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The Use of Law in the New Testament
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relationship of the New Testament to the Law of the Old Testament is an important
issue discussed and disputed by the church since the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.
Acts 15:1-2 And certain men came
down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according
to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas
had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas
and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders,
about this question.1
interpretation of the use of the word law in the New Testament is foundational.
This is a question on which learned scholars differ. The present work is an overview
of the various uses of the word law and in particular the phrase law of
as found in the New Testament. It is an introduction to the subject although every
use of the word and every use of the phrase "law of" is included.
word law in the New Testament is the translation of the Greek word nomos
which means "law." Law is generally any working principle that regulates
conduct in life. Such principles can originate from God directly or indirectly by
the nature of the operation of His creation. They also can be devised by mankind
to promote order. Law as found in the New Testament can be used with and
without the definite article. The use of or absence of the article has an effect
on the definition for a particular use. Some attention to this has been given in
defining the law of phrases, but not in the areas where the meanings are
clear or are not disputed.
Reference to the Law of Moses or the Entire Old Testament
word nomos occurs in the New Testament 165 times in 162 different verses
of Scripture. By far the greatest use is a reference to either the Law of Moses
by itself or to the Law of Moses inclusive of the entire Old Testament.2 In each of these instances, the context
generally presents clear indication of this usage and interpretation.
are 17 law of phrases that need to be defined. These comprise the body of
this work. Some simply refer to the Law of Moses while others have unique definitions.
Law of Phrases
of the Lord
defining the unique uses of the "law of" phrases the "Law of the
Lord," its three occurrences in the New Testament define it:
Luke 2:23 (as it is written in the
law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the
Luke 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice
according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or
two young pigeons."
Luke 2:39 So when they had performed
all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their
own city, Nazareth.
quoting from "the Law of the Lord" the Scriptures themselves define it
as one in the same with the Law of Moses. Mary and Joseph fulfilled the requirements
of the Mosaic Law pertaining to the birth of the Christ child.
of the Fathers
phrase occurs one time in Acts 22:3 when the Apostle Paul was taken into protective
captivity by a Roman garrison in Jerusalem. He was permitted to speak to the people
introducing himself and using this phrase as he would give his testimony.
Acts 22:3 "I am indeed a Jew,
born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,
taught according to the strictness of "our fathers' law," and was zealous
toward God as you all are today.
phrase is tou patrwou nomou translated as "our fathers' law" or
"law of the fathers" (KJV). The Apostle Paul is introducing himself as
a highly educated Jew brought up at the feet of Gamaliel in the strict Judaism of
that day. Therefore the "Law of the Fathers" would not only have reference
to the Law of Moses in this context, but also to the traditions of the Pharisees.
A.T. Robertson says of Paul's training:
The rabbis usually sat on a raised
seat with the pupils in a circle around either on lower seats or on the ground.
Paul was thus nourished in Pharisaic Judaism as interpreted by Gamaliel, one of
the lights of Judaism.3
N. Howell, Jr. in his article on "Pauline Thought in the History of Interpretation"
has a section on, "The Jewish Paul." Howell says,
The Apostle Paul called himself a "Hebrew
of Hebrews" and before his conversion a strict Pharisee committed to a Law-based
righteousness (Phil 3:5-6; Acts 23:6; 26:5-6 ). Though a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia,
he claimed to have been "brought up" in Jerusalem and trained in the Law
under Gamaliel, the famous rabbi of the Hillel school (Acts 22:3). Whether this
expression means Paul was raised in Jerusalem from childhood or came there when
he was old enough to begin his training under Gamaliel is uncertain. Either way
he received the formal education of a rabbi, excelled in zealousness for the ancestral
traditions, and later pursued an aggressive campaign to destroy the young Christian
reference to the "Law of the Fathers" probably encompasses more than just
the Mosaic Law. Knowledge from the early days of Saul of Tarsus shows that the "law
of the fathers" also encompasses the Jewish ancestral and Pharisaic traditions
taught him by Gamaliel.
Law of the Jews
phrase comes out of the Apostle Paul's defense before governor Festus in Acts 25.
As he stood before Festus, the Religious Jews from Jerusalem testified to a variety
of serious charges against Paul. However, they could not prove any of them. The
Apostle Paul would answer using this reference to the law.
Acts 25:8 while he answered for
himself, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor
against Caesar have I offended in anything at all."
Apostle Paul's defense was threefold: (1) He had not offended the "law of the
Jews"; (2) He had not offended the temple that probably included the temple
ordinances, traditions, and Pharisaic laws; and (3) He had not offended any of the
laws of the Roman empire against Caesar.
dividing his response into the two divisions directed toward the Jews, Paul's use
of "the law of the Jews" clearly refers to the Law of Moses. However,
there is inscription evidence on both sides, namely, that the phrase may refer to
the Mosaic Law alone or to the whole corpus of Jewish laws. F.F. Bruce used some
inscription evidence in his W.H. Griffith Thomas lectures at Dallas Theological
Seminary in 1983 when he spoke of the conclusions of William Ramsey:
Ramsay thought that evidence for a
specific provision safeguarding Jewish privileges at Apamea was to be found in a
tomb inscription of the third century A.D. directing that no one was to be buried
in the tomb except its owner and his wife. "If any one acts [contrary to this
direction]," the inscription concludes, "he knows the law of the Jews."
Ramsay inferred at one time that "the law of the Jews" here invoked could
not be the Mosaic Law but was a local regulation registered with the city authorities,
protecting the burial privileges of the Jewish community. This is possible; but
two Jewish tomb inscriptions of the mid-third century, from Blaundos and Akmonia,
in west-central Phrygia, threaten the violator with "the curses written in
Deuteronomy" (presumably in Deut 28:15-68), so "the law of the Jews"
in the Apamea inscription could very well be the Mosaic Law.5
context defining the way the phrase should be taken is Paul's defense at Rome when
he called the Jews together and proclaimed "Men and brethren, though I have
done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers . . ." Acts 28:27
(NKJ). The use of the word ethos clearly broadens what was in the mind of Paul during
his defense before the Jews. He is using the phrase "law of the Jews"
to be all inclusive of the Law of Moses and the rest of the traditions of the Jews.
of" Phrases Not Associated with the Law of Moses
here on the "law of" phrases move away from the Law of Moses to define
other aspects of law.
Work of the Law
2:14-15 uses this phrase together with two other uses of the word "law."
