The Law.

Had a friend ask me concerning about the use of the law today.  How do we view it? Why does it seem we follow some Old Testament law and not others?  This was my answer and a link I found regarding this same thing.

The law itself was never intended to save.  It served two other purposes. First, to give guidance in how people should approach God and secondly, how to live peaceably and equally among others.  When God gave the law it was a way to help the people to understand how they were supposed to live in freedom.  In Exodus 19, the chapter before the ten commands are given, God tells Moses in verse 3-6 that God’s grace bare them out of Egypt on eagles wings (vs. 4) and that they are to respond with obedience (vs. 5).  The purpose is that the people would be the model God wanted all people on earth to follow (vs. 6).
The Moral Law.  The Ten Commandments are also know as the moral law.  Ten commands of God that form the foundation of those that would live faithful and obedient to God.  By study and by the help of Jesus (Matt. 22:34-40), we see that the ten commandments were divided into two parts.  The first four commands lays the foundation for a proper relationship with God.  The Last six commands lays the foundation for a proper relationship of respect to other people.  The next two divisions of the law, the Ceremonial and the Civil, build upon those two sets as guidance and principles to live by.
The Ceremonial Law.  Found mostly in Exodus 25-40 and Leviticus 1-17, 21-24.  These laws deal with how a people in an unholy world could approach a holy God.  The ceremonial laws deal with the concepts of holy and unholy, clean and unclean, pure and impure.  The book of Hebrews though does a thorough job of explaining why the ceremonial law is now no longer practiced by those of the faith.  Speaking of Jesus, “but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
The Civil Law.  Found mostly in Exodus 21-23 and Leviticus 18-20, 25-27.  This one was for the citizenry of Israel.  It would help them find and retain their identity in a world of pagan culture as they did not do the things of the world.  Galatians 2:14 gives us an understanding of the separation of Jewish and Gentile lifestyle.  “If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”  Hebrews, Galatians, and Romans all are excellent sources for understanding not only how we are delivered from ceremonial law but also civil law, and it is simply, we are not Jewish.  Those who are Jewish do not have to live that lifestyle either, if they choose to follow Christ.  Though a Jew that does not follow Christ would be practicing the civil laws in vain.
The moral remains intact as it represent the the two greatest commandments.  To love God and to love neighbor.  The ceremonial and civil laws find their fulfillment in Jesus (Matt 5:17).  The ceremonial or how we relate to God is fulfilled in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  The civil or how we relate to others is fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus.  We place our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  We live in obedience to the life of Jesus.  The Old Testament ceremonial and civil laws are written for our instruction.  To develop our view of holiness and relationship to God and others.
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