ALERT: Eyes fixed/Ears opened!

My response to a conversation held elsewhere (Might as well face it you’re addicted to Law):

Thank you for the response…I truly appreciate the concern with the imperatives, and trust that you understand that NT imperatives are not the OT Law. For, we have died to the Law and are married to another, Christ, that we might might bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Rom 7:4) who brings us along in the way of Christ — not back to the external code (Rom 7:6) — in order that the *righteous requirement* of the Law might be fulfilled in us, again, by the Spirit (Rom 8:4).

Indeed, what I’ve said “sounds spiritual” because it is biblical, Christian. Our focus is solely upon Christ (The Indicative) and such focus is the sole means whereby the Holy Spirit produces fruit (the imperatives). With eyes fixed upon Jesus our ears are opened to the calling of the Holy Spirit, who works in us the works of God.

We are called to rest upon Christ who is our Rest. To behold and live. This is the way of the New Covenant, which is Christ himself, our Covenant (Isaiah 42:649:82Cor 3:1-18).

The NC imperatives are altogether Christological, not Law, no less commands but more than mere commands. They depict for us the likeness of Christ, both for and in us. They define what the Spirit of Christ is doing in us who believe this is how God works.

2Cor 4:6-7 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

We are not missing the call to action, but grasp the New Covenant cause of action…the effectual and finished work of Jesus Christ. Imperatives that become unhinged from this Gospel-context end up as Law-like things doing what the Law does best (Rom 7.7-25)…inciting the Flesh to do works that have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power (2Tim 3:5).

The Spirit of God has been given us, not as a spirit of fear (as to how well we are performing), but as the Spirit of power and love and self-control (2Tim 1:7). This is how the Gospel has come to those who hear it rightly, not only as a word, but as an effectual work of God that will cause us to delight in loving God and neighbor (1Thes 1:5). Against such, there is no external code in force (Gal 5:23), but the Rule of the Spirit inwardly (Ezek. 36:25-27).

Beholding is becoming.

Advertisements

IMPERATIVES: Descriptive of Christ for/in Us

As for the imperatives of the New Covenant being imperatives in the life of the Believer, I get that…BUT…theologically, they are first and foremost and forever descriptive of Christ himself and the life of the Holy Spirit in us.  In others words, they aren’t external codes that I merely strive to live by in order to become more Christ-like, but an internal reality of the Spirit’s presence, manifest in a measure He’s pleased to grant (30, 60 or 100 fold).

RESOLUTION: Yours or His?

Is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about your resolution: the act of determining to do better?  Or, is the essence of your take-on-Scripture that it is about God’s resolution: His sharpening our eyes to His both determining and fulfilling all things in Christ?

It could easily be the former and that would be quite natural, in keeping with the Flesh.  As for the latter, this would be in keeping with the Spirit, in accord with the Gospel, the New Covenant.

The Spirit gives and interprets His word, so that we might understand how God has resolved to deal with our sin and open our eyes to see,  increasingly with higher resolution, His righteousness in the face of Christ in all of Scripture.  Christ as both the Promise and Fulfillment of all Scripture!

The Spirit’s single means to opening our eyes, giving us the high-def resolution, is all of Scripture being read through the lens of the New Covenant (the Gospel).  If we miss this means, that, the Spirit gives in-sight by/thru the New Covenant, which is Jesus himself (Isa.42.6; 49.8; Mt.26.28; Lk.22.20; 1Cor.11.25; Heb.13.20; ), we miss the Big Picture made up of the many pixels.  We end up missing the Picture for the pixels.  We end up with the low-def resolution, seeing things as if they were essentially about our “being resolved” (a pixel).

QUESTION: Eternal Law?

In response to a question from a friend at church, about the notion of an Eternal Law and Romans 5 & 7:

Personally, I don’t believe Paul’s (pre-Christian) existence was ever apart from the Mosaic Law. As was Jesus, so too Paul was “born under the law”…all Jews were. (Consider Gal.4:4; Phil.3:5) Gentiles, though not having been born under the Law, per se, were born under the condemnation of Adam’s law-transgression. So they all, Gentiles and Jews are born condemned by the transgression of another. More about this below.

