is the free gift of grace.

Yes, we know this will produce some kind of change in us and we cannot outright reject that grace, but sneaking the Law back in is a subtle and nuanced attack on grace itself as addressed in Paul's letter to the Galatians, and removes the power, freedom and confidence of walking without any demands from God that only Christ could ever fulfill for us and in us. Through the Law I died to the Law. By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified. The Law manifests sin. If a Law could give life, the promise would indeed come through the Law. The Law brings wrath. The Law is your tombstone, the warrant for your arrest, the diagnose of your incurable disease, the sure death knell of all your own goodness and efforts, the Law is sent to kill you, show you that you are not good enough, and display your bondage to Satan, and that is its spiritual purpose. The Law is merely a symbolic shadow of the good things to come. Cling to the Cross alone as the only adequate and full fulfillment of all the Law's requirements, and every other requirement the Lord asks of us must always and only be met by his grace alone, it will happen freely and automatically as a gift when we quit striving in the flesh and learn to rest in our gradually improving imperfections.

Scripture gives us some sins that will either temporarily lose salvation or be unpardonable, even with the atonement not being based in merit. Blaspheming the Spirit, refusing to forgive a person, refusing to trust in the atonement for righteousness, denying faith in Christ before men, deliberately pursuing pride, rebellion and the occult. These sins do not lose salvation because we are on a merit-based system and Jesus' atonement is insufficient, but because Christ has the authority to set non-meritorious requirements. Murder and certain higher sins would lose salvation but can be restored with repentance, as King David clearly says salvation was restored to him in Psalm 51. But murder is not "the greatest sin," that is a man-centered valuation. And causing a person to go to hell through false doctrine would be spiritual murder, far more serious than physical murder. But all sins against God (even so-called "tiny" ones, like not loving God perfectly) are all more serious because God is the center and source of all valuation, not his creation, and that is why they require a correspondingly great punishment for devaluing God.

Under this system of grace, one actually more upholds the seriousness and evil of sin, and produces more real emphasis on loving the Law of God as a gift of grace instead of effort. The reason is, not that suddenly sins become permissible, but that instead of trying to conform outwardly to a standard, we are instead changed inwardly. We become holy accidentally more than we ever did on purpose, and boy how that offends our pride in achieving something, but shows a real instead of superficial love for holiness.
Do you trust that God's law was given as a gift for our own good in order to bless us? Or do you think that God does not know how to give good gifts to His children?
 
Do you trust that God's law was given as a gift for our own good in order to bless us? Or do you think that God does not know how to give good gifts to His children?

You're assuming the kind of gift in your presupposition.

It's a gift to destroy my own dec-eption that I'm righteous in my actions and being.

It's a gift to tutor me to trust in Christ in stead.

It's a gift to help me understand the degree of perfection I could never achieve, and just how high above my best efforts God's holiness really is.

The Law is the gift that prepares a soul for Christ.


You see, then, the use of the law: it is to bring you where grace can be fitly shown you. It shuts you up that you may cry to Jesus to set you free. It is a storm which wrecks your hopes of self-salvation, but washes you upon the Rock of Ages. — Spurgeon
 
I have some serious concerns about your beliefs. You seem to have a legalistic and law-centered understanding of righteousness, when the Bible clearly tells us that by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. The more one tries to keep the Law either two things happen: you realize you are not perfectly loving God and loving your neighbor, because no one can. Or you start to be deceived that, even though you are not perfect, you are pretty damn close to perfect, and you pridefully start being self-righteous about how holy and spiritual you think you are for keeping some commandments, and start feeling superior and critical of people less holy than you that don't keep as many commandments.
I completely agree that we do not earn our justification as the result of obeying God's law or works of the law and I have never suggested otherwise. God's law never required us to perfectly love God and our neighbor, so it was not given for the purpose of causing us to realize that. Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with trying to be close to perfect or with pridefully starting to be self-righteous about how holy and spiritual we think we are or about starting to feel superior or critical of others for not keeping as many commandments.

