God has established a series of laws in the universe. These laws are good. These include the law of Moses, the law of sin and death, the law of God, the law of justice, the law of love, and the royal law. In the New Testament, “the law” refers to the old situation where people viewed obedience to the commandments as the way of accepting God. The apostle Paul often contrasts this with the state of forgiveness that believers now enjoy by God`s grace. Paul likes to make this contrast between the impossible situation of trying to gain forgiveness and the new situation of forgiveness out of pure mercy because of Christ`s sacrifice. The Law of Moses was given to the Israelites while they were still a band of former slaves struggling to survive. Many of the laws were specific to the system of worship and agricultural life of ancient Israel (Exodus 12:14-16, Leviticus 1:10-13, 11:1-23, 15:19-20, 19:19, 19:27-28, 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Like life at that time, many were harsh and cruel compared to the teachings of Jesus (Exodus 35:2; Deuteronomy 20:10–14; 21,18-21; 22:23-24).
But there are also many moral teachings that form the basis of Christian morality (Exodus 20:1-17; 23:6-9; Leviticus 19:9–10; 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5). Abraham believed in God, and so he was judged in a good relationship with God, although he was not perfect. If Abraham believed God`s incredible promise, he had enough faith to do whatever God asked of him. Even when God`s command seemed to threaten God`s promise to him, Abraham was willing to obey God. But it was faith, not obedience, that was counted for righteousness. The attitude of the heart was more important than the result. In 1948, the Jewish people regained a homeland when they established the modern state of Israel. Today, this democratic nation is not strictly governed by the ancient Hebrew laws of the Torah. Israel has adopted modern procedures and individual rights from the English and Western legal systems. However, many of these procedures and rights had been developed from ancient principles of Jewish law. Magna Carta (“Magna Carta”) is perhaps the preeminent legal document in English history, drawn up at about the same time as the beginning of the modern era of English common law. It is also important to American history, as it governed the colonies in America until Britain`s independence was declared in 1776.
The Bible speaks of a set of laws that God has established for mankind. These include: Although many people try to do what they think is right, none are perfect. Many others choose to live selfishly and violate the norms of their societies. Biblical history tells us that people became more and more violent and that God destroyed them with a flood (Genesis 6:11-13). After the flood, He gave an additional warning against murder (Genesis 9:5-6). He also made a covenant or arrangement with Noah, promising that He would not destroy the earth with a flood (verses 8–11). Abraham`s faithfulness was dramatically illustrated when God told him to sacrifice His son. Abraham obeyed, even though it seemed that the sacrifice would prevent God`s promise from being fulfilled.
He believed that God would solve the problem somehow, and God did. The sacrifice God had given to Abraham would not have been permitted by the law of Moses. Abraham was considered righteous by faith, not by what is now called the law of Moses. It may seem that the Apostle Paul is denigrating the law when he contrasts it with the good news of the gospel. But he hastens to deny it! We wouldn`t even know the difference between right and wrong, he says, without the law telling us what to do and what not to do. Above all, Paul wants it to be clear that God`s love fulfills the law. The law tells us what kind of life our love for God and neighbor would require. Salvation is a gift of grace, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We cannot obtain it by trying to keep God`s laws perfect or by being a good moral person. Nor can we lose our salvation if we transgress His commandments and disobey by sinning. Either the blood of Jesus atoned for all our sins, or none of them.
As followers of Christ, we are still obligated to obey God`s commandments, but now we have God`s Spirit within us who gives us the ability, desire, and power to do so. “For it is God who works in you to desire and work for his pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). It pleases God and gives Him glory when we obey His commandments. In fact, our desire and willingness to walk according to God`s commandments is proof that we belong to Him. And Moses commanded them, “At the end of the seven years, at the appointed hour of the year of liberation, on the Feast of Tabernacles, “When all Israel comes before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you will read this law before all Israel at their hearing. Gather the people, men, women, little ones, and the stranger who is in your gates, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and to obey carefully all the words of this law, “and that their children, who did not know, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land, towards which you cross the Jordan. (Deuteronomy 31:10-13). In the Old Testament, blood sacrifices were made by lambs, bulls, and goats, something that could never definitively atone for sin (Hebrews 10:4). They were simply a representation of the perfect once-and-for-all sacrifice that God`s perfect and holy Son, Jesus Christ, would bring if He sacrificed Himself on the cross.