Lecture 7 A Christians Relationship to the Mosaic Law

  1. A Christian’s Relationship to the Mosaic Law

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Law and Grace, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, a Lutheran.

The left side of the tree illustrates law, while the right side illustrates grace.

Introduction

Bible.org, “There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relation which exists between the law and the gospel.”

.

C.F.W. Walther, who lectured on the topic in 1884-85 at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis said, “Rightly distinguishing the Law and the Gospel is the most difficult and the highest art of Christians in general and of theologians in particular.”

Martin Luther, in his sermons on Galatians in 1532, said, “This difference between the Law and the Gospel is the height of knowledge in Christendom. Every person and all persons who assume or glory in the name of Christian should know and be able to state this difference. If this ability is lacking, one cannot tell a Christian from a heathen or a Jew; of such supreme importance is this differentiation. This is why St. Paul so strongly insists on a clean-cut and proper differentiating of these two doctrines.”

.

“The Christian world has never very clearly perceived what was its relation to the Old Testament religion. How discordant and inconsistent have been the prevailing views on this subject.”[1]

.

“The law is a rule of life for believers, reminding them of their duties and leading them in the way of life and salvation.”[2]

.

“The moral precepts are not repealed. The entire decalogue is brought into the Christian code by a distinct injunction of its separate parts.[3]

.

“Grace has in no sense superceded law.” “Obedience to law puts one in the midstream of God’s purpose.”[4]

.

“Christ does not free us from the law as a rule of life.”[5]

.

“Christians should recite the commandments (as their creeds) to keep in memory what they must do to enter into life.”[6]

.

“The law is a declaration of the will of God for man’s salvation.” “The clearest illustration of the desire of Dispensationalists to eliminate everything that savours of obedience from the dispensation of promise and of grace and to confine it to the dispensation of law, is found in their insistence that the Decalogue is not intended for the Church….The Ten Commandments are an important part of all the great Protestant catechisms. But Dispensationalists insist that they are not intended for this dispensation.”[7]

.

“Genuine sanctification will show itself in habitual respect to God’s law, and habitual effort to live in obedience to it as the rule of life. There is no greater mistake than to suppose that a Christian has nothing to do with the law and the Ten Commandments, because he cannot be justified by keeping them.”[8]

.

“If, therefore, it is heresy for a Christian to boast that he is experimentally ‘dead indeed unto sin,’ it must be no less a heresy to boast that one is actually ‘not under law’ as a rule of conduct for his life. For what is sin if it be not the transgression of law.”[9]

.

“The liberty we enjoy as Christians is not a licentious liberty: Though Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law he has not freed us from the obligation of it.”[10]

.

I got those quotes from a journal article. His point is he has the solution. His solution?

.

“If all the other quotations given earlier in this article are noted carefully, it will be discovered that in each case the apparent legalism is caused by a failure to distinguish between the eternal moral law of God and the Mosaic legal system. To avoid any and every degree of legalism this distinction is absolutely vital and necessary.”[11]

.

Maybe these folks got it right? http://rcg.org/landing/fot.html

.

Properly state the problem:

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

.

How do these go together?

.

  • What is the Christian’s relationship to the Law of Moses and how do we know?
  • Does God want us to practice the Law of Moses for salvation?
  • Does God want us to practice the Law of Moses as a rule of life?
  • Does God want us to practice the Law of Moses as a society?
  • Does God want us to take the moral laws and leave behind the other laws?

.

Plus, how do I even prove my position?

Do I use the New Testament or the Old Testament? Do I give primacy to one over the other?

.

We’ve already seen we should give primacy to the NC revelation in our descriptions of the NC revelation. How does the new revelation relate itself to the old revelation?

“Old” “withered” “in effective” etc. So, we must give primacy to the NC revelation here as well.

.

??Properly state the need??:

1 Ti. 1:5-11: an improper understanding of the Law leads to heresy!

.

So let’s do it! Let’s go to the NT and study the law.

.

.

.

  1. Subject Study on the Law

.

Introduction: We are attempting to determine the place of the authority of the Mosaic Law in the life of the New Covenant believer.

.

The outline below is basically arranged by NT author, although Matthew and Mark are found under the first main point.

.

.

  1. Jesus’ relationship to the Law in Matthew and Mark: Transcendent Lord Who Fulfilled

It is important to highlight and to maintain Jesus’ statement that He came not to abolish (or abrogate) the Law(s), but to fulfill it (Mt. 5:17-18) by bringing the law to its redemptive-historical culmination/end/goal through His teaching and His salvific work (cf. 5:18-19).[12] Matthew highlights the relationship of the law to Jesus’ teaching while Mark highlights Jesus’ fulfillment of/“rendering inoperative” the OT rituals.

.

  1. Jesus’ teaching about love for God and others is preeminent when interpreting the intention and meaning of the law. This teaching does not promote abolition of any individual laws.
    1. Love for God and others are considered the two “great commandments” (Mt. 22:34ff; Mk 12:28ff; Lk 10:25ff), which is seen in treating others “the same way you would want them to treat you” which actually “fulfills the laws and the prophets,” thus showing God’s intention in giving the law (Mt. 7:12; cf. Mt. 22:40).
    2. Mercy/compassion is desired over sacrifice: rigid adherence to tradition does not override showing compassion on sinners (Mt. 9:13; 12:7).
    3. Human need/humanitarian aid overrides pharisaical interpretation of the Sabbath (Mk 2:27; Mt. 12:3f; 12:12).

      .

