We’re No Longer Under the Written Code, and Here’s Why

You have a lot to gain if you can accept God’s cancellation of the Written Code.  You can experience deliverance from the dominion of sin in your life.  You can find the glorious freedom of the sons of God that Paul talks about.  You can become that loving Christian you want to be, and can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life in a way you never have before.  But you can’t run to second base if you keep one foot on first.  You have to move beyond your bondage to the Written Code.

I’ve listed in a previous post the main places where Paul discusses God’s abrogation of the Written Code.  Now I want to take a moment to dig into the meaning of those verses.

  • All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  (Galatians 3:10)

The Book of Deuteronomy has an enormous list of curses for people who disobey the law.  Pleast take a few minutes to read one of the most concentrated lists by clicking here:  Deuteronomy 28: 15-68.

If you believe that the Old Testament Law is still applicable today, and you believe that James the Brother of Jesus knew what he was talking about when he wrote James 2:10 (Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.), then the curses in Deuteronomy still apply to you.

Mantra: If I rely on observing the law I am under a curse.

  • All 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. (Romans 2:12)

Do you want to be judged by the Law?  Do you want to be held accountable to over 600 laws and statutes?  Remember, if you violate even one law, it’s as though you violated every one of them.  If you take the Lord’s name in vain, you are guilty of having sex with your sister or brother.  If you wash dishes on Saturday, you have burned your child alive as an offering to Molech. If you lie about someone, you are guilty of having sex with a dog.  If you work on Saturday, you have raped your child.

This is what Paul meant when he said, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

Mantra: If I sin apart from the law I will also perish apart from the law.

  • The law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.(Romans 4:15)

Are you concerned about your sins?  Would you like to live a life with no transgressions?  The answer is right here.  Where there is no law there is no transgression. It is only the Written Code that keeps you preoccupied with this individual sin, that ethical transgression, or this moral failing.   God doesn’t want you preoccupied with your apparent moral weaknesses.  God wants you focused on loving your neighbor as yourself, focused on walking in the Holy Spirit, and keeping a clear conscience.

Mantra: Where there is no law there is no transgression.

  • Before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. (Romans 5:13)

Again, a simple mantra.  God does not take sin into account when there is no law.  Why do you fuss about your sin when God doesn’t take it into account?  You wallow in guilt and remorse when God pays no attention to it.

When you are godly, when you are sanctified, that is, really like God in this, you will no longer wallow in guilt.  You will no longer be preoccupied with your weaknesses.

Remember, God’s been around a long time.  He’s seen it all.  He’s seen way worse than your little foibles.  For most of us, our upset over our failures is just a form of PRIDE.  We’re proud.  We want to be perfect, but it has nothing to do with glorifying God.  For most of us it’s rooted in proving how great we are.  When we think and reason as children, we think our transgressions are mountains, when they are actually molehills in the sight of God.  Or do you really think your take on your mistakes is superior to God’s?  Be real.

Mantra: Sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

  • Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.(Romans 6:14)

This is spiritually discerned, my friend.  Paul’s logic sometimes seems muddled and is often confusing. Sometimes he even appears contradictory.  But you have to trust the Spirit of God speaking through Paul on this.  Only as you remove yourself from the domination of the Written Code will you gain experiential insight into how sin is no longer your master when you leave the domination of the Written Code and embrace it’s opposite: God’s grace.

The discovery of Paul’s discovery can’t be taught to you by any human being.  Only God can reveal it to you.  Will you make mistakes as you go into these new places pointed out by Paul?  Of course you will.  Do you honestly think you will never make any mistakes?  Good grief.  If you don’t make many mistakes, it’s only proof that you’re not growing spiritually.  You will make mistakes.  Lived with it.  Live with it, or be content to live in a twilight world of mediocrity and fear.

Mantra: I am not under law, but under grace.

  • Apart from law, sin is dead. (Romans 7:8b)

Another mantra.  How does this work?  How I think it works makes little difference.  What matters is that we embrace this, let it permeate our minds, focus our thoughts.  When this spiritual truth (which is spiritually discerned) controls your mind and heart, you will look around one day and realize, “sin is dead,” just like Paul said.

Mantra: Apart from law, sin is dead.

  • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, (Galatians 3:13)

The curses of Deuteronomy 28: 15-68 do not apply to you because Christ has redeemed you from those curses. Those curses only apply if you insist on observing the law.  If you casually dismiss these curses, then you really don’t take seriously the Written Code.  That is a different matter, since God nailed the Written Code to the cross anyway!

If you insist on observing the Law, then you reject Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.

Mantra: Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law.

  • Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.(Galatians 3:25)

We are no longer under the supervision of the Law.  We are created in the Image of God, which means that God’s character, values, and essence are at the core of our being.  We have been released from our childhood obedience to a document thousands of years old.  We are now free to live in the reality of the Image of Christ, in whose image we are being renewed as we practice loving the people around us, listening to the Spirit of the God in whom we live and move and have our being, and keeping our consciences clear of violating our own internal sets of social values.

Mantra: I am no longer under the supervision of the law.

  • It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.(Galatians 5:1)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  More often we are set free, then turn around and trade one set of chains for another set.  We trade the chains that bind us to the Written Code for chains that bind us to something else.  Often we trade one Biblical system for another Biblical system, both of which are just chains of bondage.

All of us are encouraged to not let ourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Don’t be surprised if the Christians whom you would burden with a yoke of slavery reject your attempt to re-enslave them.  Their attempt to remain free is exactly what they should be doing.  You should rejoice that they are able to act independently of your Biblical system of enslavement.

Mantra:  It is for freedom that Christ has set me free.

Mantra: I will not let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

  • But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.(Galatians 5:18)

The corollary of this is equally true: If you are under Law, you are not led by the Spirit.  If you observe the law, and believe that others should be made accountable to the law as well, then you are not led by the Spirit.

Mantra: If I am under the Law, then I am not led by the Spirit.

  • He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13b-14)

There is more here than in some of the other verses we’ve looked at so far.  First, we are told that the Written Code has been canceled.  That Written Code, the Law, along with its regulations, was against us and stood opposed to us.   According to this, the Law was not our friend, not at all.  And notice what God did with the Written Code: “He took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

Mantra: God canceled the written code, that was against me. 

Mantra: God took away the written code, nailing it to the cross.

The Law was, is, and will always be our Enemy.  God loves us, which is why the Law was abrogated, why it was cancelled.  It is because God loves us that Christ fulfilled the righteous demands of the Law, which left us free from the Law’s bothersome annoyance and harassment.  Freed from the Law, we are now free to have a full and direct relationship with God and the people God loves.  Our relationship with God is now direct, and it requires nothing to intrude upon it, like an old, thick book.

To master the old, thick book would requires several lifetimes.  To master the old, thick book has consumed the lives of countless thousands of scholar and reverends, rendering the them useless for the kingdom of God.

Mantra: If I rely on observing the law I am under a curse.

Mantra:  If I sin apart from the law I will also perish apart from the law.

Mantra:  If I sin under the law I will be judged by the law.

Mantra: Where there is no law there is no transgression.

Mantra: Sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

Mantra: I am not under law, but under grace.

Mantra: Apart from law, sin is dead.

Mantra: Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law.

Mantra:  I am no longer under the supervision of the law.

Mantra:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Mantra:   I will not let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mantra: If I am under the Law, I am not led by the Spirit.

Mantra: God canceled the written code, that was against me. 

Mantra: God took away the written code, nailing it to the cross.

Advertisements

About Ron Goetz

Author, Widower, Grandpa, Son.
This entry was posted in Antinomianism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to We’re No Longer Under the Written Code, and Here’s Why

  1. Sam Equality Deetz says:

    This detailed and very articulately explained discussion of these scriptures have been what I have felt to be true for many years! This is the first I have ever seen such ringing-true, realistic, written dialogue in my 61+ years! Thank you Ron Goetz for what you are doing! I am sharing this on my facebook page!

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Sam, I never quite know how to respond to such enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing on FB. Your response is helpful on many levels. Let’s see what good we can do together!

      Like

  2. Ed Hansen says:

    Thanks, Ron. It is the Spirit who gives us life, and learning to live by and be guided by God’s loving Spirit day by day is a wonderful adventure and ongoing challenge.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Thanks for the good word, Ed. I feel humbled, because I so often talk the talk better than I walk the walk. “From him to whom much has been given shall much be expected.”

      Like

  3. Duncan Beach says:

    Pastor Ron, I would only wheedle on one little point, but on this one, I do stand firm. God forgives us our trespasses (what you call ‘sins’, only as we forgive those who trespass against us. It is in the nature of a contract, not between God and us, but between Jesus and us, that he will intercede with God to the extent that we forgive.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      That’s the really sobering and troubling part of the Lord’s Prayer, I agree. “Forgive us our sins, the way we forgive those who sin against us.” Talk about calling down judgment upon oneself. Hopefully God doesn’t take that prayer “literally”!

      BTW, I’m not officially a “pastor,” although I wanted to be one for most of my adult life. I never could have ministered in a hierarchy with a doctrinal statement. Never could’ve done that. Too bad I didn’t learn that lesson earlier.

      Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      That’s the really sobering part of the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive our sins the way we forgive those who sin against us.” That’s scary!

