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Doctrine in dialogue format
LAW OF THE LAWLESS
if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
"I would say that is a safe assumption Mr Busybody. I have indeed held a strong interest in the law since a youth. Is there a particular question you have concerning the law you would like to find an answer to? Or are you merely asking questions out of curiosity?"
"Thank you for being so direct Mr Pandect. Yes there is a question I have that I doubt anyone could give me an answer to but someone in your occupation. However, my question also pertains to the Bible, that is the law in regards to what is commonly called grace. Are you at all acquainted with the Bible Mr Pandect?"
"Indeed I am Mr Busybody. In fact I am the pastor and founder of one of the largest churches in the world. My church services are televised weekly throughout the nation. I'm surprised you haven't seen one of my sermons."
"Because my occupation as a news man takes so much of my time I see very little TV or any other form of entertainment Mr Pandect. Considering your status with the church should I then be calling you Pastor Pandect rather than mister?"
"Under normal circumstances I would respond to the affirmative, but under present conditions mister might be more appropriate."
"I find your response to my question bemusing Mr Pandect, but I'll oblige accordingly. Then back to my inquiry. As I stated, my question has to do with that of law verses grace. I have spoken to many preachers and theologians who hold differing views on the subject of law and grace. But until recently I hadn't considered it of sufficient interest to look deeper into the matter. As I understand it the law as presented in the Old Testament is passe, that is to say it is done away with. Yet there are statements made by both Jesus and the Apostles that seem to indicate the law is still in effect. What laws are no more, and what laws are we to follow? I am told that all the laws are now illegal, yet from the mouth of those who make such a claim I see where even those not of the church are expected to believe in and follow the ten commandments, the very foundation and essence of the law. Do you have any words of wisdom that would put my quest to rest?"
"You are not alone in your confusion Mr Busybody. Indeed the law in its physical application, that is as written on stone is not for the New Testament believer. But that does not mean the law is no longer applicable to the Christian. It's a matter of liberty. Where there is the law of liberty there is grace. Where the law of liberty does not exist, grace is not imputed and the law written on stone still exists. That is a highly abbreviated explanation of a difficult subject, but was it sufficient to set your mind at rest?"
"I'm afraid not Mr Pandect. How can law and grace coexist? Isn't that rather like saying the sun is shining in the darkness? Where one is present, the other is expelled. What am I missing in your explanation?"
"Perhaps I can best convey my understanding of the matter through an example Mr Busybody. Let us say you were driving your car and you approached a cross street with no stop or yield sign. The corner is enshrouded with plants of a nature as to cause your vision of the street to be obscured. There is nothing according to the law that would require you to do anything but continue on through the intersection. What would you do under such a circumstance?"
"You say my vision of the street I'm to cross is obscured Mr Pandect? If I can't see if there are any cars approaching the intersection enabling me to cross safely I would stop and make sure it was safe for me to proceed. But what may I ask has stopping at an intersection to do with law and grace?"
"According to your answer Mr Busybody you are a person provided with the law of liberty, therefore you have grace. You see Mr Busybody, the law is not for the law-abiding, but for the lawless. Those who are willing to keep the law because it's a part of their nature do not have to be governed by the law. On the other hand had you been a person who would be inclined to barrel through that dangerous intersection, then a law would have to be implemented for you. The city would have to post a legal stop sign on that corner to make sure you and others around you are safe from possible injury. Do you drink Mr Busybody?"
"Do I drink? No, I don't drink liquor if that's what you mean."
"Do you take drugs?"
"No again Mr Pandect. Why do you ask?"
"Then laws governing either of these substances would have no effect on you. In regard to these substances you possess legal immunity, that is to say you are free to do as you please and to partake of these, possibly illegal substances to your heart's content, because your heart does not crave them regardless of their legal status. Have I made myself clear on the matter now Mr Busybody?"
"I believe you might have settled the question Mr Pandect, at least to some degree. As I understand you then, if it is my nature to obey the law, that is to do what is right concerning others and their safety and happiness, then I do not need to concern myself with the law written on stone. I am under what you call the law of liberty. If however this self-restraint is not a part of my nature, and I'm inclined to follow my carnal nature to do what pleases me at the moment, then I have to be constrained and guided by the law of the land. Have I expressed satisfactorily what you imparted to me Mr Pandect?"
"I believe you have the picture Mr Busybody. Do you have any other questions for me? Quickly now, I see we're approaching the police station and I must be about my business."
"I do have one quick question for you Mr Pandect, how is it a busy man of the cloth such as yourself has the time to volunteer as a man behind the badge as you obviously are? I take it the man handcuffed to your wrist is one of those who must be restrained by the law written on stone because he lacks the nature of self-restraint?"
"Um, I'm afraid you have things a little backward Mr Busybody, which might be explained by your lack of keeping abreast of the news on the media. You see Mr Busybody, this man is not handcuffed to me, but I to him. It is I who have fallen from grace, not having sufficiently obeyed the law of liberty. Good day to you Mr Busybody, my time of correction awaits."
30Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Rom 3:)
14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (Rom 4:)
13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Rom 5:)
12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any....... 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Cor 6:)
23All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 24Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. (1Cor 10:)
17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2Cor 3:)
13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Gal 5:)
15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (1Peter 2:)
17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2Peter 2:)
[Author's note. There are many in the churchs trained to not look beyond their own denominational doctrines and traditions. It's important that each of us not become locked into whatever corrupted view they have taken on as their beliefs. Whoever we choose to follow, whatever their destination will become ours as well.]
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