Re: evil desires/lust or lust

Carl W. Conrad (
14 Nov 96 11:19:56 EST

At 5:53 AM -0600 11/14/96, Jakob Heckert wrote:
>My understanding is that commands in the NT are not a demand that
>must be fulfilled, but guidlines for living out the reality of the
>church as being God's people both in their relationship to God and in
>their relationship to one another. When people are moved by the
>power of the Son's Spirit, they will live as sons and daughters of
>the heavenly Father. God's directives are then not seen as an
>imposition but as guidlines for mutual relationships. Again, that is
>my understanding. I would be interested in your reaction to this
>point of view. Jakob.

I like this, and I would see this as consistent with the entire notion of "freedom from the law"--that the believer does not conform to explicit and precise commandments but rather endeavors as faithfully as possible to act out the implications of God's demonstrated love in Christ in one's relationships with other persons; if that is the case, then I guess we could understand all ethical parenesis in the NT literature not as commanding but as recommending and suggesting patterns of what appropriate action. With regard to the particular questions I was raising, however, there remains a question of the consistency of the patterns suggested in Ephesians with that principle set down in Galatians 3:28. I can't really afford to get into a book-length discussion of ethics, of course, but there's also the interesting distinction that Paul makes in 1 Cor between "commandments of the Lord" and "advice given by one who is trustworthy" (if I may paraphrase). Interesting questions, these.

Regards, Carl