The Christian and Moses' Law (Part 2)

The Christian and Moses' Law

I.

This lesson deals with the relationship that N.T. Christians have with that covenant that God
made with the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai in Horeb through the ministry of Moses.
DEU 5:1-4; NEH 9:13-14; MAL 4:4.
A.
Covenant: A mutual agreement between two or more persons to do or refrain from doing
certain acts; a compact, contract, bargain; sometimes, the undertaking, pledge or promise
of one of the parties.
B.
See EXO 19:1-8.
C.
This covenant included the laws given to Israel. EXO 19:5-6; DEU 4:10-13.
D.
Law: A rule of conduct imposed by authority.
E.
Moses' law was the standard for Israel's righteousness. DEU 6:25.
F.
Righteousness: Justice, uprightness, rectitude; conformity of life to the requirements of the
divine or moral law; virtue, integrity.

II.

The Law of Moses has other names. It is also called:
A.
the law. GAL 3:17-19; JOH 1:17.
B.
the old testament (2CO 3:14). This is because it was before the New Covenant.
HEB 8:13.
C.
Moses. LUK 16:29; 2CO 3:15; ACT 15:21.
D.
the letter. 2CO 3:6.
E.
the first testament or covenant. HEB 8:7; 9:1, 15, 18.

III.

It is crucial to realize that there was law BEFORE this covenant made with Israel at Mt. Sinai.
A.
Men were charged with sin other than Adamic sin BEFORE Moses' law. ROM 5:13-14.
1.
Cain was charged with sin. GEN 4:7.
2.
Sodom and Gomorrah were charged with sin. GEN 13:13.
3.
Sin is not imputed where there is no law. ROM 4:15; 1JO 3:4.
4.
There was a law against murder before the ten commandments were given.
GEN 9:5-6.
5.
Consequently, there were laws to which men were accountable before the law of
Moses.
B.
There were prophets and preachers BEFORE the law of Moses who made known God's
laws.
1.
Abel was a prophet. LUK 11:49-51.
2.
Enoch was a prophet. JUDE 1:14-15.
3.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness, which by definition presupposes a law.
2PE 2:5.
4.
There is good evidence that the book of Job predates the law of Moses.
a.
Job was a judge who proclaimed righteousness and judged according to it.
JOB 29:7, 14-17, 21.
b.
Job speaks of the sins of deceit, adultery, oppression, idolatry and theft, all
of which were later codified in the law of Moses. JOB 31.
C.
The covenant made with Israel at Sinai was NOT made with their fathers. DEU 5:2-3.
1.
Yet the fathers of the nation still had laws to keep. GEN 26:5; 18:19.
2.
The law of circumcision was given to Abraham BEFORE Moses codified it in his
law. JOH 7:22; GEN 17:9-14; LEV 12:1-3.
D.
There were laws given to Israel BEFORE the covenant at Horeb.

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They were commanded to forsake idolatry BEFORE the ten commandments were
given. EZE 20:6-12.
2.
They were commanded to keep the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread
BEFORE Sinai. EXO 12:14-17.
3.
They were given a law with regard to gathering manna BEFORE Sinai.
EXO 16:4-5.
a.
This was a temporary law.
b.
This law lost its force upon entry to Canaan. EXO 16:35; JOS 5:12.
c.
This demonstrates that certain of God's laws are only of force until their
desired purpose is accomplished.
4.
Israel was under a sabbath law BEFORE the ten commandments were announced
at Horeb. EXO 16:28-30.
The law of Moses was a codification of laws with prior force. It included:
1.
laws that had been given to the nations in GENERAL (prohibition of idolatry,
murder, sodomy, etc.).
2.
law(s) peculiar to Abraham and his posterity (circumcision).
3.
laws given to Israel in PARTICULAR before Sinai (circumcision, passover,
sabbath, etc.).
The law of Moses also added more laws to be observed by Israel.
There were also some changes in the laws given to Israel from what their fathers had
observed.
1.
Before the law of Moses, men were allowed to offer their sacrifices anywhere.
2.
Under Moses' law, Israel was required to bring their sacrifices to a specific place.
DEU 12:5-8, 13-14.

