Today’s Scripture Reading: Acts 14:21-28, Galatians 1:1-3-23
Heavenly Father, I love Your Old Testament! The stories of the patriarchs and prophets build my faith. But it can be challenging to understand how the law of the Old Testament and the free gift of salvation Jesus died to give us fit together into today’s world.
Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. —Galatians 3:19
Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. —Galatians 3:21-22
Lord, the Bible I’m using has some commentary on this question—do we still have to obey the Old Testament Laws?
When Paul says that non-Jews are no longer bound by these laws, he’s not saying that the Old Testament Laws are of no value to us today. One way to think about the Old Testament laws is to think about three categories:
Ceremonial law-Related to Israel’s worship. While we are no longer bound by ceremonial laws, the principles behind them—to worship and love a holy God—still apply.
Civil law-Dictated Israel’s daily living. Because modern society and culture are so radically different, some of these guidelines cannot be followed specifically. But the principles behind the commands should guide our conduct.
Moral law-A direct command of God—for example the Ten Commandments. It required strict obedience. It reveals the nature and will of God, and it still applies to us today. We are to obey this moral law, not to obtain salvation, but to live in ways pleasing to God. —Chronological Life Application Study Bible
Holy Spirit, I know these are man’s thoughts. Give me Your wisdom and Yours alone to apply Your Word to my daily life.
Jesus, thank You for releasing me from the prison of sin. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your law. Teach me how to know You more through both.
©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:24-6;18, Acts 15:1-21