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THREE ASPECTS OF THE LAW

THREE ASPECTS OF THE LAW by Ven Dr I. U. Ibeme <a href=http://priscaquila.6te.net ; http://www.scribd.com/ifeogo ; Click Here For PriscAquila Christian Resource Centre Comment on The Chapel of Grace Blog: http://thechapelofgrace.wordpress.com The LAW of Moses is God’s C ovenant Testimony of Inspired Guiding Precepts which He revealed in the THREE ASPECTS OF THE LAW as • Ritual STATUTES administered by the Priests, • Judicial JUDGMENTS administered by the Princes and • Moral COMMANDMENTS internalized by all the People, in order to help His Covenant People walk in His Ways. " id="pdf-obj-0-15" src="pdf-obj-0-15.jpg">

The LAW of Moses is God’s Covenant Testimony of Inspired Guiding Precepts which He revealed in the THREE ASPECTS OF THE LAW as

• Ritual STATUTES administered by the Priests,

Judicial JUDGMENTS administered by the Princes and • Moral COMMANDMENTS internalized by all the People, in order to help His Covenant People walk in His Ways.

The Church’s disregard and disdain for the Law have made most Gentile Christians ignorant of the

Law with its specificities and specialities. This is why the Law is mainly glossed over, misunderstood and muddled up in the Churches today. This is evident in the confusion about sin and salvation, about works and grace, about redemption and responsibility, about justification and sanctification, etc.

How and why did the Apostles use the Old Testament Scriptures of the Law and the Prophets as the New Testament Church?

The Law was not merely a Law of Condemnation and Curses but mainly a Law of Charity and Blessings, and not only for temporal Prosecution for offenders but also for eternal Promises for believers; so NONE CAN FULLY RECEIVE or obtain THE BIBLICAL BLESSINGS IF ONE UTTERLY REJECT or does not obey THE BIBLICAL LESSONS. These are often muddled up, but in the New

Testament, Christ and the Apostles insisted that the Gospel did not come to destroy the Law (Mat 5:17-19) rather the Law and the whole of Old Testament Scriptures no longer serve as legislative letterof condemnatory ORDINANCES against us (2Cor 3:6-9; Col 2:16-17) but serve as elementary COUNSELS for godly wisdom to those of us who are saved through faith in Christ (2Tim 3:15). Therefore the Law which was carnal LEGISLATION for outward schoolmaster policing and pedagogy in a kindergarten or dull minded Israel of Jacob’s descendants a symbolic shadowy People of God (Gal 3:24; 4:2-3; Heb 10:1) has become basically EXEMPLARY (1Cor 10:6) and TYPOLOGICAL (Heb 9:24) for godly imitation and inward spiritual precepts (Mat 5:20-48) in the advanced and enlightened Church of Christ’s disciples the real substantive People of God (Gal 3:25; 4:4-5; Col 2:16-17).

This was why the ancient Apostolic Church used the Old Testament Scriptures of the Law and the Prophets for INSTRUCTION (teaching, correction, reproof and direction) in righteousness and fruitful living (2Tim 3:16-17) NOT LEGISLATION. To be truly Christian according to the Scriptural Gospel, the present Church must follow in this Apostolic approach. Utmost diligence and commitment must be ensured not to be tossed to-and-fro to either fall into the revisionist libertinism of Gnosticized “Christianity” that rejects and disregards Old Testament Law and Prophets especially in the Western world under the influence of POSTMODERN New Age theosophies, or fall into the retrogressive literalism of Judaized “Christianity” that legalizes and ritualizes Old Testament Law and Prophets especially in the rest of the world under the influence of PRIMAL traditional superstitions.

“The Jews in their arrogance mistook the LAW for magisterial legalism instead of guidance to divine truth; The Church in her ignorance has also mistaken GRACE for individual libertinism instead of divine enablement for purity.“

Broadly speaking, although all laws are inevitably interwoven, yet LAWS (Israelite or Gentile) are always known to be of Ritual, Moral and Civil categories ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSES THEY SERVE (inside or outside the Bible). God’s Law has both the moral Law of commandments and ritual Law of ordinances/statutes (Luk 1:6; Eph 2:15) as well as the civil Law of judgments (Lev

25:16; Deut 5:31; 6:1; 1Kin 8:58). This is applicable to the 613 codes of the Mosaic LAWS in the Old Testament Torah:

  • I. CEREMONIAL “works” or RITUAL Laws (STATUTES) of feasts, Sabbaths, circumcision, sacrifices, exclusions, cleansings and atonements are those works mediated by the Priests for Tabernacle/Temple WORSHIP, all of which are no longer possible since the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem and sack of Israel with their priesthood. Violation of Ritual Laws attracts CURSES from God and these Laws were perfectly EXPIATED by Christ on the Cross for Christians to APPROPRIATE by Faith. Such Ritual Laws with their symbolic and localised temporal means CANNOT offer valid MEDIATORY WORKS or PROPITIATION WORKS of Messianic Atonement and Heavenly Advocacy for the Eternal Gospel of New Creation and the Universal Christian Church inaugurated in the death and resurrection of Christ (Act 15; Heb 7-9).