Rom 2:14-15 for when Gentiles, who
do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having
the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts
accusing or else excusing them)
in the first of three mentions in Romans 2:14 is clearly a reference to the Law
of Moses. The "work of the Law" written in the heart is not the same as
the spiritual blessing of the new covenant where God's Eternal Laws are to be written
on the heart, nor is it the moral code of the Mosaic law6. It is not "the law," but
"the work of the Law." Sumner Osborne explains:
Some have thought that Romans 2:15
proves that Gentiles were under what they call "the moral law" after all,
for it speaks of "the work of the law written in their hearts." But we
must carefully note that it is not the law that they have written in their hearts,
which would be the same as our blessing under the new covenant (Heb 10:16), but
the work of the law written there. If a Gentile gathered somehow that he ought to
honor his parents, even though he had never heard of the law, this particular work
enjoined by the law would be a law to him and accuse him if he did not.7
John F. Walvoord adds that the "work of the law" is a natural innate understanding
of right and wrong that has come from God.
The passage refers to the Gentiles
as the context clearly shows. It is not the Mosaic law, but the law "written
in their hearts." Paul could hardly be arguing that all Gentiles had the Mosaic
law written in their hearts. It is the revelation which God has given them concerning
right and wrong. Even Gentiles who do not have the Scriptures have some knowledge
of right and wrong. This knowledge is their law, and on it they judge themselves.
The article is used here in the regular use of the article when the noun has modifiers.
In this case law is modified by "written in their hearts." It is clear
then that the word does not refer to the law of Moses.8
Gentiles do not possess the Law of Moses. Therefore, "the work of the law written
in their hearts" is the basic natural and innate knowledge of right and wrong
given by God and learned by observing the creation. Some of the "works"
produced by the Gentiles are similar to the observable results of those practicing
God's revealed Laws. These become "law" to the Gentiles and subject to
3:27 uses both "Law of Works" and "Law of Faith" as a part of
the conclusion to Paul's argument on salvation by faith alone without works.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then?
It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
use is first a general reference to any law. Added to that is the modification of
it being a law that emphasizes either works or faith. Again, Walvoord speaks to
the use of law here:
Nomos is used in the sense of
any recognized principle in operation whether moral, civil, or natural-law in its
broadest sense. It is a comparatively rare use in Romans, but is found a few times.
A good illustration may be found in the two instances in 3:27, "Where is boasting
then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."
In asking the question, "By what law?" Paul uses nomos in its most
"law of works" would be then a recognized principle of operation that
functions by a system of works. An illustration would be employment. One receives
compensation for productive work. Without any productive work there is no compensation.
If the spiritual realm functioned by this principle, supposedly working would be
rewarded by compensation or salvation. However, when it comes to salvation, human
works cannot produce the required perfect righteousness. The works are not acceptable.
Salvation cannot be gained as a result of works.
"law of faith" on the other hand is a recognized principle of operation
that functions by trust, belief, or faith. An illustration would be the paper currency
of the United States. It is the United States medium of exchange. Its value is based
on the full faith of the U.S. government. Because we trust and believe that a U.S.
dollar will buy a dollar's worth of goods, we use this paper currency under the
law of faith. In salvation, we receive God's gift of eternal life by faith or belief
in Jesus Christ, God's Son and Savior.
of the Husband
"law of the husband," found in Romans 7:2, is a narrow use of the Law
of Moses pertaining to marriage.
Rom 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren
(for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as
long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For the woman who has a
husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband
dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
context of this phrase in Romans 7:1 is related "to those who know the law."
The understood meaning of "law" here is the Law of Moses. Those knowing
the Law of Moses would understand know that the "law of the husband" comes
from portions like Genesis 2:24 and Exodus 20:14.
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave
his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Exod 20:14 You shall not commit
the one hand, husband and wife at marriage and consummation become one. On the other,
that oneness is not to be violated. If the husband dies, the wife is free from the
"law of the husband." The "law of the husband" is the marriage
bond in which the wife chooses to become the helpmeet and accept the headship of
her husband denying all others.
phrase, "Law of God" comes out of three references in the book of Romans.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law
of God according to the inward man.
Rom 7:25 I thank God-- through Jesus
Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with
the flesh the law of sin.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind
is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
would be easy to classify "the law of God" as limited to the Law of Moses
in these passages. The phrase as translated in the Old Testament is clearly a reference
to the Law of Moses in the following passages:
24:26 Joshua is writing in the Book of the Law of God
8:8, 18 They read from the Book of the Law of God
10:28 People separated themselves unto the Law of God
in Romans 7:22, 25 and 8:7 there is a more comprehensive meaning. The meaning includes
more than the written letter of the law. The "law of God" here is a reference
to the Eternal Law of God that is in the mind of the Apostle Paul. Dr. Louis Sperry
Chafer sees the phrase "law of God" as all inclusive of (a) The Law of
Moses, (b) The "whole law," and (c) The will of God. In context, Chafer
is explaining of the battle of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7 that is taking place
between the regenerate human will and the sin nature.
Before quoting this Scripture which
reports the Apostle's struggle, it should be noted that there is no erroneous supposition
more universal and misleading than that a Christian can, in his own strength, command
and control the old nature. The Apostle's experience and failure along this line
is given in this Scripture as a warning to all Christians. No mention of the Spirit
appears in this passage. The conflict is not between the indwelling Spirit and the
flesh; it is rather a conflict between the new "I" and the old "I."
The new "I" is the regenerated man who, for the moment, is hypothetically
isolated from the normal relationship to, and dependence on, the Spirit, and is
seen in unaided human strength to be confronting the whole law, or will, of God
(vs. 16), the vitiated flesh (vs. 18), and the impossible demands for a holy life
which are properly expected of every regenerate person (vss. 22, 23, 25). The Apostle
s experience answers the vital question, namely, Can the regenerate man, apart from
dependence on the Spirit, do the will of God, even though he delight in the will
of God (vs. 22)?10
Chafer's use of the "law of God" is as the whole of the will of God
toward man. I would call this use "The eternal Law of God."11 God's laws were in existence prior
to the Law of Moses (Gen. 26:5) and continue after the Law of Moses. The legal foundation
for Christ to "rule with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19:15) in His millennial
reign proceeds from the Eternal Law of God.
tenor of the Apostle Paul's usage of the "law of God" in Romans 7 appears
as Dr. Chafer has inferred: the "law of God" is all that is in Paul's
mind and in the new regenerate nature attuned to God, His Ways, and Will. It is
any right and moral law of God. On the other hand, the law of sin is all that rages
from the sin nature within as it opposes the law of God.
John Walvoord is in total agreement with this definition of "law of God"
in Romans 7 when he says:
As a result of this principle of the
working of the sinful nature in spite of the new nature, Paul has a struggle going
on within himself. He first of all takes delight in the law of God, as stated in
7:22. In this verse, law is without the article and refers to any moral law of God.
