Moral Law vs Ceremonial Law

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    In the OT there was always law in the sense of a rule of conduct with sanctions. Even in the garden they were under law in this sense of the word. As man sinned and left the garden and disobedience took so many new angles, God chose to expand the law with some basic principles that cover a very broad range of transgressions. These are known to us as the ten commandments. These dealt in areas of moral law. They serve to govern over our relationships with God and man.

    Still yet God gave yet another law to His chosen seed of Abraham that would serve as a schoolmaster to bring then unto Christ. These laws consisted of ordinances, and sacrifices for sin that were to be followed in order to re-establish a relationship between them and God once they fell into sin. These had no power in and of themselves to atone for sin, yet just the same God had ordained them to be followed, and when they did God would governmentally treat them as though they had not sinned and would grant to them some sense and hope of forgiveness. Just the same, and due to the fact that they were only a type and shadow of the sacrifice of His Son yet to come, they had to repeat these sacrifices year after year. This was the temporary system of forgiveness God had ordained to be kept into place until the Redeemer comes.

    When Christ arrived on the scene, He alone became the very physical fulfillment of the task of the schoolmaster, the OT ceremonial law. Scripture tells us that His body was the embodiment of the temple veil that was rent to allow man direct access to God in this NT dispensation. Whereas the veil stood solidly between God and sinful man in the OT, in the New Covenant it was removed for those that would repent and trust in faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the righteous. No longer did man have to take part in the ordinances mandated to Israel to partake of and no more was there any need to take part in the temple sacrificial system. Christ was the fulfillment of those things and we are as NT believers no longer under the bondage that schoolmaster imposed upon the Jew.

    Clearly references to the law can be divided into two parts. There is the moral law and there is the sacrificial system with all its carnal washings and ordinances. The moral law stands as long as men are created in such a state as the moral law was meant to govern. The ceremonial law, with its circumcision, carnal and divers washings, feasts , Sabbaths,. and the sacrificial system, has clearly been done away with, finally, once for all. No one, lost or saved, is under the ceremonial any more.

    Just the same, all, saved or not saved, Jew and Gentile are under the moral law. Christ death, burial and resurrection did not set aside that law, but rather established it as Christ said He did. The moral law will rule over man as long as we remain in the state in which it was designed to govern over, i.e., the natural physical state.

    What we have been witnessing is a confusion of the texts that mention the word ‘law’ without giving proper regard to what law it is that it is addressing. When the text says that we are no longer under the law, it is not saying that the moral law has been set aside or its penalties abated for the law breaker, UNLESS we have through the Spirit came into agreement with its demands, having all violations that are past placed under the blood through the conditions of repentance and faith.

    One the other hand, NO one now is under the OT school master law of ceremonial law, for it was indeed nailed to the cross once for all.
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Here are some thought provoking questions for this thread. In what sense is the unbeliever today under grace? In what sense is the believer still under the law? In what sense is the unbeliever under the law? In what sense is the believer under grace?
     
  3. BobRyan

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    "The LAW" (not the ceremonial law) is written in the heart under the New Covenant.

    Gal 3 and Romans 3 point out that the Law (the moral law) binds all mankind under sin - holds all accountable - condemns all. So again "not the ceremonial law"

    It is only as we accept Christ as our savior "When Faith comes" that we are no longer under the school master of the condemnation of that moral law defining all to be sinner and all to owe the debt of the 2nd death.

    While it is true that the sacrifices of the ceremonial law POINT FORWARD to Christ and are promises that are fulfilled in Christ. It was not Christ's "mission" to abolish His Laws - but rather to die a substitutionary atoning sacrifice in our behalf thus meeting (and therefore upholding) the requirements of the Moral Law.

    Hint: the Ceremonial law only "requires" the death of animals -- not humans and not Christ.

    But as Col 2 points out what was nailed to the Cross was "our certificate of DEBT" not "the Law of God" not "Scripture" not "The Word of God".

    The same law that demands the debt of the 2nd death - the moral law -- is the SAME law that condemns the sinner today and the SAME law that is written on the tablets of the human heart under the New Covenant.

    The SAME Law that James says we are to be judged by even as saints - in James 2.

    The SAME law that Paul says is "Holy Just and Good" in Romans 7.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. trustitl

    trustitl
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    Moral law vs. ceremonial law. And the winner is... moral law.

