A Regulator of Church Purity: The Moral Law
The Moral Law is a Tutor Depicting God’s Personality
Since loving God with ALL the heart is indisputably connected to keeping ALL the commandments of God, how does a man obtain a clear conscience or find freedom from guilt when ALL of the commandments of God are not fulfilled?
In the former chapter we observed Paul’s notorious denouncements and extolments of the Law in reference to false Judaism and true Judaism. The two references which are notably important to the above question are found in Romans 10:5 and Galatians 3:12.
“For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the Law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” – Rom. 10:5
“And the Law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” – Gal. 3:12
The pronouncement, “shall live”, is a promise conditionally fulfilled by “the man that deoth” the Law. This means that those who fail to do the Law will not live! Alluding to this I wrote in the former chapter, saying, “how should a true Jew respond to the Mosaic command quoted in Romans 10:5 and Galatians 3:12? How would a religion of faith and grace via the Gospel incorporate such words which threatened death if the moral and ceremonial standard was unfulfilled? Certainly, there must be some means of fulfilling the Mosaic command quoted in Romans 10:5 and Galatians 3:12, right? Otherwise all Jews would have died. When the Mosaic command is related to as “the Law of righteousness” achievable “by faith”, all things can be fulfilled even though sinless perfection is unfulfilled.” This section is dedicated to clarifying this biblical truth by showing the interworking of seemingly contradictory affirmations.
Biblical phraseology is justified, my reader, especially in the light of the question which instigates this section: Since loving God with ALL the heart is indisputably connected to keeping ALL the commandments of God, how does a man obtain a clear conscience or find freedom from guilt when ALL of the commandments of God are not fulfilled? There is no contradiction! By the Moral Law (God’s moral expectation of us) God desires to walk in friendship with us. The Moral Law (i.e. biblical phraseology) is a tutor to moral reconciliation with God, for without the Law there would be no knowledge of sin or God (Rom. 7:7). The Law was written and commanded as a Divine Schoolmaster until the time appointed. Thus, Israel was tutored to be reconciled to the personality of God with all their heart, even though they (and we) wait for a sinlessly perfect and entire reconciliation in the time to come. Albeit, knowing that the personality of God is morally perfect and sinlessly perfect, according to the Law, on what grounds does God’s friendship with the redeemed exist?
All the saints of the Old Testament, “having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” which they looked for (namely, the promise of the Kingdom of God in full restoration [the Messiah’s Reign] which results in the paradise of sinlessly perfect friendship with God). You see, the true Jews were looking-after-the-promise with all their heart! What they did not yet possess, they desired and pursued with all their heart! Despite the absence of sinless perfection and, thus, the presence of sins committed, what they (and we) were not in deed they were in desire, by the amazing grace of God which ruled their will in omnipotent power (see Rom. 2:25-29). This is an experience known as regeneration: an experience of reconciliation between God and man which happened (Sinless-to-sinner), firstly, in the heart, will, and desire of sinful man. Thus when this transforming regeneration happened in the heart, salvation had begun… aye, but let us understand that it was not finished! They were regenerated but they had not yet experienced Final Salvation --- the performance of sinless perfection! Thus, the salvation experience was not finished in them or in us, Old Testament saints or New Testament saints, just as the timing of Final Salvation was affirmed 1 Peter 1:5, saying, “salvation ready to be revealed in the Last Time”. This means in other words that the fullness of the word of God is yet to be fulfilled but it will be fulfilled in the Last Time.
