An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(Romans 10:4)

Christians are often confused about their relationship to the Old Covenant, Mosaic Law. Some feel we are absolutely bound to obey its commands while others ignore it altogether, focusing almost entirely on New Testament realities. To be sure, the Law is holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12). Its precise prescriptions were used to maintain social order in Israel and to keep God’s nation distinct, as well as to reveal human sinfulness and the need for a Savior (Romans 5:20; 7:13). The Old Covenant Law, however, was temporary. Paul explained that, “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:23-25). The Law was a shadow of the New Covenant realities that Jesus would establish (Colossians 2:17). When Christ died on the cross, the Law effectively died with Him, (Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:13:15). Now that our Lord has come and established a New and infinitely better Covenant with His own blood, we are forever free from the Law and its requirements (Hebrews 8:7-13; 2 Corinthians 3:5-12). “But if ye be led of the Spirit,” wrote Paul, “ye are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:18). “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). We are as estranged from the Law, as law, as we are from sin itself. We are “dead to sin” (Romans 6:2; 1 Peter 2:24) we are also “dead to the law” (Galatians 2:19; Romans 7:4). We are “free from sin” (Romans 6:18, 22) just as we are “free from the law” (Romans 8:2). Sabbath laws, so integral to the Old Covenant system, have been completely set aside (Romans 14:5-6; Colossians 2:13-17). Likewise circumcision, the external mark of participation in the Old Covenant, has been set aside as a requirement (Acts 15:1-2, 23-24, 28-29). “Circumcision is nothing,” wrote Paul, “and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” (1 Corinthians 7:19-20 cf. Galatians 5:1-4). Circumcision was a symbol of the New Birth, a New Testament reality, referred to as the circumcision of the heart (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4; Colossians 2:10-11). Dietary restrictions are lifted (1 Timothy 4:4-5) and the priesthood has totally changed (Hebrews 7:11-12, 14-19; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:5-6). The temporary Law was hung upon the eternal and unchanging command to love (Mark 12:30). Love Fulfills the righteous law of God, not outward observance to the Law given to Moses (Romans 13:8, 10). May God move us, who are free of the Law and its external requirements, to greater and purer displays of unfeigned love today, for His glory and for the good of others.

God bless you,

Pastor John