‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).’
‘This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).’
‘You are My friends if you do whatever I command you (V. 14).’
Didn’t Christ come to set us free from the fetters of the law?
The Law of Sin and Death
Indeed, Jesus did come to set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2) and to bring us into His kingdom (Matthew 6:33) of everlasting life (John 3:36) and love. In the ultimate kingdom (Revelation 21:1) will there be a need for any law?
Out of the nations, God chose the Jews to be His very own; a special people (Deuteronomy 7:6) precious unto Himself. He gave them His law (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5, 6), and if they obeyed it to the letter and from the heart, He would take them from slavery in Egypt to a land of plenty which would be their very own (Exodus 3:8). They would live there in peace and plenty (Ezekiel 34:25-30). But, as we know, they utterly failed to keep His law (Jeremiah 9:13-16). They were a faithless, unbelieving nation, and as a result they suffered badly. They were torn from the land God gave them, and they were forcibly taken to other lands (2 Kings 17:5-23; 18:11; Jeremiah 39:9).
Despite their disobedience to God’s law, He had mercy on them (1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicle 6:14), and for the sake of His name (Isaiah 48:9-11) and promise, He gave them a time of peace (1 Kings 5:12) and prosperity (2 Chronicles 9:13-22) in the land during the reign of Solomon. He was appointed by God, and God gave him wisdom (1 Kings 3:11-13), but he disobeyed Him and took to himself many wives and concubines. They led him astray to the extent that he worshipped their gods (1 Kings 11:4-11).
Towards the end of his life, Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes in which he truthfully revealed his understanding of life. He concluded that man should, ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether it is good or whether it is evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Cf. Deuteronomy 10:12).’
The truth of this is beyond question (2 Peter 1:19-21), but if we consider the matter further, how does it fit with the teachings of Christ? Well, we must understand that He fulfilled His Father’s law precisely and perfectly. He was without sin, and never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He came to fulfil the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17), and that is what He did. Why? Because He came to call a new nation out of a metaphorical Egypt, i.e., the world (John 3:16), and to take them into a land of peace and plenty (Matthew 19:29; John 10:10).
The Law of Righteousness and Life (The Law of Christ)
As God chose the Jews (Deuteronomy 10:15), from whom came the Christ (Hebrews 7:14), so He also chose a new people who would be precious unto Himself (1 Peter 2:9, 10). Jesus would draw this people to Himself (John 12:32). They would be taken from a land of darkness and evil, and they would be transported to a land of light and love (Colossians 1:13). God chose to do this because He loved the world (John 3:16).
This brings us to a point where the law of Christ was established at the cross. Jesus said, “It is finished (John 19:30).” He had done everything necessary to bring it about. – a new law for a new people. In a nutshell, Christ established His law (Hebrews 7:12) of love. God Himself is love (1 John 4:8) and He sent His Son (V. 9; Galatians 4:4) to reveal to the world the nature of His love. He came in Person to take us [believers] to a new land (John 13:36) of peace and of love where we shall dwell with Him forever (John 14:3).
However, there are some who claim they are Christians, and yet they try to live their lives by obeying God’s Old Testament law [the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24-26; Ezra 7:6)], instead of living by faith in His Son (Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:16) and in obedience to the law of His Son (Revelation 22:14).
All true Christians endeavour to obey the law of Christ, by loving Him and loving one another (John 13:34, 35). It’s as simple as that, but it is only possible for those who have been born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14). In bearing the burdens of others they obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). It is not their obedience that brings their salvation, but their faith in Christ, which is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
Christians fail (1 John 1:8), just as the Old Testament Jews failed, but God accepts Jesus’s sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27) on the cross as full payment for their sins. Jesus suffered (1 Peter 2:21) on their behalf (3:18) and set them free (Galatians 5:1) from everlasting torment in hell (Matthew 25:46), which is their just reward (Romans 1:32).
They are taken from fetters in a land of darkness and death (Cf. Job 10:21), and they are translated into a land of light (1 Peter 2:9, 10) and love, where they serve their Lord and God in perfect freedom (Galatians 5:13, 14). This is the land of Love [God] where the only law is love (Romans 13:8, 10).
We [believers] have the Land (Kingdom) in part now, but in full (1 Corinthians 13:12) when Jesus comes again for His own (Matthew 16:27; 25:31).
“Maranatha. Come Lord, come!”