"If you love Me, obey My commandments.": A discussion on sin and the Law of God

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by The_Fireman, Oct 1, 2004.

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  1. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Ok, let me preface this by saying that I don't want this topic to become too...well, I don't want it to be dominated by Christians, even though it is a very specific Christian topic. I don't want to exclude anyone. Kimball has agreed to let me try this, so let's take the opportunity to discuss this in a civilized manner. It should be interesting.

    I was raised Southern Baptist, and while I'm still a member of a Southern Baptist church, there are many ideas and doctrines that I'm shaky on with them, to say the least. Their view of heaven and hell, for instance, always makes me roll my eyes, and I don't mean to imply I'm somehow smarter than they are or anything like that, it's just that the common view is extremely basic and, I feel, if looked at earnestly in the context of the whole Bible, incorrect. Well, lately I've been struggling with another topic: the Mosaic law, the Law of God, pretty much the entire Old Testament. Now, the common view of it is largely influenced by the writings of Paul. However, in reading the words of Jesus, I'm beginning to see a different message; this in turn has led me to doubt Paul's authenticity as an apostle, or as someone whose letters should be included in the Word of God (but that's a whole different topic). The term is "Christian", NOT "Paulinian", so let's take a look at what Christ said:

    Matthew 5
    13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
    14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
    15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
    16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
    17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
    18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
    19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.


    Matthew chapter 5 is one of my favorite passages from the Bible, because to me it emphasizes what we as Christians are called to do. This is from the Man Himself, not from Paul, not from some pastor, but Christ. In the verses preceeding this passage, Christ lists the beatitudes, blessing different types of people for their virtues, and explaining what having such virtues will earn them. In the verses PROceeding from this, Jesus takes several laws from the Old Testament and basically makes them harder to keep. For instance, it was written that we shouldn't murder; well, from Christ's perspective, cursing your brother is just as wrong. Again, it was written not to commit adultery; lust, according to Christ, is equal to it. He ends the chapter by saying that we are to be perfect, as the Father is perfect.

    What I'm wondering is - and this is something mainly the Christians will be able to give an opinion on, but I welcome everyone else - should we or should we not be keeping the Law of God? Why or why not?

    It is an undisputed teaching that Christ kept the whole Law among Christian circles. If He did not do this, He could not pay the price for us. He was our ransom, and He had to be spotless in the eyes of God. If He is to be our model, why is it that we teach the Old Law is no longer meant to be kept?

    Further, we are told to refrain from sinning. Well, how do we know what sin is? If Jesus' perfection (and thus, elegibility to be the sacrificial lamb) is judged by how closely kept the Law, does this not mean
  2. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I do not think that God asks of us any longer that we follow the entirety of the Law. I think in order to understand this, and to decide what parts of the Law are still applicable and what parts are not, we must try, as best we can, to determine the reasons why the laws were made. The some parts of the law, like the first four of the Ten Commandments, were made solely because they please God. Those are obviously universal. Others, like the Sixth and Eighth Commandments, exist to ensure the smooth functioning of society and the proper treatment of all its members. These apply very widely, but may not be he most appropriate course of action in every single circumstance or function equally in every society. (In particular, laws less basic/essential than the two I mentioned might not be applicable in every society or situation, though probably hold true in most cases.) But then there's another class of Law entirely. This is law that was written for a very specific purpose in a very specific society in a very specific time. This includes the infamous condemnation of shellfish. It is law that existed for reasons like health and sanitation; such laws have been greatly rendered insignificant by modern technological and medical advances.

    This formula doesn't make everything completely easy. The problem is that assigning motive to God is difficult. For instance, is it that God likes sexual purity, or simply that people of the past didn't have the technologies we do for birth control and disease protection? But I think that division, combined with reason, intuition, and conscience, makes a good guide and a wonderful starting point for puzzling out the Law and what of it applies to us today.

    -Paul
  3. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    this thread strikes me as redundant with the various other threads on the nature of evil, salvation by faith vs works, etc. weren't we supposed to be cutting down on the religion threads?
  4. Marcus-Aurelius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 2
    I'll give you the view of a liberal Christian.