  2. Jesus transcends the law while His endorsement of the law is restricted to its full implementation before the NC era.
    1. Jesus approved of Jews observing the law (Mt. 5:23f; 6:1ff; 6:16ff; 8:4; 15:3ff; 19:17; 23:2-3,23).
    2. Jesus transcended the law (Mt. 5:21ff; 12:8; Mk. 2:28; 7:19; 10:2ff).

.

.

  1. Jesus’ teaching did not abolish any OT laws, but fulfilled them thereby rendering them inoperative. These teachings demonstrate Him to be Lord over the OT law.
    1. The Mosaic Law of clean and unclean foods was rendered inoperative after its fulfillment through the law of Christ, thereby casting doubt on the necessity of continuing in other ritualistic laws (Mk. 7:14ff).
    2. Jesus’ teaching on divorce places priority on God’s intention in creation over the Mosaic provision (Mt 19:3ff).
  2. Jesus’ six “antitheses” in the Sermon on the Mount do not abrogate/abolish any of the OT laws He addressed, but are inoperative since the law of Christ has fulfilled the Mosaic Law (Mt. 5:21-48).

    .

  1. Luke upholds the eternally and prophetically valid law while maintaining the “inoperativeness” of certain OT laws.
    1. Luke approves of the piety of law observance in people participating in Jesus’ infancy (Lk. 1:6; 2:22ff) and in the early church (Acts 3:1ff; 6:11ff; 7:38,53; 15:22ff; 16:3; 18:18; 21:15-26; 24:14ff; 25:8; 28:17).

      .

    2. Jesus proclaims a shift in redemptive history away from the authority of the law (Acts 10:1-11:18; Acts 15) while at the same time maintaining the eternal prophetic significance of the law (Lk. 16:16f; cf. 24:25ff, 44; Acts 2:16ff; 3:11-26; 4:11; 8:32-35; 13:16-41; 15:13-21; 24:13f; 26:22f,27).

      .

    3. Luke includes two Sabbath healings that Matthew does not (Luke 13:10ff; 14:1ff) thus showing Jesus’ Lordship over the Sabbath.

    .

  2. Paul demonstrates the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law as being the law of Christ.
    1. Romans articulates that believers are not under the regime of the Mosaic Law because of His work on the cross
      1. Paul’s view of the Mosaic Law begins to come into focus when he talks about the “doer of the law” (Ro. 2:25ff). He argues that keeping the law inwardly and spiritually are what matters, not possessing the law (2:23) and having outward circumcision. Lack of circumcision can actually be regarded as circumcision if he actually keeps the requirements of the Law, seeing that one who is uncircumcised can keep the law.
      2. Paul asks in 3:31 if “we then nullify the Law through faith.” No, “we establish the law” through the condemnation of sin accomplished at the cross that fulfilled the requirement of the law (Ro. 8:4).
      3. Paul holds that the fulfillment of the law is found in loving one’s neighbor (13:8,10), which points to the law’s clear application and highlights that love actually displaces the law’s commandments.
      4. Christ is the culmination/goal of the law that results in righteousness for believers (10:4), thus the law has ceased having the defining role in God’s plan.
      5. Paul holds that those who are “under the law” (Rom 6:14f; 1 Cor 9:20; Gal 3:23; 4:4f, 21; 5:18) are held under the power/regime of the law, which is not the case for believers.

.

Excursus: Can we divide the Law into Civil, Ceremonial, and Moral Laws?

If so, then are we not under the civil or ceremonial laws of Moses but under the moral laws?

.

Dividing the Mosaic Law into these three categories is helpful in a sense. It helps us to gain information about the various commandments that God gave to Israel. Nobody questions that.

.

Issue lies in whether or not we have the right to draw further inferences from that division. For example, do we use that division to establish the Christian’s relationship to the Mosaic Law?

.

Does the NC divide it up this way?

No, it never does. The NC always views it in its totality (Matt. 5:17-19; “under the Law”; Matt. 23:23; Gal. 5:3; James 2:10).

.

How can you determine what is civil, ceremonial, or moral?

Moral?: Not charging interest is clearly a moral mandate (Exod. 22:25). But keep in mind this law was addressed to Israel (oh, so it’s civil…?). How do you determine what continues and what doesn’t?

.

Perhaps we have continuing principles then? Rolland McCune out of DBTS says this…

.

“By the very nature of an economical arrangement there are to be found many similarities from one dispensation to another. The concept of “continuing principles” from one dispensation to another … shows that much of the revelation or governing principles of God in a given dispensation has been carried over into succeeding dispensations. This insures a high degree of similarity in the economies. But in Scripture it can also be discerned where God has given additional revelation to man which includes principles of His household management that make the dispensation sufficiently different and distinguishable from all the rest. Where this occurs a new economy or dispensation is introduced.”[13]

.

.

He explains further….

.

“With the dispensational end of the Law in Christ (Rom. 10:4), God next dealt with man on the principle of grace in and through the organism of the Church, even as He had dealt on the basis of Law through theocratic Israel. However there are some continuing principles from the economy of Law that are applicable today. I refer to the moral principles that are embodied for the most part in the Decalogue. It cannot be legitimately said that Christians are under the moral law of the Mosaic code because the Law of Moses is an indivisible unity that cannot be fragmentized and parcelled (sic) out (Jam. 2:10; Gal. 5:3). If to be “under the Law” means “to be under the law of God—the entire Mosaic legal system in its indivisible totality —subject to its commands and liable to its penalties,” then the Christian is not “under” the Law in any sense of the term. However the New Testament makes it clear that the moral principles of the Law do continue and are part of the believer’s rule of life today. The reason they are applicable is not that they are found in the Law of Moses but because they are a part of the moral law of God’s holiness, the eternal principles of right and wrong that are applicable to every dispensation. It was as morally wrong for Cain to kill as it was for someone under Law. The same is true today.”