Therefore it is true in us, the saints of the Gentile Church Age, that the Messiah has come into our hearts (Eph. 3:17) …but we are still waiting. For the Messiah to come into our hearts means that the Kingdom has begun within us, according to Luke 17:21 (even in our hearts, mere Gentiles!), but we await the final inheritance of The Kingdom when it becomes manifest to the Jews (Rom. 11:25-26). This mysterious beginning of the Messiah’s Kingdom is existing right now in a state which places us, the Gentiles, at the same lookout point as the Old Testament saints pertaining to the experience of moral redemption (“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” -Rom. 5:21). We have a new Ruler and King, beginning in “the will”, but we must wait for and look after the consummation of salvation which is “ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5, Heb. 9:28, 1 Thess. 1:9-10). This similar lookout point is also a groaning-point. It was written, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body”, for what things of redemption we do now lack we do, nevertheless, “with patience wait for it” (Rom. 8:23-25). You see, the beginning of this Messianic Kingdom in the Gentile Church Age is comparable to a fruit-fruits ingathering, but there is an everlasting harvest to come (Rom. 8:23)! When the Kingdom is turned back to the literal Jews the saints of every age will be translated into the glory of “life from the dead” (Rom. 11:15), literally speaking, resulting in the bliss of sinless perfection thenceforth and forevermore (1 Cor. 13:10, Php. 3:10-15). Paul exhaustively proves this in Romans Chapter 11 with indisputable clarity, my reader.
Therefore, we also, like as the Old Testament saints, look after a greater salvation to be experienced via sinless perfection (“the redemption of our body”-Rom.8:23), which we are not experiencing right now before the Final Resurrection. Until then, seeing that God saves “the will” of man without redeeming the body of man, what can be said of all the sins which we are committing every day? Let us take careful note here! Because God is saving the man, ALL THE WILL exists in a cleansed condition even though the desire to be sinlessly perfect is not fulfilled, because the sins which are short-comings to sinless perfection are ignorantly committed instead of willfully committed, thus the saint continually resorts to the blood of Christ for a present-continuous friendship with the morally perfect personality of God. My reader, is this not what the Old Testament tutors a man to become? Henceforth, let us prove this matter in 4 points:
#1) According to the Old Testament, God is not expecting sinless perfection (in real deed), but by the righteousness of the Law He is calling for it. What God calls us to love, He does not expect us to obtain in this life.
#2) The hearts of regenerate men are conscientiously and entirely repenting from what the Law condemns, and this means, furthermore, they are conscientiously and entirely reaching forth unto what the Law commands, thus they are desiring sinless perfection with ALL THEIR HEART, but what they aspire in heart-felt repentance and godly desire is not obtained in real deed and time.
#3) Though God commands sinless perfection He does not expect sinless perfection, that is, until He makes provision for it via the Final Resurrection. Therefore, until then, the short-comings from sinless perfection do not spot the conscience of Old Testament or New Testament saints because they resort to the Gospel for present-progressive forgiveness and cleansing (via shadows or realities). Though the provision for a lifestyle of sinless perfection has not yet arrived (via the 2nd Advent of Christ), God has provided a means of Lawful righteousness, Lawful innocence, and Lawful sinlessness, based upon the righteousness of Another, and thereby God is vindicated in all of His verbal commandments, requirements, and expectations in every age, because that which He commands, requires, and expects, He accomplishes (Isa. 44:22). What God calls us to love He does not expect us to obtain, but what we love we will steadfastly seek and patiently wait for, until that which is reckoned by faith and enjoyed by conscience is experienced in reality to the “redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23).
#4) In this way, the Law leads/tutors men to be reconciled to the personality of God depicted by the Law (a sinlessly perfect personality), and by cleaving unto God by faith they all await a final redemption which is, “when that which is perfect is come” (1 Cor. 13:10).
Point #1 - According to the Old Testament, God is not expecting sinless perfection (in real deed), but by the righteousness of the Law He is calling for it. What God calls us to love, He does not expect us to obtain in this life.
Point #2 - The hearts of regenerate men are conscientiously and entirely repenting from what the Law condemns, and this means, furthermore, they are conscientiously and entirely reaching forth unto what the Law commands, thus they are desiring sinless perfection with ALL THEIR HEART, but what they aspire in heart-felt repentance and godly desire is not obtained in real deed and time.
