Russell Kemp—April 29, 2023

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download

Today what I would like to talk to you about is God's Law nailed to the cross? I'm relatively sure that most of us believe that God's Laws are still in effect. However, many churches believe that through Christ the Law was done away with, was nailed to the cross!

My wife and I have had discussions with our grandson who attends a Baptist Church concerning this issue. He goes to the Baptist Church because he's been around a lot of his friends in school and everything. They're good friends and they attend this church. I will tell you that there are others whom I meet with on occasion when I go to Florida and a lot of questions come up regarding the question and brings up certain Scriptures like Acts. 15:28-29.

Are you prepared to address this issue and question about the Law? If someone came to you and question you about the Law and said, 'I believe according to Paul that the Law was done away with'!

Let's see what the Bible actually says about this issue so that we can be prepared to have that discussion when somebody brings these things up.

Let's first of all just turn to a few of the Scriptures that are used to justify and the Law has indeed been done away.

Romans 10:4: "For Christ is the end of works of law for righteousness to everyone who believes." It certainly appears here that Christ is the end of the works of law!

My grandson says that he is a Gentile and also my good friend in Florida also feels the same way. Therefore, if you're a Gentile the Law does not apply to him as it does to the Jews.

But then when you drop down to v 12—pay attention here—it says:

Verse 12: "For there is no difference between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all is rich toward all who call upon Him."

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under Law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!" (vs 14-15).

Paul makes it pretty clear here that we are not to sin. So, what is sin?

1-John 3:4[transcriber's correction]: "Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." If there is no Law you can't sin!

KJV: "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the Law, for sin is the transgression of the Law."

So, we see here that the definition of sin is to violate God's Laws! Clear definition! If there is no Law there is no sin!

I doubt seriously that anyone who claims to be a Christian is going to argue with you that it's a sin to murder, commit adultery, steal or bear false witness. Who would argue that we are not to worship false gods? Use the Lord's name in vain? These are indeed all sins! According to John a violation of God's Law, plain and clear!

A lot of churches don't like the fourth commandment, but it goes along with all the others. So, if we violate these commandments, plain and simple, we sin! If we do, in so doing, and it sin, then the commandments are God's Laws. Very simple put, violating God's commandments is a sin, and sin is a violation of the Law. Let's take a look at what God's Word—the Bible—says about the commandments, because if we don't keep them we're breaking the Law.

Before we leave sin alone, let's turn to Rom. 6 so we can see what actually what Paul says about sin:

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?" (vs 1-2).

Paul makes it pretty clear here that we are not to break God's Laws, because it's sin!

Now, just one more Scripture to make it crystal clear that we are not to sin, and sin is a violation of God's Law!

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us; and let us run the race set before us with endurance."

Is it not clear at this point that sin requires Law, and to violate God's Law is sin? It is clear that the Ten Commandments are God's Laws. They summarize the two greatest commandments of all:

  1. that we shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and being
  2. that you shall love your neighbor as yourself

That's a summary!

With all that said, let us see if we are to keep God's commandments, which are certainly God's Laws! Since most use the Apostle Paul to justify that the Law has been done away with, let's take a look at a few of Paul's words to see what he says about God's commandments.

1-Cor. 7—here Paul is discussing the practice of circumcision, I understand that, but notice what he has to say about the commandments:

1-Corinthians 7:19: "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; rather, the keeping of God's commandments is essential. Let each one abide in the calling in which he was called" (vs 19-20).

Paul here is certainly not telling us that we are not to keep God's Laws. He's not telling us that! Notice that Paul gave them a commandment through Jesus Christ, not to practice fornication:

1-Thessalonians 4:2: "For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus; because this is the will of Godeven your sanctification—that you abstain from fornication." (vs 2-3).

Pretty clear that the commandments of God do apply! However, Paul does specifically talk about the commandments being annulled:

Ephesians 2:15: "Having annulled in His flesh… [speaking of the death of Christ] …the enmity, the law of commandments contained in the decrees of men, so that in Himself He might create both into one new man, making peace." 

