What Does the Bible Say About the Old Testament Law?
- Is there anything we should avoid eating? Is eating pork and shellfish against the law in the Bible? In what sense did Jesus say, “Nor the tiniest letter, not the slightest stroke of a pen, will by any way depart from the Law until everything is accomplished”? What has happened to all of the commandments and ordinances in the Old Testament
- Do we have to follow the regulations in the Old Testament
- And what has happened to all of the commandments and ordinances in the New Testament.
During the time of the Old Testament, the Law of Moses governed practically every element of human existence. God, on the other hand, forged a new covenant of trust and love with people via the coming of Christ. Criminal and punishment laws, warfare, slavery, food, circumcision, sacrifices, feast days and keeping of the Sabbath, as well as tithe and ceremonial cleanness laws, are not essential for Christians to obey the Old Testament regulations. Even more self-discipline is required by Jesus and His apostles than by the teachings of the Old Testament when it comes to moral and ethical principles and teachings.
The Law of Moses
A law that governed practically every element of Jewish life throughout biblical times was known as theLaw of Moses (also known as the Old Testament Law, Mosaic Law, or simply The Law). Ten Commandments and a slew of additional regulations established the boundaries of morality, religious activity, and government. The army, criminal justice, trade, property rights, slavery, sexual relations, marriage, and social interactions were all governed by the constitution. For men, it demanded circumcision, animal sacrifices, and rigorous observance of the Sabbath (see below).
Animals were classified into two groups according to ceremonial rules: “clean” and “unclean.” Those that were clean could be eaten; animals that were not clean could not.
Many of the regulations were tailored specifically to the religious system and agricultural life of ancient Israel, and others were general in nature (Exodus 12:14-16, Leviticus 1:10-13,11:1-23, 15:19-20, 19:19, 19:27-28, 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 25:5-6).
However, there are several moral principles that serve as the foundation for Christian morality (Exodus 20:1-17,23:6-9, Leviticus 19:9-10, 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:5).
The Teachings of Jesus
After Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, hundreds of ceremonial laws were created in order to carry out the tremendous moral ideals God had imparted to him. People believed that if they just followed all of the laws, they were leading holy lives. Jesus, on the other hand, was of a different mind. He said that individuals discovered enough “loopholes” to follow all the regulations while continuing to live evil and selfish lifestyles (Matthew 23:23-28). “Do not imagine that Ihave come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them,” Jesus said in reference to the Law, which sometimes creates misunderstanding.
Matthew 5:17–18 (New International Version) Christians have struggled to comprehend exactly what Jesus was trying to convey.
However, many of those laws and ceremonies were not observed by Jesus and His disciples, thus this could not be the case at all. When it comes to the time of Jesus, it is commonly pointed out that the word “the Law” might imply a variety of distinct things. 1,2
- The ceremonial regulations, which include “clean” and “unclean” lists, sacrifices, food restrictions, ritualwashings, and other practices. The civil law is a body of laws that governs social behavior and specifies crimes, penalties, and other requirements. For example, the Ten Commandments are examples of moral and ethical laws. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible)
- The Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
- The scribal law – the 613 regulations (mitzvot) created by the scribes that were supposed to be followed by everyone
- The scribal law The whole of the Scriptures
There was no change in the moral and ethical laws that had been in existence since the time of Moses because of Jesus. Those concepts were maintained and expounded upon by him, but he added that obedience must come from the heart (in the form of attitudes and intents) rather than merely technical observation of the law’s language (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-42, 43-44, etc.). Jesus and His disciples, on the other hand, did not adhere to the stringent scribal prohibition against doing any labor on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14, Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6, Luke 6:1-11, 13:10-17,14:1-6, John 5:1-18).
- According to Jesus, contrary to the dietary regulations of the Law, food cannot contaminate a person; rather, it is negative attitudes and acts that may render a person unclean (Matthew 15:1-20, Mark 7:1-23).
- (John8:3-5, 10-11).
- If such were the case, it would be consistent with His previous acts and teachings.
- Additionally, it is pointed out that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 26:28, Mark 10:45, Luke 16:16, John 1:16, Acts 10:28, 13:39, Romans 10:4).
The Council of Jerusalem
The early Christians came from among the Jews, and they maintained their observance of both the Law of Moses and their new Christian beliefs during this time. However, as the number of Gentiles (non-Jews) who converted to Christianity increased, there were disagreements about whether or not these Gentile Christians were required to keep the Law. The issues of circumcision and food were particularly contentious, and they posed a serious danger to the unity of Christianity. When Peter, Paul, Barnabas and James (along with other Christian leaders) convened in Jerusalem about the year 49 A.D., they were attempting to resolve the conflict (Acts 15:1-29).
