Most mainstream Christians claim that the Mosaic laws were meant for the Jews only. The Bible, though, nowhere specifically says or even implies that. In fact, it implies, overwhelmingly, just the opposite. Gentiles need to become more like the Jews; the Bible plainly says that gentiles need to “be grafted into” the holy “tree” or “root” of Israel. The Jews are from the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Paul, circumcised at an early age, was an Israelite (Benjamite) from the tribe of Benjamin. He was not born a Jew, but he continuously practiced all the laws that the Jews practiced, to his dying day. It appears, though, that he did not follow the sacrifice and Levitical priesthood laws later in his life. He taught all of his non-Jewish followers to “copycat” him in keeping the Mosaic laws.
ACTS 24:14: “….. I (Paul) worship the God of my Fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW and in the Prophets.” (NKJV parenthesized word added)
ACTS 25:8: “….. ‘I (Paul) have committed no offense against the Jewish law …..” (New English Translation, parenthesized word added)
ACTS 28:17: “….. I (Paul) assure you that I did absolutely nothing against Jewish laws …..” (The Message, parenthesized word added)
These honest statements by Paul were made when he was being accused by the Jews of breaking one or more Old Testament laws. However, when he later instructed Christians to imitate his law keeping behavior, he apparently did not expect them to observe the now abolished sacrifice, circumcision, and Levitical priesthood laws.
PAUL’S teachings were IDENTICALLY THE SAME as those of Jesus, Whose doctrines in turn were also IDENTICALLY THE SAME as those of God the Father. Therefore neither Paul, Jesus, or God the Father has abolished the law, which still includes the dietary, tithing, and festival laws, for example.
JOHN 7:16: “…… ‘My doctrine IS NOT MINE, BUT HIS WHO SENT ME.”
2 JOHN 1:9: “Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, STAYS FAITHFUL TO BOTH THE FATHER AND THE SON.” (The Message)
2 JOHN 1:9: “The man who is so “advanced” that he is not content with what Christ taught, has in fact no God. The man who bases his life on Christ’s teaching, however, has both the Father and the Son AS HIS GOD.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
MALACHI 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
JAMES 1:17: “…… the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
HEBREWS 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
God (and therefore Jesus Christ, too) presently is the same as He was in the past and will continue to be the same in the future. So the Mosaic laws created “yesterday” by the God of the Old Testament, Who does not change, continue to be still valid today and will remain in force on into the future, with the exception of the sacrifices, circumcision, Levitical priesthood, and the automatic death penalty.
1 CORINTHIANS 11:1: “IMITATE me, just as I also imitate Christ.” This is a quote from Paul.
1 CORINTHIANS 4:16: “Therefore I urge you, IMITATE me.” This is another quote from Paul.
Christians, as shown above, are instructed to imitate Paul’s lifestyle, which included OT law keeping.
Romans 2:10-13: “But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. 11 For God JUDGES EVERYONE BY THE SAME STANDARD. 12 The Gentiles do not have the law of Moses; they sin and are lost apart from the Law. The Jews have the Law; they sin and are judged by the Law. 13 For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by DOING WHAT THE LAW COMMANDS.” (Good News Translation) The very statement in verse 12 that the Gentiles do actually sin reveals that, by definition of the word sin (1 John 3:4), they are required, to be sinless, to obey the law, which includes many Mosaic laws. Paul explains in verse 11 that ultimately all people around the world will be judged by the same law of God, the remaining valid parts of the Mosaic Law plus its magnified New Testament laws (Isaiah 42:21) prohibiting looking lustfully at women, adulterous marriages resulting from frivolous divorces, becoming unnecessarily angry at others, and so on.
Acts 5:31: “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (NKJV)
Acts 13:47: “…… I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.” Luke quoted Isaiah 49:6 reminding others that Israel, with its teachings, is a light to the Gentiles.
John 4:22: “…… salvation is FROM THE JEWS [i.e., through Jewish prophets, Jewish Scriptures and a Jewish Messiah].” (An Understandable Version) Jesus Christ Himself is saying here essentially that salvation is BASED ON JEWISH TEACHINGS!
Romans 11:1,5,7,11,13,16,17-20,23,24: “….. HAS GOD CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE? CERTAINLY NOT! ….. 5 ….. at this present time there is a remnant ….. 7 ….. ISRAEL has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 11 ….. have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall ….. salvation has come to the Gentiles. 13 For I speak to you Gentiles ….. 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 AND IF some of the branches were broken off, and YOU, being a wild olive tree, WERE GRAFTED IN AMONG THEM, AND WITH THEM BECAME A PARTAKER OF THE ROOT AND FATNESS OF THE OLIVE TREE. 18 ….. remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off ….. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (NKJV)
Ephesians 2:11-13: “Therefore remember that YOU, ONCE GENTILES in the flesh ….. 12 that at that time you were without Christ, BEING ALIENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (NKJV)
Galatians 3:27-29: “….. you ….. were baptized into Christ ….. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek ….. for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (NKJV)
Romans 2:28,29: “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But HE IS A JEW WHO IS ONE INWARDLY; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.” (NKJV) The context of verse 29 involves the way in which CHRISTIANS should now think and act, which is JEWISH oriented, excluding a limited number of NT listed Mosaic laws now abolished (the now annulled sacrifice, circumcision, Levitical priesthood, and the automatic death penalty laws).
Galatians 6:15,16: “….. a renewed nature. 16 And all who shall regulate their lives by this principle–may peace and mercy be given to them–and to the true Israel of God.” (Weymouth New Testament) New Testament Christians are now called the true “Israel of God.”
