Monday, April 02, 2007

The Importance of the Law AND the Gospel Ernest Reisinger

This article, when first posted on September 9, 2005, created quite a vibrant and helpful discussion here. Upon review for this week's installments, this seemed to be a fitting article to encore concerning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater issue for us today than getting the gospel right. And part of any effective gospel presentation should include the Law of God as well. The Law brings conviction; the balm of the gospel of grace brings hope, salvation, and the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

I pray this will encourage your hearts today as it 19 months ago.

To the praise of the riches of His grace,
(read Romans 3-4)

The last article I posted on the law and the gospel had such a tremendous response, I thought it would be most profitable to present this next installment on this important issue by Ernest Reisinger. While I was on the apologetics cruise last week with Dr. James White, Dr. James Renihan and Dr. Tom Ascol, we had some wonderful conversations about this very subject. It is such a need today to not abandon the preaching of the law as part of the gospel call. I hope the following words will be an encouragement in your walk in the Lord and as you proclaim His glorious gospel of sola fide.

Take Heaven by Storm,
Steve Camp
Phil. 3:1-11

Why is the subject of "law and gospel" important? Let me state six reasons:

1. Because there is no point of divine truth upon which ministers and Christians make greater mistakes than upon the proper relationship which exists between the law and the gospel.

2. Because there can be no true evangelical holiness, either in heart or life, except it proceed from faith working by love; and no true faith, either of the law or the gospel, unless the leading distinction between the one and the other are spiritually discerned.
The law and the gospel are set before us in the Bible as one undivided system of truth, yet an unchangeable line of distinction is drawn between them. There is also an inseparable connection and relationship. Unfortunately, some see the difference between them but not the relationship; however, the man who knows the relative position of the law and the gospel has the keys of the situation in understanding the Bible and its doctrine.

3. Because a proper understanding between the law and the gospel is the mark of a minister who rightly divides the word of truth.
Charles Bridges summed up this mark of a true minister:
"The mark of a minister `approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed', is, that he `rightly divides the word of truth.' This implies a full and direct application of the gospel to the mass of his unconverted hearers, combines with a body of spiritual instruction to the several classes of Christians. His system will be marked by Scriptural symmetry and comprehensiveness. It will embrace the whole revelation of God, in its doctrinal instructions, experimental privileges and practical results. This revelation is divided into two parts--the Law and the Gospel--essentially distinct from each other; though so intimately connected, that no accurate knowledge of either can be obtained without the other...." (The Christian Ministry, [London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967], p. 222).
The law, like Christ, has always been crucified between two thieves--Antinomianism on the one side and Legalism on the other side. The antinomian sees no relationship between the law and the gospel except that of being free. The legalist fails to understand that vital distinction between the two.

Some preach the law instead of the gospel. Some modify them and preach neither the law nor the gospel. Some think the law is the gospel, and some think the gospel is the law; those who hold these views are not clear on either.

But others ask, Has not the law been fully abrogated by the coming of Christ into the world? Would you bring us under that heavy yoke of bondage which none has ever been able to bear? Does not the New Testament expressly declare that we are not under the law but under grace? That Christ was made under the law to free His people therefrom? Is not an attempt to over-awe men's conscience by the authority of the Decalogue a legalistic imposition, altogether at variance with that Christian liberty which the Savior has brought in by His obedience unto death? We answer: so far from the law being abolished by the coming of Christ into this world, He Himself emphatically stated "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets [or the enforcers thereof]. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law, till all is fulfilled" (Matt. 5:17, 18). True, the Christian is not under the law as a covenant of works nor as a ministration of condemnation, but he is under it as a rule of life and an objective standard of righteousness for all people for all times. This makes it important.

4. Because the power of a holy life needs to be accompanied by instruction in the pattern of it.
In what does sanctified behavior consist? It consists in pleasing God. What is it that pleases God? The doing of His will. Where is His will to be discerned? In His holy law. The law, then, is the Christian's rule of life, and the believer finds that he delights in the law of God after the inward man (Rom. 7:22). The Christian is not lawless but "under the law to Christ", a phrase from Paul which would be more accurately rendered "in the law of Christ" (1 Cor. 9:21). Sin is lawlessness, and salvation is the bringing of the lawless one into his true relation to God, within the blessedness of His holy law. The law of Moses is not other than the law of Christ; it is an objective standard just as Christ is our pattern.

5. Because the Ten Commandments were uniquely honored by God, founded in love, and are obeyed out of affection for the One who provided redemption.
A. W. Pink, writing about the uniqueness of the Ten Commandments, said,
"Their uniqueness appears first in that this revelation of God at Sinai--which was to serve for all coming ages as the grand expression of his holiness and the summation of man's duty--was attended with such awe-inspiring phenomena that the very manner of their publication plainly showed that God Himself assigned to the Decalogue peculiar importance. The Ten Commandments were uttered by God in an audible voice, with the fearful adjuncts of clouds and darkness, thunders and lightenings and the sound of a trumpet, and they were the only parts of Divine Revelation so spoken--none of the ceremonial or civil precepts were thus distinguished. Those Ten Words, and they alone, were written by the finger of God upon tables of stone, and they alone were deposited in the holy ark for safe keeping. Thus, in the unique honor conferred upon the Decalogue itself we nay perceive its paramount importance in the Divine government." (The Ten Commandments, ([Swengel Pennsylvania: Reiner Publications 1961], p.5).
6. Because there is a need for a fixed, objective, moral standard.
The moral law carries permanent validity since it is an objective standard uniquely sanctioned by God and goes straight to the root of our moral problems. It lays its finger on the church's deepest need in evangelism as well as in the Christian life: sanctification. The Ten Commandments are desperately needed not only in the church but also in society. We live in a lawless age at the end of the twentieth century; lawlessness reigns in the home, in the church, in the school, and in the land. The Scriptures tell us that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." The Ten Commandments are the only true standard of righteousness.
Moral Measure
Tragically, Christians have contributed to our society's moral decline by removing the Ten Commandments from their instruction. The law restrains sin. Without the moral law this world would be a field of blood, as is evidenced in place where there is no regard for God's commands. The puritan, Samuel Bolton, in The True Bounds of Christian Freedom ([London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1964], p. 79), said: Blessed be God that there is this fear upon the spirits of wicked men; otherwise we could not well live in the world. One man would be a devil to another. Every man would be a Cain to his brother, an Amon to his sister, an Absolom to his father, a Saul to himself, a Judas to his master; for what one does, all men would do, were it not for a restraint upon their spirits.

Not only the wicked, but also followers of God need an objective, fixed, yes, an absolute standard of right and wrong. A devotional life cannot exist without regard to morality. We cannot separate devotion from duty. After all, what constitutes a devout person? Someone who is seeking to do the will of God, someone who is instructed in sanctified behavior. And in what does sanctified behavior consist? In doing the will of God. And where do we find the will of God in respect to morality? In the only true standard summarizing the moral law--the Ten Commandments.

This subject, law and gospel, is in the highest degree, important and edifying, both to saints and to sinners. To know it experimentally, is to "be wise unto salvation;" and to live habitually under the influence of it, is to be at once holy and happy. To have spiritual and distinct views of it, is the way to be kept from verging toward self-righteousness, on the one hand, and licentiousness, on the other; and to be enabled to assert, the absolute freeness of sovereign grace, and at the same time, the sacred interests of true holiness. Without an experimental knowledge, and an unfeigned faith, of the law and the gospel, a man can neither venerate the authority of the one, nor esteem the grace of the other.

The law and the gospel, are the principal parts of Divine Revelation; or rather, they are the center, the sum, and the substance, of the whole. Every passage of sacred Scripture, is either law or gospel; or is capable of being referred, either to the one or to the other. Even the Histories of the Old and New Testaments, so far as the agency of man is introduced, are but narratives of facts, done in conformity, or in opposition, to the moral law, and done in the belief, or disbelief, of the gospel. The ordinances of the ceremonial law, given to the ancient Israelites, were, for the most part, grafted on the Second and Fourth Commandments of the moral law; and in their typical reference, were an obscure revelation of the gospel. The precepts of the judicial law, are all reducible to commandments of the moral law, and especially, to those of the second table. All threatenings, whether in the Old or in the New Testament, are threatenings either of the law, or of the gospel; and in every promise, is a promise either of the one, or of the other. Every prophecy of Scripture, is a declaration of things obscure, or future, connected either with the law or the gospel, or with both. And there is not, in the sacred Volume, one admonition, or reproof, or exhortation, but what refers, either to the law or the gospel, or to both. If then, a man cannot distinguish aright, between the law and the gospel; he cannot rightly understand, so much as a single article of Divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his views of the gospel, be erroneous or wrong, his notions of the law, cannot be right.

Besides, if the speculative knowledge, of the law and the gospel, be superficial and indistinct, they will often be in danger of mingling the one with the other and they will, in a greater degree than can be conceived, retard their progress in holiness, as well as in peace and comfort. But on the contrary, if they can distinguish well, between the law and the gospel, they will thereby, under the illuminating influences of the Holy Spirit, be able, to discern the glory of the whole scheme of redemption; to reconcile all passages of Scripture which appear contrary to each other; to try doctrines whether they are of God; to calm their own consciences in seasons of mental trouble; and to advance resolutely in evangelical holiness and spiritual consolation.

It is important to consider the difference between the law and the gospel as well as the agreement between them. The establishment of the law by the gospel, or the subservience of the gospel to the authority and honor of the law must be addressed. The believer's privilege of being dead to the law as a covenant of works, with a necessary consequence of it is very important. To emphasize this importance of the law (Ten Commandments) I will call three credible witnesses.

The Testimony of Three Witnesses
Consider the attitudes expressed by three of God's choice spokesmen regarding His law: David, a man after God's own heart--the sweet singer of Israel. "Make me to go in thy path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight" (Ps. 119:35). "Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law." (Ps. 119:53). "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97). "I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law" (Ps. 119:113). "It is time for You to act, O LORD, For they have regarded Your law as void" (Ps. 119:126).

Our Lord's chief apostle--Paul. "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law" (Rom. 3:31 ). "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Rom. 7:12). "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man" (Rom. 7:22). "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24).

Our Lord Himself. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Mt. 5:17, 18,). We often hear the expression, "Be like Jesus." What was He like? He was perfect. How do we know? We must have a perfect standard by which to judge and that perfect standard is the perfect law of God (Ps. 19:7).

The Testimony of the Whole Bible
The importance of this subject is seen in that the whole Bible is either law or gospel--or law and gospel related. For example The history of the Old and New Testaments, as far as man is concerned, is nothing more than narratives of lives lived in conformity or opposition to the moral law, or lived in belief or unbelief of the gospel.

All the threatenings of the Old and New Testaments are threatenings either of the law or of the gospel. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). "...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

Every prophecy of Scripture is a declaration of things obscure and future and is connected with either law or gospel. Every promise is a promise related to either the law or the gospel, or both. Every good admonition, reproof, or exhortation is with reference to the law or the gospel, or both. Thus the law and the gospel are the center, the sum, and the substance of the whole Bible. How important then is it properly to relate and distinguish the two? The closer we get to a clear view of the difference between the law and the gospel, and the connection between them as they serve to establish each other, the more we will understand the Holy Scriptures and thus the will and mind of God, and the more useful we will be in His service.
Two Kinds of Knowledge

Another indication of the importance of the law is that it reveals the two kinds of knowledge that are necessary for salvation: The law reveals the character of God. God's law comes from His nature. The nature of God determines what is right, and the will of God imposes that standard upon all His creatures as a moral obligation. Since his will flows from His nature, and the law is perfect (Ps. 19:7), the law reflects the perfection of his nature. Man is not answerable to an abstract law, but to God. Behind the law is the Lawgiver. Therefore, to find fault with the law is to find fault with the Lawgiver. The law is not the arbitrary edicts of a capricious despot, but the wise, holy loving precepts of one who is jealous for His glory and for the good of His people.

Christ was perfect. How do we know? He kept the law perfectly--He was the law personified. Christ perfectly manifests the Father : "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9).

The law reveals the condition of man. To walk up to someone and say, "All have sinned" does not bring conviction unless that person knows what sin is. "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). "By the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:20). The knowledge of sin as violation of God's law brings conviction.

The Law and Evangelism
Similarly, the importance of the law is seen in a subject that is dear to the heart of every true preacher and every true Christian--evangelism. In days gone by, children learned the commandments before they learned John 3:16, because only then did John 3:16 make any sense. Likewise, John Elliot's first translation work among the Indians was not of John 3:16 but of the Ten Commandments, and his first sermon was on the commandments. Did John Elliot think the Indians would be saved by the Ten Commandments? Of course not, but the commandments would show them why they needed to be saved--they were law-breakers, and they needed a law-keeper to be their substitute.

John Paton, a great Presbyterian missionary to the New Hebrides, first taught the commandments. Why? People will never be properly interested in a relationship with the Redeemer until they see the terrible breach in their relationship to the Creator. The commandments are the moral mandate of the Creator to creatures. The sharp needle of the law makes way for the scarlet thread of the gospel. The law is indispensable in biblical, God-centered evangelism.

Run and work the law commands
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
A sweeter sound the gospel brings;
It bids me fly and gives me wings.

The whole Bible is law and gospel, and the two are so vitally related to each other that an accurate knowledge of either cannot be obtained without the other.
-The law reveals the character of God and the condition of man. These two kinds of knowledge are absolutely necessary for salvation. (See, for example, the first chapter in Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion.)

-The law is essential to true biblical evangelism because by the law is the knowledge of sin. It was the law that was effective in Paul's conversion: "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Rom. 7:7).