The Gentile Christians, on the other hand, were instructed by the council to abstain from certain items that were particularly repulsive to their Jewish brothers and sisters – food dedicated to gods, blood, flesh from strangled animals, and sexual immorality, to name a few (Acts 15:29).
The New Covenant
God has made a new covenant with people as a result of the birth of Jesus Christ (Jeremiah31:31-34, Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, Hebrews 8:8-13, 9:11-15). Jesus and Hisapostles provided us with a fundamentally different view of the actual goal of the Old TestamentLaw; they heralded the beginning of a new period characterized by the rule of love for all people and spiritual truth, rather than the rule of law (Luke 10:25-28, John 13:34-35, Ephesians 2:14-18).
God, on the other hand, has not canceled His original bond with Israel and the Jewish people, as some believe (Luke 1:72, Acts 3:25, Romans 9:4-5, 11:26-29, Galatians 3:17). Although the New Covenant expresses no negative feelings toward Jews, it does not condone their persecution in any manner.
Jesus’ teachings, the Council of Jerusalem, and other New Testament teachings (John 1:16-17, Acts 13:39, Romans 2:25-29, 8:1-4, 1 Corinthians 9:19-21, Galatians 2:15-16, Ephesians 2:15) make it clear that Christians are not required to follow the Old Testament rules about crimes and punishments, warfare, slavery, diet, circumcision, animal sacrifices, feast days, Sabbath observance, ritual cleanness, and so on.
Christians are Old Testament scriptures continue to be relied upon by Christians for moral and spiritual direction (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Christians, on the other hand, should not consider their liberation from the Old Testament Law to be a license to lower their moral standards.
For example, below are a few instances of Old Testament commandments that Christians do not often follow:
- Pork (Leviticus 11:7)
- Certain other animals (Leviticus 11:4-6)
- Shellfish (Leviticus 11:10)
- Certain birds (Leviticus 11:13-19)
- Certain insects (Leviticus 11:20-23)
- Meat that has not been cooked yet (Leviticus 17:12)
- Meat that has not been cooked yet (Leviticus 17:13)
- Meat that has not been cooked
- Male circumcision is compulsory on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:1-3)
- The death penalty is applied to anyone who:
- Exodus 21:15,17
- Disobedience to parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
- Failure to confine a dangerous animal resulting in death (Exodus 21:28-29)
- Witchcraft and sorcery (Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 13:5, 1 Samuel 28:9)
- Having sexual relations with an animal (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 20:16)
- Working on the Sabbath (Ex
- Observances of the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost(Shavuot)(Leviticus 23:15-21)
- Observances of the Feast of Trumpets or New Year Festival(Rosh Hashanah)(Leviticus 23:23-25)
- Observances of the Feast of Tabernacles(Sukkot)(Leviticus 23:39-43)
- And Observances of the Feast of Tabernacles(S
- The seventh-day Sabbath is observed on Saturday (Exodus 20:8-11
- Exodus 35:1-3)
- Animal sacrifices are performed.
- For the forgiveness of sins (Leviticus 4:27-35)
- For the commemoration of the Passover (Exodus 12:3-11)
1William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible, published by Westminster Press in several editions at various times. 2 Life Application Bible Study Notes, edited by Bruce Barton and published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in 1991.
Jesus Refuted Old Testament Laws
Despite the fact that it is evident that Jesus considered the Old Testament as God’s divine revelation, he also explicitly disputed elements of the law of Moses. To give an example, when Jesus supported his followers’ harvesting of food on the Sabbath, he was effectively repudiating Sabbath law (Mt 12:1-14; cf. Ex. 34:21). The disciples, according to some academics, were simply breaching a Pharisaical custom around the Sabbath, rather than breaking any specific OT commandment governing the Sabbath itself.
- While I acknowledge that this was undoubtedly a part of Jesus’ intention, I do not see how this exonerates his disciples from the charge of Sabbath-breaking in any way.
- Furthermore, Moses’ rule against working on the Sabbath specifically includes a restriction against gathering food (i.e., manna) on the Sabbath (Ex.
- So it appears that in this specific instance, the Pharisees had a scriptural foundation for their criticism of Jesus, at least in part.
- However, it appears that the genuine meaning of the Sabbath, as defined by Jesus, is at odds with some rigorous and severe restrictions concerning the Sabbath in the Old Testament.
