"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."This verse is popular with the people who insist they're not Legalists but sure talk like they are. Who feel as long as they aren't saying it's necessary for Salvation they don't qualify as Judiazers. Problem is I know too many people who started out that way and then slowly slid into full blown legalism.
They usually only quote the second half. In context an argument can be made this means every Sin is a transgression of the Law, but not every transgression of The Law a Sin. At the very least the cause and effect they have reversed, they like to say if there is no Law there is no Sin. In fact The Law exists to tell us what is sinful, Paul said in Romans 1 the Romans were without excuse even though they were Pagans who never knew the Law of Moses.
And they insist this verse should tell us what Paul means by Sin every time he used the word, even though this isn't a Paulian Epistle. Regardless of the validity of that lexical assumption, there is a deeper issue.
There is this popular Video online of a Pastor putting a row of kids on stage to demonstrate a deconstructive chain reaction that begins with saying there is no Sin without The Law. The full testimony of the New Testament, (however you view this verse of 1 John) says that The Law exists to help us know when we're Sinners (Romans 7:7, Galatians 3:19). So that destroys his entire chain reaction, The Law exists because of Sin not the other way around.
They think the word "Law" must mean the Law of Moses every time it's used even in the New Testament. Forgetting that the Book of Esther spends a lot of time talking about Laws that aren't Hebraic at all.
But they insist on defining ever use of the word Sin based on this verse, how about we define every use of Law based on Galations 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.". Which has a second witness in what Jesus said about the two greatest commandments.
Jeremiah 31 foretells a new Covenant coming, and says in verse 33.
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."Now to this day Rabbinic and other Jews insist this refers to merely a re-instituting of the Mosaic Covenant. But Paul clarifies this in the Book of Hebrews. In Chapter 8 where he explains that the Law of Moses was always imperfect, and the New Law is written on our Hearts not in Stone.
Romans 13:10 refers to the Law of Love. James 1:25 and 2:12 refer to the Law of Liberty.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 Paul says "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me," and then the following statement is different.
I can again recommend reading Romans 14.
But I keep hearing people equating saying we're not under The Law of Moses to Christians arguing we don't have to Obey God. It is important we obey God, but his instructions come from The Holy Spirit now. The Word is still a useful guide to help The Holy Spirit in instructing us, but it is not a means for us to Judge other people, fellow Believers or not.
But still the word Obey never occurs in John's Gospel.
Now people like to quote John 14:15
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."What is ignored is the very next verse where He promises to send the Comforter (The Holy Spirit), the Commandments He means by that are those which come from The Holy Spirit.
A Believer letting The Holy Spirit lead them while following The Golden Rule and what Jesus called the Two Greatest Commandments should have little trouble keeping from doing the most obviously evil things.
But there are grey areas, and areas where His instructions may be different for different believers depending on the different plans God has for them.
Things like the Dietary Laws, and Keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days are by no means a vital issue worth being divisive over.
Now I am also against the Reverse-Legalists as I like to call them. Independent Baptists and others who think keeping Jewish Holidays and getting Circumcised as an adult is somehow now a Sin.
It is certainly never a Sin to do what Jesus did because Jesus was without Sin, and He observed Tabernacles in John 7 and Hanukkah in John 10.
Choosing to keep The Law under no delusion that it effects Salvation can be good for spiritual Growth, so long as you don't try to impose it upon others or think it makes you better (more right with God) then anyone else.
I close with 1 Timothy 1:8-9.
"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners,".