Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Law of Moses vs. The Law of the Spirit and Love

Galatians 2:17
  • "But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? Absolutely not!

Paul was justified (declared righteous) in Christ. In seeking to be justified in Christ, Paul was no longer enslaved by the dietary restriction of the law, because it was God Himself who declared,

Mark 7:19
  • For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body, purifying all the food.

Acts 10:13
  • Then a voice told him, "Rise, Peter. Kill and eat."

Acts 10:15
  • Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."

Therefore, if Judaisers (Jews who advocated that one needs to keep the law of Moses to be saved) were right, then Jesus would have been promoting sin by making his disciples to associate with the Gentiles and break the law of Moses by eating "unclean" foods.

Paul adamantly refutes such claim by using one of the strongest Greek negative, "Certainly not!"

It is important to remember that the external rites and ceremonies served their purpose in explaining the deeper spiritual meanings, i.e. the person and work of Jesus Christ.

God distinguished between clean and unclean foods when He was giving the law to Moses. This reveals the spiritual reality of the fact that there are people who are clean and unclean. 

We are all born unclean. David said in his psalm 51:5.
  • Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
  • and in sin did my mother conceive me.

If Jews by birth were clean, they would not need cleansing for sin to become clean.

However, every human being is unclean because of sin. It is only through the rebirth or washing of regeneration that we become truly spiritually clean in God.

John 3:5
  • Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Ezekiel 36:25-29
  • I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 
  • I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 
  • And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 
  • Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 
  • I will save you from all your uncleanness

The law is no longer binding on Christians but the Spirit is. We no longer live according the law of Moses, but the law of Spirit and love.

Romans 8:1-4
  • Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 
  • because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 
  • For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh
  • in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 13:10
  • Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

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