Following on from my previous post, I had a question, which came to me, when I drafted it: One that has given me a lot of trouble over the year. What is the deal with the Old Testament code and law, and can we ignore it in light of Matthew chapter 7 where Jesus talks about the fact that he 'did not come to replace the law, but to fulfil it.’ ?
I think the distinction here is the Law and the laws. In Exodus, God gave one Law. Then he broke it down into 10 commandments, which were all separated into 613 rules. But you can't break one rule without breaking the whole Law. Its part of the whole law of righteousness.
God saved his people, but they had to follow the Law to allow them to be Holy enough to approach him. This involved many rituals, sacrifices and cleansing. Then Jesus came, and by fulfilling the law - being the sacrifice and cleansing us - he made it possible for us to no longer be slaves to the rules and rituals that were making the law so hard to follow.
His law is a new law, but it is also a fulfilment of the old law. We need to be holy, as he was holy, but we do not do it by following the law, but by following him.
For practical examples look at how Jesus and Paul ignore the rules relating to food, and the Sabbath. He obviously wanted to free us from the law as much as from sin. But he gave is new rules for conducting ourselves, that go back to the spirit of the first Law, but don't place a burden on us, except the burden of love.
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