Do you hate rules?  I do in the flesh.  I'm American though.  I try not to be rebellious, but let's be honest, I am.  Jesus is not rebellious.  I used to think of him that way.  I could see him overturning the money-changer's tables in the temple.  I thought he was out to destroy the sacrificial system and the law of Moses.  I did not realize he was cleaning greed out of his father's house.  I thought he spoke against the Pharisees because he was against the Law of Moses-and they followed it too strictly. I was wrong. I clarify the place of the law for today's believer in a document entitled "law".


After I got saved, I decided to read the entire bible from cover to cover.  It took me a while to "get through" the Old Testament, which I sometimes now refer to as the "Tanuch".  It was not as obsolete or pointless as I had expected it to be.  I had heard jokes about Leviticus as pleasure reading, and how the law was dry.  However, it helped deliver me from the spirit of rebellion or lawlessness that was still lurking in the dark corners of my new Christian experience. 


I began to see God's law as a boundary between the Kingdom of the World and the Kingdom of God:  A way of defining who is He is and who He is not, a way of understanding His holiness and my lack of it-viewing Christ as the bridge to become one with His identity. 


Does this passage seem like a strange answer to the question posed, “what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”.


Matthew 19

16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."


It should not seem strange.  God’s identity was first revealed to humans through rules. 



Your law or God’s?


Genesis 2

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."       


He offered a rule and consequence in verse 16 an17, as any loving father would.  As long as they obeyed the law, they did not give authority to the devil, the prince of this world. 


Genesis 2

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.


After they broke the spiritual wall of God's protection (in breaking the law), and let the devil into their mind, they hid from God.


Genesis 3:6-11

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"


Their innocence had been corrupted by the knowledge of evil.  They gained a concept of good and bad.  Who did they gain it from?  Can it be trusted?  They gained a new law, from the devil.  This is shown by the law that they acted upon, they hid their nakedness.  Their actions show that they had ratified and enforced a new law for themselves against nakedness.  They now considered nakedness as “bad”.  Everyone has opinions of what is good and bad for them, and for others. 


Proverbs 14:12

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

(Whole Chapter: Proverbs 14 In context: Proverbs 14:11-13)


Fleshly judgments = the devils’ law

So Adam and Eve traded God's rules for their own.  They traded God's law for their own law. Or is it really their own?  Or is it the devil’s law?  Eve had 3 reasons why eating the forbidden fruit was GOOD—in her opinion. 


  1. good for food
  2. pleasing to the eye
  3. desirable for gaining wisdom


She reasoned that it would not be wrong to eat it.  She made her own law.  She rejected God's law in the process.  I think she had some help in making her own law.  Don't we all?  She felt like God's law was too strict and wanted to see how much she could get away with.  After all, how wrong could eating fruit be?  Her reasoning makes sense to our flesh.  But through the spirit, we know that God’s laws are truer than our own thinking.


John 3:6

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[ 3:6 Or but spirit] gives birth to spirit.

(Whole Chapter: John 3 In context: John 3:5-7)


Romans 8:6

The mind of sinful man[ 8:6 Or mind set on the flesh] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

(Whole Chapter: Romans 8 In context: Romans 8:5-7)

Romans 8:7

the sinful mind[ 8:7 Or the mind set on the flesh] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

(Whole Chapter: Romans 8 In context: Romans 8:6-8)

Romans 13:14

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.[ 13:14 Or the flesh]

(Whole Chapter: Romans 13 In context: Romans 13:13-15)


Philippians 3:3

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-

(Whole Chapter: Philippians 3 In context: Philippians 3:2-4)


Fleshly thinking, or thinking in our own strength, leads us to reject God's law in favor of our own law that we figure out.  This is a deadly type of law and it needs to be continually replaced with God's law.


Ps 19:7 ¶ The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. {law: or, doctrine} {converting: or, restoring} (KJV)


Ps 19:7-14

7          The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

8          The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

9          The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.

10         They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

11         By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12         Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

13         Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14         May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.(NIV)


Joshua 1:8

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

(Whole Chapter: Joshua 1 In context: Joshua 1:7-9)


Psalm 1:2

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

(Whole Chapter: Psalm 1 In context: Psalm 1:1-3)


What our opinion of GOOD is does not matter.  We are not law-makers, but children.  The father and the law are good.  They are one in Christ.


