NOTICE: The Mosaic Law was given to Israel, not Israel and the surrounding nations (Deut. 5:1, 6:3, 4). It is still in effect for all Jews who have not been born again by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. Only unsaved Jews are under the Law. Gentiles never have been, are not now, and never will be under the Mosaic Law.
Please read these verses of Scripture before reading the following article:
1. The apostle Paul, a Jew said, "I MYSELF AM NOT UNDER THE LAW" (1 Cor. 9:20).
2. "ALL WHO RELY ON OBSERVING THE LAW ARE UNDER A CURSE" (Gal. 3:10).
3. "CHRIST REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW" (Gal. 3:13).
4. "NOW THAT FAITH HAS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE LAW" (Gal. 3:25).
5. "YOU HAVE BEEN SEVERED FROM CHRIST, YOU WHO ARE SEEKING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW; YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE" (Gal. 5:4).
6. "IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW" (Gal. 5:18).
7. "WHATEVER THE LAW SAYS, IT SPEAKS TO THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW (Jews who are not born again)" (Rom. 3:19).
8. "THOSE WHO ARE CIRCUMCISED [JEWS] DO NOT EVEN KEEP THE LAW THEMSELVES" (Gal. 6:11).
9. "IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COULD BE GAINED THROUGH [KEEPING] THE LAW, CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING!" (Gal. 2:21).
10. "GENTLES...DO NOT HAVE THE LAW...THEY DO NOT HAVE THE LAW" (Rom. 2:14) (Gentiles never have and never will have the Law.)
11. "NO ONE WILL BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS IN HIS [GOD'S] SIGHT BY OBSERVING THE LAW" (Rom. 3:20).
12. "SIN SHALL NOT BE YOUR MASTER, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT UNDER LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE" (Rom. 6:14).
13. "WE HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM THE LAW SO THAT WE SERVE IN THE NEW WAY OF THE SPIRIT, AND NOT IN THE OLD WAY OF THE WRITTEN CODE" (Rom. 7:6).
14. "CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW ... FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES" (Rom. 10:4).
15. THE LAW IS "THE MINISTRY OF DEATH...[AND] CONDEMNATION" (2 Cor. 3:7 & 9).
16. "AVOID FOOLISH CONTROVERSIES AND GENEALOGIES AND STRIFE AND DISPUTES ABOUT THE [MOSAIC] LAW, FOR THEY ARE UNPROFITABLE AND WORTHLESS" (Titus 3:9).
Many Christians are not clear concerning what our relationship to the Old Testament should be. This causes error in doctrine and practical Christianity in many areas of our lives. Our calling as Christians is much higher than that of the Old Testament saints. We are living under the New Covenant which demands a higher degree of holiness and obedience to God.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR (For your encouragement)LONELINESS OF A CHRISTIAN
SHORT VIDEO ON CHRISTMAS BY HARRY BETHEL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPJU2wOQ750
Under the Old Covenant a clear manifestation of God's blessing upon the lives of His people was material prosperity. Some examples of this are Job, Abraham, Solomon, and others.
Under the New Covenant it is more blessed to give away your wealth and even be content with food and clothing if that is your lot. Under the Old Covenant it was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but now if we are struck on one cheek we are to turn the other also. If we are forced to go a mile, we should go two. If our coat is taken away we are not to forbid the taking of our cloak also.
There are those who say that we are not under the ceremonial law, but under the moral law of the Old Testament. Again, we have a higher calling under the Covenant of Grace.
Under the Old Covenant a married person was guilty of adultery by committing the physical act. Under the New, a married person is guilty of adultery simply by lusting in his or her heart, without even having committed the physical act. Under the Old Covenant murder was forbidden, but under the New whosoever even hates his brother is a murderer (1 Jn. 3:15).
Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, til all be fulfilled" (Mat. 5:17-18).
Jesus did indeed fulfil the law. Jesus is the personification of Love. Paul, inspired by the Spirit of Christ wrote, "He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law" (Rom. 13:8) and "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13:10) and "The law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Jesus loved even His enemies; even those who crucified Him, enough to die on the cross in incomprehensible agony.
The standard is much higher now, and Christians have the grace to live it by the power of God as we are led by the Holy Spirit. God said, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord. I will put my laws [plural] into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb. 10:16). The true Church is the "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16). "If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the [Old Covenant] law" (Gal. 5:18).
The Jews, who have rejected Christ and therefore are not led by His Spirit, are still under the Law. And many Christ-less Jews have died over the past 2,000 years and are in hell awaiting the Day of Judgment.
According to the New Testament, we are living in the last days. And one of the things that the Scriptures say about these times is that there will be a falling away from the truth. There will be many false prophets and false teachers.
One sign of the prevalent apostasy (falling away from truth) is the fact that so many Christians do not even know what the meaning of the word "grace" is. They vaguely define it as "unmerited favor." And this is true, but this almost entirely misses the incomparable significance of what grace really is and how the concept is necessary for a proper understanding of this dispensation of grace, which is under the New Covenant.
Many Christians today have been deceived by legalists on the one hand and liberals on the other; the former having a pharisaical spirit, thinking that outward conformity to the commandments of God is the essence of Christianity, and the latter justifying their easy believism, worldliness and suffering-avoidance by yelling "legalism" and proclaiming their "liberty in Christ" and "the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life."
Also, this writer has met many Christians who are sincerely trying to please the Lord with their lives, but do not know how to separate the commands of the Old Covenant from those of the New. Indeed, many of these precious brothers and sisters do not even realize that, for Christians, the Old has been replaced by the New, and while "all scripture [including the Old Testament] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," the saints under the New Covenant have a much higher calling than did the Old Testament saints.
