Heavens Light 3-31-12 Law and Grace – The Law in the New Testament – Acts


The Law in the New Testament – Acts

Acts 13:38-39

"Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.


In the book of Acts, the Apostles are clearly setting forth Jesus and the Gospel as the dawning of the new Messianic Age of salvation. They continually uphold and Jesus as the very Christ, and His resurrection as proof of God’s deliverance from death through Him, proclaiming that Jesus is in fact the only way to be forgiven and saved.

Acts 2:22-24 – 22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know —  23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 "And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. NASB

Acts 2:29-36 – 29 "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 "And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. "’  36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ —  this Jesus whom you crucified." NASB

As a means of receiving this salvation, which was testified to by the Old Testament Scriptures, the Apostles implemented the ordinance we now know of in the church of baptism. They insisted that a repentant faith was the means of receiving the salvation of Christ, and that public baptism was the public profession and demonstration of one’s faith in Christ. Moreover, that upon exercising such repentant faith, that individuals would receive the promised Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the Old testament Prophets (Acts 2:17-21).

Acts 2:37-39 – 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself. NASB

As they preached this Gospel, they were continually holding forth Jesus as the Christ, and the cross and the resurrection as the central focus of His work, and repentance and faith as the means of receiving this blessing of the Lord, in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Acts 3:13-21 – 13 "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered up, and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 "And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. NASB

They were making a clear contrast between the old way of Judaism and the new Messianic way of salvation. In fact, they were reproving the Jewish leaders for putting their own Christ to death. In this reproof, they were still proclaiming that they could be forgiven and reconciled to God through Jesus the Christ, remaining as Jews, but surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. As they proclaimed this message, they sure to make it clear that ONLY through Christ could this reconciliation and salvation from sin come.

Acts 4:5-12 – 5 And it came about on the next day, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 And when they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead —  by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 "He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very corner stone. 12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." NASB

For this message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they were severely persecuted and even put to death. This clearly proves the nature of transition from the Old Covenant age, which was firmly resisted by the religious Jews, and the New Covenant age of salvation which had come in and through Christ. For this Gospel the Apostles and early Christians were willing to suffer and die.


Nevertheless, they continued to clarify and proclaim the Gospel and make clear the contrast between Old Covenant Judaism and New Covenant Christianity, or if you will, a contrast between Law and Gospel. In this contrast they clearly made the point that the Law could not “free” anyone, but the Gospel was the way of forgiveness, freedom and salvation. Notice here how the Law is seen as temporary and ineffectual, and the Gospel as eternal and effectual.

Acts 13:38-39 – 38 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. NASB

As the Gospel of the Kingdom is unfolding in the transitional age between Judaism and Christianity, the debate over justification by faith alone is highlighted in a disagreement between Paul and the Judaizers. The central issue at stake in this debate was whether obedience to certain aspects of the Ceremonial Law were a legal requirement for salvation. This doctrinal issue is heard and judged by the Jewish Christian Apostles and elders in Jerusalem.

Acts 15:1-5 – 15 And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. 3 Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. 4 And when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But certain ones of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses." NASB

This controversy in highlighted and intensified by believing Pharisees in Jerusalem who also hold to the doctrine of the Judaizers, claiming obedience to certain aspects of the Ceremonial Law, were a requirement for Christians. As the Apostles and elders heard the matter they clearly affirmed salvation by grace through faith in Christ, apart from obedience to the Law.

Acts 15:6-11 – 6 And the apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 "And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 "But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are." NASB

As they discuss the matter further, they not only affirm Gentile salvation apart from Jewish Law customs, they also affirm that the Old Testament Scriptures affirm that this day of Gentile salvation would arrive. They also give a short list of issues they deem important for Gentiles to observe in their new faith, which were a radical departure from the sinful Gentile culture. 

Acts 15:12-21 – 12 And all the multitude kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, "Brethren, listen to me. 14 "Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. 15 "And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After these things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will rebuild its ruins, And I will restore it, 17 In order that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ 18 Says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old. 19 "Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 "For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath." NASB

See here a ruling by the Apostles and Jewish elders of the church on the controversy of what is essentially necessary for Christian Faith in regard to obedience to the Old Covenant Mosaic Law. It is of particular import here to see that the issue at hand, a ceremonial issue of circumcision, was in no way acknowledged by the Apostles as necessary, but rather they lay down a few brief maxims which were of particular importance in the debate at hand. Primarily, these issues of idolatry, fornication, and the eating of blood were rampant among the Gentiles to the point of being part of the sinful cultural lifestyle in the Greco-Roman world. Secondarily, these particular sins, being essential parts of the moral Law were of an offensive nature to the Jewish Christians living in these Gentile regions. Therefore, the Gentiles would minimize conflict with the Jewish Christian brothers by abstaining from these particular sins. More importantly, the Apostles uphold the import of obedience to the Moral Law as an expression of true saving faith, and require none of the Ceremonial or Civil aspects of the Law, which were abrogated in the Gospel.


