And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. (Deuteronomy 5:1-4)
Six Facts About The Law Of Moses
The Bible is a book of books containing sixty-six different books written over a span of 1500 years. There is harmony and unity in all its pages as the Holy Spirit directed men through the generations preserving the word of God. Only through the power of God is the message of redemption preserved in these sixty-six books so that man can read and understand the truth that will save him. One of the most important lessons about the Bible is to read it with the proper perspective. This is especially true when reading about the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments. There is no difference between the Law and the Commandments as they are all contained in the same body of law given to the nation of Israel. Many in the religious world today do not see how the Law of Moses is no longer a binding source of authority as they still cling to various precepts including the Ten Commandments. There are six points about the Law of Moses that must be understood.
1 – The Law of Moses did not come into being until the Hebrews became a nation as recorded in the book of Exodus. Genesis is the book of “beginnings” describing the beginning of the world, the home and the nations of the world. It is difficult to determine how many thousands of years are contained in Genesis but there were many, many generations before the story of the Law of Moses comes into focus. When Cain killed Abel he did not break one of the Ten Commandments. Murder was a sin long before the Law of Moses was given. Noah witnessed the entire world destroyed because the people were so wicked the Lord brought the great flood. No one in the days of Noah broke the Ten Commandments because it was not written at the time. Abraham was never accountable to the Law of Moses and was found justified before God.
2 – The Law of Moses was only given to the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt under Moses. This law did not apply to the nation of Egypt or the nations they were to conquer in their quest of the Promised Land. Moses reminded the people the Lord made a covenant with them in Horeb and this was a law for the Israelites. At Mt. Sinai the people were told they would be a special people above all of the earth if they would keep the covenant between them and God. The Hebrews agreed and entered into a covenant with the Lord as a nation. Israel was the only nation given the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments.
3 – The Gentiles were not required to keep the Law of Moses. It is necessary to see the Law of Moses was not a universal law that all men were obligated to obey. The Chinese nation had been in existence for thousands of years but the Law of Moses did not apply to them. Paul’s argument in Romans 4 explains how that Abraham was not accountable to the Law of Moses and yet he was found righteous and justified before the Lord. How could that be if he was not under the Law of Moses? Abraham was saved because of his faith and obedience to God and not through the Law of Moses. Jonah preached to the Gentile city of Nineveh. He did not require them to become followers of the Law of Moses but (like Abraham) the Ninevites were told to repent. And they did. Gentiles could proselyte into the law if they desired to live under the Law of Moses. Salvation for the Jew came through the Law and salvation for the Gentile came from ‘Abrahamic faith.’
4 – God promised a new covenant during the days of the prophets. Jeremiah taught the people as the nation of Israel was being carried away to Babylonian captivity. The pre-exilic prophets spoke of the word of the Lord going to the Gentiles. This promise was first seen in the Garden of Eden when the promise of a Seed was given and then confirmed through Abraham. The Seed is Jesus Christ as the message of salvation was brought to all men – Jew and Gentile. Jeremiah spoke of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31) and the Hebrew writer confirmed this new covenant with better promises, a better priesthood and a better sacrifice. If there had been nothing wrong with the Law of Moses there would have been no need to seek another law. The Law of Christ proved the Gentile could not save himself by himself and the Jew could not save himself by keeping the Law.
5 – Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill the Law of Moses. One of the clear teachings of Jesus during His ministry was to show how that He would take away the Law; not by destroying it but by living the Law of Moses with perfection. It was within the power of Jesus to simply remove the Law because He was the author of the Law. This would not show the purpose of the Law or the eternal plan of God to save all men – Jew and Gentile. Jesus lived under the Law of Moses and never broke one single law. He fulfilled the law by breaking the curse of the Law (Galatians 3).
6 – The New Testament shows the abolishment of the Law of Moses and the union of the Gentile to the redemptive plan of God. On the day of Pentecost, the Jews were ushered into the kingdom of God. When Peter taught Cornelius (a Gentile) the gospel, he opened up the doors of the kingdom to Gentiles. Under Christ all men (Jew and Gentile) could find salvation. The Law of Moses was abolished (Ephesians 2:15), and taken out of the way (Colossians 2:14). Paul reminds the Romans that all men had been delivered from the Law (Romans 7:6-7). The Hebrew writer describes a new priesthood annulling the priesthood of the Law of Moses (Hebrews 7:11-19). With a change in the priesthood the Law changed. One of the great problems in the First Century were Jews trying to bind the Law of Moses as a part of salvation; circumcision. In numerous passages, the apostle Paul refutes the importance of circumcision (Galatians 6:11-15). Taking circumcision away removes the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments.
The sacrifice of Jesus brings all men to Him for the cleansing power of His blood. There was a purpose and design for the Law of Moses (Galatians 3) but the Law (with the Ten Commandments) has no authority today. If a man steals he does not break the Ten Commandments because that law has been abolished. Sin is a transgression of the law of God. Salvation will only come through Jesus Christ who is the only way, the only truth and the only life. His law is what saves man (Galatians 3:26-29). Not the Law of Moses.