The Law

My Musings – Mixing things a bit today.  I was sub-teaching my ABF today, so I’m just blogging the outline.  Please feel free to comment as you feel led.

Status of the Law
“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. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18, NIV 1984).

He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14, NIV 1984).

  • How do you reconcile these two verses given that “all scripture is God-breathed?”

Divisions of the Law

Ceremonial Law

Dietary Law

Moral Law

At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (Matthew 27:51, NIV 1984).

Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:13-15, NIV 1984).

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV 1984).

Abolished

Abolished

Fulfilled

Not all the laws in the Old Testament will neatly fit into these three major categories, for example the laws of inheritance.

  • What could be some of the reasons that the ceremonial and dietary laws were given in the Old Testament but are not followed in the New Testament?
  • Why do we still follow (attempt to follow) the moral (works) laws?

Purpose of the Law

Indeed, I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. (Romans 7:7-10, NIV 1984).

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so, he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4, NIV 1984).

  • Why did the moral law need to be fulfilled rather than abolished?
  • If Christ fulfilled the moral law by His death and resurrection (no condemnation, free from the law of sin), why is it still important for us to follow God’s moral laws?
  • Why was it important for us know what sin was?
  • How do the above verses help you understand the purpose of the moral law?

Extra Credit

BaptismJesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ( Matthew 28:18-20, NIV 1984).

CommunionWhen the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God. ”After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.  (Luke 22:14–20, NIV 1984).

  • What do you think, merely ceremonial or not?