There is so much more about the subject of God’s Law that can be said, but here are some quick thoughts. Many people out there teach that the Law is passed away, and is of no concern to followers of Christ, but these are false prophets who deny Christ by their words and actions. Remember that Scriptural study must be approached using Hebraic Thinking, as to use Hellenistic (Greek) thinking will result in contradictions and fallacies. For Scripture relating to this see the link at the bottom.
To claim salvation by grace, THROUGH FAITH, we must understand that a saving faith results in action, and does not assume that those who receive the free gift are without responsibility to God to obey Him. Ya’shua said “If you love Me, keep My Commandments.” Who is Messiah, but the everlasting and Almighty God, who said:
Matt. 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 tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)
Grafted into what?
He is the same God who gave Israel, into which we are grafted, the Law. He never cancelled the Law in the New Covenant, but instead modified the Law concerning the preisthood and sacrificial Law.
Psalm 105 (NIV)
7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
Psalm 19 (NIV)
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
Nehemiah 9 (NIV)
13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses.
Psalm 111:9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.
So, does God’s Law apply to us who are grafted in?
Romans 7 (NIV)
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Deuteronomy 10 (NIV)
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
1 John 2:4-6
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
So, these commands are for OUR OWN GOOD, just as we restrict our children for their own good.
Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
But isn’t the Law oppressive?
In Galatians Paul explains that we are not in bondage to the Law, as slaves, nor is it any longer used as a schoolmaster. We are to obey God’s Law to please Him and for our benefit – we do this willingly, to honor God’s will in our lives. The Law therefore becomes written on our hearts, as something we wish to do. It becomes joy, rather than burden.
Psalm 119:111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
Psalm 119:152 Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Isaiah 59:21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.
Indeed, in Acts 15 we read:
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 but that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Does this mean that Gentiles must only follow these commands, which are from the Law? What of not coveting? Stealing? Homosexuality? Do we get to choose which Laws we follow? Is not ALL of the Law good?
That was not their purpose, but instead they address what they believed to be the most egregious and common things that the Gentiles did against God’s Law. He then goes on to say that the Gentiles can then learn more of the Law every Sabbath at the synagogues!
So we see that Christ and His apostles say we should keep the Law as obedient servants, but not for salvation. Those who claim Christ, but do not keep His commandments do not love Him, and to those He will say, “Go away from me you evil-doers, I never knew you!”
We must not be antinomian.
We must not be luke-warm.
More Scripture concerning this can be found here: http://www.eliyah.com/protorah.html