The truth is, we all fall short, we all have idols, we all love ourselves, when we keep a bunch of commandments we are in the end just holding a big old praise and worship service for our own glory and our own self and our own sense of attainment and secretly praising our own holiness, but God says that anything short of less than absolute, total, complete, perfection is just not going to be good enough for him.
The truth is God's law (Psalms 119:142). When we fall short, then we can repent and return to obedience to God's law through faith. Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with holding a big old praise and worship service for our own glory and our own self and our own sense of attainment and secretly praising our own holiness. By doing good works in obedience to God's law, we are testifying about God's goodness, which is why they bring glory to God (Matthew 5:13-16). Nowhere does did God state that anything short of less than absolute, total, complete, perfection is just not going to be good enough for Him. Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with trying to be good enough. In Matthew 11:28-30 and Jeremiah 6:16-19, God's law is described as the good way where we will find rest for our souls, but thinking that obedience to God's law is about trying to be good enough robs our souls of that rest.

So the Law being a means to make ourselves justified before God is a blindness and a distraction and a delusion of self-righteousness, which Christ Jesus directly and distinctly condemned, when he told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and the "I thank God I'm not like THAT sinner over there that doesn't keep the Sabbath, doesn't follow this and that regulation, does all those sinful, wicked things." Does that Pharisee in the parable think he's holier in the end and justified by tithing his mint and spices? You think that Pharisee never lusted in his heart? He was playing the hypocrite.
Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with making ourselves justified before God. Even if someone managed to have perfect obedience to God's law, then they still would not earn their justification as a wage (Romans 4:1-5). While Jesus spoke against pride, he never spoke against obeying God's law, but rather he spent his ministry teaching us to obey it by word and by example.

The Law had one purpose, and that's it: to show EVERYONE they ALL not good enough, they ALL sinners, they ALL messing up every day bro, you keep the sabbath on Sunday and lust in your heart by Monday morning, it isn't going to work. The Bible directly says the Law CONDEMNS, the Law shows you are NOT GOOD ENOUGH, the Law brings out the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN, the Bible say, the Law shows us we were disrespectful and resentful towards our parents even if they legitimately did us wrong, the Law shows us we were REBELLIOUS in spirit because we got hurt and offended over abuse or injustice in life, when Jesus perfectly accepted abuse and always perfectly forgave his abusers, and underneath we want the power and kingdom Jesus offers us so that like Peter and John we be at his right and left hand and call down fire, we can just find self-gratification and self-glorification and get revenge on our enemies while Jesus is saying, "Father, forgive them."
Nowhere does the Bible say that the law has that as its one purpose. The law has nothing to do with showing us that we are not good enough. Indeed, the law brings knowledge of sin, so that we will repent and refrain from sin.

The Law kills, the letters written in stone manifest and surface the sinful, rotten nature of all mankind, the commandments bring out the grossest and darkest of our self-righteous religious secret pride, and looking down on all our fellow men and condemning them in our heart, when we know, deep down somewhere, that we ain't all that, we ain't even close to perfect, and the Law and legalism just feeds our blindness and being puffed up in pride at more and more.
In Deuteronomy 30:11-20, God's law is not too difficult to obey an obedience brings life and a blessing while disobedience brings death and a curse, so choose life! Obedience to God's law has nothing to do with being close to perfect, legalism, blindness, or pride.

Legalism does not encourage real holiness or real righteousness—it actually minimizes sin far more than grace. Because we recognize sin is SO serious only a crucified God could fix it, not our self-efforts that fill us with pride and minimize all our mistakes.
I agree that we should reject legalism. God's law is not His instructions for how to become self-righteous and prideful or for how to do anything through self-effort.
 
You're assuming the kind of gift in your presupposition.

It's a gift to destroy my own dec-eption that I'm righteous in my actions and being.

It's a gift to tutor me to trust in Christ in stead.

It's a gift to help me understand the degree of perfection I could never achieve, and just how high above my best efforts God's holiness really is.

The Law is the gift that prepares a soul for Christ.