    I think that sin is the problem of free will. I don't believe in Satan, nor do I believe that people go to hell forever. A bad person may go to hell for a short time but find God. A terrible person may remain there for what would seem to them like years. An appalling person may go there for hundreds or thousands of years our time.

    I do believe in Jesus. I like the PotC movie of Mel Gibson's. I don't agree with his take on Christianity, but I respect it and like his work. I believe more in the New Testament than the Old. Satan worked for God in Job. His name means "adversary" or "accuser," making him like a lawyer/spy/secret agent who tortures people. God became angry with King David, so he allowed Satan to attack his kingdom. (See Samuel whatever. It relates to the census deal.) In the New Testament Satan is a demonic figure, a fallen angel associated with Isaiah's poem about a Babylonian king called the "son of the dawn": Lucifer, which was the name for the planet (thought to be a star) Venus.

    In truth I think that evil is a part of the human condition that God sought to fight by becoming the Christ. I know that God is all good. He/She may be all-powerful, but that does not mean that God wants to be our dictator. God wants to be a Parent figure, as well as a Lord and God. I strongly believe in free will, and predestination is a vague matter to me. God does have control through the Holy Spirit, and miracles are possible, I think, but that is all mysterious. To me God is more personal and loving than most could imagine.

    Is it possible to believe that a loving God would do the things the Lord is said to have done in the Old Testament? I think not. I believe in humanity as God's chosen people on Earth. In my view evolution is true, science is almost always right, and God is a lot more wise and caring and scientific than many fundamentalist Christians could comprehend. I used to be a fundamentalist myself, but I became more liberal do to life experiences and responding to other events.
  5. anonymous_user Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2004
    star 1
    The part that always got me was,
    "obey me and I will love you"
    "dis-obey and you will burn in hell"

    I cant picture me saying that to my children, I can't picture any father saying that.

    Can anyone explain why the wording is so harsh.

  6. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Darth_paul- What you say makes sense, and it's a good start. The problem I keep running into, though, is that if this method conflicts with what Jesus taught, in my mind it means diddly-squat. And again, from that passage I quoted (and really throughout all the gospels) Jesus appears to teach that we should follow the Law. If you DON'T think He was teaching that, what is it you think He's saying?

    Marcus-Aurelius- Interesting views (and I disagree with many of them, but that's a different topic)... I'd be interested to know your thoughts on sin and the Law, though. Do you think we should follow it? Why or why not? And how is your opinion influenced by what Jesus did and said?

    anonymous- The part that always got me was,
    "obey me and I will love you"
    "dis-obey and you will burn in hell"

    I cant picture me saying that to my children, I can't picture any father saying that.

    Can anyone explain why the wording is so harsh.


    You tell me, you're the one who worded it that way.
  7. Marcus-Aurelius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 2
    Certainly I think we should follow the law. You mean the Law of the Old Testament, do you not? I think Moses and other Jewish founders had some excellent laws. The "eye for an eye" stuff is the exception. I used to know a lot about the Laws in Leviticus and the other Torah books, but I have not thought about it for a long time. If anybody knows about them, please mention some of the more archaic ones, such as the cruel treatment of sinners that seemingly cannot be forgiven. I do remember there were several laws dealing with sexuality: You shall not have sex with your uncle, niece, brother's wife, etc. Incest and other things are righteously condemned. I really haven't put much thought in to Old Testament laws other than what the kings (Josiah, et al) and prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, et al) spoke about.

