Legalism or not, is not the issue I brought up.
Amo, the issue I brought up with your contention that Christians should follow and fulfill the 4th commandment by the letter, is this:
I have never contended that anyone should keep any of God’s commandments by the letter of the law, but do always contend that they can only truly be kept by the Spirit of God within. The entire premise of your following argument therefore, is built upon a faulty premise created in your own mind, certainly not mine. You created an issue that does not exist, and then built an argument against it. Even your argument though, is built upon faulty premise as well. It requires completely ignoring conclusive statements spoken by Christ and Paul, and even the context out of which you tore the verses you quoted. Do you really suppose God, who is Spirit, spoke and wrote commandments that were not of the spirit, but of the letter? The commandments of God are unquestionably of the spirit, how and why one keeps them alone, can be of the letter rather than by the spirit. The commandments themselves are of the spirit, as Paul himself conclusively testifies(Rom 7:12-14).
That we, Christians, should serve the Lord God in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
And that Love is the fulfillment of the law, the law which includes the 4th commandment.
Yes, yes, I know. I can take a few words here and there from scripture or any other writings out of context and make them mean whatever I wish as well. If you really knew and properly understood the writings of Paul, you would not be using them to discourage anyone from keeping any of God’s commandments. Love is the fulfillment of the law, and all should keep the law by the spirit and not the letter.
Neither of these truths however, equal no longer obeying God’s commandments, they simply point out the only proper motive for doing so in an acceptable manner before God. Which is being motivated by love for God and one’s brothers and sisters in response to the Holy Spirit of God working within. Not as a means of earning salvation, which is impossible. The former is selfless and of the spirit, the latter is selfish and of the flesh. The faulty premise of your above statement, is the assumption that actually doing what a commandment says, equals keeping the letter of the law. This is a lie, which you and yours really only apply to the fourth commandment I can only presume, because you do not want to keep it.
Keeping the law by the oldness of the letter is legalism. It is not concerning a time frame in history, so much as a state of being. The old man outside of Christ cannot keep the law of God but by the letter, for he is not a new creature in Christ Jesus, and cannot walk in the spirit. All attempts of the old man to keep God’s law are by the letter, according to the selfish and sinful motives of the flesh. Those who walk in the flesh cannot please God or keep His commandments, as opposed to those who walk in the spirit who can and do(Rom 8:6-9). This is what Paul’s writings from which you quoted point out when examined in context, which we will examine in more detail in my next post.
Walking in the spirit has nothing to do with ignoring any of the specifics of God’s commandments. Everyone easily understands that those who walk in the spirit still do not have other gods, worship idols, or take the Lord’s name in vain. They honor their mother and father, do not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet the things of others. If or when they do, they understand this to be sin, and seek forgiveness from God and or the offended and rightly so.
Yet when it comes to the fourth commandment, they either claim it no longer needs to be kept, or define some new way it is to be kept which excludes a specific day of observance according to the commandment found nowhere in scripture. They claim this is keeping the fourth commandment by the spirit. At the same time, most of them observe another day as holy which is not found in scripture or supported by the same. They uphold this tradition of men above a commandment of God, and have even forced its observance upon many throughout history and continue to do so today. This of course they all claim to be living by the spirit motivated by love, and not the old letter of the law. Go figure.
Now, I don't have any issue if you take it upon yourself that you do as the Jews do on the Sabbath by the letter, or perhaps in your own way as you see it should be done. I am a Christian and am neither Gentile nor a Jew, and so are every other Christian. We are in covenant with God, not of the old but of the new. Our mediator is Christ and not Moses. Unlike the Jews, we are not under the Law of Moses but under the grace of Christ.
So very much wrong with your above statement. I tell you the truth brother, your false accusations against me and all who have and would keep God’s fourth commandment according to the spirit, will not pass by with impunity before God. Regardless of what you choose to believe, it is still a sin against God and humanity to bear false witness against either. If keeping the fourth commandment is keeping the Sabbath by the letter, then you falsely accuse God of establishing such. You claim that God who is Spirit, demanded that the Jews keep His commandment by the letter. You bear false witness against God.
The ten commandments are not Moses’ law. This is a lie, that far to many professed “Christians” accept and teach as truth. God calls them His many times over in scripture, and calls the Sabbath His as well many times over. You ignore this and continue to claim that both are Moses’ and for the Jews alone I can only presume, to support these false teachings. Those who choose to believe a lie, are left with nothing but deception and delusion, which God will finally give all such over to in the near future(2 Thess 2:9-11).
