I have researched this and have found several seemingly conflicting theories, which include (quotes are paraphrasing):

  • One must not commit "mortal" sins without confessing them, or salvation is forfeit

  • Christ fulfilled the law; we have simply to "Love God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourself"

  • Christ fulfilled the law, but the Ten Commandments (possibly with the omission of the commandment on keeping the sabbath, depending on who you ask) still apply

  • Christ fulfilled the law and old testament law does not apply to Christians. However there are new laws (most seem to be written down by Paul) with clauses such as "fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven"

Is there any common consensus among Christian denominations about what constitutes law (as applies to Christians) in the post-Christ era?

1 Answer 1


Is there any common consensus among Christian denominations about what constitutes law (as applies to Christians) in the post-Christ era?

Your research is accurate; Roman Catholics and Protestants (adherents of Sola Gratia, specifically) fundamentally disagree on this subject. If you're asking specifically about whether Christians agree on what is necessary for salvation, then the answer is a resounding "no". Accordingly, I suspect you're going to find disagreement as well whether the law still "applies", although you'd also have to go further and clarify what you mean by "applies".

For example, one analogy I've encountered from the Sola Gratia camp goes something like this. You die. You stand before God in judgment (sort of like a court room). You are found guilty under the law. Before sentence is passed, however, Christ steps in front of the judge (God the Father) and asks for mercy on your behalf. The judge agrees and commutes your sentence.

That said, this is getting into complicated waters, for which a brief answer can only really scratch the surface. You might also want to ask for the perspective of a particular denomination, at least to the level of e.g. Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Calvinist or Armenian. (I might be forgetting some, and the last two especially can be broken down into additional, finer gradations.)

  • 3
    Asking “can Christians agree on basically anything” returns the answer “no”. Sad but true.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 21:44
  • Thanks for this answer. It sounds like no one can really be assured of their salvation (or similar applicable concept). Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 21:55
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    @HorseHair, that's not the question you asked. I'd also point out, however, that Christianity is the only religion where the answer to that question isn't about something you do, which I would further suggest is evidence that there's something "special" (i.e. true) about Christianity. (And, ahem, that Roman Catholics probably have... issues.)
    – Matthew
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 2:05
  • @Matthew I think I know what you mean (I've heard what you've just said explained before), but the fact that legal codes exist implies otherwise. Seems to be a faith + works requirement any way you slice it. Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 2:32
  • @HorseHair, the Law is not salvific. There is, however, a huge difference between "not salvific" and "useless". For starters, it helps keep people in check by spelling out behaviors that people ought to not do, which is important for both believers and unbelievers. Just look at, say, The Purge for why it's good to have a legal code. But this is getting very discussion-like, which is discouraged in comments. Please join us in the Upper Room if you'd like to chat further; we'd love to have you!
    – Matthew
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 13:57

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