Monday, November 16, 2009

"Keeping the Law?"

“And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled, For this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.” (2 Nephi 25:24-25)
Compare that to: “For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” (Galatians 6:13 (ESV)
I mean this is quite unbelievable. Nowhere in scripture do you actually find the people “keeping” the law. Now one might argue that the Israelites believed in the Gospel even before Christ came, and that it was faith in that gospel that saved them, even though they tried to follow the law God had given through Moses. The Old Testament is filled through and through with the Gospel, yet there is also the law. Much of this law, by the way, had to do with temple worship, which required one to worship at THE Temple in Jerusalem. This was something quite hard for the Jews to do during the exile, and a complete impossibility for the Nephites had they ever existed. So for Nephi to boast that the keep the law is nothing but ridiculous. It is as ridiculous as the statement that “we keep the law because of the commandments.” The Bible is known for a bit of redundancy, but this takes the cake. “We keep the law because of the commandments.” Really, I thought the commandments were the law. This is just saying we keep the law because of the law.
On the other hand Christians who live by faith, and are justified by faith apart from works of the law, retain the law out of love for their neighbor. Realizing that the law will never justify them, sanctify them, or give them life, and that they are wholly incapable of actually keeping it, Christians in love for their neighbor allow the law to inform their love. They “keep” the law you might say, not for the commandments, but out of true and genuine love for their neighbor.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

There could be wider chasm than the Mormon understanding and the Christian's understanding of the law and why we "keep it".

"O you foolish Mormons", Paul could have written.

In actuality, he did.