The Apple Of God's Eye

August 21, 2011

Is Society Unravelling Before Our Eyes?

news.za.msn.com

It’s been said that many of the people involved in the violent anarchy and looting in British and American cities are likely to have been from low-income, high unemployment estates, and many, if not most, don’t have much of a legitimate future.

What is left out of this equation is that this is the result of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value. The married two-parent family has been virtually dismantled and abandoned.

When it comes to punishing criminals, opportunist thugs get a free pass. The riots have been fuelled by moral collapse, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting. And while it is clear that adults were involved, this mayhem has been carried out by teenagers and children also, some as young as eight.

Combined with a lack of intervention from police, looters quickly see that police cannot control the situation, which leads to a sort of adrenalin-fuelled euphoria where there is nothing anyone can do. It seems these youths, or let’s call it what it is – these opportunistic thugs — feel absolutely entitled to steal whatever they want. It seems incredulous that them that anyone should suggest they might be in the wrong. (more…)

March 15, 2011

What Does “An Eye For An Eye” Really Mean?

Filed under: Law Of God — melchia @ 6:43 am
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wjameskellymdiv.blogspot.com

Many have read the command in Exodus 21:24-25 with shocked amazement at the assumed cruelty of the God of the Old Testament. They suppose anyone causing a person accidentally to lose sight of an eye would immediately be seized, held down, and have his eye gouged out!

But is this true? Let’s understand the real meaning of these instructions.

The context in which we find this command of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is explaining the principle of just recompense for any wrong done. The very next verse shows that if a person causes his slave to lose his eye or tooth, the slave must be freed as a PAYMENT for the injury — workmen’s compensation. Verses 18 and 19 of the same chapter discuss the matter of one person injuring another. What is the punishment? “… he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.” It was a matter of payment or recompense — not revenge by inflicting the same injury.

Then verse 22 shows that a person should be punished if he causes a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage. What is the punishment in this case? Again it is “. . . and he shall pay as the judges determine.” The whole context of the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” command is concerned with the matter of just recompense or payment for the injury caused.

The purpose of Christ’s teachings in the “Sermon on the Mount” was to magnify the Old Testament law, not annul it (Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17-19). Since the intent of the law was love of God and neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40), Christ was better showing us how to love our fellowman.

In Matthew 5:38-42 Christ shows that a true Christian should be willing to suffer wrong done to him if necessary (I Peter 2:19-20). For instance, Christ paid a tax which really did not apply to Him (Matthew 17:24-27). Paul gave us the instructions that followers of God should be in complete submission to government authority even though it was unjust at times (Romans 13:1-7).

The instructions given to Moses about “an eye for an eye” were not some cruel yoke of bondage. They were laws set up to regulate a society in a fair and just manner. Christ was not doing away with the law as some have supposed — He was showing what a Christian’s attitude should be when unjustly wronged.

March 12, 2011

What Was Really Nailed To The Cross?

thegospelcoalition.org

Does Colossians 2:14-17 prove the Ten Commandments, Sabbaths and Holy Days were “against us,” “contrary to us,” and were therefore blotted out — “nailed to the cross”? Just what do these verses really mean?

Nineteen hundred years ago, on a stony slab of ground jutting upward near Jerusalem, a young man was nailed to an upright stake, suffering a uniquely harsh form of execution.

The one who was put to death was not merely a man — but also GOD in the flesh! And His death was a potential atonement for the sins of all mankind!

We know Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty of our sins. But when He was nailed to that stake, what else was nailed there? Do you know?

A Much Misunderstood Scripture

Many fundamentalist theologians point to Colossians 2:14-17 in an attempt to prove that the entire law of God, sabbath days, and God’s annual festivals were done away — nullified and abrogated at the death of Christ. According to them, these verses say that the Ten Commandments were “against us,” and so Christ took them out of the way, “nailing them to His cross” when He died.

What do these verses in Colossians 2 really mean? Before examining Colossians 2:14-17 word by word and comparing it with other scriptures, let’s understand who the Colossians were, and why Paul wrote to them.

The City of Colossae

Colossae was a city in Asia Minor near Laodicea, in the province of Phrygia, on the south side of the Maeander river. At one time the city was controlled by the Macedonians. It was later transferred to the Seleucids, and finally became subject to Rome.

