In the book of Matthew, chapter 7 verse 23 (see last post), Jesus is declaring, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” The problem is that he was address this comment to people who Christianity today would call strong Christians! So what does “workers of lawlessness” mean?
First, many will try to explain, with hands waving, that the people to whom Jesus is talking weren’t real Christians. They did not have the “law of Christ” in their hearts. Or some sort of similar explanation. Of course, this leaves open the question, “what, then, is the law of Christ?” To this one will get a more nebulous answer.
Yet the answer is in black and white in the Tanakh (called the “old Testament.”) God gave us his law (see the book of Exodus, especially chapters 19 and 20). He gave it to all the people there, which weren’t just Israelites (Exodus chapter 12 verse 38). It shall be put on our heart (Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 6). And these words are for all of those who chose to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (See Deuteronomy chapter 29, especially verses 14 and 15). There are many, many more verses where God makes it clear that his law if for both Israel and the foreigner among them. He makes it clear that it is meant to be followed, and not hard (Deuteronomy 11:11 to 14) and (Matthew 11:29 to 30).
Freedom is not being without laws. True freedom is being able to follow the law of God and rejoice in it. One of the problems that most Christians will run into with this is the view that the law is something negative, and when one doesn’t keep some part of it, one is almost doomed. Read the next post to see what the Hebrew viewpoint of the law and keeping the commandments is.