- The fact that Jesus’ relaxed attitude toward some rigorous and/or severe commandments regarding the Sabbath as well as other topics was accepted and even elaborated upon by his first disciples should not be overlooked.
- 2:16) was entirely relativized by Paul (Col.
- We find early Christian leaders rejecting the Old Testament rules for God’s covenant people, both Jews and Gentiles, such as the command to be circumcised and to consume specific types of foods, among other things.
- In a similar vein, it appears that when Jesus skillfully spared a woman caught in the act of adultery from being killed, he was effectively repudiating an Old Testament rule (Jn 8:1-11, Cf.
- 20:10; Deut 22:22).
- Assuming that all people are sinners, the lesson Jesus is expressing in this story appears to apply not only to this specific accused sinner and this particular set of wicked accusers, but to all accused sinners and all guilty accusers in general.
- If the concept that Jesus explains in this tale is carried through to completion, it calls into question the moral legitimacy, if not the seeming divine authorization, of every human-on-human slaughter in the Bible.
According to Graeme Goldsworthy, Jesus is “the culmination and completion of the entire Old Testament,” as well as “the key to the entire Scriptures.” Consequently, everything about these rules is reinterpreted since Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation, and he is the one in whom the law is fully realized (Matt 5:17-18).
Painting byDaniel Bonnell
Does the Old Testament law still apply? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point or another. Do Christians adhere to the teachings of the Old Testament? Explore these questions further by reading the section below, which includes notes from The Chronological Life Application Study Bible to aid you in your investigation. What exactly is the Law of the Old Testament? Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are the books that contain the Old Testament Law. This comprises the Ten Commandments, among other things.
- “Please don’t get the wrong idea about why I’ve come.
- No, I came to help them achieve their objective.
- As a result, if you break the least commandment and encourage others to do the same, you will be referred to as the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
- You will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless your purity exceeds that of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, I warn you.
DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW STILL APPLY?
If Jesus did not come to destroy the law, does this indicate that all of the laws of the Old Testament continue to apply to us in the modern era? The law in the Old Testament is divided into three categories: ceremonial, civil, and moral law.
ONE: Ceremonial Law
The ceremonial law dealt especially with Israel’s religious practices (seeLev 1:2-3, for example). Due to the major goal of these rules being to look forward to Jesus Christ, they were no longer essential following the death and resurrection of Jesus. While ceremonial law no longer binds us, the ideals that underpin it—to worship and adore a holy God—continue to be relevant. The Pharisees frequently accused Jesus of breaking the laws of the temple.
TWO: Civil Law
In Israel, civil law was applied to everyday life, and this was known as civil law (seeDeut 24:10-11, for example). Because current society and culture are so fundamentally different from those of that era and environment, it is impossible to adhere to all of these standards in their entirety. However, the concepts that underpin the commandments remain timeless and should serve as a guide for our actions. Jesus exemplified these ideals through his life and teachings.
THREE: Moral Law
It is God’s direct mandate to follow the moral code (such as the Ten Commandments), and it requires complete and total obedience (seeExod 20:13, for example). The moral code shows the character and will of God, and it continues to be relevant today. Jesus complied with the moral rule to the letter.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
God created His laws in order to assist people in loving God with all of their hearts and minds. This legislation has, however, frequently been misquoted and misapplied over the course of Israel’s history. By the time of Jesus, religious authorities had twisted the laws into a jumble of contradictory regulations.
When Jesus talked about a new way to understand God’s law, he was actually attempting to bring people back to the law’s original intent and meaning. Jesus did not condemn the law in and of itself, but rather the abuses and excesses to which it had been subjected in the past (seeJohn 1:17).
To assist individuals in loving God with all of their hearts and thoughts, God created rules to guide them in this endeavor. This legislation has, however, frequently been misquoted and misapplied during the course of Israel’s historical development. Religion had transformed the laws into a disorganized jumble of regulations by Jesus’ day. When Jesus spoke of a new way to comprehend God’s law, he was essentially attempting to return people to the law’s original intent. Not the law itself, but the abuses and excesses to which it had been subjected were the focus of Jesus’ criticisms (seeJohn 1:17).
Pharisees were strict and meticulous in their efforts to uphold the laws that they had established. So how could Jesus possibly urge us to a higher standard of righteousness than they did? Pharisees’ shortcoming was that they were willing to only follow the commandments on the surface level without enabling God to transform their hearts and minds (or attitudes). They appeared to be religious, yet they were a long way from the Kingdom of Heaven. As well as judging our actions, God also examines our hearts, for it is in our hearts that our true allegiance rests.
