Dwelling Place of the Father's Seal by Pete Kovacs

 

Appendix D

Christ and the Law

 

So, we now understand that both the Old and New Covenants were a special kind of contract. They are both what is more commonly called a "last will and testament." The basis for Godís last will and testament for us is to abide by His moral law. That basis has not changed. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification..." 1Thes. 4:3.

In the Old Covenant His will for us was given by the written word. These words spelled out His desire for us in our relationship with Him and with our fellow man. As a token of faith for the real Great Sacrifice which was yet to come it was ratified by the blood of animals.

In the New Covenant the LORD has revealed His last will and testament in living Words, and that Word was His only begotten Son. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. God, sending His Son in the same flesh and blood as you and I, lived out those beautiful precepts found in the Ten Commandments. His life was a living testament as to the will of God for us; a contract written in a perfect life, and ratified by His precious blood.

The law and the Gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The Gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by man. The Gospel is the law unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the law. The law points to Christ; Christ points to the law. Yea, Christ is the moral law fulfilled in the flesh. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matt. 4:17. Christ did not fulfill the law in that He put an end to it, for He Himself says "I am not come to destroy." The word "fulfil" comes from the greek "play-ro", which means to execute, satisfy, verify or make perfect. Jesus executed the law in every aspect of His life and thereby satisfied its claims. He verified that it could be kept in the flesh thus showing to all creation the perfection of the law. "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (flesh and blood). Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." Heb. 2:16-18. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. He came to show us that it is possible through the grace of God, the same grace Jesus relied upon while He was here in the flesh, to live a life pleasing to God. By fulfilling the law in His life Christ has given us an example to live by, for this is what it means to be a Christian; to be like Him.

In 1John 4:8 we read, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." It is also written, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Rom. 13:8-10. Are you seeing the connection yet? "God is love" and "love is the fulfilling of the law." The moral law, which Paul has just recited, is a transcript of Godís character. It explicitly shows us who He is. This is His righteous glory which He revealed to Moses on the mount. (Exodus 33:12-34:8) Again it is written about Christ that He having the brightness of Godís glory was "the express image of his person." Heb. 1:3, and as Jesus Himself said "I and my Father are one" and "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father," (John 10:30 & 14:9) then by looking at the life of our Saviour we can see Godís holy character magnified in every respect through the fulfilment of His great moral law."The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake;" for by His dear Son "he will magnify the law, and make it honourable." Isaiah 42:21. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2Cor. 4:6.

The Handwriting of Ordinances

But many come saying, "The Bible clearly says that the law was done away with at the cross," and then recite Colosians 2:14-16 and Eph. 2:14-16. Clearly these passages do make mention of a law that was abolished, but was that law spoken of the Ten commandments? Letís take a closer look at these verses to see just what was abolished.

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"

It becomes quite obvious that the laws concerning ordinances, such as meat offerings, drink offerings and ceremonial feast days, are what Paul is referring to here. The ceremonial law lost its purpose at the cross and was taken out of the way. It no longer was needed to point forward to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Type had met anti-type, shadow had met its substance. The moral law, on the other hand, could not be removed or Christís sacrifice would be in vain. It was because of its transgression that Christ offered Himself for us. If God could remove His moral law Christ would never have needed to die.

He who would take away Godís great moral law, the Ten Commandments, would verily remove Christ Himself. They can not be separated; again I say, Christ points to the law; the law points to Christ. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1John 2:3-6.

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