    I'm glad that you are tolerant of such a liberal Christian such as myself, Fireman. I absolutely concur that we should be moral people. I just like the New Testament a lot better than the Old. I do believe that much of what Jesus said is based on his actual teachings, maybe not word by word, but at least the ideas, philosophy, and Christology is in there. I do focus more on Jesus' teachings and death more than his miracles because I believe they are more important to me personally. You see, I do believe that Jesus did in fact do all if not most of the miracles that are attributed to him, but his teachings and death are what draw me to him. I think he was the Christ, or Incarnation of God, so to speak. There are some who think that God was both in Heaven and in Jesus at once. I don't know about that. He certainly couldn't read or write from the evidence we have. Yet he was a great preacher, philosopher, and radical revolutionary of the spirit. I love his sermon on the mount and all the "love your enemies" stuff he taught. He was a concrete, not abstract, teacher for his day, I think. We tend to think of Jesus' words abstractly, but he was a poor man with only minimal religious education. Most of his wisdom and brilliance comes from his divinity. I think Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all more theological than biographical. Matthew, Mark, and Luke deal with Jesus' humanity, while John deals with his divinity. John appears to me as the most accurate of the Gospels, though I certainly think the first three are true and very important.

    Recently, I have been watching "The Passion of the Christ," which I bought yesterday. I really think the Romans had more to do with Jesus' death than the movie portrays. I also think the movie puts too much emphasis on the Jewish leaders' role, though I think the Saducees and Pharisees were certainly out to kill Jesus. Pilate to me was not as kind as the movie portrays. He was, after all, a bully and a thug of a governor for Rome in Palestine. Yet I do not have any problems with this movie. I am moved by Jesus' death and suffering.

    What disturbs me is the violence of the movie. Since I don't believe in Satan, the scence in which the devil appears is rather disturbing when it comes to movie entertainment. The most disturbing part was really the time when Satan was watching Jesus' flogging by the Romans, and he held that baby or whatever it was. Hell on Earth indeed.

    I have ventured off subject, and I am sorry for that. What I would like to discuss is the morality issue. Jesus was a radical in that he believed that love and faith could influence one's obedience to God. He said that we must carry the cross with him, the Bible says. His worldview and theological beliefs are remarkably humanistic, I think. I daresay that reason and intuition both fit into his views. The Greeks, medievals, Enlightenment thinkers, Romantics, Transcendentalists, and all thinkers could come to some agreement through his philosophy.

    I think Jesus was more political than the Bible alleges. After all, he did say that one must be a good person by obeying good laws of one's country and still following God in the process. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's," he said, "and to God what is God's." If Jesus were
  8. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Fireman - Obviously I can't claim to know for sure, but it strikes me that perhaps Christ was referring to a higher Law. This is never explicitly stated, but there is evidence that suggests to me that Jesus acknowledges that the Law as given to Moses is not the end-all, be-all standard for human behavior.

    I call your attention to the end of Mark Chapter 2. It is the Sabbath, and Jesus and the disciples are in a field picking corn. The Pharisees confront them, saying, "Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?" (Mark 2:24 KJV). Jesus reminds them of the incident in which David illegally ate and shared shewbread from the temple because he needed food in I Samuel 21, and then goes on to delare, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." This makes an interesting contrast to the Fourth Commandment, in which, forbidding work on thte sabbath, God explains, "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God" (Exodus 20:10 KJV). Now, Jesus, unlikek us, doesn't have to do any interpretation in order to figure out why God made the rules and when it's appropriate to break them; he knows, as he is God. But his decision on multiple occasions to work on the sabbath, in defiance of what seems to be the law of the Old Testament, suggests to me that when Jesus speaks of fulfilling the Law (and when we say he followed it), he is not actually speaking of the Law as it was codified and handed down to the Israelites of old. He is referring to God's Law, of which Mosaic Law is a good reflection, but of which it is not the entirety or necessary a wholly precise representation.

    Mosaic Law is a simplified, specific law dealing with the governance of a people; this law forbids work from being done on the sabbath. God's Law is far more general and all-encompassing, and takes into account the reason for each law, as Jesus himself does when defending his collection of food and his performing of miracles on the sabbath.

    It's been a while since I've done the Gospels (I'm going through the Old Testament at the moment), so I'm not fresh on these questions and would certainly be glad for any challenges and/or refinements. But that's a justification that makes sense to me based on recollection and cursory examination.

    -Paul
  9. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    I call your attention to the end of Mark Chapter 2. It is the Sabbath, and Jesus and the disciples are in a field picking corn. The Pharisees confront them, saying, "Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?" (Mark 2:24 KJV).