.

.

So why do they carry over? McCune announces that they are part of God’s holiness.

.

He’s observed this, therefore there is a principle. “And what could make it so? I know! God’s holiness!”

.

Look, no one argues whether or not 9 of 10 commandments are in the NT. But observing the fact and inventing something called a continuing principle, is this the Bible way?

.

Ok, but how do you know this? This very well may be the thing that drives it, but unless we have explicit Bible teaching, we can’t just claim this is why. This is an invention to explain a phenomenon. A “dispensationalism of the gaps” theory.

.

Let me prove this to you. Could not God’s holiness also regulate the continuing principles of civil laws? Weren’t the civil laws also made because of God’s holiness? Or were they somewhere not part of God’s holiness? God’s holiness is His uniqueness, not His lack of moral defilement. Why did God’s holiness cease to regulate the civil laws as continuing principles?

.

Would this be difficult then to determine which continue and which don’t? Yes, in fact he admits this…

.

“It may be difficult to ascertain which principles continue on from the dispensation of Law. One must be careful in teaching any such principle that does not have New Testament confirmation or authority for it. Great care must be taken to explain and observe the dispensational change.”[14]

.

I know…Let’s argue the way the NC does? Shall we? Why oh why do smart people go beyond and argue beyond what the Bible says? McCune was arguing based on his system of dispensationalism. CT does the same thing.

.

.

  1. The Corinthian epistles apply aspects of the OT Scriptures to NT believers in accordance with the fact that the Mosaic Law is fulfilled by the law of Christ, which rendered inoperative certain OT laws.
    1. Paul clearly asserts that he is no longer under the Mosaic Law, even though he remains under God’s law, which is now “the law of Christ” (1 Co. 9:21).
    2. Believers are to recognize that they are the temple of God and are therefore to abstain from immorality (3:10). Those who do not abstain are to be excommunicated as in Deut. (1 Co. 5:13; cf. Deut 13:5; 17:7, 12; 21:21; 22:21).[15]
    3. Believers are to understand that the legitimacy of eating meat sacrificed to idols is based on the fact that there is one God (1 Co. 8:4; cf. Deut 4:35,39; 6:4).[16]
    4. Believers are to view Israelite history and see its usefulness to the Christian (1 Co. 10:6,11; cf. 2 Co. 8:15).
    5. Paul believed circumcision did not matter (1 Co. 7:19) and he was willing to dispense with dietary observations (1 Co. 9:19-23; cf. 8:1-13; 10:1-11:1).
    6. Paul seems to indicate that the law is inoperative in Christ since it is aligned with sin and death (1 Co 15:56; 2 Co. 3:7-9).

      .

  2. In Galatians, Paul opposes the authority of the Mosaic economy as being for NT believers.
    1. The Galatians were adhering to the observance of circumcision (2:3; 5:2ff; 6:12f), religious days (4:10), and dietary restrictions (2:11ff) that was a return to old covenant ways, which only provided a curse (Ga. 2:15ff; 3:10ff).
    2. Paul argues that the “works of the law” (6x in Ga.: 2:16; 3:2,5,10) cannot justify since one cannot keep the whole law (Ga. 6:13; cf. 5:3; 3:10); man is weak and is vulnerable to sin (5:19,24; 6:8; Ga. 2:16, “flesh” cf. Ge. 6:3,12; Jer. 17:5, Is. 40:6). These works also cannot save since the covenant of these works was temporarily added in order to clearly reveal transgressions (Ga. 3:19,23ff).
    3. Paul pictures returning to the Mosaic Law as enslavement (4:1-5:1) and the flesh is purposefully aroused by being under it (5:18-20).
    4. The whole law is fulfilled in loving your neighbor as yourself (5:14) and bearing each others’ burdens fulfills the “law of Christ” (6:2).

    .

  3. The prison epistles present Paul’s argument that the law is inoperative in Christ and yet can be universally applied.
    1. Paul warns believers in Philippi to beware of those who are turning back to the authority of the Mosaic legislation (Phil 3:2ff).
    2. For the believer, adhering to the authority of Mosaic Law was putting confidence in the “flesh” (i.e. fallen man’s insufficient ability to do what God required; Phil. 3:3ff). Instead of settling for the inadequate righteousness found in the law, Paul clung to the righteousness which is found in Christ (3:9).
    3. Paul, in Eph. 2:15, describes the NC state of the OTlaw as being inoperative through His death on the cross (katarge,w; compare with Mt. 5:17, where Christ said he did not come to “abolish” [katalu,w] the law). Christ’s work discontinued the law’s authority (cf. 1 Ti. 1:9, the law is not “valid” for a righteous person).
    4. Noteworthy is how Paul uses Ex. 20:12 in Eph 6:2f. Paul universalizes the promise for the Christian who obeys his parents when Exodus’ promise states that those who obey their parents will live long “in the land” (the Promised Land), but Paul must be using it to say that you may live long “on the earth,” even though it is the same Greek phrase in both the LXX and the GNT. Gentile Christians would not be promised dwelling in the land of Israel.

    .

  4. First Thessalonians argues that the authority of the law of Christ applies to believers for their sanctification.
    1. Paul emphasizes the fact that the commandments given to the believers were based on the authority of Christ, not the Mosaic Law (1 Thess. 4:2).
    2. Paul articulates the conclusion of the Jerusalem Council to the Thessalonian believers, that they should abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thess 4:2ff; cf. Acts 15) in order to be distinct from those who do not know God (4:5).

    .

