Skip to comments.Old Testament Law (vanity)
Posted on 11/21/2011 12:43:59 PM PST by Former Fetus
I am getting ready to start a series in my Sunday school class on the Feasts of the Lord, as described in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus.
We are Southern Baptists, but there are 3 Seven Day Adventists who attend my class. I know what's coming: we are going to get tangled up with discussing whether or not Christians must follow Old Testament Law. I know the SDAs worship on Saturdays, and at least these 3 people claim to eat kosher (although it seems that to them it just means avoiding pork).
I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to get ready. How much of the Old Testament Law do SDAs follow? Why not 100%? Aren't we "free from the Law"? Why do we keep the Ten Commandments but ignore the rest of the Law? I know all these issues, and more, are going go come up so any suggestions on how to handle them will be very welcome.
I am just trying to make sure the next few weeks are better than the year we spent studying Revelation: the tension with the SDAs got to be so bad that half of my class stopped coming! I had adult students crying in class!
This is complicated, and I’ve come to blows multiple times with atheists who argue that Christians are hypocrites who don’t follow their religion’s commandments. They point out to me that Jesus said “I have not come to abolish the Law, nor the prophets.”
My interpretation is that the ritual obligations and punishments were abolished, not the rules in of themselves. Loosely put, it’s still a sin to do 100 men in a bathhouse, you just can’t stone them to death.
Old Testament is the Law, the New Testament is Grace.
Because of Jesus we are free from the Law, we are Saved by Grace not the Law.
You are the teacher, keep control of the class. When the others are the teacher then they can direct the class they way they want.
Jesus was clear about the Old Testament commandments vs New Testament commandments.
Good luck, pray before class and teach in Grace.
Rituals were ended when Jesus was Crucified. The temple curtain was torn from top to bottom to open the temple and end ritual.
That’s basically what I said, but the atheists I’ve debated seem totally unable to process this idea.
I know all these issues, and more, are going go come up so any suggestions on how to handle them will be very welcome.
The epistle to the Hebrews might be a good place to go. The Old Covenant cultic order from Moses is there said to be "obsolete and ready to pass away".
Also, the Didache, a short manual of belief and church order dating from the time of the apostles or very shortly thereafter, recommends avoiding those their fast days. (As someone I listened to last week said, there something to offend everybody in the Didache.)
Now of course Jews (who don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus) have different ways of interpreting the OT. Some rabbinical commentaries state that you ought to simply follow whatever parts of the Mosaic Law seem the most moral and ethical to you.
You could follow the Official Free Republic Religion Forum (OFRRF) approach.
Ridicule them, laugh at them, call them names.
Look at Acts Chapter 15, where the Council at Jerusalem makes a ruling under the auspices of the Holy Spirit as to whether Christians, especially Gentiles, have to also observe the Law.
In Galatians, Paul, who was a Jew’s Jew, studying under Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin, says the the purpose of the Law was to be a schoolteacher to bring us to Christ.
Man is incapable of keeping the Law. The purpose of the Law is to show our need of a Savior.The Pharisees thought they had it down, but Jesus tweaked them real good every time they looked down their santicmonious noses at Him.
Jesus did not do away with the Law—it still stands. But he overruled the Law with a New Covenant based in grace and forgiveness secured by His sacrifice on the cross. He was able to do that because God was in Him and He in God the Father. The Holy Spirit was in Him, and so He was in the Holy Spirit as well.
Jesus followed the Golden Rule—He has the gold, so He makes the rules.
Man is condemned by the Law, but can be forgiven of the burden by Christ in a personal act of faith. Upon that hinges the freedom of the believer in Jesus Christ.
My close friend is a SDA and he adheres to the dietary restrictions (all - not just pork) and the Saturday sabbath. With regard to the dietary restrictions I always point out Mk. 7:18-19 and he admits he cannot reconcille these verses with his Church’s position. He still follows the dietary restrictions regardless, just to be loyal to his Church.
Until one recognizes that the central purpose of the Law was to inform the Jew that they did not, could not, keep the Law and be driven to the shelter of Messiah (remember the "tutor to lead us to Christ"?), a person is often persuaded that they are pleasing God with these attempts. Instead of recognizing that He demanded perfection or destruction (or satisfaction by His Son), these folks often think any efforts they make toward the Law are better than nothing. This completely misses the point of the Gospel.
But, where to start? Three weeks of background.
 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
No, that’s only for Mormons. I’m not the guy claiming that black people are cursed and can never go to Heaven.
A simple answer is that the Old Testament was only for the Jews. The New Testament is for everyone.
In fact, I’m not certain that non-Hebrews are able to fully understand what is written in the Torah. It was written in the Hebrew tongue for the Hebrew heart, and does not translate well into Roman languages.
The New Testament makes clear which of the Old Testament law should continue to be adhered to. 1 Corinthians 10 speaks to the matter of eating.
We required a Savior because The Law was insufficient. We are instructed to “Go and sin no more”.
1) God is a God of order not chaos. What is sin yesterday is sin today. The definition of sin that I uses is doing anything outside of God's will.
2) God's grace an mercy does free us from the Law of Sin (which a just God must punish) and it's consequence Death (as in Death eternal)
3) God provided to his people laws to guide them and educate them because of their spiritual immaturity.
4) God's laws provide a foundation of understanding of right and wrong. They should be used to teach us what God considers sin.
5) Man in the form of the Jewish church leaders (Pharisees and Sadducee's) went beyond God's laws and created an additional burden on the people. For example, a tailor with a forgotten pin in his cloak is carrying a burden and thus working on the Sabbath.
6) Those of us who are under God's Grace are held to a higher standard and God expects greater maturity from us. He expects us to be GOOD and RIGHT - not just LEGAL.
The situation I present is one of the beggar asking for food. Our Laws say that we as citizens of the US are under no obligation to feed the poor. But God calls us to be mercifully and have compassion on the beggar and feed him.
We as Christians should be seeking the heart of God and working to remove sin from our lives. We can never achieve a state where we are free of sin on our own, and we need the sacrifice of Jesus to cover our sins. But we also should be trying to live as Jesus showed us.
“It was written in the Hebrew tongue for the Hebrew heart, and does not translate well into Roman languages.”
Pretty much. Hebrew is totally alien to the Indo-European languages and an exact translation often can’t be done.
Just point out right back to them that the very next thing Jesus said was "...not an iota, not a dot will pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Jesus' incarnation and crucifixion accomplished all that the dietary, cleanliness and ceremonial aspects of the law were intended to do - point the way to Jesus. This accomplishment was confirmed by Jesus on the cross when he said, "It is finished".
I agree with you.
I believe Christ IS the Sabbath.
Matthew 10:28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29...and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.