THE LAW IN THE ERA OF GRACE.




THE LAW IN THE ERA OF GRACE.

The law can be seen as the books written by Moses. But the law is actually more than that. Based on what we see in the new testament. In summary, the law is also the civil laws, religious ceremonies and everything that Moses wrote, the books of Moses, the Torah or the Law. And the core of the law is the ten commandment.
Some persons say that everything about the law is gone. Well it is not exactly true. But depends on what you are looking at in the law. And the purpose for which you are looking at the law.



Acts 15:28-30
"28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.”
These were given by the apostles and elders of the church as we see in verse 23, and these were gotten from the law of Moses. Paul himself also preached from the law. Its obvious that some of the revelations of Paul were also gotten from the law of Moses.
Acts 21;26
”So Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.”
This is Paul, carrying out a part of the law. Paul was a Jew and was acting as a Jew but does not expect Gentiles to do the same.  As we see in his conversation with Peter.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 (NLT)
When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law.  When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 
It is obvious why Paul did what he did. Let it be clear, that the law CAN NOT AND WILL NEVER MAKE A MAN RIGHTEOUS. What Paul did was as a result of tradition of his people. We have seen that the whole law was not thrown away as some say. The law does not have a legal authority over any man, who is born again. The purpose for which you are looking into the law matters.
We have seen the elders, give the people commandments, that had been cut out from the law and also how Paul followed the Law of purification.

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (NLT)
Don't you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings.  In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.

We see Paul quoting from the law again about offerings that should be given to spiritual leaders. it is obvious that Paul is not totally against the whole law.

How can a man appreciate the solution to a problem, when he does not know the problem? The law shows us our weakness and what we were trying to overcome. But the law is a shadow of the things that is to come. If the law is a shadow then what is to come must be greater. Christ fulfilled the law and made us to access what was greater than the law. It means that what we see in the law is little compared to what we are to do for Christ.



The law tried to help us accomplish love but because God is love and man did not have God resident in him fully, it was difficult. Christ coming granted us access to that love. Christ was a man under the law and he said “greater things shall you do.” Christ did not come to give us instructions that were written on tablet of stones but to gives us words that had been made flesh as a result of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Israelites struggled to achieve the laws that were given to them because they were outside (on tablet of stones). But when Christ came he fulfilled them because he knew the purpose which was love (and that is who he is). Which we see in the epistle of John “God is love”.

If we say that the law is totally useless then we can marry our brothers, sisters and mothers. Those laws were brought because of hereditary diseases that God foresaw will be an issue in the future if we kept on marrying close relatives. The laws given to us about how the animals should be killed by burning the fat and offered as a sacrifice was also a dietary law to help prevent us from accumulating cholesterol which scientist of today, have asked us avoid.  Now we see that there was a purpose. If you can achieve this purpose then go ahead and enjoy your meat.
But, Christ settled this when he resurrected. And every Christian, has the power over every sickness. But the power you can yield will depend on your level of faith and revelation in Christ. Before Christ ascended he said in:
Mark 16:17-18 (KJV)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

Take note:
“and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;”

It is obvious that no matter the deadly thing you take, you can’t be hurt, because you are living as the resurrected man in Christ that is not affected by laws of nature. This is the kind of man that Adam was until he fell into sin. So, the man being referred to here is a man dwell and operating in the resurrection power of Christ. Perhaps your faith is not strong enough, then you can obey the law about what you are to eat. But never on the basis, that it will make you righteous, because it is a total waste since it will only be a filthy rag before God. This does not cover for only food but also for diseases like Cancer, Fever, Malaria, Typhoid, AIDS, Ebola, etc. the end product of that dietary law was to make sure that, they were fit health-wise.

What do you neglect in the law of Moses?
1.       Everything that tells you that your righteousness is by your works or animal sacrifice.
2.       Avoid the rituals of the law but try to meet the purpose (end) of every law since all that Christ came to do was to fulfill the law. This you must do by the help of the Holy Spirit.

Am I to study the law as a believer?
It is not wrong to do so as a believer. When studied with the Holy Spirit your understanding will be enlightened.



Psalm 119:18 (KJV)
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 

So, we see that the law has beautiful things only when studied with the Holy Ghost. As at the time of Timothy, there was no bible. All that they had was just the law and the prophets. And even if there were letters written by apostles, it was not everywhere. Paul telling Timothy to study to show himself approved was actually referring Timothy to the Law and the Prophets (2Tim2:15). If you look closely at the teachings of Paul closely, you will find out that some of them were from law and Prophets.
If you were to ask Jesus about what you were to do for to live a righteous life based on this passage:


1 John 3:7 (NLT)
Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 

Christ will refer you to a part of the law. But this time, not the law written on tablets of stone but on heart and on the mind. And these law is just summarized as the law of love for God and that of man.


Matthew 19:20-22 (NLT)
"I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"  Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."  But when the young man heard this, he went away very sad, for he had many possessions. 

We see that this man did not have the love of God in His heart, otherwise his heart would not have been taken by great possessions. He had the love of man to some extent. When it came for him to give sacrificial to free his heart from the lust of the world, he rejected and went away.
Giving to the poor is found in the law, so we see that we can’t just kick out the purpose of the law which is love. The law can’t be broken but can be made flexible, in other words, we must live in the fulfilled purpose of the law.

Matthew 5:17-19 (NLT)
"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.  So, if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Christ was not asking us to go back to rituals or to seek righteousness in the law but he was asking us to look at the purpose of the law.



Tithe and First fruits in the Era of Grace
The believer is already blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). So, the blessing is not the issue. Malachi 3 tells us about the devourer which is the work of only God. If you see anywhere in scripture where it is said that man will rebuke the devourer, please tell me. So far, I have not seen any. So, it is a work meant for only God. Secondly, the principle of giving can not be broken because seed time and harvest time cannot cease. So, when you give, just expect to receive. Giving is very important and that was why God noticed Cornelius in Acts 10:31. The blessings of God are spiritual as we see in Eph 1:3 but must be received physically, by our actions on earth. The purpose of first fruit must be given because you want to honor God.

Proverbs 3:9 (KJV)
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 

And not because of a law. And your honour must be from a heart of pure love as we see in Matt 15:8, John 5:41-42, we see God asking for his Honour in Mal1:6. But take note, this must be done based on your level of understanding with God. In the Era of grace things are done based on your understanding with the Holy Spirit. Lest your righteousness seen as a thing of works (self-righteousness). Follow God, as he leads you. Paul did not ask them for their money or food because of their level of understanding.

1 Corinthians 9:13-15 (NLT)
Don't you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings.  In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.  Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 

2 Thessalonians 3:8 (NLT)
We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 

The law was a shadow of things to come, meaning, you will do more in the Era of Grace than you did in the law but this time as directed by the Holy Spirit in us. The words spoken were Spirit, and it is this Spirit that will be made flesh in our actions. The Era of Grace is the real thing, so let us trust in the Holy Spirit leading.





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