One of the grandest facts about the ongoing findings of archaeology is that it never fails to produce unique and interesting finds that open up new proofs for conclusions previously unknown. One such find was the law code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi was the sixth king in the Babylonian dynasty and ruled from approximately 1792 to 1750 B.C. He was a great military leader, enlarging Babylon from a small city-state into a vast world empire, covering all the land from the Tigris to the Euphrates. However, Hammurabi is best known for his extensive list of law codes. Scholars date the code c. 1780 B.C. The stele on which the code was written was discovered by an Egyptologist named Gustav Jequier in 1901. The find was located in modern-day Iran, near the ancient Babylonian city of Susa.
The law code consists of an introduction stating that Hammurabi was chosen by the gods to record the code, followed by 282 statements of law, and concluded with an epilogue. What is unique about this code is that unlike other ancient findings, it is completely intact.
Continue reading » The Law Code of Hammurabi
The concept of obedience to law is rather controversial among the religious today. Because of the Holy Spirit’s teaching regarding the Law of Moses, as contrasted with salvation by Grace through Faith, some equate the idea of obedience to God’s law with the concept of meriting salvation. This is not so.
Under the Old Covenant, or Old Law, salvation was not available. Salvation can not come through Law, it must come through Grace. As Paul stated in Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” As “all have sinned” (vs. 23), and as redemption can not come through law, it was necessary that Christ give himself as a ransom for all. This is grace. This is why Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Continue reading » Law
A few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled "that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution." On a 4-3 decision, four judges have taken it upon themselves to require the recognition of homosexual marriage as equally valid and deserving the same benefits as a marriage between a man and a woman. Their opinion is available to the public as a 75-page document. It is a textbook study of sophistry and the effects of institutionalized amorality. When one reads the whole ruling, it becomes clear how the pieces of our moral decline all fit together. Thanks to four judges overruling the origin of marriage, its legal definition for hundreds of years in English common law and common sense, we now face the very real possibility that "same sex marriages" may soon have the force of law to validate their acceptability. With this decision, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has arrived at the end many have warned was coming — an attempt to form a fully amoral basis for law and ethics.
Continue reading » "What is Written … How Readest Thou?": An Amoral Basis for Law – It Won’t Work!
Examining Romans 7:7-25
To say that this passage has been the occasion for much debate is an understatement. The fact that it is a difficult passage, regardless of the interpretation defended, is a truth to which all serious students would readily agree. In this brief study, we cannot raise all of the questions posed about this text, much less take the space required to reason towards answering all of those questions. We will, however, try to lay a foundation needed to properly understand the main points. For a detailed study, Whiteside’s commentary gives an excellent examination of this text.
The apostle Paul began the epistle to the Romans by affirming that the Gospel is God’s power to save those who respond in faith to that message. He then shows that all are in need of that salvation because all have sinned beginning with the Gentiles and then concentrating on the Jews (Romans 1:18 – 2:20). The next two chapters emphasize the themes of faith and grace as they relate to the justification of the sinner through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This point is also made with special emphasis to the Jews. Up to that point in the book, the writer stresses the need for, and nature of God’s action in salvation.
Continue reading » "What is Written … How Readest Thou?": The Inward Conflict – Who Is Described?
Authors: Bobby Holmes and Mark Roberts
Continue reading » No Law
The New Testament writer, James, said, “But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25). There are several important lessons to be learned from this passage.
(1) IT IS A “LAW.” This body of truth which is the source of all pure religion is here called a “law.” There are some who would have us to believe that the Old Testament had law, but no grace; and that the New ,Testament has grace, but no law. They therefore teach that we should preach “the Man” but not “the Plan,” else we become legalists.
However, a law is simply a “rule of action.” If there is no prescribed rule of action (i.e., no law), then it would be impossible to sin, since sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). The body of truth that guides us is elsewhere called the “law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21), the “law of the Spirit of life” (Romans 8:1,2), and here it is called “the law of liberty” (Jas.. 1: 25; 2:12). It is true, however, that we are not under the law of Moses (Romans 6:14), but this does not mean that we are under no law at all. Continue reading » Voices from the Past: “The Perfect Law of Liberty” (Cecil Willis)
Editor’s Note: The following material was written August 18-20 in the form of an email discussion between friends. Joshua Gurtler asked the initial question below. The answers he received, a follow up question, and final responses appear one after another. Each respondent is identified.
It seems to be popular these days to condemn the internet “out of hat.” Such discussions show the benefits of the electronic means of carrying a discussion. While the instantaneous means of communication has its drawbacks (people tend not to consider their words before posting), it is nevertheless a wonderful tool for communication and study. We commend these thoughts to you. The casual nature of the discussion has been retained.
I’m studying w/ an individual who makes the claim that Christ NEVER instituted any of His new law while he was alive. Doing so would have been a violation of His own teaching of Mt. 5:19 causing Christ to make void the law thus sin. It is claimed that Christ only reiterated what the original teaching of the Law was. This individual was also quick to point out that all of Christ’s teaching still applies to us because he was teaching “eternal principles.” For this reason, Christ never taught that one must keep the Sabbath, per se, beacause that is not an eternal principle. Continue reading » Discussion on the New Law