Isaiah 2:2,3,4: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains …… all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM. 4 …… They shall beat their swords into plowshares …… nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” The words “mountain of the Lord” mean the theocratic government of the Lord. After nuclear World War III Jesus will return to save humanity from itself, then the 1,000 year Millennium will begin, and the Mosaic law will be preached from Jerusalem for EVERYONE to obey.
Micah 4:1-3: “….. in the latter days ….. the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains ….. and peoples shall flow to it. 2 MANY NATIONS SHALL COME and say ‘….. let us go up ….. to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ FOR OUT OF ZION THE LAW SHALL GO FORTH …… FROM JERUSALEM. 3 ….. Neither shall they learn war anymore.” (NKJV) These verses refer to the distant future, a time that has not yet arrived. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN ANYONE SAY THAT THE MOSAIC LAWS WERE INTENDED ONLY FOR THE JEWS WHEN THESE MICAH AND ISAIAH VERSES QUITE PLAINLY REVEAL THAT SUCH LAWS WILL EVENTUALLY BE OBEYED BY EVERYONE WORLDWIDE SOME DAY?
Remember that you can confidently assume that God is not deliberately lying to you in any verse in the original Greek because He told us that He does not lie. Hebrews 6:18: “……it is impossible for God to lie ……” 1 Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not the author of confusion.” Therefore we can confidently assume that the original Greek in the New Testament is not really self contradictory concerning law keeping. Since God will not lie or try to confuse us then we need to really believe LITERALLY the following 13 verses that plainly tell us that Christians still need to obey the law.
1) 1 John 3:4: “…… SIN IS THE VIOLATION OF THE LAW”
2) Romans 2:13: “For not the hearers of the LAW are just in the sight of God, but the DOERS of the LAW will be justified.”
3) Romans 6:1,2: “…… Shall we continue in SIN that grace may abound? 2 CERTAINLY NOT! How shall we …… live any longer in it?”
Romans 6:1,2: “What shall we say then? Shall we keep on doing WRONG THINGS so that God will be more kind to us? 2 NO, SURELY NOT! We died to our WRONG WAYS and no longer live in them.” (Worldwide English [New Testament])
Romans 6:1,2: “So what do we do? Keep on SINNING so God can keep on forgiving? I SHOULD HOPE NOT! 2 If we’ve left the country where SIN is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? (The Message) The word “SIN” appears in this and other verses, so remember, according to 1 John 3:4 above, it means ONLY one thing, BREAKING either the food, festival, tithing, Saturday rest, or some other OT or NT law or a combination of those laws.
4) Romans 6:15: “…… Shall we SIN because we are not under LAW but under grace? CERTAINLY NOT!”
5) Romans 3:31: “Well then, if we are saved by faith, does this mean that we no longer need to OBEY God’s LAW? JUST THE OPPOSITE! In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly OBEY Him.” (The Living Bible)
Romans 3:31: “Are we abolishing Moses’ Teachings by this faith? THAT’S UNTHINKABLE! Rather, we are SUPPORTING Moses’ teachings.” (God’s Word Translation)
6) Romans 6:16: “Do you not know that …… you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of SIN leading to death, or of OBEDIENCE leading to RIGHTEOUSNESS?” 7) Romans 6:18: “And having been set free from SIN, YOU BECAME SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 8) Romans 6:19: “…… For just as you presented your members as slaves of UNCLEANNESS, and of LAWLESSNESS leading to more lawlessness, SO NOW PRESENT YOUR MEMBERS AS SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HOLINESS.” The Greek definition of UNCLEANNESS includes the Levitically “unclean” or forbidden foods. The Greek definition of LAWLESSNESS refers primarily to breaking the Old Testament, Mosaic LAWS. The word “righteousness” in these Roman verses usually refers to the Jewish LAW keeping type of righteousness. So according to the green, capitalized phrase above, Paul clearly commands us to start or to continue obeying the LAW.
9) Matthew 19:17: “….. BUT IF you want to enter into life, KEEP the commandments.” 10) Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are those who DO His commandments, that they may HAVE THE RIGHT to the tree of life ……” Remember, the Ten Commandments contain the one requiring rest on Saturday, not Sunday, which was started by the Catholics.
11) JUDE 1:4: “…… (impious, PROFANE) persons …… PERVERT THE GRACE …… of our God into LAWLESSNESS ……” (The Amplified Bible)
12) Matthew 7:23: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS.” 13) Matthew 13:41,42: “…… His angels …… will gather …… those who practice LAWLESSNESS 42 and will cast them into the FURNACE OF FIRE ……”
Yes, the death of Jesus did wipe away and atone for our sins (violations of the law), BUT IT WAS GENERALLY ONLY FOR OUR PAST, REPEAT, PAST SINS, NOT SINS AFTER REPENTANCE AND BAPTISM!!
ROMANS 3:24,25: “…… GRACE, through …… Jesus: …… 25 in His pity God let the SINS OF EARLIER TIMES GO UNPUNISHED.” (Bible in Basic English) That is why we need to keep on obeying the law after our baptism. New, post baptismal sins, though, when confessed and sincerely repented of, can also be forgiven (1 John 1:9, 2:1,2). Abandoning one’s conversion and baptism, however, or deliberately and consistently sinning may ultimately be judged as unforgiveable according to Hebrews 6:4-6, and 10:26-27.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible copyright ©1971, used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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