The Colossians were Gentiles and pagans. In the apostles’ time, the city, like the other cities of Asia Minor, was wholly given over to the worship of false gods and goddesses. Those of the saints who lived in Colossae had formerly been steeped in the same pagan idolatry.

Because pagan teachings and anti-Christian influences were rife in the city, and deceptive teachings of numerous religious philosophies abounded, the Apostle Paul was deeply concerned for the brethren in Colossae. He was actually alarmed lest false teachers, propounders of a mixture of Oriental philosophy and Judaistic beliefs, should again deceive them and subvert their faith in Christ.

In chapter 2, verse 8, Paul warned the brethren in Colossae: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [elements] of the world, and not after Christ.” (more…)

March 2, 2011

Is God’s Law Abolished In The New Testament?

dozierdon.blogspot.com

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Therefore we don’t have to keep the law — Christ kept it for us.” Or so goes a familiar — but erroneous — argument!

This false argument takes the form of many Sunday sermons that, unfortunately, lead many professing Christians away from the truth (Jeremiah 50:6).

Let’s examine the key Bible passage around which the whole question revolves, and see just what Paul meant.

What the Bible doesn’t say

The main verse in controversy is Galatians 3:13: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”

First, let’s notice what this verse does not say:

1) It does not say that if you keep the law you will be under some terrible curse. Just the opposite is true. Satan himself knows that those who keep God’s spiritual law will be richly blessed, and that breaking the law brings a curse upon mankind. Thus the archdeceiver of this world (Revelation 12:9) inspires deceived ministers (II Corinthians 11:13-15) to preach the diabolical lie that keeping God’s law brings a curse.

2) This verse does not say we don’t have to keep God’s spiritual law. The same Paul who wrote Galatians also wrote, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). Paul also said that it is not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law who shall be justified (Romans 2:13).

What, then, is the curse of the law? (more…)

The Death Penalty Versus Euthanasia: One Is Condoned, The Other Condemned

stephenhicks.org

Euthanasia is a hot topic today, and realistically, it is a by-product of 20th century medical success. People who would have died in past times are now kept alive by advanced medical treatments.

Alongside the decision to prolong life, we have come up with  slogans like “the right to die,” “choosing not to suffer,” “death with dignity,” and “doctor-assisted suicide.” These are nothing less than softened expressions which take our mind off what we are really accomplishing! The time-honoured Hippocratic oath upon which the healing medical profession was founded and which in part reads  “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect,” is slowly being discarded in favour of killing people.

What I find highly hypocritical is that the same people who advocate euthanasia will bend over backwards to keep convicted killers alive. Now I know the two issues are separate in people’s minds, as they’ll say one prevents suffering and the other prevents injustice. However, let’s look at the commonality between the two – death at the hand of fellow man.

The Death Penalty Commanded

God, through the Old Testament of the Bible speaks with perfect plainness on the issue of capital punishment: “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exod. 21:12).

Genesis 9:6 and Leviticus 24:17 also give full authority to those sitting in judgment to execute a murderer. Deuteronomy 19:11-13 commands unsparing punishment for such a killer: “…deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.”

The subject has now been taken up in force by the overwhelmingly anti-death-penalty news media. In the growing national debate, death-penalty advocates are being made to look heartless and uncompassionate.

Let’s ask this fundamental question: Is the God of the Old Testament heartless and uncompassionate? The Bible says that God is a God of love (I John 4:8). So how could a loving God actually command putting someone to death?

Actually, when the death penalty is understood from God’s vantage point, it is one of the greatest acts of love there can be toward society—and the condemned criminal. (more…)

February 22, 2011

Did Old Testament Disobedience Result In Great Slaughter From God?

all-history.org

The King James Version states that at the time the ark of the covenant was returned to Israel by the Philistines, God slew 50,070 men because they had looked inside the ark. Many Bible translations and commentaries reject the number 50,070 as inaccurate and unreasonable. They argue that this verse should read that only 70 men were actually killed.

This conclusion, however, is inconsistent with the second part of this verse. The Bible plainly states that “the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a “great slaughter.”

The term “great slaughter” is used many times in the Old Testament to describe military engagements where tens of thousands of soldiers were killed. Notice I Samuel 4, verses 10 and 17, where 30,000 Israelite soldiers died at the hands of the Philistines in a “great slaughter.” Compare also Joshua 10:10, Judges 11:33, and II Samuel 18:7.