-The law is the only biblical rule and direction for obedience--that is, a sanctified life. In what does sanctified behavior consist? Doing the will of God. What is the will of God in respect to morality? The moral law summarized in the Ten Commandments.
The law is one of three truths of the Bible that stand or fall together: (1) the law of God, (2) the cross of Christ, (3) the righteous judgment of almighty God.
First, if there is no law there is no sin because sin is the transgression of the law (The Ten Commandments).

Second, if there is no cross there is no hope for poor sinners--no forgiveness of sin.

Third, if there is no righteous judgment of almighty God who cares about sin or a Savior. These three truths stand or fall together.
The following statement by J. Gresham Machen, the principal founder of Westminster Theological Seminary will emphasize the importance of the place of the law:
"A new and more powerful proclamation of that law is perhaps the most pressing need of the hour; men would have little difficulty with the gospel if they had only learned the lesson of the law. So it always is: a low view of law always brings legalism in religion; a high view of law makes a man a seeker after grace/ Pray God that the high view may again prevail." (What is Faith?, [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust], pp. 141-142).
Preacher, preach the moral law; and parents, teach your children the Ten Commandments.


Unchained Slave said...

What are the Ten Commandments?
I am not being funny. Recently, a devout Catholic, a Lutheran (considering becoming Catholic) and myself had a discussion about the 10. Basically the admonitions in Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5 came under the 'scrutiny' of numbering... Catholics and Lutherans 'number' the 10 differently than I learned them.

julie said...

I really enjoyed reading your article. We took our youth on a mission trip and used a survey to reach around 250 people on the streets. We asked, "Do you think you are a good person?" Most people said, yes. Then we used the Ten Commandments to show people we are all sinners. There's a lot more to the survey, but it opened the door to tell about Jesus and what he has done for us.

Tim said...

Great post Campi. I love to use the law since it is the only way to demonstrate our failure to measure up to God's standard. Those to whom the Spirit of God grants spiritual eyes and ears it becomes that which drives them to Christ. I have heard it said that we should preach 90% law and 10% grace. That's because when people really see how depraved they are, then they should be looking for relief and that can only be found in Christ. I have often said that a person who does not feel the weight, guilt, and sinfulness of sin, will never seek a Savior FROM SIN.

One question though, what is your stand concerning the fourth commandment? I hold to the Lord's Day from principles in the New Testament and early church history seems to indicate that the believer's after Christ's resurrection began to meet on this day. I also see it coinciding with the fourth commandment (1 day in 7 for rest), but there are those who think the fourth commandment is done away with or is not changed. Could you eleaborate a bit?

Tim said...

One last question, how would you respond to the Seventh Day Adventists? I know, I know.... I'm opening a can of worms here:) I really am interested though.

Bhedr said...

>In days gone by, children learned the commandments before they learned John 3:16, because only then did John 3:16 make any sense.<

Amen! Amen! and again I say Amen!
Campster, I am right there with you in regards to the quickening power of the law of God and the Holy Spirit. In regards to after salvation? The apostle Paul has convinced that my teacher is the Holy Spirit(God himself) that will lead me in his law. The law is now my friend as the Holy Spirit leads me. Perhaps we are on the same page; but I just don't like to put the emphasis on the law after salvation.

"Knowing this that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient..." I Timothy 1:9

Just everybody make sure you don't rest even a scent of hope in your keeping the law and some in Christ.It seems that the possibility exists for Calvanist to come full circle into meeting back up with the Arminians.
And no, I don't believe in lawless Christian living. If the mind changes about who God truly is; then the heart and soul will convert as this too is the Holy Spirits work.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I find myself being drawn closer to a 'New Covenant' view of the Law and Gospel.
For example, instead of equating the Ten Commandments, which were given to a specific people at a specific time, with the moral law, it seems more plausible to distinguish the two. The moral law is the required way of living a holy life and it is contained in the Ten Commandments, but there are also non-moral aspects of those commandments, such as the fourth commandment.
Also in context, it seems hard to divide up the Mosaic law into categories such as moral and ceremonial, since there is no precedent in Scripture for doing so.
The Mosaic law as a whole contains moral and ceremonial aspects intertwined throughout. And according to Scripture, Jesus fulfilled it all.
Since the Mosaic Law contained the moral law side by side with the 'types and shadows', national Israel doesn't need to continue to sacrifice and feast, and Gentiles are not under the obligation to do so either. National Israel and Gentiles alike also do not look to the Law for righteousness, but to the finished work of Christ. I guess you could almost say that I am 'antinomian', but please don't. I also believe in the Holy Spirit who has regenerated us and given us a new nature.
I'll stop before this becomes a 'book'.:-)

Ted M. Gossard said...


Yes, we need the whole counsel of God.

For me, that means I can't be in the Word too much. I need that dynamic for continued change. And as has well been said, if we aren't changing toward Christ, we're certainly not standing still (backsliding, more like it). As you remind us, we must be doers, and let the mirror of the Word be transformative for increasing Christ-likeness.

The law helps us see our need for grace. And grace extended helps us see the law applied in conviction and transformation of life (i.e., the law being written on our hearts).

Good points. And stimulative to thought. Thanks.

2Tal said...

This is an interesting discussion. I read on this controversy a few years ago in Tabletalk. Hence I'm qualified to spout a bit. My understanding is NCT tends to see the commandments in the New Testament as much more difficult to keep than the ones in the Old Testament. So why in the world would anyone say to avoid looking at the Decalogue and just focus on the N.T. to make it easier? I realize I'm not being very accurate in characterizing some contrary view that may be floating around out there. My point here really is that if the truth be known God's moral standard never really changed. New Covenant theology seems to make distinctives between the law of Christ and the Decalogue when there aren't any. The sermon on the Mount wasn't making the Decalogue more difficult. It was correcting false views of the Decologue. We need to align our hearts with what God loves and hates and live accordingly seeking empowerment thru the Holy Spirit. (i.e. do what the Israelites were judged by God in the O.T. for not doing-TRUSTING HIM evidenced in obedience!) This will happened to the saved.
This is a great piece. Much more clarification hence much less backlash. Although... I'm only on the seventh post...

2Tal said...

By the way. I do think setting aside a day for rest and keeping it holy is at least in some sense a moral command. If we really are dedicated laborers (working as unto the Lord) it is honoring God's temple (our bodies) with needed rest and reflection.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Let me clarify my position.
The command to keep the Sabbath is a moral command because God commanded it. But God only commanded it to national Israel. So while national Israel was obligated to keep it, the Gentiles were not.
The rest of the commandments we find are reiterated to the church in the New Testament, but when the Sabbath is mentioned, it is viewed as fulfilled in Christ with no need of being continued. On the other hand Jesus repeatedly said that loving God and man fulfills the whole Mosaic Law. The Law of Christ or the Royal Law, is the rule of Christ and can be equated in some sense with the moral law. We are new creations with God's law written on our hearts. Which law? Certainly not the Mosaic Law with all of its rituals.
Rather we see the Holy Spirit who indwells us and reveals to us through the pages of Scripture how we should live and then gives grace and ability to live the way the Bible says.

Bhedr said...

Well said jeremy! I agree on all your points and often tremble at Galations 2:21 so I know the discussion is one that we all must take seriously.

Having said that. Let's go another round on this people.Yehoooo! You know this debate reminds me of those old Rockem sockem robots. Always making direct hits and popping the head but never dismembering it.

2Tal said...

I don't think "New Covenant" people have a problem with the royal law of Christ it's just the elaboration parts. Keeping "the Royal Law" happens automatically while we are completely passive and looking at the Holy Spirit therfore we don't need to be nor should we be commanded to do anything. Am I correct here on their understanding here?

Terry Rayburn said...

The late Ernie Reisinger was unfortunately parroting that old unbiblical saw that the written Law is the "rule of life". Passed on by Lawmen whose traditions make the word of God of no effect, it is bad theology and it negates the New Covenant, in which the law is written on our [new] hearts, and in which God causes us to walk in His ways.

Law is not the "rule of life", faith is. And faith is by grace alone.

Law appeals to the flesh, because it gives self-righteous flesh something to measure itself can always find some laws that it keeps externally.

But Jesus made it clear that external following of the law is not enough.

The "law of Christ" is in a profound sense Christ Himself, who indwells us, and who is at work in us "both to will and to do His good pleasure".

Written laws fall short of the "spirit" of the law, which is fully expressed in the Spirit Who indwells us.

And these written laws may be specific to times and peoples.
And that's conducive to Lawmen making up their own ideas about such laws. For example, Lawmen profess to believe in the Sabbath, but make up their own rules for it on a whim, not subscribing to the Biblical requirements for it (e.g., that it be on the seventh day, that one not travel or do any work, or build a fire, etc., each infraction deserving of death). Thus they are, in effect, Antinomian Sabbatarians.

The point Jesus was making when He said that He didn't come to abolish the law was that He, and He alone could fulfill the law, and did so, ushering in grace. So Paul could now say that adding law to grace makes it no longer grace (Rom. 11:6).

I've never seen a Founder-type Lawman do justice to Galatians... nor to Rom. 6:14, which says that we are "not under law but under grace"...nor to 2 Cor. 3:6, which says that "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life"...nor to Paul's multiple use of the statement, "All things are lawful to me"...nor to Rom. 7:6, "But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter."

They don't "get it".

O foolish Lawmen, having begun by grace, are you now being sanctified by the Law?

Carpe Gratiam,
Terry Rayburn

2Tal said...

We all do well in labeling all of Paul's commands "suggestions" to ignore rather than erroneously calling them rules. WE ALREADY KNOW ALL THAT WE'VE GOT IT ALL WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS!

Jeremy Weaver said...

Well said Terry!

They also err in supposing that the Ten Commandments can be separated from the rest of the Mosaic Law.

We can't pick and choose here, though. If you want the Decalogue you've got to stop the pig-eating too!

2Tal said...

Well whatever God's moral standard is currently this is still a false proposition. Steve referred to God's law which we are forbidden to nullify but rather establish and are no longer under it's power, condemnation, or sin, not as being THE RULE of life as Terry misquotes him but rather a rule for life.

2Tal said...

Where did Campi go? I agree with him but heck! He can defend his views a heck of a lot better than I caN!

Jeremy Weaver said...

He's putting together a mountain of evidence that will make me look like a big dummy.:-)

Jeremy Weaver said...

As if I don't already.

Ephraim said...

Well, I certainly can't leave you guys alone here to argue without a little adult supervision. But instead of trying to go point for point, how about a NT example that may have passed under your radar.

Look at these verses in Acts:

Acts 18:18 "Sha'ul remained for some time, then said goodbye to the brothers and sailed off to Syria, after having his hair cut short in Cenchrea, because he had taken a vow; with him were Priscilla and Aquila."

"Because he had taken a vow"

What vow would Sha'ul have taken that would have required the cutting of his hair? There is only one vow that has that as a requirement, and it is found in Numbers chapter 6. Read it. Look carefully at what purpose and outcome was to be.
There are other requirements to be fulfilled along with the abstinence from grapes during and the shaving of the head after. Each of those requirements would have to be met for the vow to be fulfilled. Including the sacrifices.

Move ahead to Acts 20:5-6, the apostle Sha'ul and those with him waited to resume their travels until after the "days of matzah", or the Feast of Unleavened Bread had finished. Just sitting in port waiting for a boat? Why would they delay their journey for a Feast of YHWH?

Let's move on,

Acts 20:16, "For Sha'ul had decided to bypass Ephesus on his voyage, in order to avoid losing time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to get to Yerushalayim, if possible in time to celebrate Shavu'ot."
You probably know it as the "Feast of Tabernacles" or the "Festival of Booths". Again, what is the thinking here? Why would this be important to the "Apostle to the Gentiles"? OK for him, not OK for them? Hmmm...

Moving along,

You've all read what happens in chapter 21. That chapter has been spun in so many ways to try and get around what is being said that I will not take up space here to try and unspin it. But I will ask a few questions.

First, what was the apostle Sha'ul doing under the vow of a Nazir (Nazarite)? It is a voluntary vow and he knew what had to be done to complete it. He does attempt to complete it in Yerushalayim, but is stopped by the Jews from Asia. Are we seeing a hypocritical side to Sha'ul here? Was he just playing a part (pretending) to go along with the counsel from the apostles and elders just to avoid an ugly scene with the believing Jews? If that's what he wanted to do he could have stayed out of town. He had done that before.

Second, what is Sha'ul thinking? He forgoes ministry to the saints just so he can get to Yerushalayim for one of the appointed times (chapter 20)? Those feasts to YHWH are not in the 10 Words (decalogue). But then neither is the vow of the Nazir. Are we seeing Sha'ul engaging in Torah behaviour for other than right motives?

Speaking of chapter 21, what are the other apostles and elders doing in their instructions to Sha'ul? Engaging in the same hypocritical behaviour? Or did they think that walking in Torah as they had been in the past was perfectly acceptable for the Jews and uneccessary for the Goyim? How could they arrive at that conclusion seeing as the "teaching of the day" was that we were all "one in Messiah" and there was no difference between Jew and Gentile? "Salvation only", you say. I don't see that in the words on the page.
And why tell Sha'ul that they had written a letter to the Gentile believers, and tell him what was in it, when it was he and Bar-Nabba, along with others selected, who delivered the letter to Antioch?

Maybe Sha'ul just didn't "get it".

Perhaps we can fantasize that in the last part of Sha'ul's life in Rome he came to his senses, received another revelation, or whatever, and finally came to see the light. Then wrote letters to the believers explaining his error without getting too specific about what he was talking about. Really?

