The’ Law’ of Christ is a nebulous idea and not easily defined. Whatever it is, it is certainly not a ‘law’ in the sense of the Law of Moses. Perhaps it can be most easily appreciated by an example: (this one contributed by David White)
The law of Christ in action.
“Just one look – that’s all it took, yeah.. .”
A line from a 60s song by one of my all-time favourite groups, the Hollies.
On the night Jesus was dragged off for illegal trial and condemnation, the Gospels paint the picture of a desperate Simon Peter. Aware both of a pending death sentence for his beloved Lord, and of his own promise to stand by Him no matter what, we find him sitting in a cold courtyard around a fire. Trying to watch what is happening to Jesus, yet appear to be unconnected must have been tearing him apart. To maintain the secret, he has denied that he knows Jesus twice now, just as Jesus had predicted. It’s all about to come to a head, and as the challenge that he, Peter, ‘was one of them ‘ cuts like a knife through the night, Peter takes a breath to reply. Fear spikes his words. Fisherman’s oaths accompany them. Emphatic denial ensues. And it is at that moment that two things happen in close succession. Somewhere in the darkness a cock crows.. . and across the space between them, somehow visible in the gloom, Peter’s eyes are met by his Lord’s. In that moment, in that short glance, all Peter’s bluster, along with his failed promises, are vapourised. Jesus knows! He always did know. It was just that Peter didn’t. Until now. And, just like the others, Peter now forsakes and flees – hiding in the night to pour out his bitter tears.
What happened? How did the ‘big fisherman’ suddenly dissolve into a soggy mess?
Only this:- Jesus looked at him
That was all it needed. Maybe there was a time when it would have taken a few dozen hammers and hardened steel nails to penetrate that thick, dense hide. But Peter isn’t that man anymore. He has just spent three years soaking in a Saviour’s love. He has heard things, seen things which have changed him forever. And he has grown to love the Lord of life above all measure. So now, all Jesus has to do is look, and Peter learns.
Why do we not need ‘Law’ and commandments?
Because the new heart God gives to all who are in His Son also provides us with a thin skin, equipped with lots of spiritual nerve endings. We are ‘tuned’ to discern His will , now that we are His. And when we go wrong, God doesn’t need to thunder at us. Sometimes He doesn’t even need to speak. All it takes is a look.
Article – ‘The Law and the Spirit’ (inc. The Law of Christ)