June 17, 2016
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June 26, 2016


By Mary Lawrence - Dokpesi

Many Christian denominations in modern time, in order to belittle the importance of obedience to the commands revealed and given by Jesus Christ, have denied that the New Testament is a law. They deny that obedience in any form is essential to salvation. I wonder where these teachings are coming from. The position is very clear; The reason why man fell in the first instance was because he could not obey a simple instruction given to him by God. In bringing about reconciliation between God and man through salvation of the soul therefore, man must learn still, obedience to the various commands set out in the New Testament.

Some persons have accused me of spreading false doctrines and teachings when I had insisted that REPENTANCE is the only key to salvation and that except we are upright, we will not be able to make heaven here on earth, or hereafter when we have passed through transition. Their argument has always been that, the New Testament is not a code of laws, but “love letters of offer of salvation on a platter of gold”. Therefore, commandments keeping, according to them is not essential to salvation. I have tried severally to rationalize on the merit of this argument and in my perplexity, I could not help, but to ask the following pertinent questions:

Is law an essential aspect of the New Testament?
Are works an essential aspect of the gospel?
Are commands an essential aspect of the gospel?
Is obedience an essential aspect of the gospel?

Is law an essential aspect of the new testament?

a. Law is an essential ingredient of the gospel. We must fulfill the law of Christ. Christ has a law, and we are expected to fulfill it (Galatians 6:2)
b. Paul was “under law to Christ." (1 Corinthians 9:20,21). Some people say we are not under law at all, but Paul denies this and stated in clear terms that he is under the “law to Christ”.
c. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the second law in the universe, as taught by the Lord himself. According to James, “if ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8). Therefore, if obedience to law is not required under the New Testament, then love is not required, for love is a law! Love and law do not necessarily conflict. To say love eliminates law is to misunderstand both love and law ( see Romans 13:8; Gal. 5:14)
d. “Sin is a transgression of law” (1 John 3:4). If we are not subject to law, then there can be no such thing as sin. If we are not required to obey law, then it would not matter if we commit sin or not. Those who claim we are without law are in effect defending sin, for the essence of sin is lawlessness. Yet all people commit sin (1 John 1:8,10; Rom. 3:23). And sin is what we need God's grace to forgive (Eph. 1:7). If obedience to law is not necessary, then sin is not a problem, and we would not need grace to forgive our sins. To eliminate law is to eliminate our need for grace! Therefore I insist that we are under the Law. whosoever says we are not under law has denied our need for grace. To say obedience is not essential is to belittle our need for grace and for Jesus' death. (Hebrew 8:10; Romans 3:27; James 1:25; 2:8,12)

Are works an essential aspect of the gospel?

a. It is hard for me to preach that we are not justified by works of law. We definitely require a measure of works to be saved. This is because in Christ Jesus, what avails is faith working through love (Galatians 5:6).
b. In every nation, he who fears God and works righteousness is accepted (Acts 10:34,35 )
c. We are admonished to be doers of the word, not just hearers. If one is a doer of the word, he is blessed in what he does (James 1:22, 25) Can one be saved by a faith that does not work (verse 14)? Such a faith is dead. Works and faith go together, so by works a man is justified and not by faith only (James 2:14-26).
d. We will be judged and rewarded in eternity for our works. We receive eternal life for well-doing, working what is good. (Romans 2:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). For further reading, please go carefully through the following Scriptures;[John 6:28,29; Phil. 2:12; John 5:28,29; 1 John 2:17; 1 Thess. 1:3; Acts 9:6.

Are commands an essential aspect of the gospel?

By definition, a law is a command or collection of commands. Those who belittle law also belittle the importance of keeping commands. But the following passages show how important commands are:
a. Love for God and man are the greatest commands (Matthew 22:37-39) To say we must love is to say we must keep commands, for love is a command. To deny the need for obeying commands is to deny the necessity of love.
b. Furthermore, if we love God, we will keep His commands (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3). Love and commandment keeping are not antagonistic. They must go together.
c. To know and abide in God, we must keep His commands. To say that command keeping is not essential is to admit you do not know God (1 John 2:3-6)
d. Faith is a command (1 John 3:23). To say that commands are not essential to salvation, is to deny that faith is necessary for our salvation.
e. God commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30, 31). To say that commands are not essential is to say that repentance is not essential, for repentance is a command. But God says that without it we will perish (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 13:3,5).
f. Baptism in water is a command (Acts 10:47,480). But many passages show that it is essential to salvation (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3, 4).

Is obedience an essential aspect of the gospel?

Again by definition, law is simply that which should be obeyed. If law is not necessary under the gospel, then neither is obedience. But if obedience is necessary, then so is the law.
a. Having once said that we are not under law but under grace, Paul says we are made free from sin when we obey the doctrine delivered (Romans 6:17,18 )
b. Jesus is author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him ( Hebrews 5:9)
c. To enter the kingdom of heaven, we must do the will of the Father here on earth as it is in heaven. It is not enough just to learn Jesus' teaching or claim to believe Jesus is Lord.( Matthew 7:21-27 )
d. We purify ourselves in obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22 )
e. Those who do not obey the gospel will be punished in flaming fire (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 ) [Rom. 1:5; 16:26]
It is therefore not strictly correct that the gospel did not establish a system of justification by works of law. The gospel is a law in which works and obedience to commands are essential to receive salvation

Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi
Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi
Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi was born in Nigeria to Patrick Abuda Obeakemhe and Juliana Fatimatu Obeakemhe, both from Ogbona Town. With a master’s degree in law, she was called to the bar at the age of twenty-two, and she is currently the principle partner of the law firm Mary Lawrence-Dokpesi & Associates. She is also the founder of two philanthropic organizations: the Living Waters Mission and the Rose Croix Foundation. In addition to law, Lawrence-Dokpesi was drawn to spiritual pursuits at an early age, having begun studying philosophy, theology, chaplaincy, and spirit therapy by the age of eighteen. Inspired by her spiritual calling, she has produced ten intensively researched manuscripts on spiritual matters. Although Understanding the Spiritual was the last to be written, it is the first to be published. Lawrence-Dokpesi is a mother and a wife living in the city of Abuja, Nigeria.

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