There is and only ever has been one mediator between fallen humanity and God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Your suggestion that Moses stood in the place of Christ as mediator for the Jews or anyone else is false. Just who do you think Moses communed with, and was instructed and directed by? 1 Cor 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Jesus Christ was and is the central figure of both the old and new covenants. All that Moses ever did was at His command, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has not ever established the keeping of the letter of the law, whatever you suppose that might be. You have the same problem the Jews of Moses day did, you actually think it was Moses that was leading them. I do not believe you correctly understand the scriptures or who exactly Jesus Christ is at all. He is the God of the old and new testaments.
Christ was the Angel of the buring bush, “and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace(Isa 9:6). He was and is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Son of man, Son of God, High Priest, stone, Lamb, THE WORD OF GOD, I am, King of kings, Lord of lords, Savior, Messiah, The way, The truth, The life, The bread of life, The door, The rock, and I’m sure many that I have not thought of. If you think He ever established the letter of the law, you do not know Him. Fallen humanity and sinners alone are capable of keeping the letter of the law, for they are the only ones outside of Christ who can and do walk according to the flesh. God did not establish such in any way, shape, or form. This faulty premise exists only in the minds of those denying truth.
It is true that we are not under the laws of Moses which were specifically for the literal nation of Israel, written by his own hand at the dictation of God. Nor are those in Christ still under the condemnation of God’s law, spoken by the mouth of God to humanity, and written with His own finger twice for the same. This in no way, shape, or form, means that those in Christ will not keep all the commandments of God. The new testament and covenant scriptures say that they will up to the very last book and chapter of the same. You simply ignore this, I presume because you do not want to keep one of them. Rev 12:7And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
You ignore the above, and the following testimony of Jesus Christ. Therefore you do not keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 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.
Regarding your first paragraph, while I agree that in the ten commandments, there are those involving the love for God as there are, the love for mother and father, and love for neighbor. But I don't really see any distinction there. For the love of mother and father, of brothers and sisters, of neighbor, is the love of God, and vise versa. What I see and have learned from these commandments is Love. As such, indeed scriptures says that Love is the fulfillment of the law.
Yes I know, the testimony of Jesus Christ is not as important to you, as what you think. Therefore, you acknowledge that love is the fulfillment of the law according to scripture, but see no distinction where the testimony of Jesus Christ placed one. You accept and acknowledge scriptures which support that which you have chosen to believe, and ignore those which don’t.Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
In Christ we are free, having been freed from the law. Not that we are free to do what is contrary to the law or that we no longer should remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy, but that, we are not in bondage to it any longer, to the rules, regulations, the do's and don'ts, and judgements contained in the law.
The law of God is considered bondage to the unsaved only. Even Paul whose writings you base most of your false gospel upon, says the law is good, just, holy, and spiritual(Rom 7:12-14). How call you obeying that which is good, just, holy, and spiritual, bondage? Are you not carnal for doing so? It is the carnal nature that is not subject to the law, nor can be(Rom 8:6-8). The saved are freed from the condemnation of the law, not the rule of law. This is why, when they sin(1 Joh 3:4), they have and need an advocate with the Father who can grant forgiveness to the truly repentant(1 Joh 2:1). Only those who break the law, are in bondage to the penalty of it.
Those who have died in Christ by faith, have been freed from that penalty(Rom 6:1-7, 7:4-6). They have not been freed from doing that which is good, just, holy, and spiritual, but from the penalty of the law against their sins. This that they might become new creatures in Christ Jesus being good, just, holy, and spiritual. Against such there is no condemnation or bondage from the law. Only law breakers are condemned and in bondage to the laws they break. There is no law against law keepers, who walk according to the spirit only, and not the flesh(Gal 5:22-25).
Contrary to your above statement, anyone who breaks the law, is still subject to the judgment of the law. If they do not seek and obtain forgiveness in Christ Jesus, they will also pay the penalty the law demands. No one who decides to routinely break God’s law without seeking forgiveness and repentance from God in Christ, will be justified in Christ either.Rom2:11For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
You said "Even if one presumes that Jesus commandments are different in the new covenant than they were during the old one, it cannot be denied that if the keeping of the commandments during the old was living by the letter of the law, then the keeping of any commandments during the new covenant would be as well."
I beg to disagree Amo. As I said, the Christians are to be living according to the Spirit and not living according to the letter. For as scriptures said "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". And while it may be, as pertaining to the law, that the man who does them shall live by them, the scriptures clearly pointed out that no one had been justified by the law in the sight of God, for all had transgressed the law, one way or the other. But praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, that we have been justified freely by His grace, through faith.
