Christ never said what many confused people believe he said in regards to the law
Did Christ say what you believe he said?
I will present several passages where our brothers erroneously think that Our Lord Jesus Christ abolished one or more of God’s laws during his three and a half preaching years. From that error has come the heresy of insisting that God’s laws for human behavior are actually inoperative, that we don’t have to follow them, and that Christians are free to do as they like, thinking that even though they are doing all these things they are not sinning.
Such horrible mistake can only have been put in the minds of the believers by our spiritual enemies. It is reasonable then to analyze those passages where our brothers think they see such heresy.
In order to save us, Christ obeyed every one of God’s laws, from birth to death
Our Lord obeyed every one of God’s laws, both the behavioral laws and the ritual laws throughout his life. He had to do so in order to save us. Only one fault would have resulted in his own damnation, and ours. That is why he never did anything that could have gone against God’s laws.
In Hebrews 10:28 we see that Paul says that it is sinful to treat with contempt any of God’s laws, therefore Jesus was not about to do such thing.
“He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses”
Being this so, it is totally unthinkable that our Lord Jesus Christ would despise, abolish, disobey, suppress, talk against, modify, etc., any of God’s laws, before his crucifixion.
I say before his crucifixion, because if Christ would have wanted to abolish one or more of God’s laws, he would have never done it while under the law, since doing it would be to sin, he could have been lost, and so would we.
Christ knew circumcision would be abolished, but he would have never done it, nor would he speak against such law before his crucifixion. He knew the sacrifices would be abolished, but he would have never abolished it, nor would he speak against them before his crucifixion. To do it would have been to sin, as Paul reminds us in Hebrews 10:28. If Christ would have sinned, he would have been lost, and we would not have been saved. Speaking against the sacrifices and circumcision before his crucifixion would have been a sin.
That is why Jesus Christ never spoke of abolishing any of God’s laws. It was the Holy Spirit who, after the crucifixion, took on the task of telling us which laws would be abolished and which would continue in place.
Christ had to be very careful, because Satan was always looking for a way to make him sin. Satan knew that if he made Jesus sin in the least of things, his mission would have failed and Satan would have triumphed.
The only mission Christ had received was that of saving us, anything other would be a sin. Satan knew that God had given only one mission to His Only Son. He knew that Jesus could not stray away from it and that if he had altered that mission, or if he had taken upon his shoulders any other mission, he would have failed, he would have sinned.
That is why several times Satan tried to trip the Lord, to make him get involved in judgments, politics, etc., like the time he tried to make him a judge, an executioner, or to proclaim himself king, and even punish those who deserved punishment.
Because his was only a salvation mission, Jesus rejected certain solutions. Do you believe that it was through his own strength and virtues that Elijah made fire fall from heaven and burn two companies of soldiers? Do you believe that was Elijah’s “mistake”? (2 Kings 1:10-12).
It is evident that the one that gave Elijah the power to do that miracle was God; and it is evident that God also agreed with what Elijah was doing, otherwise he would not have backed him up.
Do you believe that Jesus disagreed with God on what Elijah had done? Of course not! Christ approved of the same things God approved. Therefore, what Elijah had done was not a sin.
Subsequently neither was a sin in itself for the disciples to want to do what Elijah had done before: let fire come down from heaven to punish the rebels. That is what James and John tried to do. What was sinful was to make it part of Christ’s mission. That is why the Lord didn’t let them do it.
“52 And sent messengers before his face; and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said: Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village”. (Lk 9:52-56)
The only difference in this case was that Christ’s
mission was much different than Elijah’s
mission. It was much more specific and it required different methods. Jesus’ mission was not to punish, destroy, judge, etc., but to save; and no one would distract him during the 33 years he would live here.
That is why he would not offer his vote (or deny it) for the adulterous woman to be punished; that is why he would not judge on the case of the brother who would not share his inheritance; that is why he would not punish the Samaritan city. None of that was his mission at the moment of his First Coming; he had not come for any of it. He would not let others drag him into it; being whether those others were acting in bad faith, as in the case of the Pharisees who were agents of Satan, or in good faith, like the disciples.
It’s not that Christ disapproved what Elijah had done, since that had been done under God’s authority and power. Neither was Christ against punishing adultery, since it had been established by his father God, and he was not going against Him or pretending to be “kinder” than God. It is simply that the mission that God gave him for that time was another one, as seen in John 3:17, and he would not want to sin by straying away from the mission he was given and taking on another one.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”. (Jn 3:17)
We should not conclude from cases like these, that God was thinking one thing while Jesus, “more humane” and “generous” was going against Him, or fixing up His messes. After all, our Lord Jesus Christ agrees with sending the rebels to hell, just like God. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus Christ opposed James and John when they wanted to bring fire from heaven to punish those rebellious Samaritans, he did it because that was not his mission then, and doing it would be a sin; but not because he thought they did not deserve it.
Neither should we understand that God thought one thing in Moses’ time and then changed his mind two millenniums later, to fix things, to the point of sending his Anointed to contradict what God had previously approved.
Jesus Christ, and therefore God, is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as Hebrews 13:8 declares. God is not going to think one way during Moses’ time and another way during Paul’s time.
Because it was not his mission, Jesus did not offer judgment. It is evident that in John 3:17 is the explanation of why Christ would not let himself be dragged where the Pharisees and others wanted to take him. These, incited by Satan, and not knowing why they were doing it, wanted to tempt Jesus to judge or condemn someone, to invalidate his mission of salvation.
God did not give Jesus the mission of judging or condemning on his first coming. He did not come to condemn but to save. If he had condemned someone he would have walked away from God’s mission, which would have been sin. That is why the Pharisees and his other enemies kept tempting him to judge and condemn people. They did not realize the spiritual warfare that was taking place, and in which they were unconsciously participating, but since, after all, they were not serving God, the Devil used them to make Christ judge or condemn someone, and thus ruin his saving mission by making him to sin.
That is why Christ did not condemn the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11. It is not that he was repealing God’s laws, but he didn’t want to make himself judge to apply them, because, as saw in John 3:17; that was not his mission. For judging crimes God had already established kings, governors and judges. Jesus was not going to usurp their functions. That is why he neither condemned nor acquitted the adulterous woman, but instead, after seeing that no one else condemned her, he simply said, “Go and sin no more”.
That is why he would not go into litigation for the inheritance that one of his listeners had in Luke 12:13-14. This listener had been cheated by his brother. It isn’t that Jesus thought there shouldn’t be a law against swindling. He didn’t abolish the laws against swindling by not condemning the listener’s brother. It isn’t that Jesus had abolished all these laws. It’s that his mission was one of salvation, not of condemnation or legislation; he came as a savior, not as a judge or a legislator.
“13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him: Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?” (Lk 12:13-14)
By not taking sides in this problem between brothers Jesus was not abolishing the laws of inheritance, or the punishment of cheaters, or the right of every heir to claim his part. He wasn’t approving of adultery, or abolishing God’s laws about adultery just because he did not condemn the adulterous woman. He knew that the hand of Satan was behind all this, trying to distract him from the only mission that God had given him, and thus ruin his redemptive work and condemn himself.
If Christ would have dedicated himself to solve arguments, not only would he have failed in his mission, but he would have had received so many litigants, that would have made his mission practically impossible.
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