Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sorting out the Law in the Christian Life

I have good friends who believe that we should obey the Torah; I disagree and believe that is rejecting the work of Christ and going back to the the old covenant and attempting to find acceptance with God by means of the law or in Paul's words, 'works of law.'  Again Schreiner is helpful summary here:

It seems that some of God's commands in the Torah continue to be binding for the people of God: prohibition against idolatry, murder, adultery, stealing and lying as well as the command to honor one's parents.  However, some commands - such as circumcision, the observance of sabbath and the practice of purity laws - are no longer to be literally obeyed.  How do we put all this together?  We must see that the Mosaic Covenant qua covenant is no longer in force but that this covenant is fulfilled in Christ. Thus, all the commands of the law, including circumcision, point to something, even if they are not literally practiced today.  Circumcision anticipates circumcision of the heart, Old Testament sacrifices anticipate the sacrifice of Christ (Rom 3:24-26) and so on.  Some of the laws of the Old Testament, however are fulfill in a rather straightforward way.   The prohibition against adultery passes over into the new era intact, without any change in content, though Paul emphasizes that the Spirit provides the strength to obey the command.  Thomas Schreiner, Paul, Apostle
 of God's Glory in Christ, p. 328.

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