In the beginning, God created Man to freely and willingly CHOOSE to love and obey Him as His Own grateful, thankful children. He really preferred that our life of obedience and service to Him be totally by LOVE, GRACE and FAITH, and there were very few rules, very few laws, everything was to be done VOLUNTARILY out of LOVE.--That was God's ORIGINAL plan.
But as Man became more and more DISOBEDIENT and WICKED, God had to give him more and more stringent LAWS, RULES and REGULATIONS. These laws were NOT made for the righteous, because the good man doesn't harm or do wrong to his neighbour, the righteous one LOVES. But they were made for the wrongdoers, the evil people, the wicked.
The laws were given for the people who do NOT have love, those who do evil, unloving and harmful things. The Bible says of the Laws of Moses that "The Law was NOT made for the RIGHTEOUS, but for the LAWLESS and DISOBEDIENT, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers." (1Timothy 1:9)
What do you have to do with a WILD ANIMAL, a ravenous beast that will bite or destroy you?--You have to either put him in a cage, or kill him! Well, wicked, rebellious, ungodly, unsaved, evil Man is worse than a wild animal!--Which is why God had to cage him in with strict laws!
So because Man DIDN'T follow LOVE, GRACE and FAITH, God had to crack down with the RULES, the CAGE of the LAW for the TRANSGRESSORS! But the rules couldn't SAVE Man, they only showed him WHERE he was WRONG. "For by observing and keeping the LAW, NO ONE can be justified or declared righteous in God's sight; but through the LAW we only become CONSCIOUS of SIN." (Romans 3:20). In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE for ANYONE to be GOOD according to the LAWS of Moses! The Mosaic Law makes EVERY one of us a sinner, because not one of us can keep it! "There is none righteous, no, not one! For ALL have sinned and come short!" (Romans 3:10,23)
The Law was only our TEACHER, our INSTRUCTOR or "SCHOOLMASTER", as the Bible says, to SHOW us that we're SINNERS, to make us REALISE that we need to come to GOD for MERCY and forgiveness, and to show us HIS absolute perfection and perfect righteousness which is IMPOSSIBLE for US to attain!: "The Law was our SCHOOLMASTER, to bring us unto CHRIST, that we might be justified by FAITH." (Galatians 3:24)
The Bible says that "The Lord loves a CHEERFUL giver." (2Corinthians 9:7) Like any parent, He far prefers that His children WILLINGLY and CHEERFULLY obey Him and do what He asks simply because they LOVE Him and WANT to please Him and do what's right. If a child only obeys because he's FORCED to obey and HAS to obey, because it's the LAW, or because of fear of punishment or fear of judgement etc., that's no proof of the child's love for his parent.
In fact, God would have PREFERRED to have trusted His people, His children, with TOTAL freedom, if they had been more humble and honest and had more love, consideration, unselfishness, thoughtfulness and real concern for each other, LOVING everybody and not wanting to hurt anybody and just wanting to HELP everybody. "For where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is LIBERTY!" (2Corinthians 3:17)
FREEDOM and LIBERTY are God's IDEAL, His ultimate, His plan from the very beginning! And it's almost like He's been trying to bring His people step-by-step out of bondage towards this goal throughout the Ages. He brought the JEWS out of their SLAVERY in EGYPT, but then they were in BONDAGE to the harsh and rigid rules of Moses--the LAW! Then along came JESUS with His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and truth--our Salvation: "For the LAW was given by MOSES, but GRACE and TRUTH came by JESUS CHRIST!" (John 1:17) He came and showed us that SALVATION and TRUE righteousness was NOT by WORKS, but by the GRACE of God alone!--"For by GRACE are we saved through FAITH, and that NOT of ourselves, it is the GIFT of GOD!--NOT by our own works!" (Ephesians 2:8,9)
So the Early Christians were liberated SPIRITUALLY, they found spiritual freedom and Salvation, but they were still somewhat in bondage to some of the old customs, traditions and laws which were hangovers from their Jewish past and background that they couldn't quite break loose from.