Romans 7:12

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

(Whole Chapter: Romans 7 In context: Romans 7:11-13)



Good or Bad?

Christians seems to like to talk about what they think is good and bad.  They try to get me to join them.  They tried that with Jesus too.


Matthew 19:17

"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

(Whole Chapter: Matthew 19 In context: Matthew 19:16-18)


The question for the believer is not:  What is good or bad?  The law already tells us that.  The question should be: What is the Lord's will for me right now?


Ephesians 5:17

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

(Whole Chapter: Ephesians 5 In context: Ephesians 5:16-18)


Ps 40:6-10

6          Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

7          Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll.

8          I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

9          I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.

10         I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.  (NIV)


Verse 8 shows the correlation between knowing God’s law, and doing His will.  They would be the same thing, except that it is impossible to obey all of his commands simultaneously. This is why we need to be led by the spirit, instead of our fleshly idea of good and bad.


Romans 8:14
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

show in context –


Romans 8

Life Through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

   5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

   9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

   12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[g] And by him we cry, “Abba,[h] Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.


The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ living through us fulfills the law as he behaves through us.  This indwelling is measured by it’s fulfillment of God’s law.


Galatians 5:18

Life by the Spirit

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

   19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

   22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


This is why new believers, who have not had time to read the entire bible yet, can somehow walk in the spirit and do “not gratify the desires of the sinful nature”.  Through the indwelling Christ, they have God’s law in them. 


Jeremiah 31:33
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD . "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
show in context -


Not only do they have God’s law in them, but they have it’s fulfillment, Jesus Christ—empowering them to obey God’s law.  One law that His Spirit leads all believers to do every day and night is reading the bible (see Joshua 1:8 and other scriptures above).  We should all read and study the entire bible and seek God for guidance in which scriptures to obey when.  We should continually examine ourselves to see if Christ is truly in us.  The measuring stick we use to do this is His law.  There is no union with God outside of obedience to His law via it’s fulfillment in Christ.  The New Age movement attacks this truth of God’s law. 




The Old New Age


The essence of the humanistic New Age movement is this:  Humans are good and can decide what is good is:  Is it new though?  Where did Eve's ideas come from?  Who was tempting her?


21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [5] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.


In verse 22, it appears that the New Age movement wins, with man as equal to God.  Verse 24 brings truth back into the distorted picture.  Human knowing of good and evil is inherently corrupted and vain.  Humans need God’s law.  They will not approach him without submitting to it, as the warrior cherub’s sword will ensure. 


Ephesians 6:17

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

(Whole Chapter: Ephesians 6 In context: Ephesians 6:16-18)


Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double—edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

(Whole Chapter: Hebrews 4 In context: Hebrews 4:11-13)


Revelation 19:15

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[ 19:15 Psalm 2:9] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

(Whole Chapter: Revelation 19 In context: Revelation 19:14-16)


Nonetheless, millions believe that they have God, while they downplay, ignore, or even reject His law.  God’s law is mankind’s only hope of relating to Him.  He gives it even to those who have not heard of Jesus, and judges them according to their knowledge of it:


Romans 2

   12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.




Enmity against the law's fulfillment


Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [ 3:15 Or [ seed ] ] and hers; he will crush [ 3:15 Or [ strike ] ] your head, and you will strike his heel."
(Whole Chapter: Genesis 3 In context: Genesis 3:14-16)


Indeed Christ crushed the serpent’s head on the cross.  However, Christ’s heel was also bruised in attempts to resist suffocation.  Even from the beginning, the spirit of Messiah, who expresses and fulfills the law, has always been at enmity with the spirit of this world—the spirit of the air—the spirit of antichrist. 


Genesis 4

Cain and Abel

1 Adam [1] lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. [2] She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth [3] a man." 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD . 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." [4] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.


The spirit of AntiChrist even attacked Christ’s lineage in hopes that he would not be born:


Galatians 4

28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."[3] 31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.


Then they tried to kill him after he was born. 

