Part 5 — During the Dispensation of Law, God spoke to Moses and handed the Commandments to the people of Abraham. Exodus 19–40. The laws of Moses can be found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which mention the handling of the Ten Commandments of God. The Law of Moses includes the moral Law, where many scholars agreed that the Ten Commandments are included in this Law, ceremonial Law, and civil or judicial laws. The priest is involved in temple worship, sacrificial offerings, and sin offerings. Due to the people’s disobedience to the covenant, many did not see the Promise Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert because of failure to obey God. Moses was only given a chance to see it on top of the mountain and died without stepping to the ground of the Promise Land.
When God promises something, He will keep it. He will not violate His Word. His promise turns into His Law that He will never violate. When we promise something and break it, it turns into sin. When we make a promise, we make a law to ourselves. That is why when we make a promise and do not keep it, we are a violator of our Law, and our conscience will convict us. We might not be aware of that Law, but we are no longer ignorant; we already know right and wrong, and it is wrong to go against the Law of responsibility.
When the Law was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai (Mt. Horeb- Deuteronomy), the commandment was written by God Himself on the stone; it means it cannot be broken except if it is deliberate, which is against the rule of God. And the Law was made for Abraham’s people, the Israelites, who often go their wicked ways. The laws of Moses revealed to them how to obey and please God. How to worship God and the atonement for sin through the sacrificial offering. The food to eat and clothing to wear are part of those rules. However, for non-Jews, it is believed that Jesus fulfilled all these requirements of the Old Testament law, thereby placing Christian believers under the Law of Christ, which is to love God and love our neighbors. Therefore, Jesus surpasses the Law of Moses.
Moses gives more than 600 commandments to the nation of Israel that non-Jews are not under that Law. But, as we all know, people would feel relieved that they are not obligated to follow a specific rule.
Humans prefer a leisurely lifestyle and do not want to be bound by any restrictions. “The best things in life are Free- Freedom as many protesters would chant.” Many Christians embrace the notion quoted without hesitation, this familiar quote from the Scriptures in Romans 6 that “we are not under the law but under grace.” Some still are confused, and some don’t care. The battle of the mind continues within us. God is always in the midst of us, and when we submit to God and surrender everything to Him, the Holy Spirit will take over. The Law of Moses is given to Israelites, and non-Israelites have no part in it. The New Testament believers are under the Law of Christ.
The Law of Moses, which includes the moral, ceremonial, and judicial Law, is not binding to New Testament believers. The Ten Commandments, as Jesus, asserted that these laws given by God would remain binding until the earth comes to pass. Matthew 5:18, it is obvious the laws given by God remain to be followed, and the laws of Moses are for the people of Abraham. The Christian believer is bound to follow the Law of Christ in Matthew 22:36-40. We must understand the distinction between the chosen people of God and the children of God.
Jesus, who was chosen, fulfilled the requirements of the Law.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and entire mind.’ ‘This is the first and greatest commandment.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on to these two commandments.'” We must remember how many times God said that there was no other God besides Me. “I am the LORD, and there is no one else; there is no God besides Me.” Neighbors in terms are very broad in meaning and interpretations and not specific to a community, people, or country, but it covers all of humanity. Jesus erased the sin and not the Law. Being under the Law doesn’t give power and authority to sin. Death remains the penalty of sin, while if we remain obedient to the Law, which is the will of God, the Kingdom is the reward for obedient people.
Most practicing Christians believe in the Ten Commandments of God, and many still argue that these commandments are not for them, for they are no longer under the Law but under grace. Excuses are made like laziness for one reason: going to church, refusing to give the 10 percent of tithes and offerings, eating more than enough, and many more. In this situation, we do not want to judge these believers.
Let them carry their burden, though, as Christians; we are responsible for making them realize without offending or interfering with their lives. The Law was made not to be burdensome but to serve God’s purpose and will… They heard the Word, and the Word will change them in God’s time.
It would be best if you did not habitually pretext the Scripture, or your interpretation or pretext will mislead you about what you hear from others. You can be like a Berean: when they go home after hearing the Word of God, they open their Bible, pray, study the Word, and meditate on it.
However, it is vital to ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Human laws are as imperfect as the person who authored them. There are distasteful and unfair laws that only favor the rich and the influential people and disadvantage the less fortunate. Good examples are lawmakers, that when it comes to minimum wages, are adamant about passing the bill, but when it comes to their pay increases, they are all present to vote. In addition, inside trading is allowed by Law for lawmakers but not the traders.
Paul in Romans 6 wants us to pursue our righteous living and ignore the desire of our lust. We should not pick and choose what will fit us but rather understand the Scripture as a whole. Paul did not say not to follow the Law but to comply with the standard rules or laws of Christ- Galatians 6:2, which is to love God and your neighbors as yourself. Paul was concerned about our faithfulness and our dedication to serving God. We should serve as ministers of the gospel, and sin shall depart from us and cannot be a master over us. We do not have a master but a Father that is in heaven.
