No moral obligations in grace?
Just to clear things up....do you hold that there are no moral obligations for us in Christ? anonymous
This is a loaded question ... and I understand why you desire to have it cleared up. What I am saying is that this question can mean two different things, depending on who is asking it. Are you following me? I could answer "yes" and you might understand that to mean that we are no longer under the obligation of law. And this is true, we are done with it. For what is a moral obligation but a rule, or a law, to be moral. The point is that moral obligations speak of performance-based living and that is what Christ has done away with ... how COULD there be any of that left for us in Christ since it never did anything for us in the first place?
But I don't think that this is all that is being asked in the question ... do you? I think there is an underlying assumption in it that leads us to confusion. For as you read your New Testament Bible you are disturbed by all the verses that contain what seem to be moral obligations. So, if there are NO moral obligations then how do you explain all those verses? Do you just ignore them? Do you learn to explain them away?
Isn't this the hidden part of the question you asked? In other words, if there are no moral obligations for us in Christ then is it okay to be immoral? Are we suggesting that since we can't keep the law that it makes no difference how we live? This is what you are being hit with every time you try to tell others about your freedom in Christ, isn't it?
Morality in the mindset of the flesh is a bogus concept, and it is this concept that we keep trying to find an answer for. Do you understand that? We STILL think that it is potentially possible to actually get better by following a set of rules or principles. Maybe we don't think that it will work for us, but maybe we think that others have been able to achieve it. But such a morality is only the appearance of true goodness based on a particular standard. When the question is asked in view of THIS morality it forces a totally different perspective. The religious viewpoint wants you to admit that as a "grace" believer you don't care about righteousness. But nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a big difference between TALKING about moral obligations and DOING them. This is what Jesus exposed as hypocrisy in the religious leaders of the day. The mind of the flesh puffs itself up on the basis of performance standards that it appears to be keeping. In Christ, we have been made righteous and His righteousness is working in us and because it is the work of God in us we find no reason to boast. Be aware of those who seem to spend so much time talking about moral obligations, and ask yourself why they find it necessary to do so.
Well, that was a rather long answer to a very short question, huh? :) Hope to hear back from you soon.