Here then is a general summary of the Old Covenant Mosaic Law in the Gospels and Acts. The Law is seen as the true religious expression of the worship of God UNTIL the arrival of the Messiah whom it promised would come and restore all things. It is seen as the holy words of God Himself, the Scriptures, which expressed the true form of worship that God intended for His covenant people Israel, in all three aspects of its nature, Moral, Ceremonial and Civil. Jesus taught that He came both to fulfill and to interpret the Law, and usher in a New Covenant age of Messianic salvation which was to remain as God’s final and eternal purpose for the whole world of people, both Jew and Gentile alike. In this, His person and work ushered in the Kingdom of God, the radical in-breaking of the eschatological and eternal age of life and immortality. Therefore, His Person (King, Messiah, Savior) and His Work (substitutionary atonement and legal obedience), become not only the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets, but an entirely new and eternal form of worship focused on His Person and Work, which was received by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. This faith was then expressed practically in obedience to the moral precepts of the Law. Ceremony and ritual gave way to genuine and heartfelt conformity to God’s holy will, by a radical regeneration of the Holy Spirit. This eternal and effectual New Covenant age of Messianic salvation is ushered in by the preaching of the Gospel, in which the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, eternal life and immortality is proclaimed. The book of Acts bears out this exact pattern as the Apostles carry this good news of the Gospel to the Gentile nations.




This is an ongoing series….. you can hear it taught here…..





If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425



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Shaan Sloan

Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ


The Lord is the Strength of My Life






Heavens Light 3-24-12 Law and Grace – The Law in the New Testament – The Gospels

The Law in the New Testament – The Gospels

Matthew 5:17-18

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. NASB


New Testament Texts and Contexts – The Gospels

As we survey the texts of the New Testament, we see the Old Covenant Mosaic Law used many times and in many ways. Primary among these is the very way in which the Law is spoken of as being temporary and preparatory, having reached a point of fulfillment and thus now serving only as a basis and foundation for the Age of Messianic Salvation that has now come in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This new age is frequently referred to in the New Testament as the “Kingdom of God.” This temporary and preparatory nature of the Law is seen in clear statements by the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 11:13 – 13 "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. NASB

Luke 16:16-17 – 16 "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one is forcing his way into it.17 "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail. NASB

Jesus contrasted the Law with the “gospel of the Kingdom of God,” the new age that had now arrived, which was first preached by John, the forerunner of the Christ. Even though these two are held in contrast, Jesus still maintained that the Law could “not fail,” but rather explained that He came to fulfill it. He maintains therefore that what the Law has established is sound and true, and will remain until the consummation of the ages, but has now reached a time of fulfillment and ushered in a new age, an age He refers to as the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven. These two terms are synonymous in the Gospels.

Matthew 5:17-19 – 17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. 19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. NASB

Therefore as Jesus would speak about the Law, He continually held forth this idea that the what the moral aspects of the Law had established, was true and righteous and a standard by which we appraise what is good and evil, just and unjust. Nevertheless He would maintain that it had reached a time of fulfillment and that the religious leaders of His day had badly misunderstood it. At times, He had scathing words for them and would correct them and point them to the true meaning of the Law.

Matthew 23:23-24 – 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! NASB

He would hold Himself out as a judge and interpreter of the very Law itself. As He did this, He would frequently show Himself to be the sum total of the Law and the very fulfillment of it Himself, and claim to be greater than the most revered objects in the Law such as the Temple.

Matthew 12:1-8 – 12 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grainfields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath." 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions; 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 "Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent? 6 "But I say to you, that something greater than the temple is here. 7 "But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.  8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." NASB

Even though the Law may condemn a woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8, Jesus could stand as a mediator between her and the condemnation of the Law and offer her forgiveness. And this He would do silencing the religious hypocrites who show themselves to be equally as sinful as the very woman whom they would condemn. 

