Christians and the Law: answering the objections, part 19

Statement 27: No one except Jesus can keep the law. That’s the point.

We have all broken the law, we are all lawbreakers, rebels against God.

We are all sinners.

Which is why we need a savior.

Trying to keep the law is an eternal death sentence, for it is rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus.


If I may paraphrase Paul…

We have all sinned (broken the law) and fallen short of the glory of God. While we were still unrepentant and hopeless sinners, God sent his Son to atone for us so that we might be forgiven and saved from our sins. If God has forgiven our sins and washed them away, are we now free to commit whatever sin we choose with complete impunity? I’m sure that Josh would agree with me that it would be absurd to reject all future moral behavior because God has forgiven our past immorality. Yet, this is exactly what Josh has argued. He said that trying to keep God’s Law is the same as rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus. If that is true, then we should sin as much as possible in order to embrace Jesus’ sacrifice to the full.

Of course, this isn’t what Josh meant. I am positive that he doesn’t believe only profligate thieves and murderers can derive any ongoing benefit from Yeshua’s death and resurrection. Josh committed a simple fallacy of generalization. Unfortunately, almost every single person who argues against Christians keeping Torah makes the exact same mistake. In essence, Tiger said “It’s good for Christians to keep the Law.” Josh (and just about everyone else) heard “A Christian can’t be saved unless he keeps the entire Law perfectly.” Trying to keep the law for salvation is an eternal death sentence, and if anyone had asserted it, Josh would have been entirely correct in what he said. But no one asserted it.

It is both wrong and hopeless to try to attain salvation through perfectly sinless behavior, but that is very far from saying that trying to attain more perfect behavior is itself a sin.

Statement 28: I think you are free to ignore all commandments that you aren’t already obligated to follow based on the dual commandment of love. In other words, one of them: Keeping the Sabbath. -Markku

Yeshua said that all of the Law is based on the “dual commandment of love.” On what basis can anyone exclude the Sabbath, which is exemplified in Genesis and repeatedly commanded in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy? It is at least as important a part of the Law as the command against committing murder. Furthermore, the command to keep the Sabbath is explicitly founded in love:

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee. (13) Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; (14) but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou. (15) And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

part 17part 18, part 19, part 20part 21

Vox’s original article: Christians and the Law.

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