    Ah, but Jesus was not doing anything that was considered unlawful by the Old Law. What He did broke the Pharisees interpretation of the Law, as described in the Talmud, a collection of writings of the Scribes and Pharisees which was sort of a commentary on the Torah, and which Jesus quite often denounced as man's laws and a yoke of burden that even the forefathers of the Hebrews never had to endure.

    On the contrary, all that is said regarding the Sabbath is that they shall cease from work; something the Pharisees took and twisted to mean to cease from pretty much everything, including picking a head of grain. This, again, did not come from the Torah, but from the Pharisees themselves.
  10. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    The Fireman

    The way I see it is that some of the laws were fulfilled by Jesus. This is a simplification but it is sort of like there are several steps for a human to become more Christ/God-like, the last of which is the actual choice to obey. But before that, there are all these other steps, some of which were the laws Christ fufilled.

    Step one might be getting baptized; another is communion, and so on and so on, but before Christ, there were all these other steps that, since we now can have Christ in our lives, are redundant. Those would be like the kosher laws for example.

    I might be missing your point (which is very likely given that I am not a Christian).

    Also, the way you are looking at it, are you still a Baptist? You said:

    We pull out a few commentments here or there, sometimes just the Ten Commandments, sometimes more, sometimes less, but the point is, we pick and choose which parts of the Law still pertain to us today. By what right do we do this?

    , among other things that makes me think you will become Orthodox soon. (Forgive the pun, but I am probably going to catch hell for this next part) By what right did the Catholics come to see the Pope as infallible (show me in the Bible where it says the Pope is)? And lets not even get started with Martin Luther and all the different flavors of Protestantism. Unless you follow the Bible as closely as possible, especially the New Testament for Christians, I can't see how you call yourself a Christian. And as I understand it, Orthodoxy has been there since the beginning of Christianity more or less. So I wonder, are you going to be 'trans-verting?'

    anonymous_user

    Those two things are obviously not contradictory. God can still love you if He lets you burn in hell (just an odd way of showing it).
  11. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Okay, Fireman, but Jesus didn't say "You're interpreting the Law wrong, so booyah." He said, "Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God... and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat ut for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?" (Mark 2:25-26 KJV) and "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27 KJV). If he were simply making a point about strict adherence to the scriptures versus doctrine, he would not have invoked David (which would in fact have run counter to his point) and would not have had to delve into the purpose of the sabbath at all -- just to say, "Add not to the Law, for it is of God." That he responded as he did leads me to believe he was getting at something else.

    -Paul
  12. Jedi_Rhysode Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 2
    A brief comment based on my opinion. I think the reason Jesus stressed the Law so much is because keeping the law is, really, the only way to have life. And His constant pointing out of its difficulty, and how, nobody is really doing it is for spiritual conviction. To make it so that every man can see the sin is his own heart and that he hasn't measured up to the standard required. And this is the necessesary first step to Redemption. We can only live by following the Law, and Jesus made it clear how hard that is and how we havn't done it. And, in doing so, I think, he also pointed out what I believe darth_paul was describing. He looked at the spirit of the law rather than the details or specifics. And of course, the great mystery is that though we've failed to follow the law, as Jesus made abundantly clear to us, by some way he has died and come back and made it so that when we follow him, and daily die to ourselves as he did, we will be raised in the end like he was. The Law is our stumbling block when trying to live a life not in submission to Him. When we follow him we trust in his perfect life and his completion of the law to bleed into our lives and we'll soon learn that the Law is no longer a stumbling black but a map and a guide through life that leads you through all the most beautiful roads and passed the best sites before you reach the summit.
  13. DarthDogbert Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 2
    Let me start off by stating what I believe. I believe that the Law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ in every way, in practice and in purpose. I believe that Jesus in His life prepared His disciples for a new law to replace the fulfilled Law of Moses. That new law would be partly revealed by Christ in His life, but would be fully revealed by His apostles through the Holy Spirit after His ascension (Jn. 14:27; 16:12-13), beginning at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). This new law is the Law of Christ, and it is a law founded on grace (though not devoid of works). Its precepts are derived from Christ, as well as from the book of Acts through Revelation, including the epistles written by Paul.

