Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

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Deborah
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Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#1

Post by Deborah » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:22 pm

As previously stated I am relatively new to studying and researching the word of God. I find that I come to a better understanding by discussion.

My Question is Why do most Christians believe that the laws of the old testament are not longer binding?

Jesus himself said he did not come to abolish the laws or the prophets.

Mat 5:17 Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#2

Post by Mastermind » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:32 pm

Mat 5:17 Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
[/quote]

Why would Jesus make the distinction between destroying and fulfilling the Law? One can only assume because the average joe did not see the difference. To a normal person, it would appear that the law was destroyed. But Jesus didn't destroy it, he fulfilled it. Either way it is gone, but the process by which it is gone is different.

For Mat 5:18, notice the "until all is fulfilled". That is the fulfillment we are talking about.

I hope that helped.

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#3

Post by Deborah » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:43 pm

Isn't it possible since Jesus came to show us the way, that he merely started the ball rolling ready for the fulfilment of the laws, but they are far from being fulfilled because the heavens and earth have not passed away as it is phosphatised that they will.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is.

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#4

Post by Mastermind » Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:44 pm

It depends on whether you believe Jesus fulfilled the old law(which He did). You can't take the 3 sentences separately. When taken together, it means that until the end of time, unless they are fulfilled, they will not pass away. That's my understanding of the verse anyway.

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#5

Post by RGeeB » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:50 am

Just because Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean that it is no longer valid. The issue people have is whether we still have to keep part or all of the law. The principle behind having faith in Christ is that you have kept/ are keeping the law. So, I would ask myself this question - If I had true faith in Christ, what would I be doing?
Maranatha!

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#6

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:44 am

Deborah,

See some of the passages I cited in the "Old & New Covenants" thread at http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... .php?t=158.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#7

Post by Mastermind » Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:39 am

Just because Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean that it is no longer valid. The issue people have is whether we still have to keep part or all of the law. The principle behind having faith in Christ is that you have kept/ are keeping the law. So, I would ask myself this question - If I had true faith in Christ, what would I be doing?
That's an excuse for people who want to keep part of the old law but not be forced to sacrifice bulls and stone people with haircuts to death. You either have to keep all the law or none at all. I fail to see how there could be any "middle ground".

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#8

Post by phoney » Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:52 pm

Deborah wrote:As previously stated I am relatively new to studying and researching the word of God. I find that I come to a better understanding by discussion.

My Question is Why do most Christians believe that the laws of the old testament are not longer binding?
GAL 2: 14-16&18 11 COR 3:6-18 ROM 4:13 MATT 22:37-40
JOHN 1:17 HEB 1:1-14 HEB 7:19&28 ROM 3:19-31
PHILLIP 3:9 HEB 10:1& 16 GAL 3: 10-14 ROM 7:6
JERE 31:31-33 LUKE 22:20 11 COR 3:4-6 ACTS 13:39
ROM 2:12 COL 2:14
This explains the OT laws.

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OT law

#9

Post by phoney » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:02 pm

I think that God did not destroy the law because he new some of the Jews would continue to live by them rather than come into the new covenant.
Also the new covenant grafted the Gentile into salvation. In Rev after ch 4
the chuirch ( gentile ) is not mentioned, starting at ch5 may be for the ones who kept the law instead of accepting the new covenant.
just my thoughts and the way I understand things if I am incorrect
someone correct me.

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#10

Post by Judah » Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:13 pm

There are many ways that people have used to try to get out of obeying the Biblical commands. Revisionists often attempt to denigrate the Old Testament's moral laws (particularly those touching upon homosexuality in Leviticus) by pointing out that we now eat shellfish, wear garments of mixed fibres, and don't execute Sabbath-breakers, etc. If we have “abandoned” the latter laws, they ask, why do we hold onto the former laws as absolutes? Surely we are being inconsistent, picking and choosing, rejecting some and applying others?

The answer is No, we are not being inconsistent and making arbitary whimsical decisions about which to apply and which to ignore. Far from it. Instead, we are applying scholarly knowledge concerning the different categories of those laws and the intentions for which each category was given. To lump them all together without further consideration is to show ignorance of their different purposes.

The Christian faith teaches that God's over-arching purpose has always been to restore mankind to Himself. We are told that all of us, each one of us, has sinned (done wrong things) and fallen short of His glory - messed up in relation to Himself who alone is holy and righteous.

