Laws and Rules, Versus
Having The Mind and Spirit of Christ
Article bS

     Numerous Scriptures speak of God writing His laws on the hearts of His children.  Following are several such Scriptures;      bS-1
     (Jer 31:33)  "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."      bS-2
     (Rom 2:14-15)  "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: {15} Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"      bS-3
     (2 Cor 3:2-3)  "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: {3} Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."      bS-4
     (Heb 8:10&16)  "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: {16}  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;"      bS-5
     When God laws are written in or hearts we keep God's laws because we are personally taught of God (John 6:45).  When God laws dwell within we even learn and experience that God's laws have good purposes that actually make us free.  Free from the difficulties that would ensnare us if we live outside of God's plan.      bS-6

     The Scriptures do not only speak of God laws being written in our hearts but also speak of Christians having the mind and Spirit of Christ.  Following are several verses which speak of the importance of having the Spirit and mind of Christ;      bS-7
     (Rom 8:2)  "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."      bS-8
     (Rom 8:9)  "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."      bS-9
     (Phil 2:5)  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"      bS-10
     (1 Pet 4:1)  "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;"      bS-11

     Christians who have the mind and Spirit of Christ and have God's law written in their hearts are living epistles of God's laws.  Apostle Paul speaking to the Corinthians spoke of them (by their example) being living epistles of God's order which all men were reading.  Paul said,  "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: {3} Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."  (2 Cor 3:2-3).  The living and human epistle as is provided by true Christians, in many respects has more value than merely the written epistle.       bS-12
     Living epistles to a significant extent remove the need of many written laws.  Human and living epistles are much more precise than written epistles, since living epistles will properly fit each particular time and need while written epistles once written never change even when unusual or new situations arise.       bS-13
     Concerning the many things that Christians might buy and possess, with regards to many of them it is quite obvious to the honest Christian what a Christian should have or not have.  Thus living epistles can largely show the way with regards to these obvious things, without written rules.  With regards to those things which are not so obvious as being proper or improper for the Christian to have, since they have both good and bad points, most often what really matters is that one simply relates to those things as a Spiritual Christian should, and thus a written rule on such things is not so important either.  Considering all these things Christians should realize they do not need a written law for every issue.  The Spirit and mind of Christ is what is important, and living epistles is what God needs.  God and His Spirit, and living epistles will take much better care of God's Church, than a long list of rules!  A long list of rules can even become a snare as people subconsciously begin to think of Christian life as a particular way of life and following certain rules.       bS-14
     Although Christians must beware lest their Christian life become the process of following a set of written rules, such yet does not mean Christians should not gather together and discuss the dangers of various things that are available, as well as other dangers Christians might encounter, and warn Christians about such dangers.  Nor does it mean practical guidelines for successful Christian living should not be written.      bS-15
     Yet Christians in making rules or giving guild lines for Christians, should be very careful to first and foremost explain the basis for the guideline so that one can know how to apply the rule in the many situations that may arise and understand when to give exceptions to the rule.  The Church very much must first focus on producing Christians who have the Spirit and mind of Christ who then can prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thes 5:21).      bS-16
     True Christians have God's law written in their hearts.  Such Christians will want to dress in a Godly way will not want to dress like or be like those, who are carnal or not Christians, and can usually very easily avoid such appearance.  What need do true Christians have for many laws and rules about dress?  It appears that having many laws on how Christians must dress, tends to make Christians put too much emphasis on their dress, rather than making dress a simple issue to them as it should be.  Christians in trying to follow dress laws close enough yet not too strictly, often find themselves very encumbered with decisions on how to dress, which is quite opposite of the simplicity and freedom in Christ.  Christians too often find themselves very cumbered and involved with dress (clothing) which really could and should be a simple matter.       bS-17
