‘Jesus and the Law’

I heard a great message from John Piper entitled ‘Jesus and the Law’ and thought it would be a good idea to share it. He talks about some of the very things this site speaks about. A lot of things he says compliment the messages of this site very well. I don’t know much about John Piper, but this caught my attention. I would encourage you to take a few minutes to listen, especially if you are questioning that we need to follow a set of “standards” in order to live righteous lives.

Summary: Christianity is about developing a relationship with Christ, not following a set of rules and standards

Would love to hear your thoughts about it.



  1. Bruce Scheffler

    So what does PCA stand for and what does BCU stand for? Further the relationship is with Jesus not the Bible. The Bible is Gods word and shows us how this all came about. But Jesus said you can only come to the Father through Him not through memorizing His word.

    1. Bruce, please read 1 John 1:1-15. You will see in the beginning was the word,the word was with God and the word was God. Then you will see in vs 13 or 14, the word became flesh and dewelt amongst us. Jesus became flesh, the word became flesh, God is the word. See anything that might stand out to you in these verses. So please read and if you feel your comment is still valid, continue on.

  2. “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” It does sound good. It does sound Biblical. But when we say this, we have to ask how we are defining obedience, by the Bible, by the Holy Spirit, by prayer, or possibly by the influence of men? That sounds so easy and obvious. It’s not always if the environment supports the decision of a particular individual, especially for teenagers looking for support and approval from bishops, preachers, elders, deacons, members of the church administration, school teachers, heroes, youth leaders, and volutneers. We think we’re praying to God asking for his will when we’re just telling him a decision we have already made and asking him for his approval. I didn’t realize this then but I realize this now. The people who questioned this decision were ordained ministers who also called themselves Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, recommended in fact by the church after a winter retreat, and on the college level, a very devout Christian who was an elder in her church. There were other Bible believing churches much closer to home and they weren’t just IFB but members of other conventions and denominations. I wasn’t encouraged to look outside this particular group even when a voice told me that something was wrong even though everything seemed right. It’s easy to see sharp contrasts between right and wrong but in this case it wasn’t so easy. It was more subtle.

  3. Fruit is the key. It is true that we cannot try, in of ourselves, to become a better person. We will never have any God-given power that way. I cannot boast in who I am or who I am to become. People trying to do good on their own for their sinful self (and deceitful heart) are working against God. He is a jealous God and we cannot accept any praise for what the Spirit brings good in our lives. Man’s religion will always have rules and regulations. The world though is very suspicious of church people that give grace as the reason for their sinful lifestyle, however. If anyone asks me why I drink a sangria, I tell them that I have a sin nature. At the same time, I can never work my way to heaven. As for me and countless others, we have left the IFB church and joined the PCA movement. There are so many BJU people at my new little church. They don’t go to BJU schools. They are homeschooled. From what I hear about Christian schools, I can see why they stay away. I teach at a public school in Greenwood, Indiana and enjoy my work there as a Christian school teacher. I do not see any difference between most Christian schools and public schools. So, I do not abhore the public schools nor am exclusive to Christian schools. By the way, our PCA pastor is a big Piper fan. I saw something where Baptists wouldn’t let him take Communion because he wasn’t immersed! That’s just crazy. I wonder why IFBers say they practice historical Christianity. They are not a Protestant denomination in the purest sense nor do they practice Christianity as did the historical Christians in the beginning of the 20th century.

  4. I learned something recently that I thought was very helpful. I noticed several places in the N.T. that mentions the “law of Christ”. I never really understood what the “law of Christ” meant.
    In the O.T. the Mosaic Law consisted of 613 rules and regulations that governed the moral, civil, and ceremonial life of Jews under the Law. The 613 rules were comprehensive in that they covered every aspect of life in Judaism. Living under law was a complete way of life. No one ever had to wonder what they should do in a given situation, all was provided for them in the law.
    When we come to the N.T. we see that we are not under law, but under grace. Paul says in 1 Cor. 9:21, that he is not without law, but under the law of Christ. So what is the law of Christ?
    The law of Christ is a complete system where God guides and directs believers in every area of life as they look to Christ and trust Him and follow Him as their supreme authority and example. Christ Himself, replaces The Mosaic law and lawkeeping in general, as our sufficient leader and example for every situation, difficulty, and moral failure we face. We have Christ Himself to look to for guidance, teaching, in every possible scenario human beings can face. There is no set of rules that could replace, or even come close to what we have in a personal relationship to the perfect Man we love and worship. What more could one want, than to have the Lord Jesus, our all-sufficient guide to follow and imitate? Could any set of rules truly replace or improve our lives more than following the excellencies of our Lord Jesus Christ?

