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Paul went through this with the Jewish converts. They wanted the Gentiles to be cirumcised in obediance to the law. Paul plainly said they were not under Jewish laws but were under grace. Unbelievers will be judged by the law. Believers are under grace because Jesus fullfilled the law and the prophets. Our new law is to love God and those we come in contact with. We love God and others because He first loved us. It is plain that if we love God and others we will not steal, covet our neighbors wife, live in adultry, drunkeness, idolitry, or any other sin named. But, since we are all still living in these fleshly bodys with an old nature we still sin. If we had to obey the law inorder to be saved no one could go to heaven. Jesus paid the price we could not pay. So it seems to me that we are not under Jewish law. We are under the law of Christ. By grace you are saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast. Let each one be convinced in his or her own mind. Some believe in certain days, and others believe every day is alike. But, let us not judge each other in doubtfull things. Romans 14
Primarily I would like to answer to the question that was merged with this one: "Why shouldn't Christians follow all the laws in the Old Testament if Jesus said He had not come to change anything God had already decreed?" The simple answer is that we should always follow God's law, because Jesus told us to do it. Many times we have the tendency to complicate things and wax philosophically about what the "Law" means and what to fulfill means. In Matthew 5, Jesus is very clear, he didn't came to change the law but to fulfill it; meaning that He wanted to show us how to live and obey the law, not to abolish it. And because the Pharisee had so many laws, and to make sure there is no confusion about what law He was talking about, in Matthew 5 Jesus lists the Ten Commandments. The difficulty some has with this text is that the popular believe is that we are not under the law and the law is no longer binding. Yes, we are under grace, but the Law still matter, that is was Jesus is saying. And the most difficult of the Commandments is the fourth, the Sabbath day. In the Council of Laodicea, (AD 336) the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity of the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday and the Sabbath is no longer the Saturday, the seventh-day Sabbath, but Sunday, the first day of the week. No man can do that; God made the Sabbath day holy and that cannot be changed by man. We should trust and obey God more than man and when God said to do something, we should listen (2 Timothy 4:3).
Again this prophet writes by permission of the Holy Spirit. The fulfillment of the the law and prophesies were complete and concluded in the personage of Jesus Christ the Messiah. It is in him, and thru him and by are all the past, present and future destiny of the believer contained. Contrary to common belief we are in the times of grace and mercy. It is a time when God is opening up the windows and pouring out his spirit and his blessings upon his people. It is a time when we should cling closer to him and receive his love and his kindness. It is a time when we should be diligent in sharing and showing the world how great is our God. It is a time when we should be witnessing to the rest of the World the beauty and power(s) of our God. It is His desire that no man should be lost and that all should be saved and know of his great love for us.
The Mosaic Laws and the Decalog are different in intent and have different purposes. The Mosaic Laws were fulfilled by Jesus. The Decalog are the Moral Laws of God for humanity. The Sabbath started in the Garden of Eden...there were no Jews or any other nationality. God wrote the Decalog on tablets of rare blue stone (concrete, unique, from God's hand for humanity) because the Jews were misbehaving from their "human nature". The Decalog (every single one) are current even today. Read them and ponder them. If the 4th commandment is the only one not applicable, then the decalog makes no sense. We all know Constantine and the Roman Catholics changed GOD's law of the Sabbath to make the divide between the Jews and the Gentiles fir political purposes. Ask yourself why the other 9 laws are valid even today and not the 4th!
I would suggest that Jesus fulfilled the in the sense that it spoke of Him in prophecy. He did not abolish it because it is binding on those who reject the forgiveness offered through Christ. They are condemned.
Jesus fulfilled the Law in that He lived His life under the Law, yet was without sin. It is only by being without sin or flaw that Jesus Christ could be the Sacrifice for man's sin. In this He fulfilled the Law's requirement of atonement. Scripture teaches that the purpose of the Law was to show us our need of a Savior. By comparing this passage with other Scripture, it is clear that Jesus Christ fulfilled every requirement of the Law, establishing access to God the Father through Himself.