It is not possible for one walking in the Spirit to break the law, or live by the letter of the law. As pointed out in the last verse I quoted by the same apostle you base all you arguments upon, it is the doers of the law that are justified. They can only do the law because they have been forgiven, entered into Christ’s death by faith, and walk as new creatures in Christ Jesus by the Spirit.
It is only the carnal nature that seeks to live by the letter of the law. Read Romans 7 again, and note that the woman who wants to be married to another man while already married keeps the law by the letter because she truly desires to be married to another according to the carnal nature, but the law forbids it. She obeys it out of fear, she is in bondage to it because her true wants and desires are against it. She can only be released from the letter of the law, if or when her husband dies. If she accepted her death, the death of her carnal nature in Christ Jesus and chose to walk by the Spirit in newness of life, she would no longer desire the carnal but the spiritual. She could serve the law by the Spirit out of love for God, and not by the letter as a burden upon the desires of her carnal nature.
So we are to reckon ourselves as dead to the law. Not that the law is dead, it was never alive, it is simply the standard. We are to be dead to the law, not kill or pronounce the law dead, it was never alive. The old carnal nature which can only serve by the letter of the law must die by faith in Christ, that the new creature in Christ Jesus might walk by the Spirit and serve the law by love. The law of God is a standard which will never go away. It does not need to change or be modified, we do. If or when it will ever be changed or modified, it will be by God alone, no one else can change that which God has established. According to His word, and those of His Son Jesus Christ our Savior, it will not change till heaven and earth pass. Thus all who claim any one of the commandments of God have changed, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. So be it.
As for me then, if you keep the Sabbath as you take it to be, then it is for you. That's good for you, if done in faith. But if a Christian put the keeping of the Sabbath as you keep it, as to put judgment on other Christians who does not do as you do, ought the Christian not do that? Ought we not to judge anyone in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths?
No we should not judge anyone concerning laws given by God to Moses specifically for the nation of Israel after the commandments and doctrines of men, as the scripture you refer to point out. None of which have anything to do with the Ten Commandments of God. The former were written by the hand of Moses, the latter by the hand of God. The sabbaths mentioned were the various sabbaths of the laws specific to the Jewish nation written by the hand of Moses, referred to by Paul as the doctrines and commandments of men. They have nothing to do with the seventh day Sabbath established by God at the end of creation, reaffirmed and commanded by God audibly to Israel and written with His own hand as part of His Ten Commandments, which will be observed in the new heaven and new earth as well.Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
It is not for us to judge but what is right or wrong for ourselves. It is certainly right to warn those you believe are in danger though, of the danger they are in. I believe any who reject the authority of any of the Ten Commandments of God, are in danger for doing so.
Amo, may I ask a couple of questions.
If you believe and insist that the Christian should not break the Sabbath, wherein death is the penalty in the OT according to the law for anyone who breaks the law of the Sabbath, what do you say is the penalty for one who breaks the Sabbath today, by not keeping it in the same day and manner as you do? What penalty do your congregation have for one who breaks the Sabbath? Do you hold the Sabbath as highly as to have the penalty of death to one who breaks it? If not, why is that?
There is more than one reason for that. Their is no literal nation of God on earth in this new covenant era, being literally lead by the demonstration, voice, and written testimony of God Himself, fighting literal battles with their literal enemies at God’s immediate command. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has provided the living example of the spiritual battle His own are to fight in this new covenant era. Lest you forget, that penalty was to be executed by a people upon a people who had personally entered into a covenant with God, and witnessed one stupendous miracle after another performed on their behalf by God. A people who were protected every day by a cloud shielding them form the sun, and every night by a pillar of fire warming their entire camp, who also were miraculously fed every day by God, and all of this for forty years. A people who witnessed God descend upon a mountain which mountain burned and smoked like a chimney stack at His presence. Who heard the Ten commandments including the fourth spoken to them by the mouth of God, and had them written for them with His own hand in tables of stone twice.
It is one thing for God to pronounce the sentence of death upon those who would break His commandments when He is directly, visibly, verbally, and miraculously leading His people. It is another altogether for mere men to do so, who claim to be following the example God has provided us through His Son Jesus Christ, who taught or did no such thing in the establishment of this new covenant era. The same God who pronounced the death sentence upon law breakers claiming to be His own during the old covenant, has pronounced the same sentence against those who choose to break His law during this new covenant as well. Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
During the old covenant, God established His people and nation directly and miraculously. As God literally leading His people, He commanded the death of those claiming to be His own while blatantly rejecting His authority through disobedience to the same. Those faithful to Him, were to execute this judgment. As scripture clearly points out, His people eventually rejected that leadership altogether in asking for a king to lead them instead. This of course made a compete mess of everything.
