Themes of Historical Christianity: Natural Law and The Super-Natural Law

Christ in the Sermon on the Mount differentiates between the Natural Law and the Super-Natural Law.  The Natural Law is the rules of this world, those rules that by human effort it is possible to obey.  The Super-Natural Law is the Heavenly standard, and it is impossible by our own effort to obey.  For example, Jesus says in Matthew “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22 NIV).  Most people have never murdered anyone.  Even those who are not followers of Christ seem no more likely to commit murder than are followers of Christ.  However, what is anger?  I have been angry with many people, at what point in my anger did I violate the “Super-Natural” law.  Where is the dividing line between anger and murder in the heart?  The Bible does not say.  


This is the challenge of the Super-Natural Law.  There are no clear standards that can be placed into thought or writing.  It seems the standards are so incredibly high, that it is impossible for me to meet those standards.  Surprisingly, the Bible never lists the Super-Natural Law.  We get glimpses of it in the Sermon on the Mount, but very little elsewhere in the Bible.  The only summary of the Super-Natural law is in the parable of the good Samaritan “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” ( Luke 10:27 NIV)  Even in this summary, there are no details.  My own belief system is so intertwined with my culture that I am not sure I even exactly understand what this summary really entails. 

So, how are we to understand the Super-Natural Law?  Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, we find this phrase “I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.” (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV).  Variations of this phrase are found throughout the Bible.  The Super-Natural Law is placed in our hearts and minds by God the Spirit.  We are so polluted by our own culture and our own belief system, it is impossible to find the Super-Natural Law from listening to a pastor, singing music, or reading a book.  Even the Bible itself only gives glimpses into the Super-Natural Law.  We must use these glimpses, but it in the end only God the Spirit can place the Law in our hearts and provide us the strength to abide in the Super-Natural Law.

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About Allen Krell

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