When Jesus said he would fulfill the law, did he also change it?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Daniel David, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Awhile ago, there was a thread where I made the statement that Christ changed the law.

    Helen responded by saying that the law of God was unchanged.

    Dr. Bob asked me to start another thread.

    So, let me first ask you all. When and where did Christ change the law? If you don't think he did, please indicate that position with Scripture.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Helen

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    I tell you the truth, UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Matthew 5:18
     
  3. Grasshopper

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    Perhaps you should start with passages that support your position so we have a reference point.
     
  4. Daniel David

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    I could, but what fun would that be. I actually have a whole host of them.

    Remember, all he had to do was change one point, to change the whole law.

    He left no doubt though. He changed a whole bunch.
     
  5. Helen

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  6. Daniel David

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    No Helen. Have you considered that your interpretation is off?
     
  7. Helen

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    What's to interpret? He said what He said. You are going to have to quit playing mind games and come up with something here, James.
     
  8. Caissie

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    If Jesus changed the law, then it sounds logical that he would at least mention that to his disciples, but if he did, then why would Peter tell God that he (Peter) could not eat anything unclean (Acts 10). Since this was after Jesus rose, walked with the disciples for a while, and then ascended into heaven this would mean that Jesus failed to mention to Peter that he abolished the law. I would think that if Jesus did abolish some of the law on the cross, then he would have informed Peter of this while he was walking with them.
     
  9. Helen

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    Caissie, Paul tells us in Romans 7 that the law is to tell us what sin is. Jesus told us that ALL the Law and the Prophets were based on the two commandments to love -- first God then others. Thus, as long as both sin and love exist, God's Law exists.

    However what you are referring to was a dietary restriction given to the ancient country of Israel. They lived under a covenant relationship of the theocracy of God's specific laws for them at that time. The is not The Law, as regards to the entire human race. And I have a feeling James (DD)is trying to squiggle around the idea of the law changing by referring to the laws given ancient Israel which were designed to keep them faithful to God as well as to set them apart from the surrounding cultures and keep them safe.

    This law still exists for Israel, regardless of whether or not Israel chooses to obey it.

    However we are not Israel. We are part of the larger human race, and thus God's Law for us, based on love itself and a recognition of what sin is, is encapsulated in the Ten Commandments and the law about capital punishment given to Noah, and has not changed one iota from the time it was given.

    Peter was 'pharisaically' correct in refusing to eat what had been declared unclean. However he was now being asked to deal with Gentiles, for whom the law of ancient Israel was not applicable. If you look at the Old Testament, you will find that almost everything (it is probably everything, but I put the 'almost' in to protect myself!) is a physical picture of a spiritual truth. It might be argued that the dietary restrictions given ancient Israel, as a matter of physical food, are a picture of our restrictions concerning spiritual food. We are to 'eat and drink' of our Savior (see John 6:35, etc.) and, at Paul told Timothy, watch our doctrine closely.

    So was God changing the law for Peter? No. For those who live under the law, it was still very much in effect. But Peter, first of all, no longer lived under the law, for the law was fulfilled in Christ, thus freeing him, and us, to follow Christ without fear of breaking some law (for Christ will never lead us into not loving or into any kind of sin).

    Throughout Jesus' ministry, He consistently tried to direct people's attention to spiritual matters. He used physical pictures to do it -- the sower and the seed, the wheat and the tares, the kingdom of heaven being like a pearl, the lost coins, the sheep and the goats...and on and on. The physical was used to help explain the spiritual. In comprehending the spiritual, the physical was thus fulfilled. Its purpose was served.

    This lesson Peter had to learn as well, when the physical restriction was explained as something picturing the spiritual. At this point the physical restriction would have violated the law of love in terms of Peter's interaction with Cornelius and his household. To violate love is to sin. And so God used the picture of abolishing the eating restriction and Peter understood the lesson and was able to enter Cornelius' house and accept him as a fellow believer.

    Peter understood the lesson. It did not mean the law itself was changed for those to whom it had been given. It meant, rather, that it was serving a larger purpose than originally supposed.

    So yes, you are right that Jesus would have told Peter if the law was actually changed. But it was not changed. It was, however, shown to be something much larger than the Pharisees ever suspected. It was all a picture of the spiritual truths we are still learning to obey.

    I don't know if that helps. I know that DD will try to use the Israelite laws from God as though they were to apply to us all, but that is clearly not the case at all physically. They are, however, all examples of physical pictures of the spiritual laws which do apply completely and have not changed a bit.
     
  10. Caissie

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    Just making sure I got this straight...

    Peter would have been obligated to not eat any unclean animal if he did not know that Christ died for his sins. Right?


    By the way, Helen, I have read a lot of your post though out this site. I like your spirit. A lot of people in here do not know how to discuss things in a Christian way. I believe you do.
    Also, that was a well thought out and well presented answer.
     
  11. Caissie

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    Helen,

    Another question:
    What was the spiritual truth that we were suppose to learn from not eating unclean meats?


    Caissie
     
  12. Watchman

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    This is, of course, true. Every bit of the law is still there, so, IF you are going to try to be saved by keeping the law, you are still obligated to keep it all-nothing left out. But we are not under (or saved by keeping) the law, but by the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross.
     
  13. HankD

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    That the Law has not passed away is evident.

    If one open's one's Bible to Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy or Numbers, there it is.

    The Book of Acts, particularly Acts 15 begins the apostolic redefinition of our relationship to the law.

