Why Do Christians Obey Some OT Laws & Ignore Others?

An Introduction

Hello TP4 readers,

I am Daniel Grey, a friend of Nathan’s. I asked Nathan if I could use his soap box to help equip the Saints and he has graciously and generously welcomed me.

A few months ago a friend challenged my group of Christian friends to each bring our most feared question about the Bible/Religion/God. The result was six deep questions loaded with emotional and/or cultural baggage. And so I got to work answering each one with gifts God gave us: faith, The Bible, reason & (hopefully) gentleness. I hope each of you will take into consideration my answers, but most of all I hope you test everything I have presented. Be like the Bareans. Without further ado here is question 1 of 6.

Why Do Christian Obey Some Old Testament Law, But Ignore Others?

Christians obey some old testament laws and ignore others because we love God and all laws were fulfilled by Jesus. Let me explain.

There are three types of laws. These three categories were developed by scholars, not presented specifically in scripture.

  1. Ceremonial/Sacrificial – meant for the temple
  2. Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
  3. Moral – meant for everyday life

Jesus’ one sacrifice on the cross satisfies the need for any laws regarding forgiveness of sins (Ceremonial/Sacrificial laws) because forgiveness is offered to all Christians who ask for it. The Government/Judicial law is meant for the (probably ancient) nation state of Israel. Since most Christian do not live in Israel now and no one lives in the ancient state of Israel we can see that the the Government/Judicial law is non applicable. On top of all that we can turn to scripture and see that according to Romans 10:4 and Galatians 2:16 all OT laws were satisfied by Jesus so we are no longer under the law.

We have covered why Christians don’t obey certain laws (Ceremonial/Sacrificial & Governmental/Judicial) of the Old Testament, but why do they obey the moral laws?

The moral law states what is pleasing to God. Since we know God doesn’t ever change we know that what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. In other words, God loved when a husband encouraged his wife in 50 B.C. just as much as when a Husband encourages his wife today.

Don’t we (usually) want to express our love to those we adore? If a husband finds that his wife loves purple flowers, does he not buy purple flowers every time he gets her flowers? If a wife knows her husband loves back rubs when he is stressed does she not rub his back when the weight of the world is on him?

This is true of the Christian in their relationship with God today. A Christian need not obey the moral law for salvation. Salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone. A Christian simply obeys the moral law as an act of love toward God. We know these behaviors please Him and we do those behaviors simply because we love Him.

But how do we determine what is a moral law? As stated before the categories of the law are not laid out in scripture so any answer we find must be taken with a grain of salt. I landed on these answers which I got from Got Questions & Bible Study Tools. You can Identify a moral law if it does one of these three things

  1. Promote the welfare of those who obey
  2. Reveal the fallen state of man
  3. Restrain evil

I hope you found this answer helpful. Below you can find my list of sources and my outline for this post.

~ Daniel F. Grey

MORE ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS
Is My Unbelieving Loved One In Hell?
How Can A Good God Allow Suffering?
Can Someone Embrace Homosexuality And Still Be Saved?
How Do You Admonish Someone Who Is Not A Believer?
How Do You Direct A Stranger Who Wants To Take The Next Step As A Believer?

Sources

Outline

Why do some old testaments laws still hold while others are overlooked?

  • 3 types of laws (these categories are made up by scholars, not presented specifically by scripture)
      • Ceremonial/sacrificial – meant for the temple
      • Government/Judicial – meant for nation state
      • Moral – meant for everyday life
  • All OT laws were satisfied by Jesus and so we are no longer under the law. Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16
  • However, some Christians still follow the moral law… Why?
    • The moral law states what is pleasing to God and what is pleasing to God 2,000 years ago is pleasing to God today. 
    • As an act of love for Christ – people naturally try to please their loved ones to express their love for them – Christians do the same with Jesus. 
  • How do we determine what is a moral law?
    • Moral laws
      • Promote the welfare of those who obey
      • Reveal the fallen state of man
      • Restrain evil
        • This list is a combination of got questions & bible study tools articles.

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