But JESUS Himself never gave them any laws, except the LAW OF LOVE! When the self-righteous, hypocritical, religious leaders questioned Him, "Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?", He replied, "Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the FIRST and GREAT commandment. And the second is LIKE unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy NEIGHBOUR as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
He then shocked them by continuing to say, "On THESE TWO commandments hang ALL the LAW and the PROPHETS!" (Matthew 22:40) They had literally THOUSANDS of complicated, ritualistic, restrictive religious laws, but Jesus told them that they now only needed TWO: LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS!--That's ALL! He said, "In this is the WHOLE Bible!"
Jesus said that this ONE simple Law, LOVE, is ALL the LAW as well as ALL the PROPHETS! That takes in the ENTIRE Old Testament, "the Law and the Prophets"! Jesus said that's the whole works, the whole Bible, that's ALL the Law you need--LOVE! In other words, if you love GOD and you love OTHERS, what do you need with any other laws? If you really LOVE others, you're not going to hurt them, you're not going to be selfish, you're not going to do anything that will hurt anybody else!--Right?
Therefore JESUS' LAW OF LOVE FREES us from the OLD Law and is all-encompassing, all-absorbing and all-fulfilling! God's ONLY Law is now LOVE, and as long as something is done in LOVE with real, unselfish, even sacrificial love, GOD'S Love, then it is absolutely LAWFUL in God's eyes!--No matter whether it be a sin in the eyes of the CHURCH or immoral in the eyes of MAN, it is still absolutely INNOCENT in the eyes of GOD if you do it in LOVE!
The Bible says, "The fruit of the SPIRIT is LOVE; and against such love there is NO LAW!" (Galatians 5:22,23)--Against pure love, the unselfish sacrificial Love of God and your fellow man, there is NO law of God!
Jesus said, "I am not come to DESTROY the Law or the Prophets, but to FULFIL!" (Matthew 5:17)--And by FULFILLING it, He ENDED it, therefore we are NO longer required to keep the Laws of Moses of the Old Testament! "For CHRIST is the END OF THE LAW, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes!" (Romans 10:4) This is the Word of GOD from God's Own Book, the BIBLE!--Do you BELIEVE it?--Do you realise what this MEANS?
Through God's Law of Love we are FREED from the bondage of the OLD Law into total and complete FREEDOM of life and liberty through Love! "There is therefore now NO condemnation to them which are in Christ JESUS. For the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE in CHRIST JESUS has set me FREE from the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH!" (Romans 8:1,2)
God's grace through Jesus' Law of Love is the END of the old Law for the believers in Jesus! Paul preached sermon after sermon and wrote letter after letter showing that the OLD Law was FINISHED, it was DONE with, PERIOD!--The Mosaic Law is DONE AWAY with for the Christian who is living under GRACE and under God's LAW OF LOVE! "We are now DELIVERED from the Law, that we should serve in NEWNESS of SPIRIT, and NOT in the OLDNESS of the LETTER of the Law.--Christ has REDEEMED us from the CURSE of the Law! And ALL THINGS are lawful to us!" (Romans 7:6; Galatians 3:13; 1Corinthians 6:12)
The TEN COMMANDMENTS are NO LONGER the law for the followers of JESUS! God only has ONE Law now for Christians: The Law of JESUS, the Law of LOVE, "to LOVE the Lord thy GOD with ALL thy heart, and thy NEIGHBOUR as thyself!" (Matthew 22:36-39)-That's what Jesus said! Of course this proclamation of liberty INFURIATED the legalistic Jews of Jesus' day and their self-righteous religious leaders who prided themselves in being followers of the Laws of Moses. They cried out against Jesus' doctrine, saying, "This is against Moses and against the Law!" (Acts 6:13,14; 21:28)--And they were RIGHT!
This was the most raging religious controversy between Jesus and the Jews! It was also the most raging controversy between St. Paul and the legalists, the "Concision", the "Circumcision", CONVERTED Christian Jews who said, "Yes, we now believe in Jesus, but we STILL have to keep all the old LAW, the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath, the Mosaic Law etc!" (Acts 15:1,5)
Sad to say, we still have many Christians with us TODAY who are just like those legalistic Concision members of the Early Church!--They're not completely enlightened, they don't realise that JESUS is ENOUGH, that His GRACE is SUFFICIENT, that His LOVE is ALL we need. They're still preaching the MOSAIC LAW with one hand while preaching Christ with the other!