You see, then, the use of the law: it is to bring you where grace can be fitly shown you. It shuts you up that you may cry to Jesus to set you free. It is a storm which wrecks your hopes of self-salvation, but washes you upon the Rock of Ages. — Spurgeon
I have cited many verses that God is gracious to us by teaching us to obey His law, so it was given as a gift for our own good (Deuteronomy 6:24, 10:12-13) in order to teach us how to be blessed (Psalms 119:1-3). God's law does not brings us to grace, but is how God is gracious to us. God's law was never given as a means of self-salvation even through perfect obedience, so you have a fundamental misunderstanding of why it was given that is incompatible with the view that the Psalms and the books that quote the Psalms are Scripture.
 
I have cited many verses that God is gracious to us by teaching us to obey His law, so it was given as a gift for our own good (Deuteronomy 6:24, 10:12-13) in order to teach us how to be blessed (Psalms 119:1-3). God's law does not brings us to grace, but is how God is gracious to us. God's law was never given as a means of self-salvation even through perfect obedience, so you have a fundamental misunderstanding of why it was given that is incompatible with the view that the Psalms and the books that quote the Psalms are Scripture.
We have laws and commands in the N.T. to obey. So there is a misunderstanding about the Law, its intent and purpose. I do not hear you sayinf we are justified by obeying the law but obeying the law is a result of one that is pleasing to God- its the good works we as believers were designed to do by God as per Ephesians 2:10 and what James declares genuine/real faith will produce in a believers life. Would you agree ? Thanks !
 
We have laws and commands in the N.T. to obey. So there is a misunderstanding about the Law, its intent and purpose. I do not hear you sayinf we are justified by obeying the law but obeying the law is a result of one that is pleasing to God- its the good works we as believers were designed to do by God as per Ephesians 2:10 and what James declares genuine/real faith will produce in a believers life. Would you agree ? Thanks !

No. The content of a gift can be the experience of doing something and the content of God's gift of salvation is saving us from having one experience by teaching us to have a different experience. In John 17:3, the content of God's give of eternal life is the experience of knowing Him and Jesus and God's law is His instructions for how to how to have that experience (Exodus 33:13, Matthew 7:23). For example, we will have a certain experience by jumping out of a plane with a parachute at 10,000 feet, but we don't earn that experience as a wage by doing that, and doing that is not the result of having the experience of jumping out of a plane with a parachute at 10,000 feet.

In Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, so we do not need to first have done those works in order to result in our salvation and we do not need to have first been saved in order to result in those works, but rather God graciously teaching us to have the experience doing those works is itself the content of His gift of saving us from having the experience of not doing those works.

Becoming someone who practicing righteousness is the way to experience the gift of becoming righteous. The way to become righteous is only through faith, not earned as the result of having spent time practicing righteousness. God's law is His instructions for how to practice righteousness, not for how to become righteous, but when we become righteous through faith we are becoming someone who is experiencing the gift of practicing righteousness through the same faith. It's about what we are experiencing by what we are doing in the present moment, not being saved as the result of having first done works or doing works as the result of having first been saved.
 
No. The content of a gift can be the experience of doing something and the content of God's gift of salvation is saving us from having one experience by teaching us to have a different experience. In John 17:3, the content of God's give of eternal life is the experience of knowing Him and Jesus and God's law is His instructions for how to how to have that experience (Exodus 33:13, Matthew 7:23). For example, we will have a certain experience by jumping out of a plane with a parachute at 10,000 feet, but we don't earn that experience as a wage by doing that, and doing that is not the result of having the experience of jumping out of a plane with a parachute at 10,000 feet.

In Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, so we do not need to first have done those works in order to result in our salvation and we do not need to have first been saved in order to result in those works, but rather God graciously teaching us to have the experience doing those works is itself the content of His gift of saving us from having the experience of not doing those works.

Becoming someone who practicing righteousness is the way to experience the gift of becoming righteous. The way to become righteous is only through faith, not earned as the result of having spent time practicing righteousness. God's law is His instructions for how to practice righteousness, not for how to become righteous, but when we become righteous through faith we are becoming someone who is experiencing the gift of practicing righteousness through the same faith. It's about what we are experiencing by what we are doing in the present moment, not being saved as the result of having first done works or doing works as the result of having first been saved.
I'm not disagreeing with you above. Its the fruit of salvation. Its the result of being saved not the means.
 