     When Christians subconsciously begin to think that Christian life consists of following the rules of their church they might feel quite justified in doing most anything if their church's laws do not disallow it and might even feel quite shrewd in their finding of liberties.  Yet if they had the Spirit and mind of Christ and were living epistles they clearly would not function as such.       bS-18
     It appear some leaders or churches by the force of written rules want to keep a large group of people doing exactly the same thing.  Such churches and leaders need to consider that the "...kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom 14:17).  As Christians start to focus on following particular rules laid down by their Church or ancestors rather than focusing on having the mind and life of Christ, they miss the whole point God has intended for the Christian and become like lifeless puppets.  Their is not only a danger of lifelessly following written epistles, but even a danger of lifelessly following living epistles.  Christians dare not be lifeless followers.       bS-19
     Living epistles are realistic and real, while those who are merely following rules, are dead and legalistic.  May Christians beware of being legalistic.  Legalism tries to weed God's garden with a awkward and clumsy bulldozer, while the Spirit of the law is both precise and flexible and like a hoe weeds God's garden.  Legalism will disallow that which could do much good simply because it could be used wrongly, while realism simply uses it rightly.  Legalism often does not deal sufficiently with man's heart, but merely keeps carnal Christians doing and looking alike.  Realism focuses on dealing with men's hearts and clearly is eternally different than legalism.      bS-20
     Jesus is a very bright example of how Christians are not to be bound to the letter of the law.  Jesus was wondrously realistic in His approach to God's laws, and fearlessly broke many legalistic laws and traditions of the Jews.  Jesus healed on the Sabbath, ate with publicans and sinners, allowed sinful women to kiss his feet, spoke with and fellowshipped with the unclean Samaritans, showed little respect to those religious leaders that were older than him, and made a terrible disturbance in the Temple, and even called their Roman ruler a fox.  Yet Jesus had good reason for all that He said and did with regards to each circumstance.  Although Jesus clearly was not legalistic, He neither was casual or liberal.  Jesus rather had a strong abhorrence for the hypocrisy and errors among God's people.  Jesus in His earth life was real and meant business in doing His Father's work, while it appears many Christians today are unreal and mean nothing more than keeping their rules and their traditions.  O how sad!  Although Jesus was realistic and real, yet how mad those got at Him that were opposed to Him, and how they condemned Him by their legalistic rules!      bS-21
     The Apostles in Jerusalem did not endeavor to force many insignificant rules and laws upon the Gentile Christians.  Rather they simply commanded the Gentiles that believed in Christ to abstain from idols, from things strangled, from blood, and from fornication (Acts 15:20&29, 21:25).  This truth should be remembered.        bS-22
     Should detailed and technical laws even be made which are not needed for Spiritual people, as such laws might only keep carnal people doing the same thing and having a certain form of Godliness?  It does not appear that things that could be a real blessing to the Spiritual one should be disallowed simply because the carnal one might misuse it.  Rather everyone should be encouraged to use it rightly and which usually is quite obvious to those who want to use it rightly.  One should consider that those who are carnal can almost misuse anything if they are of that mind.  Yet it still might be beneficial in some situations to place restrictions upon the carnal one, that would prevent him from getting into great temptation and greater error.  Yet such restrictions could be applied by the parents or in ways that would not restrict everyone from having that which can do much good if used rightly.       bS-23
     Some Christians in determining what things are good or bad, too much think that those things which God took away from His old era people in punishing them for their sins must have been evil things for which cause he took them away.  Yet one must consider that God in punishing the Jews at times took things away from them which He previously delighted in giving them, while they were obedient to Him.  Us fathers also in punishing our children often take away from them good things such as we previously delighted in giving them when they were obedient.  Yet in taking these things away from our children in punishing them, we are not trying to teach them such things are evil and wrong to possess.       bS-24
     Concerning those things that can be very harmful and yet can be very useful to the Christian, Christians should warn others of the danger, and if the danger out weighs the good that item should be set aside.  Yet often times that danger can be lessened by a careful approach to the matter.  Wives or husbands or some other individual of support can be with one in particular situations where particular temptations might present themselves.  May God give His people wisdom in these matters.  May we remember true Christianity is not a traditional standard in life, but is living power from heaven.  May we not fall into the rut of teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Farewell.  
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