During this new covenant era, our same God became flesh, one of us. One of the main reasons for this, but certainly not the only reason, was to lead during this new covenant era by way of living example. As God in the flesh, He has called all to pick up their crosses and follow Him. He has asked all to personally accept Him as their true and loving God, and follow the example He has personally provided in the flesh of how and what His own should choose to be. This faith includes the keeping of the commandments of God, as our Lord Jesus Christ clearly and conclusively taught and lived while here in the flesh as our perfect example.
The sentence of death is still pronounced upon all who will reject God’s absolute authority. Which authority He has proved to be pure, just, holy, and above reproach in and through Jesus Christ our Lord. Our God no longer asks His own to execute His judgment upon those who reject Him, but rather has appointed a day in which He Himself will execute the same. This truth should be blatantly obvious to all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, though perhaps you do not rightly understand this, since you seem to need instruction regarding the same. The sentence against those who choose to break God’s law has not changed. The manner and mode of that execution has been changed. All who reject the rightful authority and witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will be left to face the judgment of God alone. The end of which is death. Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Why do you reject the living example and conclusive teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for speculative theories built upon twisted interpretations of the writings of the apostle Paul? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ kept the seventh day sabbath according to the commandments of God, taught and exemplified its proper observance on several occasions, and conclusively stated that He did not come to abolish or change the ten commandments in any way shape or form. Also conclusively stating that they could nit and would not change until heaven and earth pass away.
Why will you reject such clarified truth from the Son of God, for obscure theories promoted by supposed theologians concerning twisted perceptions of the writings of Paul? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name, or into his death? Was Paul God in the flesh? Is Paul your Messiah, or is Jesus Christ the Lord? Rightly divide the word of God, and subject Paul’s writings to the clear and concise teachings and living example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not the other way around.
If you will take the time to do so, you will find that God pronounced the death penalty upon the breakers of most of His commandments during the old covenant, and particularly while establishing the nation of Israel. Does this mean that ow we are at liberty to break or change them? You yourself confess that this is not so, so why would this be so concerning only one commandment? Is it not because you do not wish to keep said commandment? Why do you hold a standard over the keeping of the fourth commandment, which you do not hold over the keeping of the others? If we no longer need to keep the fourth commandment because God pronounced the death penalty against those breaking it when He directly lead the nation of Israel, why need any keep any of the others with which He did the same?
Still on the Law of the Sabbath, may I ask you what you have to say about this, when it speaks of a year, not a day?
10 “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.
The above is not one of the ten commandments of God at all. You know this, I can only presume you ignore or pretend you do not, so that you can confuse a simple matter. You do not want to keep the fourth commandment of God, so you compound it with that which is obsolete concerning the new covenant spiritual Israel, that you may feel free to do away with both. The above yearly sabbath is one of the sabbaths Paul was addressing when admonishing none to judge regarding doctrines and commandments of men. These are the commandments or laws written by the hand of Moses specific to the literal nation of Israel according to the old covenant. Not the commandments or law of God spoken by His own mouth, and written with His own hand, according to the everlasting covenant for the spiritual children of Abraham and Israel.
This you do concerning the only commandment most assuredly proved by scripture to be part of the everlasting covenant and not confined to the old or new. The seventh day Sabbath was established by God at creation before there was sin and or any need for an old and new covenant. This was 2000 years before there ever was a Jew. It was reestablished in the world among God’s chosen during the old covenant as a sign that God alone sanctifies His people. During which time also it was pronounced a blessing upon all people Jewish or not. Its observance was reestablished and properly taught again for the new covenant when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ both taught and lived the same in establishing the new covenant. Finally, biblical prophecy predicts that it will be kept in the new heaven and new earth. Yet here you are denying all of the same scriptural evidence, and compounding the fourth commandment of God with the laws written by the hand of Moses specific to old covenant literal Israel, in an attempt to do away with its observance. Go figure.
I am not the one intentionally confusing this matter. The testimony of scripture is clear and concise concerning this matter. They admonish all to keep the commandments of God, which of course includes the fourth, all the way through to the last book and chapter. Those commandments have not, and will not change until heaven and earth pass. This is the testimony of Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords, and the only Savior of fallen humanity. I highly recommend you submit to the thus saith the Lord concerning the words of Jesus Christ, rather than the speculations of supposed “theologians” concerning the words of the apostle Paul. Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.