Wednesday, 3 June 2009

New Believers and Old Laws

One of the recurring issues in the recent discussions is what should be the attitude New Testament follower of Christ to do with the Law of Moses that is recorded in the Old Testament. The point made is usually along the lines of “why don’t you follow rule X in Leviticus?” or accusations of picking and choosing according to personal preference.

This matter was thankfully covered already… in the Bible. During the time of the Apostles, the Church was challenged particularly by Gentiles joining the Church. Did they have to follow all the Law? This was more than just a ceremonial issue. It also had implications for the future of Israel during the Church age.

The 10 commandments are the Law in summary and all are repeated in the New Testament. The exception being the Sabbath (Saturday) which is dealt with specifically as the Christians practice was to celebrate on Sunday whilst having liberty to chose any day.

The dietary laws were revoked by a vision given to Peter in Acts and many other aspects of the Law are for government for a nation and Christians were not called to forge a new country.  However the moral principles still apply, for example using fair weights and measures. The practical still apply – shellfish in a desert country that had not invented the refrigerator yet?? I’ll pass on that one for a few centuries… Laws that tell us of our very nature, the family unit and child rearing have not passed away. We operate under their principles but not under the Law of an ancient nation.

In summary, the rules have changed due to the fulfilment of the types and shadows of the Old Testament by the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is not picking and choosing to apply the Old Testament Law as the New Testament requires believers to. The 12 Apostles received the completion of revelation which has survived in Scripture through much attempted interference. So could things change again? Possibly – the church age is time limited. For now, we have 66 books by over 40 others with 1 message. With no more Apostles there is nothing to be added; only insights extracted.

The Law was the School Master to bring us to Christ. Break one Law once and you are guilty on Judgement day of breaking them all. How many lies have you ever told? Jesus said all liars will have their place in the lake of fire. That is just one commandment. What are you to do on the day of your inevitable death. You need God to save you.

1 comment:

choco said...

In general the Old Testament laws were for a nation--Israel, the New Testament laws for the church.

I agree that without The Law we would not know what is sin. It is truly our schoolmaster.

It is interesting that 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament.

Thanks for the post.