Law and Grace
1) The law has “ended” for those who “believe” in Christ. For those continuing in ritualistic law, they have “not believed” in full yet partially trying to earn their righteousness through those ritualistic observances.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
Many have trouble understanding the word “end” for the law in the passage above (an irony indeed).
2) Law defines what sin is; but they’re two types, (i) sin because it’s against the Will of God/His Holiness (e.g. Do not commit adultery) and (ii) sin because it’s against a ritualistic practice which was commanded (e.g. Observing Sabbaths, paying tithes etc.)
“What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”.” (Romans 7:7)
3) Type (i) is always in force while type (ii) is the part which has been “nullified” (no need to observe anymore) or “reduced” (some are still to be observed).
Example of “nullified” (eating rules-can’t eat pork, tithes, Sabbaths, feasts such as Passover, circumcision which is the very indicator to keep the law are all done away with):
“Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths,” (Colossians 2:16)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6)
Only these are the “reduced” law which we’re still to observe under the New Covenant/Testament which is outlined in this infamous letter stating what to ‘observe’ (note that “no” tithing, sabbaths, circumcision or any other rituals are mentioned to be kept; only keep what’s written under the New Covenant):
“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.” (Acts 15:29)
It’s reiterated here (for the ‘Gentiles’):
“As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 21:25)
4) A curious note from the Lord.
In the verses below, note that to attain “age-during life”, Christ specifies only certain laws from the 10 commandments (type (i)) but “not” any of type (ii) from the 10 commandments or elsewhere (that is, no keeping of Sabbath or paying tithes is mentioned) – Interesting indeed:
“And a certain ruler questioned Him, saying, ‘Good teacher, what having done — shall I inherit life age-during?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why me dost thou call good? no one [is] good, except One — God; the commands thou hast known: Thou mayest not commit adultery, Thou mayest do no murder, Thou mayest not steal, Thou mayest not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.’ And he said, ‘All these I did keep from my youth;’.” (Luke 18:18 – 21)
5) Keeping/Relying on the nullified Laws for righteousness is “not” obedience; Instead, you’re under a “curse”:
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Galatians 3:10)
6) Please don’t try to keep those nullified laws which are not mentioned to be observed under the New Covenant or you’ll be guilty of ‘all’ of it (that may merit quite a serious correction):
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (James 1:10)
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:18)
8) Contrasted: Law is fulfilled under the New Covenant “not” by performing its nullified ritualistic acts but by “walking in the Spirit” (this is ‘how’ to fulfill the Law):
“In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4)
9) They still tell us (wrongly) that without observing those “Mosaic law-customs” (ritualistic) we “cannot be saved” (exactly as it was the case in the verses below):
“And certain having come down from Judea, were teaching the brethren — ‘If ye be not circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye are not able to be saved;’.” (Acts 15:1)
and to ‘keep the law of Moses’ (literally)
“and there rose up certain of those of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying — ‘It behoveth to circumcise them, to command them also to keep the law of Moses.’.” (Acts 15:5)
10) Need I say more? “New” (Covenant), —-> “old” (Covenant), “obsolete” and “disappearing”.
“in the saying ‘new,’ He hath made the first old, and what doth become obsolete and is old is nigh disappearing.” (Hebrews 8:13)
I rest my case.
“be diligent to present thyself approved to God — a workman irreproachable, rightly dividing the word of the truth;” (2 Timothy 2:15)