Many current and former W/XCGers face this question about “The Law” and the relationship to the believer. Trust me this is no small potatoes for either current or former W/XCGers. Some treat it as a matter of life and death. As one well knows that this is a very heated and explosive topic to say the least. Many former XCGers who have embraced evangelical Christianity, hold to the notion that the law has no relationship to the believer and is under “the law of Christ” which is stipulated in the New Covenant. The law in the Old Covenant has no relevance today and shouldn’t even be considered to look at. Jeus Christ is our chief role model and that’s all one needs. Some in the Christian Reformed faith would believe that the moral law stipulated in the Old Testament has relevance for the believer today, parts of the ceremonial law are not relevant and are not necessary to keep nor emulate. Those in Armstrongism believe that there is no salvation apart from obedience to God law. Those schooled in the essentials of historic Cristian faith know very well that this is problematic. This belief actually compromises the belief in salvation of grace by faith in Jesus Christ—meaning when it comes to being saved it is not a matter of what you can do for God but it is a matter of what God has done 2000 years ago by sending His Son to die for the sins of mankind and liberate humanity from the bondage of death. In Armstrongism one “qualifies in entering” the kingdom. One cannot be assured that he or she is saved because that is presumptuous and arrogant! But scripture talks about assurance, that believers are given The Holy Spirit which SEALS a believer for the day of redemption! Not the meticulous observance of the law!
But what about the law—or Torah??? I have managed through another blog which is of Messianic Jewish orientation had collected this article from a Torah-observant Messianic website called The First Fruits of Zion. Doug Ward of Grace and Knowledge has subscribed to their materials and has spoken positively about their works. In the articled titled, It is Often Said:“Two Thousand Years of Christianity Cannot be Wrong!” by Tim Hegg, sheds some interesting light on Christianity’s relationship with the law (Torah):
Throughout the history of the Christian Church, a great deal of Torah has been taught and practiced,even if done so under a different label. While many sincere Christians may
say they have no obligation to obey the Torah, in reality they live out
He was kind to all, giving aid to the poor and the widows. He reverenced God in his daily living and took every opportunity to share the Gospel. And though he gave his life to serve others as a humble shepherd of souls, he never neglected his family. He was a faithful husband and a good father. In other words, his life exemplified the “weightier matters of the Torah,” and so have many Christians throughout the centuries.
I’m wondering, though, what justification and sanctification are. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve read my share of Protestant evangelical literature, and I know how they define them. But what I see when I read the New Testament and early Christian literature is that we still need to ask for forgiveness. Some of it suggests that we have to keep repenting and living a holy life in order to enter the good afterlife. Barnabas talks about giving alms for atonement.
In light of all this, I wonder why Christ came to die, if there are other means for atonement (confession). And, if Christ’s death accomplished what a lot of evangelicals claim–I’m righteous in God’s sight and guaranteed for the good afterlife–then why do I need to keep on seeking forgiveness, or why can certain works of the flesh bar me from the kingdom of God?