Hebrew Roots/The Law/Royal Law
THE ROYAL LAW
The "royal law" which is referred to in the new covenant is expressed in the ten commands which Yahweh spoke into existence as a revelation of the nature of God and the way for man to live in harmony with Him. It was channeled to Israel in a spiritual form through sound waves into audible speech and then transcribed onto tablets written by the Spirit of God as a written testimony or witness to the spoken Word.
These ten basic principles were an itemization of the principles of Yahweh God's nature and formed a descriptive outline of the behavior pattern for man formed in His likeness to follow. They are an outline of what the god-like person would and would not do - like a code of ethics.
THE LIVING REALITY
This is the eternal law, or code of ethics for mankind which has always existed and has never changed. His nature was revealed to Adam in the Garden through personal interaction in a relationship with Him in the "cool of the day". He knew the reality of what was later expressed in the outline by this code of ethics.
A description of an experience cannot fully portray the image of that living reality. What Adam knew and interacted with in this Glorious Being, involving all of his senses, gave him a living experience with Him.
The Patriarchs that followed had a diminished image of Him through the lens of oral tradition and spiritual encounters. But when it came to the children of Israel, they had regressed so far into the physical realm that their spiritual encounter with Him did not profit them and they had to be taught from elementary standards. And so, what came to them as a mighty spiritual encounter with the Most High God became reduced to moral ethics and a break-down of laws to live by, to instruct them in the ways of righteousness until their level of consciousness had grown so that the Law could be transcended by the living reality.
In the incarnation of Yeshua, we have the living expression of the Law in a human life, the nature of God expressed in a human being. When He died He imparted His life to us so that now, we do not live by a set of commands and a code of ethics, but we have been given His life, by His Spirit. But to assist in our human weakness, we have the new covenant scriptures which give an account of the life that was in Him, as a testimony and a witness to its reality.
As the apostle said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life -- the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us -- that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, .. .. .. " (1 John 1:1-3)
He is the Word made flesh, the living spiritual reality of what was expressed in the essence of the law in written form, of a life conformed to the image of God. He lived in the spirit of the commandments and not by the written code of them. As the Word made flesh, the Law reached its fullest potential for expression in a human life, in Him. Therefore the Law was fulfilled in Him, by His complete obedience to the Father's commandments. He came to implement and perfect the law in a human life so that it could be imparted to us and we would have a new life - a god-kind of life that is able to keep the law, no longer in our own strength, but empowered by the new nature which He has given us (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 5:8-9).
LIVING BY THE ROYAL LAW
The Law has been elevated to a new status in the new covenant under the Melchizedek priesthood.
The Melchizedek priesthood is a "royal priesthood" - an order of king/priests, or kingly priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9). The word "royal" means 'kingly' [basileios]. It is a priesthood that has been elevated to rule and exercise a priestly functions in coordination with their High Priest, the King of Kings. It is a priesthood that is entrusted with authority to rule and reign with Him through overcoming the flesh-nature, just as He also overcame and has been given authority to rule (Matthew 28:18-20; Revelations 3:21; 12:11 ). It is a priesthood destined for the throne functioning in the freedom of the Spirit under its King.
It is for "kings" to make laws and the people living under their jurisdiction are bound by those laws. They are subject to those laws and therefore their lives can be said to be "under the law" of the "king". But, a king's son who has been disciplined to respect and keep his father's laws, when he comes to maturity; he can walk with liberty in those laws because he has been trained by them and has internalized them into his own nature. Therefore he is no longer under the jurisdiction of them but lives according to them as part of his own nature. This is the meaning of being "under grace" and not "under law". Once we have received the grace of His life and His Word is born in us, we no longer need the disciplinary structure of the Law to keep us from sin.
The "law of the Spirit of life" in Yeshua our Messiah, has set us free from the law of the cycle of sin and death, "That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (See Romans 8:2-7 & Galatians 5:16-25).
To walk according to the Spirit, is to walk in His commandments through the grace and liberty He has given us in the new nature. It is to observe His commandments by being in subjection to His Spirit, and not yielding again to the desires of the former fleshly nature. We fulfill the law by being observant of it, as He did. If we maintain our relationship with Him, we will abide in Him and His life will be lived out through us (Jn. 15:7).
It is for this purpose that the written Word serves as a means of exposing the works of the flesh to us now. It acts like an mirror to reflect the image of God to us, a measuring stick with which to compare ourselves. So that if we lose sight of the image of the new 'man', by looking into the "perfect law of liberty", it will be reflected back to us to expose the works of our flesh (James 1:22-25). James calls it the "royal law".
While ever we walk in the Spirit, by His life, we do not come under the law. We fulfill the law. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-25
"I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
But if we walk in the flesh, instead of in the Spirit by the divine nature, according to the royal law, then we come back under the Law; and we will be judged by the Law (James 2:8-11).
FULFILLING THE ROYAL LAW
Yeshua gave us the royal law in the summary He made of the ten commands into two main principles; loving God with all of our being and loving our neighbor as ourselves. This is the essence of the new man's nature. It is not a replacement of the 613 laws which can be itemized in the written law, nor a substitute for the ten commands, but just as Yeshua perfectly fulfilled the Law, so shall those who are led by the Spirit.
The Spirit of God always agrees with the Word (1 John 5:6). He is called the Spirit of Truth (John 14:25-26). We are sanctified by His Word, as He said, "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17).
The two Great Commandments of the royal law are the itemization of the Decalogue upon which hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). They categorize the first four commands into that which is directed toward God and the other six, into that which pertains to our fellow man.
Most of the violations of the first four commands fall into the category of idolatry and hence the exhortation, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21). That is all-inclusive of anything which takes pre-eminence in our lives and comes between God and us.
The other six cover the various aspects of our relationship with others in the royal law, as James 2:8 says,
"If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself, you do well'" "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good .. .. For we know that the law is spiritual .. .. " ; and we have been liberated to live within His holy law (Romans 7:12, 14)