Yeshua (Jesus) did indeed bring the Law to its fullest intended meaning and expression. The root Greek word pleroo (fulfill in Matt. 5:17) simply means to fill to the top, to make full, to bring to realization. Contrary to popular Christian teaching, God’s Torah (Law) never commanded or expected sinless perfection else the sacrifices for sin would be meaningless. However, in Messiah, we are in fact supposed to strive towards perfection in this life until we one day we finally put it on for eternity. Therefore, in this life, and while the Temple stood in Jerusalem, true obedience to Torah included bringing sacrifices when one sinned—thus, the Torah actually anticipated our failure to keep it from time to time by making provision for our shortcomings (read Gal. 3:19). Without expecting sinless perfection, the Torah nevertheless does consider even a single breach to be guilty of violating the whole, thus, to break one commandment was to be guilty of breaking them all ([Jacob] James 2:10). And since the final payment for sin would have demanded the final death of the sinner (Ezek. 18:20), Yeshua paid this price by dying in our place—thus fulfilling the payment required by the Torah. But Yeshua’s words here in Matthew carry an additional meaning, as evidenced by his own explanation in verses 18 through 20 (and indeed the rest of his sermon on the Mount). In the following verses, the Master plainly reveals that all of Torah must eventually be fulfilled, and even implies that true followers of God will carry out this fulfillment by doing and teaching others to do even the least of the commandments. After all, just because Yeshua obeyed the Torah perfectly, this doesn’t excuse believers from remaining obedient to its commandments. On the contrary, now that we have a perfect example of Torah obedience to emulate, we too—by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)—can and should pursue Torah obedience, and teach others to do so, if we wish to be obedient to the Master’s words here in Matthew. So what exactly got nailed to the cross if it was NOT the Torah? Paul explains in Col. 2:14 that it was the certificate of our debt—our ultimate failure to pay for our sins—that was nailed to cross; it was not the Torah that was nailed to the cross. We owed God a debt we could not pay because the payment demanded a sinless sacrifice—a payment we could never make on our own. This accords with the Torah, which actually adjudicates penalties for unrepentant sinners. By Yeshua’s blood, those penalties (debts) have been paid in full and have satisfied God’s courtroom ledger—they have been nailed to the cross. Elsewhere in Romans, Paul teaches that because believers have died to sin in Yeshua, the ultimate penalty for sin—death—no longer applies to us. Jesus nailed those penalties of the Torah that were reserved for unrepentant sinners to his cross. To walk in disobedience and lack of trust is to invite God’s punishment and withholding of blessing. To belong to the family is to mentally, spiritually, and physically accept the family rules. To this end, both Jews and Gentiles are expected to practice Torah submissiveness within their hearts and within their communities. To submit to God is to desire and allow his Holy Spirit to continually mold a person’s life into the example of the Son of God, who vividly displayed a Torah-obedient and submissive life! This is the responsibility of a believer. To suppose that faith outside of resulting action alone is pleasing to God is to misunderstand the valuable lesson explained by Ya’akov (James). Such faith is barren and of no value to God. Conversely, to mistakenly replace the genuine faith that the Torah teaches with halakhic rules (group policy) designed to regulate one’s identity with God, is to misunderstand Paul’s valuable lesson. Such actions also prove to be displeasing to God and unacceptable as righteous.
What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it? It means that Jesus fulfilled the law on behalf of mankind. That makes Him qualified to be the judge of the people who are still under the yoke of the law. We are all born under the curse of the law (Gal 3:10). Unless we find a way to get from under the law, we will remain under the law. Jesus is that Way. When we confess our sin He forgives us and cleanses us from being unrighteous (1 John 1:9). He is our righteousness when we place our faith in Him and His finished work at the Cross, on our behalf. But... This amazing grace is only available to those who trust in Jesus and are no longer under the law. The law was kept (fulfilled) by Jesus, but it wasn't abolished. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Gal 4:4,5). It still stands for those who don't believe in Jesus. There used to be a toll booth on Hwy 400 in Atlanta. The toll was abolished when the cost to build the road was paid, and the booth was taken down. If you didn't know it was once there, you wouldn't suspect that it used to cost to ride on a portion of that highway. There are some people who say they believe in Jesus, who think the "Law toll" is still in effect. It is... but it isn't for the people who trust that Jesus fulfilled the law on their behalf. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me / I once was lost, but now I'm found / Was blind, but now I see. I'm reminded of the man in John 9 whom Jesus healed, who was born blind from birth. (That actually describes all of us from a spiritual perspective). At issue was the fact that Jesus healed the man on a Sabbath. John 9:16 says, 'Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he doesn't keep the Sabbath..."' (Jesus is the Sabbath; we rest in Him). When Jesus heals us, sometimes you can't recognize us; it's as if the "toll" was never in effect. Listen to the people of John 9: Vs 8~ The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?" (9) Others said, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the man." When he was a blind beggar they recognized him. Now that he can see, and isn't panhandling, they're not sure who he is. As for the Pharisees, there's no way Jesus could have come from God if He didn't "keep" the Sabbath. For the record, the bible states that Jesus "fulfilled" the law.That includes the law concerning the Sabbath. To fulfill means to 'carry out, bring to realization; to perform, obey or follow; to satisfy (requirements, obligations, etc).' Jesus did all of that. It also means 'to bring to an end; finish or complete.' He did that too. In fact, that's the good news. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romans 10:4). Hallelujah!