It is necessary for our righteousness to (1) come from what God does in us, rather than what we can do on our own, (2) be God-centered rather than self-centered, (3) be based on reverence for God rather than approval from others, and (4) go beyond simply keeping the law to living by the principles that underpin it.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
All of the information in this post was taken directly from the Chronological Life Application Study Bible! Get this resource now to read through the Bible in chronological sequence, which will provide you with a new perspective on your Bible study routine. In addition, you’ll receive hundreds of notes like to this one to help you better grasp God’s Word.
No, Jesus Did Not Soften the Old Testament-In Fact He Did the Opposite, and Here’s What That Means
Those who identify as moderate Christians are fond of pointing out how Jesus “changed the Old Testament,” or in other words, how he rendered obsolete the truly awful passages that deal about slavery, putting women in their place, executing gays, and so on. In reality, he accomplished nothing of the like. Specifically, I’ll be performing two things here:
- To demonstrate to you that Jesus completely endorsed everything in the Old Testament
- To demonstrate to you just how dreadful everything is
So, first and foremost, here is Jesus speaking directly about the teachings of the Old Testament:
The Law Stands
Because really, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota or a dot will pass the law until everything is done. As a result, anybody who breaks even one of the smallest of these commandments, and teaches others to do similarly, will be regarded as the least in the kingdom of heaven; nevertheless, anyone who follows and teaches them will be regarded as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:18-19 (New International Version) “It is far simpler for Heaven and Earth to perish than it is for the tiniest portion of the wording of the law to be declared unconstitutional.
(See also Luke 16:17.) “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
In the name of God, I declare to you that until heaven and earth pass away, not the least part of a letter, not the smallest part of a letter, will be removed from the law until all things have taken place.” (Matthew 5:17; Mark 1:17) “Did Moses not give you the law, and yet none of you obeys the law?” says the author.
Don’t just take my word for it; go ahead and look it up for yourself. Assuming, for the time being, that he completely embraced the teachings of the Old Testament, let’s look at what he specifically instructed us to uphold.
The Law That Stands
If someone curses the name of the LORD, they will be put to death; the entire crowd will stone the blasphemer as punishment. The death penalty will be applied to both foreigners and citizens who insult the name of God. Leviticus 24:16 (New Revised Standard Version)
Cheaters Must Die
It is mandatory to execute both the adulterer and the adulteress if a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—in this case, with the wife of his next-door neighbor. (NIV) Torah 20:10 (Leviticus 20:10)
Dishonoring Your Mother or Father is Punishable by Death
No one should be allowed to live if they have dishonored their father or mother. A person who does such an act is guilty of a capital crime. Leviticus 20:9 (New Living Translation)
People Who Work on Sunday Should be Killed
It is OK for you to labor six days each week on your regular duties, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of total rest, a holy day devoted to the LORD. Anyone who is at work on that day shall be put to death immediately. Exodus 35:2 (New Living Translation)
If a Woman is Not a Virgin When She Gets Married, She Has to Die
“If any man takes a wife and enters her home and despises her, accuses her of disgraceful behavior, and casts a bad reputation on her, and claims, ‘I took this lady, and when I arrived to her, I discovered she was not a virgin,’ he is guilty of adultery.” In the event that no evidence of virginity is discovered for the young woman, she will be brought out to the front door of her father’s house, where the men of her city will stone her to death with stones.
(New King James Version) — Deuteronomy 22:13-14, 20-21
There’s Nothing Wrong With Slavery
“If any man marries a bride and enters her home and despises her, accuses her of disgraceful behavior, and casts a bad reputation on her, and says, ‘I took this lady, and when I arrived to her, I discovered she was not a virgin,’ he should be stoned to death.” If no evidence of virginity can be found for the young woman, she will be brought out to her father’s house, where the men of her city will stone her to death with stones. Deuteronomy 22:13-14, 20-21 (New King James Version)
Gays Should be Put to Death
If a man sleeps with another man as if he were with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, and they will both be put to death; their blood will be on their own shoulders. (NRSV) — Leviticus 20:13 (NASB).
Women Should Shut the Hell Up and Do as They’re Told
In order for a woman to learn, she must be quiet and fully submit. Female power or teaching authority over a guy are not allowed in my house; she must remain mute. Timothy 2:11-12 (New International Version) Please keep in mind that these are not recommendations. They’re not something you can do without. As Jesus stated, “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches mankind in this manner will be considered least in the kingdom of heaven.” He also stated that they are not susceptible to any interpretation by the individual.