I'm not disagreeing with you above. Its the fruit of salvation. Its the result of being saved not the means.
It sounds to me like you are disagreeing with what I said. In Titus 2:11-14, it does not say that we will do those works as the result of having been saved, but rather it describes the content of God's gift of salvation as being trained by grace to do those works. The experience of being a doer of God's law is the present part of the gift of salvation, not the fruit of having first been saved.
 
It sounds to me like you are disagreeing with what I said. In Titus 2:11-14, it does not say that we will do those works as the result of having been saved, but rather it describes the content of God's gift of salvation as being trained by grace to do those works. The experience of being a doer of God's law is the present part of the gift of salvation, not the fruit of having first been saved.
I’m saying the same thing and I have no idea why you think I’m not
 
The difference between good works being a fruit or root of salvation, is the difference between heaven and hell, and attempting to establish your own righteousness, or resting in the Work of the Cross as your righteousness.
 
The difference between good works being a fruit or root of salvation, is the difference between heaven and hell, and attempting to establish your own righteousness, or resting in the Work of the Cross as your righteousness.
Works are neither the fruit nor the root of salvation, but rather they are the content of salvation. If God's law were His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness and God does not want to do that, then it would follow that God therefore does not want to be obeyed, which is completely absurd considering that all throughout the Bible, He wanted His people to repent and to return to obedience to His law, and Jesus began his ministry with that Gospel message. Therefore, God's law is not His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness, but rather it is His instructions for how to testify about His righteousness. Our good works do not establish our own goodness, but rather they testify about God's goodness, which is why they bring glory to Him (Matthew 5:13-16). In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law is the way to rest in the Work of he Cross as our righteousness (Acts 21:20).
 
The view that we have of a law matches the view that we have of the lawgiver for giving it. For example, stupid laws come from stupid people, smart laws come from smart people, and stupid laws don't come from smart people. Likewise, God is trustworthy, therefore His law is also trustworthy (Psalms 19:7). A law that is holy, righteous, and good can only come from a God who is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12).

The Psalms express an extremely positive view of God's law, such as with David repeatedly saying that he loved it and delighted in obeying it, so if we consider the Psalms to be Scripture and to therefore express a correct view of God's law, then we will share it, as Paul did (Romans 7:22). For example, in Psalms 1:1-2, blessed are those who delight in the law of the Lord and who meditate on it day and night, so we can't believe in the truth of these words as Scripture while not allowing them to shape our view of God's law. In other words, anything less than the view that we ought to delight in obeying God's law is incompatible with the view that the Psalms and the books that quote the Psalms are Scripture. Moreover, the NT author considered the Psalms to be Scripture, so they should be interpreted as through they were in complete agreement with the view of God's law that is expressed in them.

As such, I use the Psalms as a test to determine whether someone has a correct view of God's law, so if someone has a view of God's law that is unsupported by the Psalms or contrary to the view of God's law that is expressed by them, then their view of God's law is incorrect, and they need to let the Psalms inform their view. For example, if someone has such as poor view of the God's law that they consider it to be bondage or as only bringing condemnation, then that matches their equally poor view of the God for giving it.
I get my understanding of the law from the New Testament. The apostle Paul had a running battle with legalistic Jews who wanted to impose Old Testament rules on New Covenant believers. You want to keep the law? Good luck with that. Hell is full of those who tried to establish their own righteousness by keeping the law.
 
I get my understanding of the law from the New Testament. The apostle Paul had a running battle with legalistic Jews who wanted to impose Old Testament rules on New Covenant believers. You want to keep the law? Good luck with that. Hell is full of those who tried to establish their own righteousness by keeping the law.
Why does it make sense to you that a servant of God would be opposed to obeying what God has commanded, especially when he said that he delighted in obeying it (Romans 7:22) and said that those who refuse to submit to it are enemies of God (Romans 8:4-7)? Why does it make sense to you to interpret the NT authors as holding a view of God's law that is in opposition to what they considered to be Scripture? In Jeremiah 31:33, the New Covenant involves God putting the Torah in our minds and writing it on our hearts.

