Posts tagged ‘Moral Law’

​Peace, on whose terms?

Isaiah 2
2 Now it will come about that in the last days The Mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
5 Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

There is a lot of meaning in the above verses, which I would like to exposit for you as your spiritual manna (Exo 16:15/Luke 22:19), out of my love for the Lord Jesus (John 21:15-17). Verse 2 needs to be understood in the context of Dan 2:45 & Heb 8:10-11, which in the light of Col 1:16-20 says that God is going to increase His righteousness upon the earth with time, till all the earth is filled with the knowledge of God (Hab 2:14) and unbelief will be an insignificant minority. Verse 3 needs to be looked at in the context of Rev 22:17 and Mat 28:18-20, which speaks about the Holy Spirit calling the people to hear the preaching and the teaching of the Gospel. Speaking about Law, we ought to understand that there are three aspects of Law i.e. Judicial Law, Ceremonial Law and Moral Law. The Judicial Law is what is given the State to maintain Law and Order in society, while the Ceremonial Law was given the Old Testament Church as pointing to the redemptive work of Christ, while the Moral Law is the standard given every believer to live by. Today, very few Churches have such an understanding of Law, for most Churches in holding to Christ and rightfully doing away with the Ceremonial Law (Heb 10:1-7), they unwittingly reject the Moral Law and the authority of the State concerning the Judicial Law as well, owing to their poor understanding of the Bible. The Moral Law is the very character of God, as described in Psalm 119, which goes from Alef to Tav (Old Testament Hebrew)… like the Alpha and the Omega (New Testament Greek) we are familiar with in ascribing to the Lord Jesus (Rev 1:8). When the Law goes forth in verse 3 i.e. God’s word goes forth from Zion, we know that those who receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour shall glorify His grace and mercy (John 3:16) but those who refuse Him shall glorify His wrath and justice (John 3:18/Rom 2:12) because God’s Word shall not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). Every believer taken from the family of Adam and grafted to the Church, inherits this nature of God in being conformed to the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29). This is the very purpose of every human being, who are all made in the image of God, broken in Adam but restored to all godly fullness in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is from here we understand that if there is to be peace in the world, it can only be on God’s terms and never our own but this peace is what God is going to bring about by His might because nothing in creation exist which does not serve His righteous purpose and so as the Church is given to walk by faith and not mere sight (2Cor 5:7), we learn from verse 5 to walk in the light of His promise concerning Salvation because Salvation is not based on merits of depraved men (Psalm 49:7-15) but on the saving merits of the righteous Jesus Christ (Rev 5:7-12).

Psalms 37
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Mat 5
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

John 1 (in reference to Jesus)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Concerning our adoption into the family of God, we understand from scripture that this is according to the will of God. If believing in the Lord Jesus Christ was something established purely on a person’s free will then that person would never be a new creation in Christ (2Cor 5:17) and could never conform to the likeness of Christ nature unless there is a complete change in the orientation of his/her desires, where a person no longer delights in pleasing himself/herself but his/her delight is in the Lord, which is what being born from above is all about (John 3:3). If we understand the implications of the fall of Adam and Original Sin, we then recognize that the reason each person is self-serving naturally from birth is because each person is a law to themselves. Thankfully the Sovereign will of God presides over our free will and so we have institutions like the State in place, which is given to function by the Judicial Law and this is what keeps unbelievers in check from the fear of being apprehended by the Law but as for the believer, he/she is given the very Moral law of God as his/her own nature/character and so he has nothing to fear from the Judicial Law because unlike the world fallen in Adam (1Tim 1:8-9), his/her desire is not sin in pleasing of self at all costs but his/her desire is God in exercising the righteousness of God.

