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Law versus Grace
The Law
given at Sinai, as exemplified in the Ten Commandments, and the grace of God's New Covenant in Christ have often been contrasted as though the two are mutually and intrinsically antithetical – opposed to each other.
Others have
tried to reconcile the two by presenting Grace in Christ as the instrument of forgiveness and then the Law as the required subsequent lifestyle of obedience for the believer. They have commonly taught that it is the ceremonial Law which ended in Christ and that the moral Law still continues today.
teachers commonly think of the moral Law as its Ten Commandments summary in Israel's covenant ark, but John Calvin was at least consistent even if wrong when he taught from Israel's moral Law –
"The Bible teaches us that there are witches and that they must be slain... this law of God is a universal law" (Johnson 1976, p.309).
So many hundreds died!
Accordingly, Presbyterian Scotland burned many more 'witches' than Anglican England (about 49-killings-per-year in Scotland 1590-1680, compared to about only 5-per-year in England 1542-1736) – except of course for 1645 AD, when the Calvinistic Presbyterians were in power in England.
  No! More than ceremony ended when the Christ of God died!  
Both views are wrong – completely wrong!  
Firstly, if our Bible is inspired by God, then the Law through Moses, and the Grace of God through Jesus Christ, are both from God and they therefore cannot be intrinsically and mutually antithetical!
Does that mean that after having received grace through the work of God in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we should then live by the Law?
No, certainly not!
Remember how Jesus violated the Law of the Sabbath (according to the experts at the time). This was one of the Ten Commandments, higher than the six hundred odd laws which Judaism counts, and as such represents the whole Law.
Further, the Sabbath even pre-dates the giving of the Sinai Law, being as old as the human race itself, having been given by God at the beginning of human history, as the Seventhday Adventists are quick to point out. Yet concerning this exemplary law, the Lord Jesus said –
"The Sabbath was made for mankind [humanity], not mankind for the Sabbath.
[therefore] the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
Mark 2:27-28.
is saying that He has authority over the Sabbath simply because He, Jesus, is a human being. (The term 'son of man' is a Semitic idiom for human and was Christ's favourite way of referring to Himself to emphasize His identification with us in His humanity).
It was not His deity, but His humanity which gave Him this authority over the Sabbath to modify its observance. In other words, as sinless human being, He is restoring God's original intention regarding the commands of God in His personal conduct.
Remember, the law of the Sabbath is the only law among all the Ten Commandments which comes from the very beginning. All the others in the Ten were added later as a sign to Israel of the character of its national covenant with God. So, this is very significant.
By His substitutionary atonement for us upon the cross, Christ is the 'door' for all those who believe, into a restoration of God's original intention for humanity. Christ opened that door for all who believe to pass through into the restoration of God's original intention for human life. This is why the Holy Spirit's relationship to Jesus the Man, which began with the dove-sign of new beginning at His baptism by John, has been given to all who believe.
Holy Communion reminds us of the cost of this, as the basis of our participation in each other's lives to form this restored humanity – the Body of Christ today. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians camp in this spiritual doorway, in sincerely celebrating Holy Communion, but never fully enter into the Newness of the New Covenant's restoration of humanity.
So, many see the New simply as a replacement or upgrading of the Old Covenant, and do not see it in its biblical perspective as the means of the restoration of God's original intention for humanity. The New Covenant takes us back to before the Sinai Mosaic code of laws. It takes us back to before our first parents sinned. In Christ, it takes us back to a living fellowship with God Himself, as He had intended for us in the beginning, as if we had never sinned. Thus, Christ is to us the second Adam, the new beginning of humanity.
As Christ was the fulfilling of the Law, fulfilling its purpose, so also are we today, for we walk in His Spirit! 2 Corinthians 3:6.
  Yet, it has been asked:  
Now that we have are saved by grace, should we aim to follow the Mosaic Law?
No, not at all!
If we break Old Covenant commandments, are we still sinning towards God?
Yes and No!
What does the word "sin" mean for a Christian and how does it differ from an Old Covenant perspective on sin?
Sin is sin because it violates the nature of God. Nothing has a right to exist in God's universe unless it is in harmony with the character or moral nature of God. To be otherwise is sin, from the beginning! The giving of the Law did not invent sin or change sin in any way.
Israel's attitude to the Law was simply to act according to regulations. Jesus showed that this was wrong! The intention of the Law was what gave it authority, not its words; the intention/purpose of God in saying what He said!
Jesus said:
But [in contrast to the teachers of the Law] I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven
[have His character].
For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
…You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:44-48.
God's caring concern, His purpose behind the words of the Law, is the only thing which gives it authority. It has no authority except that which it has from God, and God's own purpose is its authority therefore. Accordingly, the Law is a schoolmaster to point us to God by exposing our failure and showing us up, but regulations cannot be a substitute for walking according to/in the nature of God.
This nature is given to us through re-birth from the Spirit of God.
John 3:3-8.
expected Nicodemus (a teacher of the Law) to understand the idea of spiritual re-birth because the concept was used by the teachers of the Law when welcoming a pagan convert into the fellowship of Israel out of the waters of baptism (the mikveh: מִקְוָה). Note therefore Christ's view on the freedom of the believer – every believer, in this context of Nicodemus and his rabbinic view of life-by-religious-regulation:
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.
So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit
John 3:8.
In other words, we please God, not by external regulation, but only by obedience to the internal nature of the new-birth!
"No one born of God (Γεγεννημενος) makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed [nature] abides in him,
and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God
1 John 3:9.
By Christ's redemption and gift of the Spirit, God has done the impossible, not by contradicting the Law but by restoring us to the fresh newness of personal fellowship with Him –
"For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh
the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances,
that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two
[Jew with Law and Gentile without Law],
so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
" (Eph.2:14-16)

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