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The Law of Moses

The Law of Moses

By the phrase "law of Moses" is meant all that was revealed through Moses. The New Testament treats it with great fullness and perpiscuity:

  1. Typical Aspects. The law of Moses was only the shadow of good things to come ( Colossians 2:17 ; Hebrews 10:1 ).

  2. Fulfillment. Jesus Christ declared His intention to fulfill every word of the law ( Matthew 5:17 Matthew 5:18 ), and He did it ( Luke 24:44 ).

  3. Its Weakness. The law could not,
    1. bring about justification ( Acts 13:39 );
    2. produce righteousness ( Galatians 2:21 );
    3. produce life ( Galatians 3:21 );
    4. bring about perfection ( Hebrews 7:19 );
    5. or free the conscience from a knowledge of sin ( Hebrews 10:1-4 ).

  4. Impossible for All Men to Keep It. The law was given to and for Israel only ( Exodus 19:1-20:17 ; Malachi 4:4 ; John 1:1-17 ). Take two proofs of this:
    1. All the males of the Hebrews were commanded to appear before the Lord at a designated place three times a year ( Exodus 23:14-17 ; Exodus 12:4-16 );
    2. those to whom the law was given were commanded, on penalty of death, not to kindle a fire throughout their habitation on the sabbath day ( Exodus 35:1-3 ).

  5. Abolishment of the Law. It is declared,
    1. that the law is abolished ( 2 Corinthians 3:6-13 ; Ephesians 2:15 );
    2. that Christ is the end of the law ( Romans 10:4 );
    3. that it was the ministration of death ( Exodus 32:1-28 ), and that it is "done away" ( 2 Corinthians 3:7 );
    4. that Jesus took away the first that He might establish the second ( Hebrews 10:5-9 );
    5. that it was nailed to the cross ( Colossians 2:14-16 );
    6. that those who had been under it had been delivered from it ( Romans 7:6 );
    7. that they were dead to it ( Romans 7:4 );
    8. that they were not under the law, but under grace ( Romans 6:14 );
    9. that they were no longer under the schoolmaster ( Galatians 3:24 Galatians 3:25 );
    10. that they were not required to serve the law ( Acts 15:1-24 ; Galatians 3:19 );
    11. that the Christian who sought justification under the law had fallen from grace ( Galatians 5:4 );
    12. and that now the righteousness of God is revealed without the aid of the law ( Romans 3:21 Romans 3:22 ).

  6. Contrasted with the Gospel.
    1. The law was intended for one nation--Israel ( Exodus 20:1-17 Malachi 4:4 ); the gospel of Christ is intended for the whole creation ( Matthew 28:18-20 ; Mark 16:15 Mark 16:16 ).
    2. The first covenant was dedicated with the blood of animals ( Exodus 24:6-8 ), the new covenant was dedicated with the blood of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:18 1 Peter 1:19 ).
    3. The first institution was administered by frail men--the Levites ( Leviticus 16:1-34 ; Hebrews 7:11-23 ); the second is administered by Jesus Christ, who was made priest, not by carnal commandment, but "after the power of an endless life" ( Hebrews 7:16 ).
    4. Circumcision in the flesh was a sign of the first ( Genesis 17:1-14 ; Leviticus 12:1-13 ); circumcision in the heart and spirit is the sign of the second ( Romans 2:25 ).
    5. The law of Moses guaranteed to the obedient Hebrews temporal blessings ( Deuteronomy 28:1-6 ); the gospel of Christ guarantees spiritual blessings to those who live up to its requirements ( 1 Peter 1:4 ).
    6. The law of Moses guaranteed to the Hebrews the land of Canaan ( Deuteronomy 30:5-10 ); the gospel guarantees eternal life beyond the grave to those who honor the Lord ( 1 John 5:20 ).
    7. The law of Moses required obedience to the one true God ( Exodus 20:1-5 ); the gospel emphasizes the Fatherhood of God ( Matthew 6:9 ).
    8. The law of Moses prohibited the people from taking the name of the Lord in vain ( Exodus 20:7 ); the gospel requires that out communications be "yea" and "nay", declaring that everything beyond is evil ( Matthew 5:37 ).
    9. The law of Moses required the Hebrews to remember the Sabbath day ( Exodus 20:8-11 ); in apostolic times, the people of God remembered the Savior in the feast that He ordained ( Matthew 26:26-30 ; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 ) on the first day of the week ( Acts 20:7 ).
    10. The law of Moses required children to honor their parents ( Exodus 20:12 ); the gospel requires children to obey their parents in the Lord ( Ephesians 6:1-4 ).
    11. The law of Moses prohibited murder ( Exodus 20:13 ); the gospel prohibits hatred ( 1 John 3:15 ).
    12. The law of Moses forbade adultery ( Exodus 20:14 ); the gospel prohibits even lust ( Matthew 5:28 ).
    13. The law of Moses prohibits stealing ( Exodus 20:15 ); the gospel prohibits stealing and requires benevolence ( Ephesians 4:28 ).
    14. The law of Moses forbade the bearing of false witness ( Exodus 20:16 ); the gospel requires us to speak the truth in love ( Ephesians 4:15 ).
    15. The law of Moses prohibited covetousness ( Exodus 20:17 ); the gospel requires us to do good unto men according to our opportunities ( Galatians 6:10 ), and love our neighbors as ourselves ( Romans 13:10 ;