Btw, Terry, as far as keeping the Shabbat, you should first find some people who know what they are doing and why before making general statements which do not apply. As far as a death sentence for infractions of the type you mention, you will only find one instance of that happening. For an example to establish the fear of YHWH. And it happened at the beginning of Israel's journey from bondage. And you may want to run your idea of grace suddenly appearing when Messiah died, past Hananyah and Shappirah (Ananias and Saphira). It seems their experience was somewhat different than what you are saying is true.

Here is a point to ponder:

If the Torah was given to Israel because they belonged to YHWH, and the B'rit Hadashah was given to Israel because they belonged to YHWH, and those who put their trust in Messiah Yeshua are joined to Israel because they belong to YHWH, who are the people who were, then were not and now are the people who belong to YHWH?

Shabbat Shalom

dogpreacher said...

I am sorely disappointed to see on this subject what we 'calvinists' rightly fling in the'arminianists' face over sovereignty in salvation debates. That is.....sloppy, IF ANY , exegetical work on the out of context 'proofs' being offered up. The 'Traditions of men' die hard (even if they are in opposition to the express commands of God) don't they ? Concerning the Ten Commandments (for you sort-of anti-nomians) re-read 1st John. Concerning the Sabbath (4th commandment), read ALL of Paul concerning this issue. The commandments are what they have always been, nothing more AND nothing less. ONLY the ONE who gave them can abrogate them, and he didn't. By the way, some of your proof texts were as bad as the Arminian who quotes 2 Peter 3:9 as a 'proof' in the debate against election. Read Acts 13:42-44 and tell me why Paul didn't say to these Gentiles, "oh no, I will be preaching to you non-jews tomorrow, on the Lords' Day." NO! it says that the next Sabbath he preached to them. I think if you will truthfully examine Pauls' ministry, you will find him working six days a week (tentmaker)while 'as his custom was' preaching on the Sabbath week after week. on one occasion he preached to them on the first day of the week, but it gives you a reason for this (he was leaving them on the morrow). I would love someone to correct me (through sound exegetical work only), but as of yet, the arguments I have heard are like unto the Arminian 'proofing' free will against election. Sorry for length, I don't normally do this. I am...
grateful for grace,
A fellow laborer

dogpreacher said...

...btw...Ephrayim...thanks for reading the scriptures and being "fully persuaded in your own mind" as the scripture says.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I am against 'prooftexting' as much as anyone. But just because a person uses the text of Scripture to prove what he believes Scripture teaches does not mean he is 'prooftexting'.

I can assure you that as for myself I have read and re-read the Bible and am currently in the process of studying Galatians (for the past couple of months, actually) and am coming to a more, 'sort-of antinomian' as you put it, view of the relationship between Law and Gospel.

When I started studying (and part of the reason it is taking me so long to study the letter, I think) I was a confirmed 'Covenantal Baptist'. But I think that John Reisinger may have exceeded his brother in this one respect, that he rightly concluded that the Ten Commandments take their rightful place with the rest of the Mosaic Law and should not be divided from it. God, through Moses, made a covenant with national Israel as Moses reminded the Israelites in Deuteronomy 5:1-5.

Please understand that I believe that Christians are not free to live their lives any way they see fit. We are subject to the Lordship of Christ and subsequently the Law of Christ. So please do not call me 'antinomian' because I prefer Christ over Moses.

Bhedr said...

Dennis said>Keeping "the Royal Law" happens automatically while we are completely passive and looking at the Holy Spirit therfore we don't need to be nor should we be commanded to do anything< I do agree on the one hand but here is an example of where a Calvanist can possibaly(the potential is there for some while maybe not others) closely agree with an Arminian.I know you used the word passive and so I believe you understand but some feel looking means hanging on. We must closely examine this. It is of uptmost imortance. It is not even in the strength with which we look to the Holy Spirit but simply that He is in us and doing the Work. He said, "I AM THAT I AM" We must ask ourselves If we believe this. Consider even Baalams words who said,"God brought Israel out of Egypt with the strength of a wild ox."

Moses said, "Stand back and see the salvation of the Lord!" Herein sleeps the whole issue I believe. REST.Job even was rebuked by God for even hinting that his right arm could save himself. If he then shouldn't we tremble at this? Consider also that God draws back his Spirit also sometimes as he did with Hezekiah so that men will know this. We must understand it is all Him and so even backsliding will become part of His plan in order that we understand our pride and arrogance. Call me Calvanist or whatever....I believe in the TOTAL sovereignty of God and not just some of it. The strength is all of Him. Beware of thinking otherwise. Trust God with the grace He offers and don't feel you have to help him with it.
Many of you Calvanist are good and I agree with much of what you say and I understand your heart for not wanting Christians to think that they can do whatever they want. May I encourage you to believe that it was God himself who imparted Grace and with Grace comes risk and in that risk the Child learns through hardship of that grace and becomes even more grateful of it as the strength of His Spirit makes himself known.

Grace(Charis-to rejoice, or chara, joy favor, acceptance, a kindness granted or desired....A favor done without expectation or return.)

"...behold Jesus met them saying, "Rejoice!"NKJV(chairo-related to charis, joy as in a direct result of God's grace)

"Finally my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me is not grievous, but for you is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are of the circumcision, which worship God in the sprit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.........And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" Philipians 3:1-3&9

Bottom line? I don't want to spend my earthly life trying to bring the law into focus; but rather Yeshua. He is the fulfillment of the law and if one truly believes "YHVH!" then he will understand everything. His name is His true image.

Do you ever wonder why His name had no vowels and Israel neither wanted to pronounce it or even really knew how?

His name must be understood and perceived!

Bhedr said...

Said the doxenhound>He's putting together a mountain of evidence that will make me look like a big dummy.:-)

................Ah ha ha ha ha. LOL! oh folks you gotta love him. And you know what Jeremy? You are probably right. It is good to see though that you are yeilding to what scripture says about this. May we each day learn to value this precious jewel that is given to us and may we let that be our solitary motivation as a betrothed values her diamond and the promise that sleeps there: Not wanting to trample on her husbands love. This can only be learned in time and I pray some will discover this. I pray hard.

2Tal said...

As I was sarcastically trying to mock NCT Brain took me seriously and practically agreed with me. I must appear thorougly schizophrenic at this point. I'm glad no one here in these comments really engages the opposing views and texts in a thoroughly meaningful manner and legitimate fashion but rather we all tend to gloss over most of them somewhat superficially. It's hard to acknowledge even one point of the opponent isn't it!!! Maybe I'll try to adequately address Terry's prooftexts later and lose the sarcasm. Right now I'm tired...
BTW...I really do love you guys. As Phil Johnson said in one his his posts, "Group HUG...!!!

2Tal said...

Okay I caught my second wind. What does "we are no longer under the law" mean? I thought it meant we are on top of it. Kind of like being on top of our work. You know. Kinda like we can keep His commandments now like I John tells us to do in verifying our salvation. Before we were "under" it's weight. We couldn't keep it. Or maybe it means we are now longer under the law's condemnation in the sense that we are no longer under sin. Or maybe it means we are no longer under the effect of the law that puts us at enmity against it. One thing I know for sure it doesn't mean "you're not supposed to read the ten commandments and only listen to Jesus' new version of it on the sermon of the Mount like NTC teaches." That's a riduculous false dichotomy.

2Tal said...

BTW Brain-,
I apologize for making it appear like you were confused as to what point I was trying to make. I was the one confused in making it appear that way.

SJ Camp said...

Haven't gone anywhere... enjoying the discussion. Some good stuff here.

The question is one of antinomianism... isn't it. "Christ is the end of the law..." but we must finish the verse: "for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Romans 10:4) The context here in Romans 9-11 is Paul's burden for salvation for "the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law..." (Romans 9:3b-4).

The emphasis here in chapter 10 of Romans is on "righteousness" (the great theme of this book). The righteousness of Christ is imputed to every one "who believes"--not who is faithful in keeping the law (cp, Romans 4 and the example of Abraham). Here the Apostle is speaking of salvation - not sanctification.

However, Christ fulfilled the law - all its requirements and standards through His sinless life; substitutionary death on the cross; His perfect obedience as our High Priest; and through His bodily resurrection from the dead.

But now as believers in the Lord we can say with Paul: "The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and righteous and good." (Romans 7:12)

To not include the law in gospel preaching is to take away God's rod of correction which brings conviction upon the soul of the unregenerate. The balm of grace will have profound comfort only when the sinner is under the convicting power of the Law when brought to the place of seeing how they have violated God's standard of righteousness - which no man can keep and achieve.

BUT, to say the law is no longer effectual for the Christian once we have come to regeneration and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, can and has led to being antinomian. There is the nexus of the issue.

Before the cross: the law is our tutor pointing us to Christ; after the cross: Paul says, "the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:4). In other words, it is evidenced fruit of our salvation; not the root of it.

Carry on my fellow blogentators.. what a joy to learn from you and be sharpened with by the sword of the Spirit.

In the covenant of grace,
Phil. 3:9

dogpreacher said...

James 4:17 strikes me as being the 'rule' for the believer. It couldn't be for the non-believer, because he doesn't know to do good (spiritually, as God sees good) because he is spiritually dead. This is strong for the believer. How many times have you KNOWN to do good, and didn't do it...this week.....oh man! too...guilty. I am...
grateful for grace,

Terry Rayburn said...


You asked, "What does 'we are no longer under law' mean?"

It is stated in direct contrast to the fact that we are "under grace". To not be under law is explained in Romans 7 and Gal. 2 as part of our death-in-Christ process. In some mysterious way, when Christ died on the cross, we died with Him (Gal. 2:20).

When we died with Him, we died to the law (Gal. 2:19; Rom. 7:6,9).

But not just for the heck of it. We died to the law "so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter" (Rom. 7:6b), and "so that I might live to God" (Gal. 2:19b).

As long as we were "under" the law, we were under a curse which said that the breaking of that law would take away blessing and bring cursing. Since we could not keep the law perfectly (that's why the New Covenant was instituted), we were under a curse, as well as a REAL guilt that kept us from facing God, the Lover of our soul.

By our dying to the law, we no longer are under that law which kept us from intimate fellowship with Him.

We are free to face him.

We are free to boldly come before His throne.

We are free to have Christ Himself living in us and through us!

We can abide in Him, fellowship with Him, relish Him, enjoy Him, run TO Him when we sin instead of running FROM Him and hiding in denial!

The curtain is torn in two, and we can enter the Holy of Holies which is Christ Himself, free from the CURSE of the law, not just for initial salvation, but for ongoing sanctification by GRACE!

But alas, along come the Dogs of Law, who tell us, "No, that's not enough. It's not enough to be free to gaze into His face. Free? God forbid! What about the law?! After all, it's God's law, isn't it? Come back to earth, you freedom fighters, you loosy goosy Jesus-lovers. There's the LAW to contend with!"

And so it goes. The Dogs of Law take the eyes of the Saints back off of Jesus and back onto man's PERFORMANCE. Thus comes pride (if I think I'm doing pretty well today) or despair (if I realize how hopelessly I'm really doing this jot and tittle thing).

Sorry, not me.

I'll take "Christ in you, the hope of glory" ... and "there is therefore now NO condemnation to he who is in Christ Jesus" ... and "the love of Christ compels us" ... and "it is God who is at work in you both to will and do His good pleasure".

The Dogs can have their Law.


dogpreacher said...

doxoblogist...nothing personal, and I actually have nothing against 'proof' texts. Scripture should be (and is) proof, when exegeted properly. John MacArthur would be the first to tell you, be careful of free-wheeling (I feel...well, it could mean...this means to me...) interpretation. Using proper biblical hermeneutics, let us strive for sound exegetical work, whether it lines up with someone popular or not. No one answered the points I made concerning Paul & the Sabbath. Since Paul kept the Sabbath, and said to emulate him as he emulated Christ, and with a perfect opportunity to tell those Gentiles that the 'day' had changed,...why didn't he? My comments concerning anti-nomianism, are in relation to the book of 1st John. If you can read this book (besides Romans, James, Revelations)and say that these commandments are not for the believer...I don't know how one can do that. The key to this issue is that it is the end of the law FOR righteousness.
A child at the orphanage is old enough now that nobody looks at him to adopt. They pick the babies. He has already been to many foster homes, and been abused badly in a few, and sheltered & fed but largely ignored in others. Then one day, in spite of him throwing a tantrum & being 'ugly', a man says, "I want him". He & his wife take him home and love him so much, even though he is trouble for awhile as he tests them. They are consistent with their love, not requiring anything of him for it. NOW...moving ahead 10 years, the 17 yr. old boy and his 'dad' pull into the driveway, and the dad asks him to mow the yard. The boy, having been loved first by the father, even when he was at his worst, says, "Dad, not only will I mow, but can I cut the hedges, and bag all the mulch and clippings for you. This boy knows what grace is about, and is grateful.
I cringe every time I hear another preacher, preaching on sin (that's rare), who says, "'re going to sin of course..." HEY...quit encouraging them! Scripture says,"Walk in the Spirit, and you SHALL NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh". We just aren't walking in the Spirit as we should be.
Take a second look at the '10 Commandments'. Should these really seem that hard, & unkeepable to the one who has been born from above by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit? The Commandments are just mowing the 'Fathers''s when we walk in the Spirit, and abide by James 4:17, that we, out of love for the 'Father', want to cut the hedges also and bag the mulch!

2Tal said...

I don't know that you should use the word "dogs". That was Calvin's favorite word regarding the "barkings and yelpings" of everyone who thought he was wrong concerning the threefold use of the law. But maybe you are right. Maybe BOTH sides are dogs. If so, can I be on the Cocker Spaniel team?.

Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Campi,

Your point about the use of the law in preaching to the lost is well taken. It shuts the mouth of all, and makes unrighteousness evident, by contrast with it's goodness and purity.