The conditions for the highest level of discipleship, set forth in Luke 14, are much more demanding than those required of saints in the Old Dispensation who were under the Law.
This brings us to the meaning and essence of "grace"---how we can be obedient to God, and what He really expects of us as revealed in the commandments of the New Testament. Grace is the God-given desire and power to do God's will. And the marvelous thing about this is that it comes from God, and it is a free gift. But one condition for receiving it is humility. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Jam. 4:6).
A good explanation of grace is found in the epistle to the Philippians: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Php. 2:13).
Grace and faith are both necessary for salvation as God grants repentance to the sinner who humbles himself before Him. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).
Another passage that gives light regarding what grace is can be found in Hebrews 13:20-21. "Now the God of peace...make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ...." Paul wrote, "By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).
The apostle wrote, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry....And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 1:12, 14). "[God] who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace...." (2 Tim. 1:9). "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17).
Tantamount to the comprehension of grace is that of "faith." There are three types of faith: trusting in God; the Christian faith or Christian beliefs in general; and the knowledge of God's will.
Faith (the kind that, like grace, comes from God) is the knowledge of God's will for you, and grace is the God-given desire and power to do His will. Faith without works (appropriate action) is dead, and you can only do an act of faith (God's revealed will) as you humble yourself before Him and receive the grace to do it.
The Christian's sinful nature is still with him until he leaves his body, and if we were left to ourselves we would not do God's will---we would have neither the desire nor the power to do it. Without Jesus we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5). Jesus is the Author of faith (Heb. 12:2).
All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. And all our works that are not of faith (according to the knowledge of God's will), as we receive His grace (the desire and the power to do His will), are merely wood, hay, and stubble. Everything that we do in our own power will burn up; everything that Jesus does through us by faith as we receive His grace, has eternity stamped on it.
We are vessels through which God desires to carry out His plan. We must be careful that all we do is by faith "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23), as we humbly receive His grace.
Much of the work done by Christians today is not in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is to say it is not of faith and is done in our own power. God only gives grace to do work that is of faith. Without faith from God it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6), and it is impossible to carry out works of faith without His grace.
We are exhorted by Paul to "Present your bodies a living sacrifice....And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).
Faith is God's will revealed to you by Him. It is the "substance of things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1). "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:15-17).
When Jesus came to this planet, He lived by faith. Truly, everything He did was by faith. That is, He said and did only those things that the Father told Him: "Then Jesus said...I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me...." (Jn. 8:28). "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak" (Jn. 12:49).
Our Lord said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (Jn. 6:38). In this dispensation of grace under the New Covenant we should take heed to the words that Jesus spoke to the Eleven who had been prepared over a period of three years: "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
The persuasion for Christians to keep the Law does not come from God (Gal. 5:8).
The New Testament is very clear concerning the fact that Christians are not under the Law, which, of course, includes what is called the Ten Commandments, but because of the apostasy and demonic false teaching this truth has become obscure in the teaching and training of many Christians, even eminent church leaders.
This has affected the practical lives of many Christians including holding occupations that violate the higher calling of the New Covenant. Some of these occupations include serving in the military and going to war. We are to love our enemies and turn the other cheek and not return evil for evil. (This does NOT mean that we are to turn the other cheek to nonhuman monobeings.) To join the military or serve in civilian law enforcement one must violate what Jesus and James said about not swearing oaths.
This applies also to being sworn into a political office. We are pilgrims and strangers; our citizenship is in heaven; we are in the world but not of the world. Our task is to make disciples and call them to be separate and holy unto Christ.
The apostle Paul, a Jew who was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee, said he was not under the Law (1 Cor. 9:20 NIV, NASB), so, do you think you are under the Law?
The Mosaic Law was given to Israel, not Israel and the surrounding nations (Deut. 5:1, 6:3, 4).
Another false teaching is in regard to keeping the Sabbath, which is the fourth commandment of the Decalogue. Most Christian Sabbatarians break the Sabbath every week.
Under the Law, instruction is given for observing the Sabbath. For example, "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day" (Ex. 35:3). God's people "found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day...and the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without [outside] the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses" (Num. 15:32-36).
Let us look at several verses that should remove the scales from the eyes of even a nominal Christian who has been led astray concerning thinking that he is under the Law including the Ten Commandments.
First, we need to know how long was the Old Testament law in effect? That question is answered in Luke 16:16a: "The law and the prophets were until John [the Baptizer]." Of course, the Jews are still living under the Law because they are refusing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said in the epistle to the Romans that, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth" (10:4).
Second, it was God's design for the Old Covenant to be replaced by the New. The writer to the Hebrews tells us, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second" (8:7). Just prior to this we are told that Jesus, who is our High Priest, "is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (8:6).
Third, we need to answer the question, What was the function of the Law? Paul tells us in the epistle to the Galatians: "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed [Jesus Christ] should come to who the promise was made....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" (3:19-25).
Fourth, we are living by grace under the New Covenant. Grace is the desire and power to do God's will. In the Gospel of John, God tells us that "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (1:17).
Fifth, because Christians, whether born-again Jews or born-again Gentiles, are not under the Law, does this mean that we can do what we want to? The inspired apostle Paul said, "Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the [Old Covenant] law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid" (Rom. 6:14-15).
Sixth and last, what did Jesus mean when He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15)? Jesus said to keep His commandments, NOT keep the Mosaic Law. There are approximately 180 New Testament commandments. We are commanded to obey God in these things that are clearly written in the New Testament. If we do not obey these commandments it is irrefutable proof that we do not love Jesus Christ.