A boy of about eight and a little girl of about three were sitting at the dinner table and the little girl was bawling her eyes out. The little boy asked the girl, “Did you have your nap today?” In between screams she said, “Noooo!!!” Children live under rules because there are adults that know what is best for them and their health. Once they grow up and move out on their own it is up to them to make sure they get enough rest to stay healthy and no longer the responsibility of their parents. It is the same in the spiritual realm. Paul makes reference to this in Galatians chapter four.
In Galatians chapter five, Paul then says that if the Gentile Christians go on and continue to become proselytes to the Old Covenant by getting circumcised then they will have to keep the whole Mosaic Law which makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of no benefit to them. Some people mistakenly state that parts of the Law are done away with and parts are not. Let’s examine the three different aspects of the Law and see what Jesus and the rest of the New Covenant says about this.
The first part of the Law was called the “Ceremonial Law.” A synopsis of this is listed in Leviticus 1:1-13. It basically has to do with the worship and sacrifices of the people. A cursory reading of Hebrews chapter ten will show that these laws are no longer valid. I would even venture to say that since there is no longer a temple to perform the sacrifices in and there is a new priesthood in effect then these laws are no longer valid. In addition, offering an animal sacrifice to God would now be an abomination since the final, and ultimate, sacrifice has already been offered. The animal sacrifice was pointing to Christ, but now we have Christ.
Next were the “Civil Laws.” These laws govern the affairs of daily living concerning how rulers acted, how people farmed, how to deal with diseases, and other daily affairs. They are listed throughout Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. I would say that Jesus taught a different way. Last week I showed that Jesus taught contrary to the way the Law taught as seen in Matthew chapter five. There are six instances where the Law taught the Israelites something and Jesus told them, “…but I say unto you…” which gave them a different way to live. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said that the whole of the Law and the Prophets were encapsulated in one rule: “Treat everyone else like you want to be treated.”
This leaves the “Moral Laws.” People say that these are the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17 that reveal the nature and will of God. May I be so bold to say that Paul told us that these commands were only meant to be in effect until Jesus came (Galatians 3:19)?
So, what do we do with all of this? Do we live like lawless, unspiritual people? Paul said, “May it never be!” (Romans 6:1, 15) and I would put it like this: “Are you insane?” Our Chaplain said recently that Romans chapters six, seven and eight are probably the New Testament believer’s most important chapters in the Bible. Why? Because they explain the difference between living by the flesh, under the Law of Moses, and living by the Spirit of God.
It is only when we live by the Spirit of the Living God are we free from bondage. This can only happen when we give up our efforts to accomplish what Jesus has already done. We have to surrender our “good works” for His finished work.
Will you surrender?