But according to Jesus Himself, God's children today are NO longer under the LAWS OF MOSES! We are under GRACE and under LOVE! For US the old Law is GONE FOREVER! Thank God! We now only have to keep Jesus' Law of LOVE, God's ONLY Law--LOVE! For the Laws of Moses are NO more binding to the believer in Jesus! We are to "Stand STEADFASTLY in the LIBERTY with which CHRIST has made us FREE, and do NOT be snared again in the yoke of BONDAGE" to the Mosaic Law! (Galatians 5:1)
"For ALL the Law is fulfilled in ONE WORD, even in this; thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself!" (Galatians 5:14)-Think about it!--ALL the Law is fulfilled by ONE new and glorious commandment: LOVE! "Therefore, do to others what you would have them do to you; for this IS the Law and the Prophets!" (Matthew 7:12) We are to "Owe no man anything, but to LOVE one another: For he that LOVES his fellowman has FULFILLED the LAW!" (Romans 13:8) If you have LOVE, you have EVERYTHING! You are fulfilling ALL the laws of God!
GOD'S ONLY LAW IS LOVE! There is now NO other law, no Mosaic laws, no church laws!--Those laws don't even exist any more as far as we're concerned! They are only to regulate the UNGODLY, as He says in 1Tim.1:9, and by which the unrighteous who are violating GOD'S LAW OF LOVE will be judged.
"God IS Love" (1John 4:8), and for those who are filled with HIS SPIRIT OF LOVE, LOVE is the ONLY rule! "For if you are led of the SPIRIT, you are NOT under the Law!" (Galatians 5:18) If you love one another, anything the LORD leads you to do is perfectly lawful in the sight of God. As long as whatever you're doing is in LOVE and not hurting anybody, how can you go wrong?
WHATEVER you do in the unselfish sacrificial LOVE of Jesus is RIGHT and LAWFUL! Whatever you do in LOVE IS the Law--and that's all, that's it! God's ONLY Law is LOVE! We are DELIVERED from the old Mosaic Law and no longer bound by it--we are FREE! Now ALL things are lawful to us in LOVE, praise God! As long as it's done in LOVE, it keeps GOD'S ONLY LAW OF LOVE!
Of course, knowing and realising this gives us a lot of FREEDOM. But in many ways His Law of Love is actually the most BINDING Law of all!--Because God's Law of Love not only says you can't do bad things to others, it says that you've also got to LOVE everybody!
So in many ways, the Law of Love is even MORE strict than the Mosaic Law! The Ten Commandments said that we were just to do that which was just and righteous, "Thou shalt NOT worship other gods, thou shalt NOT kill, thou shalt NOT steal etc. etc."--All negative! But under Jesus' Law of Love we are to have MORE POSITIVE LOVE than mere justice and righteousness, we are to have LOVE and MERCY and FORGIVENESS!
So although we are LIBERATED from Moses and his laws, it's not a selfish, reckless freedom wherein we are free to disregard our neighbours and act unkindly, selfishly and lawlessly to them! We are now obligated to not only DUTIFULLY not harm or hurt others because the Law SAYS so, but we are to go BEYOND mere duty and be positively GOOD to others because we WANT to, because we LOVE them!
LOVE is GREATER than RIGHTEOUSNESS, and MERCY is GREATER than JUSTICE! We are now to treat others with LOVE, MERCY and KINDNESS. In the Mosaic Law there was virtually no forgiving, and it was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"! (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20) Moses said that if SOMEONE knocks out YOUR eye or tooth, YOU'RE allowed to knock out THEIRS!
But JESUS said, "Do unto OTHERS what you want THEM to do to YOU" (Matthew 7:12)--not just whatever they DO to you, but you should treat them the way you WANT them to treat YOU!--This is GOD'S LOVE. Jesus gave numerous examples in the "Sermon on the Mount", saying, "In the old Law it is written so-and-so, but I say unto you"--and told them something entirely DIFFERENT! He said, "But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, FORGIVE them!" (Matthew 5:38-44)--THAT'S the Law of LOVE!--Which shows it's even GREATER and STRICTER than the old Mosaic Law!