As for the “eternality” of law…we know that the Mosaic Law wasn’t eternal, in that it was set in place over Israel 50 days after the Passover and not before. As for the Law of Christ…it (the Rule of the Spirit) was given 50 days after his becoming the Passover, at Pentecost. At Pentecost, the Lord held forth his Scepter, Rule, in the sense that he sent forth his Spirit to now indwell (rule-within) his people. This new law, Holy Spirit Indwelling, operates antithetically to the Old Law, Mosaic.

The Mosaic Law-Precept: which provokes the Flesh unto Sin – being merely external demand of righteousness. (note: all external laws have this same impact on believer and unbeliever)

The Messianic Law-Spirit: who promotes a faith unto righteousness – being an internal creator of righteousness.

(Consider 2Cor.3:3)

I follow the reasoning…God is eternal…therefore…his law is eternal. It seems a rational inference, but I’m not sure it is a biblical one. Rather, I think Paul would have us to see the Mosaic Law typologically…being a shadowy reflection of that righteousness which is revealed in the person Jesus Christ. (Consider Rom.3:21-22)

Now, Israel was once without the Law…pre-Exodus captivity in Egypt. Once the Law came…they sinned instantly. (Consider Ex.32:4) Note: in Ex.19:7-8 the people had already begun to receive the Law, though it was yet (Ex.20ff) to be engraved in stone. It was the actual giving of the Law in Ex.19 that provoked Israel to idolatry, golden calf. (Consider Rom.5:20; Gal.3:19)

Those who lived prior to this covenant law giving, are those who lived from Adam to Moses. They lived under the death-reign earned by Adam because of his one transgression, though their individual sins were not counted as command transgressions as was Adam’s, who was like the One to come, Christ. We believe then that Adam and Christ both function as representative heads under two particular commands. How each succeeded under his respective command determined the fate of all those whom they represented, even though those represented did not themselves transgress or uphold the particular command. (Consider Rom.5:14-19)

The Law was given then (Rom.5:20) to increase the trespass of Adam, confirming that all men are condemned in Adam, apart from Christ. Israel then typified Adam as Adam prefigured Christ. Israel was created under a command context like the one Adam was created under, and hereby God illustrates in one people (Israel) the nature and effect of Adam’s one transgression, thus setting up a command context in which the Messiah would fulfill all righteousness, thereby winning salvation and bearing our sin.

Code or Christ?

Another helpful article by John Dunn:  Puritan Experientialism

John provides some insight into the legal focus of Subjectivism practiced by Puritanism and its heirs.

Our attention is drawn to the realities of the Gospel…and not the Law…as the sufficient and effective revelation of God’s righteousness.  Fact is, that Christ himself is the incarnate revelation of God’s righteousness.  Righteousness is a Person.  Righteousness is not a precept, though the former precept bore witness to the Person of Righteousness.  This Person not only fulfilled all righteousness, but is the Fullness of Righteousness.  He is the Standard, not merely as code-keeper and code-enforcer, but in and of Himself.  This King is personally the Rule(r).

Seeking a ‘standard’ (code) of righteousness to keep us in line with God or a misinformed conscience, is not the way of Christ for us.  Rather, Christ himself indwells us by the Holy Spirit, as our Ruler, not merely informing us in precept, but calling us to faith that He is Righteousness in us.

These things are the Apostle Paul’s refrain:

Rom 3:21-22
(21) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–
(22) the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Rom 1:16-17
(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
(17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Rom 10:3-4
(3) For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
(4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
 

This is the Rule of Faith in which we must persevere, hold fast to…Christ is righteousness ‘for us’ and ‘in us’!!!

FAITH: Thru the Spirit by Faith

God’s ways work God’s way:

Spirit of God is received by hearing with faith (Gal.3.2);

Spirit of God is supplied by hearing with faith (Gal.3.5);

Spirit of God is received by faith (Gal.3.14);

through the Spirit of God, by faith, we remain focused upon Christ (Gal.5.5);

in this way God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (Gal.4.6);

and it is by this very Spirit we will be made to walk (Gal.5.16),

bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5.22).

So then, by faith, we both live by and walk by the Spirit (Gal.5.25).

Or, as Paul says elsewhere, it is by faith in Christ that the righteous shall live (Gal.3.11).

Having begun (justification) in the Spirit, we continue (sanctification) in the Spirit, and finish (glorification) in the Spirit (Gal.3.3).

Whereas, the Law (striving by/under it) isn’t of faith (Gal.3.12)!!!