Sunday, 3 November 2013

On Attempting to Keep the Law

Some are insisting that we keep the Old Testament law. 

Here is a list of 613 commandments in the Old Testament law.

But I think they forgot one.

Here is a 614th commandment:

614. In the future the above 613 commandments will be superseded by a new law. When that time comes, refer to the new law for further instructions.

That is written in their own law:

"The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15); and

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

So if we claim to keep the Old Testament law, we can't just keep 613 points of it. We must keep all 614 points!  Otherwise we're not really keeping the law:

"...whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10); and

"I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law" (Gal 5:3).

Keeping the whole law ought to point us to the fact that the law itself has now been changed. There is now a new covenant. A change of covenant means a change of law, for the old covenant was the law.

This kind of reminds me of a test we were given back in High School. We were told to read all the instructions before beginning the test. It was a race to see who finished first. I can't remember what the questions were, but in principle it was something like:

1. Touch your head

2. Touch your stomach

3. Tap your foot

4. Don't do any of the above

5. Fold your arms

Some students put their hands on their head, or stomach or tapped their foot. The teacher knew straight away that they hadn't read the whole instruction. It was an instant fail.

These students' own zeal to win defeated them.

But the first student who simply and restfully folded his arms, won. 

The Old Testament law included a sunset clause. Everyone who claims to be keeping the law but ignores the law's own sunset clause, haven't really understood the law and certainly aren't keeping it. In fact, keeping the law today is a logistical impossibility.
The Law - the Scriptures of the Old Testament - included not only the commandments and ordinances, but also statements about its own sunset clause - statements about that which was to come - about Christ and the superseding new covenant and law. 

Therefore anyone who attempts to keep the Old Testament law today - now that there has already come a change of the law - is condemned by the very law which he is attempting to keep, and for that very action.
Therefore only someone who walks in the new law truly fulfils the former law in its package-deal entirety.

No comments:

Post a Comment