The Sabbath Issue

Chapter 4: The Unity of the Law of Moses. - Part 2

So the Ceremonial-Moral distinction can’t be used as a basis to separate the Law between parts that continue and other parts that discontinue, in order to preserve the 10 Commandments as perpetual (whilst other parts of the Law are allowed to pass away) in order to make the Sabbath still obligatory in the New Covenant. 

Now the Law of Moses continues forever as an inspired revelation of God. It remains as a teaching tool revealing God’s righteousness, man’s sin and need for atonement, as well as many spiritual truths, especially concerning the Messiah and His work (Galatians 3:23-25). But it no longer has authority over believers as their rule for life.

Let us consider an example to make this easier to understand. When you were put into Christ, you changed kingdoms: “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). When you go from one kingdom (country) to another, you change law-systems. You come completely out of the old law-system, and come under the new one. Imagine you emigrate from the UK to the USA. You would come out from under the old (UK) law-system into the new (USA) law-system. You cannot mix the two laws or 

bring with you the laws that you like from the old country in order to mix them in with the laws of the new land. That is not how LAW works! You have to think of Law as a unified interwoven System that governs the whole of life, that stands or falls together. Although you can separate a body of Law for analysis, by necessity it always exists and acts as a whole. If you steal something, you have broken the (whole) Law. Appealing to all the parts of the Law that you have not broken does not help your case, because if you break the Law at one point, you have broken the whole Law (James 2:10), because it exists as a single, indivisible entity.

Now when you change countries, the new (USA) Law will have much in common with the old (UK) law (e.g: ‘do not murder’), as well as much that is different (e.g. the IRS Tax-System is much stricter in the USA, and it is not a good idea to put out the Union Jack on July 4th!). Now just because there are many similarities, it would be misguided for me to think that I was still under UK Law. I am now under an entirely new-law system and I need to get to know USA Law, for there are also many significant differences. Certain things that were binding before, I would now be free from. If I am living in the USA my rule of life is based on USA Law, and UK Law is no longer relevant, for it no longer has any authority over me. Likewise in Christ, we come under a whole new Law-

System (the New Covenant). Although it has much in common with the Old Law-System (including 9 out the 10 Commandments), it does not mean that I am in any way still under the old Law. As far as my daily rule of life is concerned, I need to find out the Law of the land in which I am living, for that is the Law I am now under. Likewise we need to know the Law of Christ, as given and defined in the New Testament, to be good citizens of His Kingdom.

Each Law-System is a UNIT and I am under the whole Law of the country that I abide in. I am either under one system or the other, and I can’t pick and mix the laws I want to be under from the two different Law-systems. If I lived in the USA according to UK laws and appealed to them when challenged (e.g.“I can do this because UK Law says so”, or: “I claim free hospital-care, because that is the way it is in the UK”), I would be laughed at! I would be considered to be confused at the very least! Likewise, those who are still trying to live under the Law of Moses, after entering into the New Covenant are in a state of spiritual confusion. Moreover those trying to still live by the law-system of the old country, are being disloyal to the new country, in which they are now living.

We need to decide which ‘country’ we are in. We are either under the Law of Moses or the Law of Christ. We can’t pick and mix bits we want from both of them. If we are under the Law of Moses, we 

have to be under the whole Law (we can’t just pick the 10 Commandments and conveniently drop the rest of it). If we are not under the Law of Moses, then we are not under the Law at all, including the 10 Commandment Law. 

We are now New Creations born into a new Kingdom, under a New Covenant in Christ. Thus the key question we should ask is: “What are the laws of the new Kingdom that I am in?” - because that is what we are now under. Thus we must study the New Testament (Covenant) to discover and know what Laws apply to us now.

A common confusion that we will address in the next Chapter, comes from the fact that 9/10 Commandments are incorporated in the New Testament. This similarity (common ground) between the new and the old laws should not confuse us into thinking that we are still under the Old-Law System. It is just like when you move to a new country, the New Law-System will have much in common with the Old, but this does not mean in any sense that we are still under the Old-System (even partially). The similarities between the two Systems of Law are not due to any dependence of the New Law on the Old, or derivation of the New from the Old, or that the Old is cut up and mixed into the New. The similarities actually have a deeper origin, being based upon the eternal universal Moral-Law of God, which by necessity must be incorporated into any Law.

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