After reading an article recently I realized something, right now, the Global Christian Church (including Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and all other people calling themselves Christians) are operating under a Biblical Republic. Meaning, like the United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy as you have been led to believe, we operate within the constraints of God’s Word. We may choose leaders for our churches, we have pastors, elders, teachers, and other church officials, but ultimately the Bible is our document of truth. This leads me to the next comparison. What is the Constitution? It is our foundation, our law of the land. No matter what the people of this country believe at anytime we cannot make void the Constitution nor can we be ordered to disobey it. That very action would change our country and we would no longer be the United States of America, we would be something entirely different. The same goes with the Bible; as Christians we cannot make void the Bible nor can we be ordered or taught to disobey its teachings. This very action would make us something other than Christians. In a sense, we would be Anti-Christians.
Many teach that we do not need to obey the law established by God when He wrote the 10 Commandments with His very finger. God wrote it, not man, not Moses… GOD DID IT. When you teach or believe that we do not need the law you are displaying lawlessness. Lawlessness is the transgression of the Law of God. Transgression of the Law of God is sin. Don’t believe me? Look at the New Testament verse that was written after Christ ascended into Heaven. That verse is 1 John 3:4 and it says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” That is from the King James Version. What about other translations? English Standard Version: “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” New International Version: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” Need another? How about from the Interlinear which has the direct Greek translation: “Everyone who practices sin also lawlessness practices.”
I find it interesting that people say that God is love and that we don’t have to follow the law, or that we are free from the law because love does not equal law. I find that interesting because Jesus, our Lord and Savior, says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (KJV) Do I need to do the multiple translations? How about just the Greek: “If you love me commandments my keep.”
So, do you still think we do not have law as Christians? What about that verse in Colossians where Paul says it was all nailed to the cross? This is probably the most used verse in saying that we do not have to follow the 10 Commandments; even though there are more verses saying otherwise they choose to build a doctrine off of one verse. Let’s look at that now.
The verse in question is Colossians 2:14, it says, “by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (ESV) People say, “SEE! Jesus canceled the record of debt that stood against us with those legal demands! Legal that means the Law!” (LOL) (that is not a translation that is me laughing out loud)) To use just this one verse, out of context, is comical. Allow us to look at it in context of the verses that came before.
Colossians 2:8-15 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
This section starts with Paul telling us that we should NOT bow to philosophy and deceit according to human tradition. In other words, do not allow yourselves to be swayed by what man says, but what Christ, the Logos, says. We already covered what Christ said in John 14:15. Next we will focus on the words, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh…” What are the trespasses he is talking about? A trespass of the law, as we already covered that is sin. Then let’s look at the next part of the sentence, “…God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.” So we move into the main verse we are talking about. First, God made us, you and I, alive together with him by forgiving us of our sins. Next, how did he do this? By canceling the record of debt that stood against us, that being, this is also known as Justification. Justification is the canceling of the record of debt, forgiveness of sin, giving us a way to be righteous in his sight, really declaring us righteous. That is how we are saved. Now, what about the legal demands? This is alluded to in the next sentence in the ESV. It says, “This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Okay, so we have legal demands nailed to the cross for forgiveness of sins. What were the legal demands under the Law of Moses that hung over the head of all who needed redemption from sin? That is the sacrificial system and that sacrificial system is what was eliminated by the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. Jesus was the final sacrifice. “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” He took away the power of the religious authority and rulers of those days that said forgiveness of sins came through the sacrifice or actions.
Now, do you still think he was talking about the 10 Commandments? A matter of fact everything in the Bible supports obeying God in love. Anything less is lawlessness. To think that God has no laws is ridiculous. God has laws for everything. Without God’s implemented laws our very Universe could not exist because the very laws of the universe keeps our planet in orbit, it keeps the sun shining, the stars and constellations in their place, and keeps us on the earth instead of floating off into space.
One last verse, 1 John 2:3-6 says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (NIV)
Going back to the first example, “The Biblical Republic”, I will say this in my conclusion. Today in our country we think that because we have a majority of people that want to do some that it should be done. We believe that we are a democracy. We are not a democracy; we only use an aspect of democracy in that we elect officials in a democratic way. The ways of the world are inching into our church and the church is starting to apply the philosophy of man instead of the Word of God. Just as we need to realize in our country that we have laws and rules that are established by the Constitution of the United States of America and those are not up for discussion we need to realize that as a church we have laws and rules that are established in the Word of God and those are not up for discussion. We maybe a Biblical Republic now but soon our Lord and Savior will be coming in the clouds and he will establish a Biblical Theocracy and that will be the only kingdom that will truly last forever. Don’t be found lawless when the creator of the law comes to gather us all together.
(Hat tip to Ed Lee)