    With all that said, here?s how I come to these conclusions.

    ...the Law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ in every way, in practice and in purpose...

    I believe the purpose of the Law of Moses is one of the most misunderstood subjects in Christianity. It was never designed by God to be an everlasting law to all nations. In Deut. 5:3, as Moses is restating the ten commandments to the people of Israel, he notes beforehand the limited scope of the Law. It was a law given only to Israel, not to the Gentiles, not even to the Patriarchs! Only those of the children of Israel were subject to its commandments. So as Christians today, we are not subject to its commandments. God gave this law specifically to Israel because He had a plan that needed to keep a group of people pure and holy so that at the appointed time He could bring one out of them to be the Savior of not only the Jews, but all nations. When that happened, the Law had fulfilled its purpose for existence. As Jesus said, He did not come to abolish the Law, He came to fulfill it. And when ?all was accomplished? and Jesus said ?it is finished? (meaning His life?s purpose, part of which was fulfilling the Law), the Law had perfectly served its duty and was replaced with a new law instituted by Christ.

    Once you understand that the Old Law served its purpose, you can understand that what Paul says about it harmonizes with what it said of itself and what Christ had to say about it. One of the best commentaries on the OT is in the NT: the book of Hebrews. (Note: I believe this is written by Paul, but as it is not explicitly stated, I am not adamant about it.) It more than any other book uses the OT scriptures themselves as proof of the always intended transition to a new law. The writer uses logical arguments, one of which is in Hebrews 7:12-14. (Jesus is our High Priest and intercessor for the Father. However, in the Law of Moses, priests are from the tribe of Levi, whereas Christ is from the tribe of Judah. Therefore we must be under a new law.) The writer also argues that the OT scripture even prophesied that a new law would be given (Heb. 8:7-13 referencing Jer. 31:31-34). All of the writers of the NT, especially the writer of Hebrews, encourage us to use the lessons of the Old Law to understand the Law of Christ.

    Keep these things in mind when doubting Paul?s authenticity. He had a great understanding of the Jewish scriptures and held them in utmost respect. Though he did not bind them on anyone, he did abide by the Jewish customs when appropriate. Also remember that it was not only him that preached the transition of the laws. Because of his preaching to the Gentiles that they didn?t need to keep the Old Law and the controversy regarding this, he was obliged to meet with the rest of the apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 15). After discussing what had been revealed to each of them through the Holy Spirit, they found that they were all in agreement, even with Paul! They were all teaching and practicing that the Old Law was no longer binding. (See Acts 10 where Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized, not circumcised.) So if you cast doubt on Paul, you must cast doubt on the rest of the apostles and their writings, including the gospels.
  14. DarthDogbert Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2004
    star 2
    As for the questions about Mk. 2, I with Fireman that Jesus was not doing anything wrong in picking the grains to eat. He was not harvesting the grain, He was eating. So why doesn't He just come straight to the point and tell the Pharisees that they were interpreting the Law wrong? You'll find throughout the gospels that Jesus rarely gives the Pharisees a straightforward answer to their questions, most probably because they did not care what His answer was. Instead, when He answered the Pharisees, He typically would answer in such a was as to point out their hypocrisy. He does the same here. He told them that David did something that was blatently unlawful for him to do, yet they honored him because of it (and were probably guilty of it themselves). Now, the "Lord of the Sabbath" stands before them doing something obviously allowed by the Law and they condemn Him. Their hypocrisy is shown in that they honor the guilty and condemn the innocent.

    Jesus did allude, however, in verse 27 to the Pharisee's added requirements. The Sabbath was given to the Jews by God so that they would be able to rest, yet the Pharisees looked at the Sabbath not as a day of relaxation, but as a way to make the requirements of the Law even harder on the people.
  15. Blue_Jedi33 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2003
    star 5
    Just a thought on how far the pharisees went beyond the mosiac law, if you killed a flea, they considered it to be hunting and you broke the sabbath, that is how stupid they got. Jesus was an end to the law anyway, so he was not bound to that law anyway. He could work all he wanted on the sabbath, doing such things as healing people.
  16. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    Ah, but that's not work.
  17. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I think most doctors would disagree with you. Which brings us to an important question: Just how does God define "work"? I don't ever recall encountering such a thing; is it there? Because if not, we're introducing interpretation and selectivity into the equation right off the top, from Mosaic Law on.

