The Old vs New testament.
There has been a life long debate and opinion about the law of God from the old into the new testament with many arguing whether the birth of Jesus Christ meant laws were abolished or not.
Matthew 5:17. When John the Baptist was sent, his message was about repentance and a complete change in thought processes. By the time Jesus started His ministry people were already religious. Synagogues were established and people presumably worshiped God.
This shows that a religious foundation of worship was already in existence. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus’ coming was a fulfilment of the scriptures. Going back a bit, it is important to note that John the Baptist was preparation for what was to come. He wanted the people to have a mental shift and refocus how they worshiped God. The verse clearly states that the law was not changed but through Jesus Christ, it was fulfilled. If religious teachers and pharisees of that day had taken heed of the message preached by John the Baptist, they would have had the capacity and understanding to accept Jesus. Their lack of spiritual intelligence resulted in them going as far as hurriedly crucifying Jesus so that they could observe the sabbath. Yet He is the King of the Sabbath. Now, understand this, if you fail to change your mindset, you inevitably miss out on opportunities to grow in Christ. Another example of such detrimental lack of understanding is demonstrated in the story of the of the two men travelling to Emmaus(Luke 24:13-32). In their spiritual immaturity, they had put their hope’s in Jesus under the misconception that He would physically rule over the people of God. They did not perceive that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to give us right of passage, not on this earth but a heavenly kingdom to come.
It is important to understand and discern the time and season. The law has not changed and how its principles are put into practise is key. The scripture here is authoritative and clear. You must be more faithful than the teachers of the law and pharisees of old. You must understand who God is.
Romans 10: 1-5. Do not be devoted to a church because it’s where your family has worshiped, but be devoted to the principles of God through your understanding. In the book of Romans people became legalistic. True they followed the laws, but did not do so with the understanding and righteousness required to inherit the kingdom. The teaching of Jesus is about matters of the heart. When Jesus came, things became deeper in a way that was spiritual. God wants us to build a trust in Him so much so that though we can’t see Him physically, we perceive Him in all assurance that He never leaves us. Jesus said He is the way the truth and the life, if you are deeply rooted in Christ then fulfilling the laws is natural.
Exodus 20 :1-17. This chapter defines the Laws of Moses. Let us take a look at some of the commandments included.
1. The Sabbath :The law about the sabbath is clear and undeniable. Through the coming of Jesus we see that the essence of this command is not the day in itself. Rather it bears the question, “do you have one particular day completely dedicated to worshiping God? It is neither about the day of the week, but more importantly the act of consciously setting apart a day solely for worship.
2. Do not commit murder. In the new testament there are several verses that encourage love to the extent as to pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). Consider this, when murder is committed it starts with a grievance in the heart that then manifests into an act. Therefore by loving ones enemies this law in the old testament is fulfilled because you cannot kill those you pray for and love. You cannot steal from them or envy them or harm them. Neither can you commit adultery.
Jesus addresses the law from a deeper perspective, a spiritual engagement of the heart that fulfils the law. When you address issues from the heart you have addressed the actions that precede them. Jesus addresses things not from the outside in, but inside out. Jesus was not saying the law wasn’t important, but He was addressing matters of the heart that govern the basis of the law. Commandments were never to benefit God, but to facilitate peaceful and religious living within in a community.
In conclusion therefore, the teaching to say Jesus abolished the law is false. This scripture today nullified that argument. Contrary, even when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted the law. Just because situations have shifted in accordance with the changing times does not mean that the law has changed. Let us therefore work on our hearts so that we can address and fulfil the laws of God as heirs to His throne.