Tim Johnson, editor
November 2, 2008
Are We Still Under the Law of Moses?
Many of our friends and neighbors
believe that we are still living under the Law of Moses. This
is evident when we see the fuss that is made over the public display
of the Ten Commandments, which were part of Moses' Law.
Modern day reliance on the Law of Moses is even more obvious when we
hear people using that Law to try to justify their religious
practices, such as Sabbath keeping, a separate priesthood or
instrumental music in worship. Is this use of the Law of Moses valid?
What do the Scriptures say?
THE LAW WAS OUR TUTOR, "BUT WE ARE NO LONGER
UNDER A TUTOR"
THE LAW WAS "NAILED TO THE CROSS"
We know that even the Ten Commandments are included in what was nailed to the cross because the text goes on to say, "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths" (Colossians 2:16). The requirement to keep Sabbaths is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). Since this law was "nailed to the cross," along with the other commandments, the Scriptures here instruct us not to let others judge or condemn us for not keeping it.
Now someone might ask, "If the Ten
Commandments were nailed to the cross, does this mean that we are now
allowed to steal, murder, covet, or commit adultery?" No,
these things are sinful today because they are forbidden in the NEW
TESTAMENT of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 John 3:5).
We live under His Law!
THE OLD COVENANT LAW IS "OBSOLETE"
IF WE KEEP PART OF THE LAW, WE MUST KEEP "THE
THOSE WHO ATTEMPT TO BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW HAVE
"FALLEN FROM GRACE"
Neither Jews nor Gentiles are now required to keep Moses' Law. Both are saved by grace through faith. In Acts 15, there were false teachers who claimed that it was necessary to "command" Gentiles "to keep the Law of Moses" (Acts 15:5). The apostle Peter opposed them saying, "why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they." (Acts 15:10-11).
What purpose does the Old Testament serve? Is it of any value today? Certainly! It was written for our learning (Romans 15:4). It contains vital truth about God, His works, and His dealings with mankind. Its history of God's people serves to admonish us today (1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 11). It is inspired by God and profitable for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). But it is not God's law for us today, and those who rely on it as God's law today have not accepted what the Bible says about it.