Did Paul preach more grace than Jesus and James?

The Apostle Paul is famous for his teachings in the book of Romans about the justification of faith. But some believe that Paul taught differently than James, Jesus, etc.

What is justification? It is righteousness. What is righteousness? How does one obtain it?

Righteousness is God’s divine nature because only He is morally perfect without sin.

Romans 3 ““There is no one righteous, not even one;….23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

God gave His law to Israel telling them that if they obeyed everything then they would be righteous. Basically if they stopped sinning and walked in obedience, they would be righteous.

Deuteronomy 6 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strengthThese commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. …. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.””

Paul and Jesus agreed on this: Righteousness/Perfection is actual obedience to the Law (Ten Commandments)

Romans 2 ” 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. “

Matthew 19 “16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.””

Matthew 5 “17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them…..20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven…..29 If your right eye/hand causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. ….43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven….. 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

But man cannot attain this perfect righteousness by human effort.

Romans 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”

It is because the flesh is weak and unable to obey the law perfectly. The law increased sin and condemned men.

Romans 7 “But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing….21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

This is why Jesus Christ came to make a New Covenant by His death and resurrection.

  • Forgiving the sins committed under the Old Covenant
  • Giving them the Holy Spirit so that they could obey the Law to become righteous in the end.

Hebrews 9 “15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 8 ” For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord when I will make a new covenant …. I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts….For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

Jesus forgave all their past sins committed under the old covenant so that they could become perfect by obeying the law through the power of the Holy Spirit. This was the Grace of God – forgiveness of past sins and power to be perfect by overcoming present and future sins.

Hebrews 10 “14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Justification is to be set free from the power of sin and obey the law.

Acts 13 “38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. “

John 8 “34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. “

Justification / righteousness / holiness was only possible by grace through faith in Jesus and not by the flesh.

Romans 3 “21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. “

A person without faith in Jesus could not obey the law.

The main purpose of faith in Jesus was to obey the law and be perfect.

Romans 3 “31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

It is because the judgment day would happen when Jesus Christ would judge the world by the law.

Romans 2 “God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal lifeBut for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

The judgment is done without any favoritism with the only criteria being “Did they fulfill the law by their works?”

Romans 2 “12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

You see this is why Paul said that the Holy Spirit was required for them to obey the law perfectly and become like Jesus Christ to be in the resurrection/2nd coming.

Romans 8 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8 “14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

They had go through tribulation to carry the cross and become like Jesus.

Romans 8 “18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. … 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

The believers had a commandment: to love one another to fulfill the law like Jesus had loved them.

Romans 13 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Why did they have to fulfill the law by obedience to the commandment of Jesus? It was to get rid of all sins.

Romans 13 ” 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

What would happen if believers did not stop sinning? They would not be saved.

Romans 8 “12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

Paul says the same thing in Galatians: telling believers to obey Christ to be saved, to not be deceived into sinning and being condemned in the end.

Galatians 5 “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other…..19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 6 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

It is because the justification / righteousness would only be received at the end, at the 2nd coming of Christ. They had to have faith and obedience till the end.

Galatians 5 “For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.”

So then what did Paul mean here in Romans 4 and Galatians 2-3 when he said that people are justified without works?

Galatians 2-3 “16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified…….11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith;”

Romans 4 “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness..Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. ….13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith……23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Paul was addressing a different issue here. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles (uncircumcised). When the Gentiles believed in Jesus, they received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Some of the Jewish believers in the Church maintained that the Gentile had to be circumcised to be justified, according to God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17.

Paul was correctly against this deception of the Judaizers because the ceremonial law of circumcision, feast days, cleanliness, sabbaths had ended on the cross to allow Gentiles to be saved by faith in Jesus.

Ephesians 2 “11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

This is why Paul was telling unbelievers that they could not be justified by the works of the law.

An unbeliever could not do any good works to be saved because the flesh was incapable of being perfect like Jesus.

But what did Paul tell believers to do in Romans 13, Galatians 5?

He commanded them to obey the moral law of radical love for God and others.

Ephesians 6 “ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.””

Romans 13 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

A commandment is not optional. God never gives a commandment without any reward/punishment. That is why Paul said that the believers had a DEBT or OBLIGATION to love one another and stop sinning to be saved because the law demanded it (See Romans 8:11-13)

Therefore the entire law did not end on the cross. It was only the ceremonial law that ended because Jesus came to bring a spiritual circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit. The moral law still remained and that is why Paul commanded believers to fulfill the law by the power of the Spirit.

You see, Jesus did not abolish the law but fulfilled it by His radical faith and love. He removed all the ceremonial aspects of the law by His death on the cross, because such things cannot make anyone holy.

Clearly Jesus focused on the most important aspect of the law : radical love!

Matthew 22 “34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus preached about this radical holiness and love in the Sermon on the Mount, where He showed people what the Righteousness for entering the kingdom would look like:

Matthew 5-7 “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven…..48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.….21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

The will of God was for man to obey the law by radical love to be righteous/perfect like Jesus.

But this was impossible by the flesh. It was only possible by the grace of God through faith in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The true circumcision was about receiving the Holy Spirit and obeying the law:

Philippians 3 “Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—”

Romans 2 “25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. 28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”

Paul preached the same Righteousness of faith as James.

James said this to believers to repent from sin and walk in God’s righteousness, to be obedient to the royal law of loving one another as Jesus and Paul had commanded.

