The Big Picture ~ The entire Bible is about Jesus Christ—The Messiah. In the Old Testament God’s people looked forward in faith to the coming Messiah. In the New Testament God’s people look both back to The Messiah’s coming, His life, His death, and most importantly His resurrection. His believers today look forward in faith to the return of Jesus Christ to take His people home to be with Him forever.
Scripture ~ The Key Passage in this series is: “Do not think that I [Jesus Christ] came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
The Law Defined ~ When we read the term “Law” in Scripture it has various meanings—just like many other words. Here are some examples:
1)The Ten Commandments.
2)The Pentateuch—the first five books of the Old Testament.
3)The entire Old Testament.
4)A principle for life.
5)Civil laws from governing political figures.
In the most basic form the “law” in Scripture refers to principles and rules which God has given man regarding how to live. With that in mind, the law began in Genesis when God instructed Adam to tend the garden and to eat freely except from the forbidden tree. In this series of posts the term “The Law” refers primarily to the Pentateuch.
The Scope of The Law ~ There are literally hundreds of commands (over 600) associated with the Old Testament Law. Someone calculated that there are 365 (one per day?) negative commands and 248 positive commands making a total of 613 specific commands.
The Purpose of The Law ~ “Before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:23-25). A clear statement that today we are not under The Law.
Basic Elements of The Law ~ The various laws are often broken out into three broad categories: (1) Moral Law governing the moral aspects of life and how to interact with other humans and with God (i.e., The Ten Commandments), (2) Social Law governing secular living such as the political, social, and economic aspects of life, and (3) Ceremonial Law governing the spiritual side of life such as behavior in the Tabernacle, sacrifices, the priesthood, and relationships with both God and man.
Comment ~ Today, when we speak of The Law we are referring to the time of the pre-incarnate Christ and His people seeking to obey The Law as a way to gain acceptance with God. In my decades of Christian experience I have never been able to keep The Law even for a 24-hour period. For example I have never experienced that long of a period where I have “Loved the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Reference ~ You may be interested in a previous “Abundant Life Now” 14 post series entitled “10 Commandments Today” (from March 1 to June 28, 2018). “Abundant Life Now” also posted a 12-post series entitled “Law vs. Grace” (from January 22 to December 24, 2013).
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