  1. James indicates that the Mosaic Law is applicable to Christians only when it is seen as part of the law of Christ.
    1. James refers to a law of “liberty” that is “perfect” (Ja. 1:25) and judges people (2:8-12, where no,moj occurs 5x). The perfect liberating law is the “word” (1:22) that gives spiritual birth (1:18), suggesting that the “law” here is more than the Mosaic Law, but also the instruction that obligates Christians, especially the gospel.

      .

    2. This law is the “royal” law, which is fulfilled by loving one’s neighbor (2:8; cf. the context of 2:5ff that refers to the “kingdom”). This is reminiscent of Christ’s teaching and thus “law” refers to the body of commands that Christ Himself has made applicable to His kingdom.

.

  1. Hebrews considers at least the priestly and sacrificial law, and probably the entire Mosaic Law, as inoperative and not directly applicable to the NT believer.
    1. The Mosaic covenant is found to be faulty, obsolete, and ready to disappear (8:7ff).

      .

    2. The law was a shadow of what was to come and could not make the worshiper perfect (7:19; 9:9; 10:1f) as Christ does.

      .

    3. Since the law was given to the people of Israel on the basis of the Levitical priesthood, when the priesthood changed, there must be a change of law (7:11f). The priesthood is not from the Mosaic Law that gives physical requirements for the office of priest, but it is from the “power of an indestructible life,” which must be the law of the one who instigated the new covenant and is its “guarantee” (7:19-22), thus establishing the efficacious superiority of the law of Christ over the law of Moses.

.

  1. John portrays Jesus as the one who fulfilled the performance of the role of Moses and the law in Israel.
    1. John establishes discontinuity between Jesus and the law, since grace came through Moses and grace and truth through Jesus (Jn. 1:16f). This grace that is received in Christ is grace “in place of” grace, meaning the grace found in the Mosaic Law has been replaced through the revelation of fuller grace fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

      .

    2. This replacement theme is established throughout John’s Gospel. Jesus is shown to have replaced the Passover (1:29; 19:36), manna (ch. 6), the Feast of Tabernacles (ch.7-8), and Israel ch 15., cf. (Ps. 80:9–16; Is. 5:1–7; 27:2–6; Jer. 2:21:12:10; Ezek. 15:1–8; 17:1–21; 19:10–14; Hos. 10:1, 2).

    .

    1. John notes two Sabbath healings (Jn 5:2-47; 9:1-41). He claims that since the Father works on the Sabbath, so can He, claiming deity (5:17f). Thus Him being “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt. 12:8) gives Him perfect right to do divine works on the Sabbath. The second instance, His attitude toward the Sabbath itself is not discussed, but the passage focuses on the question of whether He is the Messiah through the conversation between the Pharisees and the healed blind man.

.

Case Study: the Sabbath

What do you do on Saturday’s?

.

What Jesus did: He attended worship on Sabbath Days (Luke 4:16). He taught the word on Sabbath days (Luke 4:16, 31). And He practiced healings and exorcisms on Sabbath days (Luke 4:33-38). Not a bad ‘to do’ list.

.

What did Jesus teach regarding the Sabbath and then what does the NT teach concerning the NT believers relationship to the Sabbath and the Law in general? Be ready to turn to some passages.

.

Turn to John 5. What was the original intent of the Sabbath?

.

I. Jesus’ Teaching Clarifies the original intent and the intended practice of the Sabbath

.

We will discover that…

A. The Sabbath was a Proper Day to Work for the Redemption of Men (John 5:17-18)

.

Read John 5:1-18.

.

This story marks the point when Jesus began to confront the Sabbath issue head on. This is a story of how Jesus made an entire man while both physically and spiritually.

.

Notice Chapter 5 verse nine, after being healed a man takes up his bed and walks. John then slides in an important point: and now it was the Sabbath on that day. So, since carrying the bed violated the Jews application of the fourth command, they confronted the man about it. The man’s response, v11, indicates that he no longer believed he was under the authority of the Jewish leaders’ application of the law, but under the authority of the man who healed him. READ John 5:10-11. You can almost hear the healed man saying that with authority. … But it’s as if the Jews were thinking, “who cares what that man says. The Scripture says…

.

Jeremiah 17:19-27, Thus says the Lord, Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day. . .(NASB).

.

Nehemiah 13:15, In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food (NASB).

.

The Jews took the kernel of truth and blew it up to apply to carrying anything that weighed more than a dried fig. You were not allowed to carry any load openly in the street. Thus, in the eyes of the Jewish rulers, Jesus commanded the man to violate the Jewish regulations about the Sabbath.

.

They also quarreled with him about His act of healing. The Jews taught that real danger or preservation of life removed the Sabbath restrictions, but not non-life threatening issues, like in this passage. The cripple wasn’t in any danger or life-threatening situation.

.

A perfect illustration of their general attitude toward healings is demonstrated by their use of vinegar. The people were forbidden to put vinegar on their teeth to alleviate a toothache, but the same man may eat vinegar with his food in order to bolster the taste. [?????]

.

[I suppose if you had a toothache on the Sabbath day, you would probably find a way to eat a lot of food with vinegar on that day. And then kind of let it soak in your mouth. But don’t let the Jewish leaders catch you. “Wait a second…your holding that bread-soaked vinegar in your mouth a little too long! I know what you’re doing!”]

.

But, thankfully, Jesus did not allow the scribal prohibitions to restrict His act of compassion on this man. Jesus not only mercifully restored the man physically, but He did so spiritually.

.

