Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We Do Not Have to Follow the OT Law

The Old Testament law is beneficial for several reasons. It shows us the holiness of God. It restrains, at least in the case of OT Israel, sin. Also, the OT law makes it abundantly clear to us that we are in desperate need of a savior. Each person in this world needs salvation because nobody perfectly keeps the law. Every individual on earth, whether they know it or not, who has not been saved by Christ is still under the OT law.

But what about those of us who Christ has saved? We are members of the New Covenant. Do we have to follow the OT law?

The answer is a resounding NO.

The OT law, with its connection to the Old Covenant, no longer has any bearing upon us. What matters now is faith. It is faith that saves through our union with Jesus Christ and His perfection. Paul tells us in Galatians 2:16-17, "...yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified."

In order to be found not guilty of transgressing the OT law, we must be one with Jesus Christ. This only occurs through faith. Trying to follow the OT law is fruitless and actually shows a lack of faith in what Jesus has already accomplished. The law no longer has any grip upon us; why would we turn back to it?

A significant problem in the church today is that many Christians act as if at least some of the OT law still applies. They point back to the OT to say that we must meet on Sundays (Sabbath regulations), we should have a big building (OT temple), and that we should pay pastors (OT priests). These interpretations break down in many different places, but for our purpose here I just want to focus on the big picture. If these OT forms still apply, it means that the entire law still applies to those in the New Covenant. If it does, then the gospel means nothing!

The gospel has freed us from OT law restrictions. Christ has unshackled us from that law to follow His law: Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." We've been freed to live lives of faith, enjoying Christ fully.

Please do not allow other well-intentioned Christians to convince you that the OT law still applies. Quite simply, it does not. The OT law should not be used as any sort of support for current church forms and practices. When this happens, problems quickly arise. We are members of the New Covenant. We ought to be looking to the New Covenant to show us what church life must look like. Christ has freed us to do so.

8 comments:

Randi Jo :) said...

Praise God !!!!

Eric said...

Randi Jo,

Indeed!

parsonsmike said...

It was said,
"Every individual on earth, whether they know it or not, who has not been saved by Christ is still under the OT law."

I do not know what you mean by OT Law.
If you mean the Mosaic Law, then you are mistaken. Not even everyone who lived in B.C. were under the Mosaic Law. And now, no one is.

But everyone is under the Law of God. This Law transcends the Testaments and includes all people everywhere that are under Law.
And those who are not under God's Law, and are moral agents, are those washed in the blood of the Lamb. That you have right.

mike

Eric said...

Mike,

Thanks for commenting. To what law specifically are you referring when you say "the Law of God"?

Goblin said...

I'm also confused about your statement "Every individual on earth, whether they know it or not, who has not been saved by Christ is still under the OT law."
Surely the OT Law was given to the nation of Israel specifically?

Eric said...

Goblin,

I'm guessing that is not your real name. Provide at least a first name and I'll answer your question. Thanks for playing.

Goblin said...

Hi Eric
Sorry I've been using my nickname 'Goblin' for many years and that is what my Google account is set to. I'm Paul Goodwin. I'm part of a relatively new and very small (5 adults, 4 children) house church in Sheffield, UK.

Paul

Eric said...

Thanks Paul.

In this post I probably should have been a little more specific when I said that everyone is under the OT law. What I was really getting at is that everyone has to be covered by some sort of blood sacrifice. In the OT it pointed ahead to Christ.

In the end, Christ's sacrifice and union with him is the only means of salvation. All those today who are not in Christ are, therefore, not covered by any sort of sacrifice. Their transgression of the law condemns them.