Sunday, April 26, 2009

Applying the Law of Moses

It has been a really long time since I have posted anything. I went to North Carolina for almost a week for Awana Summit. God really blessed the trip. Christina received a gold medal for a sign language fine arts thing she did. Jonathan received silver for his piano piece. Christina also got silver for Bible Quiz. Overall, the Lord really blessed. It was a whole lot of fun. I got to see many old friends and met several new friends.

We have been studying the law at church... actually, just getting into it. Today was kind of an overview of how to study the law and I found it extremely helpful and I think you will as well.

The law (first five books of the Old Testament) tends to be quite unstudied even by those of us that have grown up in the church. We know that all scripture is inspired and is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16), but we find it hard to apply the Old Testament law. We know we should obey the commandments to not steal, not murder, not covet, etc., but how about those other sacrifices and feasts and everything? Can we just pick and choose what we think applies and what we think doesn't apply? Is some of God's Word void now? The New Testament makes it clear that the Old Covenant has been fulfilled in the person hood of Christ. Let's take a look at how these things apply.

God's Word is anything but void! You might be shocked, but all of scripture applies to today. No, I'm not saying go find a lamb and slaughter it, but the principles apply completely. We can't throw out any of scripture, but rather look for the principles in it. How do we know if we should obey it as written... "thou shalt not covet" for example... or if we should apply the principle of the instructions for a sacrifice for example? Sometimes the principles are at surface level such as "love your neighbor as yourself", other times it is buried deep and it takes much work to find the application for it. The principles in the Old Testament law will be clearly reflected and supported elsewhere in Scripture, including the New Testament. This is how we know if the principle is on the surface level or if we need to dig down deep to find it. Regardless, it all applies. We can't just go read Leviticus and expect to get everything from it by reading a chapter for five or ten minutes. It takes work... hard work. Practically speaking, we should look for:

1. What did this mean for the people in those days?
2. How did this help them love God?
3. How did this help them love others?
4. How does this apply to me now?

I would encourage everyone to read and study the Old Testament law and to dig deep and find out how it applies now... and then apply it! There are likely to be many things that Christians debate about within these texts, but we are encouraged by Paul to not make these matters of worthless arguments. There is nothing wrong with discussing these things, in fact, I'd encourage you to do so, but there is a point where things that are not completely clear can cause division. This ought not be the case. You might be interested in reading Acts 15 to see how the early church dealt with some of these issues. We are no longer under the requirements of the Old Testament law, but it still has application to the here and now!

2 comments:

Sir Emeth Mimetes said...

Greetings,

Bravo! Good article, Daniel. I have been really studying the OT Mosaic Law for a while now. I am gradually getting a grip on it, I think. I am studying it to learn more about how we ought to structure a NT civil government. A hard subject to study.

There is a lot to learn about immigration, justice systems, crime, and many other things in there. Studying Hebrews, Galatians, and Romans at the same time is really helpful.

Have you done much studying on the curious punishment "cut off?"

With joy and peace in Christ,
Sir Emeth Mimetes

Elliot said...

Thanks Daniel. I've wondered about that too, and those are some very helpful tips/guidelines.

God bless!