The affirmation, “And it shall be our righteousness if we observe to do ALL these commandments before the LORD our God, as He hath commanded us” (Deut. 6:25), is not in contradiction to the word of Habakkuk or Micah, who said, “the just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38), and, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Mic. 6:8). The obtainable righteousness found through obeying the Law (“The man that doeth them shall live in them”-Gal.3:12) was impossible without faith, as Habakkuk said, “the just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4). Undoubtedly, the man that “lives”, in Habakkuk 2:4, is the same man that “lives” in Leviticus 18:2-5, Deut. 6:24-25, 4:1-4, Prov. 12:28, Neh. 9:29, Ezek. 20:11, 13, and, furthermore, this is the same man in reference by Christ in terms of the New Covenant parallel in Matt. 19:17, Lk. 10:25-28, Rom. 10:5-6. No contradiction is meant here, just as was demonstrated in the life of Abraham who was, at first, justified by faith and not by works (Rom. 4:1-4), and then, later, “justified by works” (James 2:20-26) through faith… but not as the false Jews thought so to be!
Righteousness has never come by the mere observation of carnal Law, or “through the Law” (Rom. 4), but the righteousness of God came by faith in the voice of God who preached shadow-like expressions of the Gospel (exemplified in Hebrews chapter 11). Without faith, a man would not be preserved alive according to Hab. 2:4. Even so, without obedience, a man would not be preserved alive in Deuteronomy 6:24-25 (Rom. 10:5, Gal. 3:12). These two passages do not contradict! The Law indeed could be obeyed, evidenced by the fact that Old Testament Jews were preserved alive (Deut. 6:24) so as to glorify God amidst the exploits of saving grace (to name a few, formerly mentioned: Job [Job. 1:1, 8, 2:3], Noah [Gen. 6:9], Abraham [Gen. 15:6, 17:1-2, 18:17-19, 22:12, 16-18, 48:15, Jas. 2:23], Zecharias & Elisabeth [Lk. 1:6]). For this reason, it was written, “By faith…the Elders obtained a good report” (Heb. 11:1-2)!
The writer of Hebrews did boldly detail the exploits of saving grace experienced by the preserved and perseverant saints of old, saying, “By faith…”, Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, and the Prophets were memorialized as heroes to imitate (Heb. 11)! These men escaped the Divine Threat of death which was executed upon the disobedient because faith results in obedience, a controverted and convoluted point of truth which has been perverted by false prophets and defended by true prophets all throughout the Old Testament (a truth scrupulously defended Ezekiel 33:11-20). Through the Law, God was not putting before men what couldn’t be done, He was putting before men what had already been done by some (Deut. 1:36, 38, 4:1-4) and what was required from all (Deut. 7:1-5)! Who has kept the Law in this way, you wonder?
“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the Land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.” – Deut. 4:1-4
To fulfill “ALL the commandments” that they might live was not impossible, as was exemplified by those who had thus far survived, Moses testified (Deut. 4:1-4). It was written, “But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day” (Deut. 4:4). The terminology which pertained to a saving walk with God was clear: “to cleave” was to observe “ALL the commandments”, as it was confirmed in Deuteronomy 8:1, also, “ALL the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the Land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.” This phrase was not rejected but accepted by all Israelites who desired to live! By these terms they understood the pathway whereby they might live (Deut. 8:1, 19-20). This message is not unclear, is it? “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in ALL His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD thy God with ALL thy heart and with ALL thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good” (Deut. 10:12-13)? A love for God which was with “all” the heart and soul did express itself thence, “to keep the commandments of the LORD” and walk in “ALL” of God’s ways.
