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Short Answer: All of the Torah (Law) is concentrated as it were into the two most “important” commandments (love God with all you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself). Thus, I agree that the Law of Christ must in fact be the heart of the Law as given by God his Father, with one proviso: the focal point of a person’s Law-keeping must include faith in Messiah in order for it to be counted as the Law of Christ. After all, did not Messiah confess that he only lives to do what the Father tells him to do? (read John 14:31) And, that he kept his Father’s commandments (John 15:10)? This would tell me that as we love Messiah and keep the Messiah’s commandments, we are in fact loving God and keeping the Father’s commandments just like our Master did. And what are the Father’s commandments? Did he not in fact already give them to us somewhere else in the Bible before Jesus even showed up on the scene? Yeshua (Jesus) did NOT replace the “Old Testament” Law with the “Law of Christ.” Long Answer: (From my commentary to Galatians available here: http://www.tetzetorah.com/exegeting-galatians/) (Speaking of the phrase "Law of Christ")...why should we interpret this phrase as anything other than the perfect Law of God as already revealed in the pages of Scripture and as perfectly modeled by our Master himself? I think the true meaning is: “Bear one another's burdens - in this way you will be fulfilling the Torah's true meaning, which the Messiah upholds.” The teachings of Yeshua were no doubt known among the congregations of The Way, even before the gospels as we know them were finalized in their canonical form. The Apostles were commissioned to “make disciples of the nations” and to “teach them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt 28:18ff). Thus, the “Torah of Messiah” (νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ) should be understood as “the Torah as Messiah taught it and lived it.” It is anachronistic to interpret the phrase as though the Torah of Messiah is different than the Torah of Moses. Surely Yeshua's teachings were at variance with a good deal of the rabbinic interpretations of the Torah, but they were not in any manner contradictory to Moses. Rather, Yeshua, both in His words and in His actions, brought the divinely intended meaning of the Torah to the eyes and ears of those He taught. His emphasis was upon a living out of Torah in which genuine love for God and for one’s neighbor was the driving factor in group policy decisions. While the sages were expert at piling burdens upon men’s shoulders without lifting a finger to help them bear the load (Matt 23:4), Yeshua sought to unwrap the Torah from the entanglements of men, and to show that living a life of Torah by faith is not a burden, but a delight. Therefore, by bearing the burdens of one another, the followers of Yeshua fulfill the Torah as it was intended to be fulfilled, by living it out in the context of love for God, and love for one’s neighbor. In this way, the Torah as taught and modeled by Yeshua would be fulfilled.
The question “What is the law of Christ?” is one that I find most interesting, because the law that Jesus taught before he was crucified is Old Testament, or Old Covenant law. The words covenant and testament are very similar in meaning. God’s covenant with Israel, known as ‘the Old Testament’ or ‘Old Covenant,’ was a kind of contract that called upon the Jewish people to do their part. God promised them that if they fulfilled their end of the covenant, He would bless them, and if they failed to live up to their end of the covenant, He would curse them. Matthew is the first book of the New Testament, but right up until Jesus drew his last breath on the cross and said, “It is finished,” it was still Old Testament scripture.” When he uttered those last words, He was saying that the Old Covenant of the law was finished, and that those who believed in Him were now under a completely new covenant of Grace. The Old Covenant law is finished. It no longer exists for either the Jew or the Gentile. This leaves us with an important choice to make, because we cannot live under both grace and the law. We must choose one or the other. If we choose to live under the law, we are not living under God’s grace and will not be saved. Salvation was never attainable through the law. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2: 8-9. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Paul was clearly saying that the keeping of laws or doing good works will not save us. We can only be saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is simply no other way, which is what Jesus meant when he said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Galatians 5:4 says, You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. Finally, as Christians we need not concern ourselves with living by rules and laws because the Holy Spirit who now indwells us, guides us in our daily lives. We grow in our personal relationship with God by reading his word and through trusting in Christ, as best we can, in all of our affairs and decisions. None of this, of course, means that we will not do good works. As faithful Christians, we are always doing good works that the Holy Spirit leads us to do.
The law of Christ is the New Covenant God established with people, that is revealed to us in the New Testament. The Old Covenant is revealed in the Old Testament. Both covenants require faith; the faith of Abraham in the Old; belief in Jesus in the New. Both covenants require sacrifice for sin; the sacrificial laws of Moses in the Old; the one-time sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross in the New. Both covenants require people to live a God-pleasing life; obeying the ten commandments in the Old; surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and walking with the Holy Spirit in the New. Jesus made three important statements about the Old Testament law. 1) I have come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17) 2) not a single letter will be removed from the law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18) 3) Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and loving your neighour as yourself; fulfills the entire law (Mark 12:30-31) So the two covenants are really the same in purpose and essence. When we believe in Jesus we are putting our trust in him for our salvation and for an intimate personal relationship with God. When we accept Jesus as our personal Saviour, he takes all our sins (past, present and future) upon himself, and gives us his righteousness. As we surrender to Jesus as the Lord of our life and walk with his Spirit, we are able to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and love other people as ourselves, which is a God-pleasing life.
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