Nevertheless, Bible students still find the account of I Samuel 6:19 difficult to accept. The original Hebrew clearly reads “seventy men, fifty thousand men.” Scholars point to the unusual arrangement of the numbers in that the 70 stands before the 50,000. The smaller number appearing first, however, is not an unprecedented arrangement in the Hebrew language. Even the omission of a conjunction between the two numbers does not change the meaning of the original text.

The Bible very precisely states that 50,070 men died in a great slaughter because of the irreverence and presumption of the men of Bethshemesh. The critical arguments of Bible scholars to dismiss the number 50,000 as a scribal error or a deliberate corruption of the text are a misguided attempt to diminish this dramatic account.

November 24, 2010

Proving The Existence of God’s Law

gpcw.org.au

Consider the all-encompassing magnitude of God’s law. It outlines, in broad detail, our right relationship with the true God to receive needed guidance, help and blessings; and also our right relationship towards human neighbours – including parents, children, husband or wife. This law provides for every human need for our own good in a living, active, continuous relationship with the all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving God.

When we mediate fully on the ten commandments, we can see that God provides the means for mankind to have pure religion, happy families, a right social life, and wealthy economies. Never did God intent that His law be oppressive or destructive. In fact, the law can be summed up in one powerful word – love.

Our loving God has given us a law only forbids those things that harm us. God will never force us to keep His law because He has made us free moral agents. God wants us to choose to follow Him and His ways. It is all for our good. Yet, many who call themselves Christians teach that Christ did away with the ten commandments under the New Testament. However, that does not square with Christ’s personal example. (more…)

July 3, 2010

Coveting! The Last…But Not The Least Comandment

Why is it that coveting is not a sin easily recognized? Could it be because, humanly, it is easy to think of the Ten Commandments as descending in order of importance, and to not take the Tenth Commandment as seriously as the nine before it?

The last of God’s Ten Commandments, “You shall not covet” (Ex. 20:17), is just as encompassing and significant as any of the others.

The English word covet in the Bible is translated from seven different words that illustrate the different forms coveting may take. Let’s look at the meanings of these words.

1) That which is not ours. The word usually translated “covet” means to desire in a negative way, to want what is not rightfully ours. This is the Hebrew word used in Exodus 20:17; the verse speaks of our neighbor’s property.

An interesting example of the use of this word is in Exodus 34:24, where God promises ancient Israel: “I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.”

God promised to protect His people’s property from the greed of their neighbors if Israel would obey Him and keep His festivals. When Israel didn’t keep God’s Holy Days, God did not protect them from this basic form of human covetousness (Judg. 2:11-23). (more…)

June 27, 2010

Sin: God's Thoughts Versus Man's

Filed under: Law Of God,Sin — melchia @ 7:21 am

Image Source: Jupiter Images

Over the years, I have heard many version of what sin is supposed to be. Most of them, including versions espoused by mainstream religions, are utterly false.

So, what is sin to you? Would you prefer it to be called something else or does it not matter in the least because it’s an irrelevant concept to you?

When we look at the world and much of the evil within it, we can think we’re okay because perhaps we’re not a murderer. As human beings, we tend to grade sin – we consider ourselves to be “good” if we figure we don’t do anything to harm anyone else, and we consider murderers and the like to be evil and utterly sinful by comparison.

God has no such gradient.  He doesn’t look on sin as we do and judge as we would.  The Bible says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Unless we look to the Bible, we can’t know what sin is. God has to reveal that to us – the carnal mind can never understand what is right or wrong of and by itself.

The table below gives God’s version of sin versus what man teaches. You might be surprised how false your beliefs have been, where they come from and how they originated. It’s an eye opener! (more…)

May 29, 2010

Why Did Christ Come To Earth?

Filed under: Law Of God — melchia @ 6:01 am
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elca.org

Christ came to earth the first time for a great purpose. “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see [or think they see] might be made blind” (John 9:39). Christ came to this world for the purpose of judgment, or justice.

One definition in Thayers Lexicon for judgment is “a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court.”

Christ came to this earth that we “might see” what true justice is and how we are to be judged. This world hated His judgment, or system of justice, and killed Him. But the second time He comes, Christ will enforce His justice based on God’s law of love. He will rule according to what is right and wrong.

Why don’t more religions discuss this justice system. A true Christian is one who follows Christ. If we are Christians, we should seek God’s law and judgment

Christianity is often the greatest hypocrisy of all. People profess it, but they don’t believe in Christ’s message of justice. They talk about Christ, but they don’t teach His judgment or justice based on His law, the Ten Commandments.

