The Law And The Prophets
Presented below is an email I recently received.
I thought it might be a good idea to post this email because I've heard similar thoughts expressed in the past, and therefore, it's very likely that a lot of people who stumble across this website hold a similar viewpoint, yet don't take the time to email their thoughts.
Also, the email addresses three very important subjects - the Old Testament Law, the Old Testament Prophets, and the fulfillment of both in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
As such, this exchange is an important one to share.
My response is posted afterward.
Thought you might like this little compilation I did to help with your work:
The Bible is the infallible word of our Lord. If you are a TRUE Christian, you follow these commands:
Who You Should Kill
Who You Should Hate
Should we still do this stuff?
You don't dare to try and FILTER and pick and choose from the word of God right? You don't pull that nambie-pampy "out of context" silliness with passages you don't like, but then wholeheartedly accept those you DO like? That is SIN!
So either you are a TRUE Christian, and you'll follow those loving commands from God. Or you are doomed to be tortured in hell forever! Oh Glory!
Free With Jesus!
[End of Received Email]
Dear Free With Jesus:
Thank you for taking the time to email me. I will do my best to answer your questions, and I welcome your feedback if you feel I've inadequately addressed your questions.
Your compilation of references to Old Testament laws is very thorough, and I'm afraid I'm guilty of violating many of them. In fact, all of humanity is sentenced to death as a result of our sin.
Because all of us are born into sin, we are all condemned - banished from the presence of God who, in His infinite justice, can not tolerate the presence of the unholy. But all is not lost - there is great news!
In order to make us holy, blameless in the eyes of God, Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) came to earth and paid the price of humanity's sin through His blood on the cross:
"For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood." Romans 3:25 (NLT)
The above statement by Paul is in complete agreement with the Law of Moses:
"In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)
"For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible." Leviticus 17:11 (NLT)
Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Therefore, Christ shed His blood in order that we might be forgiven:
"Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT)
Christ even paid the penalty for the sins of those who died prior to His First Coming - prior to His ministry, His death, and His resurrection:
"That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead - so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit." 1 Peter 4:6 (NLT)
"That is why the Scriptures say, 'When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.' Notice that it says 'he ascended.' This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself." Ephesians 4:8-10 (NLT)
Because of the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the door is open for anyone to establish a personal relationship with the Alpha and the Omega - the very Lord of the Universe!
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God." Romans 5:8-11 (NLT)
You are correct when you state we are "free with Jesus!"
In answer to your questions:
1) Should we still do this stuff?
Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. It is certainly your right to carry out Old Testament punishments in fulfillment of the Law. However, in doing so, you must be aware of your own violations of the Law, which make you subject to the same condemnation. (This is why the sacrifice of Christ is the greatest act of love in human history. He died so that we are saved.)
Here's what Jesus had to say:
"'Teacher,' they said to Jesus, 'this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?' They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, 'All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!' Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, 'Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?' 'No, Lord,' she said. And Jesus said, 'Neither do I. Go and sin no more.'" John 8:4-11 (NLT)
Since Jesus does not condemn, then how can I? I choose forgiveness of sinners, and in doing so, I am justified in the eyes of God. Is this because of my own righteousness? No. It is because the penalty of sin was paid in full on the cross nearly two thousand years ago when God offered His only Son as a sacrifice for human sin. We have been washed clean and justified in full by the blood of the Lamb in complete fulfillment of Old Testament Law.
2) You don't dare to try and FILTER and pick and choose from the word of God right? You don't pull that nambie-pampy "out of context" silliness with passages you don't like, but then wholeheartedly accept those you DO like?
You are correct to say that I never "try and filter and pick and choose from the word of God." The Old Testament Law is still in full force. The Word of God never changes. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The penalty of sin is death. However, that penalty has been paid by Jesus Christ. So, as you say - we truly are "free with Jesus!"
May Glory and Honor be given to His name forever and ever.
And may God bless you.
Your friend in Christ,
[End of Response]
This email exchange is instructive.
Many people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the bible. They read some of the teachings of the Old Testament and fail to see how they are compatible with the New Testament teachings of Jesus. Believing the two contradict one another, they simply conclude that the bible is a fraud. Yet nothing could be further from the truth!
Jesus foresaw this misunderstanding, and in order to avoid confusion, He reiterated His purpose:
"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved." Matthew 5:17-18 (NLT)
By failing to keep God's law, all of humanity is condemned. But due to the grace and mercy of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, the door is open for each and every sinner to be reconciled with God. This is because, in fulfillment of the Old Testament Laws and the Old Testament Prophets, the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross paid our debt in full.
Hundreds of years before the Gospels were written, the Prophet Isaiah foresaw this sacrifice:
"He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave. But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels." Isaiah 53:3-12 (NLT)
Jesus Christ didn't come to abolish the Old Testament Law. On the contrary, He's the only one who ever adhered to it in full. And Jesus didn't come to condemn the Old Testament Prophets, but rather to fulfill to the letter everything they wrote. For it was His coming they looked forward to with hopeful anticipation - the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
We should never forget this as we also look forward to His coming with hopeful anticipation. May Glory and Honor be given to His name forever and ever!
Britt Gillette is the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy and the author of Coming To Jesus and Signs Of The Second Coming. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for FREE when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.
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