However, dear brother, I think we need to look at the context for Rom. 8:4.

Looking back at Verse 3, it says specifically, "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh...", and all this follows on the heels of Romans 7, where in verse 6 it says, "But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound..."

When 8:4 says that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us..." we need to ask, "What is the requirement of the Law?" The real answer is "perfection", since the breaking of one law constitutes the breaking of all of it.

And is that requirement of perfection fulfilled in us? Yes, but not by our perfect thought or action, nor by our imperfect thought or action, but by the Perfect One, Christ in us, the hope of glory.

The Law brings sin and death, but "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom. 8:2...more context)

Anyway, to take a side road:

We were listening to your Desiring God album tonight, and when I heard "Every Sparrow" (for the hundredth time), I was touched by how apropos it is for this Katrina tragedy. How I wish we could weasel you onto "Larry King Live" to sing Sparrow, with appropriate photos in the background.

I, too, appreciate the iron sharpening happening on this blog, Steve. Thanks.

Loving Jesus and hating sin -- not like them ol' antinomians,


Terry Rayburn said...


Hard to believe you would portray Paul as a Sabbatarian, when he clearly said in Colossians 2:16, "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day -- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."

True, it was Paul's custom to preach in the Synogogue on the Sabbath (Acts 17:1,2). That's when the people were there! He also preached on every other day in other locations.

I once attended a 2 or 3-day conference by a prominent Christian Publisher and Bible teacher, who is a Covenant Theology guy, and whose name you would know. He spent a fair part of one of his messages on how we were still bound by the Sabbath, which of course he said was now Sunday.

After his talk one night, I questioned him something like this: "Hi brother. I happen to be a Realtor, and I have a question. What could I do in regards to my business on a Sunday, for which the Church should rightly discipline me?"

He was taken aback, and said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "Well, I believe in the church disciplining me for unrepentent sin, and I'm just wondering what would consitute the breaking of the Sabbath for which I should be disciplined? If I ran out and showed one house to a buyer quickly, would that do it?"

"No, that's not the point...", he said.

"Two houses? Ten? How about six hours of showing homes?" Now I was rolling.

He, unable to pin down what constituted a breaking of the Sabbath, and also unable to justify changing the Sabbath to Sunday (another line of questions I asked him), blurted out condescendingly, "You just need to read Jonathan Edwards' book, 'The Change and Perpetuity of the Sabbath'."

"I have read it, and it's simply not Biblical, but relies on human reasoning from bad premises," I replied.

No kidding, he threw up his hands at the audacity of anyone questioning Jonathan Edwards on anything, and sputtered, "I've got to catch a plane".

How much more refreshing to read the pure word, where in Hebrews 4 it says that "there is a Sabbath rest for the people of God", wherein they rest from their works. And it's not talking about Saturday or Sunday, dogpreacher, but about the precious Lord Jesus, our Savior and our Sabbath rest.


2Tal said...

Well I can't sleep. I'm all stirred up over this. Brain (Bhedr) mentioned I Tim. 1:9. "But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person but for the lawless, insobordinate, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane" etc. etc. I summarize MacArthur's commentary here. "Lawless" is a term often used in the N.T. "referring to those who have no committment to any law or standard." (MacArthur) The word "good" means "useful". It is useful for the purpose of showing our sin WHICH WE ALL HAVE. It is the tutor that sends us fleeing to Christ. I believe it is "useful" even for Christians who "delight in his law". It reminds us of our need for the ongoing grace by which we stand. Those who think they are righteous can never stand in grace nor can they ever receive the imputed righteousness of Christ because they don't understand what the purpose of the law was for.

How many times did God bascially say "but you did not trust in the Lord your God" in the O.T.? Faith is the key whether O.T. or N.T.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
(2Co 3:1-11)ESV

Bhedr said...

>As I was sarcastically trying to mock NCT Brain took me seriously and practically agreed with me.< I'm sorry did not realize you were mocking. Is this why you call me Brain? Is that a mock as well? I am a bit of a space case; but glory to God he made me that way. I will endeavour to listen more closely. Please don't miss what I brought up though.


Bhedr said...

Hey Dennis,

Thanks for the apology but I do have to strain to catch points. Sometimes you guys are over my heads and I must read a couple of times to get it. This is a good discussion and I only seek the truth.
Brian or Brain

Bhedr said...


I believe if a person is truly antinomian in the true sense of ignoring Romans 6 then he is truly anti-Christ and the whole issue sleeps in the understanding of the Power of the cross and the resurrection. I just believe the focus should be there. Sometimes the believer has to go through much to learn this; however there are some(i.e-Elizabeth Elliot) who have seemed to walk strongly since the day they were born again. I think it is incumbent for us to give place also to the cultivating work of the Holy Spirit(i.e-Samson) We just can't see the invisible work of God. We must however stress the Power of Yeshua and the cross and the might and power of His resurrection in us.

Tim said...

Wow! I guess I must have really stirred something up since my post about the Sabbath. Although, we have somehow completely missed the question I was getting at, I thought I might ask again. If we use the Law in preaching the gospel, then pray tell, which Law are we using??? How were those Jews (ie. Paul, Peter, John, etc.) showing the Gentiles their sin? Which Law did they use? Did they include the 10 commandments? Was the Sabbath an issue that would point to sin in a Gentile? I hope Campi would give his view in regards to whether or not he would use the fourth commandment to demonstrate a person's sin and whether he would hold that to Saturday or Sunday. I am not trying to stir a pot or anything, I am just curious when posts like Steve's are generated (and I agree with the post Steve) that there is not clarity on the expounding of the Law as stated in Scripture. Thanks for all your discussion guys. It has been profitable.

dogpreacher said... Terry Rayburn: I am not portraying Paul as a sabbatarian. I am stating what scripture is portraying...that we read over and over where Paul preaches on the sabbath. Once again, the text you used (Col. 2:16) is not pertinent to the argument. Paul is saying to not let anyone judge you in these areas in regard to righteousness. I agree, that NO work of any kind makes me righteous. Only the imputed righteousness of Christ can do that, and praise God He has. The writer is saying the same thing here as he does in Romans where he says in one place we are dead to the law (for righteousness) by the body of Christ, and yet in another, he asks, "Do we make void the law?...God forbid". Paul is telling people that having been purchased by His blood, don't sink back to thinking these things (or ANYTHING) can make you righteous except Christ.

The Hebrews passage is using the seventh day as an analogy to the ultimate rest (in Christ),yes, but does that do away with it? no. Jesus said the sabbath was made for man (you notice he didn't say for the Jew) and not man for the sabbath. The sabbath was made not to be a duty to worry about keeping perfectly to attain righteousness, but as a gift to man to commune with God, and rest.

Still,no one answers the original questions I posed concerning this issue. Well...I see scripture pointing out clearly that the law is useless as far as right standing before God, but is evidence that we know & love Him, and that His love is perfected in us (1 John 2:2-5)
See Rev. 22:14 concerning commandments.
What do you do with Isaiah 66:22-24? Look at what time frame, and what place this is, that ALL flesh shall come to worship before Him, from one sabbath to another.

I am thankful to have this opportunity to trade thoughts with so many who love Gods word, and meditate on it day & night (Psalm-1)...I am...
grateful for grace.

Tim said...

One final thought: As James White has said in his debate with Barry Lynn on the topic of homosexuality, sin must be shown to be sin in order that mouths may be stopped and the gospel received. Therefore, I think it's important to understand whether or not we can use the fourth commandment as that which evidences sin and stops mouths, so that the blessed gospel of grace of the Savior from sin can be heard.

Tim said...


I think you have indeed answered the question and I am in agreement, though I must admit I struggle with the whole Saturday-Sunday thing.

dogpreacher said...

hey Tim, I have written a 25 page theses on the subject, and have sent itout to several pastors (Doctors & Masters) for rebuttal, and like you I am still searching on this issue...I just don't want to compromise one word of His truth! Feel free to contact me and I will send you a copy...I am...
grateful for grace.

Tim said...


I have emailed you for the paper. Thanks for your comments. I believe God's children want to obey Him in every area, not for self-righteousness, but because it is part of their new nature to love Him and keep His commandments.

One last thing. Whoever mentioned the pig stuff being thrown out, I do recall Jesus making all meats clean and Paul was clear on that subject as well I think in Corinthians.

Jeremy Weaver said...

The only point that I am making is that the Ten Commandments are part of the Covenant God made with Israel through Moses. They cannot somehow be separated from this context of the Mosaic Covenant and thrown at Christianity as THE moral standard.
There is a moral standard contained in the Ten Commandments, but there are also other moral standards given throughout the rest of the Law that are not specifically addressed in the Ten Commandments. So it is useless to look at the Decalogue as a comprehensive standard of morality for the Christian.
The writers of the New Testament as well as Jesus did not write of the Law in this context.
As for the commandments listed in 1 John, John tells us what those commandments are in 1 John 3:23.
I am also tired of being called antinomian because I leave the Ten Commandments in their proper context of the national covenant with Israel.
There is a Law that is higher and better than that given through Moses. It is the Law that existed before Moses and has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ.
Away with Moses! Faith in Christ and submission to His Lordship are the marks of New Testament Christianity.

Bhedr said...

Folks I have re-read and re-read over Romans 6 and you know what? The answer to what we all fear and what Paul feared is in there but the cure is never found in the law. it is a proper understanding of Grace. Even Paul spoke to the weekness of our flesh but he did not herald law. He brought grace into deeper focus and gave us proper understanding of the cross and the resurrection. Loose the anxiety and go on a quest to understand grace more. That is the solid rock and foundation of our faith.

oh these word verifications are getting longer and longer. What bondage to the blogianators.

Jeremy Weaver said...

You seem to be the one who can see both sides of this issue.
I have two points of disagreement with you in your comment though.

1) You Said,
"BUT, to say the law is no longer effectual for the Christian once we have come to regeneration and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, can and has led to being antinomian. There is the nexus of the issue."

This is not a good argument. There are many who say that if we believe the five points of Calvinism taht this has led some to deny the need for missions. Does that make Calvinism any less true? In the same way this argument that some have become antinomian does not make the truth of Christ fulfilling the Law any less true.

2) You Said,
"after the cross: Paul says, "the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:4). In other words, it is evidenced fruit of our salvation; not the root of it."

This is a wrong interpretation of Romans 8:4. In context the verse is pointing us to the work of Christ on our behalf in which He condemned sin in His flesh, in order that we might obtain His righteousness which fulfills the Law in our flesh.

Bhedr said...

You know sometimes in this debate; although not always...please remember I said sometimes!

The smeller is the feller!

i remember a guy that used to always warn me-Brian, beware of antinomianism! He lives in our neighborhood and one day he was out walking and I smelled something.....*?* Whazzat? Whiskey on his breath? A few months later he's droppin outta church playing top 40 covers in a band and braggin about playing for parties for actors like Nicholas Cage?

One guy told me once though..well you know he's a little south of Pluto anyway...but then again I might be hovering around Jupiter as well, so tit for tat and I don't mean to stereo type as it never holds water. Juss throwwin a little smoke on this fire. Are you ready for round 15 guys?

dogpreacher said...

somebody care to take a stab at Matthew 5:17-20? last I looked, I was still standing on terra firma.

Ephraim said...

It looks like the old "grace OR law" ball could be batted back and forth until the proverbial cows come home. But not much of any use would come of it. I base that on the fact that not much has in the past 2k years. Just more division, confusion and difficulty among believers.

So how 'bout we try a different tack and see where it goes.

I have confidence that most, if not all, who blog here are serious about doing those things which please their Creator. In fact, if a list of specifics could be produced that contained a description of the works that are guaranteed to please Him every time you do them, who wouldn't want to at least see what was on that special list?

Is that not the heart of the true believer? To please his or her Master?

Many of you are married. You know there are things you can do which will please your mate as well as things which, if done, would not.
Sha'ul says that there is a great mystery here concerning the Messiah and His betrothed. By saying that he is indicating that we should explore that thought.

So, what do you think might be on the approved list? These things can't be hidden. It is too important. And would YHWH be just if He hid the very things which pleased Him from those whom He required that they perform them?

Of course not.

Has He not said what pleases Him?

Since the Shabbat has come up again, I would like to have each of you consider this;
YHWH created the Shabbat at the beginning of this world. It was very special to Him. And it will continue on through the end of this age and beyond as one brother pointed out. He only shares it with those whom He loves. That's why He shared it with Israel right from the start. It was and is part of the marriage contract He has with His people.
Nothing has changed. Not the day or the reason for it. And the people of YHWH are drawn into that rest by His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as a testimony of the rest that is to come.

Are not each of you, by the lives you live for Him, a testimony of that which is to come? For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.

So if we, as Israel, walk in those things which please YHWH and bring glory to Yeshua, by the grace we have been given, why would anyone think that we are being legalistic? Do we need to bring hundreds of scriptures to bear? Would more words help someone to see the love in keeping His commandments?

Now I do understand that you reformed folks like to gather around a good exegesis to warm your hands. That's cool. If that is what it takes, then that's what it takes. As I've said before, I won't try to write a book on Steve's blog. But we could cover some good ground in small doses.

Pick one.

Under the Law
the Appointed Times
head covering
Renewed Covenant prophecies

this good stuff

Shalom B'nai Yisrael

dogpreacher said...

...and btw, the sabbath was set apart (blessed and sanctified) literally on the seventh day, and there were not any jews then. Maybe that's why the Lord of the sabbath said it was made for MAN, not any specific and select nationality.

SJ Camp said...

