Sunday, June 19, 2011

Do We Need To Keep The Law or Discard It Forever in the New Testament?

Is the Law Really for Us?

By Abraham Israel

Many times we as Christians either are willing to throw away the Law completely without understanding its purpose or we keep the Law legalistically in order to make ourselves think that we are living a good Christian life. But both these reasons are extremes that fail to understand the purpose of the Law.

First let us see how the Law came in to existence.

When God delivered the nation of Israel from nearly 400 years of slavery in Egypt, the mind of these people whom God has redeemed were still thinking in their old way of Egyptian-Slave thinking. God by His awesome power took these Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt in a day, but it took forty years of wilderness journey to take Egypt out of their mind
(Num 11:4-6). In order to make these redeemed people to realise that it is sinful to think in the old Egytian pattern, God introduced a set of law to make them realise that they need God to change their thinking and lifestyle.

God wanted all the Israelites TO BE THE KINGDOM OF PRIESTS AND A HOLY NATION through obeying God's voice and keeping His Covenant
(Exodus 19:4-5).

Because they were not willing to be the people of God by hearing the very voice of God and keeping His covenant, they said to Moses,
“All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” (Exo 19:8, a). In other words, more than in being a kingdom of priests unto God, they were more eager and willing to do what ever God would command then, in order to call themselves God's chosen people (Deut 5:23-33). Yet the very first time before God wrote the Ten Commanments through His very own finger and then delivered it through Moses, the very same Israelites broke all the Ten commandments which made the anger of Moses to become hot, which also made him to thow the tablets out of His hands and it was thus broken (Exod 31:12-18; 32:1-35). This shows that the Law was not able to keep them saved when the Judgment of God came upon them for their sins (Exod 32:33). Even Moses tried to plead to the Lord using his own name to be blotted out of the Book of life instead of the people who have sinned, but the answer of God was a plain no to Moses. But in the New Testament, the writer to the Hebrew said that Jesus through His intercession is able to save all of those people who come to God through Him (Heb 7:25). Moses was the humblest man on the earth at that point of time who pleased God like no other man, yet he himself could not get the favour of God to the sinful people by using his own name (Num 12:3). But the name of Jesus gets us favour of God and forgiveness to all sinful humans without fail (John 14:13-14, 16; 16:23-24, 26-27).

Even the second time God was not willing that the people of God should substitute relationship with Himself through His Spirit to follow letter of the Law written in stone, He still at that point of time desired to write His commandments by His Spirit in their heart
(Rom 7:6-7; 2:25-29; 2 Cor 3:6; Jer 31:31-34). The Israelites felt remorseful for their sins, but were still trying to please the Lord by doing things rather than being the priests of God through loving God and interceding with Him boldly for mercy and grace in their time of need (Exod 33:3-6; Heb 4:16). So Moses had to cut two tablets of stone and take it to God where He will write again the Ten Commandments again on it (Exo 34:1-4, 28). The heart of stone [i.e. Hardened Soulish Heart] represents the Ten commandments written in stones which is without the life of God in it. The heart of flesh [i.e. Softened spirit Heart] represents a new heart and a new spirit that God has put within us when we were born again (Ezek 36:26). The first time we are born again, God puts a new spirit through His Spirit by supernatural means and causes us to walk in it (Ezek 36:27). Once we sin and come to him after we are born again, he expects us to bring the heart of flesh to him so that He can write things again through the fingers of His Spirit upon it (1 John 1:7, 9-10; 2:1). It will be a relationship that will be developed between a man and His God as the result of such living in grace like Moses. Moses found grace in the Lord's sight but the people who followed the Law of God did not (Exodus 33:12-15, 17-19).

The Law was given through angels with Moses as the Mediator in between God and men
(John 1:17; Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19).

What was the purpose of law then?

1) The Law is good if we use it lawfully
(1 Tim 1:8). The Law is made for the old outer soulish man who is lawless by nature and not for new inner righteous man who is in the very image of God (1 Tim 1:9-11; Eph 4:22, 24). The Law is like a foundation that we put initially and then we build the super structures of our lives on the grace of our Lord Jesus (John 1:16-17; Philemon 25; 1 Thess 5:28; 2 Thess 3:18; 2 Cor 13:14). When we are not led by the Spirit to receive the grace of our Lord Jesus in any particular area, it is better to stay in the foundation and ground floor of the law again until we receive the real grace to build upon it (Rom 8:14; Gal 3:24-26; Eph 6:24). Being under the Law is thousand times better than having no Law at all which is sin (1 John 3:4). Many people who speak about grace fail to recognise this important thing in their lives and thus are led to live a shameful life of sinfulness, worse than that of unbelievers and thus bringing shame and disregard to the glorious name of Jesus (1 Cor 5:1-5).

2) The Law is spiritual enough to make us realise that we are sinners in need of a Saviour constantly. The Apostle Paul agrees with this point and says,
"13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good." (Rom 7:13-16). By sin appearing through the law as being exceedingly sinful, it will make us to ask and cry for the mercies of the Lord to be shown to us. If this law is leading us as a tutor towards Christ in all the areas of our life, we are using the Law in the right way and are making it to fulfill its purpose with which God had given it to us all (Gal 3;24). The Law of God acts as a mirror to show our natural face without God (James 1:21-25). We need to see our natural faces without God now and then, or else we may soon forget how we were in our sinfulness before we came to receive the grace of God (James 1:23-24; 2 Peter 1: 5-8, 9; 1 Cor 6:11).

