The Law


(Kristine Ely) #1

“For as many as have sinned without Law shall also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law” (Romans 2:12)

When considering our sin by being confronted by the Law, the general reference is to the ten commandments (Moses’ Law). But there are many more laws within the Torah… 613 I believe? How are these two sets of laws to be differentiated between the Moral Law that we are held accountable for on Judgement Day and Jewish laws (dietary, etc)?

Thanks so much!
Kely


(SeanO) #2

@Kely That is a good question. Here is an article and short excerpt from it that explains why we do not need to follow all of the OT laws. The gist of it - and I agree - is that there 3 types of law in the OT - ceremonial (laws for the priests and purification of the people), judicial/civil (for the earthly kingdom of Israel) and moral (laws based upon God’s nature and eternally binding). When Jesus’ died on the cross, He put an end to the ceremonial and judicial law - He is our High Priest and King - we live a new life by the Spirit and not by the letter of the law. Our purity is not through sacrifices of goats and bulls, but once and for all by the blood of the Son of God.

“There exists a three-fold division of the law — ceremonial, judicial/civil and moral. The civil and ceremonial law are no longer applicable to us today, while the moral law — which is not culturally contingent — is indeed universally binding.”

https://crossexamined.org/cherry-picking-the-bible-are-christians-expected-to-follow-the-levitical-laws/

Jesus also clarifies for us that all of the commandments in the Old Testament only had two purposes - to aid us in loving God and neighbor. That is the heart of the law and the ultimate standard by which we are judged. Of course we are saved not by our own righteousness but by that of Jesus if we are in Him.

Matthew 22:36-40 - 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Hope that is helpful - feel free to ask any clarifying questions :slight_smile: Christ grant you wisdom.


(Matt Western) #3

And hopefully to add something useful - theBibleProject videos on Leviticus and the Law, and Atonement was quite helpful to me as I’m a visual learner.



In Galatians 3:24 it describes the Law as a schoolmaster that points us to our need of Christ. The whole of the book of Galatians seems to be about being justified by faith, and the Apostle Paul asking the question 'You are saved by faith, but are you perfected by going back under the law.".

Actually @SeanO , if you see this, I have found it interesting that even in the New Testament we have things that we don’t really follow in our modern society, such as in 1 Corinthians 3:11-16 it talks about ladies worshipping with a head covering. Have you any thoughts on knowing the difference with what is just cultural ‘best practice’ in the early church, and what should be observed today.

The reason I ask this is because, my background is growing up in a fairly conservative church, where all the guys pretty much had to wear a tie. Focus seemed to be on the outward appearance somewhat. Now my generation is in leadership the dress standards have changed towards more neat casual. The ladies were not required to wear a head-covering of course in our church, but it’s obvious that a standard of ‘wearing a tie’ is just cultural and these things change.

What was also interesting, was the very strict so called ‘non-worldly’ music standards of that era. I now personally enjoy contemporary Christian music such as Casting Crowns etc… Interestingly one of the proponents of very strict ‘non-worldly’ music is now in a very contemporary church - and i ask myself was his original standard based on Scripture? Also, in churches, there is the ‘weaker brother’ principle in areas of personal choice/personal standards, and making sure that we are humble and allowing for others to hold a certain personal standard and keeping a spirit of unity despite our differences…

Just wondering if you have any thoughts on this?


(SeanO) #4

@matthew.western You know, sometimes I think the classic passages we all know really are the most profound. When Jesus said that all the commandments can be summarized in two - love God and love neighbor - that is a truly shocking statement. That means that every commandment Paul gave to New Testament Churches and every Old Testament law was somehow connected to these two fundamental commands.

Let’s take head coverings as a perfect example. What do head coverings mean in Western culture? Nothing. So why cover your head? It isn’t necessary to love our neighbors or to love God. However, why did they originally wear head coverings - was it for the sake of modesty? If yes - modesty is a way that we love our neighbors. So modesty matters.

Now - let’s think about if I live in the Middle East. Whoa - now there is an issue. In that culture women still wear head coverings and there is a cultural meaning. So what does it mean to love neighbor if I am a Church planter in the Middle East? Should women wear head coverings in order to seek to be a ‘Muslim to the Muslims’ and win some souls to Jesus? Now we’re dealing with a legitimate question regarding actual head coverings.

Matthew 22:36-40 - “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Head Coverings

Below is a thread on head coverings that I hope you would find useful. I have provided a summary of my position below. @CarsonWeitnauer also has some interesting thoughts on how we can apply these teachings today in a modern context in the second thread that is linked - such as honoring one another within a small group or house Church setting by dressing modestly.

No, wives do not need to wear head coverings today. Paul urged wives to wear head coverings because in ancient Greco-Roman culture wives wore a head covering to honor their husbands / symbolize modesty .


(Matt Western) #5

Thanks so much for your in depth reply. I’ll have a read of these resources.


(SeanO) #6

@matthew.western Sure thing - enjoy :slight_smile: And come back with more thoughts and questions. Look forward to continuing the discussion.


(Kristine Ely) #7

I really appreciate the conversation that is coming from this. @SeanO it was really helpful for me to see how you went back to the root of head coverings to answer the question in an indirect but more all-encompassing way, because it can be applied to a broader scope of understanding. Thank you!


(Matt Western) #8

Hi Sean,
Your statement: “Should women wear head coverings in order to seek to be a ‘Muslim to the Muslims’ and win some souls to Jesus? Now we’re dealing with a legitimate question regarding actual head coverings.” - straight from the Apostle Paul’s use of Freedom in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23? I like it.

The Apostle Paul learned about the culture he was trying to win to Jesus - and approached them with respect for, and knowledge of their culture. I heard a testimony of a fairly older Christian evangelist who had a conversation on a plane flight - a Muslim man asked him about his faith, and he responded that he was a follower of Issa (the name of Jesus in the Koran), and then was able to share the Gospel in a gentle and loving way.

This is also why I like the approach that the Bible Project takes - if we just pull a verse out of context and put it right into Western culture, the meaning is lost, and we run the risk of proof-texting and finding a verse to support the agenda we are trying to push. We need to go back and understand the culture in which it was written, understand the thinking of the day.

I notice how much time and effort you put into this forum over quite a period of time - thankyou. I’ve been learning a lot. :slight_smile: Just following your links now you’ve shared. :slight_smile:


(SeanO) #9

@Kely Yes - it’s been a fun conversation. I am glad it is proving helpful :slight_smile: Reading the Gospels always moves my heart because of how Jesus handled specific questions by returning to the fundamental principles.


(SeanO) #10

@matthew.western I like the Bible Project as well - I am amazed by their creativity and thoughtfulness and very glad to have such a wonderful resource. Glad to be learning alongside you - the greatest joy is to know Jesus more!