    -Paul
  18. darthOB1 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2000
    star 5
    Jesus' "laws" boil down to what he said to the Pharisees in Matt 22:35-40. You must love God with you whole heart, soul and mind. The second was to love your neighbor as yourself.

    All of the mosaic laws can be summed up by these two principles.

    Jesus didn't stress laws as much as he emphasized the importance of these two principles.

    If your following these two simple principles your going to automatically be obeying all of the mosaic laws.


    Pauls ministry reflected these principles perfectly.
  19. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I disagree with that. I think, for instance, that my consumption of crab is not affected by my love for God or my neighbor.

    -Paul
  20. Jedi_Rhysode Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2004
    star 2
    Ah, but that's not work.

    I think it is, because didn't he compare it to a man who's ox or something like that fell in a ditch, wouldn't he help it out, even on the sabbath? I think the point Jesus was getting at was to look at what principles that law is promoting and what kind of behaviour it's not condoning. The command of the sabbath is really about not keeping God out of your plans and schedual, as far as I see it. And wouldn't keeping yourself from doing doing work to help someone that needs your help break another law, that is, to love your neighbor as yourself?
  21. darthOB1 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2000
    star 5
    I disagree with that. I think, for instance, that my consumption of crab is not affected by my love for God or my neighbor [face_laugh]

    What the heck does that have to do with anything?
    :confused:

    Only on sundays right? :rolleyes:
  22. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    I think part of the misunderstanding here is a confusion of different laws. You must understand the difference between the Moral Law, which is always to be obeyed, and the ceremonial law which was fulfilled by Christ.

    Hebrews gives na excellent explanation on how Christ is our High Priest now and we therefore do not need the old priesthood with its ceremonies and laws which could not perfect anything.

    Hebrews 7:11-18 shows how Christ is our new high priest:

    11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
    14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning *priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For *He testifies:


    "You are a priest forever
    According to the order of Melchizedek."*


    18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.


    And verses 20-28 show how He is superior to the old ones:

    20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:


    "The Lord has sworn
    And will not relent,
    'You are a priest *forever
    According to the order of Melchizedek'"),*


    22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
    23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
    26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.


    So the reason Christians today do not follow the ceremonial law is because Christ fulfilled it. The ceremonial law was a symbolically "preview," to put it one way, of the true sacrifice. Why go back to mere shadows when we know of the true sacrfice?

    I should also mention the covenental law which God had with Israel. This was also fulfilled by Christ, and now His covenent is with all His children in all lands.

    Anyway, I strongly recommend studying Hebrews, as I think it should be helpful in this area.

  23. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    darthOB1 - See Leviticus 11:10-12. It's one of the purity laws. I think I can love God and my neighbor jst fine and not follow it, thus I'm challenging your assertionn that loving God and neighbor automatically means automatically obeying all of the old Law.

    ElfStar - How is one to differentiate between moral and ceremonial laws? What makes, say, cooking a lamb in its mother's milk different from, for example, committing adultery?

    -Paul
  24. The_Fireman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2001
    star 4
    18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

    So how is that not a direct contradiction of what Christ said in Matthew 5:19?

    19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
  25. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    ElfStar - How is one to differentiate between moral and ceremonial laws? What makes, say, cooking a lamb in its mother's milk and, for example, committing adultery?


    I think you have to look at it in context of the passage to see where a law lies. In most cases the moral laws are repeated in the New Testament, but in other cases it can be harder to tell.

    18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

    So how is that not a direct contradiction of what Christ said in Matthew 5:19?

    19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


    For one thing, you cannot assume these verses are talking about the same law. You must take the context into account. The verse in Hebrews are obviously referring to the imperfection of the ceremonial ordinances. Looking at the Matthew verse in context, we can see Christ was referring to the moral laws.
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