In fact, Jesus testified to the Jews that what He had done was entirely consistent with what His Father had been doing since the fall of man (John 5:17 – lit., My Father is working up until now, and I am working with Him). God works on the Sabbath! Hypocritical? No! This is exemplary! God is working to restore man to enjoy the physical and spiritual rest that God initially intended for Him (Genesis 2:3). And Jesus is working on the Sabbath day in the same way! In this act of healing, Jesus demonstrated that the Sabbath is a proper day to work for the redemption of man. Jesus fulfilled the ultimate purpose of the Sabbath in what He did―He did not pervert or violate it.

.

The original intent and intended practice of the Sabbath was this: A restoration to the physical and spiritual rest that God had originally intended. Working (e.g., physical healing) to these ends is appropriate on the Sabbath day.

.

B. The Sabbath was a Proper Day for Acts of Necessity (TURN TO MATT 12)

.

There are 2 confrontations about the Sabbath in this passage. Jesus and the disciples plucked and ate wheat on the Sabbath and then in vv.9ff Jesus heals a man with the withered hand.

.

The disciples plucked wheat to satisfy their hunger on the Sabbath day. Read Matthew 12:1-9.

.

What’s the big deal? Well, Jesus and the disciples had likely walked further on the Sabbath than Jewish law allowed as well as threshed wheat, which Jesus and the disciples supposedly did when they plucked up the wheat and rubbed it in their hands. “Look your disciples are doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath.”

.

Jesus makes His defense by mentioning what David did when he ate the showbread (“bread of the presence”). READ Matthew 12:3-4. Jesus’ point is that the Sabbath is not to be kept in a way that is for a man’s detriment. The Sabbath was made for the benefit of man. In the case of David, his hunger was an overriding condition.

.

In contrast, the Pharisees insisted that it is better to fast and to violate the Sabbath. However, Jesus clarifies that the purpose of the showbread was not to starve people just so you can preserve the bread. So, just like the purpose of the showbread was not to starve people just to preserve the bread, so the purpose of the Sabbath was not to harm people just to observe the Sabbath. Thus, the Sabbath is a proper day for acts of necessity.

.

Jesus teaches that one should elevate charitable deeds for the good of man above strictly adhering to laws in certain circumstances that harm man or even animals. Before healing the man with the withered hand, Jesus said in Matthew 12:11-12, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Jesus elevated charitable deeds above a strict adherence to laws that may harm man or animals.

.

  1. The Sabbath was a Proper Day for Sacred Work (Matt. 12:5-7)

.

Back up in the first story of Matthew 12 (12:5-7), Jesus reminds the Pharisees that priests worked on the Sabbath. The Sabbath actually required more work for them than did the other days.

.

  1. Twice the number of sacrifices are offered.
  2. The priests circumcised children on the Sabbath (John 7:22)
  3. Taught the Law on the Sabbath
  4. They changed the showbread on the Sabbath (Leviticus 24:5-8).

    .

So, the Sabbath was not a day of physical rest for the priests, but it was a day when they could rejoice in the presence of God among His people and in their service of worship to Him. So, 3rd… the Sabbath was a proper day for sacred work.

.

TRANS: But does any of this matter? We’re not obeying the Sabbath, so who cares about whether …

The Sabbath is a Proper Day to Work for the Redemption of Men

The Sabbath is a Proper Day for Acts of Necessity

The Sabbath is a Proper Day for Sacred Work

Who cares? Does this matter to me? Hold on to that one…

.

DISCLAIMER: controversial, differing views among good men. My notes.

.

Reasons You Don’t Obey The 4th Commandment

Ex. 20:8 is the 4th commandment.

The context of the 4th commandment demands you interpret the Sabbath as being a Saturday and the 4th command is the only one not mentioned in the NT. Is that significant?

.

Either you need to repent and start obeying the 4th commandment or you need to understand why you haven’t obeyed it. You say, “B/c it’s not in the NT, that’s why I don’t obey.” Well, it’s in the OT, doesn’t that count?

.

Reasons why you should not obey the 4th commandment are the same reasons why you should not sacrifice animals for sin. So, if we address the Mosaic Law as a whole, we’ll see how this applies to the 4th command.

.

Overall question: How should we describe the state of the OT and its laws? What should my relationship be to it?

TURN TO MATT 5.

  1. Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses (Mt. 5:17)
    1. What Christ came to do –Fulfill. Fulfill for Christ was “to reveal the full depth of meaning that the Old Testament was intended to hold, in the person and work of the Messiah. This includes the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the Messiah.”
    2. What Christ fulfilled: Law and prophets.
      1. Notice he does not say “the ceremonial and civil laws.” The Bible makes no division between ceremonial, civil, and moral laws. It’s common to say that Christ fulfilled the civil, ceremonial, not moral (thus rendering it still in effect)–but He better have fulfilled the moral, or we’ll all in trouble. That undercuts Christ’s work on the cross. If He didn’t fulfill the moral laws, someone still has to for me, because I know it is not going to be me! I have failed.

    .

    1. What does this all mean? All of Christ’s teaching and what He explains in the Sermon on the Mount is not in contradiction to anything in the OT. In fact, in His teaching he rightly exposited its meaning and in his life he revealed the fulfillment of its prophecies.

      .

    What does that mean then concerning the state of the OT and its individual laws? You could think that the Law is abrogated, it’s annulled, or it’s abolished. But that’s not exactly true, since Christ said Matt. 5:17 that “I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Through His earthly ministry, Christ fulfilled Law and Prophets (the OT). That is its present condition: fulfilled. Fulfilled to the point that one might conclude it is abolished/eradicated.

    .

    TURN to Col 2:16

    .