To my friend Jerry (Doxoblogist):

Thank you for your words and insights as always. Both are good interpretations. You were quoting from verse 3 and I completely agree with you. But in verse four, the fruit of regeneration is that we now "might be obedient or comply with its (the Law) demands" because of what Christ alone has done (Barnes Notes). And this is only accomplished by the work of the Spirit--"not under the influence of the flesh and its corrupt desires."

As to the antinomian issue: grace doesn't wink at sin nor condone it, but drives us to further obedience in Christ (Romans 6:1-2; Titus 2:12). As you know, too many believers today have a low view of sin--even to the point of tolerance.

Some might go as far as saying that "as long as I have my 'fire insurance' I can do anything I want to do--and no matter how bad I sin, I am stilled saved. No need for repentance, its already been settled." One dear friend of mine told me a few years ago that "when I said the sinners prayer as a teenager, if I really meant it in my heart, then it doesn't matter how I live I know that I am going to heaven. Anything goes..."

I know you would agree that that is not the gospel nor fruit befitting repentance. John MacArthur dealt with this issue in his historic and landmark book, "The Gospel According to Jesus."

Hope this helps to further clarify... I appreciate you brother!


Tim said...


I think you are exactly correct. I must confess my lack of Jewish background and sadly, when have you ever heard an actual sermon today in regards to what God actually said about it? I mean we hear all about how the Pharisees had made up stuff and so now people in the church point a crucifix at you if you mention anything good about the Sabbath. I sincerely desire to obey and please the Lord and am appreciative of the things pointed out in the book of Acts. I believe MacArthur in his commentary on Acts 18 said, "(Paul's) action seems puzzling at first glance, since he was well aware that the Old Covenant and all its rituals had passed away. Yet he had been reared according to the strictest standards of the Jewish Faith... After he became a Christian, Paul realized the worthlessness of all the efforts at self-starvation by ritual, tradition, legalism, sincerity, and external goodness compared to the true righteousness and knowledge of God that came through knowing Christ. But he had a genuine love for God's law in Scripture and was still influenced by his Jewish heritage. And when he wanted to show his deep thanks for God's marvelous encouragement during the difficult times in Corinth, he naturally thought of a typically Jewish way of doing so. (MacArthur Commentary Series:Acts 13-28, pg. 158)

The question I desire to be answered is this: Can we just please God by doing anything only with a sincere heart? Does that not amount to offering "strange fire" to God? I mean when the gospel was preached brothers and sisters, let us realize that though a New Covenant was established it was confirmed not only by the mouths of the apostles, but by the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament. Remember that when Paul spoke the Bereans checked him out and what did they have at the time to do so? 1 & 2 Timothy? Galatians? Phillipians? No, they used the Old Testament. Again, just because someone believes in grace and we are save completely by God does not mean that we don't believe that the same God who saved us and put His law upon our hearts (which law is that?) that it should not evidence itself outwardly, as well as, inwardly.


Thanks for your comments as well. However, I would have to ask you a question. As a good Calvinist, we want to dig for details in questioning someone. What exactly is your view of the Law? Which Law should be used? Can you give the details of what that Law demands? I have heard people speak of Law generally and a few specifically, but I am curious to know what you would use as law in your presentation of the gospel. How would you show someone they are dead in sins?

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm Jeremy.:-) That's O.K. though. My friends call me sweet Jerry.

I'm at work, but in the meantime read Acts 17 and Romans 1 and 2.

Ephraim said...


I read your scripture suggestions. I know they were for Tim. He probably read them as well. So, where might you be headed with those words partner?

A sample from Roman selection:

"The just shall live by faith".

"For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

The just are justified by doing the works of the Law by faith? But those who do not have the Law (meaning that they have not been instructed by it) become a law for themselves, and then will judge those who know the Law but do not do it? Would that be considered a righteous judgement? Judgement according to Torah? When do you suppose that judgement will take place? Seeing as how Yeshua said that we are already judged and that He had not come to judge us. That judgement is then committed to those who walk according to Torah? Jew or Gentile?

I'm not going to guess at what your point may be, but it seems that once again, either Sha'ul is very confused, or, our understanding of what he is saying in incorrect.
Look again at the audience for the letter to the believers in Rome. It is mixed, as usual, but with the text being aimed more at the Jews who knew Torah and would probably have arguments against the teachings of Sha'ul. Really, what kind of argument would an idol worshipping pagan, who had just come to faith in the Messiah of Israel, have about the intricacies of the Torah of the Elohim of Israel? As they grew in understanding, their questions would become more involved, more specific, about the relationship between the grace found in Messiah and the Torah. Seeing as how they were surrounded by and in fellowship with the Jews of the Diaspora, these kind of conversations and debates would naturally occur.

My understanding of Sha'ul's words is this;
he did not want there to be a misunderstanding among the new believers about the role of Torah in their lives. Pontificating about what is written, but living contrary to the instructions, would be judged and condemmed. In other words, walk according to Torah and you would not find yourself "under it" in judgement.
He then goes on to explain how faith is the key to establishing the proper relationship with YHWH through His Son, Mashiach Yeshua and the grace afforded to them by His acceptable sacrifice.

Where in Sha'ul's teaching does he throw out Torah and preach the "grace without works" doctrine that has become so popular? And please don't start with the "saved by grace alone, not works" thing. That is clearly understood and acknowledged. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about how Torah is useful in the believer's life, AFTER the salvation part has properly taken place.

A quick look at one of Tim's other questions:

"Which Law should be used?"

Which portions of Torah should be used to preach the Good News is a great question. Excellent really. Because that is how the message was preached.
Torah, Nevi'im, Ke'tuvim.
Law, Prophets, Writings. Messiah is in there. Along with His purpose and plan.

A general question for anyone: could you preach the Good News of salvation from those books alone? Try it, out loud, and you will quickly see which scriptures are needed to present a complete and accurate message of salvation and restoration.

One last note, the word "Torah" has several meanings in English which can be used for different applications. If you made a list of those meanings and numbered them according to their priority of use, "Instructions" would be at the top and "Law" would be at the bottom. Since our modern view of what the word "law" means is tangled up in our personal and cultural experiences, it most often puts the loving instructions of our heavenly Father in a bad light.
That is unfortunate.
But the sentence on Israel is complete and the restoration has begun. How we understand scripture will be challenged as what we have held as dear truth becomes revealed as little more than the "traditions of men".


Ephraim said...


You said: "The rest of the commandments we find are reiterated to the church in the New Testament, but when the Sabbath is mentioned, it is viewed as fulfilled in Christ with no need of being continued."


Does that really make sense to you? That one commandment in ten has somehow been fulfilled but the other nine were left intact and unfulfilled? And since when does a commandment being fulfilled by anyone, including Messiah, make it obsolete for everyone else?

Did He not fulfill (complete) the entire Torah? Would that not include all of the ten commandments? And if merely being obedient to a commandment fulfills it and makes it void for the other believers (meaning to be no longer binding), can you, or should I say would you, take that logic and apply it the rest of those particular commandments?

How did Messiah fulfill the fourth commandment? Do you have a scripture that explains the mechanics of voiding one of His Father's instructions? After Yeshua said clearly that He would not, under any circumstances, make void even the least of those instructions, I think you would be wasting your time trying to find even one verse that makes a claim contrary to the words of the Messiah.

People who are inclined to void the righteous requirements of Torah usually like to mention the fact that Avraham received the sign of circumcision AFTER he was imputed righteousness by faith and therefore circumcision is not required to have the righteousness of Elohim imputed to a person. Fine. That is true.

So then, take that same logic and apply it to the Shabbat. The seventh day Shabbat, not the shabbats that accompanied the feasts or were declared for special circumstances.

When was that day established? Before Torah. So, does Torah make void the the seventh day Shabbat because it was included in the commandments and made mandatory for His people? Did Israel's obedience to that particular commandment fulfill the requirement and thus make it void?
Are you thinking that it was because they could not do the commandment perfectly and that it had to stand until Messiah came?

As someone has already pointed out, mistakes were dealt with rather harshly and quickly. Do you think that just maybe there were those who could take instruction and walk properly in the Shabbat? Perhaps Moshe, or, Yahoshua. Impossible?

I don't want to stretch you too far, so let's just say that Yeshua is the only one to do it right. Can we agree on that? Good.

Then we are back to idea that Messiah must have said somewhere that when He fulfilled the fourth commandment it would go away and no longer be binding on the lives of the faithful.

Or, that it still stands, but we don't have to respect it anymore. Or, that a greater truth has been revealed, which makes obedience to the fourth commandment optional. I've yet to see anything in scripture that makes that case clearly and unambiguously. Have you?
Colossians? Not even close. As Tim already pointed out, that is not the context of those verses. Combine that with a poor translation into the English and you have the makings of nothing that would void the fourth commandment, much less any of the others.

It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding of what it means to bring an instruction (commandment) to completion. Perhaps, if there is interest, we could explore what that means and how it works scripturally.


Jeremy Weaver said...

My view of the Law is essentially that the Law was given to Israel as the terms of God's covenant with national Israel. That is Moses' description of the Law in Deuteronomy 5:1-5.

I am not sure how many Laws you have in mind or what use you mean when you ask, Which Law should be used?"

The demands of the Mosaic Law are that the one who does all of them shall live by them. The demands of the Law of Christ are to love God with our entire being and our fellow man as ourselves.

Actually, for the most part, I leave conviction of sins to the Holy Spirit. However, I also use Scripture and the Law to show our inability to please God.

The point I am making and want you to understand is that I do not see the Law as the rule of life for the Christian. Send Moses away from the Gospel and the cross centered life. He has no place here. As Terry put it earlier, Faith is our rule of life. I would also add repentance to that statement. This repentance comes not from the guiding of the Law, but from the Holy Spirit who is operative in the life of believers. He has written the law on our hearts. Not the Mosaic Law but the law of grace.

Here's what Paul says in Galatians 3:1-6 (my paraphrase)
"You received the Holy Spirit by faith and not by the works of the Law. Since you began by the Spirit, why try to be perfected by the flesh? The rejection that you suffered at the hands of the Jews after you believed, was that in vain? Do the miracles that are among you come by faith or by Law? Abraham believed God and that belief was counted to him as righteousness."

2Tal said...

Hey Brian,
"Brain" was a typo. I guess I'm a slow sometimes myself. I've got nothin but love for ya bro.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Read the rest of the comment and the rest of my comments. My whole argument has been against breaking up the Law. In fact, you have written a long comment about something that was not conveyed in my comment.

2Tal said...

Hey Jeremy to compound you're possible feelings of a having a paintball gun firing at you (I don't want to come across this way) I have some questions you might be able to shed some light on. Doesn't the Bible command, "Love one another and thus fulfill the Law". Wouldn't that mean your idea that there is no sense in which the law is fulfilled outside of the initial imputed righteousness of Christ is wrong? Does not this explicity state that as we are loving one another in both word and deed thruout the Christian life we are fulfilling the law? And how do we do this? Paul says visit the widow and orphan. He says "abstain from fleshly lusts". I think if we looked we could find many moral commands given by Paul, could we not? The issue here is not how these Bible commands are kept. We all know it's by seeking grace and walking in Spirit and living by faith. Therefore that never was nor ever will be an issue to discuss. But Paul said himself "I beat my body daily into subjection". Could you not make the argument that Paul has no concept of effectual grace and that he should have known this grace only occurs by osmosis with us completely inert with no fighting on our part and completely apart from any admonishons and commandments? AFter all Jesus and Holy Spirit do it all (which they do). Also from my understanding of the Old Covenant moral aspects of the law Jesus clarified them to the point that I do not see how any moral issue could fall outside the ten commandments. After all, didn't Paul say the law is spiritual? If so is there not a spiritual aspect in reading written commandments that we are enlightened to? Why would God write different words on the tablets of our hearts then the sentiment of the ones His hand wrote on the real ones? Show me a moral issue outside the realm of the ten commandments. Is it not possible that the ten commandments are included in the verse "all scripture is profitable for godliess"?

Jeremy Weaver said...

Here is my latest post from one of my blogs where I am working through Paul's letter to the Galatians. Campi, delete if would like, and let me say I'm sorry in advance, but here's the url.
Galatians 5:16-26

16. Putting His theology to work, Paul explains that since we have began in the Spirit, that we should also continue to live and walk by the Spirit. Being Spirit-controlled means not being flesh-controlled.
17. The desires of our flesh are contrary to the desires of the Spirit. Our flesh seeks pleasures that satisfy only for a moment, but the Spirit shows us and leads us into the eternal joy of loving and obeying Christ.
18. In turn, being led by the Spirit is not being led by law, but being led in obedience to Christ. The law is fulfilled in Christ and as we obey Him.
19-21. The fruits of the unregenerate man are all kinds of evil and ungodliness. Even the law cannot control our desires in such a way as to abate the fruit of our flesh. Those who produce this fruit are not led by the Spirit because they have not begun in the Spirit.
22-23. The fruits of the man who is led by the Spirit are all those things that are good and acceptable before God. There is no law against anything the Spirit produces in us. The Spirit will not lead us against the righteousness that has been revealed by the law.
24. All those who have been born by the Spirit are also those who have been crucified with Christ. Our fleshly passions and desires were buried with Christ and are not to be resurrected.
25. So then, if we have been born by the Spirit, we should continue to live by the Spirit.
26. Those who live by the law and in the power of the flesh will inevitably produce fruit of the flesh. They become prideful of their own abilities and look down their noses at those who cannot adhere to the law as faithfully as themselves, or become envious of those who gain a better position by their 'standards'.

This will be my last comment on this post unless I feel differently. Campi's done got thirteen more up that I really like!

Tim said...

Doxoblogist said:
My view of the Law is essentially that the Law was given to Israel as the terms of God's covenant with national Israel. That is Moses' description of the Law in Deuteronomy 5:1-5.

