Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Law of Christ: A Quick Note

"Law" - the very word seems so antagonistic to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the minds of some people. The idea that there could be "laws" of the Gospel that need to be obeyed is said to be a denial of what Jesus Christ did. In my opinion, this misunderstanding is largely fueled by a focus on Paul's writings in which the term "law" is usually shorthand for "Law of Moses," not an attack on the concept of laws and commandments per se. The law - meaning the Law of Moses - has been done away. But there is still a law of Christ, or a law of the Gospel, which followers of Jesus Christ are asked to follow.

If the concept of a "law of Christ" is anathema to what some of our critics call "historic Christianity," then I guess Paul himself would have to be among the pre-historic Christians, for In Galatians 6:2 he admonishes us to "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." In fact, Paul spends a good deal of time telling Christians what they need to do, what sins they need to avoid, and how they need to obey, in order to better follow Christ and to avoid falling away from the grace that the Gospel offers. Yes, there is a law of Christ, and the word "obey" is still part of Christianity. Those who wish to follow Jesus Christ will seek to repent of their sin, be baptized in His name, and strive to obey His teachings and, yes, His law, relying on His merits and grace to be saved. We access that grace by entering into a covenant relationship with Him and seeking to follow Him.

6 comments:

Teancum said...

I sometimes wonder if this misuderstanding between the Law of Moses and Law of Christ stems from the trend in mainstream Christianity to ignore the teachings of the Old Testament. It would be hard to understand Paul's teachings against salvation coming by the Law Moses if one does not understand that Law.

Also, I feel that many protestant preachers and teachers have failed to educate their congregations on the context in which Paul gives their "saved by Grace, not by works" scriptures. It's easier to bend his words to fit their theology than teach the true meaning of his words. It is true that Paul was an advocate of salvation by the Grace of Christ, but he also gave lectures on faith, called people to repentance, baptized, and gave the Gift of the Holy Ghost to others.

Anonymous said...

And precisely is this law? Do protestant preachers really say that we are saved by grace----therefore anything goes?

Why do LDS "administrators" miss the point of preaching, and miss the point of loving?

Walker said...

When they do, it's unfortunate. However, MANY do not miss the point of love. I obviously cannot not speak for everybody, but (nearly) every "administrator" I have personally dealt with seemed to have a lion's share of love. As with many things (such as racism, homophobia, etc.), let's not allow the exception to govern the rule.

As Elder Maxwell noted, absolute truth requires absolute love and absolute patience.

Bishop Rick said...

"As Elder Maxwell noted, absolute truth requires absolute love and absolute patience."

What does that mean?

Bishop Rick said...

Jeff,

What is the "Law of Christ"?

Walker said...

If we ever think that truth gives us a "competitive edge," amen to the truth of that man! Furthermore, believing in an institution that houses the truth does not require CEO-cut-throat culture.

The Church ought to be the paragon of institutionalized love. If we want excellent "administrators," we should just call up one of the hot shot members at Goldman Sachs and hire them to be the bishop.

However, that was not the way of the carpenter.