The Law of Moses
By the phrase "law of Moses" is meant all that was revealed through
Moses. The New Testament treats it with great fullness and perpiscuity:
- Typical Aspects. The law of Moses was only the shadow of good
Things to come (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1).
- Fulfillment. Jesus Christ declared His intention to
Fulfill every word of the law (Matthew 5:17,18), and He did it (Luke 24:44).
- Its Weakness. The law could not,
- bring about justification (Acts 13:39);
- produce righteousness (Galatians 2:21);
- produce life (Galatians 3:21);
- bring about perfection (Hebrews 7:19);
- or free the conscience from a knowledge of sin (Hebrews 10:1-4).
- Impossible for All Men to Keep It. The law was given to and for
Israel only (Exodus 19:1-20:17; Malachi 4:4; John 1:1-17). Take two proofs of this:
- All the males of the Hebrews were commanded to appear before the Lord at a designated place three times a year (Exodus 23:14-17; Exodus 12:4-16);
- those to whom the law was given were commanded, on penalty of death, not to kindle a fire throughout their habitation on the sabbath day (Exodus 35:1-3).
- Abolishment of the Law. It is declared,
- that the law is abolished (2 Corinthians 3:6-13; Ephesians 2:15);
- that Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4);
- that it was the ministration of death (Exodus 32:1-28), and that it is "done away" (2 Corinthians 3:7);
- that Jesus took away the first that He might establish the second (Hebrews 10:5-9);
- that it was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-16);
- that those who had been under it had been delivered from it (Romans 7:6);
- that they were dead to it (Romans 7:4);
- that they were not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14);
- that they were no longer under the schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24,25);
- that they were not required to serve the law (Acts 15:1-24; Galatians 3:19);
- that the Christian who sought justification under the law had fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4);
- and that now the righteousness of God is revealed without the aid of the law (Romans 3:21,22).
- Contrasted with the Gospel.
- The law was intended for one nation--Israel (Exodus 20:1-17 Malachi 4:4); the gospel of Christ is intended for the whole creation (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16).
- The first covenant was dedicated with the blood of animals (Exodus 24:6-8), the new covenant was dedicated with the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18,19).
- The first institution was administered by frail men--the Levites (Leviticus 16:1-34; Hebrews 7:11-23); the second is administered by Jesus Christ, who was made priest, not by carnal commandment, but "after the power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16).
- Circumcision in the flesh was a sign of the first (Genesis 17:1-14; Leviticus 12:1-13); circumcision in the heart and spirit is the sign of the second (Romans 2:25).
- The law of Moses guaranteed to the obedient Hebrews temporal blessings (Deuteronomy 28:1-6); the gospel of Christ guarantees spiritual blessings to those who live up to its requirements (1 Peter 1:4).
- The law of Moses guaranteed to the Hebrews the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 30:5-10); the gospel guarantees eternal life beyond the grave to those who honor the Lord (1 John 5:20).
- The law of Moses required obedience to the one true God (Exodus 20:1-5); the gospel emphasizes the Fatherhood of God (Matthew 6:9).
- The law of Moses prohibited the people from taking the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20:7); the gospel requires that out communications be "yea" and "nay", declaring that everything beyond is evil (Matthew 5:37).
- The law of Moses required the Hebrews to remember the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11); in apostolic times, the people of God remembered the Savior in the feast that He ordained (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29) on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
- The law of Moses required children to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12); the gospel requires children to obey their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4).
- The law of Moses prohibited murder (Exodus 20:13); the gospel prohibits hatred (1 John 3:15).
- The law of Moses forbade adultery (Exodus 20:14); the gospel prohibits even lust (Matthew 5:28).
- The law of Moses prohibits stealing (Exodus 20:15); the gospel prohibits stealing and requires benevolence (Ephesians 4:28).
- The law of Moses forbade the bearing of false witness (Exodus 20:16); the gospel requires us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
- The law of Moses prohibited covetousness (Exodus 20:17); the gospel requires us to do good unto men according to our opportunities (Galatians 6:10), and love our neighbors as ourselves (Romans 13:10;