“I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to ALL that Thou hast commanded me” (Deut. 26:14), is the profession of every saved man in Israel. Do you think God Almighty was commanding Israelites to lie when they made this ritualistic confession in Deuteronomy 26:14, my reader? If so you are sadly mistaken. They knew that God was not requiring of them sinless perfection, else why would they be so devoted to the ceremonial means of atonement which God had provided? Their lives were riddled with sins which kept them from “the glory of God” in sinless perfection (Rom. 3:23), yes, but the smoke of the morning and evening sacrifice never went out (Ex. 29:38-39)! Hallelujah. The spiritual purpose of every ceremony was, in essence, a re-invoking of the salvific vow (Deut. 26:15-19) which resulted from faith in God’s means of saving grace (Deut. 26:3-9); this was the case whether it was by verbal confession, meditative contemplation, or prayerful penitence of any shortcoming. The blessing of God was unmistakably dependent upon the people of God receiving His charge to “keep ALL His commandments” (Deut. 26:18); this was the agreement which they were to unwaveringly make to God on a heart-level. Without this commitment there would be no mutual avouchment between man and God, evidenced by Deuteronomy Chapter 26 in its entirety. Upon the grounds of authentic Israelite professions (“I profess this day”-Deut. 26:3) and confessions (“thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God”-Deut. 26:5, 13) made presently and progressively, their saving relationship with God was perseverant! Conveying this, it was written,
“This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with ALL thine heart, and with ALL thy soul. Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep ALL his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.” – Deut. 26:16-19
At the catechizing baptism of Mount Ebal and Gerizim, so to speak (Deut. 27:2), there were 12 curses to amen. The 12th brings into view the whole of the Law, “Cursed be he that confirmeth not ALL THE WORDS of this Law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen” (Deut. 27:26). What is the purpose of this catechism? It was authored for this peculiar generation because, “this day”, the people had become, as Moses said to them, “the people of the LORD thy God” (Deut. 27:9). “This day” was representative of their baptism wherefrom they were to carry the baton their fathers handed down. All the blessings spoken aloud were of like representation (Deut. 28:1-13). All were spoken with an if – “IF that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from ANY of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deut.. 28:13-14). At further points of the Chapter spoke of curses, curses, and curses, “till [the people] be destroyed”, God said, if indeed they “hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD [their] God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded [them]” (Deut. 28:45). All these curses would come upon them, God said, “If [they would] not observe to do ALL the words of this Law that are written in this book, that [they] mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD” (Deut. 28:58).
The newly made Covenant (“The Palestinian Covenant”) exhibits the same standard. In the end of the day IF Israel was to perish, they would perish “because they have forsaken the Covenant” (Deut. 29:25). How? By a failure to walk out the lifestyle they all agreed upon, “that we may do ALL the words of this Law” (Deut. 29:29). The hearts of their fathers and their hearts (where applicable) were circumcised in the day of their assembly before Sinai, but at any point of their utter backsliding into fallenness it would be required of them to renew and regain what they once had when they freshly heart-fully vowed themselves to the LORD their God. Leviticus 26:41 states this conditional restoration, saying, “if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity”, just as Deuteronomy 30:1-10 declared. This restoration is – a restoration of spiritual circumcision – which does, of course, revive a keeping of “ALL” the commandments of God with “ALL” the heart and “ALL” the soul (Deut. 30:2, 6, 8-10). Why? This is “love” (Deut. 30:6, 19-20). Israel was called to “love the LORD” their God (Deut. 30:6, 19-20) in this very way! God was intent upon establishing a saving relationship with the people of Israel. For good reason, therefore, the first 4 commandments of The Ten Commandments pertained to this vertical bond between God-and-man. The last 6 commandments pertained to Israel horizontally, man-to-man. God loving man and man loving God was the well-spring of keeping all the Law.
My reader, settle it in your heart. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 depicts a lifestyle that only the regenerating Holy Spirit could fulfill from the heart (see also Deut. 11:18-20, 17:18-20). God was not commanding the outer-man to “go through the motions”, no! This lifestyle was to be an overflow of the HEART! God required obedience – with & through love – with ALL the heart and soul, as Deuteronomy 10:12-13 & 10:16 commanded (see also Deut. 11:1, 13, 22-23, 13:3-4, 19:9, 31:9-13). Upon seeing that loving God with ALL the heart was indisputably connected to keeping ALL of His commandments, and, howbeit, God’s expectation of sinless perfection was unachievable, whereby shall a man be justified before God in so much that, by profession (Deut. 26:16-19) and justification (Lk. 1:6), neither he nor God is a liar? Yet again, note the phraseology:
“…righteous before God, walking in ALL THE COMMANDMENTS and ordinances of the Lord blameless” - Luke 1:6
According to scripture this was possible, but how? What does the New Testament mean by this affirmation (an affirmation that is exactly parallel to the phraseology seen in Deuteronomy and elsewhere)?
