"The Law vs The Ten Commandments"

July 16, 2021

In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Paul says something that is to this day controversial and a matter of contention among a few in the Church Universal. Paul said in Ephesians 2:15-18...

"He (Christ) has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace,  and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father."

Paul rather plainly stated that Jesus through his work as God's perfect sacrifice, abolished the Mosaic Law of Commandments, ordinances, sacrificial rituals, dietary restriction, etc. Jesus did this through fulfilling & completing the dictates of the Mosaic Law. The Law which was fully a temporary custodian, a guardian, of Israel until the realityof the "handwritten Law of Moses" appeared -- Jesus himself. (See Gal 3:24.)

So again, and without doubt, the temporary Law, the handwritten Law penned by Moses, himself, as dictated to him by God on Sinai, is now itself no longer needed as a custodian as the reality it foreshadowed has arrived and been revealed. That is Jesus, himself!

However, being human we do at times misapply or over-reach regards various matters. And, Paul's guidance on the matter of the Mosaic Law is one that many of present day (and former day) teachers have misapplied and over-reached on. 

Consider this: God's Testimony of the Covenant, aka "The Ten Commandments" (a misnomer to be sure) was not, and is not, a part of the Mosaic Law. The Testimony of the Covenant and the Mosaic Law are two distinct utterances of God with two distinct purposes. The first is uniquely spoken to the nation of Israel from God's own lips to Israel's ears directly. There was no "middle man" handing off God's spoken words to His bride, Israel. (See Jeremiah 31:32.)  What was handed off to Israel regards the Testimony of the Covenant was a transcription of what God said and then wrote Himself, with His own finger, into tablets of stone -- imperishable and eternal stone. And such was significant, for the words spoken then were wedding vows made between God and Israel. And like all wedding vows, those vows are eternal -- especially when spoken by an eternal God. (See Jeremiah 3:14-15 & Isaiah 54:5)

So you see, The Commandments, being wedding vows, are eternal and unalterable. They have not been nor ever will be abolished. They stand forever like stone. And that, of course, is completely unlike the Mosaic Law which was written by the hand of Moses onto perishable papyrus. And by doing so, therefore, signified its temporary nature.

Paul further tells the Ephesians, (gentiles all) that they, through Christ, were brought into the family of God, Israel. And thus, likewise, are heirs to the promises and covenants made between God and His bride -- who is, once again, Israel. It is so vitally important to understand The Ten Commandments are not a part of the abolished Mosaic Law. They stand forever, alone, as the wedding vows spoken by God at Sinai. And understanding that fact, will rationally lead one to realize a great mistake the early gentile converts to Christianity made regards the “Decalogue” aka the The Commandments. But, that lesson is for another time. Just know for now that by the power of Jesus, Israel and his beloved Church have been “built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” (Ephesians 2:11-22).

Mark Johnson

Lay Leader NSUMC