Mat 10
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

The Moral Law as taught to us in Exodus 20:1-17 and Mat 22:36-40 says we ought to love God first and second love our neighbour at par with ourselves. However, the citizens of the world in their unbelief do not see God as first but themselves and so everything else and every other person is nothing more than the means they use to serve themselves. We ought to understand that people in their unbelief are incapacitated from finding security in God, instead people find security in the masses and so they are ok doing wrong and believing in a bunch of lies as long as they have many people with them doing the same thing. These fools are not accountable to God, they are unreasonably accountable to only themselves and that is why they live as they please. Take the instance of the Parable of the Vine-growers (Mark 12:1-12), the defaulting tenants here are the unbelievers who go about life with their poor stewardship over the earth, as coming from their refusal of God and when the real stewards show up these defaulting tenants give in to their destructive nature and act maliciously towards the adopted sons of God who are the real heirs of the earth, because Adam’s failed stewardship upon the earth is restored to only those who are in Christ.

John 15
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

As much as a thief hates being called a thief and a homosexual likes being called gay, we ought to understand that the world hates the truth about themselves but will God cease to exist so as to allow the world to continue living by their foolish lies just as they so please, that will verily not happen and so we ought to understand that the world hates the Church & God, only because we reveal to them that they are on the highway to hell. So peace can never be on the terms of every individual in this world because they are each a law to themselves in their broken communion with God i.e. their righteousness of self is not the righteousness of God thanks to the fall to Adam, who relieved himself of the righteousness of God to receive to himself and for his posterity a righteousness of their own (Gen 3:1-6). The reason God put the Judicial Law in place (1Tim 1:8-9), is because from the world’s self-righteousness comes the world’s desire for anarchy and death. It is no wonder that the people of the world are fascinated with substance-abuse which throws them out of the control while near-death experiences proves to be their entertainment because it feeds their appetite for death and anarchy with such a godless rush. It is for reasons such as these that peace can never be on the terms of self-seeking men/women who sabotage what is good; on the contrary peace is on the terms of God’s righteousness and so for peace to exists there is need for truth and revelation of God, which is where the Word of God comes in (Rom 10:17), in tutoring us about the saving merits of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:26).

Hebrews 4
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

2Tim 3
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

To conclude, we know from John 1:1-18 that the Word of God, is God i.e. Jesus Christ. We also know from John 4:24 that God is Spirit and from 2Tim 3:16-17 that scripture is God breathed, meaning it is the very life-giving breath of God that gives every believer life in Christ (John 20:22), which was formerly lost for all in Adam (Gen 2:7,17). So I would close by echoing the fact that this peace of God, which am talking about is not going to be brought by the willingness of men but by the mighty nature of God. This peace that God is going to usher into this world is metaphorically described in Isaiah 11: 1-11, which I would strongly advise you to read. The Stump of Jesse or the Root of Jesse in Isaiah 11 bears reference to the Lord Jesus Christ (since the Messiah was prophesied to come from the lineage of David), while the Mountain of the Lord bears reference to the people of God i.e. His Church, which will be firmly established in that day. For those who have a gloomy disposition concerning the end of the world, I would like to tell you that that gloomy disposition only reflects your unbelief because unbelief is never constructive in nature but destructive and God does not share in that fallen nature. It is for this reason when we look at Isaiah 60:20-22 and 1Pet 3:1-13 in the light of Ezek 36:27, we understand that the Lord by His sovereign will shall move His people to delightfully hasten righteousness in world, so as to hasten His coming because the ending is going to be a happy one.

Peace (Luke 10:5-6)!

The Standard of Human Morality

Romans 7
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

People believe that they don’t need religion to teach them on human morality but this is far from the truth. It is as Paul says above, that he would not know covetousness is sin had the law not taught against covetousness. Now, I have been born and brought up in Mumbai and the Roman Catholic society I was brought up in, were not among the Bible believing/practicing Christians I know today. Having sited this, I must say that one of the reasons the West is so morally sophisticated compared to the general populace of my country and among others in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, is because western culture was shaped by the Gospel (Biblical Law).