“We are not under law but under grace” pretext Scriptures could give us false messages. It erases the passage’s main idea and can lead the listener to a wrong understanding. On the other hand, contextualizing the Scripture may give us a clear and accurate understanding of what was written; to whom it was addressed; why it was written; the method of how it was spoken.
Is it literal or figurative language? Is it relevant to our present time? What was the situation at that time? We must first consider the Word’s manifestation in our lives. Paul in Romans 6:12-14-‘”Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. ‘Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourself to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. ‘For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.'”
Many people still believe we are not bound to follow the Old Testament law, that Christ put an end to the Old and set up a New Testament law. What is wrong with honoring your Father and mother? Are we not obliged by our conscience to do that? How about not stealing, killing, and lying and covet the neighbor’s property? Are those not good rules? I believe God will be pleased with us doing good deeds. For other believers, I do not think you will find one that will disagree with that notion. What has more value, the seal of salvation or the value of gold and silver? Does material more valuable than spiritual? It’s our choice. The Scripture told us that wisdom and good judgment are better- Proverbs 16:16 (NLT)
Men approve of those who work hard to please men. Those who show sincerity and uprightness in their hard work are servants of Christ, which pleases God. A good worker does not divide the Word of truth and is worthy of honor in the sight of God; no one can boast, for it is the gift of God. Work hard so we can present ourselves to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the Word of truth- 2Timothy 2:15 (NLT)
Through God’s wisdom, we gain knowledge of the needs of why He is speaking to us. What is the content of what He said? What methods does He use, how does He speak to us now, and what does He expect from us in response? After understanding the purpose of the spoken words, why He wrote them, and to whom He addressed them, we may understand His Will well.
With the gift of knowledge, we discern good judgment. “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are rare.” We gain understanding by not only listening and doing it but by keeping it or storing the understanding not in our minds but in our hearts “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,’ ‘turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding”‘ Proverbs20:15; Proverbs 2:1-2.
The Spirit of Wisdom comes with knowledge and understanding. When King Solomon prayed to God, he only asked to give him wisdom; at that time, he was the wisest man living, and God gave wisdom to the wise. King Solomon received the Spirit of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding when his prayer was granted. We need not be the wisest like King Solomon to be blessed with God’s wisdom. We must be wise in using spoken words correctly and wisely, sharing the words with care. We have to listen to the needs of the hearer and take good care of their growth by not talking and quarreling about the Scriptures in front of them.
Before the Law of God was handed to Moses, promises that were not kept were not considered sins. Without Law, there is no violation, no law, and no transgression. The only way to avoid breaking the Law is to have no law to break; no law, no sin: In Romans 5:12-14 apostle Paul states, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.”
Sin is not imputed when there is no law, for the Law brings wrath. Sin is present even before we are born, but the mercy of God did not charge any infant for their Father’s sins. “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18:20
For all those words written long ago are meant to teach us today that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time. Romans 15:4
All Scripture is inspired by God and is applicable to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right— 2 Timothy 3:16. The Bible clearly says that no one can die for the sake of another’s sins. In other words, the punishment committed by a person cannot be substituted by another person. One person cannot die for the sins of another. Jesus died for our sins according to his will. He laid down his life willingly and became the substitute sin-bearer for our sins. He has the authority to do that and take it up again. John 10:18, To accept the fault of others, you have to be like Jesus and be approved from above. Jesus’ sacrifices cannot be duplicated as it is a done deal; our sins had already been paid off.
One person’s sin cannot be wiped out by the punishment given to another person. The Bible is consistent, precise, accurate, and incapable of making mistakes. Therefore, the person who sinned is the one to receive punishment. Moses offered himself as a substitute for the sins of the people of Abraham, but the LORD did not accept and replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.” Still, the people continued their sins against God, worshiping a calf made of gold; then the LORD struck the people with a plague-Exodus 32:30-35. Punishment belongs to those who sinned, and it is apparent in Deuteronomy 24:16-“Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their sin.”
The book of the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 18:4-20 is consistent with the word “the child will not share the guilt of the parent.” Jeremiah 31:30 says, “everyone will die for their sin. Jesus Christ is the only one allowed to sacrifice his own life for the sin of another, and no one else could duplicate that living sacrifice. The first man Adam was from the dust of the earth, and the Lord Jesus is the last Adam and the Second Man from heaven. 1Corinthians 15:45-48
The Word of God written on the stone cannot be rewritten or changed by men. Many centuries have passed and produced interpretations and opinions accepted by men, but the Word stands and will never be shaken. God allowed us many opinions, but the truth can only be settled with Him through the Holy Spirit. He is the one who wrote it with His fingers, and he is the only one with authority to share the truth. That is why we have His Word to seek, and you will find. How blessed are we to have a merciful and loving God to enjoy His grace at this time, but the certainty that we are on the edge of total collapse is soon. The chance to repent is still open to all people, believers or not. You need one to believe, and the whole household will be saved.