Ok, I understand where you are coming from there, but again, that's not my point.

I am not sure how many Laws you have in mind or what use you mean when you ask, Which Law should be used?"

I was simply trying to understand your communication. I ask which law and specifically which commands do you use to show inability to please God, for you state: Actually, for the most part, I leave conviction of sins to the Holy Spirit. However, I also use Scripture and the Law to show our inability to please God.I just don't get it. Why would you use something meant for "national Israel" to convince a Gentile that he was dead in sins?

You then said: The demands of the Mosaic Law are that the one who does all of them shall live by them. The demands of the Law of Christ are to love God with our entire being and our fellow man as ourselves.
I believe that quote comes from Romans 10 and is in the context of justification. Again, we are not talking about justification, although John Gill has some great commentary on that passage in regards to what justification produces. No one in this forum is claiming that we can make ourselves righteous unto God by keeping the law. No one. Let's put that saw away.

You also said: The point I am making and want you to understand is that I do not see the Law as the rule of life for the Christian. Send Moses away from the Gospel and the cross centered life. He has no place here.

May I ask, was Moses saved by the Law or by faith? Wasn't it by faith, just like everyone in history? Just like Abraham? Isaac? Jacob? Yet, did Moses not long for God's law and seek to obey it? Not for justification, but because it was a true love for God. What about David? My goodness, just read Psalm 119 and you see the "man after God's own heart" who loves God's law and longs for it and desires to keep it. Is he seeking justification? God forbid. As for no place for Moses, well, I would state that Moses was simply the vessel for delivering the message. The message was God's word, not Moses'. I think we often take some things and we have heard a certain chant over and over and take it without thinking about the things we are saying, and yes sometimes we Calvinists have our traditions too.

As Terry put it earlier, Faith is our rule of life. I would also add repentance to that statement. This repentance comes not from the guiding of the Law, but from the Holy Spirit who is operative in the life of believers. He has written the law on our hearts. Not the Mosaic Law but the law of grace.

Again, since you claim that the Law was given to "national Israel", which law has been written on our hearts. Please don't be general. I truly want to know. Which commands of God are upon are hearts? I understand that we are to love God and love one another. But I must remind you that was the case before Christ as well, because was it not Christ who came and established the covenant with Abraham? Did not all Old Testament people have faith in Jehovah (Jesus Christ)? Of course. Please tell me how you know that someone loves God. Is it simply by what he says, or by what he says and what he does (See James 2)? When we are to repent, what exactly are we repenting of? If you say sin, then where would that be defined? Please understand I am not upset at all, but am wanting to press for a detailed answer, rather than a vague one.

Also, before you respond, please keep in mind and don't write about justification. We have already acknowledged and agree with you on that. We are speaking of something in regards to growing in grace (sanctification). Also, I am still waiting Campi...... Would you use the fourth commandment to demonstrate the law and gospel from your post?? (nudge nudge:)

Bhedr said...

Thanks and love you 2 bro.


Your my new hero! I am a converted Jeremyist:-)

Hail to the doxobloginator!
We're not worthy!

Seriously though brother. The Sprit of God is with you here. I can tell you've been deep in the word. Preach it! Teach it!

2Tal said...

Thanks for responding.
I agree 100%.

2Tal said...

Just because I agreed with you on your response does not mean you've answered all my questions!!!!!!!!!
In love,

2Tal said...

If loving God with heart mind and soul and the golden rule sum up the law and the prophets then how can this "law of Christ" be separate from "the law and the prophets"?

dogpreacher said...

People are saved the same way today as they were in the days of Moses (By grace, through faith...a gift of God), and the law (decalogue) is still "the schoolmaster that brings us to Christ", the mirror that reveals our sin.

When a man is made alive by the Holy Spirit, and made aware of his sin and need of the Savior, and puts his faith (that was a gift) in the Messiah, and by God's grace and providence and His preservation to persevere in the believer,... the law (10 commandments) will still be the same as it was back in the day...the defining line of morality by the Creator for the created.

However, when the aforementioned scenario has happened, we being born of God should not find these Commandments a grievous or hard thing (1 John 5:2-4).

Please refer back to the analogy/illustration I gave of the orphaned boy and the Father @sept.11, 2:05, and see that if we are looking forward to the 'Father', we won't be "looking" to the law at all (unless one has eyes in the back of their head), but instead we will be running the race, chasing the 'mind of Christ', so that we are becoming conformed to the image of Christ (Eph.1). When doing this (by God's grace), we will be eagerly looking to do what we know is good (James 4:17), not for performance, but out of a 'gratefulness for grace' for the one who first loved us, and made us alive, when we were yet enemies of Him and dead in our sin.

By the way, I don't think there has been diligent word study (original language),if you believe the 'commandments' in 1 John have no relation to the '10' from Sinai.

Put Romans, James, and 1 John together on this subject, and you have great teaching that the law is NOT for righteousness, and keeping it profiteth nothing. We also see that the one in whom the "wind has blown", there WILL BE a burning love for, and a desire to please the One who has raised him from death unto life.

QUESTION: If someone, out of this kind of love for the One who has saved him, desires to keep the 2 great commandments (and...scripture does say that the "10" hang on these 2) more than all else, would we call him a legalist?.....I am...

grateful for grace

Steve Weaver said...


I've solved the issue of the fourth commandment on my blog. Just kidding. But I have addressed it. Let me know what you think.
Pastor Steve Weaver's Blog

Ephraim said...

This is a great discussion. But it seems that the same few fellas end up in the ring with the rest watching.

Would anyone else have an offering?

With all the collective faith and experience in the hearts of those who frequent these here parts, there must some wisdom that we are missing. A voice with a child's heart and a love for their heavenly Father that is not mixed with man's traditions.

Because I hope that this discussion is not being viewed as simply a doctrinal debate. Taking positions and engaging in some mild apologetics.

This is about life and death. Light and darkness. Truth and error.

If we remain safe in our camps we will never find the unity that is in Messiah. The unity that He longs for us to experience in Him.

So again I say, "Shalom B'nai Yisrael". May we know who we are in Him and be called by the name He has given us as His people.

Ephraim said...

Mr. Weaver,

What I think is that your flash ads are unnecessary. And you most certainly have not addressed the subject in any meaningful way.

What do YOU think you did?

Steve Weaver said...


I thought I addressed the question of the continuing relevance of the fourth commandment for the New Covenant believer. I thought that topic was related. Did you read it or did you just decide in advance that I "most certainly" had "not addressed the subject in any meaningful way"? Sorry to be such a drag on the conversation.

Ephraim said...

Mr. Weaver,

I have looked around your site for anything related to the fourth commandment. I didn't see it anywhere. And with so much to look through, to be honest, I may have missed it.
Could just be me, but it certainly isn't obvious, even in the menu.

Could you be more specific as to where you are pointing?


Jeremy Weaver said...

My brother's blogsite address is:

He's got four posts right off the bat that relate to the Lord's Day/Christian Sabbath issue.

And they're good.

Bhedr said...

In the end I think Jesus did say it best when he told his disciples..."If you love me you will keep my commandments." key word "love." The only motivator that should be! Come on b! He also told them that they were allready clean even at times of tough questions. The Love of Christ should constrain us not the love of performance based legalism and I think that is the hair we are trying to split here. Romans 6 everyone! The hair between life and death. Do you rest in His favor or our you still trying to earn it?

P.S-will someone make it 77? I think we are going for a record.

Steve Weaver said...


I misspelled the link in my first comment. Sorry for the confusion. It should be Pastor Steve Weaver's Blog

Steve Weaver said...


I thought you were just being difficult. Sorry.

Tim said...

....toe tapping.........still waiting on Campi's answer to my question. I guess, I'm not going to get it. Thanks guys for your comments, I was encouraged to think more deeply on the subject, especially from epraim and dogpreacher. Hey dogpreacher, I haven't gotten anything from you yet. Email me from my blog page.

Doxo, thanks for your comments as well. I agree with all you said as far as justification goes, but you failed to define the law for me and you used several I think (the law, the law of faith, the law of Christ). Maybe they were in fact meant to be the same I don't know. After all, Christ was the One who gave the law. Again, the intention of the heart is the determining or boasting.

Jeremy Weaver said...

This really is going to be my last comment.:-)
The Law are the the commandments and ordinances and feasts and anything else God gave to Israel through Moses. For this Law I tried to be consistent by calling it the Mosaic Law.
The Law of Christ are the commands He gave, namely, loving God and one another.
As to the justification issue, our sanctification is grounded in our justification. Just as justification is accomplished through faith, the Holy Spirit is also received through faith. Paul's argument against the Galatians was not against their seeking to be justified by the Mosaic Law, but against their seeking to sanctified by Mosaic Law. So Paul starts his argument from the beginning.
Did you receive the Spirit by the Mosaic Law? Then why do seek to be perfected by the Mosaic Law?
Also in Paul's letter to the Galatians he addresses the issue of the kinds of works that are produced by those who have the Holy Spirit. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc.
At the end of the letter he concludes with this statement which really seals the issue for me;
"It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen."
(Gal 6:12-18)ESV
Paul says, "Those who ask you to be circumcised don't keep the Law themselves. They only want to boast in your flesh. I'm not going to boast in anything except the cross of Christ. By it I have died to the world. Circumcision doesn't add anything or take anything away from me because I am a new creation. Now leave me alone, because I have other marks on my body besides circumcision, the marks of Jesus.
This is my last comment on this thread. (I'm serious guys.) For all other correspondence e-mail me from my profile page.
Campi's about sick of these e-mails I'm sure:-)

Ephraim said...

Mr. Weaver,

Thank you for the corrected link.

Two things:

One, now I know where Jeremy has been getting some of his material.

Two, I have not read all the way through what you have written. Mostly because I have read those same arguments before from other sources. You begin with your conclusion, then draw a circle back to where you started. And the opinions expressed are man's traditions wrapped around scriptures to make it seem like the Word is being explained when it really isn't.

You know those guys, the ones that everyone loves to hate, the P'rushim? They had their understanding of the Shabbat all wrapped up too. And they weren't about to listen to someone, whom they believed to be unqualified, tell them anything about it either. Because if what they taught was shown to be wrong, then, they themselves would be wrong, and they would then lose their standing among the people as teachers of Torah. Therefore, their traditions were what they defended, not the Word of Elohim. Period.

Now me, I don't have the Shabbat all figured out. But I am exploring it firsthand, as we are admonished by Sha'ul to "prove all things", so that I will hopefully find the truth about it without settling for what another man says is true.
And really, what could possibly be wrong with exploring the instructions of our heavenly Father? Would doing those things which He said are pleasing to Him be offensive to the throne of heaven? Are we not led by His Ruach? Is not Torah spiritual? Would He lead us into error, or into truth?

Tim, brother you have said some mighty fine things in this discussion. You seem to have a tender heart. Open to the truth of scripture. All I can say is, press on, and may Adonai, Elohim, Tzva'ot give you a revelation of His plan and His people, of which you are one.

Shalom B'nai Yisrael

Ephraim said...


Not trying to bring you back in, but, you said this in your last comment:

"The Law are the the commandments and ordinances and feasts and anything else God gave to Israel through Moses."

Just for the record, that is not an accurate statement. Torah is the instructions of Elohim to mankind. ALL of His instructions. Not just the ones He spoke to Moshe.

What YHWH spoke to Adam in the garden regarding the foods which could be eaten was Torah. It was Torah for Adam and Havah. If you happen to find your self in that situation, confronted by those two trees, it would be Torah for you as well. Neither YHWH nor His Word ever change.

Isn't that what He said, "I never change"? Did He not also say, "My Word never changes"? Is not Yeshua the Word made flesh? Follow the logic where it leads. When YHWH speaks truth, it is eternal. It does not change.

For that I am grateful,


dogpreacher said...

Thanks Ephrayim...and btw...pretexts...eisegesis...etc... hmmm...

dogpreacher said...

Hey...this one didn't make 100 comments like Pyromaniac did the other day, but at least on this one, people were serious about the topic, and not just saying, "I'm #84 etc..."

Ephraim said...


Eisegesis? Must be a Greek thing.

Would it be better if I just copied and pasted the scriptures I am referring to into the text? Because if it sounds like I am making things up, well, I don't want to do that. There's enough of that going around already.

It is too bad that Steve and others have moved on. Maybe next time we can dig a little deeper.


Tim said...

I'll tackle at least one final post and see if this makes sense, should my brother Jeremy return. If Paul said, that he would not have known sin except for the law and the one that really caught him was coveting, which clearly is the one that can only be in the heart, for when it becomes manifest it takes on other forms of sin, such as adultery, stealing, murder, etc. However, if you read the Old Testatment all of the commandments were heart issues from the beginning, not just when Jesus showed up. That was clear in the giving of the law. The question I'm really trying to get to an answer on is this: If Paul couldn't know sin, except by the Law, then how are Gentiles to know sin??? And if we say we know sin by the law, then what should be repentance??? should it not be instead of sinning against God and His law, should it not be a desire and obedience to it, resulting from, not unto justification? Again, I think that is what Paul is addressing in Galatians. He is clearly addressing those who came and said that to be justified you must have faith AND keep the law. Nowehere is he trying to say that repentence towards God and His moral commands are not something that results from justification. By the way peace love, joy, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control are fruits of the Spirit, not the law of Christ.

dogpreacher said...

Tim, after close to 90 comments, I don't think it could have been put any better (and that in such a small write), than you just did. Thanks. I am...
grateful for grace

dogpreacher said...

Hey Ephraim...please contact me here ( and I will explain what I meant. I truly enjoyed your commentary.

Your Brother & Fellow Laborer,

SJ Camp said...

