The Law of Christ

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Q. Ga 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. What is the law of Christ? I thought we live under grace, not law.

A. We are indeed not under law but under grace:
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!), but that does not mean the law is abolished:
Mt 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

The term the “law of Christ” occurs twice in the Bible:
1 Co 9:21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
• Ga 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

However, neither of these passages specify exactly what the law of Christ is.

Some have looked at the commands of Christ in the gospels and considered them as the laws of Christ e.g.
• Institute of Basic Life Principles http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ
• Into the Word http://www.discipleshiptools.org/apps/articles/?articleid=36885&columnid=4189
While interesting, these are the determinations of human authors, not Scripture.

Others looked at what Jesus considered as the heart of God’s commandments & called that the law of Christ:
Mt 22:37-40 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
• Mk 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Since:
• bearing one another’s burden i.e. loving your neighbor, fulfill the law of Christ, &
• the whole Law & the Prophets depend on these 2 commandments,
I believe Paul meant these two rather than a list of 49 or 50 of His commands as the law of Christ. But that’s my opinion, not Scripture.

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Eating Blood (1 of 2)

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Q. I like my steak rare. I also enjoy “pig red” (pig’s blood) congee. But Gen 9:4 says “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” So can Christians eat blood?

A. There are opposing views. On the one hand, some claim there are no problems because:
Mk 7:19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
• Acts 10:15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”
• Rom 14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
• Rom 14:20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.
• Col 2:16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day

According to them, blood is clean, and Christians are not bound by OT laws, but live under grace. So they can eat it if they want to. It is not a sin.

On the other hand, some oppose because:
Lev 17:14 “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’
• Deut 12:23 Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
• Acts 15:20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
• Acts 15:29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
• Acts 21:25 But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”

Both cite Scripture. Who is correct? While I believe we live under grace and not law, my position is in between. And I am not being wishy-washy. Here’s why:

(To be continued)