. . .
In vs. 25, in the two instances in
the verse, neither have the article. The former is used in the sense of any moral
law of God. The latter is the sphere of domination of sin. The new nature turns
naturally to God s moral standards. The old nature is under the domination of sin.12
Aldrich, founder of Detroit Bible College calls it "the eternal moral law of
God" and says:
Moral law applies in every dispensation.
Both the friends and opponents of Dispensationalism could agree that the eternal
moral law of God applies to every dispensation. By "the eternal moral law of
God" we do not mean the Mosaic law or the Ten Commandments, but the eternal
principles of righteousness which are a reflection of the character of God. God's
standard of holiness has always been nothing less than His own character or glory
(Rom 3:23). Moses did not originate this moral law and it did not cease at the end
of the age of Mosaic law.13
Law of My Mind
7:23 presents another phrase used by the Apostle Paul called the "law of my
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in
my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to
the law of sin which is in my members.
phrase Paul uses, "Another Law," will be defined by him more succinctly
as the "law of sin (and death)" in Romans 7:25 and Romans 8:2. This use
of law will be covered later.
"law of my mind" is the "law of God" transferred to the mind
of the Apostle Paul. Involved is the whole of God's eternal law and will as shown
earlier. The Apostle Paul has had portions of the "law of God" transferred
to his mind as he has grown spiritually and experienced the "renewing of his
mind" (Rom. 12:2). Also Paul has benefited from sharing the spiritual blessings
of the new covenant when the Lord promised, "I will put my law in their minds,
and write it on their hearts" (Jer. 31:33).
S. Dockery, writing for the Grace Theological Journal, notes that the "law
of the mind" and the "law of God" are one in the same, the latter
incorporated into the former. Speaking of Romans 7:22-23 Dockery says,
"Another law" is obviously
a law different from the law of God in v 22 . The other law is waging war with the
law of his mind. It also seems quite normal to understand "law of mind"
to be the same as the "law of God." . . .
It is quite natural to understand "my
mind" to mean "that which my mind acknowledges" and to identify "the
law of my mind" with "the law of God" (v 22 ). When understood in
this manner, vv 22 and 23 depict two laws in opposition to each other.14
takes the "law of the mind" in the same way as he emphasizes the "law
of God" in a "sphere of rule or domination," namely, in the mind
of the Apostle Paul.
. . . in vs. 23, he says "But
I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing
me into the captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." The first
instance of law has no article. It is law in the sense of a principle of operation
as in 7:21. This is the activity of the old nature. It wars against the law of his,
The second instance is with the article.
The article is used to call particular attention to the modifying phrase "of
my mind." It is law in the sense of a sphere of rule or domination. The third
instance in this verse is similar, being also with the article. Sin also has a sphere
of domination which Paul calls the "law of sin." Paul's mind wanted to
do good. He refers to the will of the new nature. The old nature insists also on
domination. It wants to rule.15
Law of Sin
Law of the Spirit
phrase, "law of sin" and the "law of the Spirit are in the same Romans
context of the several other phrases already covered. The "law of sin"
in two verses: Romans 7:25 and Romans 8:2 and the "law of the Spirit of Life
in Romans 8:2. Because the usage of "law" is similar, they are treated
Rom 7:25 I thank God-- through Jesus
Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with
the flesh the law of sin.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit
of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
the "law of sin" and the "law of the Spirit" are to be understood
as Dr. John Walvoord's sixth use of nomos in Romans. He accurately defines
them to be a rule or a sphere of domination.16 The "law of sin" is the
rulership of the sin nature in the life of the unbeliever and the believer. In the
life of the unbeliever sin has the dominion. In the life of the believer, sin takes
dominion as we yield to it and fail to use the provisions of the Lord. The norm
for the believer is to be ruled by the Spirit of Life.
defines these laws as the "rule of sin" and "rule of the Spirit"
when he says,
A sixth use of nomos may be
found in its reference to a sphere of domination or rule. An illustration of this
is found in 8:2. Regardless which view of interpretation is followed in this verse,
it is evident here that it is used in the sense of rule or sphere of domination.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the
law of sin and death." It could be translated just as accurately, "For
the rule of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the rule of
sin and death." Other illustrations of this use may be found in 7:23b, c; and
in the second part of his article on law in Romans comes to the same conclusion
about the phrase, "law of the Spirit of Life" when he says:
The Spirit is evidently the Holy Spirit.
nomos in both instances in this verse is a sphere of domination, the article
with both calling attention to the particular sphere of domination indicated by
the modifiers. One law or sphere of domination is that of the Holy Spirit. This
rule of the Spirit liberates from the rule of sin and death. What moral law could
not do, the Holy Spirit accomplishes.18
MacArthur also agrees that the "law of the Spirit" here is a "principle
of operation" as he states in his commentary on Romans.
Paul does not here use the term law
in reference to the Mosaic law or to other divine commandments or requirements.
He uses it rather in the sense of a principle of operation, as he has done earlier
in the letter, where he speaks of, a "law of faith" (3:27) and as he does
in Galatians, where he speaks of the "law of Christ" (6:2).19
assigns the same "principle of operation" to "the law of Christ"
as he does to the "law of the Spirit." However, the context of the "law
of the Spirit" phrase is a principle of operation whereas the context of the
"law of Christ" points to a different definition to be presented later.
other commonly held view on the "law of the Spirit" also connects it together
with the "law of Christ." This view defines the "law of the Spirit"
as a new and special code of law for the New Testament. One example presented by
Dr. Charles Ryrie is in an article on "The End of the Law."
The New Testament speaks of the "law
of Christ" (Gal 6:2) and the "law of the Spirit of life" (Rom 8:2).
In the law of Christ are the hundreds of commandments of the New Testament epistles,
and together these form a new and distinct code of ethics.20
also states this in his book on The Grace of God when he again combines the
two under one definition.
