Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Law?

What do we do with all those OT Laws? When some smug atheist asks you if, as a Christian you wear woolen blends (Deut 22:11 ), how do you answer?

What about eating pork, not working on the Sabbath, etc? What do we do with these Old Testament Laws that they like to quote out of Leviticus and Deuteronomy? Do we really just pick and choose what we like, as we're accused of?

Well, here are some answers to these ridiculous accusations, in order to answer the fool, lest they be wise in their own eyes (Proverbs 26:5)

The Law can be divided into three categories: Moral, Civil, and Ceremonial.

The Ceremonial Laws (animal sacrifices, the Sabbath, etc) were pointing us to a coming Messiah, and so this aspect of the Mosaic Law has been set aside, fulfilled in Christ.

Colossians 2:14-17
having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

The Civil Laws were written to a specific people at a specific time and specific place. The basic responsibility for the civil aspect, showing the application of the moral Law in a community, has been transferred to human government.

Romans 13:1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

This leaves us with the Moral Law. Here's how John MacArthur explains this aspect of it. He says that the Moral Law finds its basis in the character of God and is presented in outline form in the Ten Commandments. It still stands and applies to our lives now, having never been revoked or abolished, but finds its authority in the New Covenant.

MacArthur goes on to say that every unbeliever is still under its requirement of perfection and its condemnation, until he comes to Christ, and every believer still finds in it the standard for behavior.

Normally, unbelievers like to quote the most obscure Ceremonial or old Civil Laws, but the real problem they have concernes the Moral Law and submission to the Lord.

Besides the unbelievers, there are those who claim to know Christ, yet prefer to twist Scripture in order to allow for indulence in their own pet sins. They, like the unbeliever, claim that they don't have to follow God's Law. Yet they still consider themselves to be saved. These come to be known as "carnal Christians", but are they Christian at all? Or are these some who will hear those fearful words, "Away from Me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you" that Jesus says in Matt 7:23?

Revelation 14:12
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

What's that say? Saints (believers) who OBEY God's commandments? The carnal "Christian" would cry, "Legalist!" but how could a believer not obey the commandments of the Lord (Luke 6:46)? They're based on His very character, how can a true believer despise them and look for ways around them (John 14:15, John 14:21, John 15:10, 1 John 2:3)? Only because they are not true believers (John 3:36,1 John 5:2, 2 John 1:6), they are not a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), they do not love the Lord (1 John 2:4).
Beware of these (Matt 7:15), they will attempt to drag you down with them (Matt 23:13, 2 Pet 2:1-2).

Do you find His commandments to be too great a burden (1 John 5:3)? You're a slave either way, it's just a matter of whom you choose to serve (Rom 6:16).

If you choose the easy way of the world, the wide road (Matt 7:13-15), going with the flow, ignoring God's law - whether an outright unbeliever or one who believes (James 2:19) yet doesn't actually follow - you can expect some good times. Sin is pleasurable for a season (Heb 11:25), and you will avoid a lot of persecution and tribulation from this world (Matt 24:9, Mark 13:13, James 1:2), as well as the spiritual attacks during the end times (Rev 12:17). But eternity is a lot longer than the short time we are living in the world (James 4:14), and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31, Rev 14:11).

Take the narrow road, the way God lays it out in the Bible, and you are promised trial and tribulation, hatred from the world, sticking to rules and morals that others will mock you for, but hold fast until the end, and you are promised eternal life.
Repent of your sins, turn away from them, forsake them, and trust in Jesus Christ alone, submitting to Him as Lord and Savior. Read your Bible daily and obey His commands.

It couldn't be any more clear than it is stated right here:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. - Hebrews 10:26-27

Check out the Test of Salvation to find out if you are truly saved or not.

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