    This distinction works only because we don't understand the new covenant. It is a man made distinction and is found no where in scripture.

    Saying that I still need the 10 Commandments so I won't murder someone implies that I have no other controlling force at work in my life.

    A man who has a string tied to his finger so he remembers to tell his wife that he loves her needs to "repent" to his wife. When he is made(by the law of love) "alive unto his wife", he would probably need a string around his finger telling him to get back to work :laugh: .

    "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
    "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

    We don't need the schoolmaster any more, we have been baptized into Christ and have put on Christ. Christ in you will get you to not steal a lot better than a rock. The rock never had power. It was never intended to have power. It just said don't. Christ says "you and I can".
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

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    Moral laws will always apply because God's standard of morality does not change.

    The ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross.

    The Jewish still keep the ceremonial laws only because they are still looking for their "Messiah" to come. It's sad that they don't realize He is already here... :(
     
  6. Brother Bob

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    It seems to me you fellows have pretty well nailed it. It will not be popular, but it is true.

    Paul said those who know the Law (moral law), know it is not for the righteous, but for the sinner and ungodly. If not, then what would be your judge in the end when Christ said, my words shall judge you.
    The righteous of the Law is fulfilled in us because it is in our heart and minds and the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord. So when we are "born again" the law is put right in our hearts and minds, so that the righteous of that law is fulfilled in us.

    It is a very deep subject, one that I say is the most deep in the scripture, and some will just say "the law was fulfilled" and throw it all out with the bathwater, but I think you fellows have told it just about right. I have taught and preached for many years what you have just stated.

    BBob,
     
    #6 Brother Bob, Dec 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2007
  7. Jerome

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    Is there agreement on which laws are moral and which laws are ceremonial?
    Has anyone produced a systematic classification of OT laws according to this distinction?
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    No one so far has attempted to answer the questions in the second post. Are there any takers? How about the following questions? How important was obedience to the ceremonial law in the OT regarding forgiveness of sins? Was repentance and faith all one needed to have access to God? Let’s say that one claimed to exercise faith and had repented of all sins that are past and decided that they were going to go behind the veil in the temple to commune with God. They claimed they did not need to follow that OT ceremonial law in worship but had the same privileges as any NT believer some day would. Any clue as what was about to take place in such a case?

    If sacrifices were simply not all that important, seeing as BR states that they were saved the same way in the OT as in the NT, what was all the fuss over Cain’s sacrifice? Why do we not find one place in the OT where God instructs the seeker simply to repent and have faith, or does He? I certainly could have missed something and the OT is hard for me to understand to a large degree. I am listening.
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    Luk 1:5¶There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth.

    Luk 1:6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    I suspect this was the rule of all under the OT, if they wanted to go to Heaven. That is why there was only a remmnant, even though I believe that to be in the many thousands.


    Rom 9:27Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

    1Ch 29:19And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision.



    Hope this is an answer, for they sure were important to God.

    And some say you can't keep the commandments.

    BBob,
     
    #9 Brother Bob, Dec 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2007
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Good question. What I have learned is that every time I try and nail down something tight there slips in an exception that slightly raises the lid of the box I had tried to close the lid on. Let me make a general statement and see how it fairs. I would consider the ten commandments as clearly moral. I may get proven wrong here but I would classify all other ceremonial laws, Sabbaths, carnal washings, etc as ceremonial law. Can anyone think of any other moral commands that would not somehow fit within the ten?

    We know from the NT that all the moral law can be summed up in two laws, loving God with our whole mind soul and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Let me thicken the pot. I want to hold BR's feet to the fire concerning his comment that salvation has been the same in the OT as in the NT. Let me ask the reader. If one committed a high handed sin, what must he or she do to enter into a right relationship with the Lord according to the OT?
     
  12. Palatka51

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    It has always been by Grace through Faith. The law will then fall into place in the life of the believer.
    Isaiah 1:10-20
    10Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
    11To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
    12When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
    13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
    14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
    15And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

    16Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
    17Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
    18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    Repentance was needed first then God would accept the sacrifices and honor their feasts.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: You miss the point as I see it. Certainly repentance was a necessary part of forgiveness in the OT. No sacrifice was accepted by God without repentance, but just the same does this justify the comment that salvation was the same in the OT as it was in the NT? Try answering some of the questions I posed. Tell me, if one had committed a high handed sin, what sacrifice was he to make for it?
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I agree.



    HP: As I think I understand you, I agree.