The West however has been backsliding terribly for quite some time now and the apostasy is appalling. The general mind-set is that we don’t need religion to teach us on morality but I beg to differ on that because growing up I have known what it is to be a namesake Christian like others in my society, and I have grown seeing people who lived according to the Bible be morally superior to me and any other, whom I have known from any religion. I had not seen this moral superiority in either Hindus, Muslims or Buddhist, sure they were religious… didn’t eat pork/beef, nor touched alcohol, said their prayers but they enjoyed doing crap just as much as I did, having little value for their/our neighbour.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Today if a person says that he/she does not need religion to teach them on morality, they are implicitly also saying that Jesus is not the only way to live in communion with God (Jn14:6). In this manner they disregard the sacrifice of Christ because it makes no difference to them in their so called search for spirituality (self-appeasement). However, if you were to draw close and take a good look at their demeanour, you would notice these ungodly religious pretenders viz. Osho, Sadguru, Asaram Bapu and Sri Ravi Shankar, are no different from any other person in the world. These pseudo-religious hoodlums have made religion their business while in their hearts they remain adulterers, coveters, thieves, murderers and false witness bearers because in truth they serve themselves, not God.

Take the average person today, if he/she is asked why don’t you hang out with a particular person, the general response is: why should I hang out with him/her, what has he/she got that I would want? That my dear friend is covetousness for you because generally a person will only hangout with another for what he/she has got… a pretty girlfriend or lots of money or a really nice villa or a fancy car or political clout. The reason I have to spell this all out for you is because you did not know it to this extent and the fact of the matter remains that you need religion to teach you morality.

Today, people are totally ok with sexually checking another person out. Fornication is a status symbol in today’s society and abortion is a right. Such is the warped sense of morality people have, outside Biblically defined morality. When the Bible says that you ought to wear the Law on your forehead and right hand, it means practicing the law of God is not merely an action but something you originates in thought. Now for those of you who are outside Christ, this may seem impossible but for us, whose sinful nature the Lord Jesus has propitiated unto the righteousness of God, this is made possible for us by the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf (Eph 1:4, 7). Wherein we are credited by grace His righteousness while the justice we deserved for our hostility towards God was paid by Jesus for us on the cross.

Mt 19
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”
26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

You see it says so in the Ten Commandments that you shall not commit adultery and Jesus says that if you were to even ogle at a woman, you would guilty of committing adultery in your heart. So just as the godly as given a moral capacity to think and act according to the Law of God, the ungodly in a similar manner wear the mark of the beast on their forehead and right hand. So you see morality is merely thought materializing into action because you need to think it to do it. However, out of the shame of admitting your own incapacity for true morality you might refer to God’s Law as impractical but then I must point out that the reason you detest those who are blessed with the capacity to exercise the Law of God by the power of Christ, is because you know in the back of your mind somewhere, that living as you please is not morality but immorality, and the reason you oppose Biblical morality is because it defines a morality that opposes your immorality, which you might not care to admit.

Deut 6
6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Rev 13
15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,
17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

If all the religions were truly the same, teaching everybody good things, the Christian sense of morality, which is according to the Law of God would not come under such spiteful attack. The truth is, people want to live as their please, which has been naturally passed to them from fallen Adam but when the real standard of righteousness presents itself, the dark side of all these heathen fools suddenly surfaces because that is what Adam has passed to all his posterity, a counterfeit standard of righteousness. So how does a counterfeit feel when the real thing shows up and proves the counterfeit to be a counterfeit? He or she feels terrible with a sense of absolute helplessness which they are too ashamed to admit because they also happen to be liars by nature (Jn8:44) but such is the implication of Adam eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil (Gen3:1-6), thereby receiving to himself and passing to his posterity a righteousness of the antiChrist, which is contrary to the righteousness of God.

Col 2 (Identifying false outward religiosity)
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,
21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”
22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

James 1 (The mark of true religion)
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Morality has lost so much ground today that people who claim to be ministers in the Church are immoral because these fools are on the other extreme thinking that morality has nothing to do with religion. They believe their requirement to be religious is absent of any required morality but sadly it is as Hosea 4:6 says that the House of God is destroyed because they are ignorant on what God requires of his people.

Hosea 4
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Take Benny Hinn for instance, he claims his ministry is genuine simply because his ministry’s miracles speak for themselves… so he says. However, unlike the apostolic age, prophesies, tongues and healings today do not mark a body as the Church. In the apostolic age, these miracles were given the Church to bear witness to those unto whom the Gospel was preached, that that body was God’s Church but after the Bible was compiled in 325AD, what marks a body as God’s Church is not the miracles or tongues or revelation but in that body being faithful/lawful to the teachings of God in the Bible, which is sufficient for any person who desires to know God. I say this because the Bible’s infallibility/perfection (Ps19:7) is to the extent that nothing can be added to it nor taken away from it (Rev22:18-19).

