Before we look next week at the first commandment, we need to clarify something pretty important: Are we bound by the Ten Commandments? Is this Law still in force for us today?
Most of us say “yes.” But didn’t Jesus come to fulfill the Law? Didn’t He accomplish the Law for us in our place? So doesn’t that make the Law no longer in effect for believers?
What about the other commands in Exodus?
Exodus 21:15 – Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.
Exodus 22:25 – If you lend money, you shall not exact interest.
Leviticus 11:7 – The pig is unclean. You shall not eat it.
About mixing two types of clothing? About stoning an adulteress? All the Laws about temple worship? Are those laws still in effect?
How do you distinguish between the laws of the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments? Why are the Ten Commandments still valid?
We need to make a distinction between the three types of laws in the Old Testament. The first type is ceremonial. These are the laws governing the temple worship and the way we are to approach God. They have to do with the layout of the temple, the ways a person must be purified, the sacrificial system. We don’t sacrifice animals today because Jesus has come, the perfect sacrifice. He, in his death on the cross, fulfilled the ceremonial law.
The second type is civil law. These laws covered the specific laws for the nation of Israel. They are about taxes, charging interest, punishing sin. The civil law has been fulfilled by Christ in that God’s Kingdom has been extended to all nations, transcending national identity. We are no longer bound by the laws of Israel.
The third type is moral law. The Ten Commandments fall into this category. These are laws that transcend the civil and ceremonial laws. Yes, Jesus fulfilled the moral law, just as he did the other two, but we are now free to follow this Law. They are still in effect, because they are a reflection of God’s moral character, and that does not change.
written by Trevin Wax © 2007 Kingdom People blog