      BTW, I’m not officially a pastor, although I wanted to be a pastor for most of my adult life. I could never have been ordained in a hierarchy with a doctrinal position and kept a clear conscience. Preaching what I believe about the Body of Christ, about Body Life, and setting the false example necessary to be ordained would have given the lie to everything I understand to be true from the Scripture.

      Like

  4. Paul Oakley says:

    After the first century CE, Christianity quickly became a Gentile religion. Gentiles were NEVER under the Law explicitly expressed in the Hebrew Bible, much less the law of Talmudic/ Rabbinic Judaism. Having NEVER been under the law, they neither needed nor could they receive release from the Law. It is a total non sequitur.

    You write: “If you take the Lord’s name in vain, you are guilty of having sex with your sister or brother. If you wash dishes on Saturday, you have burned your child alive as an offering to Molech. If you lie about someone, you are guilty of having sex with a dog. If you work on Saturday, you have raped your child.”

    What utterly ridiculous and offensive nonsense! It COULD be true that any violation causes a breach. It is absolutely untrue that all breaches are of equal weight or value. And for people who are “under the Law” there is Yom Kippur. There the sins of the COMMUNITY not of the individual are confessed and ritually expunged.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL of it.” (James 2:10)

      James’ statement does not negate what you’ve written, but I tread carefully if I disagree with a statement contained in Scripture. I have never labeled any verse “utterly ridiculous and offensive nonsense.”

      I am not a Talmudist. I’m just a poor old Gentile.

      Like

      • Paul Oakley says:

        I feel no such compunction about dealing with scripture. Abraham argued with God and won. We can too. However, I do not feel even that is necessary here. I vociferously disagree with your interpretation of the verse you cite.

        Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment was replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV). And since Jesus and James and the rest did not live in a vacuum, it is worth comparing what the great Rabbi Hillel said in parallel. When asked to teach to a potential convert the abbreviated version that encapsulated the whole of Judaism, he replied, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this–go and study it!” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 32a).

        So in the context provided by these two great first century CE Jewish teachers, there is only one essential law with many expressions. So, yes, the person who violates the one law has violated the one law. But violation of one of the 613 expressions of the law is not the same as violating all 613 expressions of the law. It is a violation of the one law. For the Jew only and never for the Gentile, doing work on the Sabbath is a violation of one of the 613 commandments. It is never equivalent to human sacrifice. It stands alone in relation to the other 612, but it represents a breach, a failure to be in right relation with the divine.

        Under no circumstances is it acceptable to teach that James means that lying makes also guilty of rape, et al. An individual is responsible only for the acts that individual does or causes. The community bears responsibility for the acts of all.

        Like

      • Paul Oakley says:

        Ron, somewhere around 50CE, the Jewish leaders of the proto-Christian movement met in council in Jerusalem. Their ruling concerning Gentiles who converted to Christianity is that, unlike the Jewish Christians, they had essentially no inheritance of Jewish law. In the letter summarizing their ruling, they told Gentile Christians what was required of them: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.” (Acts 15: 28-29 NIV). That is, eat kosher ultra-lite and keep your pants zipped. It is perfectly possible to keep those four guidelines (they were not even promulgated as laws but as things they would do well to avoid). All of the talk about sin and Law and curse of the Law in your post never did apply to Gentile Christians. There was no need for being saved from the curse of the Law since Gentile Christians were never under the Law and its curse. And their sole canonical responsibility in relation to the laws of Judaism came down to 3 simple laws about meat and 1 about sex. And all four of those are presented specifically in the context of extricating oneself from participation in the non-Christian/ non-Jewish worship of dominant culture mostly outside of Palestine. The entire argument concerning Law and the curse under the Law was rendered moot by Acts 15.

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Paul, I’m familiar with all this. If you’ll look around my site, you’ll see that one of my main concerns is the current fundamentalist campaign against gays and lesbians, and in this particular instance, the mis-use of the Torah by fundamentalists. They have used to proof-text a variety of teachings over the years (e.g., slavery, tithing), and it’s most popular mis-use today is their campaign against gays and lesbians. My arguments are primarily directed toward fundamentalist Christians, using the kind of reasoning and rhetoric they should appreciate.

        Obviously the curse of the Law never applied to gentiles, who were never subject to it. That’s part of the absurdity of Southern Baptists and Nazarenes invoking Leviticus against people!

        Like

  5. James says:

    I think some verses that support this that I feel should have been included are:

    1 Corinthians 6:12 CEB

    I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything.