Atheists, on the other hand, should not be listened to; we are the last people you should trust.
You should read your own Bible. All of the references are available to you. You are the one who must find a way to reconcile this atrocity. But, fortunately, there is a simple solution: Consider which of the following is most likely:
- You may either believe that God and Jesus are bad (which the Bible’s own language reveals, if you open your copy and look) or. As it turns out, everything is a fabrication, and there is nothing to be concerned about
The solution is number two. God is not a bad person, and neither is his son, Jesus. They were created by man in order to exert control over other men. There are few things that provide more compelling evidence of this than the actual teachings of the Bible. Those of you who are nice and considerate Christian friends don’t require this. You have risen above it all.
- Please accept my thanks for the list of Old Testament instructions provided by Christianity Disproved.com.
Matthew 5:17 – Wikipedia
|Ecclesia et Synagoga, a medieval depiction comparing Jewish and Christian law on the façade ofNotre Dame Cathedralin Paris.
|Gospel of Matthew
|Christian Bible part
Matthew 5:17 is the seventeenth verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, and it is a part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). This line, which is one of the most hotly discussed in the gospel, marks the beginning of a new section on Jesus and the Torah, in which Jesus examines the Law and the Prophets.
In the originalKoine Greek language, according to Westcott and Hort, the phrase reads: “V” means “with” or “within” and “outside” means “outside” or “inside” means “within” or “outside” means “within” or “outside” means “within” or “outside” means “within” or “outside” means “within” or “outside” means “within” or “outside” means “within The verse from the King James Version of the Bible states: “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The text is translated as follows in the World English Bible: “Don’t get the impression that I’ve come to demolish the law or prophets.
I didn’t come to destroy, but rather to bring about fulfillment.” SeeBibleGateway for a selection of various translations and versions.
Jesus and Mosaic law
This passage is at the heart of the controversy about the link between the New Testament and the Old Testament, which was initially sparked by Marcion of Sinope and has continued ever since. It is possible to understand Jesus as rejecting some aspects of Mosaic law in various places in the New Testament, including the Gospel of John. The traditional interpretation of the Sabbath inMatthew 12:8, divorce rules inMatthew 5:31, and dietary prohibitions inMatthew 15:11 are among the topics discussed.
- In this perspective, the Apostles described such a view in Acts of the Apostles, and Jewish Christians ignored such teaching because they continued to worship in Herod’s Temple, as required by the Mosaic Law even after the Resurrection, according to the proponents.
- Antinomianism is the belief that the entireTorahLaw is still completely relevant to Christians – not for salvation, but rather for plain obedience.
- (1 John 2:6).
- Matthew 23:1–3 and Matthew 23:23, according to proponents of this viewpoint, provide proof that Jesus did not nullify any portions of the Biblical Torah Law for his disciples.
For further reading on this point of view, see Christian perspectives on the ancient covenant.
As a result, the Jewish Christians, of which Matthew is widely believed to be a member, would have accused the Pauline Christiansof abandoning Jewish doctrine, as evidenced by theCouncil of JerusalemandActs of the Apostles21:21: “They have heard about you that you teach all the Jews living among the Gentilesto forsakeMoses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs.” NRSVAnother school of thought holds that antinomianism, the concept that everything was permissible since there were no laws, was held by a segment of the early Christian society.
- Using this line, the Gospel of Matthew openly challenges these points of view, asserting that ancient regulations such as the Ten Commandments remain in effect.
- The term “fulfill” is the source of the most of the debate around this text.
- A large variety of different readings of the wordpleroo, fulfill, have been developed and made available.
- These differing definitions, together with textual confusion over the validity of the law, have resulted in a variety of interpretations of the link between Mosaic law and the New Testament, as discussed below.
- These factions included the followers of Simon Magus, Marcionism, Gnosticism, Monasticism, Manichaeism, and others.
- Examples include Irenaeus’ rejection of Marcion and praise of the Apostles in hisAgainst Heresies3.12.12: The apostles preached the Gospel while still under the influence of Jewish beliefs, but they imagined that they had discovered something more than the apostles by discovering another god.
Another major writer who opposed any separation between Jesus and Moses wasSt. Augustine, who articulated his position in hisReply to Faustus, a Manichaeist, which is available online. Augustine suggested six distinct ways in which Jesus fulfilled the law, including the following examples:
- His personal obedience to the law was fulfilled in that he fulfilled the messianic predictions
- He empowered his people to obey the law
- He revealed its true meaning
- He explained the true meaning behind the rituals and ceremonies
- He gave additional commands that furthered the intentions of the Law
- And he died in accordance with the Law.