Men don’t know what true justice is. But Christ knows and he wants to give sight to the blind. Soon, in your lifetime, Christ will implement His system of justice based on His law, in spite of man’s rebellion.

May 17, 2010

Is Smoking A Sin?

The modern denominational churches of this world refuse to take their religious beliefs and doctrines from the Bible. Rather, they attempted to read their ideas and beliefs into the Bible – by twisting and distorting the word of God, and by taking verses out of context. If we are to find the truth on this subject, we have to find the answer in the Bible.

That’s not to say that smoking is specifically mentioned in the Bible. What is mentioned though is the principle of sin, because it says “sin is the transgression of law” – meaning God’s laws. Now the law of God is always based upon the principle of outgoing love, that is, love towards others. There are also physical laws set in motion within our human bodies by God, to control our state of health.

Smoking is a spiritual sin

When looking at God’s spiritual law, we have to understand that it is divided into two great commandments – love toward God (the first four of the ten), and love to fellow man (the last six commandments). (more…)

May 6, 2010

Freedom Without God's Law Is Enslavement!

Man has searched diligently for the most sought after ideal in history – freedom – yet has never attained it. Why after violent protests, revolutions, struggles, civil and world wars can this elusive quality not be found? They continue to fight for it, but do they really understand it?

Biblically, this is also a major issue. The Apostle Peter talked about freedom to those whose idea of it was in error:

“They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved (II Pet. 2:19).

That may be a strange verse to some, but it makes perfect sense when examined through the lens of God’s wisdom. Take alcohol or drug abuse. Both have staggering price tags, socially and economically. Billions are spent each year to cover health care and welfare services for these problems.  Work productivity plummets, divorce rates climb and crime, automobile accidents injuries, depression and suicide skyrocket. (more…)

April 30, 2010

What Is Truth?

netstint.com

Just before Christ was crucified, Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler over Jerusalem asked a question of Christ that has puzzled mankind for thousands of years. That question was, “What is truth?” It was a good question; a deep question even. But strangely, Christ didn’t answer him. Why not? Did He not have universal truth to give? He sure did, but there was a very specific reason He did not answer.

Many in this world believe the Bible is open to interpretation to anyone professing Christianity. That notion could not be more wrong. Christ did not answer because he had a vile and corrupt ruler in front of Him who hated the law of God. It doesn’t matter if people today say they are Christian; if they do not obey God, they are not Christians – period. We can’t just throw the law of God out the window when the Bible is obviously a book of law from beginning to end. Christ wants us to know that if He’s going to reveal what truth is, that we have to do something. (more…)

April 29, 2010

Aquiring The Ability To Make Satan Flee!

jointventures-empire.com

God only deals with one type of person – he that is humble. That is why the scriptures say God resists the proud (James 4:6). But an often overlooked aspect of this verse is the end part: …”Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

How is this possible? How do we resist Satan? There is only one way to drive this powerful and evil being away. If you submit to God, then Satan will flee from you – because he knows the power of God. Conversely, those that fail to do this will be in bondage to Satan’s desires. God’s will is that we obey Him, in all ways. That includes living by the commandments of God, something to irritates many who profess to walk the Christian life.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.” (Jam. 4:8) (more…)

April 19, 2010

Fulfilling God's Royal Law

Filed under: Law Of God — melchia @ 7:38 am

myspace.com

The book of James is a wonderful book about the Royal Law Of God.  It speaks of the majestic Father and the Son, so it is indeed a “Royal Law.” James 2:8 says:

“If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.”

This verse has a lot of depth. Most commentaries are dishonest when tackling it, saying they can’t be sure which law James refers to. That is why they say it point s only to the last six of God’s Ten Commandments.

Christ described the Ten Commandments as (1) Love to God, and (2) Love to neighbour. Clearly James is quoting from the same law, because when this quote is used by other New Testament writers , they often spell out some or all of the last six commandments (see Matt. 19:16-19). It’s clearly stated that you have to keep the commandments to enter into eternal life.

Many try to deceive themselves into believing the law of God is abolished by the New testament covenant, but this is not so. People who produce the commentaries are supposed to be biblical experts. So when they say they can’t identify the Royal Law, this is nothing more than rank ignorance.