If God's law were His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness and following His instructions leads to Hell, then God would be misleading us and shouldn't be trusted, which is absurd, and if God doesn't want us to establish our own righteousness, then it would follow that God therefore does not want to be obeyed, which is equally absurd. Therefore God's law is not His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness, but for how to testify about His righteousness. Likewise, God's law is not His instructions for how to establish our own goodness, but rather our good works testify about God's goodness, which is why they bring glory to Him (Matthew 5:13-16).
 
Why does it make sense to you that a servant of God would be opposed to obeying what God has commanded, especially when he said that he delighted in obeying it (Romans 7:22) and said that those who refuse to submit to it are enemies of God (Romans 8:4-7)? Why does it make sense to you to interpret the NT authors as holding a view of God's law that is in opposition to what they considered to be Scripture? In Jeremiah 31:33, the New Covenant involves God putting the Torah in our minds and writing it on our hearts.

If God's law were His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness and following His instructions leads to Hell, then God would be misleading us and shouldn't be trusted, which is absurd, and if God doesn't want us to establish our own righteousness, then it would follow that God therefore does not want to be obeyed, which is equally absurd. Therefore God's law is not His instructions for how to establish our own righteousness, but for how to testify about His righteousness. Likewise, God's law is not His instructions for how to establish our own goodness, but rather our good works testify about God's goodness, which is why they bring glory to Him (Matthew 5:13-16).
Tell me which of the 613 laws in Leviticus you obey entirely and completely? Not all apply to you. Do you know which ones do? You cannot keep all of them anyway as there is nowhere to make sacrifice for sin. You just don't get it. The law has one purpose, and that is to lead us to Christ. I came to Christ a bit over 50 years ago. The law did its job. Now I live by grace.
 
Tell me which of the 613 laws in Leviticus you obey entirely and completely? Not all apply to you. Do you know which ones do? You cannot keep all of them anyway as there is nowhere to make sacrifice for sin. You just don't get it.
Please interact with the points that I made in my last post.

I've never claimed to be sinless. God's law was given to a nation and can only be obeyed by a nation. Even when the law was first given to Moses, there was not a single person who was required to obey every single law and not even Jesus kept the laws in regard to having a period or to giving birth. Some laws were only given to the King, the High Priest, priests, men, women, children, widows, those who are married, those who have servants, those who have animals, those who have crops, those who have tzaraat, those who are living in the land, and those who are strangers living among them while others were given to everyone. The laws given to govern the conduct of the Levities didn't apply to other Israelites, so I agree that not all of God's laws apply to everyone. The Israelites were given laws while they were still wandering the wilderness for 40 years that had the condition "when you enter the land..." so there is nothing wrong with not following laws that can't currently be followed.

The law has one purpose, and that is to lead us to Christ. I came to Christ a bit over 50 years ago. The law did its job. Now I live by grace.
In Matthew 7:23, Jesus said that he would tell those who are workers of lawlessness to depart from him because he never knew them, so God's law leads us to Christ because it teaches us how to know Him, but does not lead us to Christ so that we can them reject everything he taught and go back to living in sin. God's law is God's word and Jesus is God's word made flesh, so it is contradictory to come to Christ while rejecting God's law.

In Psalms 119:29-30, he wanted to put false ways far from him, for God to be gracious to him by teaching him to obey His law, and he chose the way of faithfulness by setting God's law before him, so this has always been the one and only way of salvation by grace through faith. In Exodus 33:13, Moses wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to walk in His way that he might know Him and Israel too, and in John 17:3, eternal life is knowing God and Jesus, which is again salvation by grace through faith. In Genesis 6:8-9, Noah found grace in the eyes of God, he was a righteous man, and he walked with God, so God was gracious to him by teaching him to walk in His way in obedience to His law and he was righteous because he obeyed through faith. In Romans 1:5, we have received grace in order to bring about the obedience of faith. In Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is ungodly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, so God graciously teaching us to obey His law is the content of His gift of salvation. So obedience to God's law is the way to live by grace, but it seems you want God to be gracious to you instead of teaching you to obey His law.
 
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