The sixth of these reasons, that Jesus enlarged the law rather than replacing it, was the most crucial. A lot of other people attempted to convey this concept through analogy. Christ was likened to a race, and Chrysostom remarked that while Jesus had extended the distance that the Christians had to run, the starting point had stayed the same. Theophylact of Bulgaria used the metaphor of an artist filling in an outline, while St. Thomas Aquinas viewed it as how a tree retains the seed even after it has been cut down and discarded.
Luther, Calvin, and Zwingl were among the leading Protestants who rejected the notion that Jesus had made any additions to the Law of Moses.
In contrast, the Anabaptists believed that Jesus had fundamentally revised the Law and that Old Testament commandments could only be valid if they had been confirmed by Jesus himself.
Jesus, he said, had committed no transgressions or oppositions to the Mosaic law, and that the disciples had continued to observe it, as evidenced by their continuing worship in Herod’s Temple (e.g., Acts 3:1; 21:23–26), which he considered to be evidence of their continuous observance of the law.
- (See also Great Apostasy and Cafeteria Christianity for further information).
- First and foremost, He wanted to use these words to reprimand His followers, reminding them that just as He fulfilled the Law, so should they try to do the same.
- Saint Remigius (Saint Remigius): He maintains two things in this passage: he rejects that He was sent to pervert the Law, and he insists that He was sent to bring it to completion.
- Chrysostom: As a result, Christ fulfilled the Prophets by doing what was prophesied about Himself—and the Law, first and foremost by transgressing none of its prohibitions; secondly, by justifying through faith, something the Law could not do by the letter.
- Because the Lord has revealed to us that even a wicked motion of the thoughts directed toward the evil of a brother is to be considered a kind of murder under the law.
The Lord also teaches us that it is preferable to stay close to the truth without swearing than it is to come close to blasphemy with a real oath to avoid being exposed.
- David Hill is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. Matthew’s Gospel is a collection of stories about Jesus’ life and teachings. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, 1981
- McArthur, Harvey King. The Sermon on the Mount: An Interpretive Guide Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1978.
Do Christians have to obey the Old Testament law?
QuestionAnswer The fact that the Old Testament law was given to the country of Israel, rather than to Christians, is essential to comprehending the connection between Christians and the Law. Some of the regulations were intended to teach the Israelites how to follow and satisfy God, while others were intended to disclose how to do so (the Ten Commandments, for example). One purpose of several of the commandments was to instruct the Israelites on how to worship God and atone for their sins (the sacrificial system).
Christians are no longer bound by any of the laws of the Old Testament.
According to Galatians 6:2, in place of the law of the Old Testament, Christians are subject to the law of Christ, which states that they must “love the Lord your God [with their whole heart, with all their soul, with all their mind.and to love their neighbor as themselves” (Matthew 22:37-39).
- Now, this does not imply that the law of the Old Testament is no longer valid today.
- The claim that the Old Testament law still applies to Christians today is, on the other hand, completely false.
- One of two things happens: either everything happens, or nothing happens.
- “This is what it means to love God: to obey his instructions.
- The Ten Commandments were, in essence, a condensed version of the entire body of Old Testament law.
- Inevitably, when we are in love with God, we will not worship counterfeit gods or prostrate ourselves before idols in our lives.
- This is the aim of the Old Testament law: to convince people of their incapacity to fulfill the law and to direct them to the necessity of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior through faith in Him (Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:24).
- We are to love God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
As long as we diligently fulfill those two rules, we will be upholding everything that God demands of us. Questions concerning the Christian Life (return to top of page) Is it necessary for Christians to follow the laws of the Old Testament?
What Was Jesus’ Relationship to the Law of Moses?
For the people of Israel, the law that God provided to Moses served as a foundational element of their existence. It was the ideal standard by which they were to live their lives from that point on. Despite the fact that the law was flawless, it exposed how flawed each human was. People had awareness of their sin through the law, but they did not get a solution. Consequently, no flesh will be justified in his sight by the acts of the law, for it is through the law that sin is discovered and understood (Romans 3:20).
- Jesus Was Born Under the Influence of the Law The Law of Moses was in effect when Jesus was born.
- According to the Law, he was sinless.
- Is it possible for any of you to establish that I am guilty of sin?
- (See also John 8:46) Jesus atoned for the sins of the world.
- He took the stand and testified.
- Quite the contrary.
- The Law Was Obeyed By Jesus Jesus is the only person who has ever done everything required by the law.
