Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Law of God

Those who attack Christianity often use the Leviticus strategy, listing some of the harsh and (to our modern perception) strange laws listed there. What they assume by so doing is that every biblical command is a universal law. The Law of God can be divided as such: Moral Law, Civil and Ceremonial Law, and Laws governing the occupation of Palestine. There are also practices alluded to such as primogeniture, the giving of the first-born a double inheritance (since he will take care of the extended, agrarian family). What a New Testament perspective takes away from this is the moral obligations to love God and one’s neighbor, embodied in the Ten Commandments. Besides those, we have principles of conduct, especially in the Book of Proverbs that help us live wisely. What is most important to know is that we do not live under the Law as a means of salvation. No one could meet the standard. Rather (and just as in the Old Covenant), we come to God through sacrifice. Atonement must be made, since God does not overlook our sin. Every sin must be paid for—and was—upon the Cross. When we receive pardon, we desire to live lawfully, not as a way to gain Heaven, but because we’re citizens of the place, and our lives have been transformed by God’s grace.

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