Are we to keep the Old Testament law?
The law was never given to the New Testament believer but the Old Testament believer. It was a standard they were to live by. It was given for the reason- to increase sin and show us that we are sinful.
The law is given to increase sin to show our sinfulness. Rom. 5:20: “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound.” Gal 3:19: “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made.”
In other words when Christ (the seed) was born there would be an and to the law.
Gal. 3:23-25: “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor (to lead us) to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. " NO MORE (Old Testament) LAW. V. 26 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Everything in the New Testament covenant is by faith, not law.
Rom.11:6 “And if by grace then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. but if it is by works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work." It is either one or the other it can't be both, these are two different covenants.If you choose to be under one then you are removed from the other.
Rom. 6:14-15 “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.”
How can the law be used to prevent sin, to not let sin have mastery over you? It can’t. When people today insist that we must keep the laws of the Old Testament covenant they are removing themselves from the covenant of grace and are not under the headship of Christ but are under Moses. The New Testament makes it clear in Jn.1:17: “The Law came through Moses.” GRACE and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ.
Paul made it clear through his writings "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Gal 2:21). Gal 2:19: "For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.” in other words, Paul is saying the law is dead to him. We don't use what is dead to have life.
Those who had been under the law ( the Jewish people) had been delivered from it to something far better and so has the church.
Rom. 7:6: “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
The Christian who seeks to keep the law to be justified or sanctified has fallen from grace (Gal 5:4).
Acts 2:42 states that the early Church followed not Old Testament rules but “the Apostles’ doctrine.”
The law of God, God’s laws, Moses commandments, God’s commandments are the same laws united under the old covenant. The law," "the law of the Lord," and "the law of Moses," are the same (they include circumcision, priesthood and sacrifices) see-Luke 2:22, 23, 24, 27; 2 Chron.31:3. ("The law," "the law of Moses," "the, book of the law," "'the law of God," are the same- Neh. 8:2, 3, 8, 14, 18.)
When God speaks about the law he does not divide the ceremonial from the moral, it is all one unit. Jews today continue to keep them as one unit identifying them as 613 laws (not 10).
Here is what needs to be answered- did Jesus fulfill only the ceremonial law of Moses only or all of it? All these commands (613) were the law, these are not just Moses ordinances. They were all nailed to the cross and whatever was nailed there died with Christ. The Old Testament law is no longer operational for the believer. Whatever the apostles taught to the church were those commands to keep as a New Testament believer.
The Old Covenant of Moses is the primary focus of the Old Testament but it is not the initial covenant with Israel- the one with Abraham was and the Mosaic covenant fulfills a number of its promises. The New Covenant becomes the primary focus of the New Testament and is the last covenant of the Bible because it reveals the grace of God through Jesus Christ to all mankind. It becomes the only way both Jews and Gentiles are restored to God.
The Judaizers who believed and kept the law by obligation came in to bring the believers back into bondage. In Acts 15:10 the early church rule on this matter of the law. “Now therefore, why put God to the test, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear”. The law of Moses is not binding for the gentiles is made clear in Acts 15.
The Bible says the just shall live by faith, not the law or commandments of the Old Testament.
Paul a former law keeper states “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)
Rom 8:3-6 “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” It is the Spirit inside the believer that we are to obey to walk according to Jesus.
1 Cor. 15:57 “the strength of sin is the law.” But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Gal 2:16 "knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
The New Testament focus and exalts Christ not the law. So what is the law for today? Paul tells us “that the law is good if one uses it lawfully” (Tim. 1:8). So what is the law for today if it is still considered good?
Look at Paul’s interpretation in 1 Tim.1:9, that law is made NOT for good men but FOR law breakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious." Is this not the law that states all have fallen short of the glory of God? Good men would be those who repent and follow Christ, not the Old Testament laws.
So is a Christian under law? No, but there are commands we are to obey that are strictly found for the Church in the New Testament, so we are not without law, just not under the Old Covenant law.