Being sinless, Jesus was able to fulfill the criteria of the law in order to be the ideal sacrifice since He was without fault.
As a result of his becoming a curse for us (because it is stated, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,’) Christ has freed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
The curse that the law had placed on humanity has now been lifted completely.
God sent his Son.
Due to the fact that you are sons, God has placed the spirit of his Son into your hearts, causing you to call out, ‘Abba, Father!’ As a result, you are no longer a slave but rather a son, and if a son, then you are an heir of God through Christ, who is your father (Galatians 4:4-7).
The Law Was Taught By Jesus The law was faithfully taught by Jesus.
On one occasion, a legal expert rose to his feet to put Jesus to the test.
“Can you tell me what is written in the Law?” he inquired.
Those who have accepted Christ as their Savior are now subject to the law of Christ.
You must love one another in the same way that I have loved you.
Share one another’s responsibilities and you will be able to meet the requirements of Christ’s law (Galatians 6:2).
Because He met all of the requirements of the law, Jesus was able to offer Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin. Those who place their trust in Him are set free from the bonds of the law and are adopted as God’s children as a result.
Jesus and the Old Covenant Laws
For the people of Israel, the law that God provided to Moses served as a fundamental component of their existence. It was the ideal standard by which they were to live their lives from that day on. Despite the fact that the law was flawless, it exposed how flawed each human was. People gained awareness of their sin through the law, but they did not get a cure. Consequently, no flesh will be justified in his sight by the acts of the law, for it is through the law that sin is recognized and understood (Romans 3:20).
- Jesus Was Born in a Legally Enforced Environment Under the Law of Moses, Jesus was born.
- According to the law, he was sinless.
- Anyone here able to demonstrate my sinfulness?
- The Bible states that Jesus died for our sins (8:46).
- Jesus, as the promised Messiah, came and completed the task of fulfilling the Law of Moses on the mountain of Transfiguration.
- Never imagine that I have come to demolish the Law or the Prophets.
- No, I did not come to destroy, but rather to bring about the fulfillment of my purpose.
He followed the law to the letter, never breaching any of its precepts or prohibitions during his lifetime.
Because of his death, humanity was freed from the punishment of the law.
Jesus’ death removed the curse of the law from the world.
The death of Christ signified the possibility for individuals who had previously been slaves under the law to be adopted as God’s children and heirs to His blessings.
in order to rescue those who were under the law, and so that we may be adopted as sons by the Father in heaven.
Slavery has been replaced with freedom for believers because Christ has released them from the bonds of law.
The law was taught by Jesus in a consistent and reliable fashion.
When Jesus was being tested by a legal expert, the expert stood up.
“Can you tell me how you read it?” says the author.
(Luke 10:25-27) The Bible says that Here We Have The Christ-Centered New Law.
Introducing a new command: Each other’s love is essential.
The Bible states in John 13:34 that Paul penned a letter to himself.
Brief SynopsisJesus is the only person who has ever lived who has totally obeyed God’s commandments.
In order to offer the perfect sacrifice for sin, Jesus had to completely fulfill the law. God’s children are those who place their confidence in Him and are thereby released from the bonds of the law. (See John 3:16.)
- Christians are obedient to God. Laws of the Old Testament Prior to Moses
- Moses and the Covenant of the Old Testament
- The New Covenant and Jesus
- The Early Church and the Law of Moses
- The New Covenant and the Law of Moses
- Paul and the Covenant of the Old Testament
- A few examples of laws that are no longer in effect
- There are seven annual Sabbaths, as well as dietary laws and uncleanliness. The Weekly Sabbath — Following in Jesus’ Footsteps
- The Sabbath in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles
- Commandments of the New Covenant
- Grace is the means of salvation.
Michael Morrison is the author. Was this article of assistance?
Help us provide more content like this by giving today
After writing an article in which I discussed the shift from Saturday to Sunday as the day of worship, I was challenged in the comments section to explain “who commanded this transition” and to provide biblical references to support my claim. The passage from Matthew 5:17 was used to argue against a change in the Sabbath day. Here’s what the poem actually means when read in context: Do not believe that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish, but to complete what has already been established.
Whoever therefore breaks even one of the least of these commandments, and instructs others to do so, will be regarded as the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and instructs others in keeping them will be regarded as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We are not going to enter the kingdom of heaven until our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, I assure you of that.
(See Matthew 5:17–20.) I chose to modify and post my response here since it applies not only to the Sabbath but to any of the Old Testament regulations, and I’ve seen that among Christians, there has been an increase in concern over whether or not we should be observing the Mosaic Law (I give my theory as to why this is happeninghere).