The New Testament speaks of the "law
of the Spirit" (Rom 8:2), the "law of Christ" (Gal 6:2), and the
"royal law" (James 2:8). This "law" includes numerous commands,
both positive and negative, which form a distinct code of ethics for today.21
two views on "Law of the Spirit," are law as a principle of operation
versus law as a new code of ethics. In evaluating, the view of Walvoord and MacArthur
that "law of sin" and "law of the Spirit of life" are a rule
or principle of operation best explains the contexts in which they are found.
established that both phrases are a rule of operation or sphere of domination, the
nature of that rule can be defined. In the spiritual life the "law of sin"
and the "law of the Spirit" stand in opposition to one another.
stated, the "law of sin" is the rule of the sinful nature which encompasses
three areas of influence. First, sin exercises its dominion by the flesh, the fallen
nature that every human being inherits (Rom. 5:12). Jesus spoke of the evils that
come from within (Matt. 15:19) and, if allowed, will exercise dominion over the
believer. Second, sin many times yields to the influence of Satan and his leaders
of "spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). The law of sin speaks
of the rule or dominion of the sin nature influenced by Satan (1 Cor. 7:5 example)
and such things as "doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1). Finally, the world
system influences the sinful nature to exercise its rule along the paths of the
world (1 Jn. 2:15) and the thinking of those in the fallen world. In all three,
the rule of the sin nature brings death (Rom. 8:6-8).
stark contrast to the "law of sin" God has provided the "law or rule
of the Spirit of life. The first contrast is in the very title as the dominion or
rule of the Spirit brings life in contrast to death (Rom. 8:6) from the rule of
the flesh. The Spirit exercises His dominion by first freeing the believer from
bondage to the sin nature ("the law of sin") as Paul states in Romans
8:2. The laws, principles, and commandments of God from "all Scripture"
(2 Tim. 3:16) are used to transform and renew the mind (Rom. 12:2) as the believer
walks in the Spirit. The dominion of the Spirit then enables the believer to fulfill
them and produce the righteousness that a perfect keeping of the Mosaic Law could
have produced. This righteousness could not be produced prior to the "law/dominion
of the Spirit" due to the weakness of our flesh upon which the Mosaic Law depended
(Rom. 8:3). The external nature of the Mosaic Law was the problem. Now, the internal
nature of God's laws being written in the heart, enabled by the "law of the
Spirit," allow for the production of righteousness (Rom. 8:4).
Laws internalized are a part of the spiritual blessings received under the new covenant
(2 Cor. 3:6). As the Gentile church was the recipient of the spiritual blessings
of Pentecost (Acts 2 compared with Acts 10:44ff) the church is also recipient of
some spiritual blessings of the new covenant/testament for Israel (2 Cor 3:6).22 Under several of these spiritual blessings
the rule or dominion of the Spirit can conform us and transform us to God's Laws,
principles, and standards (by writing them within) and thereby produce the righteous
fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) of the Spirit, the righteousness of the Mosaic Law (Rom. 8:4)
and the Life it brings to the believer.
Romans 9:31 the phrase "law of righteousness," found one time, explains
how Israel sought, but failed, to attain righteousness.
Rom 9:31-32 but Israel, pursuing
the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Why? Because they did not seek
it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that
of righteousness" occurs in the original Greek only once at the beginning of
Romans 9:31 and is the understood subject of the second part of the verse. "Law"
or nomos used without the definite article shows that it is not a direct
reference to the Law of Moses. It is being used again in the sense of a "principle
of operation." Grammatically "of righteousness" is then an objective
genitive meaning righteousness that proceeds from law and law keeping. Israel understood
the necessity of possessing righteousness. They had wrongly adopted as their "principle
of operation" the attaining of righteousness through keeping the Mosaic Law.
They were wrong. Therefore they failed to attain the righteousness required. As
the rest of Romans 9 teaches, the believer gains the required righteousness by faith.
speaks to this usage of law when he says:
Chapter nine of the Epistle to the
Romans deals primarily with the fact and significance of Israel s failure as a nation
to embrace the true Messiah. One reason for this failure was their lack of comprehension
of the purpose and limitations of law. In 9:31, 32, we have definite reference to
this, "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not
attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith,
but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone."
The two references to nomos in vs. 31 are without the article. The reference
in vs. 32 is omitted in some manuscripts, but if genuine is also without the article.
A further textual problem is found in the omission of the second "of righteousness"
in vs. 31. With these textual criticisms in mind, with a more literal translation,
as found in the American Standard Version, we find Paul s statement to be as follows:
"But Israel, following after a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that
law. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by works."
If this is what Paul actually wrote, it would seem that the two instances that are
left are both references to law in the sense of a principle of operation, as in
3:27. Israel strove to arrive at a method of obtaining righteousness. They thought
this method was to attain perfection by observing the Mosaic law.23
C. Thiessen also agrees that the use of "law" in the phrase "law
of righteousness" is a "principle of operation." He explains what
Paul did not say as well as what he and others believe Paul is saying.
He [Paul] does not say that they sought
for a "righteousness of the law," but, as Godet says, Israel had law for
its real object and expected righteousness to flow from it.24
summary, the "law of righteousness" is Israel's belief that in "principle
of operation," righteousness flowed from the Mosaic Law and the keeping of
the letter of the Law.
phrase "Law of Christ" is found specifically in Galatians 6:2 and referenced
indirectly in 1 Corinthians 9:21.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens,
and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Cor 9:21 to those who are without
law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ),
that I might win those who are without law;
of the "Law of Christ" widely differ. Some, like John MacArthur, seek
to define it together with the "law of the Spirit" as simply a principle
a branch of Lutheran Theology, David C. Scaer sees the "Law of Christ"
as a synonym for the "gospel."
Torah, the written law or Scripture,
is what we would call gospel, the promise of salvation, in the phrase the law and
the gospel. In the New Testament law, nomos, can also be a synonym for the gospel,
as in the phrase the law of Christ.26
Kent, Jr., in an article upholding righteousness in the Christian life and standing
against sin, represents another view of the "Law of Christ." He sees it
as a general undefined system of laws and standards that are viewed to be binding
on the Christian.
When it is suggested that there are
modes of conduct that Christians are obligated to follow, some will protest such
ideas as nonsense, or old fashioned, or legalism, and proudly call themselves liberated.
How easy it is to forget that the same apostle who said that "Christ has set
us free" (Gal 5:1) also commanded us to "fulfill the law of Christ"
to the point is the view set forth by Dr. Charles Ryrie succinctly stated in the
notes of the Ryrie Study Bible under Galatians 6:2:
. . . the Law of Christ. I.e.,
the commands of Christ, especially the new commandment to love one another (John
13:34). Living under grace is not license; it is a life of love and service ([Gal]
other writings Ryrie adds to his view of the "Law of Christ" as different
from the Mosaic Law yet incorporating some of its details and binding law on the
The Mosaic law has been done away in
its entirety as a code. God is no longer guiding the life of man by this particular
code. In its place He has introduced the law of Christ. Many of the individual commands
within that law are new, but some are not. Some of the ones which are old were also
found in the Mosaic law and they are now incorporated completely and [are] forever
done away. As part of the law of Christ they are binding on the believer today.29
"Law of Christ" is not just a new system of law for the believer simply
confined to the New Testament statements of Christ and the Apostles. It is part
of what I have called The Eternal Law of God that supersedes all administrations
(dispensations) of the Plan of God. The Mosaic Law was drawn from the Eternal
Law of God as are the laws stated prior to Sinai and those to exist in the Millennium.