God’s law can be applied everywhere – to all situations. It makes all things work. Take the example of child rearing. Who today understands how to handle children anymore? Many say they do, but they really don’t. They experiment and try things out, hoping to find something that works, but it never does. The behaviour of young people today spells that fact out clearly enough. Without clear guidelines, they go astray.

Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it – fill it to the full (Matt. 5:17). The law becomes even more binding in the New Testament.

God’s law is a law of liberty (Jam. 2:12). When we keep it, it frees us from contention and strife. It frees us from having disorderly children and broken families. It is a law of love. (I John 5:3). That law must dominate our thinking. Keeping it is our ultimate responsibility.

April 18, 2010

Are You A Doer Of God's Word?

Filed under: Law Of God — melchia @ 12:55 am

godwordistruth...

Modern Christianity is all about being hearers of God’s word, but they forget to do, as admonished in James 1:22, 25:

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…”

We have to take the instruction of God and do them, or otherwise we deceive ourselves. James uses “word” and “law” interchangeably. God’s law is the foundation of His word. God here condemns the apostasy of hearing and not doing, allowing lies and deceit, family problems, marriage problems and child rearing problems.

Verses 23-25 tell us that to solve the problem, we have to look into “the perfect law of liberty, freeing ourselves from lies and deceit and anything illicit in our life.

The expression “looketh into” denotes stooping down, seriously examining God’s law. Vincent’s Word Studies says that it implies penetrating, examining or looking into the very essence of the law of God. And the word “mirror” is a metaphor for the law. If you look into that mirror and see some sin in your life, then forgetting about it, you are a forgetful hearer, forgetting it is a way of life. So the emphasis on these verses is being a “doer of the law, to be able to know the Father and the Son.”

Many say they are serious about their religion, but God says it is in vain (Jam. 1:26). They talk themselves out of keeping God’s law in ambiguous ways, searching the scriptures in vain to support their weak doctrines. Yet the Bible is all about keeping the law of God, from beginning to end. This is a provable fact.

Religions without law believe they are doing a work for God – grinding at the mill”so to speak. Yet if it is not done according to God’s expectations, it is for nothing. Merely attaching the name of Christ to disobedience is reasoning around God’s law with their own minds (Jer. 17:9), a dangerous thing to do.

February 18, 2010

What Is The Biblical Definition Of Sin?

Many religions speak of sin, but they don’t know what it is! What is this thing we must all repent of? Some teach that card-playing, gambling, going to movies and dancing are sins. Some say sin is going contrary to your conscience. Others say sin is whatever harms you or others.

But there is no reason to wonder about it. God plainly tells us what sin is. Here is the Bible definition of sin — the only definition that counts: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4, Authorized Version).

But what law? The apostle James explains: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:8-11).

Yes, that’s the same law so many denominations want to get rid of, and nail to the cross -though they are confused as to what was REALLY nailed to the cross. The law that tells us what sin is has points — and if we break one of those several points, we are guilty of all. Two of the points James mentioned say do not commit adultery and do not kill.

Now do you know of a law in the Bible that has points and that says don’t commit adultery and don’t kill? Of course! The Ten Commandments! The Ten Commandments define what sin is. They tell us what we should and should not do.

Therefore when we repent of sin, we repent of breaking God’s law — we repent of transgressing or breaking the Ten Commandments! The first four commandments tell us how to love God, and the last six show us how to love our neighbor. That’s why James called it a “royal law” that is summed up in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

When we break one of the Ten Commandments, we commit sin. And Jesus Christ said that unless we all repent of our sin, we are doomed to perish (Luke 13:3, 5). Perhaps it is time you asked yourself if you have really repented in God’s sight of what God defines as sin.

January 11, 2010

Can Christians Be Saved Without Obeying God's Commandments?

The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Many believe this verse says we don’t have to obey God’s commandments, but that we can still be saved just as long as we believe. Is this right? Not if you understand your Bible!

What do you mean by believe? The word believe implies faith, conviction, trust, certainty.

If we believe on or in Jesus Christ — and, more important, if we believe what He says — we come to know Him. Notice what I John 2:4 says about those who claim to know Jesus Christ: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ ” — that is, he who believes on Christ — “and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

This is about as strong as a verse can get in the Bible. It is also abundantly clear and straightforward. Anyone who says he believes but refuses to obey is a liar, according to God. He doesn’t really believe what Jesus Christ said. What did Jesus say? What did He command us to believe? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15, Authorized Version). The Gospel deals with obedience! Notice:

  • “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
  • “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3).
  • “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).
  • Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? “To those who obey Him” (verse 32).
  • “Faith [belief] without works is dead” (James 2:26).

