In this series:
The Law of Christ
This was written circa 1999, and circulated on some mailing lists and publishing sites at the time.
The New Testament says, "the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ..." When Jesus came, the law was no longer needed. It was fulfilled.
Many Christians today believe that Christianity is a set of rules and regulations that replaced the rules and regulations of the old law. They come up with lists of commands that Christians today have to follow; and when they can't find a place commanding something, they quickly find it "inferred" in another place.
This approach is wrong. Christianity is not another list of rules, it is a new approach to living. Christianity only requires you to adopt a goal: loving others. The old law and "regulations" found in the New Testament are helpful guides to achieving this, but they are no substitute for the real thing.
This is apparent when we look at the life of Jesus, who broke many rules. When confronted about it, he only replied that the laws were made for man, and not the other way around. When Jesus was in a situation where he had to choose between doing the "right" thing and helping people, he chose people every time. This is an amazing attitude coming from a religious leader, most of whom promote their own arbitrary dogmas as the absolute last word. Instead, Jesus stated that there were really only two laws: love God, and love man.
Judaism (and all other religions until this point) had been focused on external rituals and complicated legal codes. Jesus cut through all of this to show what God truly wanted, demonstrating that all of the trappings of religion had just been trying to point man in that direction.
Although this is a hard concept to grasp for many people, it is a concept born out in many scriptures. It is only through millennia of false teaching that we have forgotten this. Jesus showed us that love was in fact the sum of all of God's commands. That is the only thing God ever really required.
(I suggest you read the following passages: Gal 6:2; Matt 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-32; Luke 10:26-27; John 13:34-35; Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14)