    1. John 17:3 – And this is life eternal, that they might know the Bible…..

      And this is life eternal, that they might pray the sinner’s prayer…

      Or maybe – And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

      Eternal life is born out of a relationship with the living God through His Son. Your post brought several things back into the right perspective. Such as: “The law of Christ… where God guides and directs believers in every area of life as they look to Christ and trust Him and follow Him as their supreme authority and example.”

      Now I give all ample opportunity to brand me because of my heretical thinking.

      So, are there one or two supreme authorities? Or maybe three or four – or even more – or none at all? Jesus, the Bible, the local Church, the pastor, mama……… Might I say that my all-in-all rests in HIM. NOT THE Bible, but Jesus; not a local church or pastor but in Jesus and Jesus alone. To know God is to know Jesus, because He came that we might know the Father. The Bible is an aid to knowing Him, but one thing the Bible shows is that men continually got God wrong.
      As you stated in your post: “The Mosaic law and law keeping in general, as our sufficient leader and example for every situation… We have Christ Himself to look to for…..”
      But we’ve replaced the living Christ with a rule book. We don’t look to Him for direction we turn the pages of the “KJB” to get our direction and we make the two equal. THEY ARE NOT! And all the FIGHTING around the Book is only fighting that seeks to validate MY INTERPRTATION or MY GROUPS INTERPRETATION of what it says.

      It really is all about Jesus. Getting to know Him is the greatest lifelong adventure any of us can ever embark on.

    2. Bob – Once again you sum it up so beautifully. “There is no set of rules that could replace, or even come close to what we have in a personal relationship to the perfect Man we love and worship.” Truly, what more could we want? God has so blessed us, I love Him today, because He first loved me. I know that if I keep my focus on Him, I will make better decisions and have greater peace in my life. I do love Him today!

      Ain’t God good?

  5. Look, I have a full time job keeping myself outta hot water
    which does not give me the liberty to run around and judge others!
    Who said pants on woman was a sin??? I think that we can all agree
    that infractions toward the 10 commandments constitute sin; after
    that, it get’s a little trickier to DISCERN. In the NT, Jesus adds
    a few things that reflect a more inward compliance than an outward
    expression. Now is where it get’s more difficult; James 4:17 gives
    us a broad spectrum of things. Is this sin, is that sin? I cannot
    answer for you. Again, this is where your DISCERNMENT comes in. I
    can’t tell you what you believe to be right or wrong; but I can
    tell you if your belief is aligned with what God says. There are
    some things that, I concede, that we are left to fight over with
    ourselves: is it right or wrong to wear an orange shirt with green
    pants? That is more of a personal thing and to push your beliefs on
    that person is very judgemental; I agree. However, is it a sin to
    be gay? Well, now that get’s a little more serious! There are
    several places where God spells it out for us that it is wrong: so,
    now I ask you, is it wrong? It is not specifically labeled in the
    10 commandments. If it is wrong, then that would make it sin, would
    it not? Now what are we to do? In Galatians, we are told to
    ‘restore such a one’, but be careful, ‘consider thyself, lest thou
    also be tempted.’ Sounds alot like ‘Love the sinner hate the sin’.
    Again, I am not judging anyone; and I think it unfair to accuse me
    of such. I fully understand the difference between judgement and
    discernment. I do have a question; isn’t it being judgemental to
    point your finger at another and accuse them of being judgemental?
    How are we to preach to them if we do not discern whether they are
    lost or saved? How are we to teach them to observe all things if we
    do not remit their sins unto them rather than retain them? It is
    not judging to expose sin and let the sinners conscience and spirit
    do the rest, is it?

  6. I apologize yet again, however, the rhetoric of the first response to my initial post is still stinging like bees at my very soul. Although I do not have to justify myself before anyone but God, I feel an overwhelming urge to clarify my stance. I refuse to be a judgemental person. The line between loving the sinner and hating the sin, ect. is, as I stated earlier, when you love the sinner so much, that you allow the sin. The line for hating the sin is drawn when you begin to hate the sinner. You see, it is not the sinner that that we are cautious of, but rather, the sin which seperates us from God. I, nor ANY MAN, can see into the hearts of others, therefore, it would be an absolute travesty to judge another by their actions. However, I believe God gave us a tool that we can use to prevent us from falling into despair and be mindful of our surroundings. Again, I refer to the fruits of the spirit. Is your fruit rotten or good, or do you have any fruit at all? This is the measure by which we can know if we are surrounded by wolves. When you buy a house for you and your family, do you intentionally seek out the area that has the most drug dealers, murderers, pedophiles, and hookers? I should hope not! Now if that is being judgemental, then I am guilty!

