The Apostles On Christ, Salvation, and the Mosaic Law

Christ came to fulfil not to destroy the law (law of Moses) and prophets (Matthew 5:17-20).

So then a fundamental question is: Are Christians obligated to obey the law of Moses to be righteous?

Clearly the scripture teaches obedience to the commandments of God under Christ is important and disciples of Christ should strive against sin to obey God (Hebrews 12:4). For we must all appear shall all be judged (2 Cor 5:9-10; Rom 6:1-2; John 8:31-32).

But notice Paul said he failed in keeping the law (e.g., Romans 7:11-25; Gal 5:17).

Paul and the other apostles clearly assert salvation is not dependent on perfectly keeping the law (e.g., Acts 15:5, 9-11, 19-29). Indeed, scripture says if we break one part of the law, we are guilty of all (James 2:10).

The scripture (Romans 10:4) says Christ is the end of the law (of Moses) and through Christ the believer fulfils the righteousness of God’s law by walking after the Spirit not after the flesh (Romans 8:4; 2 Cor 5:21).

Indeed, scripture indicates the foundation for salvation is Jesus Christ and him crucified shedding his blood for remission of sins (e.g., John 14:1-6; 1 Cor 2:2; Ephesians 1:6-7) rather than the foundation being keeping the law.

That is to say the foundation for salvation is one’s acceptance of Christ and his teachings and striving to be obedient under the Holy Spirit. That is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Indeed, it is by grace we are saved through faith to work the works of him who has saved and sent us (John 9:4; Ephesians 2:8-10; Phil 1:6) for salvation is a gift from God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8) through Christ for which we ought to be thankful (Romans 7:25). In other words, we are not saved by works; but we, are saved to work (Matthew 5:16; James 1:22; 2:26); we are saved to live a saved life.

But in the end it is what Christ decides no matter what we think for only Christ has the power to send to heaven or hell. I nor any other human possess such power and I am glad we don’t.

Saying salvation is not dependent on perfectly keeping the law under Christ is not rebelling against God.

Saying that some laws are no longer in effect (e.g., simple laws like male circumcision are no longer commanded as its purpose is no longer ceremonially useful) is also not rebelling against God.

The believer (Christian) being dead to the law (Romans 7:1-6) lives this saved life of grace through a repentant (Matthew 4:17; Mark 6:12; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 2:38) faith which seeks (Matthew 6:33) and sincerely (not pretend) strives (Hebrews 12:1-4) to follow the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 John 2:27) not continuing in sin (Romans 6:1-2) but in obedience to the spirit of rather than the letter of God’s law/commandments (2 Cor 3:6; Romans 7:6). We so live confessing and repenting (John 8:31-32; 1 John 1:9) of our failure (Romans 3:10, 23; 7:14-24) to obey God. We so live not to get righteous but because we are righteous by our faith (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 4:3-25) in the prophetic, Holy Spirit conceived, virgin born, sinless sacrificial lamb of God, crucified unto actual physical death, buried, resurrected, presented, and ascended Christ Jesus who came not to save a person from other people sins but to save a person from his/her own sins, not to save Israel from other nations (Luke 19:10; John 18:33-37). Christians live under the New Covenant law of Christ and prophecies (fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled) which is superior to and better than the Old Covenant law of Moses (Hebrews 7:12, 22; 8:6-13; 9:11-17).

Can anyone name one person the bible presents other than Christ who perfectly kept the law of God?

How about Noah?  The scripture says Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:8-9).  Yet, Noah later got drunk and uncovered (naked) for others to see and cursed his grandson (Genesis 9:21-25). Noah is mentioned in the Hebrews 11 Hall of the faithful (Hebrews 11:7)

How about Zacharias, father of John the Baptist.  The scripture says Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth was both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (Luke 1:6).  But then Zacharias committed the sin of unbelief (Luke 1:20).  Nothing is said about Elizabeth.

Now if Elizabeth or anyone obeyed the law of God perfectly from birth to death then it is a rare for such to mentioned in the Bible.  

Moreover, the standard under Christ is different than the standard under the law of Moses.  The scripture says under the law all are guilty and none can be justified under the law or made righteous by works of the law (Romans 3:19-20).  So even if Noah and Elizabeth or even Zacharias perfectly kept the law of Moses, it still does not meet God’s standard of righteousness under Christ.

Yet, the question each should ask his or herself is: Have I walked and am I walking in perfect obedience?

Sin and Salvation Basic Christian Doctrine

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