Why is obedience so necessary? Because “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The law of God is good for you. Sin is bad for you. That’s why Jesus Christ commands you to obey God’s law — it’s for your own good! Will you believe Him?

December 22, 2009

Does Luke 16:16 Prove God's Law Is Abolished Today?

http://www.hem-of-his-garment-bible-study.org - The link between the Old and New Testament is the law of God!

Many make long and eloquent arguements to prove that Luke 16:16 means God’s law has been done away.

“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

Some say the “law and the prophets” is a clear reference to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and that the New Covenant is dramatically different from the ‘ministration written on stones. So here, critics of God’s law wish to separate the Ten Commandments from what they say is a new moral code of the heart. But this is not what Jesus meant at all.

What, then, did Jesus mean by the statement, “The law and the prophets were until John?” When Jesus spoke of the “law and the prophets,” He was referring to the Old Testament, and meant that, until the coming of John the Baptist, the Old Testament scriptures were all that was available. The New Testament had not yet been written. It says nowhere that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God does away with the law of God. In fact, Christ says in the very next verse:

“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail”  (verse 17).

Have the starry heavens or the planet earth passed away? Jesus said it would be easier for them to perish or be destroyed than for even one tiny part of God’s law to pass away! THAT is the clear interpretation, and this is backed up by very clear scriptures throughout the New Testament – scriptures which are conveniently ignored by critics.

Christ is indeed talking about obedience to the law of God. Those who disagree say the Old Covenant is no longer in force, which of course by their interpretation nullifies God’s law through the New Testament covenant. No one can deny that the Old Covenant is dead, but that does not mean the law of God is dead. Let’s explain!

Which laws are in force today?

How can you know which laws are no longer binding today? Which laws are we to observe?

The Bible is a book about law, and even a cursory read of this book shows that Jesus Christ did not come to do away with His Father’s law! You can find many references in the Bible to the Ten Commandments, but you can also read a lot about the statutes and the judgments. Then there are the ceremonial rituals and offerings. But which laws are we supposed to observe today?

The mistake lies in assuming the Ten Commandments make up the Old Covenant and that when Christ came, the New Covenant did away with the Ten Commandments and established only grace and promises.

Another mistake is to assume that the Ten Commandments didn’t even exist until God gave them to Moses on tablets of stone; that are simply part of the ritualistic law of Moses.

To begin to understand the truth about the laws discussed in the Old Testament, we must first establish the fact that God’s law existed long before Moses at Mount Sinai! In fact, God’s law existed long before Adam and Eve. Few people realize this fact.

Statutes and Laws Prior to Moses

Abraham was commended for obeying God’s commandments. But it also said he kept God’s statutes and laws. What was this referring to?

Webster’s Dictionary defines statute as, “an established rule or law.” God’s statutes usually command or forbid certain things, in addition to the Ten Commandments. Gesenius’ Lexicon says this about statutes: “An appointed law, a statute, an ordinance…used of the laws of nature [as prescribed by God]…a custom observed as though it were a law.” God’s statutes are based upon the Ten Commandments.

Judgments are binding decisions by judges based on God’s previously revealed law. These decisions are used to settle similar future disputes and to render a sentence or verdict.

God gave statutes and judgments for the general well-being of the people—for the protection of everyone’s legal rights. They are all based on the principle of love toward God and love toward your neighbor.

The difference between them is summed up in these terms: “In general, the Ten Commandments apply to individual conduct, the statutes to national or church affairs, and the judgments to decisions rendered according to the principle of the Ten Commandments and the statutes.”

Law in effect prior to Moses

God’s law was very much in effect prior to the establishment of His covenant with Israel. God revealed His commands and laws to Israel because during their captivity, Israel had lost much of the knowledge of God’s way. They were in bondage to an idol-worshipping nation (Exodus 16:28). This was said before the nation even reached Mount Sinai! God gave them His truth at Mount Sinai because they had lost it. God had to reveal His law to them again before entering into His covenant with them.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day” (Exod. 16:28-30). God had to remind them that this was holy time and they weren’t to violate it by looking for manna. They had lost the knowledge that it had been established long ago (Gen. 2:2-3). Again, this instruction occurred before the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai.