John 8:2-11 – 2 And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" 6 And they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."  8 And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst. 10 And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"  11 And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."] NASB

We see in this a powerful picture of the transition that has come in redemptive history in the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ stands as a mediator between sinners and a holy God, the terror of the His Law and the wrath of God which it brings to all men because of sin, and offers forgiveness to the sinner. In Jesus Christ, who Himself is the living Word of God, grace and truth have arrived and been realized and this good news of forgiveness and eternal life is preached to all the nations. This is the testimony of the Gospel accounts. Jesus Himself is the very fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. He was the Word of God now come in the very flesh.

John 1:14-18 – 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’" 16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. NASB

The Gospels paint the picture that Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of all that the Law and Prophets spoke of, and that now in Him a new age of Messianic Salvation had arrived. They testify to the fact that a massive transition in redemptive history has taken place in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who Himself is the fulfillment of the Law.

Luke 24:44-49 – 44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."  45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 "You are witnesses of these things. 49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." NASB

Now even though Jesus portrayed Himself as the very fulfillment of the Law itself, He surely did not suggest that the Law was insufficient as a guide and mirror for us to learn of God and His ways and means. In fact He upheld the Law as our guide, teaching us to see in the Law and the Prophets both the nature of God and wise instruction for life which has come from God Himself. He would summarize the Law in brief statements that were profound and powerful, and then explain how this was in fact wisdom from God on how we should live, obey God and fulfill our purpose in life.

Matthew 7:12 – 12 "Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. NASB

Matthew 22:36-40 – 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him,  "‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘  40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." NASB

It is clear from the Gospels that Jesus fully intended us in the Kingdom Age to see the Law and Prophets as a means of instruction and rule for life, informing us of God’s will and our duty towards Him and our neighbor.




This is an ongoing series….. you can hear it taught here…..





If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425



If you have comments or questions, please do respond to shaan@heavenslight.org



If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with "sign me up" and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!



Shaan Sloan

Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ


The Lord is the Strength of My Life






Heavens Light 3-14-12 Law and Grace – Revering and Loving the Law

The Old Covenant Mosaic Law in the Old Testament Part 4

Psalm 1:2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. NASB


Revering and Loving the Law

We have seen that the Old Covenant Mosaic Law has been fulfilled in Christ and replaced by the New Covenant. The Old Covenant has fulfilled its place in the history of redemption and has laid the necessary groundwork for the Messiah to come and bring in the New Covenant age of Messianic Salvation. Moreover, we have acknowledged that the Law continues to fulfill some very important roles for us as a curb, mirror, and guide (pgs 12-13). Now in acknowledging these roles of the Law for us, let us understand and affirm that the Old Covenant Law is in fact the very words of God, along with all of the Old Testament, and it holds the highest place of reverence for us along with all of the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. We are not to think that the Old Testament has somehow been relegated to a lesser place in our hearts and minds, but does in fact hold the highest place of reverence as it is in fact God’s very words, and a clear declaration for us of His character and nature, as well as a solid guide into His will and His ways and His plans for redemptive history. We simply must understand how to read and apply the Law, in light of the fact that the Messiah has come and fulfilled it and given much instruction, along with the Apostles, on how to rightly understand, interpret and apply it. This we are going to learn in further detail as we begin to look at the New Testament passages that deal with the Law in the coming weeks. But let us understand that the Law should uphold and support in our hearts as a mighty foundation, the very throne of the great King Jesus, and as such, should be the object of much of our attention and affection. It should serve as a bright and shining light in showing and teaching us about our holy God and His ways. Let us use it therefore, for the things that God intended it for. If the Law makes us conscious of sin, then let it therefore do its work. As we read it and meditate on it, let it make our sin manifest to us and convict us. Let it be that schoolmaster that continually reminds us of our great need for Christ.

Romans 3:20 – 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. NASB

Galatians 3:24 – 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. NASB

Of course the great good news is, as we read the Law and learn again of our sin, we rejoice in the greatness of the salvation of God in Christ which has delivered us from the terror of the Law and made us sons and daughters in God’s family, forgiven and blessed forever. The Law then motivates greater faith and gratitude, as we see its holy terrors and realize even more how blessed we are to be forgiven and adopted! We can then learn to love the Law, and the conviction it brings, as it will do its work in teaching who God is and in learning his ways. It should occupy, along with the prophets much of our love and affection. We can learn to delight in the conviction it brings, and even long to be conformed to its holy standard, even as our precious Lord was perfectly conformed to it.

