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God's Law; We are discharged from the Law of Moses?

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posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:02 PM
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Discharged from the Law?

The attitude of the Christian church to the laws of the Pentateuch is based on the teaching of Paul;
“But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit”- Romans ch7 v6
In other words, this law belongs to the past, and not to the present time.

This can be justified in a number of ways.
For one thing, as I keep observing, these laws were not designed for the modern world.
They were clearly designed for a different kind of world, a mainly agricultural society.
Just one practical example will be enough to make the point;
The law on rape involves the assumption that “A woman who calls for help in the city will receive help quickly”.
I believe this was a valid and a reasonable assumption in the time when it was made, because it was made in different social circumstances (with smaller towns).
Obviously it’s not a valid assumption at all in modern cities, and it can’t be applied in modern cities without creating injustice.
I doubt whether even the Jews can apply these laws in the modern world, without a certain amount of tinkering.
For this reason alone, they would need to be revised.
They can only be “God’s laws” for a period of Israel’s history, rather than for all time.

Paul says that the purpose of the Law was to be our “schoolmaster” (AV), our “custodian” (RSV), “like a slave serving us” (Jerusalem Bible) until Christ came.- Galatians ch3 v24
These various translations are rendering the Greek word PAIDAGOGOS.
The PAIDAGOGOS was a family slave entrusted with the daily guardianship and education of a child.
He was a male version of Mary Poppins, except that he had a lower social status (even lower than the status of a real Victorian governess, who would normally be paid less than a good cook).
His disciplinary methods might be very harsh, because a slave might not otherwise find it easy to hold the attention of the free-born son of the household.
But the child was released from the slave’s charge, of course, once he came of age.

So Paul’s meaning is that the Law was a system of discipline which held God’s people in a kind of servitude.
It had a necessary but temporary function, preparing them for adulthood, but once they had reached adulthood they were released from its control.
The moment of adulthood is to be identified with the arrival of Faith, which replaces the Law, and their “adoption” in Christ (ch4 vv1-5).

I’ve been using the “teacher” analogy myself, but in a different way.
In my version, God himself is the teacher (more in the style of a modern professional educator), and the Law is part of the teaching material which he’s using.
But this version of the analogy leads to the same conclusion, because the teaching material used in the modern classroom varies according to the age and circumstances of the pupils.
The books used in the infants’ class are not the books used in the university lecture hall.
I’ve heard a physics graduate complaining that he had to re-learn the laws of physics at every stage in his education.
In the same way, the guidance which God gives to his people might be expected to change according to the level of their spiritual growth as well as the condition of their society.
The pupils move on from the elementary material to the more advanced material.
That is, in Paul’s terms, they move on from the Law to Faith.

The Law which Paul is rejecting is the written code, published in the name of Moses.
Other parts of the New Testament show greater respect for the law, but on closer examination it’s not clear that the law they want to keep is the same law which Paul is rejecting.

Thus James, for example, tells his readers about the need to keep “the whole law”.
However, he seems to understand this law in terms of the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, which sits in the background of everything he says.
He’s quoting the commandment which Jesus quoted, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”.
He calls this “the royal law”, in most translations, though I’ve argued elsewhere that the Greek really means “the law which belongs to the Kingdom”.
He also uses the very suggestive phrase “the law of liberty”.
Paul says that we have been “made free” from the law, and I’m inclined to think that James has coined this semi-Pauline term to mean much the same thing. “The law of liberty” is not the written law (which is not liberty), but a substitute for the written law, to be found perhaps in the teaching of Jesus. (James ch2 vv8-12)

Jesus himself appears to take a firm stand when he declares that the law will never pass away.
At the same time, though, there are details in the written law which he’s unwilling to endorse.
He asserts that the permission to divorce was in conflict with God’s real will, and only allowed because of their “hardness of heart”.
He’s also very reluctant to enforce the death-penalty for adultery.
So perhaps he, too, is thinking in terms of “the spirit of the law”, as expressed in his own teaching, rather than “the letter of the law” which had been given by Moses.

There’s an obvious danger in the idea that the law has been made obsolete, which explains why religious teachers might be reluctant to take that route.
The problem is that people are only too ready to understand “freedom from law” as “freedom from all restraint”, and live accordingly.
That is not what Paul means at all.
In his teaching, our “service” has not been abolished but simply transferred; we are serving under “the new life of the Spirit”, which is a different kind of restraint.