1.

E.

F.
G.

IV.

Certain aspects of the Mosaic law were for Israel whereas others pertain to men in general.
A.
In ROM 1:29-32 Paul lists sins for which men in general are judged of God.
1.
Moses' law, which forbad these things, was not delivered to the nations at large.
PSA 147:19-20; ROM 9:4.
2.
Yet they know the judgment of God for such sins.
B.
Observe that God judges the nations for such things as idolatry, incest, sexual uncleanness,
murder, theft, sodomy and witchcraft. LEV 18; DEU 18:9-12.
C.
However, God does NOT judge those nations for eating pork, or for not being circumcised,
or for not keeping the Sabbath.
1.
These laws were only for Israel. LEV 20:24-26; GEN 17:9-11; EXO 31:16-17.
2.
DEU 14:21 is an excellent example of a law that was binding on Israel but not on
those outside of Israel.
D.
This answers the following question with regard to ROM 2:26: “How could an
uncircumcised man (Gentile) keep the righteousness of the law if the law requires
circumcision?”
1.
Answer: A Gentile was not required to be circumcised.
a.
He was thus not accountable to the law of circumcision.
b.
He was only accountable to such aspects of the Law of Moses which
pertained to both Gentiles and Israelites.
2.
Consider this example.
a.
The law requires all pilots to have a pilot's license.
b.
Shane Martin is not a pilot.
c.
Shane Martin is thus not accountable to the law requiring a pilot's license.

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Hence, Shane Martin can fulfill the law without having a pilot's license
because that law does NOT apply to him.
3.
In this way a Gentile could keep the righteousness of the law, yet not fulfill the
precepts which did NOT apply to him as a Gentile.
4.
This point reveals the interrelation of fact, law, and determination.
a.
The facts reveal a person's state of affairs.
b.
The facts show whether the law applies to that person or not.
c.
A determination is then made as to the person's innocence or guilt with
respect to that law.
d.
The previous example of the pilot's license illustrates this.
(1)
The LAW is that pilots must have a license to fly.
(2)
The FACTS are that Shane Martin has no such license and is not
a pilot.
(3)
The DETERMINATION is that Shane Martin is not obliged to have
a pilot's license and so is not guilty of breaking that law.
e.
Take another example from Moses' law.
(1)
The LAW is that Jews must be circumcised.
(2)
The FACTS are that Sven is not circumcised nor is he a Jew.
(3)
The DETERMINATION is that Sven is not required to be
circumcised. He is not guilty of breaking that law.
Here is a RULE for discerning which of Moses' laws also apply to other nations and which
of them only apply to Israel.
1.
If Scripture reveals God judging the nations for something forbidden in Moses' law,
then that law also applies to them.
2.
However, this does NOT mean these nations are under Moses' law.
3.
This is rather a case of a law that applies to men in general ALSO being codified in
Moses' law.

d.

E.

V.

Christians are not under the Old Covenant, but under the New.
A.
HEB 8:7-13. The old covenant waxed old and vanished away.
B.
HEB 10:9. The first covenant of ineffectual animal sacrifices was taken away.
C.
2CO 3:6-14.
1.
We are ministers of the New Testament, NOT of the letter. v. 6.
2.
The ministration of condemnation was done away. v. 11.
3.
The Old Testament ended and was abolished. v. 13.
D.
GAL 3:19-25.
1.
The law “...was added because of transgressions TILL the seed should come...”
(v. 19). It was temporary.
2.
The law was a schoolmaster to bring us UNTO Christ. v. 24.
3.
After the coming of faith (Christ, the seed), we are “...NO LONGER under a
schoolmaster” (v. 25).
4.
Some have tried to prove that we are still governed by all of Moses' law which is
not expressly set aside in the N.T. A favorite text is MAT 5:17-19.
a.
Jesus was here speaking to Jews who WERE THEN still under Moses'
law, as was He. Compare this with MAT 23:1-3.
b.
Jews were obliged to honor Moses' law until “...all be fulfilled.”
c.
Christ (in His humanity) did not know when heaven and earth would pass
away (MAR 13:31-32), and thus His statement that until the law was

