Experience and Scripture pointed to the same conclusion. There is no need to require the yoke of Moses, for that would make things unnecessarily difficult for the gentile believers. Instead of making things difficult for the gentiles, these four rules would be enough. Believers should not lie, steal and murder. That was as obvious to them as it is to us, so they did not need a special reminder about it.
The decree makes it clear that gentiles do not have to be circumcised, nor do they have to obey the laws of Moses. They are circumcised spiritually, not physically.
God never gave those commands to the gentiles. We should not make it difficult for the gentiles, James said. Instead, it will be enough to give them four rules, which they will find easy to comply with. Why give them these rules? James was not encouraging gentile Christians to attend the synagogues. He was not saying they should listen to the laws of Moses.
However, because those laws were commonly preached, the apostles should tell the gentiles four rules. Then they would not think that Christianity is more difficult than it is. To summarize: Some men said that gentiles should be circumcised and obey the laws of Moses or else they could not be saved. Not so, said the apostles. Gentiles are saved by grace and faith. But since Moses is widely preached, we need to give a decree that clearly distinguishes the Christian faith from the Law of Moses.
He is talking about the Ten Commandments.
This is what was written on stone. Of course, it was God who gave the Law. Nevertheless, Paul saw a fundamental contrast between the Law and the Spirit, between the old and the new.
There is continuity, for both old and new are covenants of the same God. But even though God does not change, and his underlying principles do not change, his covenants do. Paul explains some differences in the next verses:.
The Ten Commandments were a ministry that condemned people. They had some glory, but not nearly as much as the new covenant. The Ten Commandments cannot bring righteousness, but the new covenant does.
The Ten Commandments have no glory now, Paul is saying, in comparison to the new covenant, which brings life and righteousness. That is what was fading away.
Paul says that the Ten Commandments, although good, are temporary and fading. What has faded away concerning the Ten Commandments? Some people try to say that the Ten Commandments, instead of fading, are actually more binding on people today than ever before. They want to expand the Ten instead of letting them fade. But Paul is saying that there is a fundamental change in the way people relate to God.
The old way is a written law that condemns people to death. The new way is the Holy Spirit, which brings forgiveness and life. The Spirit leads us to obey God, but it is a fundamentally different relationship, a different basis of relating to God. There is some basic continuity between the old covenant and the new. Most of the Ten Commandments are quoted with approval in the New Testament.
One is not—the Sabbath command. It began with a movement away from celebrating Shabbat the Sabbath and the other biblical Feasts and calling these observances heretical. This lie emerged largely as a result of an overemphasis of being under the Age of Grace, the Church Age.
Matthew and 17 discusses a metaphor that new cloth is not put on or sewn with old cloth and new wine is not put in old bottles. The guilt of the whole land will be removed in one day by the Branch, the son of David, who is simultaneously high priest Zech. Are we really ready to build Zion? Some do it only once or twice in their lifetime, whereas others do it frequently. The meaning is this. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
However, Jesus never taught against the Law, the Torah. He followed and taught the Law. While Yeshua redefined the Law and taught how to rightly interpret it, He lived and died as an observant Jew in Israel. Study the Torah the first five books of the Bible through the eyes of a first-century disciple.
This is crystal clear—Yeshua is not advocating the abrogation of even the minutest detail of the Law. Reading on in Matthew 5 verses 27 through the end, you see that He even takes the Torah commandments further. The law of Moses consisted of many principles, rules, ceremonies, rituals, and symbols to remind the people of their duties and responsibilities. It included a law of moral, ethical, religious, and physical commandments and performances—including sacrifices Lev. Faith, repentance, baptism in water, and remission of sins were part of the law, as were the Ten Commandments and many other commandments of high ethical and moral value.