Mat 7
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

To conclude, morality is rooted in religion and for those who disagree, it is only because they desire to live as they please and not according to the good pleasure of God. These fools are poor stewards of the earth (Gen 1:28) and all they desire to do is crash and burn, such is the anarchy they are given to but imagine how good God is, which these fools fail to recognize because the very fact they are still alive doing what they do is because God has been patient with them (Rom9:22). Hence these deny morality is grounded in Christ/religion because they would rather have God take off his restraining hand from them so that they may live as they please and die in their self-defined bliss.

The Moral Law – The Christian Standard!

1John 2
4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost, which many believe is the birth of the Church. I pretty much disagree with that because the very first Gospel message of Christ atonement was preached in Gen 3:15, almost immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve. For as long as there have been a people of God, the Church has existed; it is as Rom 3:23-24 says, that all fell in Adam but whoever is saved from their sin, their Salvation is by the merit of Christ alone (Is53:4-5), whether that be an Old Testament Saint or a New Testament Saint.

Mat 5
16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 28 (The Great Commission)
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The Law given Moses can be broadly classified into three types:
1. The Moral Law
2. The Ceremonial Law
3. The Judicial Law
The Moral Law was given the individual because it bore the very nature of God, the image of God which was broken in Adam’s disobedience but restored in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17). The Ceremonial Law was given Old Testament Israel because these ceremonies pointed to the redemptive works of Jesus Christ (Heb10:1-10). The Judicial Law is what is given the State (not Church) to hedge the Moral Law and protect society from anti-social elements (1Tim1:8-11). Let me give you an example of how the Moral Law functions with the Judicial Law: Jesus says that we are not to lust after a woman even in thought (Mat5:28) because we as believers are accountable to God. Now the State, which deals all people (believers and unbelievers) in society, cannot penalize a person for bad thoughts but if a person were to act on those wicked thoughts, then the State has the power to prosecute that person. This is the difference essentially between the Moral Law and the Judicial Law, which serves to hedge morality in society.

Rom 6

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

The rate of Biblical illiteracy we’re are dealing with today is appalling, among those who consider themselves as Bible believing Christians, only 1 in 5 of these have read their Bible from cover to cover. If I were to consider the Christian community at large, in a survey conducted: 82% of these ascertain that “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse, when it’s not. With the Christian community exhibiting such a shameful Biblical literacy rate, it is no wonder that Christians today haven’t the faintest idea that there is a Standard by which they are to live, if Jesus is indeed Lord over their lives.

John 14
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

This standard is the Moral Law, which is the new nature we receive in Christ (2Cor5:17), when we are born from above (Jn3:3). The antinomians believe in a Salvation of lawless grace (Rom 6:15) but these fools forget that the very desire for righteousness that is birthed in the believer when he/she receives Christ, is a desire to live by the Moral Law that is Christ’ Commandments because Salvation is twofold. Not only are the deadly wages of our sin charged to Christ but the very nature of Christ (i.e. His righteousness) is also imputed to us and it is for this reason we are sanctified us each day into the likeness of Jesus (Rom8:29).

Exo 20
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Today, when many feel that they don’t need the Bible to teach them about God, I am reminded about the Apostle Paul who says in Rom7:7 that he would not know covetousness is sin, if the Law had not taught against covetousness. Then am also reminded of James 2:2-4, which happens in so many churches today, where the pastor’s interests in the poor man who desire to know God, is set aside for the rich man who comes to Church. I hope you can see that these discernments are spiritually ascertained (1Cor2:14) according to the Moral Law, where you ought to love God first as even over yourself (Mat 22:37) and second be considerate towards your neighbour just as you are concerning yourself (Mat 22:39).