  2. When did Christ fulfill it? When He died on the cross (context of Col 2:16-17). Paul here exhorts the Colossians not to be deceived by Judaizers. Then he gives a wonderful description of Christ and His work, v.8ff. Food, drink, festival, new moon, Sabbath, how many passages is that? How many OT laws does that cover? Then, we’re given a little more information regarding our relationship to it: “No one is to act as my judge” …. “So, Paul if that’s the case, how would you describe the Christian’s relationship to the OT? I feel like I know where you’re going, but just come out and say it! …He does state it quite plainly in Eph. 2 ….

    .

    TURN to Eph. 2:14-15

    .

  3. So in Eph. 2, he just says it “The Law is inoperative.”

    .

Eph. 2:14-15. (e.g., 1 Co. 13:11). For He Himself (Christ) is our peace, who made both groups (Jew/Gentile) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (how did he do that?)

.

Verse 15… by abolishing (that’s the word, meaning to render inoperative) in His flesh the enmity [between the Jews/Gentiles], (where does that enmity come from?) which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.” So Christ rendered the “Law of commandments” inoperative (law is the direct object of to make inoperative), referring to the whole OT law. It is no longer operating and, therefore, it no longer has jurisdiction over you.

.

  1. Paul also teaches that Christ is the end and the goal of the whole law for believers (Ro. 10:4)

Everything was leading up to Him and His fulfillment of the Mosaic Law and the Law has it’s “end” and “goal” in Him. For believers, when Christ came, the whole Old Testament Law came to its “goal” thus its “end.”

.

  1. Paul: We are no longer under the tutor of the law Galatians 3:25. In fact …
  2. We have died to the law Romans 7:1-6.

.

So, should you not obey any laws in the Mosaic Covenant? Rubber meets the road, here. Obey only those laws as they are restated and repackaged in the New Testament. Remember, the Old Covenant has been done away/inoperative/ineffective. Christ fulfilled it, it is no longer operative.

.

Does this mean that we are completely without law now? By no means! Paul was opposed to antinomianism, for he states that he is under the law of Christ, 1 Co 9:21. So Ephesians 2:15 Christ made inoperative the Mosaic Law of commandments. The Law of Moses, having been rendered inoperative, is thus fulfilled in the law of Christ.

.

“You are not under the authority of the Mosaic Law anymore” (Ga. 5:18). This might be radical to you, but again Christ indicated that you could possibly come to the conclusion that He actually did come to destroy the Law … it might actually seem that way to some! But don’t think that, He came to fulfill it. There is a difference. No one is to act as your judge regarding food, drink, and the Sabbath day b/c Christ died on the cross (Col 2:16). He made the Law to be inoperative, no longer in operation (Eph. 2:15) and Christ himself made the Law of Moses come to its completed end (Ro. 10:4).

.

It is the Old Covenant. Notice how Paul treats the Mosaic Covenant in the context of 2 Co. 3.

.

Also, Heb. 8. Notice especially Heb. 8:13.

.

But don’t forget 1 Co. 10:6, 11. Turn here.

.

The OT is relevant; it still applies, but we are not under its jurisdiction or power.

.

Why else can we sing “Free from the Law oh happy condition!” Is that just the fact that we don’t have to offer sacrifices anymore? No, we’re free from being required to obey anything of the Mosaic covenant; today, we are under the Law of Christ, what Christ says goes, since he made the Law come to its completed end (Ro. 10:4).

.

TRANS: [questions?] But can we not glean anything from teaching regarding the Sabbath? Of course! We can get principles from the OT.

.

III.The Fourth Command and the Lord’s Day

.

It seems that the 1 day out of 7 principle is still in effect. Remember, the divine example of resting on the 7th day was found in creation before the Law was given (Gen. 2:3). You are still created, right? I mean, you still exist, right? Thus, it seems that the 1 day out of 7 principle is still in effect.

.

And, under the New Covenant, God has made promises and has given certain requirements. One of the requirements is the elevation of the first day of the week, Sunday.

.

The first day of the week is elevated in the New Testament in various ways.

.

A. By Event – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1)

B. By Example – The Practice of the Early Church (Acts 20:7)

C. By Precept – The Command to Gather and Give on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2)

D. By Designation – The Day Belonging to the Lord (Revelation 1:10)

.

In the biblical phrase, “the Lord’s day,” the word “Lord” is used as an adjective (kuriakos), and it occurs only one other time in Scripture (1 Corinthians 11:20, the Lord’s Supper). The adjective specifies something that is uniquely the Lord’s. In other words, the Lord’s Supper was quite different than normal suppers, and the Lord’s Day refers to a day that was distinctively and uniquely the Lord’s. This is likely the first day of the week, though it is not specifically defined in Revelation 1:10.

.

Application can be drawn from the Old Testament concerning our attitude toward the Lord’s Day. The spirit on the Lord’s Day should be one of delight in Lord (Isa. 58:13-14).

.

CONCLUSION Lecture 7 A Christians Relationship to the Mosaic Law: The Old Testament institutes a principle that the New Testament reinforces and believers are encouraged to observe. God reminds His people of the rest to come for His people. The Lord’s Day is a day to commemorate Christ’s conquering of death and Satan in the resurrection. On this day, we can remember our spiritual resurrection (when God redeemed us) and we can consider our own future bodily resurrection when we will be with Him forever, our true “rest” with Him.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The relationship between “law” and “gospel” must be considered through the lens of the history of redemption.

.

We must see the Cross as if it were the “Grand Central Station” of the history of salvation, thus splitting salvation history into two: an “arrival” (all of salvation history leading up to the Cross) and a “departure” (the rest of salvation history flowing from the Cross). Thus when the NT references the Mosaic Law, the NT confines its place to the “arrival” stage of salvation history. The Mosaic Law is confined to the arrival stage of salvation history.

.

The Mosaic Law has its fulfillment in the law of Christ, thereby eliminating any power over or penalty for Christians. It is applicable (1 Co. 10:6,11).