The "great commandment" summarizes the Mosaic Law (i.e. to love the Lord
God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself). The "great
commandment" (love) is Biblically defined as the keeping of God's commandments
(1 John 5;3; 2 John 1:6). Throughout the Scriptures in both Old and New Testaments,
before and after the Law of Moses God set forth commandments. This speaks to an
Eternal Law of God from which all laws proceed. The "Law of Christ"
includes all that Jesus and the New Testament commanded. It also includes laws from
the Old Testament not abrogated, nor superseded by the New Testament. These laws
were part of an external system under Moses, but are now being internalized under
the "all Scripture is profitable" statement of 2 Timothy 3:16. They supply
the principles and the wisdom as to how we love our God and our neighbor.
example: Paul taught that congregations love their pastor by realizing the Old Testament
legal principles on just compensation. Scripture said that we "not muzzle
the ox that treads the corn and the laborer is worthy of his hire" (1 Tim
5:18 from Deut 24:5 and Lev 19:13).30
concept of an Eternal Law of God as the basis of both the Mosaic Law and
the all inclusive Law of Christ is set forth in an article by Wayne Strickland as
he seeks to provide a possible solution to the Law of Moses and Law of Christ connection.
The key to the resolution of the law-gospel
tension is to understand a parallel between the law of Moses and the law of Christ.
The eternal moral law of God is the expression of God's will for His rational and
free creatures (Rom 2:14-15). The basis for the concrete Mosaic code was the eternal
moral law of God. The Mosaic Law differed in that it was concrete and specific,
outlining statutes that governed almost every aspect of life. This Mosaic Law naturally
ended when God suspended His program with Israel (Rom 9:11; 10:4 ; 2 Cor 3:6).
Paul, however, regarded himself as
faithful to the eternal law of God even though he was not bound by the law ('upo
nomon) of Moses (1 Cor 9:20). The law of Christ appears to be the New Covenant
counterpart to the Mosaic Law. Just as the Mosaic Law was binding on Old Testament
saints, the law of Christ is binding on church saints. Both are based on the eternal
moral law of God and both are particular applications of that law to different groups
at different times.31
Wayne House and Thomas Ice in their book on Dominion Theology also reference the
fact that the "Law of Christ" includes more that simply the commands of
Jesus and the New Testament writers.
Christians are not under the expression
of the law as it was given to Israel . . . Christians are, however, to obey the
will of God as it is expressed in the New Testament - the law of Christ - and the
law revealed in the Adamic and Noahic covenants
Osborne also sees other parts of the Bible included in the "Law of Christ"
as he comments on Galatians 6:2 he says:
Paul most assuredly was not putting
them under the law. As to the fact that so many of the commandments in the decalogue
are repeated here and there in the New Testament, they are to be understood as part
of that "instruction in righteousness" which the whole inspired Word is
to the believer in his walk (2 Tim 3:16).32
House, Ice and Osborne set forth, parts of the Old Testament are also included under
the "Law of Christ." The fulfilling of Law of Christ is therefore the
ability under the filling of the Spirit to live in the "spirit" of all
laws God has given that are neither modified nor abrogated by the New Testament.
The believer then produces the righteousness of not just the Mosaic Law (Rom 8:4),
but of the whole of God's Eternal Law.
summary, the "Law of Christ" is the law of the Church Age that includes
all of God's Eternal Law summarized as the "Great Commandment"
of Matthew 22:37-40 and defined in detail by the specific laws in each administration
or dispensation as to the principles and wisdom behind how we love God and how we
love our neighbor. The "Law of Christ" is being internalized as we come
under the hearing of God's Word (Rom. 10:17) ("all Scripture" (2 Tim.
3:16)) and enabled as we walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25).
Ephesians 2:15 the phrase "law of commandments" reveals details of the
bringing together of both Jew and Gentile into the one new assembly called the "Church."
Eph 2:14-15 For He Himself is our
peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained
in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making
definition of the "law of commandments" must proceed from the context
of Ephesians 2. Here, the Lord revealing in the Plan of God some specific details
on how He has united together both Jew and Gentile into one new organism, the Church.
One main fence or barrier was the "law of commandments contained in ordinances."
The Lord called it a partition. The Jews had this system of external law with numerous
ordinances and details. It had the primary purpose, as Scripture states, to keep
or protect them as the race bearing Messiah and act as a "schoolmaster"
to point them to Messiah when he would come.
Gal 3:23-24 But before faith came,
we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be
revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might
be justified by faith.
the Jews saw the Law as something that separated them and made them exclusive before
God. On the other hand, Jews thought the Gentiles to be inferior without Law and
without a relationship to God. The truth of the matter was that relationship to
God was always a matter of faith (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3) and never a matter of law.
Thus, the "law of commandments contained in ordinances" was a barrier
of enmity between Gentiles and Jews. Christ abolished this barrier of enmity, by
the removal of the external system.
A. Pyne speaks to the context of Ephesians 2 when he says:
In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul described
the formation of the church as the creation of a new humanity or the construction
of a new building, the most distinctive feature of which is the presence alongside
one another of both Jews and Gentiles. . . . the context here is "thoroughly
social and racial in nature" as Jew and Gentile are reconciled into one new
body, the church. The "new man" is created through the common reconciliation
of both groups to God in Christ. For this reason the church has been described as
a tertium genus, a "third race," that is neither Jew nor Gentile.33
summarize, the "law of commandments" is the external binding law system
placed upon the Jews "in (written and enforced) ordinances separating them
from the Gentiles. The external system is now abolished.
does not mean that the Old Testament and the Law it contains is of no value any
longer to be tossed aside. At the least it is part of the "all Scripture"
that is profitable (2 Tim 3:16). At best it is part of the whole counsel of Scripture
that teaches us the details, examples, and wisdom involved in implementing the "Great
Commandment" to love.34
of a Carnal/Fleshly Commandment
7:16 uses the phrase "law of a fleshly commandment" to speak to the details
of the superior priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Heb 7:15-16 And it is yet far more
evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has
come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power
of an endless life.
as in several other places, law is a principle of operation or power of operation.