Psalm 1:2 – 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. NASB

The Law’s own testimony is that it is perfect and sure, giving wisdom and restoring the soul. Its precepts are right and bring joy even as its commandments are pure and give light to the eyes. It is clean and enduring, and its judgments are true and altogether righteous. Yes the Law is sweeter than honey and more desirable than fine gold.

Psalm 19:7-10 – 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. NASB

It is not that the Law is able to save sinners, only Jesus can do that. But it surely can enlighten us and teach us about our glorious God and impart His wisdom and knowledge to us. This is what we love about the Law. We love how it shows us the holiness of God. We love the way it convicts us as if to drive the sin out of our hearts and minds as we learn what pleases and displeases our God and Father. We treasure the Law for these reasons and we therefore allow it to work its God intended good work in us!

Psalm 119:1-12 – 119 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord. 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3 They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. 4 Thou hast ordained Thy precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Thy statutes! 6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Thy commandments. 7 I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy righteous judgments. 8 I shall keep Thy statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. 10 With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. 11 Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee. 12 Blessed art Thou, O Lord; Teach me Thy statutes. NASB

The Lutheran Formula of Concord is absolutely right in when it says, “We believe, teach, and confess that the preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence, not only upon the unbelieving and impenitent, but also upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith” (Epitome 6.2). Preachers must preach the Law without embarrassment. Parents must insist on obedience to its moral aspects without shame. The Law can, and should, be urged upon true believers—not to condemn, but to correct and promote Christlikeness. Both the indicatives of Scripture and the imperatives are from God, for our good, and given in grace. You see then that there is much profit even for us born again New Covenant believers in reading and studying and preaching the Law. The Belgic Confession says about the law, “we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God, according to his will” (Art. 25) This is why Paul says…

Romans 3:31 – 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. NASB

Through the moral aspects of the Law, we establish the goodness of God and the holiness of God in our hearts and minds so that we may learn of our shortcomings and sin, acknowledge the goodness of God and seek to conform to it. As we see God’s goodness, we long to be like Him as the Spirit creates this godly desire in us. As we see our sin, we loathe and hate it and long to put it off. But this leads us to deeper faith in Christ as we realize our utter inability to conform to it and therefore run for refuge to our Savior, who has covered and washed and atoned for all of our failures. We therefore rejoice in the great salvation that Christ is for us and this cycle sanctifies us in greater and greater measure as the Spirit slowly but surely changes us from glory to glory. This is exactly how Paul reasons in Romans 7 and 2 Corinthians 3. 

Romans 7:12 – 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Romans 7:14 -18 – 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. NASB

Romans 7:22-25 – 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. NASB

2 Corinthians 3:18 – 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. NASB

It is important to make a distinction here between the moral and the ceremonial/civil aspects of the Law. When we speak about preaching the Law, we are speaking about bringing the moral aspects of the Law to bear upon the hearer’s conscience. We are talking about our conformity to the character and nature of God which is made manifest in the moral aspects of then Law. This is not to say that the ceremonial and civil aspects of the Law do not have any place in preaching or teaching us, surely they do. But they are not a system of legal obedience as a requirement to somehow please God. In the New Covenant age the ceremonial and civil aspects of the Law simply give us an understanding of the nature of God and the nature of the worship of God as it was expressed through the Old Covenant with Israel. But now something far greater has come in the person and work of Jesus that has fulfilled the ceremonial and civil aspects of the Law. This is the main point in the New Testament book of Hebrews chapters 1-10.


Therefore let us see that the Law surely does have a place in the life of a New Testament Christian. This is especially true of the moral aspects of the Law as a matter of obedience and pleasing God in response to the great salvation and forgiveness of sins that He has provided for us in Christ. Not only this, but even the New Testament is filled with imperatives that command us to behave in certain ways and to do certain things, all consistent with the Law of God. It also forbids us from doing many things.

Ephesians 4:25-32 – 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. NASB

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 – 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. NASB

1 Peter 2:13-17 – 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. NASB

The Law then does have its place in our Christian Faith. But it should never be set forth as a system of legal achievement in order to be saved, but rather a grateful response to the salvation that God gives as a free gift in Christ. Salvation comes by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law, as a free gift from God, by His free grace, because of the merits of Christ. 

Romans 3:21-24 – 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; NASB

Romans 3:28 – 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. NASB

Galatians 2:16 – 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified. NASB




This is an ongoing series….. you can hear it taught here…..





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Shaan Sloan

Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ


The Lord is the Strength of My Life