.

.

.

.

  1. What does “the Law” mean in the New Testament?
  1. The Law is the written Law of Moses (Gal 3:10).

    In most cases “the Law” in the NT refers to the written Mosaic Law. It is usually both accurate and helpful to add the two words of Moses to the Law in the NT. (Try adding of Moses to the Law in Galatians 3:10.)

  2. The Law is an indivisible entity (Gal 3:10; 5:3; James 2:10).

    People often divide the Law of Moses into three parts: moral, civil, and ceremonial. The Scripture does not divide them this way because the Law of Moses is incapable of division. It is more accurate to speak of this threefold division as three aspects of the unitary Law of Moses. To offend the Law in one point was to offend the God who gave it all (James 2:10). Paul used the word law (no,moj, nomos) 119 times, and every occurrence is singular—not plural. The Law of Moses is a single entity.

  1. Why did God give the Mosaic Law?
  1. God gave the Mosaic Law to regulate the spiritual and theocratic life of Israel.

    The Law was a rule of life for everybody in Israel’s theocracy—not just the saved people.

    .

  2. God gave the Mosaic Law to impart a knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20).

    This knowledge is not just intellectual; it is an inner, personal, experiential conviction of sin. God gave the Law so that there might be transgressions (Gal 3:19; cf. Rom 7:13b). Sin existed before God gave the Law (Rom 5:13), but the Law made sin an official violation of an existing command.

    .

  3. God gave the Mosaic Law to show the terrible nature of sin (Rom 7:8-13).

    The Law revealed the true rebellious colors of sin.

    .

  4. God gave the Mosaic Law to “increase” sins (Rom 5:20).

    The Law reveals the vast number of our sins by multiplying God’s requirements.

    .

  5. God gave the Mosaic Law to condemn all men (Rom 3:19).

    The Law universally condemns everyone under sin (Gal 3:22). It shuts every mouth and establishes everyone’s guilt (Rom 3:19).

.

  1. God gave the Mosaic Law to serve as a custodian (Gal 3:23-24).

    The Law served as a custodian, guardian, or trustee—not as a teacher, instructor, or tutor. It served a temporary, spiritually inferior custodial role until the coming of Christ (Gal 4:1-4). The idea is not that the Law prepares individual sinners to receive Christ. Rather the Law had temporal limitations in the history of salvation until the fullness of the time came (Gal 3:19-4:7).

    .

    “The apostle certainly did not write, ‘The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.’ The words ‘to bring us’ do not occur in the original text. . . . The [paidagwgo.j] paidagogos (schoolmaster) of ancient times was a slave who exercised restraint over the child until he was made a son. So the law was the ‘paidagogos’ until Christ came and sonship was acquired by faith in Him. The law does not bring men to Christ, therefore, but rather imposes a necessary restraint upon them until they find true moral freedom by faith in Christ” (McClain, Law and Grace, 28-29).

    .

  1. What is the relationship between the Mosaic Law and NT Christians?
  1. There are false teachings regarding the Christian and the Law.
    • “The Christian is under the moral Law but not under the civil or ceremonial Law.” This denies the indivisibility of the Law of Moses (Gal 3:10; 5:3; James 2:10).
    • “The Christian is under the moral Law but not under its penalties.” This denies the indivisibility of the Law of Moses (Gal 3:10; Rom 4:15).
    • “The Christian is under the Law as a rule of life.” This denies the indivisibility of the Law of Moses (Gal 3:10; 5:3) by making a distinction between the Law in its office for Israel and the Law as a rule of life for Christians.

    .

  2. The Christian is not under the Law (Rom 6:14-15; 1 Cor 9:20-21; Gal 5:18).
    • “Under the Law” means to be under the Law of Moses in its indivisible totality including its inseparable penalties. The phrase “under the law” occurs 14 times in the NT. Believers are not under the Law of Moses. It is not a code of conduct that is binding on believers in anyway, either penalty or by prescription.

      .

    • God did not give the Law to Christians. God gave the Law to Israel (Exo 19:3; Lev 26:46; Deut 29:1; Psa 147:19-20; Mal 4:4; Rom 9:4). God did not give the Law to the Gentiles (Deut 4:8; Rom 2:12-14).

.

  • The Christian is not under the Law in any part of his salvation including both justification (Rom 3:20) and progressive sanctification (Rom 6:14; Ga. 3:1-3).

.

Furthermore, the Christian is not under the Law as a rule of life. If the Christian is obligated to keep some of the Law, he is obligated to keep all of the Law (Gal 5:3). Either the Christian is not under the Law at all, or he is obligated to keep the whole thing.

.

Take it or leave it! No OT commandment (including any of the Ten Commandments) is binding on a Christian simply because it is in the Mosaic Law.

.

.

Warning: This does not mean that parts of the Bible containing the Law are not profitable; all Scripture is profitable (2 Tim 3:16). “Let us beware, therefore, of the error of supposing that there is anything in the Book of God which can be set aside, or even neglected, by the Christian believer. All of the Book—every part of it, no matter how small—will be found ‘profitable’ for the saved. We cannot dispense with any of it without loss to ourselves” (McClain, Law and Grace, 56).

.

  • Christ completely delivered all Christians from the Law (Rom 7:1-7; Gal 2:16-20). The Christian is dead to the Law by co-crucifixion with Christ releasing him from all the Law’s requirements and exempting him from all the Law’s punishments.
  • God has rendered inoperative the Law of Moses for both believers and unbelievers. The Law of Moses is now history. It no longer operates (2 Cor 3:11; Gal 3:19-4:7; Eph 2:15; Col 2:14; Rom 10:4).
  • Christ fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17; Rom 8:3-4).