I can explain the difference by use of analogy.
When I was a child, the school taught us how to cross the road safely.
I still remember watching the misadventures of “little Dolly Daydream” (in those days, a projected silent filmstrip with live teacher commentary).
We were expected to cross by following a set of rules;
“Look right,
Look left,
Look right again;
When all is clear, then cross”.
That could be called “the letter of the law”.
Obviously the important point here is the basic principle of not running out into traffic.
That could be called “the spirit of the law”.
Now that I’m grown up, I don’t follow those rules religiously (“freed from the law”), but I don’t take that as permission to rush out and get myself killed.
Instead, I live under “the spirit of the law” by keeping my wits about me enough to make sure there aren’t any vehicles coming.
There is still restraint, but a different kind of restraint.

Paul seems to assume that the Christian will be receiving moral guidance direct from the Holy Spirit.
However, the later church has never been able to live up to that standard.
Individual Christians did not feel confident enough to rely on this direct contact, and the church leadership was reluctant to risk leaving them to their own devices.
So the church, in practice, has evolved the compromise theory that the “ritual law” has been abolished while the “moral law” content of the Law of Moses remains valid, especially in the Ten Commandments.
This works well enough as a practical rule of thumb, but it’s not really what Paul means.
He does agree that we should not be committing theft and murder and adultery.
But his point is that we now avoid these things because the Holy Spirit tells us to avoid them, and not because the Law of Moses tells us to avoid them.

We are discharged from the Law of Moses, in every detail




posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




who art thy shall I sayeth, that hath sent you unto us that all the inhabitants of ATS mayest Deny thou Ignorance that has been given dominion upon them ,for thou is not worthy
edit on 25-4-2014 by Hoaxster because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: Hoaxster
I agree that I am not worthy (you seem to be confusing "thou" with "thy", but I think I know what you mean).
However, I hope the Holy Spirit has sent me.
I write in faith and in good faith.
Do you agree with the OP or not?



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So Paul’s meaning is that the Law was a system of discipline which held God’s people in a kind of servitude.
That was being kind, considering he was writing this letter to create a reconciliation between the Jew and gentile factions in the Roman church.
What he may have thought, and along with Jesus too, was that the law was completely man made, though of course there were some good points in it, if interpreted correctly.


edit on 25-4-2014 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: jmdewey60
a reply to: DISRAELI

So Paul’s meaning is that the Law was a system of discipline which held God’s people in a kind of servitude.
That was being kind, considering he was writing this letter to create a reconciliation between the Jew and gentile factions in the Roman church.
What he may have thought, and along with Jesus too, was that the law was completely man made, though of course there were some good points in it, if interpreted correctly.



No where in the entirety of the Bible is the Law considered man-made.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: jmdewey60
In that part of the OP I had moved on to the passage in Galatians, where Paul seems to acknowledge the Law as given by God ("it was added because of transgressions") even if only as a temporary arrangement.

In this series, I've confined myself to describing the law as "endorsed by God" and "published in his name".
My premise has been that these are human laws in the first instance, but modified human laws, and that the Biblical God's input is mainly in the modifications.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

No where in the entirety of the Bible is the Law considered man-made.
Jesus said that Moses added into the Law the provision for a man to divorce his wife for any reason.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

In that part of the OP I had moved on to the passage in Galatians, where Paul seems to acknowledge the Law as given by God ("it was added because of transgressions") even if only as a temporary arrangement.
Oh, right, I was looking at the earlier citation.

. . . that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code . . .

Same idea, slightly different context.

. . . the law as "endorsed by God" and "published in his name".
"God" being the person connected with the Jerusalem temple which had posted at the gate, the Ten Commandments, and all who entered were asked by a priest if they had kept them.
edit on 25-4-2014 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I apologize , I never could keep my thou's & thy's straight...

I agree,, I think the laws he may have been referring too were man made laws -(written laws that can be interrupted many ways) hence we have lawyers... and laws put into the hearts and minds of men (Spirit ) ,where under certain circumstances violation of laws is allowed & vice versa ...

but from what I understand there were many, many more Commandments "Laws" given to Moses,,not just 10

but i'm not a bible historian,, so dont quote me on that

edit on 25-4-2014 by Hoaxster because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: Hoaxster
My theory on the OT laws, as I've been elaborating in this series, is that the influence of the Spirit of God is mixed up with the more "human" element, so there is somethning to be gained from trying to distinguish between the two.
The laws are not to be treated as set laws, but they can still tell us something about God.
What Paul was criticising was the attitude of taking all of them as a lunp and refusing to be shifted from them.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I agree with your op. I think of it this way:

In the post Cross life, we as believers are born again as new creatures. Our sins have been paid for in the past, so as new creatures we require a new law. This not to say that OT believers arent saved, but that they were looking forward to the cross, whereas the cross has now been reality for some time.