    Romans 6:1-7 CEB

    So what are we going to say? Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply? Absolutely not! All of us died to sin. How can we still live in it? Or don’t you know that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried together with him through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life. If we were united together in a death like his, we will also be united together in a resurrection like his. This is what we know: the person that we used to be was crucified with him in order to get rid of the corpse that had been controlled by sin. That way we wouldn’t be slaves to sin anymore, because a person who has died has been freed from sin’s power.

    The reason I feel these are important followups is that left with out them there may be a temptation for some to remain in their lifestyle content with the idea of being “covered by grace” when we are clearly called to allow the Spirit to guide our steps and chnge our heart.

    A mantra could be added:
    Though we are free not everything is helpful.

    Good article, may the LORD bless you!

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Amen, James, Amen!

      The verses you cited are a couple of the clearest statements of Paul’s pragmatism, his “situational ethics,” if you will. Thanks for the reminder!

      And the Lord’s blessings to you, as well.

      Like

  6. Louise Dotter says:

    I think spending so much time and effort trying to interpret a text written thousands of years ago by men with little to no knowledge of the natural world is about as productive as trying to determine “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”.

    Like

    • Ron Goetz says:

      Understood, Louise. When people are misusing this ancient text as a weapon, and doing real damage to people, then the damage must be minimized.

      I must say that I don’t use the Bible for information about the natural world. If I were interested in that particular life’s pursuit, I would have been a math and science major instead of majoring in history, Biblical literature, literary theory & composition, etc.

      When people are using the Bible in a way that drives teenage gays and lesbians to suicide and other self-destructive behaviors, I don’t consider my efforts to minimize the destructive potential as speculating on angel populations dwelling on pin heads. 🙂

      Like

      • Louise Dotter says:

        I stand corrected, thank you for taking on what is, I’m sure, an often thankless job!

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        No correction, actually. There is a LOT of hair-splitting that goes on that is precisely what you’re talking about — angels dancing on the heads of pins. I’m very pragmatic when it comes to this sort of stuff. “A difference that makes no difference is no difference.”

        For example, debates about the End Times, about how and when Jesus returns, make absolutely no difference to what actually happens. Whether Jesus comes back before the Tribulation, during the Tribulation, after the Tribulation, or whether or not there even is a literal Tribulation, make absolutely no difference about what will actually happen. That is counting the number of angels on the head of a pin. And devoting years of your life to that speculation is a criminal waste of time (IMHO).

        Like

      • Ron Goetz says:

        Louise, blogging is sometimes a mixed bag, but overall it’s very rewarding. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “One compliment can keep me going for a whole month.”

        Like

  7. bubleeshaark says:

    Very well written!!

    I hope nobody takes this as an free pass to sin, because that would miss the whole point. Everything you wrote was awesome. Some people in my church still hold the law to be binding, and I wish they understood this part as you.

    Like

  8. Jimmie Lee says:

    Just a few of my reactions to the mantras:

    Mantra: If I rely on observing the law I am under a curse.
    What I am thinking: If I rely on observing the Torah’s jobs, I am under a curse because only the ethics are the law now, not the Torah’s jobs, which are considered works.

    Mantra: If I sin under the law I will be judged by the law.
    What I am thinking: If I sin under the Torah’s jobs, I will be judged by the Torah’s jobs because I am under the Torah for not believing that adherence to the faith (of loving thy neighbor as thyself) is all I need to do to be justified before God (Romans 2:13).

    Mantra: I am not under law, but under grace.
    What I am thinking: I am not under Torah’s jobs, but under grace and the law of love, which is inward and circumcision of the heart, not of the foreskin.

    Mantra: Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law.
    What I am thinking: Christ redeemed me from the curse of keeping the commandments of the Torah’s jobs, of which ‘thou shall not lie with mankind’ was a job. Love is the fulfillment of the law of loving thy neighbor as thyself. How you treat people determines one’s immediate entrance into heaven.

    Mantra: I am no longer under the supervision of the law.
    What I am thinking: I am no longer under the supervison of the Torah, but am, instead, under the Law of Christ, which is the utterance to love thy neighbor as thyself.

    Mantra: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
    What I am thinking: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free by giving us the law of freedom, which is to love thy neighbor as thyself, instead of the law of slavery, which was the written code.

    Mantra: I will not let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
    What I am thinking: I will not let myself be burdened by religious rules and regulations, which can be found in the Torah.

    Mantra: If I am under the Law, I am not led by the Spirit.
    What I am thinking: If I am under the Torah’s jobs, I am not led by the King’s faith, which are the justices found in the King’s faith, summed up in the utterance to love thy neighbor as thyself.

    Like

  9. Stephan Casey says:

    Is this article proof enough that we cannot just look at the laws of the bible when condemning homosexual act and that we must rather look inside ourselves and ask the spirit to open our eyes to the truth

    Like

So what are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s