Travels of a Generic Christian

A Christian shares the joy of his walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Sunday, December 31, 2006

To Ponder for the New Year

Of which are you more sure?

A) That you have Jesus Christ and that He has you as one of His sheep.


B) That you have the truth about what it means to have Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Law and New Covenant Believers

One of the most common questions asked of former Seventh-Day Adventists by current Adventists is, "How can you [theologically] justify keeping all but one of the Ten Commandments--i.e., the fourth?"

Let's take a look at Romans 10:4 as a starting point for this answer:

4For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him. (AMP)


For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given.[b] As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. (NLT)

If Christ has 'already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given' or 'is the end of the law as the means of righteousness', then our failure or success to keep the law plays no role in the accomplishment of our salvation; we are no longer "under the law", see

Romans 7:6
But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. (AMP)
(see also 2 Corinthians 3:6)

Also see
Romans 6:14 "Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (NLT)"...
...But verse 15 seems to be something of a contradiction: "15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! (NLT)"

After reading verse 15, the SDA may ask the former SDA, "Aha! So what do you think happens if you knowingly sin by breaking the fourth commandment?"

The answer of the new covenant believer is: "Not applicable. This question makes no sense to me as a new convenant believer. The question that perhaps you meant to ask which actually does make sense is, 'What happens if you go against the leading of Holy Spirit?' In which case my answer would be: 'If this has happened then I have intentionally sinned, but God is gracious and merciful to forgive me when I confess my sin and honestly repent (1 John 1:9). But if I intentionally persist in going against the Holy Spirit and thereby sinning then there no longer remains a sacrifice for my sin (Hebrews 10:26). Note, however, that Galations 5:4 says,
'For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.' (See also Romans 2:12, and Galatians 3:10) Oh, and faith does not lead you to keep the law--Galatians 3:12. This is the False Gospel outlined in a different post.) So there are two ways of falling from grace / missing out on salvation: Intentional, persistent rebellion against the Holy Spirit and/or putting yourself under the law and thinking that by thoroughly keeping the law that you will be right with God."

So, you see, the new covenant believer follows the prompting of the Holy Spirit and not the letter of the Law. (See Romans 7:6, quoted above.) And if we are no longer obeying the letter then, as expained in a previous post, it's quite possible that the Holy Spirit may lead me to break the letter of the law for the sake of the higher principle of love for God and my fellow man that is behind the Law. And, if the fourth commandment really is a shadow of what we find in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17), then I'm not surprised when the Spirit causes me to find my spiritual rest in Christ every day of the week ("today", as found in Hebrews 4:7) rather than a mere "shadowy" physical rest one day a week.