He is not referring to the commandments of God! …the enmity of the law…" is the mutual hatred of the Law and its death penalty separating us from God.

I'm using a lot of the Scriptures of Paul because they use it to justify it.

Colossians 2:20: "Therefore, if you have died together with Christ from the elements of the world, why are you subjecting yourselves to the decrees of men as if you were living in the world? They say, 'You may not handle! You may not taste! You may not touch!' The use of all such things leads to corruption… [talking about man-made laws here] …according to the commandments and doctrines of men" (vs 20-22).

Paul makes it very clear whom he's talking about here, the scribes and Pharisees, and they all put these things together. They were not biblically based. So, here Paul is clearly talking about all the traditions, the philosophies, the deceitful ideas of men! In other words, not God's Laws.

Verse 8: "Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ."

Verse 12—concerning our baptism: "Having been buried with Him in baptism… [which we were] …by which you have also been raised with Him through the inner working of God, Who raised Him from the dead."

Talking abut the result of our baptism, v 13: "For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses"through baptism!

Like Christ, we were buried, died, and we came out of that watery grave forgiven of our sins. What was actually nailed to the cross?

Verse 14: "He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross."

Because of sin, we were all under the penalty of death, but Christ paid the penalty for all humanity and nailed our sins to the cross! That's what was nailed to the cross! He took the penalty of those sins upon Himself and nailed them to the cross! He did not nail the Law to the cross!

Let's put this in the proper perspective! We have laws in this country. If you murder or steal you're going to pay a penalty! We have laws! You probably will go to jail, and depending on the crime, you could actually face the death penalty! Believe it or not, at one time we actually had laws against fornication and adultery.

When I was in Norfolk, VA, for a couple years when I was in the U.S. Navy—somewhere around 1962—if you were found with a woman other than your wife in a motel room, you were arrested and went right to jail. Now, in the case of state law, you can be pardoned by the governor and released from that penalty of the crime, including the death penalty! Of course, the President of the United States has the same authority with federal law.

However, being forgiven and released from jail or the death penalty did not annul the law, did not stop or change the law! You were forgiven, buy the law was not done away.

The same is true for us! Through repentance and baptism we are freed from the penalty of eternal death for those sins that we committed that did not do away with God's Laws that we violated. We've been forgiven!

Notice what Paul had to say about the future of God's Laws.

Hebrews 8:8—Paul quotes Christ: "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will establish a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.'"

Then He gives us that New Covenant in v 10: "'For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their minds, and I will inscribe them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.'"

Apparently Paul didn't have a problem with God's Laws after all. He also repeated this:

Hebrews 10:16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord, 'I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again'" (vs 16-17).

So, if the Laws were good in the past, they're still going to be valid in the future. Very clear! Why on earth would they be done away? They identify sin!

Up until now, we have focused on Paul's writings, since those are the ones used to justify the Law being done away with, but very clearly not. However, let's take a look at what John had to say about the keeping of God's commandments.  There's no confusion concerning this issue with John whatsoever! I don't know why but they just don't seem to like the book of 1-John.

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…."

Here again, John is telling us not to sin! It's the violation of God's Law.

"…And yet, if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous" (v 1).

Apparently, as long as we are in the flesh we can sin. But notice that Christ continues atoning for those sins when we get to:

Verse 2: "And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this standard we know that we know Him… [How do we know if we know Him?] …if we keep His commandments" (vs 2-3).

Verse 4: "The one who says, 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him." Very clear!

We may slip up from time-to-time, but we have Christ as an Advocate sitting at the right hand of God the Father to intercede on our behalf! However, we are not to practice sin! That doesn't mean it's okay to sin. We are not to practice sin!

1-John 3:22: "And whatever we may ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and practice those things that are pleasing in His sight."

Any indication here that the laws are done away. John reminds us of the two greatest commandments:

1-John 5:2: "By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome" (vs 2-3).

Keeping God's laws or commandments is not something that we can't do.

