Did the Messiah abolish God's laws when He died on
the cross? This is a common teaching in the
church today, but is it true? God must have
had a reason for giving us His law, but what was it?
To answer these questions we need to turn to the
scripture. After all, the, "scripture is [not]
of any private interpretation" (2 Pet. 1:20).
We need to understand the place of God's law from
His perspective and not ours. First, let us
look at a warning from the Messiah Himself. In
Matthew chapter 24 the Messiah is warning His
disciples concerning the last days. He warns
them of "false prophets" who will
In Matt. 24:11 the Messiah states, "And many false
prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
In the last days there will be false prophets that
will preach deception. The question to ask is,
what is this deception? He answers this in the
very next verse. In Matt. 24:12 He states,
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many
shall wax cold." The word "iniquity" is
the Greek word anomia which literaly means,
"illegality, that is, violation of law" (Strong's
Concordance - G458). The Messiah warns us to
beware of false prophets (false preachers) who
deceive many. The result of their deception is
lawlessness. Isn't this exactly what today's
church preaches? It seems the number one
doctrine taught in churches today is that we are
"under grace" and not "under law." Their
understanding of not being "under the law" is that
we no longer need to practie God's law, but is this
the correct understanding? Perhaps we should
be aware of the Messiah's warning and, "Prove (test)
all things; [and] hold fast that which is good" (2
Thess. 5:21). The intent of this article is to
identify the purpose of God's law and determine if
it is still in force today.
commonly stated that the New Testatament (Covenant) has
removed God's law and replaced it with grace. However,
this is simply not true. One of the first times the New
Covenant is mentioned in the scripture is in Jeremiah
31:31-34. Here God tells us that He plans to make a
"new covenant" with the house of Israel where He will,
[His] law in their inward parts, and write it in their
hearts." This does not say He will get rid of His law,
but will put His law in our hearts. It is the same
law, not a different law. In Isaiah 42:21, God said
the Messiah will "magnify the law, and make it honourable."
These two prophesies seem to support a New Covenant with a
Messiah that endorses God's law, not abolishes it.
When this Messiah finally came, did the Messiah say He was
getting rid of the Law? On the contrary, He directly
stated the opposite. In Matt. 5:17-18 the Messiah
stated, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the
prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For
verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot
or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all
be fulfilled." This verse alone should be enough to
demonstrate that the Law of God is still in force today.
If you are standing on the earth and there is a sky above
you, God's law is still here. Unfortunately, this
verse is not enough to convince everyone.
What did the Apostle Paul say?
Apostles also said much concerning the Law of God.
Many espouse the Apostle Paul as saying the law is
abolished, but this could not be further from the truth.
In Rom. 3:31 the Apostle Paul asks, "Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the
law." Faith does not get rid of the law, it
establishes it. The Greek word for establish is
histēmi which literally means
"to stand . . . abide,
appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay,
present, set up, stanch, stand by, forth, still, up"
(Strong's Concordance - G2476). This clearly shows
Paul's position on God's law. His position is that
God's law still "stands." He also stated later in Rom.
7:12 that, "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and
just, and good." Comments like these make it hard
to say that the Law of God is abolished. To
further understand the Apostle Paul's position on
the law we need to first understand what sin is. In 1
John 3:4, the Apostle John defines sin by stating that, "sin
is the transgression of the law." With this definition
of sin, let us read Rom. 6:1-2; "What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin [breaking God's law], that grace
may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to
sin [breaking God's law], live any longer therein?"
Many in the church today say we are allowed to break God's
law, but sin is still wrong. How can this make sense
if we use the Apostle's definition of sin. This is
like saying "we are allowed to break God's law, but we are
not allowed to break God's law." Paul also reminds his
readers to "walk in the spirit" multiple times (Rom. 8:1,
Rom. 8:4, 2 Cor. 12:18, Gal. 5:16, Gal. 5:25). The
question I have is, what does "walk in the spirit" mean?
God explains to us what walking in the spirit means in Eze.
36:27 when He said; "And I will put my spirit within you,
and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my
judgments, and do them." To walk in God's Spirit means
to "walk in [His] statutes" and to "keep [His] judgments,
and do them." It is clear that Paul supports God's
Do we practice all or just the 10?
Many in the church today say we only have to follow
the moral laws (10 Commandments) and do not have to
follow the ceremonial laws. Is this what the
Messiah taught? Remember what He said in Matt.
5:18. He said not, "one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass from the law." One jot
and one tittle would include every statute,
judgments, and commandment in the scriptures.
