The Christian's Responsibility to Moses' Law

THE CHRISTIAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO MOSES' LAW I. The question is sometimes asked, "How much of the Old Testament (O.T.) is still binding upon Christians today?" A. Is all of the O.T. still binding? B. Is any of the O.T. still binding? C. Is everything not specifically excluded in the New Testament (N.T.) still binding? D. Is only that portion of the O.T. which is specifically identified as N.T. law still in effect? II. When we speak of "the Old Testament," we sometimes call all of the 39 books by that name. A. Generally, the "Old Testament" to which the Scriptures refer is the "do and live" law covenant given to Israel which is relatively called the "first covenant." ROM 10:5; HEB 8:7. B. There was law to which men were held accountable BEFORE the law of Moses. GEN 4:7; 9:5-6; 13:13; ROM 4:15; 1JO 3:4. C. There was law to which men in general were held accountable BEFORE the law of Moses, but there were some laws which were unique to only certain men. GEN 17:9-11. D. The O.T. Hebrew fathers were not judged by the law covenant of Moses which God later made with Israel (though there were some duplications and emendations). DEU 5:1-3; 12:5-8, 13-14. E. The Mosaic Covenant (with its laws) which is generally called the Old Covenant or Old Testament was unique to the nation of Israel and certain of its laws were ONLY for Israel for a season. III. Are Christians still obliged to pay tithes, observe dietary law and remember the Sabbath(s)? Some would say, "Yes." IV. A distinction must be made in the laws of the O.T. times. Certain aspects of Moses' law were for Israel, but other aspects pertain to men in general. A. ROM 1:29-32 lists sins for which men in general are judged by God. 1. Moses' law forbad these things but that law was not delivered to the nations. ROM 3:1-2. 2. And yet the nations know the judgment of God for such sins. B. Scripture declares that God judges the nations for such things as idolatry, incest, murder, theft, sodomy, drunkenness, covetousness and witchcraft. LEV 18 (note vs.24-25); DEU 18:9-12; HAB 2. C. But God does NOT judge the nations for eating pork, 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 demonstrates the distinction between uniquely Jewish laws and the standards by which men in general were judged. 3. Try to find an example of where God judged men in general BEFORE Moses' time for these things. 4. Try to find an example of where God even judged the Hebrew fathers BEFORE Moses' time in respect of eating pork or observing the Sabbath. D. Moses' law codified general laws for all men while adding certain laws for which the Gentiles were not judged then, nor are they now. V. Christians are not under the Old Covenant/Testament but the New. A. The law covenant was temporary to bring the Jewish church to Christ. GAL 3:19-25. B. The church is no longer BOUND by that law which once governed it. ROM 7:1-4. C. The old covenant with its form of service, rituals, ordinances, curious restrictions and special days is set aside. 2CO 3:13; EPH 2:14-15; COL 2:14-17. D. The authority of the law and the prophets was only meant to extend as far as the season of John the Baptist who would anoint a new Priesthood and the church would begin a reformation for which a new covenant was needed. LUK 16:16; HEB 7:12; 9:8-10. E. We are under the New Covenant. 2CO 3:6; ROM 7:6. 1. Believers need not be circumcised. ACT 15:24-29; GAL 6:15. 2. We are not bound by holydays, new moons or sabbath days. COL 2:16. 3. We are not bound by O.T. dietary law. 1TI 4:3-5; ROM 14:17. 4. We are not bound by tithing law. 2CO 9:7. F. The law covenant was "a shadow of good things to come" (HEB 10:1). 1. The "good thing" was Christ's work as our High Priest. HEB 9:11. 2. We are no longer under the dominion of the season of shadows which typified: a. Christ being cut-off for our sakes (Circumcision). ISA 53:8 c/w COL 2:11. b. Christ's finishing of the work of the new creation (Sabbath). JOH 17:4; 19:30 c/w ROM 10:4 c/w HEB 4:9-11. c. Christ's salvation extending to Gentiles and so the tearing down of the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile (dietary law). ACT 10:9-15, 28, 34-35 c/w EPH 2:13-15. d. Christ's redeeming of a remnant unto God (tithing). ROM 9:27; 11:5 c/w ACT 15:14; REV 7:9. 3. That season of shadows is past. 2PE 1:19; 1JO 2:8.
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