In the Old Testament we read how God had a plan to bring about this reconciliation and restoration, and began to unfold this plan by calling out a man from Ur of the Chaldees - Abram. God then made a covenant with Abram, promising to make him a nation and bless him so that he could be a blessing to all nations (all of humanity is in focus here). Israel would be a light to the nations and would ultimately produce the Messiah who would restore all of humanity - and indeed all of creation - to God.

Israel was given a unique place in God's grand scheme, although while honourable, was temporary. At the right time God would draw all nations to himself through an “ideal Israel” as found in her rightful King (Jesus) and would create a new people not distinguished by language or ethnicity. So how does this touch upon the laws written in Leviticus?

The Law:

God used the law to transform a rabble of ex-slaves into a holy nation that would reflect his glory to the nations. It acted as a kind of constitution for Israel, defining the rights and responsibilities that they shared in their covenant with God. It had to tell them what was right and wrong (moral), and it had to tell them what kind of nation they would be (national).

1. Moral

The moral components deal with what is right and wrong - it is right to love the Lord your God and your neighbours, to care for the needy, to shelter orphans etc. It is wrong to commit murder, to steal, to have sexual relations with animals, near relations, members of the same sex, and so on. These morals find their origin in the unchanging holiness of God, and are in themselves unchanging. It is worth noting that one finds them echoed in the New Testament as well as the Old. These laws remain absolutes - it is wrong to murder, steal, commit adultery and so on whenever and wherever you live. They are universal laws.

2. National

The first category:

The national components cover everything from administrative, criminal, and civil laws to ritual laws.
The first category describes how God wants Israel to function - and it is comprehensive. They are told where to put toilets in relation to the camp, how kings should reign, how to deal with refugees, how to punish crimes and resolve disputes and more. Food laws (shellfish would be unsafe to eat in that climate, there being no refrigeration!) and food hygiene (prevention of illness) was spelled out. While we can learn lots from it (it reveals God's heart and is full of wisdom), it remains their constitution and not ours.

The second category (ritual) operates on at two levels:

a) It deals with how one relates to God (issues of sin, atonement through the shedding of blood and the releasing of the scape-goat, remembrance of God's acts in the Passover and other festivals, and so on). These served as “types” (pictures) foreshadowing what Christ would accomplish through his life, death and resurrection. They were fulfilled in him, and so they no longer apply.

b) It also explains how Israel, as a nation, is to keep itself holy, separate from its pagan neighbours. That included instructions on how to cut ones beard, and what kind of clothes to wear, which are examples of this level. Again, Israel's place at centre stage was temporary. Now, through Christ, there is no longer any distinction between Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female - all peoples have been made clean through Christ's acts. The laws of separation no longer apply.

Therefore, in summation:

Basically moral laws are to be distinguished from ritual and other laws.
Having had seminary educations the revisionists shouldn't have so much trouble with these categories, but maybe that's not the real point for them.

There is an over-arching narrative within (and surrounding) the books of Scripture.
Genesis 1-11 serves as an introduction - God creates all things; creation is good; something goes badly wrong; God makes a promise to fallen humanity (Genesis 3:15). Humanity continues to go from bad to worse.
The rest of the Old Testament deals with how God begins to unfold his promise to Adam and Eve.
Firstly, he sets apart a nation to serve as a show-case of the kingdom. This nation has to be distinct, for they were to be a light to the nations. This nation (a la Exodus) is refined in the fires of Egypt and then the Sinai, but when they come out of the wilderness they are a people, united by the law, (but, alas, without a land).
Then they supplanted the peoples of Canaan, who had been given almost 500 years to repent before their sin had reached its full measure, thus leaving God no choice but to judge them (Genesis 15:16), but Israel herself proved to be unfaithful.
Throughout Israel's history the promise of God, first given in Genesis 3:15, became more and more precise. The “seed of the woman” would be a descendant of Abraham; he would be from the tribe of Judah; he would be a son of David; he would be born in Bethlehem; he would be both a king and a suffering servant.
The coming of Jesus, the promised seed, marks the end of one age and the beginning of another - and the putting aside of one covenant for another (the New Covenant which had been prophesied in advance by Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others).

The question for the early Christians, and for Christians today, is this: what is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament?

As explained above, we see the main difference. The Mosaic Covenant was given to a particular people at a particular time for a particular purpose. Yet that covenant describes for us the difference between good and evil (the moral component), and this moral aspect is anchored in the very nature of the God who is Holy. Paul, in Romans notes that this moral law, revealed most clearly in the Torah, is nonetheless separate from the Torah. The Gentiles, who did not have Moses, still understood the basics of right and wrong (Romans 2:14). This is what theologians have refer to as “Natural Law” - it is most clearly evidenced in the human conscience. The moral aspects of the Torah are still in effect because they are in accordance with the nature of God and in accordance with the moral laws that are woven into creation itself.

