The New Testament does not give us a new canon in the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. Although we do have many specific commands and exhortations in the New Testament, these fall far short of a comprehensive set of objective standards covering all moral and devotional behavior. Nor are these commands and exhortations given in the format of a unit which can be taken as a code of conduct. They are simply part of the preaching and teaching which Jesus was giving to his audience, or what an apostle was writing to a church, many of which were quotations from the Old Testament, and many of which were repeated over and over. This preaching and writing was not given with the idea of setting forth a whole New Covenant objective standard of conduct, but to illustrate a New Covenant given to us, not of the letter, nor in the letter, but in the spirit, a spiritual covenant ministered in the Holy Spirit. Enough concrete examples are given to illustrate the spiritual nature of the Covenant, and the heart righteousness God requires. This is nothing like Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with two tables of the complete law in his hands. We can now bring up hundreds of contemporary scenarios for which we have no objective command in the New Testament. But we are not without divine law for these. We are “in-lawed” to Christ (I Cor.9:21). There is no moral or devotional issue that supreme love to God and equal love to fellow-man does not firmly address. Christ indwelling the inner man by the Spirit (Eph. 3:14-21) powerfully and effectively causes us to know, not only know what is pleasing to God in every case, but also enables us to perform His good pleasure.--Conrad Murrell
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