Friday, January 05, 2007

Mosaic Law and the Christian - Introduction

Men have written volumes and spent their lives studying this subject. My study has been for the duration of a year and a half, and my writings about Scripture include only this blog, my personal notes and an article as of yet unpublished. What I'm saying is my qualifications are next to nil. I will endeavor to rely on the given Teacher to be my guide.

Because this can be a huge topic I will limit my post to the following. Is a Christian required or even allowed to obey all or any part of Mosaic Law. If not, then what law(s) or rule is a Christian required to obey. And hopefully I can sum up with something along the lines of “what the big deal is anyway”.

This will NOT be an exhaustive work, it ought to be considered more of an introduction to an area of study we all need to spend time in. This slim work may even appear to be a bit of proof-texting because of it's briefness.

Right out of the gate let's see an undebatable statement in Scripture. Rom 6:14 “ For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” What does this mean? Rom 6:18 “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” The Christian is a servant of righteousness, he is “under” the rule of grace.

Col 2:13-17 says “13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

Clearly, this teaches against following the Ten Commandments which are often referred to as the “Moral Law” and therefore still in application. Col 2:16 clearly teaches against the keeping of the Sabbath by Christians. The Sabbath was given to Israel for the express purpose that they would remember the rest of being released from Egypt. It was given so that Israel may know that God is the Lord, who makes Israel holy. Ex 20:8-11, Ex 31:12-13, Deut 5:12-14, Ezek 20:12 and Ezek 20:20

Ok one last point on the separation of the Christian and Mosaic Law and then we'll move on. This could get very long!

In Romans 7 the Apostle Paul teaches about marriage to explain the relationship of the Christian to Mosaic Law. The marriage is valid as long as the spouse is alive. But if the spouse dies the person is released from the law of marriage. He applies it to Christians in Rom 7:4 “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” and Rom:7:6. “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

The book of Galatians is a great resource for those struggling with law keeping. Now let's move on to the subject of what Law(s) or rule the Christian IS under. The Law of God, The Law of the Spirit, and the Law of Christ – together know as the rule of Grace.

Rom 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Rom 8:1-10 “1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

Rom 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Gal 2:19-20 “19For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We see from the numerous verses above that it's Christ's life not ours. That we are to live by Spirit. That we are to follow the Law of God, the Law of Christ.

But what IS the Law of Christ? That's a GREAT question. And one I'm only partially prepared to answer. Remember this is an introduction for you (and me really). Some argue that the Law of Christ is the teaching from the Mount in Matt 5-7. While Our Lord's teachings are statments of truth there is one glaring issue that leads me to believe this couldn't be what Paul is writing about when he uses the term “the Law of Christ”

Matt 6:14-15 reads “14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

This is the complete opposite of what Paul teaches the Church. Paul always teaches the Church that our sins have been (in the past) forgiven, not to do something in order that they will be forgiven. Example Col 2:13 “13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” What's more, Paul instructs us to “forgive as we have been forgiven” not “forgive so that we will be forgiven” Eph 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

So what IS the Law of Christ then? Well I believe Gal 6:2 holds the key. “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Our Lord gave us two Commandments. Matt 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” John 15:17 “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” Or with both Commandments in one statement Luke 10:27 “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

We see that in carrying each other's burdens, or loving each other, we fulfill the Law of Christ.

What's the Big Deal? If we try to keep rules we are denying the rule of Grace in our lives. In everything we do, think, hope and dream we ought to be following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the Law of Christ (or God) and letting Him live instead of us. Sure it's “messy” without a list of rules we have to keep. It makes it much harder to point our fingers at each other and talk about what wretch this person or that person is. It makes it very much harder for us to “look” righteous. But remember it's these things that God hates.


Kevl said...

Note to David,

I couldn't have made this any shorter IMO. Even now reading it I see that I should have put more in. But it's a Blog not a book! :)


Angie said...

thanks kevl for this well written Blog! :) i've 'debated' with my uncle on this very topic and couldn't been more articulate or clearer than what you've written. it does serves as a reference for future 'engagement of exchange' :p
Blessed New Year ahead! ;)

p/s: fyi, we dun argue.. on my part, i thot it was a healthy exchange of views in our different backgrounds and teachings. :)

Kevl said...

angie!!! My ever encouraging friend!

I tend to get into "real" arguments when I SHOULD be just discussing... I'm a work in progress. :)

It's great that you've got a family member to discuss doctrine with. My family (beyond my wife) is mostly still debating IF there is a God at all.


Anonymous said...


If you want to study any of the verses above, one at a time, I would love to do that.
But to get into a debate with this entire blog would be a mistake. It would lead to division among us. And that's what Satin wants.

Please choose a single scripture from above and we can study it together.

David Morris

Kevl said...

Hey David, I thought that's who you were. :)

I admire your sentiment but we can't look at any piece of Scripture without the whole. This is how we get lost in error. It's why "proof-texting" is something we dare not do.

If you want to discuss this by e-mail that'll be fine. I can send my address to you by PM on the SoBE forum.

Like I noted above, I can't imagine stripping this down below what I have posted above. It's this reason that I didn't want to reply to your post listing scriptures with "under the law" in them. It's a big topic, but it's so important that it's worthy of the effort.

If you want you can post a "mini-argument" for your position if you like.


Anonymous said...


I sent you a private message via SOBE.