The commandments were NOT instituted at Mount Sinai and were NOT part of the Old Covenant. So once the New Covenant arrived, it cannot annul what was never ratified under the Old Testament. In other words, the dissolving of the Old Covenant could not destroy what it did not bring into existence! The Ten Commandments, which God gave in written form to Moses on Mount Sinai, were not new. Only the codified form in which God wrote them was new.

What is the law of Moses?

The Bible, on several occasions, refers to the law of Moses, but it never says the law of Moses is the Ten Commandments. The law of Moses comprises the statutes and judgments God gave to Moses to give to the Israelites. The difference between the law of Moses and the law of God is that God spoke the Ten Commandments. Moses delivered the statutes and judgments.

Yet we read in Luke 2:22, 39 that the “law of Moses” is called the “law of the Lord.” This is because all law comes from God. He is the lawgiver. Remember that these statutes and judgments had no sacrifices with them originally. The sacrifices were added later. The law of Moses then had two parts: civil and ritualistic. The part given before the sacrificial laws we are to keep and never forget (Mal. 4:4).

When Christ defined the two great commandments in the law in Matthew 22, He quoted out of the “book of the law” (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5), which we are told to remember. Christians are told to obey these two basic laws which God gave to Moses for the people. The civil law of Moses expounds how the Ten Commandments are to be applied. We are to keep this part, not in the letter only, but now in the spiritual intent, as brought out in Matthew 5-7.

Then why are we told in Acts 15 that the Gentile converts do not have to observe the law of Moses, except for four points? (Acts 15:5, 28-29). The answer is cleared up in Acts 21:21. The law called into question involved the customs, mainly circumcision, which were instituted long before the law of Moses. The spiritual intent is not done away today. Just like the Ten Commandments, they are still in force; but like the Passover, the manner of circumcision has been changed. It is now of the heart (Rom. 2:29).

This controversy did not involve the spiritual intent of the civil law of Moses, but the ceremonial additions to it. These scriptures are not saying that adultery or murder is okay now. The Ten Commandments are not being discussed or done away with here.

The four points mentioned here were originally part of the civil law; but they were also added to the ceremonial law to prevent these pagan customs from being practiced by Israel with their sacrifices. The Gentiles ate their sacrifices with the blood. They strangled their animals, presented them to their idols and committed fornication in their religious ceremonies. Because these four points were also included in the ritual laws, some new converts may have thought they were abolished along with the sacrifices when Christ fulfilled them. So the four points mentioned in Acts 15 had to be specifically declared to still be in effect. They remained binding after the abolition of the physical sacrifices and washings.

The civil laws regulating tithing, clean and unclean meats, sexual cleanliness and the annual Sabbaths, for example, are still in effect for the New Testament Church because they help explain what sin is.

Conclusion

God’s spiritual laws describe God’s character and enable us to know what God is like. Since the character of God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), God’s spiritual law is unchanging. God has lived by this way of love for all eternity.

The only laws that are no longer binding are the ceremonial laws, fulfilled by the sacrifice of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Today we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2) in obedience to God’s eternal spiritual law.

We can’t ignore what Christ told a young man seeking the way to eternal life, “If thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS” (Matt. 19:17). How clear!

December 21, 2009

What Did Paul Mean By The Expression, "The End Of The Law" In Rom. 10:4?

Filed under: Law Of God — melchia @ 11:00 pm
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http://www.ukapologetics.net - Is The Law Of God Really Done Away With, As Many State?

Those who attempt to do away with God’s law often turn to Romans 10:4 to justify their theory. In the previous verse Paul explains how the Pharisees were going about trying to establish their own righteousness, apart from God’s righteousness. They ignored the sacrifice of Christ and thought that mere commandment-keeping would be enough for anyone:

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

But, as Paul points out in verse 4:

“Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

What does “the end of the law” mean? It means the aim, the purpose, the fulness or outcome of the law. Christ in Christians gives the power to keep God’s holy, perfect law, since they lack the spiritual strength, themselves.”

Apart from Christ, no one can manage to keep God’s law in the spirit. By his very nature, man falls far short. But through Christ who strengthens us, we can (Phil. 4:13). The aim or end of the law is to make us like Christ.

This word end, used in Romans 10:4, is also found in James 5:11: “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

Now, did James mean that Christ’s end had come? Of course not. Rather, James explains it himself. They had seen the purpose or aim of the Lord — “that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

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