    1. I never said that you were pushing your beliefs on me with your post and I’m not angry. I was simply pointing out that your attitude of “not loving the sinner too much that you allow the sin” is pushing your beliefs on others.

      What “sin” are you talking about? What if it’s something you believe is sin but the other person doesn’t? Who are you to withhold love from a person because they are doing something that YOU believe is a sin? The IFB has no right to tell someone that what they are doing is sinful. That’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit alone.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that “sin” is a pretty broad term and I think it’s a bit more subjective then you make it out to be (a typical IFB mindset). Something that this site speaks very clearly against.
      I agree that there are absolutes in the Bible, sins that are very clear – murder for example. But the IFB has a tendency to consider things sins that really aren’t – women wearing pants for example. Given my experience with the IFB I assumed that you were talking about the latter type of sin – perhaps I should have asked first – sorry.

      What bothers me is that there are people who think that they have to (or get to) judge other people so that they “don’t love them too much” or “hate the sin too much”. God tells us to love others as we would love ourselves (see – Matt 22:37-40, Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18), he doesn’t tell us to be careful that we don’t love others too much because if you do you will be condoning their sin. It’s absolutely ridiculous that you should take on the responsibility of how much love a person deserves. What about Grace? Who are you to judge others and determine how much love they get? (Those are rhetorical questions by the way). I’m just trying to get you to see how dangerous that way of thinking is.

      It’s interesting to note that “judging” is NOT one of the fruit of the spirit. Also, the fruit of the spirit are NOT measuring rods for us to go around to see how spiritual another person is (if they are please show me where that is supported in scripture). The purpose of the fruit of the spirit is strictly a personal measure of how spiritually mature you are, or how the sanctification process is going. This is between person and God. No one has the right or responsibility to look at another person’s Fruit of the Spirit and determine how spiritual they are based on the fruit they see.

      You wrote:

      I, nor ANY MAN, can see into the hearts of others, therefore, it would be an absolute travesty to judge another by their actions.

      Yet you are judging others when you focus on their sin and on their fruit.

      There is an important distinction to be made between judging and discernment. It sounds to me that what you WANT to do is have discernment, but you are going about it entirely wrong. I would encourage you to research the difference between those two terms and really understand what the Lord was talking about when using those terms in the Bible. The Bible never condones the type of judgmental attitude you share in your posts.

  7. I apologize, Katie. I just realized that I breezed over your first question without providing a response; YES, I am aware that that statement is not in the Bible. I am also aware that there is alot of good sound practices that are not in the Bible, for instance, when my mother would tell me not to eat a ton of candy before bed, or go put on a jacket before I go outside so I don’t catch pneumonia! Good sound advice NOT found in the Bible. Thank you for keeping me honest!

  8. First, Katie: I am sorry that what I said may have angered you. At no time in my post did I ever push what I believe onto you. My convictions are my own; as well as yours are your own. I feel that your response was a full frontal attack that was not necessary. And you are ABSOLUTELY spot-on when you say that the way ANY Christian walks with God, is between ONLY that individual and God. Thank you for your concern and encouraging words of love.
    Bob: I believe that my compass for a life pleasing to God centers around the fruits of the spirit. I try to follow Christ and His teachings, and I do my best to stay away from anything that God conciders an abomination. I believe that if God found it an abomination in the ot, He still sees it as the same in the nt, and furthermore, I don’t think it has changed with today either. I do not pressure folks, nor do I condone those who do; if someone has a question about my personal beliefs, I am more than happy to express what I believe and caution them to work out their own understanding and seek their own answers. Because frankly, if they follow what I believe because I believe them, well, I am made from the same dirt as everyone else and regardless of my spiritual strength, I am still unable to divorse myself from that dirty, rotten, diseased, sinful flesh that we all struggle with and I am not the final authority; God and His word is! I, too, hope that we will be successful and thank you for the encouragement! I am a very ‘young’ Christian and still very much on fire! I believe that our most important mission is to share the gospel with EVERYONE! As long as the we continue to remain focused on the Great Commission, I believe that we are helping save a world bound for hell, one lost sinner at a time! As I stated to Katie, I do not believe in forcing my standards on others for the simple fact that, if they do it to please me, the church, the Pastor, ect, then it is not for the right reasons. Each person needs to ask themselves if what they believe or how they conduct themselves is pleasing to God. If not, then maybe they need to refocus. Again, I did not enter this website with the intention of smearing folks that do not believe as I believe; I merely was attempting to clarify some of the more difficult attempts, that I believe, were open ended attacks on something that I feel very passionate about. I hope that I have been a blessing, and not a burden!