To further support this He continued in Matt. 5:19
by saying, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of
these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he
shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same
shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
This is a great statement to demonstrate the place
of God's law. God's law does not bring
salvation, but sanctification. It defines how
God wants us to act. Those who don't practice
the least commandments and teach others the same,
can enter the kingdom of heaven, but will be
called least in the kingdom. Those who practice and
teach the least commandments will be called great in the
kingdom of heaven. What are these "least
commandments?" Are there least commandments within the
ten commandments? Is thou shalt not steal or murder a
least commandment? I propose that the least
commandments are the ones mentioned least in the scriptures
such as the prohibition against wearing mixed fabric (Lev.
19:19, Deut. 22:11) or the writing of the ten commandments
on your gates and doors (Deut. 6:9, Deut. 11:20).
These seem like simple enough laws to follow, but no one in
today's church even considers following such laws.
Just because we might not know why God wants us to follow
such a law does not excuse us from following it.
What did the Apostle John say?
Apostle John also supported the following of God's law.
In 1 John 2:3-4 the Apostle states, "And hereby we do know
that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that
saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a
liar, and the truth is not in him." To know the
Messiah is to "keep his commandments." The Messiah
confirms this in Matt. 7:22-23 when He said, "Many will say
to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name
done many wonderful works? And then will I profess
unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
iniquity" (anomia -
is, violation of law - Strong's Concordance - G458).
Those who do not know the Messiah do not practice His law.
The Apostle John also stated later in the same epistle, "And
whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his
commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his
sight. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth
in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in
us, by the Spirit which he hath given us" (1 John 3:22-24).
God will reward us with "whatsoever we ask" if we
commandments." John concluded this epistle by stating,
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we
love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the
love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his
commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3). If we
want to demonstrate our love for God we need to keep His
commandments. Parents can understand this.
Parents know that when their children keep the fifth
commandment to "Honour
thy father and thy mother" by doing as they are told, then
the child is demonstrating love for their parents.
The same is true for us. If we love God we will do
what He says.
The evidence is clear. The New
Testament supports the practice of God's law for today and
forever. After all, God did state that His law was "for
ever" (Ex. 12:14-17, Ex. 12:24, Ex. 27:21, Ex. 28:43, Ex.
29:28, Ex. 30:21, Ex. 31:16-17, Lev. 10:15, Lev. 16:29-31,
Lev. 23:21, Lev. 23:31, Lev. 24:8, Deut. 5:29, Deut. 11:1, 2
Chron. 2:4, and many, many more). The question then
is, why do so many believe that God's law has been
abolished? Where do these "false prophets" get this
from? There are some passages in the scripture that
may sound like it is saying that God's law is abolished, but
a careful study demonstrates otherwise. Most of these
passages are written by the Apostle Paul. It is
important to keep in mind that
the Apostle Peter gave us a warning
regarding the writings of the Apostle Paul. Peter
said, "And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as
salvation, as our beloved brother Paul also has written to
you according to the wisdom given to him as also in all his
letters, speaking in them of these things;
in which are some things hard to
be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as
also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own
destruction" (2 Pet. 3:15-16).
Remember, Peter is not refuting the writings of
Paul, but warning us to make sure we have a correct
understanding. Peter says the "unlearned and
unstable pervert" the scriptures, which implies that
Paul was apparently learned and stable. We
might ask, what was Paul learned and stable in?
Here is a quick resume of the Apostle Paul; he was
"Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews;
as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal,
persecuting the church; touching the righteousness
which is in the law, blameless" (Phil. 3:5-6), and
educated at the "feet of Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3).
The Apostle Paul was well educated in the Mosaic
law. He would be what we would call today a
prosecuting attorney for he was sent out by the High
Priest to prosecute the church (Acts 9:1-2).
We, however, have a hard time understanding his
writings because we are "unlearned and unstable" in
the Mosaic law. Those who say Paul advocated
the abolishment of the Mosaic law are "unlearned and
unstable" in that law. It is important for us
to use the Mosaic law to properly understand
Paul's writings. In so doing we will see that he never
once advocated the abolishment of God's law, but rather
endorsed the proper understanding and practice of it.
Below are some links to articles explaining some of these
"hard to be understood" passages, but if you would
like to gain understanding, God tells us in Psalm
111:10 that "a good understanding have all they that
do his commandments." If you start doing His
commandments, you just might start understanding why
He told us to.
Colossians 2 -
(Is the Law nailed to the cross
- (What are the
ordinances that are abolished?)
Book of Galatians - (Which law
is Paul writing about?)
- (Holy Days/Dietary laws)
1 Timothy 4
- (The Levitical Priesthood)
The Sacrificial System
- (What is it?)
2 Corinthians 3
- (What was done away with?)
- (Grace to Learn God's Law)