The Sharia of Christ in the GOSPEL
G - Commandments of Christ related to our Duties towards Men (CONDUCT)
8. JUDGING AND PUNISHING IN JESUS' COMMANDMENTS
The obvious difference between the laws of Moses and of Muhammad on one hand, and the law of Christ on the other, is that the first two developed a section dealing with earthly judgments and severe punishments, whereas no worldly condemnations or concrete punishments can be found in the law of Christ. This difference signifies a spiritual revolution in the judiciary. In Islam severe punishments (hudud) are prescribed for breach of peace, adultery, theft, slander, murder and injuries. These severe punishments include whipping, crucifixion, cutting off hands or feet, stoning, blood feud, and blood money. In the law of Christ we find no trace of such earthly punishments, even though for the Jewish nation He did not abolish the 613 commandments of Moses with its punishments. Thus a different law with a fundamentally different spirit reigns among the followers of Christ.
But because certain exemplary offences do occur also within fellowships of Christians, Jesus empowered His apostles and mature elders Christian fellowships with the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Where two or three of them in joint prayer come to an agreement about a case, there Jesus is present in the midst of them and joins them in deciding what they should do and pray. In extreme cases a guilty member of the fellowship, that does not want to repent, must be expelled from the fellowship.
Now, the keys of the kingdom of heaven do not only apply to cases of punishing offences spiritually. Every preaching founded in the Gospel has the authority to either save men, if they believe in Jesus, or to harden and bind them, should they refuse the Gospel. Every cross centered preaching brings about such a separation. It is the Holy Spirit who saves the hearts of men from their guilt and comforts them. The same Spirit, however, also closes up and binds those who refuse the grace of Christ through the same words of His witness. Every preacher of the Gospel carries a big responsibility for the words that he utters. The effect of his words reaches into eternity.
Further, when someone begins to believe in Jesus Christ, feeling the graceful power of the Holy Spirit in his conscience, but nevertheless fiercely turns away and blasphemes against the Holy Trinity, he commits the sin against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. He, as it were, with violence and hatred performs the abortion of a spiritual fetus. This can happen when a growing member of the fellowship refuses to break with adultery, with trust in the power of money, or with bare addiction to pride, and does not overcome such in the name of Jesus.
Christ suggested to his disciples to rather pluck out an eye or to cut off a hand or a foot, than to forfeit admittance into the Kingdom of God because of specific sins. He commanded all those who wanted to follow him: to deny themselves, to no longer cling to lusts and sensitivities, to judge themselves in the presence of Jesus in an honest confession, and to take up their own cross in self-condemnation. Such followers of Christ have died to their pride and only live off the grace of Jesus. They have the privilege not to be judged any more, for they accept their justification by grace through the expiating death of Jesus. They no longer come into judgment, but have already passed from death into life.
Whoever has come to recognize his own corruption and has thoroughly condemned himself, will become compassionate with his fellow men and will neither judge nor condemn anybody, because only the Father and the Son are entitled to this. Jesus loves the sinner, who repents, more than the hypocritical just one, who thinks he has no need for repentance.
Whoever ponders these principles of justice and righteousness in the Kingdom of God can recognize that the love of Christ does not start its work through law and punishment, but through heartfelt compassion in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not fear and trembling with respect to God that creates a new existence, but the blood of Jesus Christ from His expiating death for our sake and the power of the Holy Spirit impart eternal life to all followers of Christ. The Law of Jesus Christ consists of love and salvation and not of fear and punishments.