What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it? For us to answer this question, we must understand what the law is intended to accomplish. The whole essence of the law is to promote love...Rom. 1:5 The bilble also says that he who loves has fulfilled the law. Jesus is love. Jesus came to show us how to fulfill the law and not to abolish it. The law is intended to show us our need of Jesus..So whilst we are been transformed to be like Jesus, the law is simply there to guid us. Until we become like Jesus the law cannot be abolished.
While Jesus lived during the time of the Gospels, the Jews were under the Law of God that was given to Moses. If Jesus said or did anything contrary to keeping the Law of God then Jesus would have been sinning against God and the Jews would have been correct in accuse Jesus of blasphemy, and rightfully so. When Jesus told the Jews to keep the Law of Moses it was because they had strayed from God’s Word and were only listening to what the leaders (the Pharisees and Sadducees) taught them. It was after Jesus died and rose from the dead was the covenant changed. (See Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25). For Christians, the Law is no longer in effect after Jesus fulfilled it, but it has not been abolished either (Matthew 5:17). The Law will not be abolished until Judgment Day (The Day of the Lord, or the Last Day, the end of the age, etc.). There is a difference. For those who are without Christ will be judged by the Law (Romans 2:12). The ceremonial and civil laws were only given to the Israel nation, because God was establishing a nation for Himself. We learn from the Law what God expected of them. Their focus was to be constantly on God and doing what God commanded. This was the Old Covenant. When the New Covenant began (See Jeremiah 31:31-34), no one needed to keep the Law. The following passages of Scripture indicate when the New Covenant was to come into effect: Matthew 26:26:29; Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:4-11; Hebrews 9:15. The Apostle Paul was not against the Law of God. He was Jewish and was formally schooled (Acts 22:3; Philippians 3:4-6) in the ways of the Law. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Romans 7:12) The Apostle Paul stated in Romans 6:15: “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” The Apostle Paul is here clearly stating that Christians are not under the Law but are under God’s grace. In Romans 6:14, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” The first half of Romans 6:14 states that sin will not be your master. Why? The reason why sin shall not be your master (or have dominion over you) is stated in the second half of the verse. The reason why sin shall not be your master (or have dominion over you) is because you are not under the Law but under grace (the second half of Romans 6:14). That is the clear meaning of the passage. Notice that the Apostle Paul did not say that the Law of God is sin. It is not the Law that has dominion or Lordship or is master over someone, it is sin and the desire to sin is what has control of someone. If someone is controlled by sin, the Law of God will condemn them. Only those who are not saved by God’s grace are under the Law. Jesus died for our sins (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3) so that we can no longer be held guilty. That is not what Romans 6:14 states and no knowledgeable Christian would claim that Romans 6:14 even implies that the Law of God is sin. Being dominated (or controlled) by sin is not being dominated by the Law. If one were dominated by the Law, they would not be sinning. The problem is that people sin against God’s holy Law. Sin is not the Law. Neither Jesus or Paul or any other Apostle wrote anything about changing or deleting the Law of God. The Law is part of God’s Word and is to be studied and honored. That does not mean however, that Christians are to keep the Law of God, except perhaps, the Moral portions of the Law, as many are mentioned again in the New Testament (See Romans 1;28-32; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-26; Ephesians 4:21-32). Christians are not to keep the ceremonial laws, which includes keeping the Sabbath Day, If Christians are to keep the Law, the Jerusalem Council would have said so, not the 4 things they mentioned in Acts 15. Christians are in the New Covenant, which stipulates they live by grace, not the Law.
Jesus perfectly kept His Father's commandments. See John 15:10. He fulfilled both the law of God and all the OT symbols and prophesies! Clearly nothing from the law of God has been abolished. Until heaven and earth pass away the law still stands. There has been no change in the law. We have no new law, as some state. The moral law - the Ten Commandments - are still binding, but upon who? But that's not the question here. Now, what are some of the contextual requirements of God's holy law? Verse 21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court" The spirit of the law sees no difference between physical murder and anger towards a brother or sister. Therefore if, in your mind, you've had anger towards someone than according to the law you are a murderer. New verse 27: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Again, the spirit of the law (not the letter) sees adultery, not as a physical act alone, but also as lust within the mind. If you have lusted towards a woman or man, even for 1 sec, you are guilty of adultery. Thus the spirit of God's law demands that your thoughts and motives be pure. Then Matthew sums the righteous requirements of the law in verse 48: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." What kind of perfection does God's law demand? As perfect as God is perfect! That's the context.
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