    HP: How is the ‘moral law’ a schoolmaster that we are no longer under? How is that not pure antinomianism? It is true that the ceremonial law was indeed a schoolmaster, but Christ nailed that to the cross. The moral law stood before the ceremonial law was enacted and stands long after the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross. It will endure till the end of time as we know it.



    HP: Here again you at times mix ceremonial law with moral law. It indeed was Christ mission to abolish ceremonial law and to institute repentance and faith as the only stated conditions by which justification takes place in lieu of obedience to the ceremonial law. Faith clearly existed in the OT but was not the stated condition required of man as it was in the NT. In the OT obedience to the ceremonial law was a stated condition, without which I see no evidence that any could or would be saved. Even before it was established there is clear evidence by Abel’s sacrifice that they had some knowledge as to the sacrifices God required from them. If there were some that were saved apart from obedience to the ceremonial law in light of their particular understanding of it, I do not find any specific examples cited.



    HP: Col 2:13 ¶ And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
    14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    What certificate of debt was nailed to the cross in Col 2? If you say it was the handwriting of ordinances etc, that would prove that there was a debt to be paid in the OT that was not required of us in the NT, would it not?
     
  15. Palatka51

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    If by "high handed sin" you mean murder, there was no sacrifice to be made you would be stoned.
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Exactly. :thumbs: There were no sacrifices at all for any high handed sins, murder just being one of them. Only sins said to be ‘sins of ignorance’ were atonable. That did not mean that one could sin and be totally devoid of any knowledge of any commandment. For instance, it was said that if one admitted to his sin before he was caught or exposed, it was to be considered a sin of ignorance.

    Forgiveness and reconciliation is directly related to salvation. My point is that here is a clear distinction in the forgiveness of the NT covenant and that of the OT. We see grace afforded to us that according to what I gather from reading the OT, some in that dispensation knew nothing about.

    Take Uzzah’s experience with a Holy God for instance. His salvation experiences were certainly cut short when God struck him dead for reaching out his hand to steady the Ark. Today, no such commandment exists. If the Ark is ever found, I seriously doubt that anyone will be killed in handling it. Things have changed. God’s plans and conditions for forgiveness have changed concerning mans obligation in fulfilling God’s demands.
     
  17. Palatka51

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    Wow I got a :thumbs: too neat! Thanks HP.
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I would venture to guess that you are in a very small minority that knows that fact. Most I have conversed with just assume that there was a sacrifice for any and all sin.

    Do you see this in any way as being different in our dispensation than in the OT concerning salvation? What effect might have that fact had on their salvation in the OT?
     
  19. trustitl

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    1. An unbeliever is not under grace in any way. He is either trying to keep the law, merely living after the flesh with no regard to his sin, or more likely, trying to just be good enough on his own to get on God's good side.

    2. A believer in not under the law (ie. the OT law) in any way.
    Rom 6:4 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    This truth is often written off due to the lable of anti-nomianism. However, a believer has the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus over them.
    "How can this be?" says Bob Ryan and the like. I with Paul say " Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?"
    And again I say with Paul, " I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
    Paul and I also say "we have been planted together in the likeness of his death". There are numerous ways Paul says we are "dead".
    This is how we are no longer under the law.

    3. An unbeliever is under the law (the OT law) only if he is aware of it and understands it. If not, he is a law unto himself and is under the condemnation of not being able to live up to his own standards.

    4. An believer is under grace in the sense that it is what drives him and empowers him. This is what makes the new covenant better than the old.

    Tit. 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." That is right, grace is teaching us. No longer are we under the schoolmaster of the law: we have put on Christ. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls". A Jewish Rabbi's teaching is called his yoke." Matt. 11:29

    Phil 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

    In conclusion, only a believer has the grace of God "over" them. The rest are running from it or sleeping and not seeing it. This grace has appeared to all men in the sense that it is not for Jews only; not that everybody has heard the gospel.
     
  20. Palatka51

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    Personally HP, I am not so convinced on the idea of dispensations. With that said I still think that your question is valid.
    In all of Christ's ministry when did He deal with a murder?
    It was on the cross. The one who had begged for mercy was the one Christ gave the promise of Paradise. Yet he still died on that cross. I've no doubt that if a murder that was being stoned had called out to God could have found grace for his soul as he drew his last breath. Although I do not believe there are any scriptures that can support this assumption nor disclaim it.
     

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