Can We Keep the Law?

It seems a lot of Christians nowadays think we should keep Moses’ Law.

But Moses’ Law was a package-deal. It couldn’t be divided up into must-keep sections and take-it-or-leave-it sections. Anyone who kept one point of the Law was obligated to keep the whole law. Someone who broke one point of the law was guilty of the whole law.

Therefore it seems to me that if even just one part of the law has now been changed, then there’s been a change of the Law itself.

Even modern Jews agree it’s now a logistical impossibility to keep the Law, as a complete whole – because ever since the altar and the Levitical genealogies were destroyed, it’s impossible to worship in the place and manner which the Law demanded. To worship in any other place or in any other way was by the Law itself forbidden.

So the Law, being the complete system that it was, is no more.

This means that even if you attempt to keep part of the Law today, you’re still not keeping the Law.

No-one today can keep the system that was the Law.

So people who pride themselves on honouring the Law are actually not keeping it.

In fact, even by just attempting to keep it, they are actually breaking it. Even just to attempt it would be illegitimate according to the Law itself. How so?

Because the Law itself foresaw a day coming when the Law itself would be superseded. It is written in the Book of Genesis that God promised Abraham that all nations would one day be blessed in his seed. The Law, which came later, excluded the nations – it was only for the Jews. Therefore, in order for the promise to be fulfilled, the Law would first have to cease.

The Prophets also foresaw the coming of a new covenant. The old covenant was the Law. A new covenant implies a change of law.

So the Old Testament Scriptures themselves included a sunset clause. When a contract includes a sunset clause, then any attempt to keep the contract after the date of the sunset clause is illegitimate even according to the contract itself.

Even modern Orthodox Jews have to concede that theres been a change of the law. They’re not worshiping in the prescribed Levitical manner. They cannot. Therefore they have to allow themselves an alternative method of worship, which implies they’ve adopted some new system of law.

Paul was very straightforward when he wrote that the change of priesthood necessitated and presupposed “a change also of the law” (in the book of Hebrews). And he pointed out that the law itself predicted a different priesthood than that prescribed by the Law (in the book of Psalms, mentioning the Melchisedek order).

Therefore to attempt to keep the Law today, after the Law itself – as a complete system – is no more, is not only flatly impossible but it’s also to break a point of the Law itself (the point in the law which inferred its own demise as a package-system).

To even think it’s legitimate to try to keep it is an instant fail according to the very system they’re trying to keep!

So what do we do?

Jesus fulfilled the Law on every point, then said, “It is finished”. He gave us a new commandment – which is to say, He inaugurated a new covenant, in His blood. The new commandment is that we love one another as He also loved us. He began a new law – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Only those who walk in this new law experience and obey the complete righteousness of the old law in all its points (including the point of its demise).

This scheme – and only this scheme – is so righteous, completely full, and gracious!

It’s done for us in Christ. We live in it. Now let’s walk in it.

He’s worked it into us. Now let’s work it out through us.

Stand fast in the freedom that’s in Christ Jesus. Not that that freedom is a license to the flesh – but by love serve one another. This behaviour results in breaking no point of the overall Old Testament Scriptures (law).

Nevertheless Paul also said to be sympathetic towards – not to unnecessarily offend nor judge – the weaker consciences and weaker faith of those brothers and sisters in Christ who feel differently about observing or not observing certain dates and eating or avoiding certain foods. And adopting this attitude towards each other itself fulfils the Law.

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