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Mosaic Law or Moral Law
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Mosaic Law or Moral Law
In a discussion I had with one of our FaithWriter's members, I took the time to explain the difference between the Mosaic Law and the Moral Law (The Ten Commandments) written with the finger of God and given to us to live the way God expects us to live. This member was of the view that the Ten Commandments were done away with because they were too difficult for us to obey. Below is part of the conversation we had on the subject.
Reading the scripture in context that you are referring to, I think the author John is referring to the commandments he also wrote about in 1 John 5:3, when talking about the commandments that are not burdensome. These are the two commandments defined for us in 1 John 3:23-24. The commandments that would be burdensome would be the Ten Commandments. They require 100% accuracy. Jesus is the only one who pulled it off, and he pulled it off for you and me because we couldn't.
As long as Jesus was living, as he was through the gospels, he was teaching under the Old Covenant which was the law, which includes the Ten Commandments. The purpose of the law is to lead one to Christ; and Jesus is certainly effecting that purpose with the people until he dies. At that time the New Covenant would go into effect (Heb. 9:15-18). If Jesus did not do away with the Ten Commandments, as you characterize it, then you are going to have a problem with scriptures like Rom. 3:21-22; Rom. 10:4; and Gal. 3:24-25, which were all written by the Apostle Paul.
My Answer to Member:
First we have to remember not to take any verse/s out of context. Hebrews 9: 15-18 refers to the law of Sacrifices where bulls and goats, etc. were sacrificed under the Mosaic Law. Read also Colossians 2: 16 & 17. Christ’s death ended the need for sacrifices when the veil of the Temple was torn in two, thus Christ was the Sacrificial Lamb – Read Heb. 9:11-14
The N.T. was written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic, the language of the Jews. They understood in their own language what Paul was referring to when he used the word law. Words translated have a different import from that of the original language. A word like love in English has varied senses in Greek......family love, agape love, etc. The Hopi Indians have a variety of words for snow where we have only one. Falling snow, snow falling, frozen snow, trampled snow, etc. This is a quote from “The Dead Sea Scrolls” by James C. Vanderkam: “The Wisdom of Ben Sira (Sirach).......
“For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same sense when translated into another language. Not only this book, but even the Law itself, the Prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little when read in the original.”
Rom. 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Rom. 3 deals with the Jews encouraging the Gentiles Rom.2:25 to practise circumcision and Paul is showing it is the law of faith that is necessary, not circumcision, or uncircumcision.
Rom. 10:4 – “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.” It does not say he put an end to the law of God. This dealt with Israel’s not having attained to the law of righteousness because they sought it not by faith.
Gal. 3 put strong emphasis on faith, on Abraham’s faith and the Seed, one Seed not seeds, that is Jesus Christ. Gal. 3:19 states, “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions till the Seed should come. That is the very Mosaic Law that was added because of the Israelites’ trangressions Deut. 31: 26-29. This law was placed at the side of the Ark of the Covenant, and not inside the Ark, under the Mercy Seat, where God told Moses to place the Ten Commandments. (Read my article “Obedience is Better than Sacrifice”).
Rom.7:7-12 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said. “You shall not covet.”.......Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” This totally refutes your claim that the Ten Commandments are no longer necessary.
The Ten Commandments written by God’s own hands are eternal and unchangeable. Matt. 5:18 Jesus himself said, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law, till all is fulfilled.”
Christ gave Paul instructions to take the gospel to the Gentiles, which he did assiduously, remonstrating with them to follow and believe Christ. He did not give him a command to change any of His laws.
Phyllis M. Inniss
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