The following is adapted and expanded from a portion of my July 28, 2009 presentation, “I Did Not Come To Abolish” given at the New Covenant Theology Think Tank in Evans, N.Y.
Despite its brief mention and a lack of a far-reaching or biblically-explicit context to support the notion, there have been whole theologies and there have been whole NCT doctrines built around a systematic, rather than an exegetical and biblical theology approach to “the Law of Christ.”
Covenant Theologians would typically refer to it as identical to the moral law or Ten Commandments, and would consider as the imprimatur, “I have not come to abolish the Law,” full stop. Continue reading
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (ESV)
There are some on the edges of New Covenant Theology who wish to make the law of Christ into a new codified law, which may make logical sense from a systematic approach, but which goes beyond the context of the phrase in .
Thomas Schreiner points to loving one another as the identity of the law of Christ:
It seems most promising to identify the law of Christ with the admonition to love one another (), for there is a clear link between and 6:2. The Old Testament law “is fulfilled” (peplērōtai) in the injunction to love one’s neighbor as oneself ( in ). And the law of Christ “is fulfilled” (anaplērōsete) when believers fulfill one another’s burdens (). If we carry the burdens of other believers, we show our love for them. Sacrificial love for fellow believers, then, fulfills the Old Testament law and the law of Christ. Such a reading fits with –10, where the Old Testament law is capsulized in the admonition to love one another. We also could say that Christ’s life, and the sacrifice of his life in his death, exemplifies to the uttermost the law of Christ. That is, Christ’s life and death are the paradigm, exemplification, and explanation of love. However, –10 guards us from oversimplifying the nature of Christ’s law, for love is expressed when believers fulfill moral norms. The law of Christ is exemplified by a life of love, but such love is expressed in a life of virtue.