The Two Laws

By what are all men to be judged at last? "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." Eccl. 12:13, 14. "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:12.

With what other law were the people of God for a time concerned, which is not to judge them? "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; and having spoiled principalities and power, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Col. 2:14-17.

What terms are employed, for the sake of convenience, to designate these two laws? "The first is called "the moral law," summarily contained in the Decalogue; the second is known as the "ceremonial or typical law" of the Jewish dispensation.

What is the relation of the moral law to sin?" Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the taw." 1 John 3:4.

How early in the history of our world was this law applicable? "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived; but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." 1 Tim. 2:13, 14.

Since this law was binding on man previous to his fall, what did it cover? His relations to God and to His fellow creatures: "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matt. 22:35-39.

When and for what reason were laws of a ceremonial or typical nature introduced? They were introduced after man had sinned, and were instituted because God in mercy provided a plan of redemption or a remedial system. "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering." Gen. 4:3, 4. "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts." Heb. 11:4.

How was the moral law communicated to the people at Sinai? "And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire... And He declared His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments." Deut. 4:12, 13.

How was the ceremonial law communicated to them?" And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, if any man of you bring an offering,..." Lev. 1:1, 2. "This is the law of the burnt offering... meat offering,... sin offering,... trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings; which the Lord commanded Moses in Mount Sinai, in the day that He commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai." Lev. 7:37, 38.

On what, and by whom, was the moral law written? "The Lord spake unto you,... and He declared unto you... ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deut. 4:12, 13.

In what, and by whom, was the ceremonial law written? "And commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant." (Neh. 9:14). "And they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel." Neh. 8:1.

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