I just returned from a wonderful Spurgeon Conference hosted by Five Points Church in northern Michigan at the beautiful Barakel Camp.

One of the great delights I had was to meet and minister with one of the Lord's choice servants, Dr. James Grier.

He preached yesterday evening, introducing many of us to a term of theology called, canonical biblical theology. Simply put, it means to take Scripture as a whole, old and new testaments, in the interpretation of the text, instead of only a systematic theological approach which must confine to a predisposed system (he was quick to note that there is nothing wrong with a systematic theology method; but that the Lord in writing His Word unfolded it chronilogically, as opposed to by a systemized theme. The CBT approach takes into account all of redemptive history as recorded in the pages of holy writ. it was tremendous and I hope to make his messag available to you online in the near future.

The point in sharing this with you pertains to our discusstion here about the law and gospel. If you take the whole of the Scriptures and interpret say Paul's words, the Christological focus of redemption in light of the O.T.; (i.e. the Levitical priestly system of sacrifices; and the law, then you see the marriage of these two truths - law and gospel - perfectly wed rather than divorced. (i.e. to rightly understand Matthew we must have a good understanding of Jeremiah; to have a good understanding of Hebrews, we must also have a right understanding of Isaiah.).

The law, as Tim pointed out above, through the writings of the Apostle Paul does convict of sin and is still efficaciously used by the Holy Spirit in the proclamation of redemption to the unregenerate. In contrast, the Scofield/Chaffer kind of dispensationalism, if we're honest here, really "proof text" their views rather than rightly dividing the Word (a new thread of discussion for a later time).

I am benefiting greatly from this discussion and I trust you are all as well. Hope this helps in our discussion here.

I am very grateful that the bloggers that post here are not frivilous, but meaningful and well-thought. Keep on my friends...

Yours for the Master's use,

dogpreacher said...

Thanks CAMPI, for your latest input. I am excited about the possibility of you posting something on this. I am not a scholar, but God has placed a longing within me to know Him more each day, and a drive and yearning for the education to do so. God's sovereignty was hard to grasp at first, because shortly after he saved me, I was crushed between 2 large fork lifts. It was during that time, that I read the word of God, and every theological book I could borrow. EXAMPLE: rate of reading-approx. 150-300 pages a day, besides my Bible reading.

I t was during this time that I realized the importance of "CBT". I was a relatively new Christian, in a cabin in the woods of east Texas, with no more than a handful of visits per month. My "CBT" was 'Chronological Biblical Theology'. What a difference it makes when you read the Bible this way. You begin to have understanding that will make you so excited. You also see things in context better than ever before.
Thank You. I am...

grateful for grace

dogpreacher said...

...btw...I wasn't a hermit, I just was not able to be up and about for about 2 years because of the accident. Isn't God wonderful. Romans 8:28. He formed that time to teach me, and prepare me for service to Him!

Jeremy Weaver said...

It's a shame to get so close to 100 and stop. That's why I'm coming out of retirement to make it 92.
For the record, I agree just about 99% with you last comment Campi.
All Christians believe justification is by faith without the worksw of the Law.
The sticky issue is the part the Law plays after conversion. I maintain, as I think Paul argued in Galatians 3:1-5, that since we have not begun our Christian walk by the works of the Law, and since the miracles that were performed were not by the works of the Law, that neither should sanctification be by works of the Law, but by the Holy Spirit working in us to produce what Paul later calls the fruit of the Spirit. Furthermore I find nothing in any of Paul's writings calling us back to adherence to any part of the Law. On the contrary, Paul goes to great lengths to say just the opposite, especially in Romans and Galatians.
Could this be my last comment? Stay tuned to find out.

Ephraim said...

And another thing,

"One last thing. Whoever mentioned the pig stuff being thrown out, I do recall Jesus making all meats clean and Paul was clear on that subject as well I think in Corinthians."

Yeshua did not make "all" meats clean. That would be in direct conflict with, and a contradiction to, what His Father had said is to be considered good for food. To teach and do something against Torah would be sin. That would put all of us in a very bad situation.

What Yeshua was explaining was the fact that the foods we eat are processed by the body and eliminated, thereby completing the cycle of nourishment. Period.

He used that natural fact to make a spritual point. Which He often did.

Back to the natural. Let's look at the conclusion of the "Kosher food chapter" in Leviticus:

Lev 11:44 For I am the LORD your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the eretz.
Lev 11:45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 11:46 "'This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the eretz,
Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.'"

How could Yeshua, the Word made flesh, speak against this very clear instruction without becoming guilty? For He spoke according to what He did, and did according to what He spoke. Had He participated in the eating of unclean animals, and taught others so, He would have been guilty of the very teachings He Himself proclaimed. And, more importantly, He would have violated Torah.

Was Yeshua "holy" in every sense of the word? Would it have had an effect on His ability to be the "perfect Lamb" if He had become "unholy"?

What we eat is a matter of conscience. Hear what Sha'ul says about his conscience:

Act 24:14 "`But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets;
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Act 24:16 Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men."

Read that carefully. It is quite an insight into the mind and heart of Sha'ul, the emmissary of
Messiah. He could not have a clear conscience before Elohim and man if he had been deliberatly breaking what he knew to be the instructions of his Messiah. Look at verse 16, "herein I also practice". Practice what?

We must be convinced of the things we say we believe. Or we will talk one way and walk another. Which brings us back to the spiritual lesson Yeshua was making regarding the food we eat. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Speaks evil things. Defiling the person spiritually.

Eating prohibited foods will cause you to be physically defiled. If you don't believe me, just ask your doctor.

Speaking evil things defiles the person spiritually. If you don't believe me, just ask your heavenly Father.


SJ Camp said...


Good thoughts here.

No man is justified by the law. But through regeneration by the Spirit of God in Christ, we approach the law not as our judge (for Christ fulfilled the law); not as our tutor pointing us to Christ (for we are now in Christ); but as an instrument of God's grace as a divine plumbline in our sanctification. Because our Lord has fulfilled the law and all righteousness doesn't mean that the law has been thrown out, discarded and is utterly "useless" for the church today. A few brief reasons...

It is useful in:
1. gospel preaching to bring conviction upon the souls of lost people as we call them to repentance and to new life through Christ.

2. our sanctification by grace to still instruct us to how we are to live our new life in Christ (Roms. 7) and that in obedience to it we honor the Lord in our daily walk (i.e. - grace instructs by the instrument of His Word and His Law to live soberly, righteously and holy in this present evil age. Grace and Truth.) cp, Titus 2:12).

3. that the law is still God's standard of righteousness (Roms. 3:18-21; Roms. 4:1-10) (though perfectly fulfilled in the passive and active obedience of Christ now imputed to all who believe) to unregenerate man and is written on the hearts of all people (Roms. 2:1-5).

Hope this aids in this discussion...

Grace and peace,

Unknown said...

>If you want the Decalogue you've got >to stop the pig-eating too!

and you better start worshipping on Saturday! :-)

dogpreacher said...

Why does a person bor from above, with the preserving power of God keeping him, shudder at keeping the 10 commandments. We should not only keep these Ten(der) Commandments, but should be examining ourselves by James 4:17, just because we are...

grateful for grace.

Ephraim said...

For your information, the Shabbat is a day of rest. It is not declared to be a day of worship. There are set times for corporate, or national, worship. They are called Feasts or Festivals. There are six per annual cycle.

Individual worship can happen at any time and in any place as directed by the Ruach HaKodesh.

As Christians do not know how to rest, the idea of that kind of a day is quite foreign to most of the "gotta be busy for Jesus" folks. And since this western culture is based on individual performance and tangible accomplishments, resting is looked upon quite often as just plain laziness.

There is a difference between resting and worshipping, just as there is a difference between the Shabbat established by Elohim, and the Sun-day activities that have their root in babylonian/mithraic sun worship.

Should we look at the scriptures that support those assertions?


SJ Camp said...

I posted earlier today a follow up article to this one called: The Love of God as Revealed in His Law ...the Ten Commandments. I would encourage you all to read it in light of the discussion we have been having here.

I trust it will bring some good balance as to the purpose of the law and function of the law; but yet approached from the love of God even as seen in the Ten Commandments under the banner of the Two Great Commandments.

In conclusion, one comment about the Sabbath that was raised a few posts earlier.

1. We do have a Sabbath rest in Christ (Heb. 4:9). Listen to these powerful words of the Apostle Paul on this issue:

"When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. 16Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." -Colossians 2:13-17

2. This is clear - the Sabbath was a mere "shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." Why do we worship now on Sunday, the first day of the week? --it was not started in Babylonian paganism as sun-god worship; but this is the first day of the week, Resurrection Day (cp, Mark 16:9; John 20:19; Acts 20:6-8; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10) --the Day that Christ rose from the dead! And since the bodily resurrection of Christ is the capstone of our faith (1 Cor. 15:12-28) - the early church met for worship, to break bread, for fellowship and they continued in the Apostles teaching... on this day (Acts 2:42-46).

I will be working on an article soon on this subject called "The Substance Belongs to Christ."

Until then, I remain
Yours for the Master's use
Hebrews 2:9-18

Ephraim said...


While I most heartily disagree with your stated position for both scriptural and historical reasons, I will not argue with you on your own blog site. Anyone else, yes.

And thank you Steve for allowing me to present a few of the insights given me by the Ruach. This has been a good discussion.

I'm going to move on to your suggested new topic, it looks very interesting.

Shalom B'nai Yisrael
Layla tov

SJ Camp said...

You may engage me on my own blog... This is a round table discussion--no one is more important than any other here.

I learn by people challenging me as I am sure you do as well and appreciate the iron sharpening the iron. I also know the spirit behind your comments (which I am grateful for) and you are free to disagree with me or anyone else on this blog.

As far as I am concerned, the only negative comment is the one not spoken.

Thank you for your engagment so far on this issue; and I look forward to future articles that spawn needful and necessary dialogue between us.

Grace and peace to you,
Romans 10:4

cyd said...

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith -- that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."
Philippians 3:8 - 11

Really enjoying the blog and the comments. Thank you, Steve, for being a faithful, uncompromising steward of God's holy word!

Tim said...


Campi, you came through!! Thanks for the last comment. whew! all this to answer the fourth question in the comments...hehehe.

I am looking forward to reading the new article and hopefully commenting on it. However, one last clarification, Steve, since the view you have of the Sabbath is the way it is, I would assume that you would not use it as law to show men are dead in their sins. Is that correct?

Thank you gentlemen for the discussion. I really feel exhorted and feel like I've been to church (albeit virtual church:)

SJ Camp said...


You wrote: since the view you have of the Sabbath is the way it is, I would assume that you would not use it as law to show men are dead in their sins. Is that correct?

If we are going to espouse the keeping of the Sabbath--the Jewish Sabbath--not a substitute day that we call the Lord's Day, but the actual Sabbath, then those that propagate that conviction must be obligated to keep all of the Jewish laws surrounding the Sabbath. Either they practice the Sabbath according to Jewish law or they don't--it's that simple.

Today, honoring a day of rest, setting aside the Lord's Day for worship and the corporate fellowship of the body of Christ is another thing altogether. We need to be consistent anduse the biblical term for our Sunday worship... and it is not Sabbath. It is confusing to people to use old covenant terminology, but not practice old covenant standards.

Even the 1689 Baptist Confession, to which I subscribe, could improve on the language. On this point it is unbiblical, archaic and represents Puritan culture – not the standard of God’s Word.

Here is what it currently says in relation to Sunday worship:

8. The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (Isaiah 58:13; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Matthew 12:1-13)

BTW: Every one of the verses that the writers of the 1689 represented above have nothing to do with our worship of Christ on the Lord’s Day. They are all out of context.

Why not use “new covenant” language which represents new covenant truth... every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. Our "Sabbath rest" is in Christ (Heb. 4:9). Question: do you ever go to eat at a restaurant on Sunday? Do you ever fill up your car with gas on a Sunday? Do you ever play a game of catch with your sons (if you have children) on a Sunday? Do you ever go to a Christian or Secular concert on a Sunday? Do you blog or ever do website construction on a Sunday? Do you ever do homework for school on a Sunday?, etc. If so, you are "breaking" the Sabbath.

Listen, we cannot fall back into a life of legalism on this… can we. We must heed the exhortation to what Paul said in Galatians 5:1, "It was for freedom that Christ set you free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

You asked about using "the Sabbath" as part of the law to show men are dead in their sins. The heralding of the gospel, the preaching of God’s Word, and proclaiming the standard of the law (Romans 3:19-23) does bring conviction upon men’s soul. But occurs on any day, any time, any place that those things are being done. Again, the Apostle Paul tells us how our corporate worship on the Lord's Day--Resurrection Sunday can be used in this manner: "23If, therefore, the whole church comes together... 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you." -1 Cor. 14:23-25

Prophesying (the preaching of God's Word) will bring conviction upon the unbeliever revealing the secrets of his heart (Heb. 4:12-16) and the result upon conversion will be worship.

Paul gives a definitive instruction about the Sabbath to the young believers at Colosse in Col. 2:16-17 when saying, "16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ."

The substance belongs to Christ. If you want to be a "sabbatarian" that is a conscientious thing--not a biblical thing. But remember, it was for freedom that Christ set us free.

The 1689 should be updated on this point for even the Scriptures that are listed have nothing to do with our worship on the Lord's Day. Better language would be:

8. The Lord's Day--Resurrection Day, is to be kept holy unto the Lord, for worship, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread, for prayer and to give oneself to the preaching and instruction of God's Word. All Christians should spend time aforehand preparing their hearts for the worship of God as His people gather to offer the sacrifice of praise to our risen Savior and Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit with other believers."

