Braden Caldwell Ministries

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The Law of God

The Law of God includes all His universal laws as expressed from Genesis through Revelation. The Law of God includes, but is not limited to, the Ten Commandments. Christ did not come to destroy the Law and no part has been revoked or changed. Observing the Law helps us become what God would have us be and expresses our love to Him and mankind.

Note from Braden Caldwell: 

I have recently written a new book, “THE LAW OF GOD: What is “the Law of God? Is it still relevant to Christians in the 21st Century?” 

For a free email copy, please contact me at

The Law of God gives us a picture of what God is like and what He want us to become. Every attribute and characteristic which the Bible uses to tell us about God is also used in describing His Holy Law. God is described as being love, truth, righteousness, perfection, holiness, and of course, He is eternal. The Bible also says those very same things about God’s Law. 1 John 4:8 says “God is love”. When asked concerning His Father’s Law, Christ said that the very basis of God’s Law is found in love (Matthew 22:37,38). In John 14:6 Jesus describes Himself as being the Truth. “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life”; in Psalm 119:142 the psalmist says, “Thy law is truth,” 1 Corinthians 1:30 records that God is righteous; Psalm 119:172 says that all God’s commandments are righteous statutes. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us that His Father in Heaven is perfect; Psalms 19:7 says that the Law of the Lord is also perfect, converting the soul. Isaiah 6:3 calls attention to the fact that God is holy; in Romans 7:12, Paul tells us that God’s Law also is holy.

As Christians, we are not only to follow the commands of our Saviour and Lord, we are also to follow His example. Both aspects are illustrated in John 15:10 where Christ said, “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” A vital part of the relationship Christ had with His Father was to obey the commands of His Father. A vital part of our relationship – with Christ, our Lord and Saviour and with God, our Father – is to do what Christ commanded us to do. At the end of His life on earth, Jesus could say, “I have kept my Father’s commandments; I have done His will.’’ In like manner, our mandate as Christians is to “abide in Him” and to keep His commandments and to do His will.

The Law of God contains the very principles of what Jesus is and what He wants us to be in our own lives. We read in Hebrews 8:10. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Jesus wants to write His Law in our hearts also. When Jesus lives out His life in ours, it will be the same life of perfect obedience to His Father’s commandments which He lived while He was here in the flesh upon this earth. If we truly love Jesus, we’ll show that love by doing His will and refraining from breaking His commandments.

Over the last century there has been a critical downgrading and devaluation of God’s Ten Commandments within Christendom. Around 1900 there was hardly a church that didn’t have the Ten Commandments hanging right up in front of the church. Every child in Sunday School was taught the Ten Commandments by heart. But since that era, there has been a concerted program of undermining and doing away with God’s holy Ten Commandment law. Today many young people haven’t even heard of the Ten Commandments. Today most Christians know little, if anything, about God’s Law. Even preachers are talking and acting as if the Ten Commandments are no longer necessary—as though they were written for another generation. Some preachers even say that “we’re not under the law anymore; we’re under grace; and so we don’t have to worry about the old-fashioned laws of the Ten Commandments. They seem to suggest that somehow Christ fulfilled the law for them and then left them free to do whatever they want to without condemnation.

God says the church is responsible. He says in Ezekiel 22:26: “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” Indeed, the churches are to much blame because they have virtually thrown the Ten Commandments out of the church. While in the official teachings of most churches you will find sanction and acceptance of God’s Law, in practice whenever anyone starts to emphasize the importance of obedience to those commandments, they are told that we don’t come under the Law anymore and that we’re not expected to keep it because it’s been done away with.

There’s a strange teaching in Christendom today that Jesus actually came to fulfill the law, and then people try to make that word “fulfill” mean to “destroy” or “abolish,” but that isn’t so. He did not come to destroy the Law. The Bible says not one jot or tittle of that law would be done away with.

Indeed it is true that love is the fulfilling of the Law – but that doesn’t mean that, as Christians, we aren’t amenable to God for keeping the Law. In Mark 12:29-31, Jesus said that there were two great commandments: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Note that there was nothing “new” in these two commandments since Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:2-5. Christ summarized the Law of God and the Ten Commandments in the two great principles of love, but He did not cancel the Ten Commandments or the Law of God by so doing. In Matthew 22:37-40, He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” It’s very simple: ALL the Law of God AND every one of the Ten Commandments hang on those two laws. If we love God with our whole heart, we’ll keep the first four commandments which have to do with our relationship to God; and if we love our neighbour as ourself, we’ll keep the last six because that describes our relation to our fellowman. Without the motive of love, none of them can be kept. Therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law.

To excuse transgression of God’s Law, some Christians point to Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Being under grace does not do away with the Law. This is evident in the following verse, Romans 6:15, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Very simply, Paul clearly says we should never sin – and sin is very simply “transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).