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fulfilled, it would all be of force “...Till heaven and earth pass...” The law
would be in force until it was fulfilled or until heaven and earth passed,
whichever came first.
Moses' law was fulfilled by Christ and His work. ROM 10:4.

d.
GAL 4:1-7.
1.
The law is analogous to the tutors and governors of a child (v. 2). It is the
schoolmaster. GAL 3:24.
2.
The law is here called “the elements of the world” (v. 3).
a.
The law was written in tables of stone rather than in the fleshy tables of the
heart (2CO 3:3). It was outward rather than inward.
b.
The law had a worldly sanctuary as opposed to a heavenly one.
HEB 9:1, 24.
c.
The law had carnal ordinances that purified the flesh (an outward
ceremonial purification), but they did not purge the inward conscience.
HEB 9:10, 13-14.
d.
The priesthood of the law was after a carnal commandment. HEB 7:16.
3.
“The fullness of the time” (v. 4) answers to “the time appointed of the Father”
(v. 2).
4.
Through Christ we are in a position to be treated as sons. v. 7.
a.
Before this, we were dealt with as servants.
b.
Being treated as servants we were under tutors and governors: the elements
of this world or the law. vs. 1-3.
c.
We are “NO MORE” servants, i.e., we are no more under the law!
5.
In this passage Paul is writing to Gentiles and speaking to them as though they had
been under Moses' law.
a.
Moses' law was given to Israel, not to Gentiles.
b.
Paul is addressing these Gentiles as members of the church, which church
had formerly been under Moses' law.
(1)
Gentile believers are through Christ grafted into the commonwealth
of Israel. EPH 2:12-13 c/w ROM 11:17.
(2)
They are made part of that institution which preceded Christ and
was reformed by Christ. HEB 9:10.
c.
It would be the same as saying that a present day American of Ukrainian
ancestry is no longer under the crown of England.
(1)
Neither he nor his ancestors ever were under the crown of England.
(2)
But the nation of which he is a citizen WAS under the English
crown.
6.
This passage shows that the church was in a state of relative immaturity before the
coming of Christ and thus under the tutelage of the law.
a.
The law was the elementary stage of the church: “...the elements of the
world:” (v. 3).
b.
As a child matures, many laws regulating his conduct are lifted.
c.
For example, a small child might be forbidden to cross the street
unaccompanied whereas an older child is under no such law.
d.
The church after Christ has more understanding than the church before
Christ. EPH 3:3-5, 9-10; MAT 13:17; 2PE 1:19.
e.
Because of the relative maturity of the church, many of the rules have been
lifted.

E.

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F.

G.

H.

