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Thread: Questions about Galatians

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    He explicitly says, "if there be any other commandment," then it is summarized by the phrase, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Hence, he doesn't have to list all the commandments. The point is that all the non-ceremonial laws are something that Jesus wants us to follow because they all fall under the category of love for neighbor. In Hebrews 9, it specifically describes the obsolete laws as being matters of food and drink, washings, etc. The moral laws are part of the law of Christ.
    I am just responding for completeness' sake.
    Paul seems to say in Rom 13:9 that if they want to say "shouldn't we adhere to this or that commandment" , his response is that "anything that is needed is just covered by 'love your neighbor as yourself.' Paul goes to great extents not to encumber people with Jewish Covenantal laws.


    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    1 Corinthians 9:21
    [T]o them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.


    James 2:12
    So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
    These verses just emphasize that we are freed from Jewish laws to live under the law of liberty (an obligation to love one another without having the Jewish laws) . This law of liberty and law of Christ are to love one another. These don't speak of any reinstatement of the OT Jewish laws into the New.

  2. #12
    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    So stealing constituted a lack of love before, but now it's up to us to decide whether stealing is loving? Is that what you are saying?

  3. #13
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I am just responding for completeness' sake.
    Paul seems to say in Rom 13:9 that if they want to say "shouldn't we adhere to this or that commandment" , his response is that "anything that is needed is just covered by 'love your neighbor as yourself.' Paul goes to great extents not to encumber people with Jewish Covenantal laws.



    These verses just emphasize that we are freed from Jewish laws to live under the law of liberty (an obligation to love one another without having the Jewish laws) . This law of liberty and law of Christ are to love one another. These don't speak of any reinstatement of the OT Jewish laws into the New.
    True enough. The old law was made obsolete - but there is a new law which has its own provisions. It is like moving from (say) America to Canada. Murder and such are violations of the law in both, but definitions and penalties aren't quite the same.
    In Biblical terms, the old law permitted divorce at will - the new law doesn't. The old law had a definition for murder which is not the same as the definition for murder under the new law. etc and so forth.
    The Old Law, having been fulfilled, no longer is in force.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    So stealing constituted a lack of love before, but now it's up to us to decide whether stealing is loving? Is that what you are saying?
    If you are stealing from your neighbor, you are a bit messed up from a Christian standpoint. But does it take a Jewish written law to reveal hat to you?

    If you learn from the scripture something new, like it is wrong to steal, that is okay. But that doesn't make you obligated to the Mosaic Law. I'm just addressing the apparent use of the Decalogue in Romans 13 -- not trying to excuse misbehavior.

  5. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    True enough. The old law was made obsolete - but there is a new law which has its own provisions. It is like moving from (say) America to Canada. Murder and such are violations of the law in both, but definitions and penalties aren't quite the same.
    In Biblical terms, the old law permitted divorce at will - the new law doesn't. The old law had a definition for murder which is not the same as the definition for murder under the new law. etc and so forth.
    The Old Law, having been fulfilled, no longer is in force.
    Discussion of ideas of the Law of Liberty or Law of Christ (both the same thing, it seems) would require a different thread. Your example seems to come from Matt 5-7. This discussion also has been heading to the point where it would require examination what people's concept of law is. Are Christians wanting to be under a written code which results in the loss of justification before God or are they wanting just a guide into the best way to live?

  7. #16
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    If you are stealing from your neighbor, you are a bit messed up from a Christian standpoint. But does it take a Jewish written law to reveal hat to you?

    If you learn from the scripture something new, like it is wrong to steal, that is okay. But that doesn't make you obligated to the Mosaic Law. I'm just addressing the apparent use of the Decalogue in Romans 13 -- not trying to excuse misbehavior.
    Actual, not apparent. There's a story about one Hillel (1st Century BC)

    when asked by a prospective convert to Judaism to teach him the whole while he stood on one leg, replied: “That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah, The rest is commentary. Go forth and study.”


    Romans is showing that even the Old Testament had what we would call "the spirit of the law" which extended beyond "the letter of the law, and therefore remains useful for teaching and training in righteousness. Relevant points bolded.

    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  8. #17
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    Actual, not apparent
    I used an ambiguous sense of 'use.' It would have been better to speak of Paul's apparent purpose for referring to the Decalogue. His approach seems to be that of mentioning many commandments in order to say that all you really have to focus on is "lover your neighbor as yourself." To interpret the purpose differently, we would have to suggest that Paul had used unrelated commandments for the purpose of promoting the paying of tribute/taxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    Romans is showing that even the Old Testament had what we would call "the spirit of the law" which extended beyond "the letter of the law, and therefore remains useful for teaching and training in righteousness. Relevant points bolded.

    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
    The problem I see with such summary of Rom 13:9-10 is that Paul was essentially doing all he could do to tell people to behave -- yet at the same time he was pretty much avoiding anything that might tempt them to follow Jewish laws. Paul was fine with the gentiles doing the summarized purpose of the law but he was careful not to have them become beholden to the letter of the law. Maybe we have agreement on this.

    The problem with the Jewish laws was that the people became focused on fine detailed legal points (either to obey them or to avoid obeying requirements --while still feeling justified) rather than on simple obedience toward God. It seems that Paul wished to avoid triggering this behavior among gentiles.
    Last edited by mikewhitney; 06-28-2017 at 01:14 PM.

  9. Amen tabibito amen'd this post.
  10. #18
    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney
    If you are stealing from your neighbor, you are a bit messed up from a Christian standpoint. But does it take a Jewish written law to reveal hat to you?

    If you learn from the scripture something new, like it is wrong to steal, that is okay. But that doesn't make you obligated to the Mosaic Law. I'm just addressing the apparent use of the Decalogue in Romans 13 -- not trying to excuse misbehavior.
    Wrong. We know that it was unloving back then, so we know it is unloving now. Stop being so wishy-washy.

  11. #19
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    Wrong. We know that it was unloving back then, so we know it is unloving now. Stop being so wishy-washy.
    sorry. i don't understand what you are saying. Like I had posted earlier, we may not be on the same track as to the meaning of the Jewish law in a Christian context. Are you saying that God is deciding whether you are justified before him based on whether you follow the Jewish laws? Maybe you are saying that the Jewish laws merely provide a guideline how we should act. If you are Lutheran you may simply be saying that the Mosaic Law simply reminds us of our sin and the need to rely on God's grace.

  12. #20
    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney
    Are you saying that God is deciding whether you are justified before him based on whether you follow the Jewish laws?
    Except for the instance of Jesus, God has never decided that people are justified on the basis of following the Jewish laws.

    Maybe you are saying that the Jewish laws merely provide a guideline how we should act.
    The moral laws, yes.

    If you are Lutheran you may simply be saying that the Mosaic Law simply reminds us of our sin and the need to rely on God's grace.
    The moral laws, yes.

    If God had the command "Love your neighbor" in the OT, and then he expounded numerous different ways that your neighbor should be loved, and then the apostles (after the crucifixion) explicitly repeat the command to "Love your neighbor" in the NT, then clearly all the moral laws are still in force for how we should behave. Further, Jesus often judges his own people with temporal judgments based on whether they are following said laws. That is what James 2, which I quoted above, is talking about.

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