Point #3 - Though God commands sinless perfection He does not expect sinless perfection, that is, until He makes provision for it via the final resurrection. Therefore, until then, the short-comings from sinless perfection do not spot the conscience of Old Testament or New Testament saints because they resort to the Gospel for present-progressive forgiveness and cleansing (via shadows or realities). Though the provision for a lifestyle of sinless perfection has not yet arrived (via the 2nd Advent of Christ), God has provided a means of Lawful righteousness, Lawful innocence, and Lawful sinlessness, based upon the righteousness of Another, and thereby God is vindicated in all of His verbal commandments, requirements, and expectations in every age, because that which He commands, requires, and expects, He accomplishes (Isa. 44:22). What God calls us to love He does not expect us to obtain, but what we love we will steadfastly seek and patiently wait for, until that which is reckoned by faith and enjoyed by conscience is experienced in reality to the “redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23).
Point #4 - In this way, the Law leads/tutors men to be reconciled to the personality of God depicted by the Law (a sinlessly perfect personality), and by cleaving unto God by faith they all await a final redemption which is, “when that which is perfect is come” (1 Cor. 13:10).
Seeing that it is NOT possible to have heart-bound affection so as to keep the whole Law in a sinlessly perfect way – this is not what is meant by the text – therefore important clarifications need to be made on what the Old Testament means when it demanded and described salvation as, “walking in ALL THE COMMANDMENTS and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Lk. 1:6).
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee” – Isaiah 44:22
“And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.” – Numbers 15:28 [see also Lev. 4:2, 13, 22-23, 27-28, Deut. 19:4-10]
When God provides the means of forgiveness and redemption via the Gospel by shadow (by way of Old Testament ceremony), and by faith the saint observes it (with necessary repentance from any sin), “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him” (Ezek. 33:16). It is written, again, “All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live” (Ezek. 18:22). Whatever ignorant sins he was committing they are forgiven him, and it is written that God will not mention them again. In other words, God has forgotten them. Therefore God is righteous and vindicated to affirm that His people do walk in “ALL THE COMMANDMENTS and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Lk. 1:6), for, verily, one of His ordinances was substitutionary atonement! Knowing that God is not expecting sinless perfection (in real deed), and yet, nevertheless, knowing that God is requiring a keeping of ALL the commandments of God with ALL the heart (conscientiously), the sins which are continuously committed are ignorant sins – sins which are atoned for and thus forgotten by God! They are not remember by God nor imputed to man. Therefore Lawfully and morally (by way of substitutionary atonement), God judges the man based upon the righteousness of another so that - the man is keeping ALL the commandments of God! This is the performance of His commandment until the provision for sinless perfection does clothe the saints in a glorified body, and thereby God will perform His word completely, entirely, and in actuality forevermore. He that was innocent of all sin and completely justified before God will then live without sin forever more!
By the “ALL the commandments”, I acknowledge that sinless perfection was demanded by God but obtainable by man, and when a man fulfills “ALL of the Law” in good conscience with “ALL of his heart”, this does not mean he will in actuality fulfill all of the Law so as to be sinlessly perfect – that which is sought after in clear conscience and by willful intention, is not done in real deed. This means that, according to his conscience, he is “pressing toward the mark” of sinless perfection (Php. 3:14), and yet, he, being encumbered about with besetting sins that are ignorant and unwillingly committed, is forced to cast his faith upon the Gospel preached to him (via the shadows of the Ceremonial Law or the reality of Jesus Christ). As for the Old Testament saints, he is tutored – his faith drives him to observe the ceremonies conscientiously and faithfully, to alleviate any guilt of conscience.