However, the Law cannot change our behavior and attitude due to our sinful nature. We keep on walking away from the truth. Sometimes customs and traditions become the reasons for us not to change course; brainwashing since childhood is hard to reset the mind hardened for many years of practice. The Spirit of God made our hearts remain soft, and we still have a chance to change our hearts. We need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. People are not well equipped when Jesus said He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. It means He did not erase or abolish the Law; for Christians to claim that they are no longer under the Law but under grace is a little bit off without a clear explanation.
Christians are better off saying; I am no longer a slave to sin because of the grace given to me through the work of Jesus Christ. Christ justifies our faith through the work of His blood on the cross. Faith without work must not be boasted because we nullify his sacrifices. Justification by faith alone is the first step towards the notion of accepting Jesus as personal savior and redeemer and working towards the personal growth of building a genuine relationship with Him, who created the Son who did all the work on earth and us and soon to be a King ruling this earth with His kings.
The believers in Christ became the new creation, born from above, justified by faith, and made us pass through the first stage of sanctification and put us closer to receiving the key to enter the gate of the Kingdom of heaven. Though Christians try hard to resist committing sins and fail, God knows our hearts. Our conscience will testify before God will confirm that.
It is better to try and fail than not to be condemned already. The good news is that we are no longer slaves to sin and are empowered to reject wrongdoings. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13; Let what you say be ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5:37.
Many believe Christians are not under the Law due to Jesus Christ’s work abolishing the Law. This is an inadequate understanding of what was said by Paul in Colossians 2:14- that our legal indebtedness has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. It is our debt to sin that Jesus Christ paid off by nailing it to the cross that was wiped out. We are no longer buried in sin, but through Him, we have a new life– a new beginning. We can raise an argument, but Paul reminds us that it is not fruitful to quarrel about the Scriptures, for it may only damage the hearer.
The Law of God brings blessings and is not burdensome to us. The Law is not to be treated against those who obey but for those disobedient people. Even the Laws of men; Laws are made to protect and serve the law-abiding citizen against lawbreakers. “God’s law is holy, righteous and good”-Romans 7:12.The record of the faith heroes written in the Hebrew epistle, old and new testaments were kept. What Christ blotted out or wiped out were our transgressions. “Having wiped out” or “blot out” or “having canceled” in Colossians 2:14. It means “to wash, or to smear completely … to wipe away, wipe off, obliterate” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, “blot out”).
The Scriptures always refer to wiping away sin and not Law. Peter urged the same thing to wipe away the sin, not the Law. Peter was telling his listeners “to repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” Acts 3:19. Peter did not say repent and turn to God to wipe out the Law. Without the Law on hand, it will be chaos. If there is a record for us written in the book of life, there should also be a record of our sins.
As written, “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14 (NLT). During the ministry of Jesus, he talked about obedience to God’s will; what is the will of God? And what if we obey it? And what happens if we don’t? The will of the Father is to obey his rule/law, and when we obey it, we are part of God’s family. God is our Father, and Jesus is our brother, and when we disobey the rule/law, we will be chastised as foreigners. God could scold or severely reprimand His children for wrongdoing.
Jesus went to the cross and blotted out the sin on record. The Law of God given to the Jews was for them, and for non-Jews was the Law of Love given to us by Jesus Christ. If we summarize the Ten Commandments of God, it leads to the commandment of Love. Likewise, Jesus, Himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17–18).
The Law of Christ cannot be different from the Law of Moses, but rather an enlightenment of what the Law of Moses means to all men. The Law of Christ supersedes the Law of Moses but does not change it. It boils down to the fact that Christians should follow the Law of Moses–about loving God and loving others. Jesus freed us from hundreds of rules from the Law of Moses. 600+ laws; the ceremonial, moral, Judicial, or Civil Law (Exodus 21:12-36) and the dietary Law from (Leviticus 11:3 and 11:7-8). But loving God with our entire being and loving others as ourselves is the most challenging part of keeping the Law of Moses. It is impossible without God doing it through us.
Many Christians claim that we are not under the Law of Moses, which only makes sense if we fully understand it. Furthermore, does it not change a bit? If it is, Paul would have said so. Paul, in Romans 6:15, says, “Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?” He goes on to answer, “By no means!” Since, as Jesus said, the whole Law of Moses depends on the command to love, and we are commanded to love as Jesus loved us-John 13:34–35.
