And how are we to interpret the commands or ideals in the new testament i.e are they no longer relevant to us and therefore do we follow God by instinct or the leading by the Holy Spirit? Dom
It is only by fleshly reasoning that we have come to view such things as commands or ideals in the first place. That which truly flows from love is the reality of the spirit of God. Paul, to whom is attributed many of these so-called commands and/or ideals had this to say about the law and love:
For the commandments, 'You must not commit adultery; you must not murder; you must not steal; you must not covet,' and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9
Notice that the law is not the fulfillment of the law, nor are the works of the law the fulfillment of the law, for it was apart from the law that the law was fulfilled. For now in Christ, that which fully satisfies the law is also found in us. Through the spirit of Christ love has been poured out upon us, aka, it has been "shed abroad in our hearts".
Remember, the fulfillment of the law is what could never be brought about by or through the law, but is what has been brought about in Christ. The only thing brought about through the law was the illusion of fulfillment. It is still this illusion that guides those so-called Christian principles many attempt to achieve. In truth, it is only outside or apart from the law that the fulfillment of the law is able to be understood. Within that realm, as well as within the perception of that realm (which is what we get caught up in), the only thing that makes sense is the functioning of that realm. Everything, regardless of our attempts to Christianize or spiritualize certain aspects, is overshadowed by the same elementary principles that motivate the world.
Do we not need to worry about right or wrong anymore? Dom
Worrying about right or wrong (and worrying well describes it) is merely the same illusion that is understood by the mind of man by which people have used to show themselves as relatively right as possible within their own interpretations of the same. Despite all the scriptural or spiritual sounding words we have only played right back into the blind rationalizations and judgments of the world with all our worrying about right or wrong. True right is found in the righteousness of Christ which is in us, for it is the true life that needs no such justifications that most always accompany our Christian or Biblical judgments of right versus wrong. That which is produced by the flesh is "evil", and though this seems so easy to judge people all through history have promoted their evil as good and right. Those who have followed (supposedly) the law have established themselves as the authorities in judging right and wrong ... and have been the least capable of discerning either. And so here we are with our Bibles in hand still justifying ourselves according to this whole right vs. wrong perception.
Only in Christ do we understand the righteousness of God, and we also know that his right is judged so precariously by the mind of the flesh. So, how have we found it so comforting and/or "spiritual" to agree with the world, especially the religious world, regarding the whole perception of right and wrong? How have we allowed the offenses of man's rationale become the determination of that which is the fulfillment of the law? How do we keep reading the words meant as freedom from law and from a life based upon the principles as found in the world as if they were promoting it? How is it that we do not simply hear the proclamations of a miraculous life that may easily be judged by the world as being evil depending on how it happens to feel on a particular day?
Are the instructions in the bible guidelines as opposed to laws? Dom
We can call them whatever we want, but as long as we keep likening them to the same old elementary principles of the world (aka, as to the law that can produce nothing in us) we might as well just call them laws. The life and the fulfillment is within us through the spirit of Christ. We need to hear these ancient words in the context of a situation in which those who had ears to hear would hear the life being declared and not as being a command after the form of the world that assumes such commands can be broken. My brother, it's only confusing when we try to reconcile the mind of the flesh (religious) with the mind of Christ. Such reconciliation is impossible and can only bring confusion. :)