I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Every Man, Woman and Child

A CHRIST FOLLOWERS OBLIGATION TO THE OT LAW




Romans 8:3
"For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh."

What is  a Christ followers obligation to the law? Paul answers this question in its simplicity in Romans 6:14 “you are not under the law, but under grace.” According to  Fee and Stuart, “The law was God’s gift to his people to establish the ways they were to live in community with one another and to provide for their relationship with and worship of Yahweh.”[1] There are approximately over 600 laws found in the OT.


The first mention of the law in the NT is in Matthew 1:19. “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law...” Joseph was a true believer in God who had thereby been declared righteous, and who carefully obeyed the law. The law is still in full swing in the context of this chapter, but we see a divine intercession from an angel in verse 20-21. Before Jesus is even born we see a change in order.  
The first mention of the law by Jesus is in Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” This is a key doctrinal verse to support the amplification by Christ of the Law. When we compare verses 21-44 we see Jesus amplifying the law not abolishing it. For example verse 21 “You shall not kill,” verse 22 “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”
We also see the OT law as Christological. John 5:46 “If you believed Moses (Law), you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” We see typology, symbolism and foreshadowing of Jesus Christ thought the OT law and prophets.

The primary shift from law to grace is the relationship with and worship of God. The OT laws gave a way to establish fellowship, but it was powerless. Jesus is the ultimate fulfilled way for relationship and worship to God. Romans 8:3 “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” According to Douglas J. Moo, Paul elaborates in chapter 8 as he did in Chapter 7, that “The Mosaic law was powerless to rescue human being from the authority of sin and death.”[3] To conclude, the demands of the law could not be met because the people to whom the law was given were in the realm of the “flesh,” but God in Christ has intervened to do what the law could not.

To conclude, a Christ followers obligation is toward Jesus the ultimate fulfillment of the law. When we are under complete Lordship of Jesus Christ we are changed by His power out of a willfulness to love Him more without personal gain attached. If there is an ounce of personal gain out of transformation it is moralism not love. Moralism is the thought “If I… Then I…” love is “ He did… I will…” 

"Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law" Romans 3:31. Why? Because the law is useful in showing us our sin and weakness (Romans 3:20). The law is God's gift to the believer to continually increase the serious dependence on Jesus.  James says it this way "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it they will be blessed in what they do." 

Question:

How has the law brought you into a deeper dependence on God?

What was the outcome after acknowledging your sin and attempting to change on your own?

Prayer:

God, thought the Scriptures we see time and time again Your intervening into mankind. In the garden You clothed Adam and Eve, in the desert You provided the manna, and at Golgotha You provided payment for mankind's sin in Jesus the Christ. We are left with a choice according to our free will, to accept and receive the payment You paid, or pay it our self. God, I accept and receive Jesus, I pray You fill those who believe by faith with Your Holy Spirit and begin Your good work resulting in a transformed life, in Jesus name, AMEN.

(1) Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, “How to Read the Bile for all its worth,” P. 163