    Since the sack of Jerusalem in 70AD, the destruction of the temple and the levitical priesthood, biblical judaism, "Torah" is impossible to keep even if one could since these elements are central to the life of biblical judaism.

    Leviticus 6
    12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
    13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

    That light has gone out and today talmudic Judaism is practised.

    But the Law stands as a legacy

    Romans 3
    19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    John 12
    46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
    48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

    HankD
     
  14. Grasshopper

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    "Heaven and Earth' refer to the Old Covenant, not the universe. The Law would pass when "Heaven and Earth" passed. Though he disagrees with me, Hank tells us when this happened:

    Jesus fulfilled the Law and then built upon it. Jesus said "it is written" you should not commit adulterly but then says if you lust you have committted adultury, and the same with murder.etc..
     
  15. Helen

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    Caissie, First of all, thank you for the compliment.

    Now for your questions. Peter was a Jew, and as such, if he was living under the law, was obligated to keep the law entirely. It, however, was not a matter of knowing Christ died for his sins, for intellectual knowledge is not what saves (remember, even the demons know there is one God, and fear). Sometime between the night of betrayal and his writing of the letters included in the New Testament (most assume it was at Pentecost, and I am in no position to disagree!), the old Peter died and he was reborn in Christ, with a new heart. He was a CHRISTian -- a follower, a believer. As such, he was no longer judged under the law, even though the law still stood as judgment for those not believers. You see, 'believing' as used in the New Testament was a whole lot more than intellectual acknowledgment. It was acting in accordance to what was believed. It was 'walking the walk' and not just 'talking the talk.' If Peter had not been a believer, then, as a bar mitzvah'd Jew, aware of the Law, he would have been obligated to keep all of it, including the instructions regarding diet.

    Your second question asked what we are to learn regarding eating from Acts 10. The Lord answered that: "Do not call anything impure the Lord has made clean." What is interesting about that is that it does not say "what the Lord has made," but, rather, "what the Lord has made clean." You see, Peter was presented with a sheet of all sorts of beasties which were unclean in Jewish law. But that sheet had come down from heaven, not up from earth, indicating that the Lord had thus made them clean. There is no indication, by the way, that this would apply to all lizards and birds and such forever after. But these particular ones were offered to Peter to eat, having been made clean.

    Many times we are aware of someone who was a horrid person, but who is now truly born again in Christ, and is a new person. The Lord has made them clean. That is the first lesson -- and one which Peter understood. Cornelius was someone the Lord had made clean. Peter could interact freely with him as a brother in Christ.

    Today, when we say grace before a meal, we are, in asking for the food to be blessed, asking for it to be -- in Jewish terms -- made clean! Does that mean one does not have to say grace before a kosher meal? That's something for others to pick apart -- I prefer to thank God for all my sustenance and ask Him to bless it to His use through my body!

    I hope that answers your questions. Or at least responds decently to them! :D

    Grasshopper, I really disagree with you, I'm afraid. Genesis 1:1 states that In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1 then goes on to describe the formation/creation of the physical universe, the earth, and life on the earth. There is NOTHING to indicate that this meaning has changed when Jesus speaks of heaven and earth in Matthew 5. In addition, not everything is yet accomplished, for we are all here in this creation, and there is to be an end to this creation when the elements will be destroyed and a new creation made.

    Your examples of Jesus' words about murder and adultery are not changes of the law at all. The outward expressions are to be judged by man. But God judges the heart, and the root of all sin lies in the heart of man. Look at the Ten Commandments. The first is a heart matter, while the second is how that heart matter of worship is to be acted upon (or not to be acted upon). The third commandment has to do with attributing actions and speech to the Lord which are not from Him! The fourth is both a heart and a lifestyle matter. Commandments five through nine have to do with physical actions and words. Thus, Jesus defined a couple of them in terms of the heart, exposing their roots. The tenth commandment closes off with reference to the heart again, and coveting. Whether or not one does anything about it, in other words, coveting is wrong. Jesus actually expanded on the meaning of this quite thoroughly in Matthew 6:25-34. He defined it in the root terms of worry.

    If you think about it, most people do most things because of fear: fear of poverty or lack of respect or unknown harms or whatever. So we hedge ourselves in with various insurances, monetarily, educationally, etc. Coveting has one foot in worry and the other in selfishness. Jesus dealt with both of these 'feet' in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7:12 deals with selfishness in one sentence.

    The Law never changed. Jesus simply explained it in deeper terms. What we do and say physically are simply expressions of who we are spiritually. This was a major lesson Jesus dealt with a number of times.
     
  16. Caissie

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    What part of the law does God want saved people keep?
     
  17. Helen

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    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.

    You cannot do this on your own. You must be born again in the Spirit, as only Christ can do this through you.
     
  18. Grasshopper

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    We agree to disagree.

    I believe there are many OT references that speak of "heaven and earth" in describing Old Covenant elements and peoples. Josephus in his antiquities refer to the Temple and its inner courts as "heaven and earth". I believe the Jews of the 1st century understood it this way.

    The elements that are burned in Peter, in my opinion, are the same elements in Galatians refering to the elements of the Old Covenant.
     
  19. Daniel David

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    Grasshopper, can you pick a different thread to peddle your heresy, errrrgggg, preterism?
     
  20. Baptist in Richmond

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    So, you are essentially saying that you can prove yourself, but choose not to do so?

    Interesting statement.......
     

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