WHAT IS THE LAW OF CHRIST?
By Edwin Christiaan | January 21, 2020
‘The Law of Christ’ is mentioned twice in the Bible by the apostle Paul, who said,
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”Galatians 6:2 NLT
“When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.”1. Corinthians 9:21 NLT
Most Bible scholars understand the ‘law of Christ’ to be what Jesus Christ stated as the “greatest commandments” in the book of Matthew chapter 22,
“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40 NLT
Paul explained it this way,
“If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”Romans 13:8-10 NLT
These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.”
Other apostles in the Bible also clearly illustrated the connection between the 10 Commandments and God’s love.
Here is a summary of the 10 Commandments from the Old Testament books of Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5, as it was given to the Israelites by Moses:
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make idols.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.
The first 4 commandments tell us how to love God, and the other 6 commandments tells how to love our neighbor.
In the New Testament, Jesus came to fulfill these 10 Commandments and the over 600 other individual commandments and regulations in the Old Testament (meant for the Jews to keep). He did this by sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sins. See Ephesians 2:14-15.
That is the reason Jesus told His disciples,
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”John 13:34-35 NLT
The ‘law of Christ,’ then, is to love God with all of our being, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Yes! Christ freed us from the bondage of the hundreds of commands in the Old Testament Law and instead calls on us to ‘love.’
Christians are simply to focus on loving God and loving others. If they would truly and wholeheartedly obey those two commands, they would be fulfilling everything that God requires from them.
“Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”1. John 4:7-8 NLT