Mat 7
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Consider an average person today, he/she basis his/her need for communion with his/her neighbour on the basis of adultery or covetousness. It’s as the ungodly typically say: why should I hang out with that person, what has he/she got that I would make me want to hang out with him or her… such is the fallen mind-set of covetousness, which is sin. It is not that we are supposed to hang out with only poor people but our fellowship with others should allow us to question our motives. We ought to take our cue from 1Cor6:14-15 when it comes to fellowshipping with others. Yes, pray for your enemies and those who persecute you… be courteous to these but as a Christian you ought to remember that you will never be able to share intimate fellowship with an unbeliever because you are regenerated/sanctified each day in the spirit, to delight in God and His righteousness (Gal2:20) while the unbeliever submits each day to his/her own corruption delighting in the worship of their own lusts. This separation exists not from wishful thinking but this is what God has put in place from the very beginning (Gen3:15).

John 15
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

To conclude: for a Christian who acknowledges Jesus as His Lord and Saviour, it is critical that his/her life keep the Moral Law (Ezek36:26-27) not out of forced compulsion but out of his/her new nature to please God because such is the faith (James2:14-17) that every true believer in blessed with in Christ (2Pet1:1).

Ceremonial Law | Moral Law | Judicial Law

It is noticed with most believing Christians that they choose to abandon critical elements of the Christian faith just because other people groups have come to use these more than we Christians ourselves, so most Christian fear that to follow such ways though Biblical is not becoming of today’s believer. A few of examples of these are as follows:
i. Christians are scared to call Christianity (i.e. following Christ) ‘a religion’ because of the many ways that have come from men that refer to themselves as having their own identity as a religion but Christianity is thee religion and Bible affirms that in James 1:26-27.
ii. I’ve also noticed that Christians are apprehensive to use the term ‘God willing’ when they discuss their life’s goals, so as to not identify themselves with Islam but this teaching has originated from God’s word in the Bible (James 4:13-15).
iii. Today Christians think Evangelism is more effective when Church members are given the freedom to do what please themselves. After all these members are coming from stringent models of ritualistic living and we can get more people to join the Church when we all can do what we want to do, we only need to leave it in prayer to God to set everything right! This school of thought is referred to as antinomianism, which according to the dictionary is defined as: a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the Moral Law by virtue of grace granted in Christ.

Mat 7
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

1 Cor 15
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

As Paul puts it in Rom 6:15, grace is not freedom to sin, which is what the antinomian leans toward but grace in the correct Biblical context is the purchase of divine sanctification and obedience through Christ’ redemptive works and it is this kind of grace that the Apostle Paul speaks of in 1Cor 15:10. You see when 1 Jn 4:10 speaks of Christ as the “Propitiation of our Sins”, it speaks of God overcoming natural man’s hatred for His righteousness, and irresistibly changing that man’s wicked nature to a nature which appeases God (Ezek 11:19). Propitiation is Biblical and makes sense only when one considers the truth concerning election.

1 Pet 1
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

2 John 1
6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

So we see from 1Pet 1:2 that the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is to bring the elect to obey Christ. Now if we are to obey Christ, we must know what His teachings are. Jesus said in John 14:15, if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments. We ought to understand that Christ’ commandments are not just those which He gave us in the New Testament but those which He gave Moses and have existed since Adam. You see the ‘Angel of the Lord’ in the Old Testament is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Gen 22
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

To take a small detour, I would like to explain the Deity of the Angel of Lord as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Check Gen 22:12, here the Angel of the Lord says to Abraham that he did not withhold his only son Isaac from ‘him’ but we know that Abraham was offering Isaac to God not just too any angel. From Gen 22:16 we see the Angel of the Lord swearing by Himself but who can righteously swear by anything else but God. In verse 18, the ‘Angle of the Lord’ attributes Abraham’s blessing because he obeyed His voice. We also see above that the Angle of the Lord speaks of God in the first person not third person. To elaborated further we know from Jn 1:18 (KJV) that it is the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ, who ‘declares the Lord’. Even if we were to observe the etymology of names of the three Archangels (who is one Person- The Angel of Lord, the Chief [Mat 13:41] whom all the angels worship [Heb 1:6]), we see that these were the divine attributes of Christ.