Matthew 2:13
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 2 In context: Matthew 2:12-14)


Matthew 2:16
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 2 In context: Matthew 2:15-17)


Matthew 2:19
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 2 In context: Matthew 2:18-20)


Matthew 2:22
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 2 In context: Matthew 2:21-23)


They finally got him when he was around 30, but by then, he had already fulfilled God’s will.



The spirit of lawlessness

The law’s fulfillment is in Christ, and through Christ.  The spirit of lawlessness hates Christ and his obedience through others by the Spirit.


2 Thessalonians 2
The Man of Lawlessness
1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[1] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Stand Firm
13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you[2] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings[3] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.


Notice Paul’s advice to not give in to lawless “spirituality” by standing firm in the true apostolic message and person of Jesus Christ as He strengthens them in fulfilling the law by the Spirit through every good deed and word.  What does he mean by “lawless”?


Mark 15:27
They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.[ 15:27 Some manuscripts left, 28 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "He was counted with the lawless ones" (Isaiah 53:12)]
(Whole Chapter: Mark 15 In context: Mark 15:26-28)


Hebrews 10:17
Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."[ 10:17 Jer. 31:34]
(Whole Chapter: Hebrews 10 In context: Hebrews 10:16-18)


2 Peter 2:7
and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–
(Whole Chapter: 2 Peter 2 In context: 2 Peter 2:7-9)


1 John 3:4
Everyone who sins
breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
(Whole Chapter: 1 John 3 In context: 1 John 3:3-5)


Peter reiterates Paul’s warning against teachers of lawlessness, or antinomianism. 


2 Peter 3:17
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
(Whole Chapter: 2 Peter 3 In context: 2 Peter 3:16-18)


Jude continues this warning against apostasy via lawless doctrine and practice. 

3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4For certain men whose condemnation was written about[2] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.


Let’s look at the context of John’s warning against lawless men:


2 Peter 2
False Teachers and Their Destruction
1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[1] putting them into gloomy dungeons[2] to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.[3] 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature[4] and despise authority.
11Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[5] 14With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood! 15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"[6] and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."


Then he concludes the next chapter by referring back to the same lawless false-grace teachers:


14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


So he warns that while he and Paul are on the same page concerning lawlessness, some false teachers will try to distort Paul’s true grace message into a lawless one.  These teachers take advantage of the fact that Paul’s writings are hard to understand.  It is easy to take some of Paul’s sentences out of context to purport an antinomian position. 


Some scriptures I have memorized only because I have heard them quoted so many times by so many lawless Christians.  I wish I could say that they were not quoting these scriptures to purport lawlessness.  However, it seems like they take these scriptures or slogans to imply that you can do whatever you want and God still loves you and you’re still saved:


“all things are permissible….”

“there is no condemnation…[leave out the part about for those who are IN Christ]”

“it was for freedom that Christ set us free” 

“I’m free from the law”

“Are you spying on my freedom?”


18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.


Truth teachers do not misuse scripture and quote cool Christian slogans though:


2 Corinthians 4:2
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
(Whole Chapter: 2 Corinthians 4 In context: 2 Corinthians 4:1-3)


2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
(Whole Chapter: 2 Timothy 2 In context: 2 Timothy 2:14-16)



enmity = persecution

I did my best to present the place of God’s law in our life today in a document entitled "law".  To finish this section on enmity I will leave you with an aspect of the normal Christian life:


1 Thessalonians 3:4
In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Thessalonians 3 In context: 1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)


2 Timothy 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
(Whole Chapter: 2 Timothy 3 In context: 2 Timothy 3:11-13)


Are you persecuted?  Why not?  What should you be persecuted for?


Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 5 In context: Matthew 5:9-11)


Righteousness?  Why would anyone receive persecution for that?  Try reading about the teaching about righteousness, and see how offensive it would be if you preached it to the lawless. 


Matthew 5:12
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 5 In context: Matthew 5:11-13)


That is what prophets did.  They preached righteousness.  Should we also be doing that..


John 15:20
Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'[ 15:20 John 13:16] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
(Whole Chapter: John 15 In context: John 15:19-21)


Matthew 10:23
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 10 In context: Matthew 10:22-24)


…as we are led by the Spirit?


Matthew 7:6
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
(Whole Chapter: Matthew 7 In context: Matthew 7:5-7)




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