Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Can We Still Keep the Law?

It seems a lot of Christians nowadays are thinking they should be keeping Moses' Law.

But Moses' Law was a package-deal. It couldn't be divided up into must-keep sections and take-it-or-leave-it sections. Someone who kept one point of the Law was obligated to keep the whole law. Someone who broke one point of the law was guilty of the whole law.

Therefore it seems to me that if even just one part of the law has been changed, then there's been a change of the law.

Even Jews agree that it's a logistical impossibility to keep the Law, as a complete whole today, because ever since the Levitical records were destroyed and the altar was no more, it's been impossible to worship in the place and manner which the Law demanded.

So the Law, being the complete system that it was, is no more.

This means that even if you attempt to keep part of the Law, you're still not keeping the Law.

No-one today can keep the system that was the Law.

Even just to attempt it would be illegitimate according to the Law.

So people who pride themselves on honouring the Law are actually not keeping it.

In fact, by attempting keeping it, they are actually breaking it. How so?

Because the Law itself spoke of a day coming when the Law would be superseded. In the Book of Genesis God promised Abraham that all nations would one day be blessed in his seed. The Law, which came later, excluded the nations - it was only for the Jews. Therefore, in order for the promise to be fulfilled, the Law would first have to cease.

The Prophets also foresaw the coming of a new covenant. The old covenant was the Law. A new covenant implies a change of law.

Paul wrote that there has been a change also of the law.

If a contract includes a sunset clause, then any attempt to keep the contract after the date of the sunset clause is not even legitimate according to the contract itself.

Therefore to attempt to keep the Law, after the law itself is no more, is not only flatly impossible but it's also to break a point of the law itself (the point which inferred its own demise as a package-system).

So what do we do?

Jesus fulfilled the Law on every point, then said, "It is finished". He gave us a new commandment - which is to say, He inaugurated a new covenant in His blood. The new commandment is that we love one another as He also loved us. He began a new law - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Only those who walk in this new law experience the complete righteousness of the old law, in all its points (including the point of its demise) fulfilled in them.

This scheme - and only this scheme - is so righteous, completely full, and gracious! And it's done for us in Christ.

We live in it. Now let's walk in it.

He's worked it into us. Now let's work it out through us.

Stand fast in the freedom that's in Christ Jesus. Not that that freedom is a license to the flesh. But by love we serve one another. And that behaviour results in breaking no point of the overall Old Testament Law.

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