The Christian and Moses' Law (An Overview)
The Christian and Moses’ Law
I. Of what value is the O.T. to a N.T. Christian?
A. It is Scripture and therefore profitable. 2TI 3:16.
B. It is for our learning, patience and comfort. ROM 15:4.
C. It testifies of Christ. JOH 5:39, 46.
II. This study is an overview of what parts of the O.T. are still relevant and binding upon us.
A. Are we still obliged to pay tithes, observe dietary law and feast days, and do no work on
the seventh day?
B. What about O.T. laws about idolatry, morality, marriage, divorce, etc.?
C. Our governing body of law is the New Testament. 1JO 4:6.
III. When we speak of “the Old Testament,” we sometimes are referring to all of the 39 books which formed the pre-Christ canon of Scripture.
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.
1JO 3:4; GEN 4:7; 9:5-6; 13:13; ROM 4:15.
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 carry-overs and amendments of previous law which are found in Moses’ Law). 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. GAL 3:19.
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.
2. And yet the nations know the judgment of God for such sins.
B. 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 all nations for eating pork or for not keeping the Sabbath.
1. Such laws were only for Israel. LEV 20:24-26; EXO 31:15-17.
2. DEU 14:21 demonstrates the distinction between uniquely Jewish laws and the
standards by which men in general were judged.
3. God never judged men in general BEFORE Moses' time for these things, which is
why they were not listed as sins for which the Canaanites were to be cast out. 4. God never 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
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Gentiles were not judged then, nor are they now.
V. Christians are not under the Old Covenant/Testament but the New Covenant/Testament.
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 baptize a new Priest 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 in the flesh. 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 eternal salvation (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 5:9.
3. That season of shadows is past. 2PE 1:19; 1JO 2:8.
4. Paul’s word to Jewish Christians was to graduate from Moses. HEB 13:9-16.
5. Paul’s word to Gentile Christians is essentially the same. COL 2:16-17.
6. O.T. laws which carried over into the N.T. do not mean that we are under the O.T.
Christ died under the New Testament, making it the one in effect. HEB 9:16-17.
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