Christian Churches of God
Love and the Structure of the Law
(Edition 1.1 19970830-19990610)
The Love of God and the Love of Neighbour become the basis for all the substructure of the law that subtends from the two and the ten. On the two great commandments hang all of the law and the prophets.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1997, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary Ed. By Wade Cox)
This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
Love and the Structure of the Law
The text in 1John 4:7-21 develops the theme that God is love, so also the law of God is love.
The two elements of the faith are knowledge of God and knowledge of His will. This will is an extension of God as His divine nature is His system of law-order. This law is the law of Eloah (Ezra 7:14). He is the one true God (Jn. 17:3) who is entirely singular. He was the object of worship and sacrifice at His Temple where He had caused His name to dwell (Ezra 6:8-10,12).
God is righteous (Ezra 9:15), perfect (Mat. 5:48), holy (Lev. 19:2), good (Ps. 34:8), truth (Deut. 32:4). God’s law is righteous (Ps. 119:172), perfect (Ps. 19:7), holy (Rom. 7:12), good (Rom. 7:12), truth (Ps. 119:142). God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6). This text is linked to the tithes, because tithing is a sign of the return to God.
Keeping the commandments of God is essential to the knowledge and love of God (1Jn. 2:3-4; 3:22; 5:3); of Christ (Jn. 14:15,21); and for the receipt and retention of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:21; 1Jn. 3:24; Acts 5:32). Breaking the commandments or the teaching of their breach or relaxation was prohibited by Christ (Mat. 5:19). The world is punished for not keeping the law (Ps. 55:19 RSV).
The entire structure of the law and the prophets depends on the First (Deut. 6:5 RSV) and Second (Lev. 19:18) Great Commandments. From the Two come the ten commandments and on to the other substructures (cf. the papers The Law of God (No. L1) and the Law Series (Nos. 252-263)).
The first Great Commandment is reflected in and explained in the first four commandments. (Exo. 20 and Deut. 5). These four have subtended from them a number of aspects of the law, which gives meaning to their application. Christ said, not one jot or tittle will pass from the law until all is accomplished (Mat. 5:17-20). It thus stands for all physical time. The modern Christian arguments against the law are false. See also the paper Blue Ribbons (No. 273).
The ten are dependent upon the first commandment and the first subtends from the first Great Commandment. The first element of the first commandment is interlinked to all else.
There is only one law, one order and one truth (see the paper Truth (No. 168)) and all else must fail. Thus, a change in law involves a change in the nature of God and God has said He does not change (Mal. 3:6). Therefore, His law does not change nor, mercifully, do His promises.
We are to fear God, walk in all His ways, love Him, serve Him and keep His commandments and statutes for our own good. The love of God is also reflected in our relationships with each other in worship and in our daily lives. Worship in an unknown tongue (1Cor. 14) is thus a violation of the first commandment.
Eternal life is a knowledge of the one True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn. 17:3). Christ said that the Father was the only True God from the text at John 5:44. Christ states clearly that no man has heard the voice of God at any time (Jn. 5:37).
The promise made to the descendants of Abraham was through the concept of faith. God is love and the liberty inherent in the law makes us justified by faith and bound to God in the Holy Spirit. So the promise given to Abraham is inherited in the elect by faith (Rom. 4:13-25).
We are not saved by our own deeds (see Rom. 5:1-21). Because we are justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our hope is in sharing eternal life in the glory of God (Jn. 17:3,5,24).
We learn endurance by the things we suffer as did Christ. We are not disappointed in our hope because God’s love is poured out in us through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:6-11).
Sin entered the world with disobedience from Adam. It spread to all men because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12-14). Sin is not counted where there is no law. There was sin in the world so the law must have existed at the creation (Rom. 5:15-17).
The salvation of Christ through the gift and the grace of God enabled us to achieve a higher relationship with the Father in the perfect law of liberty. So, by obedience came salvation and, through grace, that gift of salvation was extended to all so that we might live to the glory of God (Rom. 5:18-21).
Christ was raised as a son of God in power from his resurrection from the dead and by no power of his own. Christ died to sin once for all. The life he lives he lives to God. So too, we live to God being dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. The love of God is now in us through His grace and we are able to be obedient unto death as we are no longer under the bondage of sin (Rom. 6:5-11).
We are obedient to God as slaves of God, which leads to righteousness. If we sin, we are slaves of the flesh and of sin and subject to death (Rom. 6:15-19). We have been set free from sin and given the gift of eternal life. That gift flows from the knowledge of God and His son Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:20-23).
We are now dead to the law so that we serve not under the old written code but under the spirit of the law (Rom. 7:4-6). Through the law, we understand sin. Without God’s love sin overcomes the capacity of the individual to obey the law. The law is not the problem. It is the weakness of the individual who cannot overcome sin without the power of the Holy Spirit.
The laws of the Temple and the sacrifice were fulfilled once and for all in Christ Jesus. The laws of the worship of God are not so fulfilled. To set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. We are not in the flesh; we are in the spirit (Rom. 8:6-9).
The antinomians say the law was nailed to the cross from Colossians 2:14. But what was nailed to the cross was the cheirographon or the bill of indebtedness that came from our transgressions. It was not the law of God itself, which was holy, righteous and good.
Through the power of the Spirit of God, both God and Christ live within us and God becomes all in all (Eph. 4:6).
From the laws of God relating to His worship and obedience, we regulate the calendar and our daily lives from the first second, third and fourth commandments. Our environment is regulated also by our food consumed under His law and by His authority under these laws.
In order to understand the substructure of the law and the way in which the society is regulated, a careful exposition is done of the entire structure of the law over the Sabbath year commencing with the first month (Abib/Nisan) of the sacred year.
The reading of the law was the most important task undertaken by the priests in the Sabbath year of the Jubilee system. These years occurred every seven years in the cycle. At Atonement in the forty-ninth year, the Jubilee was blown and lasted until the following Atonement of the fiftieth year when the entire restoration of the new system was effected and commenced anew for the harvest of the first year of the new Jubilee.
We are given control of the planet in the millennial system so that we might show the fallen Host how it should have been done according to the will of God our Father (cf. Rev. 20:4-6). God’s Spirit will be made available to mankind under the supervision of Christ and the Church. All will be accomplished only when God rules from the earth in the City of God, in all of us, as God (see the paper The City of God (No. 180)).