To be “under the law” means “to be guilty before God” – or condemned by the law (Romans 3:19). Paul says that a Christian is not under the Law – a Christian is not under the condemnation of the Law. In Romans 3:31, Paul addresses the question of whether God’s Law was done away with because of His grace, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” After we’ve been pardoned by grace through the merits of Jesus and through our faith reaching out for that grace, then we are to be established in keeping the Law. It is to be even stronger upon us because of what Jesus did for us. Our love for Him will flow out freely and we will do the things that the Law requires because of what He has done for us so freely.

The true purpose of the Law is to point us to Christ as the Saviour from sin. The Law cannot save us.  There is no innate cleansing power or justification in God’s Law. Salvation is freely given to us through Jesus. But when we’ve received His pardoning grace, then we are going to be obedient to the Law. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. So we walk in obedience to His commandments not in order to be saved, but because we are saved. And as long as we remain in Christ, the Law can’t touch us or condemn us, but the moment we depart from Him we need the Law to show us our sin and turn us back to Jesus. The Law of God is needed as a continuous watchdog to remind us of sin. We can never discard it as of no further use. The Law points out sin; the gospel saves from sin. The Law is the will of God; the gospel is the power to do the will of God—they go hand in hand. Law and grace are never opposed to each other, but are the wedded twins of the Bible. In Revelation 14:12 we find them together in one verse: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Notice that the commandments are there. Law is there, and the faith of Jesus is there, too. They go together.

Today, many Christians misunderstand the true meaning of “works”. It simply means “obedience”. Works or obedience is simply the natural, after-effect of salvation upon the heart and life.. As Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Through willing and allegiant obedience to the teachings of Christ we can prove our love for Him. Love is manifested in the works of obedience. 1 John 2:4 says, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Profession is not enough for salvation – as James states in chapter 2:26, “…faith without works is dead” – and as Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

Some Christians feel that the Law was the Old Covenant – and because the Old Covenant has been done away with, therefore the Law has also been done away with. The Old Covenant was not the Law of God nor the Ten Commandments. It was the agreement between God and His people concerning the keeping of those commandments. Under the new covenant, the Law is written into the heart, and the crowning motive of love constrains obedience to every commandment of Christ. Before the Old Covenant came into being the New Covenant existed and was understood. This promise goes back to the foundation of the world, for Christ is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. The concepts of the Law of God and all of the Ten Commandments were understood and obeyed by the godly before the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai, where God spoke them and wrote them on stone tablets. There is no salvation in an Old Covenant experience by works. It is only in a New Covenant experience of faith in Jesus that we have salvation, whether Old or New Testament times.

The Old Testament heroes referred to in Hebrews 11 found a New Covenant experience in Old Testament times. Paul says in Romans 4 that Abraham found this New Covenant experience of being justified by faith. He lived two thousand years before Christ died on Calvary. Apart from Christ there is no salvation in Old Testament time or New. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4.

The Old Testament sacrifices had virtue only as the sinner, by bringing a lamb for a sin offering, demonstrated his faith in God’s promises to some day send a Saviour who would be “brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” One who would be “wounded for our transgressions,” and “bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53).

Some Christians think that the Old Testament was the dispensation of law and the New Testament the dispensation of grace – so they reject anything to do with the commandments. But that’s an erroneous doctrine. In heaven there will be no division between those who were saved in the Old Testament law and those saved in the New by grace. Grace was every bit as prevalent in the Old Testament as the New. No one ever has been or ever will be saved, except by grace. Every Old Testament character who reaches the kingdom of God will be there only because he accepted the undeserved grace of Christ. In Genesis 6:8, we are told, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” In Genesis 19:19, Lot also partook of God’s grace. It’s the universal channel by which men are accepted into heaven.

As allegiant followers of Christ we should not try to keep the Law in order to be saved; we keep the Law because we are saved. If we are going to live the life of a true and allegiant believer, we must strive to obey God’s Law. We do not do it for the purpose of being justified, but because we have been justified and saved. As David described in Psalm 119:146, “I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies”, obedience and good works follow salvation.  If we truly have what many Christians refer to as “a relationship with Jesus Christ”, we will love Him so much that we are glad to obey Him – and to keep all His commandments. Good works of obedience will always follow a genuine “grace-saved” individual if they have been truly converted.

See also: Genesis 6:8; 19:19; 26:5; Exodus 20:1-17; 31:18; Deuteronomy 6:2-5; Psalm 19:7; 119:142,146,172; Isaiah 6:3; 53; Ezekiel 22:26; Matthew 2:4; 3:4; 5:17-19; 7:21; 19:16-19; 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31; John 14:6,15; 15:10; Romans 3:19,31; 6:14,15; 7:12; Hebrews 8:10; 10:4; James 2:10-12,26; 1 John 2:1-6; 3:4; 4:8; 5:1-6; Revelation 12:17; 13:8; 14:12

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Copyright © 2010 Braden Caldwell
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