Chapter 6 – Whole Bible Objections, ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
Still another excuse some use to ignore the Law is the claim that “works of the Law” are bad. A section of this group even goes so far as to say actions done without “feeling like we are led by the Spirit” are “works of the Law.” They discourage any activity if it isn’t “felt” – the church version of “if it feels good, do it.” If they do something, such as work in a soup kitchen, without “feeling” it, then it must be a “work of the flesh” or by association one of those terrible “works of the Law.” So they avoid doing what God plainly commands because they don’t “feel led.” Feelings become king, and simple obedience to the whole of the Word is reduced to a sin.
On the surface it does look like parts of the Bible teach that works of the Law are not “from the Spirit,” that they don’t belong in a believer’s walk, and should be avoided. The NASB (and others) translates words from Paul in Romans 3, Galatians 2 and Galatians 3 as ‘works of the Law’ (capital L and with the added definite article ‘the’). Paul is made to look very negative about “works of the Law” at first glance.
Yet the translation is not correct according to the Greek. It also doesn’t stand up to a balanced scrutiny from the whole of the Word. The word ‘Law’ in those references should be lowercase and without the article, as in, ‘works of law.’ ‘Works of the Law’ is an attempt to limit works to the Mosaic Law. It castes obedience as wrong. The more accurate statement, ‘works of law,’ includes any legal relationship, any ‘work of the flesh,’ or any try at trading merit for grace. It includes the Law but isn’t limited to The Law. ‘Works of law’ isn’t the same as the anti-Law statement ‘works of the Law.’
‘Works of law’ describes a legal relationship. A legal relationship is where I do things that I get paid for, and I only do them if I get paid. This was the basis of the Satan’s accusation against Job. He said that Job only worshiped God because he got paid (Job 1:9-11). He thought that if God took away the pay or the “hedge” (God’s protection) that Job would falter.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego weren’t interested in pay for following God’s Word (Daniel 3). They were threatened with death by furnace, but even if God wouldn’t ‘pay off’ with a rescue they were still going to stick with Him.
17 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”(Daniel 3:17-18 NASB95)