Summary: We are sanctified by our marriage to Christ, not by obedience to the Mosaic Law code.
I’ve got an idea… Why don’t we reassess our church budget and put as much money as possible into getting the 10 commandments posted on every billboard sign along I-35. All the way from Laredo to Duluth, MN – both sides of the highway! I know that this would be a huge task, but we could cooperate with a multitude of other churches in the common cause.
Why isn’t anybody getting excited?
Don’t you think that it might do some good? People driving by couldn’t avoid seeing the billboards and they might make a change in their lives!
The 10 commandments are God’s holy laws, given straight from Him, right?
Actually, there are over 600 laws given in the OT. Typically, we point to the 10 commandments because they were the first 10 that God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Yet, all of God’s Law in the OT is bound together as one unit, and shouldn’t be separated from one another. But 600 Laws would take up too much space on the billboard and nobody could read them all as they sped by on the highway.
The subject we have been dealing with in the last two messages has been our walk with God. He desires that we walk in holiness before His presence, even as He is doing a divine work within us to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
· How do I walk in holiness? How do I “cooperate” with God in my sanctification?
A common thought for many is that we walk in Christian sanctification by obeying the OT Law code that was given through Moses, such as the 10 commandments.
· What do you think? Does the Mosaic Law apply to Christians today? Does God intend for me to grow in sanctification by obedience to the OT Law?
This is a question that the church had to face very early in its formation.
The OT Law’s applicability to the Christian was the issue of concern that required the first known church council recorded in Acts 15.
Some men in the church began teaching that Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be saved and they had to walk by the Law of Moses. These became known as “Judaizers.”
Paul and Barnabas debated them fiercely, until they determined to take it to the church in Jerusalem to hold a council on the matter.
Peter said to the Judaizers, “…why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Acts 15:10-11)
If you read Acts 15, you see that the council agreed with Peter, Paul, and Barnabas that the Mosaic Law was not binding upon the NT church.
Paul alluded to this fact in Romans 6:14, “…for you are not under law but under grace.”
What did he mean by that? The first half of Romans 7 explains. The Law is not the way Christians are sanctified before God. It is limited in what it can and can’t do.
1. What the Law cannot do. (vv. 1-6)
a. The Law cannot have authority over us. (vv. 1-4)
In order to illustrate the fact that a Christian is not bound by obligation to the OT Mosaic Law code, Paul points to the analogy of marriage.
A wife is obligated to her husband as long as he is alive. If she should go off and marry another man while her husband is alive, she is known as an adulteress. (It is implying here that she has left her true husband unjustly).
On the other hand, if her husband has died, she has no obligations to her marriage. It is terminated and she is free to remarry if she wishes.
In like manner, Christians are not married to the Law. The death of Christ has separated us from it. Remember, as Christians, when Jesus died, we died too.
We are now married to Christ and walk in His grace.
b. The Law cannot help us serve in newness of the Spirit (vv. 5-6)
Today we as believers need to know that we cannot live the Christian life by our own strength. We cannot do it by ourselves. We need to turn our lives over to the Spirit of God, yield to Him, and let Him do for us what we cannot do ourselves.
The Law does not offer that to anybody. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
· The Law was not given to the church.
It was given only to the nation of Israel, not to anyone else.
God said to Moses to tell Israel, "Now then, if you (Israel - not Gentiles, not the church) will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. (Ex 19:5-8)