Search Our Site
Liberty in Christ
of the Law of Liberty
in Christ: Extended Introduction
Liberty in Christ: Introduction
and New Testament Survey
for Liberty in Christ
the Law, and the 10 Commandments
of the Law of Liberty
and Yet Prohibition
Pagan Practices in the Old Testament
is Observing Times?
Bondage, and Righteousness
and Meat Sacrificed to Idols
and 1 Corinthians 8
1 Corinthians 10, and Idolatry
1 Corinthians 10, and Your Neighbor
and Practical Applications
Romans 14, the Conscience, and Morality
we established that Christian liberty was synonymous with
the phrases "royal law" (James), "law of liberty" (James),
"law of the Spirit" (Paul), and "Law of Christ" (Paul.) We
also established that James and Paul both associated "loving
our neighbors as ourselves" as the fulfillment of this law.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto
liberty; only use not liberty  for an occasion
to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according
to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,
ye do well:
In fact, as we also demonstrated, Paul stated that it was
only by walking in this new law that we were made free from
the old law, the Law of Moses.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life
in Christ Jesus hath made me free [eleutheroo - 1659] from
the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall
die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds
of the body, ye shall live.
And James and Paul are not the only New Testament authors
who wrote about this "law," which is fulfilled by "loving
our neighbor." In his epistles, John writes extensively about
In 1 John 2:7, John writes "I write no new commandment unto
you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning."
John goes on in verse 10 to state, "He that loveth his brother
abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling
in him." And John says the same thing in 1 John 3:11.
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from
the beginning, that we should love one another.
When John says this command was around from "the beginning,"
he is using a phrase that the apostles used to refer to the
beginning of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry.
Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied
with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among
us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto
that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained
to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Here in Acts 1, we see Peter instructing the others that they
needed to select a man to replace Judas Iscariot, who had
betrayed Jesus. Peter tells the others that they must select
a man who has been with them "all the time that the Lord Jesus"
was teaching and living among them. And Peter gets even more
specific saying that this duration of time started "beginning
from the baptism of John." Therefore, in the context of 1
John 3, the phrase "the beginning" refers to the entire duration
of time, which Jesus spent teaching the apostles.
John goes on to say even more about this command to love one
another that they have had since the time of Jesus' earthly
1 John 3:23 "And this is his commandment, That we should
believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one
another, as he gave us commandment."
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother,
he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath
seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And
this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God
love his brother also.
John also speaks about the commandment to "love our neighbor"
in 1 John 5:2,3, and 18. From John's first epistle we learn
two important things about the Law of Christ. First, it originated
during "the beginning," the period of time during Jesus' earthly
life when he lived among and taught the apostles. And second,
as we see here in 1 John 4, John links the concept of "loving
our brother" with the concept of "loving" God.
If the Law of Christ (which is also known as our "liberty
in Christ," "the Law of Liberty," "the royal Law," and "the
Law of the Spirit") originated during Jesus' earthly ministry,
then we should be able to find an account of it somewhere
in the Gospels. And just as we would expect, Matthew 22:37-40,
Mark 12:29-31, and Luke 10:27 do, in fact, record the origin
of the Law of Christ.
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment
in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great
commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having
heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had
answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment
of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all
the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God
is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment
greater than these.
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in
the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy
mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Here we see in all three accounts that when asked "what is
written in the law?" Jesus answered that "all the law and
the prophets" hang on two commands: 1) Love the Lord
thy God with all thy being, and 2) Love your neighbor
as yourself. And sure enough, both of these commands originate
in the Law of Moses. Exodus 20:1-6 records the first of the
two as the first of the 10 Commandments.
Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt
have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make
unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that
is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that
is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow
down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God
am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them
that love me, and keep my commandments.
In particular, we should notice that this command to love
God first above all else is inseparably connected with the
prohibition of idolatry. And we should also note the phrase
"for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God." This phrase will
become quite significant later on in our study.
And the second of these two "great commandments" can be found
in Leviticus 19.
Leviticus 19:34 " But the stranger that dwelleth
with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and
thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers
in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."
So, here we see that the Law of Christ was not only rooted
in the Old Testament books of Exodus and Leviticus, but that
according Jesus Christ himself, the entire Law of Moses was
summed up in these two commands: 1) Love God first
and with all your being and 2) Love your neighbor as
And Paul also taught this very same thing.
Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not
bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there
be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this
saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
We began this section by asking the following question. Since
the Law of Moses had been replaced by the New Covenant and
Christians were no longer under bondage to it, why were Christians
still obligated to obey 9 out of the original 10 Commandments
of Moses? The answer is that Christians still had to obey
the 10 Commandments (minus 1) because Jesus had replaced the
Law of Moses with a Law that by its very nature contained
and fulfilled those 10 Commandments. So, even though the Law
of Moses was no longer in effect, the 10 Commandments were
because they were contained and summed up in the Law of Christ.
We should also note one more thing from our review of the
Law of Christ. Jesus said our love of God is the "first and
greatest commandment." The command to "love our neighbor"
comes second to that "first and greatest commandment." And
while as John attests in his epistle, it is not possible to
love God if we do not love our neighbor as ourselves, we must
recognize that it is possible to love ourselves or our neighbors
more than we love God. And if we do that, we break the Law
of Christ, for the Law of Christ places our love of God as
the first priority. If we do not love God with our whole being,
then loving our neighbor is irrelevant with regard to our
keeping the Law of Christ.