Pickle Publishing "The Law Is Our Tutor" Research Papers

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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Salvation, Grace, and Obedience

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#152: "The New Testament teaches that the law was given by God to be our tutor or teacher leading us to Christ. Listen to what Galatians 3:25 says. It says, 'We are no longer under a tutor.' "—Mark Martin.

#152: We're no longer under a schoolmaster or tutor. Is Mr. Martin implying that not being under the law means that we don't have to keep the law? Is he saying that those who obey the law are still under the law? Interpreting Paul's usage of the phrase "under the law" or "under a tutor" in such a way is highly inaccurate.

Certainly, Paul did not mean that we can continue to kill, hate, fornicate, lust, steal, covet, and lie and still go to heaven. The same book of Galatians says:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)

Why can't people who do such things enter heaven? The next two verses answer this question: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22, 23). Clearly, what excludes the unrepentant murderer, fornicator, and thief from heaven in New Testament times is the law of God.

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law" (Gal. 5:18). Why is this? Why is the believer not under the law?

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal. 5:16, 17)

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:24, 25)

Before continuing, let's summarize what these verses we've already looked at from Galatians are saying:

  1. Unrepentant sinners can't go to heaven, because there is a law against that.
  2. There is a war between the flesh and the Spirit, so that we in and of ourselves are powerless to do what is right.
  3. If believers walk in the Spirit, they will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
  4. Such believers who are not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh are not under the law.

It appears, then, that Paul is saying that the Spirit-filled believer is not under the law because he is truly keeping the law. Here is another way to arrive at the same conclusion:

  1. "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed" (Gal. 3:23). So those who are under the law are not yet under faith.
  2. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23). Those who are not yet under faith must therefore still be under sin.
  3. "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 Jn. 3:4). Those who are still under sin must therefore be those who are transgressing the law.

Thus, those who are under the law must be those who are transgressing the law. In essence, to be under the law must mean to be under its condemnation. Consequently, it makes no sense whatsoever to say that a transgressor is not under the law, or that a law-abiding Christian is under the law. Someone who is truly keeping the law cannot be under the law, and someone who is breaking the law cannot but be under the law.

These conclusions harmonize with how the apostle [p. 101] Paul equates being under sin's dominion with being under the law: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid" (Rom. 6:14, 15).

The law's purpose is to shut the mouth of both Jew and Gentile, and to make them both guilty before God: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom. 3:19).

To conclude:

Some time ago, when we were passing through Oswego, N. Y., we saw two stern officers, and with them two men were coupled, carrying in their hands large leaden balls. We did not come to the conclusion that they had been keeping the law of the State of New York, but that they had been breaking it, and that they could not walk at liberty because they were transgressors of the law. We were trying to live in harmony with all the laws of the State of New York, and with the law of God; and we were walking at liberty,—we were not under the bondage of the law. If we live in harmony with the life of Christ, with the law of God, that law does not condemn us—we are not under the bondage of the law.—Review and Herald, Jan. 4, 1887.

There is full assurance of hope in believing every word of Christ, believing in Him, being united to Him by living faith. When this is his experience, the human being is no longer under the law, for the law no longer condemns his course of action.—In Heavenly Places, p. 144.

A Response to the Video

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The above page was found at https://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/jeremiah-films/response-to-video-152.htm on June 15, 2024.

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