.

  1. The Christian is under grace.

    1c “Under grace” means to be under the special grace of Jesus Christ (John 1:17; Rom 5:21). It is far different from the power sphere of the Law (Rom 6:1, 14-15).

    2c Grace trains the Christian. The grace of God teaches believers to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Tit 2:11-12).

     Law and grace illustration: There is a ridiculous short poem some people quote to ridicule grace in Christianity. “Free from the Law, O happy condition! / Sin all I want with Jesus’ permission!” Charles Swindoll, former President of Dallas Theological Seminary and author of Grace Awakening, does not state it as blatantly as the above poem, but he does teach that grace frees believers from rules and obligations (contra Rom 6:14-15; Tit 2:11-14).

    3c The Christian is under the “Law of Christ” (1 Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2). The Law of Christ is the Law of Love (Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14), the Law of Liberty (James 1:25; 2:12; cf. 2 Cor 3:17), or the Royal Law (James 2:8) that has replaced the Law of Moses. The Christian “fulfills” the Law today when he manifests his love for Christ by obedience (Rom 8:4). Loving obedience to the Law of Christ is essentially what the Bible means by being controlled by the Spirit and walking in the Spirit (Rom 7:6; 8:4-14; 2 Cor 3:6; Gal 5:16, 18, 25; Phil 3:3). The “key” to the Christian life is simple obedience. There is nothing mystical about the daily Christian life. Being filled with the Spirit is parallel to letting God’s Word richly dwell in you (cf. Eph 5:18 with Col 3:16). So saturate yourself with God’s Word, and obey it through the Holy Spirit’s power.

    4c The Christian’s standard of life is the written, revealed will of God in the context of Christ’s grace (Rom 12:1-2; John 5:39; 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 John 2:6; 1 Pet 2:21). The motivation for obedience under the Law of Moses was “This do and thou shalt live” (Lev 18:5; cf. Gal 2:16). The motivation for obedience under the Law of Christ is love—“This do out of love because of what God in Christ has done for you” (cf. Phil 1:9-10; 1 John 3:16; 4:11, 19).

.

.

.

Conclusion:

Theoretical Salvation by Works is Impossible and not God’s Plan

The Bible teaches that the Mosaic Law, if kept in its entirety theoretically could have given eternal life (Matt. 19:17; Ro 2:13b, Ro. 7:10). But this was not why God gave the law (Acts 13:39; “works of the law” do not justify). Plus, salvation by works is stated to be impossible (Ro. 3:20) because of sin and the curse that comes from a single violation (Ga. 3:10).

.

Purpose of the Law

The law was given as a guardian until Christ (Ga. 3:24), to give people the knowledge of what is sinful (Ro. 3:19-20; this inherently “increases” sin [Ro. 5:20; i.e. qualitatively making it more serious]), and to “shut up” everyone under it (Ga. 3:22).

.

Mosaic Law fulfilled in the Law of Christ

The Mosaic Law is inoperative, ineffective, withered away, obsolete. Could that be more clear?

.

The requirement of the law was fulfilled through Christ’s work on the cross (3:31; 8:4) and thus relieving God’s people from remaining under Mosaic legislation. The Law of Moses has been fulfilled in the Law of Christ, who is the culmination of the law for the believer’s righteousness (Ro. 10:4; 1 Co. 9:20-21).

.

What does this mean for the tithe? Fulfilled in the Law of Christ

.

  1. George Barker [deacon name]ns, The Theology of the New Testament, p. 23.

  2. L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 615.

  3. Richard Watson, Theology Institutes, I, 470.

  4. P. B. Fitzwater, Systematic Theology, pp. 9, 359.

  5. A. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 876.

  6. William B. Pope, A Compendium of Christian Theology, III, 174.

  7. Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church, pp. 30, 46-47.

  8. J. C. Ryle, Holiness, p. 27.

  9. L. E. Maxwell, Crowded to Christ, p. 222.

  10. Matthew Henry’s Commentary, VI, 675.

  11. Roy L. Aldrich, “Causes for Confusion of Law and Grace,” BSAC 116:463 (Jul 1959)

  12. How do you describe the state of individual laws in Moses after the fulfillment of the entire Mosaic Law by Christ? Some laws in the Law of Christ reflect the Mosaic Law (9/10 commandments). When Christ fulfilled the law, how does one describe the individual OT laws that are not to be practiced by NT believers? Moo and Dunn refer to these laws as having been “abrogated” (among other terms); however, this creates confusion since “abrogate” is practically synonymous with “abolish” (katalu,w), which Christ explicitly states he did not do to the law, and thus did not do to the individual laws themselves. Paul says that the law is “inoperative” (katarge,w Eph. 2:15) through the cross. This term will be used throughout this paper to describe the law(s) from a NT perspective. I considered describing individual fulfilled Mosaic Laws as a “residue” in order to highlight their fulfillment. The illustration has to do with what is left over after a chemical reaction. The useful substance after the purposed chemical reaction would be the Law of Christ (which contains traces of the Mosaic Law, eg. 9/10 commandments), and the leftover residue from the chemical reaction would illustrate certain Mosaic Laws that Christ fulfilled and are inoperative. “Residue” would describe their state; “inoperative” would describe their function. For clarity and for the sake of focusing on the NT’s focus (function), “inoperative” will be used.

  13. Rolland D. McCune, A Study In The Dispensations CENQ 13:2 (Summer 1970), 26.

  14. Ibid, 39.

  15. Note, Paul never says stone them, he just quotes that portion!

  16. OC eating meat sacrifices to idols ok?

148 views
148 views
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap