The Law and The Believer

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The final cause of the revelation of the grace of God in Christ is not creed but character. In this regard, under grace is never to be taken as an excuse to sin as one pleases since he is under grace and it is placed in strong contrast 5 with under law. Two things are prominent here: 1 these two law and grace are set forth as complete opposites, and 2 the text also makes it clear that the only way the believer is going to experience true sanctification victory over sin plus the production of positive righteousness is by grace the work of God in Christ and never by law.

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This is not to say that the Mosaic Law is not good and holy and does not have a function, but this too will be set forth below. So just what is the meaning, nature, and place or function of the law in the New Testament? In the New Testament, the Greek word used for law is nomos. Obviously the definition allows for and even implies that there might be differing systems of rules at various times, depending on what particular aspects or how much of His will God wishes to show at a given time.

These are:. Those who do not receive this natural revelation through nature demonstrate they are unable to receive the additional light special revelation of Scripture needed for salvation. Again, because there was very specific revelation and instruction given to the patriarchs, there was a law given to these Old Testament believers.

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The Mosaic Law is what we are most concerned about in relation to the New Testament believer. This consisted of negative commands and positive for a total of commands. These may also be divided into three parts or sections see below —the moral , the social , and the ceremonial. As such, it covered every possible area of the life of Israel. For more on this aspect, see below. There are obviously various forms of human laws, those prescribed by man through human government or custom see Luke ; Acts Of course, where such laws conflict with God's laws, then we are obligated to obey God instead Acts The fact that the Mosaic law has been terminated does not mean that there is no law in this age of grace even though the nature of this law is quite different from the standpoint of incentive, motivation, and means.

This consists of the many imperatives found throughout the epistles which comprise this law. The New Testament clearly speaks of and anticipates the reign of Christ on earth when He will rule in perfect righteousness and justice Isa. This will naturally mean many laws that will govern the life of citizens of the Kingdom. One only needs to consider Isaiah which reads,.

Paul and the Law -

NET Bible. We can see from this that God is the administrator of the world. In the progress of His revelation and the development of His plan, there have been various economies dispensations administered by God with different regulations or laws giving precise instruction for each administration. The way God has run each economy or dispensation has varied, however, in each case, different people were addressed with the commands differing in quantity and character, but always with specific instruction.

A few of the uses are as follows. This term is used of the entire Old Testament John ; ; 1 Cor. John is a quotation from Psalm , and 1 Corinthians f is a quote from Isaiah It is used with such terms as the prophets, and writings, again as a title for the entire Old Testament Scripture, but in this way it looks at them in their division Luke , Compare Luke ; John ; 1 Cor. The term is used of the entire specific Mosaic code given to the nation Israel to govern and guide their moral, religious and secular life, and covers parts of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy Deut.

Law is used of a principle, force or influence that impels one to action or behavior Rom.

What’s in Your Mind, Believer?

Though part of the Law was mediated by angels, God is the origin and source of the Mosaic Law, which stems from the eternal and holy character of God. This is true even of the natural law written in the heart or conscience of man Exodus b; Acts ; Rom. It is common to divide the Mosaic Law into three parts as illustrated below, but though this is helpful for analysis and the study of the Mosaic Law and the way it functions, such a division is never stated as such in Scripture.

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  • Rather it is seen as a unit. Arguments for this will be given below. The Mosaic Law was a bilateral covenant made specifically for Israel alone to govern her life in the promised land. From the Abrahamic Covenant Gen. Yahweh was her Theocratic King who was to rule and guide the nation in her destiny that she might not become polluted or contaminated by other nations and could thus fulfill her purpose.

    For this the Mosaic Law was instituted to direct Israel as a nation in all spheres of her life—morally, socially, politically, economically and religiously. By its very nature, the Mosaic Law was not to be, and could not be, obeyed to the letter by any other people in any other place as a rule of life. However, in the spirit of the Law it did set forth moral principles which were applicable and would bring blessing to all people anywhere and at any time when applied and used as a standard of right and wrong.

    There were certain economic provisions in the Law to govern and protect the economic life of Israel in their promised land. For example there was the right of property ownership, free enterprise, protection of the poor which guarded against the evils of great concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few with the consequent impoverishment of others.

    However, the strict application of these laws to our world is impossible since the original conditions in which God directly intervened cannot he reproduced, at least not until the millennium. Yet, economists could study and learn much from these laws and principles. God had promised to bless the descendants of Abraham and through them, the world. This was a promises reiterated and expanded to Abraham and to Isaac and Jacob. God would bless Israel and through them, bring blessing to the world Gen. The Abrahamic covenant is a unilateral covenant.

    Not Under Law But Under Grace

    The Mosaic Covenant, however, was a bilateral covenant. Though its ultimate fulfillment is dependent on God, for any generation to experience the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant, there had to be faithfulness to God. Thus, enters the Law, a bilateral covenant given to Moses for the nation of Israel after their redemption out of the land of Egypt. It was through obedience to the Mosaic Covenant the Law that Israel would be able to experience the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant in the promised land.

    For obedience there would be blessings; for disobedience, cursing cf. It was, however, only temporary as the book of Hebrews so clearly teaches.

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    • As such, the Mosaic Law was designed to maintain a proper relationship between God and His people Israel blessing versus cursing , but only until the coming of Messiah and the establishment of a New Covenant. The Law was never designed to be a permanent rule of life. It was merely a tutor or guardian to guide Israel in all areas of her life until Christ 2 Cor. It is especially weak when adopted as a system of merit Rom.

      Though the Law is usually divided into three parts, as described above, it is important to see that it was an indivisible unit.

      Thus, when Paul stated that we are not under the Law, this included all three parts, including the Ten Commandments. Some will agree that parts of the Old Testament Law have been done away, but assert the Ten Commandments are supposedly still in force today. But all three parts of the Law were designed to function as a unit to guide Israel in all of its life. The Ten Commandments cannot be separated from the rest. Further, even though most recognize this three-fold division, the Jews so numbered all the commands that they approached the Law as a unit.

      Ryrie notes that,. Rather they divided the commandments of the Law into twelve families of commandments which were then subdivided into twelve additional families of positive and twelve additional families of negative commands.

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      Further, that it is a unit is evident by the fact that the recognition of any of its features, i. Further evidence that the Law is a unit is the penalty of death for disobedience is attached to all three parts of the Law. Noticing the penalties attached to certain commands further emphasizes the unitized character of the Law. Clearly these commands from various parts of the Law were equally binding and the punishment equally severe. The Law was a unit.

      Finally, three times in 2 Corinthians Paul declares that the Mosaic system is done away or abolished vss. In commenting on 2 Corinthians , Chafer wrote:. The passing of the law is not, therefore, a loss; it is rather an inestimable gain. What then is the purpose of the Law? Though given to Israel to govern her life in the promise land for blessing instead of cursing, there was an attendant purpose in the giving of the Mosaic Law to Israel—a purpose that still stands today.