Not so the ritual laws. Hebrews is very careful to point out that these were merely shadows pointing to Christ.
Not so the racial laws. Paul, in Galatians (and most of his Epistles) demonstrates that these laws have fulfilled their purpose. They set Israel apart until the time when Messiah would make an end to racial divisions, creating a new people of God which encompasses every nation (in accord with God's first promise to Adam and Eve).

Revelation serves as a conclusion to the Biblical narrative (although we are still living within that narrative). There, in Rev 5 and 7 we see the redeemed from every nation gathered around the throne worshiping the Lamb. In Rev 21 and 22 we see the earth itself remade and joined together with heaven.

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Re:

#11

Post by jenna » Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:20 pm

Mastermind wrote:
Just because Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean that it is no longer valid. The issue people have is whether we still have to keep part or all of the law. The principle behind having faith in Christ is that you have kept/ are keeping the law. So, I would ask myself this question - If I had true faith in Christ, what would I be doing?
That's an excuse for people who want to keep part of the old law but not be forced to sacrifice bulls and stone people with haircuts to death. You either have to keep all the law or none at all. I fail to see how there could be any "middle ground".
If you are only referring to sacrifice, that WAS done away with when Christ made the ultimate sacrifice. All others, like the 10 commandments, are still in effect today.
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#12

Post by IRQ Conflict » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:37 am

Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 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.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Jesus didn't do away with the Law. Just the ritualistic practices of man that made the Word no effect.

Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Gal 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Gal 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Gal 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased.
Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

It should be common sense that Thou shalt not murder, covet, commit adultery ect are still in effect. Non of the things written in the 10 commandments would be broken if we obey Christ Greater and lesser Commands.

We just don't use scape-goats any more. Christs sacrifice was once for all. You cannot get to heaven save through Christ.
Hellfire

1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
1Ti 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#13

Post by jenna » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:30 am

So again, is the 4th commandment also not still in effect? :? If not then WHY? I know I have been given responses before, but I still don't understand. :(
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#14

Post by zoegirl » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:31 pm

jenwat3 wrote:So again, is the 4th commandment also not still in effect? :? If not then WHY? I know I have been given responses before, but I still don't understand. :(
Jemwat

I think there is a bigger issue than what laws to keep and what to throw away.

The law was established to show our sinfulness. Paul addresses this in Romans.

Jesus showed the Pharisees that all the laws in the world does not bring righteousness.

For example, with adultery, the Pharisees were so consumed with figuring out which laws about adultery were valid that they missed the point. And Jesus cuts right to the point....Anyone who looks at a woman with lust in his heart is commiting adultery. It is the heart that condemns us as adulterers and unrighteous not simply whether we actually sleep with that person. See, the Pharisees were consumed with ticking off laws in an effort to be righteous.

With murder, again, Christ says that anyone who calls someone empty-headed or a fool is committing murder. He addresses the fact that it is our hearts and minds that ultimately condemns us, not simply the action. Simply because we never murder anybody does not mean we are guiltless. Our hearts and thoughts condemn us.

With the sabbath (uh-oh :D ) Christ addressed the Pharisees obseesion with the letter of the law (they actually had laws upon laws dictating whether carrying your shoes was considered work and how far they could walk) and again cut to the chase (can someone not save their livestock on the sabbath?).

The law ultimately exposes our unrighteousness and our need for a savior that FULFILLED the law. Christ was that savior who lived a perfect life, fulfilling the law.

Now I am not saying that all laws go out the window, but we must see the laws for what they are and for the bigger picture that reveals out hearts. Interestingly, the new testament addresses all of the laws and strikes at the heart of the laws such as coveting, idols, murder, lust,...

As soon as we begin to obsess over whether or not that new car defines coveting, instead of focusing on our heart defining coveting; or whether we try to pigeonhole what coveting another man's wife means instead of focusing on our heart and our lusts; or whether a certain day of the week is honoring God versus honoring God with our time and rest on any day of the week; or whether we gave 10% instead of giving from our hearts..... I think we begin to lose sight of the purpose of the law and the purpose of our life as redeemed Christians.

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Re: Why don't christians believe in the laws of the OT?

#15

Post by jenna » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:36 pm

Very well said Zoe, and this I can agree on. As far as the Sabbath (uh-oh) yes you CAN say the word :lol:
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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