As for the redeemed of the New Covenant, we bask in the dawn of the reformation wherein all shadows of the Gospel are being fulfilled by Christ (on earth and in heaven; see Heb. 9:10). The shadows of the Law (the OT Gospel displayed by ceremonies) were the continual source of undeserved acceptance for needy Israelites who were guilty of short-comings from sinless perfection. The faith of an OT saint resorted to shadows (a glory which has faded like the light which shined from Moses’ face; 2 Cor. 3:6-18), but the faith of a NT saint resorts to the Person of Christ - the reality of the shadows - the embodiment and fulfillment of every prophetic ceremony! The resort of faith has been reformed from earthly ceremonies to a heavenly Man! The glory of the Old Testament was fading because the shadows were fading into realities, howbeit, the purpose for which saints do resort to God is the same… GRACE. Grace for forgiveness and grace for continuing and increasing empowerment. When mankind was confronted by the Law, which is God’s revealed personality (what He loves and hates, morally speaking), they learned the knowledge of sin and their need for GRACE. Therefore, in very deed, Israel continually attended ceremonial atonement for undeserved forgiveness. The knowledge of sin (the Law) tutored Israel to see their need for the Gospel (Gal. 3:24-25), and upon relentlessly cleaving to fleeting shadows the dawn of Christ’s reformation was born! God’s mysterious purpose and unsearchable wisdom, which is now apparent, did set the guilty conscience running for refuge until, namely, at the fullness of times, the course of every runner is directed into the arms of Jesus! God restarted the Calendar to make the proclamation unmistakable, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!”
This being said, what saith the New Testament concerning the fulfillment of the Moral Law? James 2:5-26 is not arguing that man shouldn’t keep the Moral Law, is it? It speaks of how to become a “transgressor of the Law” (Jas. 2:9-11) because sin is “the transgression of the Law” (1 Jn. 3:4), yes, but the passage is not nullifying the Law and advocating sin, is it? The passage is, rather, establishing the Law in its rightful place that it might be fulfilled! James says, very clearly, “If ye fulfill the royal Law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8). James is clarifying the Law to show the saints that they were transgressing the Law, only to charge them to behave as those who will be judged by the Law! “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the Law of liberty” (James 2:12), he said. It is James who coined the statement, “faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:20, 26), and he is very specific about what deeds we should fulfill as true Christians! James knows that upon the condition that men love God and love their neighbor, the whole Law will be fulfilled (not in sinless perfection but by unmerited justification and consequential empowerment). Those two things upon which hangs all the Law (Matt. 22:40), James preached! He does not deny them! They are not irrelevant to a New Testament saintly standing! According to James and the other inspired writers, this standard was to be fulfilled not denied (Rom. 8:4, 2:13, 6:12, 6:16, 13:8, 15:18, Gal. 5:7, 24, 6:7-9; for more information, see Legalism: Law, Grace, and Works). [Note: When Galatians speaks of being a “debtor to do the whole Law” (Gal. 5:3), he is speaking of “bondage” to the Ceremonial Law (Gal. 5:1). He is not speaking of shunning the righteousness of the Law, otherwise he would not have written 11 verses later, “For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Gal. 5:14, Rom. 8:4). All true saints kept the righteousness of the Law, morally speaking; thus they did fulfill it!]
Israel was tutored to find GRACE, right? And this GRACE makes men fulfill the Law instead of break the Law. The posture of man which embraces GRACE does so for the enablement of obedience whereby he does fulfill the Law. The resignation of faith and repentance, therefore, no longer repels the personality of God (conveyed by the morality of the Law) but welcomes it! The resignation of faith and repentance is, therefore, a whole man surrender (heart, soul, mind, and strength) to conscientiously keep ALL of God’s commandments as much as it depends upon your own will. What you “will to do”, you cannot do, but according to the cleanness of your conscience you strive so to do! The experience of salvation is invariably this way. Absolute surrender is the salvific crucifying of the sinner, no exceptions.