Thesis #42 of 95 - Natural law in its Christian anthropological context pertains to the functioning of conscience and is normative for humane living and acceptance with God
Rom2:14-16 – When Gentiles who do not have the Law perform BY NATURE (the requirements of) the Law [φύσει τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιῶσιν], these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves,in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending (particular actions), with respect to that day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus.
Rom13:9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and every other commandment is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Rom13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilment of the Law.
Gal5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself.”
The previous thesis showed that the Covenants of Promise initiated through Abraham in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New do not determine the destination of the soul after brain death. That, as exemplified in the definitive final judgement parable in Mt25 (sheep and goats) is not related to religious faith or practice at all, but to fulfilling the spirit of God’s Law, which as Paul asserts is focussed on love for neighbour (verses above). Likewise, in the Mt25 passage, God and religion are not so much as mentioned, only other people and how the “sheep” and “goats” respectively related to them. But herein lies the mystery: God, His Law and the very Atonement of Christ are, albeit subliminally, bound up within the divine judgement being made.
That would take a lot of explaining, and the first two posts linked below point the way. How this and the rest of my 95 theses fit in with the bible’s teaching as a whole has been set out in The Little Book of Providence. The Mt25 judgements can be said to pertain to “natural law” which in view of what has just been said about them also being a function of the Atonement might appear to be something of a misnomer. The description relates to what Paul was writing about in Romans 2 concerning Gentiles performing by nature things contained within God’s Law even though they did not materially possess it. It had been “written in their heart” and reflected in their conscience.
Given that Augustine of Hippo was the architect and primary influencer of Christian theology in the West, it is no surprise that my assertions concerning natural law will appear alien to many Christians today. However, the writings of 3rd century Church historian Eusebius and 2nd century Irenaeus indicate that such was unlikely to have been the case in the Church of their day (post at link#3). That blog also outlined how those same men witnessed to the remarkable degree of unity of essential doctrine and praxis that existed within the pre-Nicaean Church. It is surely another reason why the writings of the earliest Church Fathers should be examined carefully by genuine seekers of the truth.
Author’s FACEBOOK page HERE
Free PDF of The Little Book of Providence HERE
Large-print version suitable for mobiles HERE