So Jesus' Law is actually much STRICTER, much more difficult to keep--in fact, IMPOSSIBLE without JESUS! If the OLD Law was impossible, then Jesus' Law is even MORE impossible! That's why He says, "Without ME, you can do NOTHING!" (John 15:5) But He also says that we "CAN do ALL things THROUGH CHRIST which strengthens us" (Philippians 4:13).--For "His GRACE is sufficient for us, HIS strength is made perfect in our weakness!" (2Corinthians 12:9)
You can't possibly keep God's Law of Love without HIS POWER, unless you're SAVED and you have JESUS in your HEART, the SPIRIT of God's Love within you, to give you the power and the strength to love others even more than you love yourself! But once you have RECEIVED JESUS, then His SPIRIT in you can help you to do the HUMANLY IMPOSSIBLE: LOVE GOD with all your heart and your NEIGHBOUR as yourself!
Of course most churches and conservative Christians today would say, "Okay, the Bible may say that 'all things are lawful' under Christ's Law of Love (1Corinthians 6:12), BUT, this of course could not include, ahem, anything to do with SEX!"--Because the churches have declared almost everything that has anything to do with your body or sex or pleasure as illegitimate, illegal, immoral, irreligious and unrighteous!
But "ALL things" being lawful for His loving, believing children really MEANS "ALL things"!--Including SEXUAL freedoms!--As long as what we're doing is done in the unselfish, loving and sacrificial LOVE of GOD and not hurting anyone! Therefore according to the SCRIPTURES, there is no longer any law against sex between a man and woman that is done in LOVE, GOD'S Love! It is neither sin, nor adultery, nor fornication!--Those MOSAIC LAWS are GONE!
After all, what was the PURPOSE of the old Mosaic Law against adultery?--Even behind the old Laws there was the LOVE of God and His desire to keep people from hurting each other and damaging each other either physically or otherwise, even their FEELINGS. So if we're keeping GOD'S LAW OF LOVE, we'll do our best to live in HIS LOVE, to HELP people, and to try NOT to HURT anyone.
This is the DIFFERENCE between LUST and LOVE: Lust is merely gratifying your own greedy selfish appetite, like eating a meal.--You may need it, but if you're STEALING it from someone else and taking the food out of their mouth to stuff your own, this is selfish LUST, not love! But if you are taking the food out of your own mouth and GIVING your own meal to satisfy and feed another who is hungry and starving and needs it desperately and might not even survive without it, THIS is the real LOVE of GOD! "If you see your brother has a need, and you refuse to mercifully HELP him, how can the Love of God be in you?" (1John 3:17)
It's all really judged by your MOTIVES, by your HEART. God now only judges us according to whether we have His LOVE, or SELFISHNESS and lack of His Love. But if you know you're acting in HIS LOVE, then you can go ahead by FAITH according to God's Own Word and you don't need anything else! If it is in HIS LOVE, it is LAWFUL as far as GOD is concerned.
However, the Scripture also warns us, "Whatever is NOT of FAITH is SIN!" (Romans 14:23)--If you THINK something is a sin or you BELIEVE it is unlawful, then to YOU it IS a sin and unlawful!--An awful lot has to do with your own spiritual and mental at titude and how much FAITH you have. "Do you have FAITH? Have it to yourself before God. HAPPY is he who does not condemn himself in the things which he allows." (Romans 14:22)
Of course, a lot of people don't have faith for certain things because they don't WANT to have faith for them. And people who are weak in FAITH are usually weak in their knowledge of God's WORD, because "faith COMES by hearing the Word of God!" (Romans 10:17)
So if you WANT to believe and receive the truth and freedom that GOD'S LAW OF LOVE gives, just read back over the many Scriptures presented in this little lesson and pray and ask the Lord, "OPEN my eyes, that I may behold WONDERFUL things out of Thy Word!" (Psalm 119:18)--His WORD will GIVE you FAITH!