I.
J.
K.

We are “...dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world...” (COL 2:20).
1.
Rudiments are the first principles or elements of a subject.
2.
The rudiments of the world are the elements of the world of GAL 4:3.
3.
If a person can't get past first principles, he will never go on to spiritual perfection
(completion, maturity). HEB 5:12; 6:1.
4.
God used worldly elements to teach the immature church.
HEB 8:4-5; 9:9, 23; 10:1.
5.
Accordingly, as a child in his immaturity is often instructed via tangible things,
pictures, etc., so the church in its elementary stage was under the law which was
laden with tangible ordinances, shadows, types, “...visions and....similitudes by the
ministry of the prophets” (HOS 12:10).
ROM 7:4-6. We are dead to the law.
1.
We are thus delivered from the law.
2.
We now serve NOT in the oldness of the letter (the law), but the newness of the
Spirit.
3.
The analogy in context here is that of a woman who is freed from the law of her
husband when he dies. ROM 7:1-3.
a.
It would have been adultery for her to enter into covenant with someone
else while her first husband was still alive.
b.
The church similarly would have been committing spiritual adultery to enter
into covenant with another god or embrace a new order before the law died
by the body of Christ.
c.
Conversely, for the church to relate to her new husband (Christ) by the
rules of her first husband (the Law) would be an insult to His liberating
work and headship and a provoking of His Spirit. GAL 4:9-11.
d.
By the same analogy, the believer who cannot relate to Christ without the
abrogated articles of the Law is akin to a woman who insists on having her
new husband share their marriage bed with the corpse of her first husband.
COL 2:14. Christ has blotted out “the handwriting of ordinances.”
1.
The law was against us and contrary to us in that:
a.
it condemned us. GAL 3:10; JAM 2:10.
b.
its yoke was unbearable. ACT 15:10.
c.
it divided Jews and Gentiles. EPH 2:14-15.
d.
it eclipsed our view of Christ and His work for us.
ROM 9:31-10:4; 2CO 3:13-15.
2.
Christ took the law out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
Christ has broken down and abolished the law. EPH 2:14-15.
God has set aside the covenant made at Mt. Sinai, the Law. GAL 4:21-25, 30.
The believer today is NOT come unto Mt. Sinai, he is rather come unto the Mediator of the
New Testament. HEB 12:18-24.

VI.

The Christian is said to be “...NOT under the law.” GAL 5:18; ROM 6:14.
A.
Yet there is a sense in which the Christian is under law. 1CO 9:21; GAL 6:2; JAM 1:25.
1.
As before shown, the Christian is not under the law in the sense of being under the
law of Moses, which is sometimes called “the law.”
2.
He is rather under the law of Christ, the New Testament.
ROM 7:6; 1CO 9:21; GAL 6:2.
B.
The child of God is under NO law as a covenant of works to secure eternal life.

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The law demands perfect obedience to live.
ROM 10:5; MAT 19:16-17; GAL 3:10.
2.
These demands have been met for the Christian in Christ. ROM 10:4; GAL 3:13.
3.
If righteousness through the law were possible, Christ's work was in vain.
GAL 2:21; 3:21.
a.
If we are righteous before God, it is not because we have flawlessly kept
DEU 6:25, but because of ROM 5:19; PHIL 3:9.
b.
This is something of which even the prophets under the law testified.
ROM 3:21; 1PE 1:10-12; ACT 10:43 c/w JOH 5:39.
4.
Under grace the believer has laws to obey, but he does not obey to earn life.
a.
He is rather made alive by grace and then obeys. EPH 2:4-10.
b.
Because of grace, a believer is in no danger of eternal condemnation, but he
is still obliged to obey pertinent laws.
ROM 6:1-2; 3:31; TIT 2:9-12 ct/w JUDE 1:4.
c.
And he will be chastened when he disobeys. 1CO 11:32.
d.
Grace has not rendered our obedience unnecessary but has rather rendered it
acceptable. HEB 12:28.
All of the elect are under the benefits of the everlasting covenant that God made with Jesus
Christ. HEB 13:20.
1.
Jesus Christ acted according to a covenant with His Father. JOH 6:38-39.
a.
This covenant contains the promise of eternal life.
TIT 1:2; 2TI 1:1; 1JO 5:11.
b.
Jesus Christ, His person, and work are the substance of this covenant.
ISA 42:6; EPH 3:11.
2.
The various covenants in Scripture are a progressive revelation of this everlasting
covenant. JOH 5:39; REV 19:10.
a.
The Adamic covenant revealed Christ as the federal head of His people
inasmuch as Adam was a figure of Christ. ROM 5:14.
b.
The Noahic covenant which promised that the earth should no more be
destroyed by a flood typified the saving grace promised in the everlasting
covenant. GEN 9:11, 16 c/w ISA 54:9-10.
c.
The Abrahamic covenant promised Jesus Christ, justification and
everlasting inheritance. GAL 3:8, 16-18; GEN 17:7-8.
d.
The Mosaic covenant demonstrated the need for Christ and both typified
and prophesied of His coming/work. ROM 3:20-21; HEB 10:1.
e.
The Davidic covenant prophesied of the Christ, the Son of God Whom He
raised from the dead. HEB 1:5; ACT 2:30-31; 2SAM 23:5.
f.
The New Covenant reveals its superior nature in the saving benefits of the
grace of Christ. HEB 7:22; 8:6-13.
3.
God's elect who lived under the Mosaic covenant were not eternally condemned by
it because they were also under the everlasting covenant.
4.
By contrast, the non-elect who lived under Moses' law are eternally condemned by
it. ROM 2:12.

