The Sabbath Issue

Chapter 8: The Law of Moses and the Law of Christ

These two terms: ‘the Law of Moses’ and ‘the Law of Christ’ denote two distinct Law-Systems, that are connected to the two different Covenants: the Old Covenant (mediated) through Moses and the New Covenant through Christ. As the New Covenant is different from and replaces the Old Covenant, so the New Law (of Christ) is different from and replaces the Old Law (of Moses). The Law of Moses is the Law (including the 10 Commandments) that God gave Israel through Moses (in the Old Testament). The Law of Christ is the set of Commandments that God gave the Church through Jesus Christ and His Apostles (in the New Testament).

These are two different Laws that belong to two different Covenants, and you can’t be under two different Law Systems at one time. That would be confusing. The Law-System you are under, depends which country you are in. If you live in the UK, you are under UK Law, but if you move to the Satates, you move out from being under UK Law and come under USA Law instead. 

It is illogical to say that the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ are the same Law, even though they might have many laws in common. It is like saying UK Law is the same as USA Law.

If you try to live under both Law-Systems (because you think UK Law is good and there is something lacking in USA Law) you will be confused, and you dishonour the USA and its law (by preferring the old Law that belonged to your previous citizenship). Likewise, when you were born again, you changed citizenship and were transferred to the Kingdom of Heaven, and came under the New Covenant Law of Christ, which should now govern your life. If you try to hold onto the old law of life as well (whether it be your Gentile traditions, or the Law of Moses) you will be dishonouring your new Citizenship and Covenant, bringing confusion to your life. 

The Law of Moses is not the same as the Law of Christ!
1. First of all, their NAMES tell us that they are different. In each expression, ‘of’ denotes ORIGIN. The Law of Moses originated with Moses, who mediated the Old Covenant and wrote the Torah. The Law of Christ originated with Christ who mediated the New Covenant - His teachings are the foundation of the New Testament. To say that these two terms refer to the same Law would make a nonsense of the Bible’s terminology and make Scripture contradict itself. The new term: ‘the Law of Christ’ in the New Testament belongs to the New Covenant and is not a relabelling of the Old Covenant Law of Moses, but is a new Law-System that is fulfilled in a new way (through the Holy-Spirit within us). 

2. The CONTENT of the New Covenant Law of Christ is manifestly different from the Law of Moses. Those who claim the Law of Moses still applies or that it is the same as the Law of Christ can only do so by ignoring the details. Therefore this claim is a fallacy. They tend to assume the Law of Moses is basically the 10 Commandments and they ignore the other 603 Commandments with their punishments, most of which clearly do not apply today. When you look at the Law as a whole, there are so many differences with the New Covenant teaching given to the Church. The Church is clearly under a different Law to Israel under Moses. 

Since most (9) of the 10 Commandments derive from eternal Moral Law, it follows that they would also be part of the New Covenant, but the fact that both Laws have the eternal Moral Law in common, does not mean they are the same Law, or that the Old Law continues to be in force now that we are under the New Covenant. 
Any 2 Law-Systems (like the Old and New Testament) will necessarily have much in common (such as the Moral Law), but also many other laws will differ (based on local needs and circumstances). Even when laws are similar, the punishments will often differ. For example, under both Moses and Christ, adultery is forbidden, but only under Moses is the punishment death! If you believe you are still under the Old Testament Law, including the 

Sabbath, then to be consistent, you should also be under the punishments Moses prescribed for breaking the Sabbath. By the way, this punishment was death! So if you consider the content of the Laws, it is manifest they are two very different Law-Systems.

The collection of 613 Commands of Moses are clearly not intended to govern the Church, which has its own laws, including moral and ceremonial. This is clear from that fact that most of the Old Testament Laws are non-applicable and unfulfillable by the New Testament Christian. 95% are culturally and geographically specific.

3. The way the New Testament applies these two Law-Systems to us confirms this clear distinction between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ. It refers to the Old Covenant Law of Moses as having been rendered inoperative through the Cross, so that we are free (released) from the Law (we are no longer under it as Law). However it also says that we are still under the Law of Christ, which is seen as operative and authoritative over believers, whilst the Law of Moses is seen as having passed away in these respects.