II.

CIVIL or JUDICIAL Laws (JUDGMENTS) are those dealing with GOVERNANCE, TORT and CRIME adjudicated by the State Judges and Princes for societal harmony and peace, security and order (even in Israel, these were further promulgated in addition to the laws in the Torah).

Violation of Civil Laws attracts PENALTIES from the Civil Authorities but these Laws shall be perfectly EXECUTED by Christ as Judge of all at His Second Coming for Christians to ANTICIPATE through humane civil order.

Such Civil Laws are not to be autocratic to lord it over the people of the nations but humane to serve to protect natural and citizenship rights and safety.

III.

MORAL or SPIRITUAL Laws (COMMANDMENTS) are those of LOVE for God and neighbour, of good CONSCIENCE and of FAITH toward God, all of which are required (irrespective of atoning works of the Priests and Tabernacle/Temple or witness/justice of the Judges and State/Courts), to be accountably obeyed by all. Violation of Moral Laws attracts CURSES from God and these Laws were perfectly

EXEMPLIFIED by Christ in His love and sinlessness for Christians to IMITATE by the help of

enabling Grace and the indwelling Spirit to bear the “Fruit of the Spirit” or “Fruit of Righteousness(Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9; Heb 12:11; Jas 3:16). Such Moral Laws are made more sublime, spiritual and conscientious by Christ’s LOVE

commandments which remain unabolished and never ceasing.

We must know which of these the Apostles speak in each case of mention of the word “Law”. This is clearly consistent with plain Scripture.

And if you shall despise my STATUTES, or if your soul abhors my JUDGMENTS, so that you will not do all my COMMANDMENTS, but that you break my covenant: (Leviticus 26:15)

But as for you, stand you here by me, and I will speak unto you all the COMMANDMENTS, and the STATUTES, and the JUDGMENTS, which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. (Deuteronomy 5:31)

Now these are the COMMANDMENTS, the STATUTES, and the

JUDGMENTS, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it:

(Deuteronomy 6:1)

You shall therefore keep the COMMANDMENTS, and the STATUTES, and the JUDGMENTS, which I command you this day, to do them. (Deuteronomy 7:11)

Beware that you forget not the LORD your God, in not keeping his COMMANDMENTS, and his JUDGMENTS, and his STATUTES, which I command you this day: (Deuteronomy 8:11)

Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and his STATUTES, and his JUDGMENTS, and his COMMANDMENTS, always. (Deuteronomy 11:1)

You have declared the LORD this day to be your God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his STATUTES, and his COMMANDMENTS, and his JUDGMENTS, and to hearken unto his voice: (Deuteronomy

26:17)

In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his COMMANDMENTS and his STATUTES and his JUDGMENTS, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:16)

And keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his STATUTES, and his COMMANDMENTS, and his JUDGMENTS, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself: (1 Kings 2:3)

Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in my STATUTES, and execute my JUDGMENTS, and keep all my COMMANDMENTS to walk in them; then will I perform my word with you, which I spoke unto David your father: (1 Kings 6:12)

That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his COMMANDMENTS, and his STATUTES, and his JUDGMENTS, which he commanded our fathers. (1 Kings 8:58)

Even the New Testament makes reference to the distinction of aspects of the Law. The New Testament also points out that the Eternal Spiritual Works on the Cross served the purpose of the Temporal Carnal Works of the ORDINANCES or STATUTES in a far better way and has taken their place, but has not nullified the purpose and place of responsibilities in the Commandments and Judgments which still remain expected of New Testament believers.

Luke 1:6 (6) And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the COMMANDMENTS and ORDINANCES of the Lord blameless.

Ritual cleansing works provided by the OT have been superseded by the Spiritual saving work provided by the Cross of the NT. On the other hand, Moral truth and precepts of both OT and NT are not divergent but in agreement, only that their bases of operation vary. The elementary moral standards of OT Laws and regulations demand elementary LEGALITY and compliance based on institutional SUPERVISION for enforcement. The advanced moral standards of NT Love and holiness deserve advanced LOYALTY and commitment based on spiritual SUBMISSION for fruitfulness.

Ephesians 2:15 (15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ORDINANCES; to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace;

Hebrews 9:9-15

(9) Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; (10) Which stood only in foods and drinks, and various washings, and carnal ORDINANCES, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (11) But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a GREATER AND MORE PERFECT tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us. (13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:

(14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, WHO THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT OFFERED HIMSELF WITHOUT SPOT to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Updated December 20, 2016

by Ven. Dr. I. U. Ibeme Copyright © PriscAquila Publishing, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Click here for PriscAquila Christian Resource Centre