1.

C.

VII.

The abrogation of the law of Moses is evident from several factors.
A.
A New Covenant has been established in place of the Old. HEB 10:9.
B.
Christ reformed the church. HEB 9:8-10.
C.
The priesthood has changed. HEB 7:12.

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D.

E.

F.

Christ fulfilled the law. MAT 5:17.
1.
He fulfilled:
a.
all its requirements for obedience. GAL 4:4; 1PE 2:22; ROM 3:22.
b.
all its requirements for disobedience. GAL 3:10, 13.
c.
all its types and prophecies. LUK 24:44.
2.
As a result of Christ's fulfillment of the law:
a.
the child of God is MADE righteous in Him; there is nothing for him to do
to obtain righteousness. ROM 5:19; 2CO 5:21; PHIL 3:9.
b.
the child of God is redeemed from the curse of the law. GAL 3:13.
c.
there is no more offering for sin. HEB 10:8, 17-18.
The Israelite state was dissolved. LUK 19:41-44; 21:20-24.
1.
Under the law there was a church-state.
2.
There is no church-state under the N.T.
3.
Consequently, laws pertaining to the functions of state would not apply to the
church today.
4.
The church cannot execute such laws as DEU 13:6-11 and DEU 19:21.
The temple was destroyed. MAT 24:1-2.
1.
Sacrifices and offerings were to be presented at the temple.
DEU 12:8-18 c/w LUK 2:22-27.
2.
Prior to the destruction of the temple, the Jews continued to keep the ceremonies of
the law that had not been ended by Christ's offering for sin. ACT 21:23-26.
a.
HOWEVER, the Jews were strictly forbidden to make these things
conditions for fellowship with Gentiles. EPH 2:14-15; GAL 2:12-14.
b.
When with Gentiles, Paul himself did not keep Jewish laws. 1CO 9:21.
3.
Not all the sacrifices of the law were for sin.
NUM 6:13-18 c/w LEV 22:21; 7:11-13.
4.
The removal of the temple halted these sacrifices and offerings.

VIII. The New Covenant contains some of the same laws as the Old Testament whereas other O.T. laws
are either abolished or changed.
A.
The following are some O.T. laws also in effect in the N.T.
1.
All of the ten commandments are still in effect except the fourth commandment
regarding the sabbath. 1CO 6:9-10; ACT 17:29; 1CO 10:7; 1TI 6:1; EPH 6:2;
ROM 13:8-10; COL 2:16.
2.
The church must still abstain from eating blood. LEV 7:26; ACT 15:28-29.
3.
The church must still observe the rule of two or three witnesses in matters of
judgment. DEU 19:15; MAT 18:16; 2CO 13:1.
4.
The church must still materially support its ministers. 1CO 9:6-14.
5.
The Christian should still give cheerfully to the poor.
DEU 15:7-11; 2CO 9:7; ROM 15:26.
6.
Christians should still maintain a definite distinction between the sexes.
DEU 22:5; 1CO 6:9; 11:14-15.
7.
The church must still test prophets according to their doctrine.
DEU 13:1-3; 1JO 4:1-3, 6.
8.
Witchcraft is still forbidden.
DEU 18:10-12; ACT 16:16-18; 19:19; GAL 5:20; REV 18:23.
9.
Women are still to be in silent subjection in formal assembly. 1CO 14:34-35.