4. The New Testament consistently affirms the Old Covenant and Law has been rendered inoperative by the New Covenant and Law.
We have already seen many of the Scriptures that prove this in Chapter 3. Below we add some further proof of this from Hebrews:

Hebrews 7:18,19: “On the one hand there is an ANNULLING of the former (old) Commandment (Law), because of its weak-ness and unprofitableness, for the Law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the BRINGING IN of a better hope (the New Covenant), through which we draw near to God.” 

Hebrews 7:22: “Jesus has become a surety of a better Covenant.”

Hebrews 7:28: “For the Law appoints as High Priests men who have weakness, but the (new) word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

Hebrews 8:6-8: “But now He has obtained a more excellent Ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established on better promises. 
For if that first (Old) Covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a Second (New Covenant).
 
Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a New Covenant.”

Hebrews 8:13: “In that He says, “A New Covenant”, 
He has made the first (Covenant) obsolete
. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Hebrews 9:9,10: “It (Old Covenant Worship) was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which 

cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience - concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed UNTIL the time of Reformation (the time of the New Order).”

Hebrews 9:15: “He is the Mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first (Old) Covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

Hebrews 10:1: “For the Law, having a Shadow of the good things to come (the New Covenant), and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” When the Substance comes, the Shadow is not needed.

The New Covenant has made the Old or First Covenant obsolete (2Corinthians 3:14, Hebrews 8:13). We now have a Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:22), a superior Covenant (Hebrews 8:6), with a New (reconstituted) Covenant people (Matthew 21:33-43, Romans 9-11), involving a New Order (Hebrews 9:10), new governing laws and principles, and a new inner power (the Holy-Spirit) to keep it (Ezekiel 36:26,27). We are now in Christ, not Moses. So we are not under the Law of Moses, but the Law of Christ, a new entirely separate Law-System which contains (repeats) 9 out of the 10 Commandments, but NOT the Sabbath Command. 

In any case, if you are a Gentile, you were never under the Mosaic Covenant anyway, because God only made it with Israel.

Becoming a believer makes you a believing Gentile, not an Israelite. Yes, in Christ you were grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11:16-24), so that through Christ you could partake of blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant, but the same passage that deals with that (Romans 9-11), along with the rest of the New Testament, maintains the clear distinction between Jews and Gentiles. The root is the Abrahamic Covenant, the natural branches are Israel and the wild branches are the Gentiles. However, throughout Gentiles stay Gentiles and Israel stays as Israel. 

Another passage that some use to bring added confusion is Ephesians 2:12,13: “at that time you (Gentiles) were without Christ, being strangers from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you (Gentiles) who once were far off (from God and God’s people) have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” By combining phrases in Romans 11 and Ephesians 2, some say that ‘Gentiles have now been grafted into the Commonwealth (Citizenship) of 

Israel’, that is, we are now part of Israel, but that is NOT what these Scriptures say! Ephesians 2 does not actually say that Gentile believers come into the Commonwealth of Israel. What it does say is that believers from the commonwealth of Israel and believers from among the Gentiles are united into and comprise the one new man (the Church). Let us stay with what the Sciptures actually say!

The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that believing Gentiles do not come under the Law of Moses. Moreover, neither are believing Jews under the Law, for it was made obsolete and replaced by the New Covenant.

Some say that as the new Israel, the whole Church is under the Law of Moses. This is based on Replacement Theology, which says God has finished with natural Israel, so that we are the new Israel, having now replaced Israel. This is any without Biblical basis and is entirely false. Whenever the Bible speaks of ‘Israel’ it means ‘Israel’. Sometimes it refers to the remnant (believing Israel) as the ‘true Israel’ or ‘the Israel of God’, but this is a subset of Israel (just as we would refer to the true Church, as the part comprised of true believers). It always keeps the Church distinct from Israel.

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