The ongoing validity of all of Gods Law is here defended. This is also a call for the end of Christian double mindedness with regard to the Law of God.
Tom Shipley has taught me the importance of the unity and harmony of Scripture. God cannot contradict himself. If He appears to do so, then it is we who are hazy and lazy of mind and full of contradictions and maledictions, not God. God goes to great lengths to establish the goodness and blessedness of His Law with the command for us to study it, to make it the context in which we live our lives, to make it our mental environment. Why? Because it is a true reflection of the character of God. In fact Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the LawWord of God, which God says is even greater than His name.
First: who is this article addressed to? It is addressed to Christian leaders and teachers everywhere. Beware! You are held to a higher standard by God and your standing in heaven is at risk; to wit:
Therefore, whoever relaxes one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. (Mat 5:19)
Now, to our present evangelical, antinomian (anti-Mosaic law) mindset, some of what Paul or the other Apostles wrote appears to contradict or do away with God’s Law. This just proves how ignorant we are of the Scriptures, the context of the verses, who they were written to, and the errors they addressed. Now, if you, as a teacher and preacher find yourself confused by these passages, do yourself a favor and just read them without adding any kind of commentary that would teach your hearers to break even the least of God’s Laws.
Let us look at an example of false teaching that has caused many a preacher and teacher to be relegated by God to the lowest position in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is based on a misreading of Colossians 2:16ff:
Col 2:16ff Then do not let anyone judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in part of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, which are a shadow of coming things (LITV)
This is commonly used to teach that Paul is here throwing out all the dietary laws, the Biblical calendar, and sometimes the whole of the Mosaic law till all that is left is “Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.” Often a handy trash can is created, labeled “Ceremonial Laws”, “Jewish Culture”, or “Laws of Separation”, into which you are encouraged to throw all the laws you don’t like, or that are in conflict with our current and local man-made laws and traditions.
Now, God is not double minded as we are, that He would inspire the Apostle Paul to contradict Christ or Moses, and make himself least in the Kingdom of heaven himself by teaching the disregard of whole categories of God’s Holy Law. To suppose such a thing is to impugn the character of God, and to teach it is to perpetrate great harm upon the saints in your charge and to retard your work in the Kingdom of God. Better you should play a tape by a true teacher of God’s LawWord than to reveal your presumptuous ignorance. Always assume the ongoing validity of all of God’s Laws.
Reading it in context, understanding that he is addressing the Gnostic heresey, that ‘matter is evil and unimportant while spirit is good and important,’ Paul is saying, in effect:
“As you enjoy the food and drink that God blesses you with, do not let anyone guilt manipulate you because you are enjoying the eating and drinking of it, or because you are taking part in the feasts and holidays and Sabbaths appointed in the Biblical calendar, which are shadow picture previews of the reality to come.”
So it is with all such passages. Rather than contradict the Law they establish it as the written revelation of the character of Christ. Do we always interpret and translate correctly? No, but we should make sure we do no violence to the integrity and harmony of Scripture, and never teach the relaxation of the least of God’s laws, much less dismiss whole categories of them.