A Change in the Law
It does not appear in the New Testament that a particular command to shift the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday has been given. According to Heb. 7–10, especially 7:11–12 and 8:13, what is required is a change in the Law, and the Sabbath was a component of the Law. The fact that we are now free to worship and rest whenever we want is significant, and Christians have historically chosen to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and liberation from the Law, which was “just a shadow of the good things to come” (Heb.
When we are linked to Jesus, we become heirs of the promises made to Abraham rather than the Law given to Moses—promises that, according to Romans 4:13–16, were guaranteed by God’s grace, not by law, and that were guaranteed by faith rather than by law.
After all, if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; nevertheless, God has handed it to Abraham via the medium of a covenant.
The rest of chapter three is devoted to Paul’s response to this question.
After receiving Christ, we are no longer under the shadow of death since we have received the substance: Everyone should refrain from acting as a judge in matters of food and drink, as well as festivals, new moons and Sabbath days—all of which are only outlines of what is to come; but the essence belongs to Christ.
- If we were still under the Mosaic Law with its Levitical priesthood, Jesus (who is not a Levite) would be unable to serve as our priest at all if we were still under that law.
- What was the point of another priest rising in the order of Melchizedek and not being designated in the order of Aaron?
- For on the one hand, a previous law is being left aside because of its weakness and futility (since the Law could not make anything perfect), and on the other hand, a greater hope is being introduced, which allows us to get closer to God.
Jesus has taken on the role of a guarantee for a more favorable covenant. The book of Hebrews goes on to claim that the New Covenant “made the old covenant obsolete,” and that “everything is becoming outdated and getting old is about to depart” (Heb. 8:13).
One New Body
The book of Ephesians 2:11–22 is quite useful in comprehending all of this. As explained in the book of Hebrews, God united Jews and Gentiles together “into one new man”—not as participants in the Mosaic Covenant, but as members of onenewman. The Bible actually states that the reason why Christ is able to reconcile both Jews and Gentiles “in one body” is because “He Himself is our peace, who has united the two and broken down the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, in order to make the two into one new man in Himself.” In other words, via His death on the cross, Christ broke down the barrier of the Law, effectively “abolishing” it, enabling Him to bring us all together without the need for the Mosaic Law and to create one new man.
He did not graft us into the Mosaic Covenant as some have claimed.
The Requirements of the Law Are Unyielding
What is the connection between this and Matthew 5:17? In his Gospel, Matthew devotes a significant amount of attention to the concept of real righteousness. Despite their best efforts, the Pharisees were continuously in violation of the Law’s most fundamental principles and principles of justice (as everyone does). As a result, they were completely unaware of how far short they had fallen in terms of obeying the Law, which is why Jesus continued pointing out that their acts (such as divorce, desire, and rage) were in violation of the Law’s spirit.
- Similarly, Jesus stated in 5:17 that He did not come to lessen the requirements of the Law (as was the Pharisees’ method of trying to fulfill the Law and attain righteousness—that is, by lessening the requirements, ignoring the spirit of the Law, and annulling commandments).
- As an alternative, He came to fully satisfy the criteria, both in spirit and in text.
- No component of the Law would be diminished for anybody striving to gain righteousness in this manner, therefore the Pharisees’ quest to obtain righteousness through the Law was doomed from the start.
- The only way to have righteousness that “surpasses that of the Pharisees” (Matt.
- This concept is also discussed in Luke 16:16–17.
- It is impossible to achieve redemption by the application of the Law, since “it is simpler for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to be rejected.” We’re just not able to make it work that way.
As of today, however, the Gospel has been proclaimed continuously since the time of John the Baptist, and all people are coming to faith in Christ and the Gospel.
Not Our Covenant
The Mosaic Law is simply not our covenant, as we understand it. We’ve been linked to Christ, and we’ve decided to join him. Not that we shouldn’t take time to relax and worship on occasion, of course. It’s a fantastic concept! For Saturday, we are even allowed to adhere to the Old Testament’s rules if we so want.) It simply implies that we are not required to follow a specific law in this regard and that we are free to worship on the day that reflects the Gospel rather than the Mosaic Law. “How Can I Know Which Bible Promises Apply to Me?” and “How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians Today?” by Greg Koukl are two excellent resources for learning more about how Christians should understand the Mosaic Law.
3:16), because it teaches us much about God’s holiness, justice, and character—what He loves and what He hates—so that we can know God and what it means to love Him and love our neighbor in the present day.