Are We Christians Still Under the Law, Or Are We Not?

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Q: Are We Christians Still Under the Law, Or Are We Not?

Some claim we are still bound by the original 10 Commandments, while others claim they have been set aside. Where in the new testament does it say that you can just dismiss and forget about all the rules in the old testament?
What’s a person to believe, and why?

A: It’s best to approach these things logically and carefully.

The first question to ask is this: Why would we have even needed a Holy Redeemer, along with a whole New Covenant, if the old one was intended to be permanent (lasting until the end of time) and salvific (capable of getting one into Heaven)?

Then there’s the famous “jot or tittle” passage, beginning with Matthew Chapter 5, verse 17:

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Matthew 5:18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. 

Please note that everything in the above verse is CONDITIONED on Jesus’ statement “TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.”

To say it another way, Jesus didn’t come to destroy anything. He came to fulfill. And once something has been fulfilled, it is typically set aside, while we progress to bigger and hopefully, better things.

But so there would be no mistake as to who Jesus is, and why he was sent, he explained that IF he did not fulfill all things, then we would CERTAINLY be stuck with the curse of the law, until the end of time.

In fact, Jesus confirmed that he had fulfilled all things on several different occasions.

Early in his public ministry

Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other: or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Luk 16:14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
Luk 16:15 And he said to them: you are they who justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts. For that which is high to men is an abomination before God.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the kingdom of God is preached:and every one useth violence towards it.
Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fall.

From the Cross, at Calvary: 

Joh 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.
Joh 19:26 When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.
Joh 19:27 After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
Joh 19:28 Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.

After he rose again from the dead:

Luk 24:44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
Luk 24:46 And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.

There’s an interesting correlation with Moses and the Promised Land here, too.

The stated reason for Moses not being able to enter the Promised Land was his impertinence in striking the Rock (from which water flowed) more than once.

In keeping with the spirit of prophecy, and engaging in a little conservative biblical exegesis, it’s quite likely that another reason Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land (the Promised Land being a metaphor for Heaven) is because Moses, the Law Giver, couldn’t get anyone into the Promised Land of Heaven, since the Law was never intended to be salvific, in the first place.

It was faithful Joshua, who got to lead the Israelites across the Jordan, which was “stopped up” for that purpose, by the power of God.

Grace, plus faith did it. Not any law.

Same thing today … as typically obtained through baptism into the only Church that Jesus ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation … the Catholic Church. 

Click this link for a complete list of Catholic Church teachings on the matter. 

2 Comments

  1. Doug,

    You understand something that many people miss. The law never could save. It was not intended to. Abraham “believed God” and it was accounted to him as righteousness. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord….Job knew that “my redeemer lives”. Not one person was ever saved by keeping a commandment. We trust in Him for our salvation. But like the song says…we shoudl trust AND OBEY for there is no other way…

    Jesus is our example and He kept God’s Commandments perfectly. As His disciple…one who imitates his Master…I strive to obey God as well. It’s not leglalism…it’s called obedience. Heaven and earth are still here….so is God’s Torah.

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1john 5:3 That’s new testament stuff by the way!

    Thanks for listening…

    Newcolors

  2. Brother,
    You explained this ongoing division about the “old covenant” verses the “new covenant” very well. Thank you.
    P.S. His church is not one particular denomination with one particular name. Man would like to have it that way, but God is way bigger than that. He cannot be confined to a box. I hope you come to this understanding soon someday.
    Bless you!


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