After Jesus’ vicarious death, resurrection, and ascension to His Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in God’s chosen and the church was born. The next step in God’s immutable plan for His own was being fulfilled.
Recall Jesus came to earth not to destroy the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. The law, which revealed God’s standard of righteousness, was still very much applicable, i.e. God’s law for those created in His image was/is immutable.
Paul confirmed the significance of the immutability of the law.
“What advantage then has the Jew…Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God…” Romans 3:1-2
The Greek meaning of ‘oracles’ in this verse primarily means ‘declaration.’ It is the expression of the mind of God.
The Hebrew meaning of ‘oracles’ is very descriptive with several synonyms including ‘commandment,’ ‘decree,’ ‘ordinance,’ ‘law,’ and ‘statute.’
Therefore, ‘the law’ prevailed from 1445 BC up to and through the age of the church. And we’ll see that it doesn’t end there. The only thing that changes is the world’s view of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’
In the Book of Acts Stephen referred to Moses’ law as ‘living oracles’ meaning that God’s 1500 year old standards were still very much alive in the age of the church.
While recounting Jewish history Stephen was accused of blasphemy against Moses and God.
“This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness…on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected…” Acts 7:37-39a
Recall that Stephen said Moses received the ‘living oracles’ to ‘give to us,’ i.e. the church.
Stephen accused the Jews of being betrayers and murderers like their fathers who had received the law but rejected it just like the current generation of pious Jews rejected Jesus, the One who fulfilled the law.
Paul also confirmed the authenticity of the law and the One who fulfilled it.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law.” Romans 10:4-5a
Paul introduces the doctrine that Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law which we will see that no one else could possibly do. And Paul confirms the law began with Moses.
While Christ fulfilled the law, God’s standard of righteousness as revealed to Moses remains, and those who reject Christ will be judged by that same law. Paul reiterates that no one but Christ could abide by the total law.
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man (Jesus) is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39
Paul goes on to state that the purpose of the law was to reveal God’s standard of righteousness. Obedience was not only expected of man but required of man.
“…I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’” Romans 7:7
Interestingly, in today’s world, only three of the original Ten Commandments, not considering the Sabbath which Christ fulfilled, are part of America’s legal system.
· You shall not murder
· You shall not steal
· You shall not bear false witness (perjury)
Evidently, America’s legal system does not consider idolatry, adultery, or coveting to be worthy of chastisement.
Such thinking is totally contrary to Paul’s teaching.
“I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Romans 7:9-12
There would be no hope for mankind without Jesus.
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