So, old creation requires old Law, where new creation requires new Law. Old Law is for the spiritually dead, New Law is for the spiritually living.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest
Yes, Paul's way of putting that is "We serve in the new life of the Spirit" (in place of the written law)- Romans ch7 v6
I believe he sees the Christian as under the direct guidance of the Spirit.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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Without wanting to engage in argument, let me just add that in the Old Testament, blood sacrifice of animals was required for sins. Under the Old Covenant the Jews were under the Law and its system. With the ultimate blood sacrifice, Jesus, on the cross, there is no longer a need for animal sacrifice, and we live under grace, not under the Law. The only God given law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai with the ten Commandments. Under the law of grace, the Greatest Law is to love the Lord and to love your neighbor as yourself. We are still expected to obey the Ten Commandments, but are not under the wrath of God for being human, if we accept His Son and his sacrifice on the cross for our sins and believe in Jesus. That's all I have to say on the matter, not here to argue just to possibly clarify or help someone understand.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: jmdewey60

Jesus said that Moses added into the Law the provision for a man to divorce his wife for any reason.


Well, you are correct about the civil provisions, but the Levitical Law, and the Ten Commandments are from God, not man. These are the laws Paul refered to.
edit on 25-4-2014 by BELIEVERpriest because: text added



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 07:18 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

These are the laws Paul refered to.
"Referred to" . . what?
In what way?
I don't think the practitioners of the Jerusalem temple cult were somehow "looking forward" to the cross.
I don't think that Jesus' death was somehow carrying out the Law.
I don't think that the Bible supports the idea that Jesus was somehow a sacrificial offering to God or any other entity.
And nowhere does it say in the Bible that Jesus' death somehow "paid" for sins.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 07:27 PM
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If i were the man upstairs i would say that all this hurts my brain. Then i would say love me for i am your GOD and your neighbor. This shall be the whole of the law.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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originally posted by: jmdewey60
a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

These are the laws Paul refered to.
"Referred to" . . what?
In what way?
I don't think the practitioners of the Jerusalem temple cult were somehow "looking forward" to the cross.
I don't think that Jesus' death was somehow carrying out the Law.
I don't think that the Bible supports the idea that Jesus was somehow a sacrificial offering to God or any other entity.
And nowhere does it say in the Bible that Jesus' death somehow "paid" for sins.



If the Levitical Law was a "temple cult" practice, then Jesus is the cult leader. The Jews had to make continuous blood sacrifices, because they were without the blood of Christ. Now that we have the blood of Christ, further blood sacrafice is no longer required. The Law of God is always the same, though much like the doppler shift, it apears to change with perspective.

From the post-cross perspective, the blood sacrafice made by Jesus permanently replaces animal blood. The same clauses are in effect, the only change is our status from dead to alive.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

If the Levitical Law was a "temple cult" practice, then Jesus is the cult leader.
You could fill in some detail as to what that means.

The Jews had to make continuous blood sacrifices, because they were without the blood of Christ.
What "blood sacrifices"?
They were whole burnt offerings, after the blood was drained out of the animals.
There isn't something involved that prefigured Jesus as a sacrifice.

Now that we have the blood of Christ, further blood sacrafice is no longer required.
Please show how it ever was.

The Law of God is always the same, though much like the doppler shift, it apears to change with perspective.
It changed at Mount Sinai.

From the post-cross perspective, the blood sacrafice made by Jesus permanently replaces animal blood.
It doesn't. The Book of Hebrews says that in a metaphorical sense Jesus' blood filled the role that the blood of the bull did for the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, which was to perfect him as holy enough to enter the Most Holy Place before the Ark of the Covenant.

The same clauses are in effect, the only change is our status from dead to alive.
Nothing is "in effect", according to the New Testament.
There is a spiritual Law that exists outside of the old written Mosaic Law.
If there wasn't, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to have come in the first place.
Jesus is the pure receptacle of God's spirit, and from that position, in Heaven, can transfer a version of it from himself to us, by his being one of us, that we can survive, and to have to make us do good, as God would have us to do.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: jmdewey60

I meant exaclty what I said. Jesus' fulfilled the Levitical Law in life and death. If you consider that a cult practice, the you have to consider Jesus a cult leader. I do not consider the Levitical Law a cult practice, but God's will for ancient Israel. It was the Pharisean order that profaned the Levitical Law, not God.

I dont have the energy to re-address this debate with you. Jesus fulfilled the Temple rites. If you fail to see that, it is by personal choice.



posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 02:41 PM
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I will just add. for information, that the Index thread for this series has only been postponed, not abandoned.
It will be appearing in the course of the next few days.




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