And then after church: eat a meal, watch a ball game, play with your kids, drive your car, go swimming, fly on an airplane to meet some family members, take a vacation, buy gas, go to the movies, pull weeds, go to the park, throw a Frisbee, hit a golf ball, do homework with your kids, etc. In other words, our day of rest that is holy is not simply from 11am to 12pm :-). Our rest is in Christ Jesus our Lord for eternity. Because of His perfect once for all work on the cross and His bodily resurrection, we have our Sabbath rest.


Grace and peace,

Terry Rayburn said...


You last post was beautifully put. Amen.

The 1689 Confession doesn't need to be UPdated, it needs to be BACKdated to 1646.

The First London Baptist Confession of 1646 (originally 1644, but amended), was far superior to the 1689 version, which was a "caving in" to the Covenant Theology and Sabbatarianism of the Westminster Confession.

The pristine beauty and biblical accuracy of the 1646 should be enjoyed on a regular basis by lovers of Christ.

First London Baptist Confession

Jeremy Weaver said...

I agree with you there Campi. But you've still got the other nine to contend with.

Ephraim said...

I said I wouldn't argue with you, and I won't, though I appreciate the offer. But I would like to clarify one or two things if I may.

You said:

"If we are going to espouse the keeping of the Sabbath--the Jewish Sabbath--not a substitute day that we call the Lord's Day, but the actual Sabbath, then those that propagate that conviction must be obligated to keep all of the Jewish laws surrounding the Sabbath. Either they practice the Sabbath according to Jewish law or they don't--it's that simple."

This may seem like hair splitting, but it really isn't. The term "Jewish Sabbath" would not be correct. There is no such thing. The Jews did not create or define a Sabbath day. Elohim has created, defined and established the Shabbat for mankind. So it would rightly be called "the Shabbat of the Elohim of Israel" (or Christian words to that effect). Therefore, someone who opts out of keeping "the Shabbat" is opting out of Elohim's day as defined by Him and not out of a day that has something to do with the Jews only.

This portion of your statement,

"then those that propagate that conviction must be obligated to keep all of the Jewish laws surrounding the Sabbath.",

brings up a few questions;

Which laws? Are you meaning the rest of Torah? Or all those manmade legalistic requirements the rabbis tended to proliferate?

The instruction for the Shabbat could not be simpler. Rest, cease from your ordinary work. From sundown on the sixth day to sundown on the seventh day.

But could those energetic religious folks leave that alone?
Nope. They had to create a long list of things that might, and I stress the word MIGHT, be considered work, and therefore MUST be avoided at all cost. This practice got so out of hand that the prophet Yesha'yahu was told to speak to the children of Israel about what SHOULD be done on the Shabbat, and not what shouldn't.

Isa 58:13 "If you turn away your foot from the Shabbat, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Shabbat a delight, [and] the holy of the LORD honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking [your own] words:
Isa 58:14 then shall you delight yourself in the LORD; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the eretz; and I will feed you with the heritage of Ya`akov your father: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it."

Nothing threatening in those verses about what will happen to someone who does not perform EXACTLY every little miniscule detail of some list of what not to do. In fact, it looks like quite a promise to me.

Last part of your statement:

"Either they practice the Sabbath according to Jewish law or they don't--it's that simple."

Who's they? Us?

First of all, the Shabbat should be observed according to what Elohim has said. Not man. There isn't any "Jewish law", any more than there is what has come to be incorrectly called the "law of Moses". Neither he, nor they, came up with Torah. Torah belongs to Elohim. We are either obedient or not.

Too fine a point? I don't think so. Quite often Yeshua made fine distinctions between the Word of Elohim and what man had done to it. Many religious traditions are very subtle and hard to distinguish from the original Word that was spoken. And most misunderstandings start with a faulty premise.

Last point:

The phrase, "Jesus is our rest, therefore we do not need to keep a seventh day sabbath", or words to that effect, does not make sense when applied to other truths we know so well.
For example:
Yeshua is my righteousness, therefore I do not need to practice righteousness.
Yeshua is my peace, therefore I do not need to pursue peace with anyone.
Yeshua is my source of grace, therefore I do not need to offer grace to anyone else.
And so on.

So if the point of all this discussion comes down to whether or not we are to observe Torah, then there is a question that must be answered first.

Namely this: are you, or are you not, the children of Israel?

If you are not, then questions about observance are irrelevant.

If you are, then there is much to talk about.


Bhedr said...

Hey Micheal Jeremy. You are doing a good job. I really don't think Paul could have made it any clearer. Hard to believe? You bet!

dogpreacher said... the way...for those of you who say the sabbath was changed to Sunday because Jesus arose on Sunday morning, find an interlinear (Textus Receptus, or Nestle) by Alfred Marshall, George Ricker Berry, Jay P. Green, or a greek new testament and you will find that is not the case. However, most will not look at this objectively/exegetically, because tradition keeps us from doing even simple math (3 days...3 nights). Click on 'dogpreacher' to see post on 3 days...3 nights, as we have truly ran Campi's overtimeon this post. ...I am...

grateful for grace.

Tim said...


Thanks for your post. While I hold to the Lord's Day and I see at least the principle of 1 in 6 for rest. I don't see the command stating Saturday or Sunday. However, I notice that in Colossians that verse 22, which is part of the context, does speak to commandments of men, not to the commandments of God. This is where ephraim's comments, I think address your response. I am quite familiar with church history and hold to the viewpoint that you do. However, there is this pressing issue of the fourth commandment. Basically, let me see if I understand what you posted. Are you saying that we should not keep the Sabbath as God said (not as the Pharisees had made it)? Are you also saying that the Lord's Day should only be reserved for corporate worship and would you include the partaking of the Lord's Table every first day of the week? Then were you also saying that we could do as we please the rest of the day and that we could use the Lord's Day principles to speak to men in regards to sin? For some reason this morning, I'm having brain blips and my thoughts are coming and going.

I guess my concern is this. I believe in freedom. I don't believe in libertinism. I don't think you do either. However, you seem to indicate that wanting observe the fourth commandment is somehow bondage and Christ has set us free. I am just trying to understand how the two are not compatible. For instance, when you are single, God commands that you remain pure. Is that freedom? Yes. Then when you get married, God commands that you remain faithful. Is that freedom? Yes. Neither of those is to be a burden. Yet for man in his sinful heart, both are a burden, for he wants to fulfill the desires of his heart and practices sexual immorality in his heart and possibly externally. Do you see my point. I really don't see following the fourth commandment as a burden, but as freedom to obey, not bondage to restrict. Does any of this post make sense? Oh my, I'm with you dogpreacher after this post........I am.....grateful for grace:)

dogpreacher said...

In the previous comment (go back 2 spaces)I was referring to Matthew 28:1 (also John 19:31) concerning the time frame of Jesus' ressurection, which was at some moment prior to the end of the sabbath. remember, that the word day (in italics in KJV) was added.
The word 'dawn' is key here. there are 2 definitions:
1: The rising of the sun.
2: The drawing on (of something
Only definition #2 fits within the parameter of..."In the end of the sabbath" the sentence.

literal trans. should read:
"In the end of sabbath (week), as it began to draw on toward first of sabbath (week)."

Hey, it can't be IN THE END of sabbath (dusk, sundown), and at the same time be sunrise 12 hours later.

When you understand this time frame, you also realize there were 2 sabbaths that week (the Passover, and the weekly sabbath [John 19:31]. The sabbath that is referred to when they are taking Jesus from the cross to the tomb is the Passover. This would have been just before soundown on what we would call wednesday. 3 days and 3 nights later he rose (just before sundown on what we call saturday), just as He had prophesied.

Why is this important?

If Jesus did not fulfill His prophecy (Matt.12:40) of being 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth, then He cannot be the Messiah, and thus you nor I are saved!

There is no possible way to get 3 days and 3 nights out of a Friday evening entombment to a Sunday morning resurrection.

Genesis 1 shows what a day is. "The evening and the morning were the 1st day...."

Ephraim said...


Your realizing that Messiah rose as prophesied and not according to Romanist tradition is right on.

Do a similar study on His birth and you will see that there isn't any way that it could be December 25th.

Not an easy path, but you're getting there.


dogpreacher said...

Yes, Ephraim, I have found that (truth regarding "christmas") to be the case also. It is amazing how blinded we can be by the 'traditions of man' isn't it?

The more "sacred cows" you expose, the more persecution you will receive for it.

My father once told me, "you are my son & I love you, and I am a teacher of God's word, so...I would never tell you anything wrong. However, I am also just a man, and it's quite possible that I am not right. Thus..."be fully persuaded in your own mind".

I use the exegesis of Matthew 28:1
to show that if we could be wrong (and we have been)about something so crucial as this for so long, isn't it POSSIBLE that we have misinterpreted many others also, because, like my father said, we are just men and we might be wrong.

I have actually shown this to Pastors, and when they see that it is true (it is quite easy to show this), have actually said, "yeah, but you can't go trying to change people on this now!" Incredible!

BTW...which is correct, YHVH or YHWH; and Yeshua or Yehoshua? Or maybe I didn't have the correct name on either...I am...

grateful for grace!

dogpreacher said... matter what date His birth was, there is no command whatsoever to memorialize it!

"Reformers" of all people today should not be celebratory over christmas, or Easter. LOOK at what Luther, Calvin, Knox, Spurgeon, A.W. Pink & others had to say about these Holy Days...oops...holidays.



Ephraim said...


You ask about His name.

A HUGE subject. Not a can of worms at all, but a wonderous exploration of what we have lost over the centuries.

Many would say that it is not important. That the subject would qualify as "peripheral", "secondary", not essential for salvation. Those comments come from the ones who think that salvation is something that happens in a moment of time, and can be cataloged as an "event".

But consider this verse:

Jhn 17:6 "I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word."

or this one:

Jhn 17:12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."

and this one:

Jhn 17:26 "I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."

Read the whole chapter in context. Try to imagine how precious a gift it would be to not only know the Father's name, but to be able to say it properly and with understanding.

I use English letters to indicate His name, not as a way to pronounce it. It is spoken in Hebrew. There isn't an English equivalent. You may see different combinations of letters depending on the conviction of the writer. And because there are two kinds of Hebrew. Paleo and Babylonian.
Moshe wrote Torah in what would be called Paleo Hebrew. Pre-Babylonian exile. What you would see if you were to read the Hebrew scriptures today is Babylonian Hebrew. Usually the Masoretes text with vowel pointers so it can be pronounced properly by beginners like me.
But when reading those scriptures and you come to the Name, they (the orthodox Jews) leave the vowel pointers out so that people can't pronounce His name. For protection they say. Otherwise you might use it improperly and be judged. And in their English translation they often use HaShem, which literaly means "the Name".

The Hebrew letters are:
Yod pronounced with a long "o"
He pronounced like "hay"
Vav pronounced with a long "a"
He same as above

In paleo Hebrew the Vav was pronounced as a "W", thus YHWH.

In the Babylonian Hebrew the Vav remains, thus YHVH.

How to pronounce it correctly, like the way Moshe heard it from the burning bush, I don't know. And I've not read anything from any Hebrew scholar that says any different. The closest I've seen is from and French scholar who has studied this subject for many years. He offers the following pronounciation: Yehowah.

I certainly don't have an argument to refute his work.

As for His Son's name, well, you've got to be careful there. Because when you research that name you will inevitably come across the error of the common Christian name that is used. It can be unsettling to say the least.
Anyway, I use use Yeshua, which in Hebrew means "salavation". That is based on the scripture in which Gavri'el says that His name shall be (insert traditional word here), because He will save His people from their sins. In other words, His name will mean salvation.

I have seen the following spellings:


For me, Yeshua is fine. It means salvation.
Yeshua ben Yosef (son of Yosef)
Yeshua haMashiach (Yeshua the Messiah).
There is no letter "j" in Hebrew.
There isn't an "sh" sound in Greek.

Good topic. There is so much more to look at. Perhaps another time, another post.

Shalom means "peace, completeness, wholeness, well being".
So based on this lesson, here you go:

Shalom ben Yisrael

dogpreacher said...

Thank you...I'll e-mail later.

Anonymous said...

I have not read all the comments, I have a short lunch. But I skimmed and found some of you saying that the ten "words" spoken by God with thundering and lightning were only for the Jew and the time. It is interesting to note that the Jews have traditionally believed that when God spoke the words that he spoke them in every tongue of men and that the whole earth heard these rumblings. The law was written by the finger of God. They apply to every man in every life time. These are the sins that are described in 1 John 5 as "sin leading to death". These sins are not casual sins. If you break one of these commandments and if you leave it unrepented you will die the second death.

john said...

It seems to me that Christ and Paul both use the law to reveal our condition to us. Jesus says that its principals apply even to our thought life. Paul reminds us in Hebrews that if we know the law and break it, then there is no longer forgiveness for sin - if we are determined to live under the law.

So could it be that the function of the law is primarily to show us the need for grace - since it is impossible for any of us to live up to the law's demands?

As to the application of the fourth commandment, I think Christ lived the sabbath in a much different way than the old testament writers frame it. I think within jewish tradition over the centuries before Christ, it had became legalized and misunderstood.

I agree that we are free to experience the sabbath in the way God reveals to us.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Do you want me to comment again?

SJ Camp said...

You just did :-).

However, your comments are always welcomed here. If you have any additional thoughts I would certainly like to hear them.

Grace and peace,
Psalm 32

Jeremy Weaver said...

It's been a while since I've had a thought...I really don't think there's much more we could cover, is there?

I came across a book by Eusebius of Caesarea yesterday, he had a lot of good stuff to say about this, but he was borderline Arian.

BTW, How 'bout them Lady Vols?