All Are Held Accountable To The Law Of Christ
By: Brian A. Yeager
Over the years I have met some folks who declare that the New Testament is the law for Christians, not for non-Christians. This false doctrine is most often rooted in seeking to part ways with the teaching of Christ on divorce and remarriage. Those who have decided to argue against the teaching of Christ on divorce and remarriage have really rejected the law of marriage put in place from the beginning (Matthew 19:3-9; cf. Genesis 2:18-24).
There are some subjects in the Scriptures that are difficult. These subjects require deep studies in the word of God. In those studies we must always be cautious not to twist the word of God to our own destruction (II Peter 3:15-18). The subject we are about to study IS NOT one of those deep subjects. In fact, it is so easy I cannot fathom how people have fallen prey to the errors on this subject. I do know this, everyone that I have studied with at length, who err on this subject matter, are looking to get out of obeying the law of Christ. Thus, we are going to begin with some simple things that should solve this debate in any honest mind. Let’s start first with a basic understanding of what sin is.
What Is Sin?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law… All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death” (I John 3:4 and I John 5:17). Secondly, let’s determine what puts one outside of Christ. Notice: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (II John 9). Any honest person, who is not trying to put a death grip on a false doctrine, should already have this subject down.
Since sin is the transgression of the law, one cannot sin where there is no law (Romans 7:7). To be clear, notice this Scripture: “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15). In other words, one cannot be a fornicator if there is no law. One cannot be an adulterer if there is no law. One cannot be worshipping in error if there is no law. We should get the point here. Thus, it is time to make some applications.
Applying The Point
We are about to look at a context wherein Paul, in accordance with the law of Christ, is going to condemn the unscriptural worship of alien sinners. “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:22-31).
Now, notice another context that shows alien sinners were held accountable to the law of Christ PRIOR to being born into the kingdom: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
Again, like above, notice these Scriptures: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness… Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led… For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light… Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them” (Romans 6:17-18, I Corinthians 12:2, Ephesians 5:8, and Colossians 3:5-7).
All of the examples above PROVE that one is held accountable to the law of Christ before conversion. If they were not, they’d have no sin (Romans 3:20). If men are not held accountable to the law of Christ there’d be nothing to repent of prior to conversion. We know this is not the case (Acts 3:19). Simply put, all men are going to be judged by the law of Christ.
According to the inspired word of God, we’re all going to be judged by the words of Christ. Here is the proof: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day… In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad… For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (John 12:48, Romans 2:16, II Corinthians 5:10, and James 2:10-12). There is more that could be said, but the simplicity of the issue could be lost in much words. If you can read and understand this article, you know you’re going to be held accountable to the law of Jesus Christ (I Peter 4:1-5 and I Peter 4:17-19)!
Volume 11 – Issue 25 - March 13th, 2011