The parallelism between "law," nomos, and "power" dunamis
makes this use of "law" evident. Contrasted is the specific principle
of operation that our High Priest in His Priesthood is supernatural rather than
natural. His ministry toward us is not like that of the Levitical priesthood dealing
with fleshly or carnal commandments and sacrifices, but with the power of an "endless
this line Everett F. Harrison has said,
This approach to the living Christ
is the great characteristic which distinguishes Christianity from all other faiths
as heaven is high above earth. There is nothing anywhere in the religions of mankind
even remotely approximating this, for no other faith can claim a living founder
who has passed through death and has risen to a triumphant station at God s right
hand, there to be continually available to the immediate fellowship of each one
who trusts Him. The adjective zonta is not exhausted by recognizing in it
the truth that the risen Lord is "made after the power of an indissoluble life"
(Heb 7:16) . . .35
to summarize, Jesus Christ, our High Priest does not serve under the power and principle
of fleshly commands, but under the supernatural power and operation of an endless
Epistle of James describes the "Law of liberty" as the connection between
the laws of God and the liberty of life they produce.
James 1:25 But he who looks into
the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but
a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 2:12 So speak and so do as
those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
MacArthur presents the simplest and most straightforward definition of the "law
of liberty" when he defines it as, "'The perfect law of liberty' is the
law written on the heart, the implanted Word [James 1] (v. 21)."36 There are two factors to consider.
The first is that the "law of liberty" is law operating from within the
believer. The second is the content of the "law of liberty."
Functioning from Within
Word regularly heard and believed becomes the "implanted Word" written
on the heart as a part of the spiritual blessing that the church shares from Israel's
New Covenant. Arnold Fruchtenbaum speaks to this when he says,
Like the Abrahamic, the one New Covenant
is made with Israel. Like the Abrahamic, the one New Covenant contains both physical
and spiritual blessings. As with the Abrahamic, the physical promises are limited
to Jews only but the spiritual blessings were to extend to the Gentiles. What the
Church is now enjoying are the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic and New Covenants.37
"law of liberty" is law, but a new form of law that is now transferred
from without under the hearing and believing of the Scriptures to function from
within the believer. George M. Cowan formerly of Dallas Theological Seminary's department
of hermeneutics and apologetics more succinctly defines it when he says:
The law of liberty does not involve
freedom from restraint. But it shifts the source of restraint, so that it is no
longer applied forcibly from without, but flows freely from within. The Holy Spirit
indwelling every believer "takes possession of a man, and transforms him in
the very springs of his affections, so that the longer he lives with Christ the
more spontaneously he does what is right, because he wants to do it."38
the "law of liberty" is God's principles and standards internalized to
be carried out externally from an inner motivation. The inner motivation is the
Holy Spirit working together with the "implanted Word." Cowan gives further
Granted that the law of liberty works
from within us as the Holy Spirit persuades and moves the will of the believer,
the question still remains what form the actual outworking of the law of liberty
takes. Paul writes "If ye are led by the Spirit ye are not under the authority
of precept" (Maegregor's translation of Gal 5:18; Lightfoot renders the last
clause, "you have escaped from the dominion of law"). The believer, led
by the Holy Spirit, moves not according to rule or legal enactment but according
to the principles of grace.39
"law of liberty" is a "perfect law" and yet is not in any way
antagonistic to the principles of grace. Law in every administration or dispensation
is fact. When the desires of the believer coincide with those of the Lord, the believer
serves the Lord in liberty. Cowan explains this connection between law and grace
when he says:
The believer's obedience and liberty
is governed and evaluated by the "perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25;
2:12 ), "the law of Christ" (Gal 6:2), and the "commandments"
of Christ (John 13:34; 14:15, 21 ; 15:10, 12). Do these terms seem contrary to all
the previous statements concerning the antagonism between law and grace? "The
fact is there is no sphere of life or activity in time or in eternity that is not
dominated by certain laws peculiar to its own conditions." No creature is ever
free from the eternal principle of righteousness inherent in the very character
of God and the universe of His creation. James puts "law" and "liberty"
together because they belong together, and ends up by making the phrase "the
perfect law of liberty," a designation which could not be true if it destroyed
liberty in any way. Alexander Maclaren has said: "Liberty is not exemption
from commandment, but harmony with commandment. Whoever finds that what is his duty
is his delight is enfranchised. We are at liberty when we walk within the limits
of the gospel; and they who delight to do the law are free in obedience; free from
the tyranny of their own lust, passions, and inclinations; free from domination
of men and opinion and common customs and personal habits."40
Content of the Law of Liberty
the "law of liberty" is God's principles and standards internalized, then
what is the extent of His principles and standards. In the words of James, it is
God's "implanted Word" (James 1:21). I see the content as the whole of
Scripture that God has said to be "profitable" (2 Tim 3:16). D.W. Burdick
in his commentary on James agrees:
It is not merely the OT law, nor is
it the Mosaic law perverted to become a legalistic system for earning salvation
by good works. When James calls it the "perfect law," he has in mind the
sum total of God s revealed truth - not merely the preliminary portion found in
the OT, but also the final revelation made through Christ and his Apostles that
was soon to be inscripturated in the NT. Thus it is complete, in contrast to that
which is preliminary and preparatory. Furthermore, it is the "law of liberty"
(Gr.), by which James means that it does not enslave. It is not forced by external
compulsion. Instead, it is freely accepted and fulfilled with glad devotion under
the enablements of the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:22-23).41
Osborne also sees the content of the "law of liberty" to be all inclusive
of the eternal laws, principles, and wisdom of the entire Scriptures inclusive of
both Old and New Testaments.
The term "law of liberty"
in James 1:25 and 2:12 simply means that the will or commandments of God revealed
in His Word (or even in the law itself), since we are partakers of His nature which
delights in His will, are not a burden but rather a pleasure. The doing of them
is the fruit of this new nature. It is both law and liberty. But this in no way
implies that the believer is under the law in the Scriptural meaning of that phrase.42
summary, the "law of liberty" is the very mind of the Lord from the whole
of the Bible internalized in the believer. It persuades and moves the will of the
believer to be the same as God's Will under the filling of the Spirit. Because the
Will of God and the will of the believer is the same, the believer serves and obeys
the Will of God in perfect liberty.
"law of love" is the idea of fulfilling law by love as found in Romans
13:8, 10. The actual phrase comes out of this context.
Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything except
to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to a
neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Jesus issued what He called the "Great Commandment" in Matthew 22:37-40,
He also emphasized that it embodied the totality of the "law and the prophets."
He said, "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets"
(Matt. 22:40). The fuller definition of the "law of love" comes directly
from the statement of Jesus. It is the fulfillment of the "spirit" of
the details of the "law and the prophets."
Jesus summed up all the Law and the Prophets going from the many to the two
commandments, John, the apostle of love, reverses the summation to go from
the two great "love" commandments to define them practically by the many
commands of "God's Eternal Law."
