The Christian and Moses' Law (Part 1)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, October 24, 2010.
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. The Christian and Moses' Law 10-24-10 Page 1 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. The Christian and Moses' Law 10-24-10 Page 2 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 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 The Christian and Moses' Law 10-24-10 Page 3 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 graffed 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.