Christians and the Law of Moses

Christians and the Law of Moses

©2003 www.SpiritAndTruth.org1

Since the 'law' is based upon the Mosaic Covenant, it is important to understand the relationship between the different covenants of the Old Testament and their application to Israel and to believers who are 'sons of Abraham' by faith (Ga 3:7).

  1. The Old (Mosaic) covenant was conditional and was broken by Israel. (Jer 31:32).

  2. The New Covenant was made with the same people (Israel) as the Mosaic Covenant (Jer 31:32-33).

  3. The Old Covenant is obsolete and vanishing (Heb 8:13). People of faith are no longer under it (Ga 3:25; Ga 5:18).

  4. Salvation is by faith based on participation in the Abrahamic Covenant--which preceded the Mosaic Covenant and was not annulled by it (Ga 3:7-18). Gentiles participate in the blessing of Abraham (Ge 12:3) via faith in Christ (Ga 3:8,Ga 3:14) who fulfilled the law (Mt 5:17). The Abrahamic Covenant is not abolished by the passing away of the Mosaic Covenant (Ga 3:17).

  5. Gentiles were strangers from the covenants (plural), having no hope and without God. Christ abolished in His flesh the law of commandments (the Mosaic Covenant, which separated Jews from Gentiles) creating one new man--the church (Eph 2:12-15).

  6. The covenants given to Israel which remain in effect include the Abrahamic Covenant (Ge 12:1-3; Ge 15:1-21) and the three covenants which spring forth from it: the Land Covenant (Ex 6:4; De 29:1-12), the Davidic Covenant (2Sa 7:8-17; 1Ch 17:9-16; Ps 89:19-51; Ps 132:10; Lu 1:32-33), and the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-40; Mt 26:28; Mr 14:24; Lu 22:14-20; Ro 11:26-27).

  7. The law was meant to expose our sin (Ro 3:19; Ro 5:20; Ro 7:7), guide us, and point us to Christ (Ga 3:19-25).

  8. The law is an all-or-nothing proposition. Those who would seek to be justified by the law have become estranged from Christ (Ga 3:10; Ga 5:3-4; Jas 2:10).

  9. No one is justified (declared righteous) by the law (Ga 3:11). Justification has always been by faith in God based on the work of Christ (Ge 15:6; Ga 3:6).

  10. Believers are now subject to the law of Christ, the law of the Spirit (Ro 8:2; 1Co 9:21; Ga 6:2; Jas 1:25; Jas 2:12).

An Antidote for Christian Legalism

Our pride and our flesh cry out for the bondage of legalism! We are constantly looking back over our shoulders to Egypt, allowing subtle but dangerous aspects of legalism and works-based thinking to erode our freedom in Christ. In a way reminiscent of how Christ nailed the law to the cross (Col. 2:14) believers should should nail (!) these passages from God's Word to their refrigerator:2

1Copyright © 2003 Verbatim copying of this document for non-commercial use is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

2New King James Bible. TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982. Tony Garland ( Page 2 of 2