3) The Law makes us realise that we are powerless to keep ourselves from sinning by our own human ability
(Rom 7:9). The Law of God is becoming obsolete and is ready to vanish away after fullfilling its purpose (Heb 8:13). It is only ready to vanish and has not yet vanished. In other words, only when we rise up in our new glorious bodies in the Rapture, we will no longer need the Law of God to shows us that we are powerless against sin in our own ability, because by then we will not have no sin nature within us (1 John 1:8; 1 Thess 4:14-18). The Law of God will be perfectly applied during the Millenium rule of Jesus Christ and will vanish away after the present earth and heavens will be burned at the end of it (Matt 5:17-19; 2 Peter 3:10-13). Jesus will rule the earth justly in the Millenium through fulfilling the perfect Law of God through his co-regents of saints who will be in their glorious bodies (Psa 9:8; 67:4; 96:13; Isa 45:23; 51:4-5; Ezek 37:24; Matt 19:28-29; Rev 20:4-6). Because the Prophets say, "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isa 2:3, c), we know that there will be central role for the Law of God during the Millenium, in which Jesus will fulfill all the Law of God through His rulership and will bring honor to the Word of God which is regarded by God even above His name (Psa 138:2; Isa 2:2-4; 32:3b, 4, 6b; 42:21; Mic 4:1-4).

4) The Law was not given for us to receive eternal life through keeping it by the letter. Here is what Apostle Paul says in this regard,
"21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." (Gal 3:21-22). The Law of God does not have the ability to infuse the life of God in to us and make us as God's children, instead it bring the Divine wrath upon us by making us become conscious of sin than God Himself (Rom 4:14-15). The religious Jews of Jesus' time thought that the Law is what gives them eternal life, but failed to understand that those very Scriptures and Laws spoke about Jesus and His death for thier sins (John 5:39; Luke 24:27). Once we know that we are sinners under the Law, we are supposed to seek God by faith in Jesus to receive all His good, merciful and gracious promises as His children (John 1:12).

5) The Law was given to us so that we might know what is sin in the sight of God and before men. Apostle Paul beautifully explains this by saying,
" 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead." (Rom 7:7-8). Because the Law of God speaks about sin clearly, we are conscious of a particular sin when we are tempted to do it. But when we seek to avoid it, the sin nature in us makes us powerless against it. The problem is not with the Law of God but with us who have the sin nature within us legally as we are a child of our forefather Adam who sold himself to sin as its slave (Rom 5:12, 14, 16, 18; 6:16; John 8:34-36).


Grace is the divine favor toward man; the mercy of God, as distinguished from His justice; also, any benefits His mercy imparts; divine love or pardon; a state of acceptance with God; enjoyment of the divine favor.

Mel Berglund differentiates the fine difference of using Grace and Law by saying,

"Paul declares that we do not make void the law, through faith but we establish the law through faith. A word must be said to those who feel that the new covenant allows for sin and loose living:

The old covenant was one of fear.

The new covenant is based upon love.

Does fear lead to greater obedience than love?

Does fear lead to greater holiness than love?

The answer is no!

Love will obviously lead us into true holiness and heartfelt obedience.

Grace must draw us closer to the LORD and lead us away from the world or it not grace, but rather lasciviousness. Paul warns against any doctrine that leads the church into sin. Forgiveness is correct, but beware of those who seek to turn the grace of our Lord Jesus into lasciviousness (Jude 4)." [1]

The bottom-line is, we need not throw away the Law when we come to Christ, instead we fulfill the Law by being trained by Saving Grace. After we become God's children, when we break the Law through the influence of the inherent sin nature unwillingly (1 John 3:9; 2:1-2), we have no condemnation anymore because we are not under the Law but under the Grace of God's unmerited Favor (Rom 7:22-25; 8:1-2; 6:14). BECAUSE OF HIS GRACE, SIN SHALL NOT HAVE ANY MORE DOMINION OVER OUR LIVES. The fact that Jesus fulfilled the Law of the letter has made the law of the Spirit of life to enliven up in our hearts of flesh (Rom 8:2). Now we do the law through the Spirit and not to the letter like in the Old Testament times. Men who fulfill the law through the Spirit are never conscious of fulfilling it because they are more involved in the RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD that comes out of such HIGHER LEVEL OF LAW KEEPING BY GRACE.

The Apostle Paul gloriously describes about the true grace of God that He has provided us through Jesus by saying,
"11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14). Amen and Amen!!!


[1] Berglund, M. (1998, May 6). The Letter of the Law. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always read your articles, and it's nice to finally here somebody teach that Jesus has not abolished the law.
But I am reading into the history of the early church just after Jesus died, and did you know that ALL of his disciples, even his brother James, continued to keep kosher, and follow "the Law" and EVEN DO HE SACRIFICES IN THE TEMPLE.
History says an entirely different story than what the church is teaching today.
If God had Intended for the OT law to be abolished and not practiced, don't you think Jesus would have taught this?
Why then was his own brother continuing to keep kosher and following the Law perfectly?
Yes, history tells an entirely different story. I suggest research on it. God bless-

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