I Jn 5:2 By this we know that we
love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (NKJ)
I Jn 5:3 For this is the love of
God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
basic way in which the believer loves God and his neighbors is under the high standards
of the "law of love."
Romans 13: 8, 10 Walvoord writes that the law of love is the fulfillment of the
commandments of the Lord toward God Himself as well as toward our neighbor.
In vs. 8, Paul writes, "Owe no
man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled
the law." In vs. 9 he points out that the ten commandments which relate to
man s relation to man are fulfilled in the law of love. He explains this in vs.
10, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling
of the law." In both verses, nomos occurs without the article and refers to
all moral law. Paul evidently had the Mosaic law foremost in his mind, however,
and quotes from that. Love fulfills all moral law, not only the law of Moses.43
summary, the "law of love' is the fulfilling of God's commands and principles
toward Himself and toward our neighbor.
use of "law" and "law of" in the New Testament is diverse. However
with the help of the context and others who have labored before it is possible to
"rightly divide the Word of Truth. This introductory study should prove to
be helpful in developing and guiding toward clear definitions.
appendix is a kind of worksheet for the times and places where the word law
and the phrase law of are found in the New Testament together with the classification
given. It is supplied to aid in further study.
- 165 Times, 162 Verses + 3 different times in same verse
of Moses References: (125)
5:17; Matt. 5:18; Matt. 12:5; Matt. 22:36; Matt. 23:23; Lk. 2:22; Lk. 2:27; Lk.
5:17; Lk. 10:26; Lk. 16:17; Lk. 24:44; Jn. 1:17; Jn. 7:19; Jn. 7:23; Jn. 7:49; Jn.
7:51; Jn. 8:5; Jn. 8:17; Jn. 18:31; Jn. 19:7; Acts 5:34; Acts 6:13; Acts 7:53; Acts
13:39; Acts 15:5; Acts 18:13; Acts 18:15; Acts 21:20; Acts 21:24; Acts 21:28; Acts
22:12; Acts 23:3; Acts 23:29; Acts 28:23; Rom. 2:12; Rom. 2:13; Rom. 2:14; Rom.
2:15; Rom. 2:17; Rom. 2:18; Rom. 2:20; Rom. 2:23; Rom. 2:25; Rom. 2:26; Rom. 2:27;
Rom. 3:19; Rom. 3:20; Rom. 3:28; Rom. 3:31; Rom. 4:13; Rom. 4:14; Rom. 4:15; Rom.
4:16; Rom. 5:13; Rom. 5:20; Rom. 6:14; Rom. 6:15; Rom. 7:1; Rom. 7:4; Rom. 7:5;
Rom. 7:6; Rom. 7:7; Rom. 7:8; Rom. 7:9; Rom. 7:12; Rom. 7:14; Rom. 7:16; Rom. 8:3;
Rom. 8:4; Rom. 9:4; Rom. 10:4; Rom. 10:5; Rom. 13:8; Rom. 13:10; 1 Co. 7:39; 1 Co.
9:8; 1 Co. 9:9; 1 Co. 9:20; 1 Co. 9:21; 1 Co. 14:34; 1 Co. 15:56; Gal. 2:16; Gal.
2:19; Gal. 2:21; Gal. 3:2; Gal. 3:5; Gal. 3:10; Gal. 3:11; Gal. 3:12; Gal. 3:13;
Gal. 3:17; Gal. 3:18; Gal. 3:19; Gal. 3:21; Gal. 3:23; Gal. 3:24; Gal. 4:5; Gal.
4:21; Gal. 5:3; Gal. 5:4; Gal. 5:14; Gal. 5:18; Gal. 6:13; Phil. 3:5; Phil. 3:6;
Phil. 3:9; 1 Tim. 1:7; 1 Tim. 1:8; 1 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 7:5; Heb. 7:11; Heb. 7:12; Heb.
7:19; Heb. 7:28; Heb. 8:4; Heb. 9:19; Heb. 9:22; Heb. 10:1; Heb. 10:8; Heb. 10:28;
Jas. 2:9; Jas. 2:10; Jas. 2:11; Jas. 4:11; 1 Jn. 3:4
use as the whole Old Testament (Law and Prophets) (8)
7:12; Matt. 11:13; Matt. 22:40; Lk. 16:16; Jn. 1:45; Acts 13:15; Acts 24:14; Rom.
of Moses phrase used to refer to Old Testament (5)
10:34; Jn. 12:34; Jn. 15:25; 1 Co. 14:21; Gal. 4:4;
General/Natural law (2)
7:21; Gal. 5:23;
the Sum of "The Law" the "Great" or "Royal" commandment
Different Law of Phrases
Law of Moses Lu 2:22; 24:44; Jn 7:23; Acts 13:39; 15:5; 28:23; 1C 9:9
Law of the Lord Lu 2:23; Lu 2:24; Lu 2:39
Law of the Fathers Acts 22:3
Law of the Jews Acts 25:8
Law of Works Rom 3:27
Law of Faith Rom 3:27
Law of the Husband Rom 7:2
Law of God Rom 7:22; 7:25; 8:7
Law of My Mind Rom 7:23
Law of Sin Rom 7:25; 8:2
Law of the Spirit of Life Rom 8:2
Law of Righteousness Rom 9:31
Law of Christ Gal 6:2 (1 Cor 9:21)
Law of Commandments Eph 2:15
Law of a Carnal Commandment Heb 7:16
Law of Liberty Jas 1:25; 2:12
Law of Love Rom 13:8, 10
Aldrich, Roy L., "A New Look at
Dispensationalism." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 477, January-March, 1963.
Bruce, F.F., "Jews and Christians
in the Lycus Valley." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 561, January-March, 1983.
Burdick, D.W., "James" in
The Expositors Bible Commentary. Edited by F.E. Gaebelein. Grand Rapids,
Chafer, Louis Sperry, "Doctrine
of Sin, Part 5" Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 369, January-March, 1936.
Cowan, George M., "The Prohibitions
of Grace" Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 410, April-June, 1946.
Dockery, David S., "Romans 7:14-25:
Pauline Tension in the Christian Life." Grace Theological Journal Vol. 2, Num.
2. Fall, 1981.
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G., Israelology:
The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. Tustin: Ariel Ministries, 1989.
Harrison, Everett F., "Exegetical
Studies in 1 Peter: Part 6." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 391, July-September, 1941.
Howell, Don N., "Pauline Thought
in the History of Interpretation." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 317, July-September,
Kent, Homer A., Jr., "A fresh
Look at 1 Corinthian 15:34: An Appeal for Evangelism or a Call to Purity."
Grace Theological Journal. Vol. 4. Num.1, Spring, 1983.