James 1 “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

Paul also preached the need for repentance for salvation just like James and Jesus. There was no salvation without turning away from sins.

1 Corinthians 6 “12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. ….Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Luke 5 “32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.””

Luke 24 “46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”

James and Jesus said that simply believing was not enough. The goal of the Christian faith was to obey the law and be perfect because the believer would be judged by the law! Obedience to Christ’s commands were not optional after they received the Holy Spirit.

James 2 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. …. If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. “

1 Thessalonians 4 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

James said that Abraham was not righteous by faith alone but by obedience that came from the faith.

James 2 “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? …20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Let us look at Abraham. Was he justified by faith alone?

Abraham was the first man to be declared righteous when he believed God’s promise of descendants.

Genesis 15 “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

But didn’t Abraham do anything before this event happened? Yes, he did the radical work of leaving his land and country in obedience to God.

Genesis 12 “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you….So Abram went, as the Lord had told him”

You see how God called him righteous after he had done this radical act of forsaking his land. (This is similar to what Jesus and Paul told believers to sell their possessions to the poor. Luke 12, 1 Timothy 6, Luke 14)

Later on God told Abraham to actually be blameless by obeying His commandment.

Genesis 17 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”… Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. …. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

That was not all, God also tested Abraham’s faith to see if he would obey with radical obedience.

Genesis 22 “15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Hebrews 11 “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God……17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

You see how the Biblical faith must always results in acts of radical obedience. If Abraham did not leave his land or did not offer Isaac as a sacrifice, then his faith would have been useless.

So then what is the Biblical justification of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

The sinner hears the Gospel and receives the Holy Spirit by grace through faith.

Ephesians 2 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

This is why tax-collectors, prostitutes and gentiles came to Jesus and Paul respectively, because grace was given without earning it by their works. That is why the Pharisees did not come to Jesus!

But Paul said this thing: the Holy Spirit was just a deposit of the inheritance. The inheritance was the kingdom of God which they had to obtain by faith that obeyed the commands of Jesus to love one another and repent from sin.

Ephesians 1 “13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

If they disobeyed and committed sins, then they would not receive the inheritance.

Ephesians 5 “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”

Why then did Paul say that the believer was “complete” in Christ at the time of receiving the Holy Spirit?

Colossians 2 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

It was he was telling Gentiles to not be deceived by the Judaizers who were trying to force them to keep the ceremonial laws that were canceled on the cross.

Colossians 2 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ…. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. …. 20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.”

But what did Paul say about obeying the moral law (loving God and people) ? To STOP SINNING.

Colossians 3 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming…..12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Why did he command people to stop sinning and walk like Jesus in perfect love? It was because Jesus would judge them by their WORKS without any favoritism (remember Romans 2 where salvation is only if they obeyed the moral law?)

Colossians 3 “23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.”

You see how the Gospel of Jesus is not just “believe” to be righteous but to obey TWO commands to fulfill the law.

Paul clearly did not care about the ceremonial law but only about the law of loving one another through faith in Jesus.

Galatians 5 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

That is exactly what Jesus, James, and John also preached.

1 John 3 “23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

The commandments of Jesus were a package deal: not just believe alone ……but believe and obey. It’s because belief without repentance/loving others was useless.

John 13 “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””

How did Jesus love people? He did not sin.

This is why Paul said that justification is by faith that fulfills the law.

The final judgment of the Bible was by works as Paul, Jesus, James and John said:

2 Corinthians 5 “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

James 5 “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”

If Jesus is judging them for works then it has to be based on the moral law!

Note how Paul warns believers of not being saved if they grumbled and his race would have been in vain! They had to obey Jesus in loving others to be saved in the end.

Philippians 2 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

Revelation 2 “Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”

1 John “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did…..”

1 John 4 “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love (obedience to Jesus) drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

Revelation 20 “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. “

This judgment was expected in their lifetime:

Romans 13 “our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. “

1 John 2 “This is the last hour

Revelation 22 “12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. “

This is why they had to get rid of all sins and be found perfect, holy, and blameless otherwise they would not be saved in the end.

1 John 3 ” Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

2 Corinthians 7 “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Hebrews 12 “14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holywithout holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God….”

2 Peter 3 “17 Therefore, dear friends (BELIEVERS), since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position…..make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. “

It was because Jesus was supposed to judge the world according the works of the moral law and declare them righteous if they became perfect like Jesus. This was supposed to happen in AD70 at the end of the great tribulation (See Matthew 24)

But the Church failed and fell away during that tribulation.

2 Thessalonians 2 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion/apostasy occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. “

Matthew 24 ““Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,”

The Church failed to follow Jesus, they failed to be righteous. They failed to fulfill the law.

The Law ended in AD70 but Jesus did not come back!

Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

The Bible is over and clearly Paul preached the same gospel of Jesus, James and the 12 Apostles about radical faith that required radical obedience to the law in being perfect.

Nobody preaches the Biblical Gospel today and nobody obeys the Biblical faith either.

Jesus did not judge the world because nobody can be justified by the law in the flesh or even after receiving the Holy Spirit. Nobody can be perfect like God. This is why God will never judge the world.

This is the Good News that Jesus forgave the entire world on the cross and removed the law in AD70. Today there is no law and therefore no need to be righteous by faith and obedience to the law.

We are all forgiven and righteous without faith or works because the law does not exist today.

The perfect God will never judge the imperfect world because He loves us unconditionally.

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