Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Christian and the Law

Romans so far:  all have sinned and are separated  (Bad News)
                        Forgiveness and reconciliation is available in Christ  (Good News)

Primary focus of Chap. 1 - 7 has been THE problem ...... ie:  SIN 
It has skirted a parallel subject -  ie:  THE  LAW

Rom. 8:1-4 - IF Sin = violation of God's law.... then .... there must be  LAW(S)!!!

So we find "law/s" in Romans more than in any other book!!!  - (74 times)  - most in 1st. 8 chapters.
Why??  Because Paul is focusing on Sin and Sin = violation of the Law

"LAW" used of (1) man's laws (Chapter 13)
                        (2)  physical (natural) laws - Jeremiah - "fixed laws of heaven and earth"
                        (3)  The Mosaic Law - Law of Moses - (God gave to His people through Moses)
                        (4)  The Moral Law

Mosaic Law = the 10 words (commandments) plus - was developed over the years
Moral Law = universal, fixed laws of Right and Wrong - exist eternally and do not change.
(also called God's law, Christ's law, law of the Spirit)

NOTE:  can distinguish between the 2.  BUT cannot completely separate the 2..  Know they will overlap!!

Is a vast subject - so - today = Mosaic Law
                               next week = Moral Law

Definition of "LAW":

(1)  Rules - limits, boundaries, regulations, do's and don't's - (any law)

(2)  Established by an authority - (individual, governing body, majority, etc.)  And that authority has the right to enforce.

(3)  which are obligatory - mandatory, binding, not suggestions!!

(4)  carry a penalty for violation  - (punishment +/or consequences)
(5)  (supposedly) authored for the benefit of society  (household, community, nation)

Now:  Apply definitions to the Mosaic Law 
(1) Rules ?  613 laws
(2)  Authority?  God/YHWH
(3)  Obligatory?  10 Suggestions???
(4)  Penalty?  +/or consequence
(5)  Benefit?  to help God's People .... ISRAEL!!!  - not to harm but to help!
The Jews considered this the Law of God - given to them to obey!!

The Question:  Does the Mosaic law = Rules for Us?  today?
Are we Obliged to them?  or Freed from them?
If freed ... how free?  Example:  the 10 Commandments
If obliged ... how much?  ie:  food laws, etc

The Problem:  Scripture Sometimes indicates are obliged to, and sometimes points to freedom from?

A Helpful division of the Mosaic Law:

CIVIL - (laws)  - to govern society  - examples:  theft, property boundaries, etc.
CEREMONIAL (laws) - priesthood, sacrifice, holy days  (ritualistic laws)
MORAL (laws) - Right and Wrong!

I)  The Civil Laws (of Israel) - we're not obligated to these, but should
    (1)  examine the Moral laws the underlie the Civil laws
    (2)  seek to pattern our civil laws according to those moral laws!!

II.  The Ceremonial Laws - "fulfilled" (completed) in Christ - example:  passover lamb, scapegoat
Matt. 5:17 - He 'filled in' what was lacking!

So.... we are not obligated to the ceremony  However, are obligated to what the ceremony depicts - example:  Passover Lamb - "apply the blood"
The rituals they were obliged to keep were empty pictures.  Christ came and fulfilled these.

III.  The Moral Laws -  stand, unchanged, universal, eternal.  Nowhere have they passed away or changed in any form.
On the one hand, we are NOT obligated to the Mosaic Law
However, are Not free from the Moral Law contained therein!!
Rom. 6:14-15 = contract under law/under grace
(still UNDER .... rule, authority, obligation of grace!!)

Matt. 11:28-30 - change yokes!!!
1 Cor. 9:19-21 = free to practice, not practice Mosaic Law BUT never free from God's Law!!

Note:  what No LAW(s) can do!!!
Rom. 8:3 - Not man's law, Mosaic law, moral law - can never save you eternally.
Salvation is found in Christ Alone!!!

Closing Scripture:  Rom. 3:19-24

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