The Archangel name ‘Michael’ means ‘Who is like God?’ (Col 1:15 points to Christ)
The Archangel name ‘Gabriel’ means strong man of God (Luke 11:22 points to Christ)
The Archangel name ‘Raphael’ means God has healed (Mat 13:14-16 points to Christ)

1 Thes 4
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Now coming to the Law of God, we must understand that there is such a thing as Ceremonial Law, Moral Law and Judicial Law. These existed since Adam, seen in Able offering the Lamb (Sacrifice – Ceremonial Law) and in the judgment pronounced on Cain for murdering Able (Thou Shall Not Murder Commandment – Moral Law and Judicial Law). The Ceremonial Law is also seen in Gen 3:21, when God gave Adam clothing made from animal skin (indicating sacrifice) when he was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Similarly the Moral Law and Judicial Law is also seen in Gen 2:16-17, where the love of unfallen Adam is called upon through total obedience to God’s commandments.

1) The Ceremonial Law
Today when Antinomians reject the Law of God as not required for the Christian they reject the Moral Law, Ceremonial Law and Judicial Law. It is interesting to note that when the Antinomians reads passages like Gal 3:15-29, they do not read it in its stated context of Ceremonial Law as indicated in Gal 2:3-4,12. It is important to note that every aspect of the Ceremonial Law was like a shadow which pointed to Christ (Heb 10:1) and since Christ has been revealed in person to us through God’s perfect word in complete scripture, we no longer keep to the ways of the shadow but this is only concerning the Ceremonial Law. Let us consider a few of these below:

A. Circumcision:
The Old Testament Circumcision was of the flesh, which was to dedicate the individual to God. In the New Testament Baptism replaced Circumcision. As Rom 6:4 puts it, we are buried with Christ through Baptism. This is akin to the grain of wheat, which falls to the ground and dies (Jn 12:24) to itself and lives only for the Lord, which Saint Paul refers to as the Circumcision of the heart.

Romans 2
29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

B. Dietary Laws:
Concerning dietary law, the Old Testament taught that land animals with split hooves that masticated cud were fit for consumption, while with marine life only that with scales and fins were fit for consumption.

Mat 15
16 Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also?
17 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?
18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
20 “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

I was once told a story that there was a man who was approached by a friend with an offer to contract kill a certain person, which he refused. He later was approach by the same friend to pillage, his neighbor’s property, which also he refused. Later he was approached again to despoil a certain woman and he refused again. Finally, this friend just invited him over for a drink (alcohol) and when he got drunk he went ahead with the contract killing, pillaged his neighbor’s property and despoiled that particular woman. This so much labels alcohol as bad and taboo but this is not the story’s crux, for the alcohol did not bring out anything more than what was already in that person’s heart.

Mat 5
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

You see, issues concerning sin have lesser to do with alcohol / the internet / beautiful women than they have to do with our inherent nature to sin in the core of our being, which is our hearts. However, Ezekiel prophesizes of Christ that God will give us a new heart in which He has put his statutes and CAUSES us to walk in them.

Ezek 36
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

The world in its Adamic nature has always resisted God and His elect but the elect never receive and live by the standards of the world but only the Law of God. As Deut 8:3 says “man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It is thereby seen that the Old Testament dietary Law are nothing but such shadows of receiving only the teachings of Christ as clean and fit to be lived upon while the teachings of the world are rejected as unclean and unfit for righteous living.

C. Sacrifices:
Animal sacrifices in the Old Testament go as far back as when an animal was slain to provide clothing for Adam and Eve after the fall in Gen 3:21 but this too pointed to the robes of salvation as in Is 61:10 i.e. the sacrifice of Christ, which would once and for all for pay the price of all sin, for that is the efficacy of God. You see according to the Ceremonial Law, the priest was first required to offer sacrifices for his own sin before he offered sacrifices for the people’s sin. This too pointed to Christ, for Jesus born of a virgin and was not subject to original sin as the sons of Adam. Christ’ human nature was an addition to his Deity and He did not lose any of His Deity in adding complete Manhood to Himself except without sin.

Note: Most English New Testament translation have it that ‘He emptied Himself’ in Phil 2:7 from which the ‘kenosis heresy’ has emerge but a more accurate translation for Phil 2:7 is that of the KJV, which states that “He made Himself of no reputation”.