However, you'll find when reading through the New Testament, that even Paul and some of the Apostles still had a few old legalistic hangovers. As you can see by some of Paul's writings, because of his love for the Jews--which led to his final compromise with them and his death (Acts 21)--he wrote a lot of things simply trying to keep his new converts out of trouble.--To solve a lot of marriage and sexual problems etc., he wrote his advice on what to do and how to do it, which bound them with quite a few PAULINE LAWS, most of which were not very free. In some of his advice on sexual matters, he frankly told them, "This speak I, NOT the Lord." (1Corinthians 7:12)
Of course JESUS, in His life and ministry, was VERY free, and He broke the Mosaic and Jewish traditions time and time again, infuriating the religious leaders so much that they finally KILLED Him for it! But even when you read some of the things that Jesus said to the Pharisees and to the people, you need to remember to WHOM He was talking--JEWS, who were still under the MOSAIC Law.
Jesus was still preaching and living under the Age of Law BEFORE the Age of Grace had actually been fully ushered in by His Own death on the cross for our Salvation. The Bible says that Jesus "CANCELLED the written Law with its regulations, and He took it away, nailing it to His cross" (Colossians 2:14). It was on the Cross, at the very END of His ministry on Earth, that He proclaimed, "It is FINISHED!" (John 19:30)
So although the CHURCH has been bound by some of PAUL'S OWN rules, and mostly their OWN traditions for ages, a prayerful and open-minded study of the Word of God makes it clear that the Lord intended for His children to be FREE under HIS LOVE and grace. And just like the EARLY CHURCH and the dawning of the CHRISTIAN ERA totally outdated, outmoded and overthrew the legalism and bondage of the MOSAIC ERA, so WE TODAY are having to cast away all of the old legalistic traditions, conventions and holier-than-thou, hypocritical, self-righteous ness of much of the traditional church system of today!
Therefore we have broken with the churches' false traditions about God and misconceptions of morality! We have turned completely around and are no longer going THEIR way, but GOD'S way, and we are FREE to enjoy to the FULL the beauties and wonders of His Own Creation with all of its pleasures, which He Himself created for our enjoyment! Jesus said, "If you continue in My WORD, you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE!" (John 8:31-32)
Through Jesus and His Salvation and the freedom of His Spirit, by the grace of God, we have regained the LIBERTY and the FREEDOM of the GARDEN OF EDEN!--And that's the only way that ANYONE can possibly regain the original God-given freedom and the liberty that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden with SEX and CHILDREN WITHOUT Man's laws!--The total freedom of Eden from guilt and bondage to the Law is to find GOD and to be led of HIS SPIRIT and to know the TRUTH of His WORD!
So as you can see, many CHURCH laws and some of MAN'S laws are CONTRADICTORY to GOD'S LAW OF LOVE and FREEDOM! So we must try to keep the laws of the lands in which we live as much as possible. As Paul says, "Obey the Power" or the Government, and try to "Live in peace with all men, as much as possible", and "try not to offend thy brother" (Romans 12:18; Proverbs 18:19; 1Corinthians 10:32) with actions which are LAWFUL to YOU, but may cause him to stumble because they SEEM unlawful to HIM. (Romans 14:15,21; 1Corinthians 8:9,13)
Have YOU accepted GOD'S LOVE in JESUS Christ as your own personal SAVIOUR? Do you have the Spirit of God's Love living in YOUR heart? Do you LOVE the Lord and others as much as you do yourself? Do YOU do unto others as you would have them do unto you?--If so, you are FREE from the old dead Mosaic Laws! Now all you must do is keep JESUS' Law of LOVE! But as we pointed out, it is GREATER and much STRICTER than even the old Mosaic Law, because now EVERYTHING you do must be done in HIS LOVE!--You must have MORE # #MERCY and LOVE than the Mosaic Law! (Matthew 9:10-13)
But if you do NOT receive JESUS and HIS LOVE in your heart, you are STILL under the old MOSAIC Law and guilty of all its infractions!--And will be judged by the same! If you have REJECTED Jesus' Love, you are guilty of breaking ALL the old Mosaic Laws and will be judged accordingly! They are NOT passed away for YOU! (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10; 5:1-4)
So why not accept JESUS and His Law of LOVE and live FREE!--Otherwise you are BOUND and DEAD and DAMNED by the LAW OF MOSES! "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve!" (Joshua 24:15)--MOSES' DEAD LAW?--Or Jesus' LIVING LOVE! As for ME and MY house, we will serve the Lord JESUS CHRIST and His living LAW OF LOVE!--How about YOU?