MacArthur, John F.,Jr., "Faith
According to the Apostle James" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Num. 31:1. March, 1990.
MacArthur, John F.,Jr., The MacArthur
New Testament Commentary, Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press, 1991.
Osborne, Sumner, "The Christian
and the Law." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 109, July-September, 1952.
Pyne, Robert A., "The New Man
and Immoral Society." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 615, July-September, 1997.
Robertson, A.T., Word Pictures in
the New Testament. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman, 1930.
Ryrie, Charles C., "The End of
the Law." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 495, July-September, 1967.
Ryrie, Charles C., The Grace of
God. Chicago: Moody Press, 1963.
Ryrie Study Bible. Notes by
Charles C. Ryrie. Chicago: Moody Press, 1986.
Scaer, David P. "The Law and the
Gospel in Lutheran Theology." Grace Theological Journal. Vol. 12. Num. 2, Fall
Schmidtbleicher, Paul R., "Balancing
the Use of the Old Testament." Chafer Theological Seminary Journal. Num. 8,
Strickland, Wayne, G., "Preunderstanding
and Daniel Fuller's Law-Gospel Continuum." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 574, April-June,
Thiessen, Henry C., "The Place
of Israel in the Scheme of Redemption: As Set Forth in Romans 9-11, Part I."
Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 389, January-March, 1941.
Walvoord, John F., "Law in the
Epistle of Romans, Part 1." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 373, January-March, 1937.
Walvoord, John F., "Law in the
Book of Romans, Part 2." Bibliotheca Sacra. Num. 375, July-September, 1937.
1 Unless otherwise noted, biblical quotations are from the New King James Version (Nashville: Nelson, 1982).
2 For a complete listing of passages believed to be
specifically referring ro the "Law of Moses" see the list in the Appendix.
3A.T. Robertson, Word pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman, 1930), Vol.3, 387.
4 Don N. Howell, "Pauline Thought in the History of Interpretation," BSac 599 (July-September 1993; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 317.
5F.F. Bruce, "Jews and Christians in the Lycus
561(January-March 1983; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 6.
6See Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, "Balancing the Use of the Old Testament," CTS Journal 8, (July-September, 2002): 41-45.
7Sumner Osborne, "The Christian and the Law," BSac 109 (July-September 1952; elcetronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 241
8 John F. Walvoord, "Law in the Epistle of Romans,
Part 1" BSac
373 (January 1937; electronic edition., Galaxie, 1999): 21.
10 Louis Sperry Chafer, "Doctrine of Sin, Part 5" BSac 369 (January 1936; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 23-24.
11Schmidtbleicher, op. cit., 45-51.
12 John F. Walvoord, "Law in the Book of Romans, Part 2" BSac 375 (July 1937; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 291.
13 Roy L. Aldrich, "A New Look at Dispensationalism"
477 (January 1963; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 48.
14 David S. Dockery, "Romans 7:14-25: Pauline Tension in the Christian Life" Grace Theological Journal Vol. 2, #2 (Fall 1981; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 251.
15 Walvoord, "Law in the Book of Romans, Part 2" op. cit. 291-292.
16 John F. Walvoord, "Law in the Epistle of Romans, Part 1," op. cit., 20-23.Walvoord defines six uses of nomos in Romans which are briefly stated as follows (1) Any recognized principle in operation whether moral, civil, or natural-law in its broadest sense. (2) The whole revealed will of God as known in any case, whether Jew or Gentile, whether written or unwritten, in the sense of any moral law. (3) A reference not so much to the Mosaic law in its substance as to its quality as law. (4) Reference specifically to the Mosaic Law. (5) Reference to include not only the Pentateuch but the entire Old Testament specifically. (6) Reference to a sphere of domination or rule.
17 Ibid., 23.
18 Walvoord, "Law in the Book of Romans, Part 2," op. cit., 292-293.
19 John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 403.
20 Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, "The End of the Law" BSac 495 (July 1967; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 246.
21 Charles C. Ryrie, The Grace of God (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963), 105-113.
22 Schmidtbleicher, op. cit., 54-59. Further discussion of the implications of the New Covenant for Israel and Paul calling himself minister of a new covenant for the Church (2 Cor. 3:6) shows that some of the same spiritual blessings that will be fulfilled to Israel have been given to the church. I believe these include (1) Sins forgiven; (2) Personal relationship with God; (3) The indwelling of God's Holy Spirit; and (4) the internalization of the Word and Laws of God.
23 Walvoord, "Law in the Book of Romans, Part 2," ^Yop. cit.^Y, 284-285.
24 Henry C. Thiessen, "The Place of Israel in the Scheme of Redemption: As Set Forth in Romans 9-11, Part I" BSac 389 (January 1941; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 87.
25 See the quote from John MacArthur under the "Law of the Spirit" section. He sees the "Law of Christ' in the same way as "the law of sin." It is not seen as a division of Divine Law.
26 David P. Scaer, "The Law and the Gospel in Lutheran Theology" Grace Theological Journal Vol.12 No.2 (Fall 1991; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 164.
27 Homer A. Kent, Jr., "A fresh Look at 1 Corinthian 15:34: An Appeal for evangelism or a Call to Purity" Grace Theological Journal Vol.4 No.1 (Spring 1983; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 9.
28 Ryrie Study Bible, Notes by Charles C. Ryrie (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986): Note for Galatians 6:2, pg. 1780.
29 Charles C. Ryrie, "The End of the Law" BSac 124 (July-September 1967; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 246.
30 For a complete discussion of this see Schmidtbleicher, op.cit.,53-63.
31 Wayne G. Strickland, "Preunderstanding and Daniel Fuller's Law-Gospel Continuum" BSac 574 (April 1987; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 190.
32 Sumner Osborne, "The Christian and
the Law" BSac
435 (July 1952; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 247.
33 Robert A. Pyne, "The New Man and Immoral Society" BSac 615 (July-September 1997; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 268-269.
34 See Schmidtbleicher, op.cit., 53-63.
35 Everett F. Harrison, "Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter: Part 6" BSac 391 (July-September 1941; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 312-313.
36 John F. MacArthur, Jr., "Faith According to the Apostle James" JETS 31:1 (March 1990; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 20.
37 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1989), 355.
38 George M. Cowan, "The Prohibitions of Grace" BSac 410 (April-June 1946; electronic ed., Galaxie, 1999): 233.
39 Ibid.., 233-234.
40 Ibid., 232.
41 D.W. Burdick, "James" in The Expositors Bible Commentary (ed. F.E. Gaebelein; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981): Vol 11, 175.
42 Osborne, op.cit., 246-247.
43 Walvoord, "Law in the Book of Romans, Part 2," op. cit., 293.