The freedom we received through the work of Jesus Christ from the Law of Moses gave us the freedom to love, and because of that Love, we want to avoid sin and share goodness with others, and those others may share it with another. A good tree will bear good fruit and a good harvest. God expected us to be like His obedient Son, Jesus. What is hard to love one another compared to having a yoke in our neck pulling us down until we cannot move and are tied up with their legalistic rules? God is Love, and He wants us to be like Him.
By faith, we are saved from the Law of Moses, and Jesus Christ made it simple to obey the commandment of Love and become sons of God.
“Before the coming of faith, we were all imprisoned under the power of the Law, with our only hope of deliverance the faith that was to be shown to us. Or, to change the metaphor, the Law was like a strict governess in charge of us until we went to the school of Christ and learned to be justified by faith in Him. Once we had that faith, we were completely free from the governess’s authority.” Galatians 3:23-25 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Christ Came to Fulfill the Law: Matthew 7:12-“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. And in Matthew 5:17–20 ‘”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’ ‘For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.’ ‘Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’ ‘For I tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”
We can speak to God through prayers as simply as we can, and it doesn’t need to be flowery and repetitive; God responds in many ways. Through the written Word, through our Mind or Signs. God will listen to our hearts. Whatever is in our heart, the mouth speaks.
According to the Bible, the requirement to go to heaven is through repentance of our sins and faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Through Jesus Christ, we are justified by faith and not our own work. The 1st phase of sanctification has been achieved through our faith in the work of Jesus Christ. The 2nd phase of sanctification is through our work of righteousness and is ongoing, while the 3rd and final sanctification is when we face the LORD, who will sanctify and glorify us.
“Let us work toward complete wholeness to reach the requirement of His riches and glory requirement.” We don’t want to rush to learn obedience overnight. After we are justified by faith through faith in Jesus Christ, we are sanctified, separated from sin, cleared, and washed out by the sacrificial body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we are in the 2nd phase of the sanctification process, which will set us apart for particular work for the special purpose of sacredness to complete holiness… a lifelong process that we have to pursue by making it a daily task until such time with the help of the Holy Spirit we may win the battle of the mind towards the victory of righteousness and be proclaimed eligible to complete sanctification.
As Christian believers, we must remember that the Law of God is not burdensome that we have to walk away from. Jesus already came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. The Ten Commandments, written in the New Testament, are written in our hearts. Our hearts were softened when we were blessed by being a new creation born from above and baptized by the Holy Spirit with fire. From the Law written on the stone for the hard-hearted people of Abraham to a law written to a softer heart reconciled by Jesus Christ to the Almighty Father and become the children of God.
When we accept and obey the Ten Commandments of God, which is His will, shared with us by the Son, who made this commandment simpler to follow, we may find it easier to obey. The burden is not in us but for the principalities who want to ultimately maintain control of this world of lust. We can ask ourselves why we have to follow. How to follow? When to follow? Where to follow? Being children of God, we must follow the Father’s will to be obedient not from time to time but every time. Whatever the Holy Spirit tells you, the Spirit will lead you to a fruitful, undistracted place where you can enjoy His presence.
We may find discrepancies in the Ten Commandments, and as a learned Christian, it has been known that the Old Testament was given to the Israelites to follow. However, different scriptures in the New Testament say otherwise and will be found on the last page of this message. We should not argue about this, but instead, pray and express Love to one another and live a peaceful and humble life together. If we follow Jesus Christ as He said, “‘The Lord our God is the only Lord. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second command is this: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” There are no commands more important than these.'”—Mark 12:29-31
Let us think about things with care not to offend someone with their belief that we are right and they are wrong, which will only lead to a brutal offensive act. Most likely, they already heard what you will say, and we cannot change their heart, primarily when they are rooted since childhood. If we cannot simply change their hearts, don’t argue. Change the topic, and you already made your point. We are instructed to make Love, and Love is all that matters.
We are advised in Philippians 4 verses 7 to 9—'”And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think on these things.’ ‘Whatever you have learned, received, heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”‘…
The Ten Commandments (Old Testament— Israelites)
Exodus 20:3-17 New King James Version (KJV)
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7
- Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it, thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy Son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11
- Honor thy Father and mother: thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives you. Exodus 20:12
- Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
- Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14
- Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. Exodus 20:17
Ten Commandments (New Testament — Reformed Church)
- You shall worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10.
- Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry 1 Corinthians 10:14.
- That the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” 1Timothy 6:1
- For somewhere, he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day, God rested from all his works.” Hebrews 4:4 NIV. There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10 NIV
- Honor your Father and your mother.” Matthew 19:19
- You shall not kill.” Romans 13:9
- You shall not commit adultery.” Matthew 19:18
- You shall not steal.” Romans 13:9
- You shall not bear false witness.” Romans 13:9
- You shall not covet.” Romans 7:7
Ten Commandments (New Testament –Catholic Church)
- I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Honor your Father and mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. Romans 10:4 says: “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”