2-John 6: "And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, that you might walk in it."

Why is it so difficult to see God's commandments and His statutes and His laws, that they're good, righteous and keeping them is not a burden. Up until now we've just taken the word of the apostles, but how about the very words of Jesus Christ! Christ's words should close the argument concerning the laws and the commandments.

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." Done away with?

Verse 18: "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away… [that has not happened] …one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled."

Heaven and earth have certainly not passed away as far as I know. Notice how Christ clarifies that the commandments are Law!

Verse 19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."

These are serious things to look at! I don't know how much stronger you can get than that!

Matt. 19—we know the story of the young man that came to Christ and asked what he had to do to enter into the Kingdom of God. Then Christ mentioned some of the Ten Commandments. He didn't mention all of them, and a lot of people use that and say, 'that's why we don't have to keep the first four commandments, He didn't mention those!'

Matthew 19:17—Christ to told him: "…But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.'"

Commandments are law, God's Law! Actually I like Luke's account a little better, because it also tells us a little bit more about who is asking the question:

Luke 18:18: "And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, 'Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'

Christ said to him, v 20: "You know the commandments…"

So if we desire to inherit eternal life, we are to keep God's commandments!

John 14:15 Christ tells us: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments."

John 15:10: "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love."

What an opportunity for Christ to say that We did away with those commandments. That isn't what He says!

We often hear about how Paul changed the Sabbath; you won't find that anywhere! And that he did away with the Law.

First of all, did Paul have the authority to do that? Note what Jesus Christ had to say about authority in:

John 5:30: "I have no power to do anything of Myself… [Christ didn't even have the power to do anything of Himself] …but as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me."

NO ONE has the power to change the will of God but God the Father himself! Surely you would think that this is the end of the story. But Christ had a few more words to say when He revealed it to John in the book of Revelation:

Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven say to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes, says the Spirit, so that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them'" (vs 12-13).

In other words, those works are the keeping of God's laws, commandments, and loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being, and loving your neighbors. That's the Ten Commandments summarized!

The end of the story and the result of keeping God's commandments—all the commandments of God—are finally found in:

Revelation 22:12—Christ speaking: "And behold, I am coming quickly; and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (vs 12-13).

What are those works that Christ is talking about?

Verse 14: "Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city."

Brethren, it's pretty clear that if y ou read the whole Bible and not just one or two Scriptures that the Laws were never nailed to the cross.

I'm just really proud of my wife because she stood up when our grandson came in and asked that question, as well.

That's city that we just read about is God's Kingdom! Keeping the laws and commandments is not a burden, not something we can't do. We may slip up from time to time, we're not to practice sin and immediately repent and ask forgiveness! We're not going to be perfect in all aspects of the Law.

But we are not to practice it anymore! We are not to practice sin! Those who desire to be part of God's Kingdom will keep the commandments of God.

If you're questioned on your beliefs, always be prepared to answer the question: Is God's Law nailed to the cross? I think with just some of the Scriptures that we've covered here, it's absolutely clear that that is not true.

Scriptural References:

  1. Romans 10:4, 12
  2. Romans 6:14
  3. 1-John 3:4
  4. Romans 6:1-2
  5. Hebrews 12:1
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:19-20
  7. 1 Thessalonians 4:2-3
  8. Ephesians 2:15
  9. Colossians 2:20-22, 8, 12-14
  10. Hebrews 8:8, 10
  11. Hebrews 10:16-17
  12. 1 John 2:1-4
  13. 1 John 3:22
  14. 1 John 5:2-3
  15. 2 John 6
  16. Matthew 5:17-19
  17. Matthew 19:17
  18. Luke 18:18, 20
  19. John 14:15
  20. John 15:10
  21. John 5:30
  22. Revelation 14:12-13
  23. Revelation 22:12-14

Scripture referenced, not quoted: Acts 28-29

Note our new booklet—
The Apostle Paul's Teachings on God's Laws

Transcribed: 5/3/23

Copyright 2023—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.