Phil 2
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Heb 7
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Another aspect of sacrifice that we must consider is obedience and we see it 1 Samuel 15, where King Saul excuses his own disobedience to God’s commands by offering sacrifices, which does not truly highlight essence of what a sacrifice really is. However in Phil 2:8, we see the true aspect of sacrifice when Christ was obedient to God the Father to the point His very death. As Heb 10:1-10 puts it, the sacrifices commanded as part of the Ceremonial Law, were as a shadow (blueprint) of the Messiah who was to come.

1 Samuel 15
22 Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Jeremiah 44
23 Because you have burned sacrifices and have sinned against the LORD and not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, His statutes or His testimonies, therefore this calamity has befallen you, as it has this day.”

D. Festivals:
All the seven Levitical feasts such as the Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks (Pentecost), Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles (Booths) which were ordained by God in the Old Testament all pointed to Christ and His redemptive works. To expound on The Passover in Lev 23:5, it pointed to Jesus as the Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) whose blood would be shed for the sins of His people. The blood of the lamb, which was to be applied to the doorpost (Ex 12:7, 23) indicated God’s mercy to that household on the count that the Lamb had perfectly satisfied the full wrath of God in the place of that household. It is notable to know that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover during the same hour when the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal.

2) The Judicial Law
The Judicial Law was that which was given to the judges of the state (region) to exercise Civil Law in that region, weather that society was comprised of people who were of God or even if the society was cosmopolitan. From 1 Cor 6:4 we see that such judges were appointed in the New Testament just as they were in the Old Testament (Deut 6:18); the Judicial Law ensured that every individual received justice according to the circumstance, this justice included restitution.

Ex 21
18 “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed,
19 if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed.

Lev 25
39 ‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service.
40 ‘He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.

Deut 15
11 “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’
12 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free.
13 “When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed.
14 “You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.

Ex 22
1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him,
3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

Antinomian-Christian congregations, which is an oxymoron by itself has misconstrued Biblical forgiveness for they demand of their members a forgiving heart while denying that member the awareness of receiving restitution, which is Lawful and absolutely Biblical. This is seen in the New Testament too in the case of Zacchaeus where Salvation (forgiveness of Sins) was announced to his household, only after Zacchaeus promised to restore fourfold, those whom he had defrauded. It must be understood that just as God has set His precepts for men as to how to go about a godly lifestyle, in the same way, these regions where the government claims to operate under God, to these states, Christ gives the blueprint of Judicial law to administer moral conduct in that society, even if that society is cosmopolitan in nature.

3) The Moral Law
From Mat 5:17-19 we see that Christ did not come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it i.e. every aspect of the Ceremonial Law, which was foretold and pointed to His glorious works of redemption. These He came to fulfill that the faith of the prophets who spoke/indicated of him since Adam, may be revealed. So far where the Moral Law and Judicial Law are concerned, these remained in place to morally govern the individual and society under the Lordship of Christ.

Mat 5
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Moral Law is also observed in the Ten Commandments, where the duty of the believer indicated in the first four commandments is to God i.e. to love/worship God with all your strength and mind while the following six commandments are toward one’s neighbor i.e. to treat your neighbour as you yourself would expect to be treated. I have indicated below the kind of commitment and love the Lord demands of the believer toward Himself and then toward one’s neighbor.

Deut 12 (toward the Lord)
11 then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD.

Deut 6 (toward the Lord)
13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—
15 for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

Deut 24 (toward thy neighbour)
19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.

To conclude, it is absurd of Antinomian-Christian Congregations that they oppose the Moral Law in governing the individual and the Judicial Law blueprint for the state but conveniently accept the system of tithing/giving to the Church that is taken from Paul’s letters in 1Cor 9:9 and 1Tim 5:18, which actually proceeds from the Law in Deut 25:4. It must therefore be noted that if there is any such thing as a standard for Christian living (John 14:15), it is as per the Moral Law given to the Christian whom God gives a new spirit of the Holy Spirit to exercise the Moral Law not in mere action but through initiation in thought (Mat 5:28).

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