    1. RK, I wanted to ask you what is the exact Bible teaching on
      living a life pleasing to God. In other words, how do you know from
      Scripture that you are in fact pleasing God.

  9. RK,
    I appreciate your passion to live a life that is pleasing to God. I share your desire as well, and I hope we will be successful.
    One question I would like to raise is “what is the exact Bible teaching about how to live a life pleasing to God”. I ask the question because I believe God has given specific instruction on the exact method to live a life that pleases Him. Also, if we don’t follow God’s instructions carefully, I believe that sets us up for failure to one degree or another.

  10. This is a great message; one of which I agree with. But I do have a question regarding the majority of the content found within this site. Let me preface with the fact that I am a an IFB with a very unique testimony of my own. I do believe in KJV only and seperation (which is done as a way to protect ourselves from the worldliness and wickedness that most folks blindly walk into; I like to use the story of Pinoccio when relating to why we are the way we are). I cannot intelligently speak towards your testimony since it is not my experience, and I am deeply saddened that it has driven you to such an extreme expression against the majority of IFB’s, however, I have not experienced such militancy as you have portrayed in your website. We love the sinner, and hate the sin; being careful not to love the sinner so much that we allow the sin. Nor do we hate the sin so much that we begin to hate the sinner; we, too, were once in the same predicament as that lost sinner and thank God He loved us and showed us the way, also! I agree that sanctification & justification is only through Jesus; but; when it comes to the law, we CANNOT dismiss it not as a means to sanctify or justify, but rather, as a means to be pleasing to the God of our creation. I do not follow the law to be saved; I follow it because I am saved. Why did Jacob choose to give 1/10 to the Lord BEFORE the law was given to command such action? Because…not for. My salvation is not in question whether I chose to follow, or disregard the law…however, I DO want to be pleasing to God! Will Jesus be pleased with me if I choose to dress as a harlot, lust, be greedy, allow my children to run wild, or any number of LEGALISTIC points of view expressed countless times in these pages upon pages of bitterness towards our way that we do business? Protection from the folly of sin is different from legalism. I chose to not do certain things, or do certain things because I choose not to get near what would displease God, not FOR my salvation. The devil is as a roaring lion…I am very careful not to stand directly in his path! And, understand, seperation is not from people, (how could the lost find Christ if we were never intermingled with them?) but seperation is from the WAYS of people. If I unequally yoke myself with a non believer, or even a more liberal believer, how long will we be able to go before we get tired and just give up? (To experience this, yoke a horse and a bull together) I am defending what I believe and believe what I defend, and I hope that I have not angered anyone in my attempt to clarify some of our ways. My question is, if pleasing God is our focus, why wouldn’t we want to please Him with our attire, actions, speech, ect. Not out of LEGALISM, but out of LOVE for a creator that gave us life and all the abundance therin?

    1. RK, Did you know that “love the sinner, hate the sin” isn’t in the Bible?

      Where do you draw the line between “not loving the sinner too much” and “not hating the sin so much”? What a burden it must be for you to have to judge everyone so that you aren’t “loving them too much”. What a crock!!!

      Ya, know, It’s OK for you to want to be pleasing to God. What you do and believe is between you and God and should be. But what I don’t like is you (or the IFB) pushing your beliefs about what you think is right on others. How arrogant for you to sit back and say “that person isn’t pleasing God because of _______ (fill in the blank)”. That’s judgmentalism and phariseeism at it’s finest.

  11. Hey folks, John Piper does have some good teaching, but he is a calvinist. I, in good conscience can’t recommend him because of this theology of a man that he promotes. Just an overall warning to everyone, this site is wonderful, many of us are coming out of man-centered ifb churches, I would hate for folks to come out of a man-centered religion and get right back into another one following John Calvin. Let’s follow the Man-God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

    In His Grace,

  12. love John Piper

    a man after my own heart

  13. Yes it is great!!! I don’t know what kind of blog you have bot probably either would work. Whatever is best for your blog. You can find and download the sermon at http://www.desiringgod.org Then just upload it to your site and embed it into a post. Or just post a link to my site for people to come here and listen to it. It’s up to you.

  14. Wow, this is phenomenal! Is there anyway I can embed that audio clip in my blog so folks can listen there or do I need to link back to your site?


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