Question 2: Are Christians only free from the ceremonial law?

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Question 2:

 Are Christians only free from the ceremonial law?

I am Michael Pearl and this is The Door, located in Lobelville, Tennessee, and sponsored by No Greater Joy Ministries.

I have some questions here. A listener writes:

 "I have listened to the Galatians teachings by Michael and have looked at some commentaries on Galatians as well. Galatians and other passages in the Bible say that we are not under the law anymore."

That's true.

"Does this mean the whole law or just the ceremonial law?"

This concept of dividing the law up into ceremonial and judicial, legal, moral is a concept invented in order for Judaizers, Christians who want to be under the law, to exclude the sacrificial part of the law and the execution part of the law for those who violate it and keep what they call the ceremonial, which are feast days and things that are fun for Christians to do.

So, I looked up the word ceremony in the Bible and it's only used one time. It's this: The ceremony in Numbers 9:3 is in reference to the the Passover sacrifice that was repeated once every year on the day of atonement. That's the only time it's used.

There is no recognition in the scripture of dividing the law into two different parts. The law was a whole. It was a single unit, and there was a death sentence passed upon those who violated it. If you broke the law in one point, you were guilty of all of it, ceremonial or moral. Otherwise, there was no distinction made there.

Now, the writer goes on to say,

 "Did Jesus' death fulfill the law, making it irrelevant to the Christian journey today? Or did Jesus' death move the law from simple outward actions into our hearts, making its observance a joy to our salvation?"

Paul gives a testimony of what the law did. He said, "I was alive without the law once, but when the law came, sin revived and I died. The law which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death," he said, "for the law worketh wrath, for where there's no law, there's no transgression."  (Romans 7:9) The law was not a blessed thing. It brought death. The law was commandments as to what you are not to do.

The so-called ceremonial parts were placed when they went to the temple to offer blood sacrifices to atone for having violated that law lest they end up being cast into hellfire. So, there was nothing blessed about the law. Worship of God was blessed; living in righteousness was blessed. But the law itself was a reign of death and terror upon those who violate it. All you need to do is read your Old Testament, read the many stories. Read about the guy who simply got a little bit hungry and his wife got a little bit chilly, and he went out to pick up some sticks on the Sabbath day to warm his hut. He was killed for violating the Sabbath law. That's what the law was. It was something that brought death.

Now, I have a series called “Judaizers” or “The Sin of Observing the Law of Moses”. It's a video series done here at the door and that will answer all your questions on the law.

Now, Galatians 3:24-25 says, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us under Christ that we might be justified by faith."  So, the law was like an x-ray that revealed a tumor and couldn't take it away, but it made us flee to the operating table to have it removed. "The law revealed sin," the Bible said. It made sin known. So, Jesus Christ came and he took away the sin. Who'd want to go back if it's taken away? Who'd need to go back to the law?

"But after faith is come,"  he says, Galatians 3:25, "after faith is come, we are no longer under a school master."  So after faith, Jesus Christ is come. We're no longer under the school master of the law, thank God.

Also, Galatians 4:9-11 says, "But now, after that you've known God or rather are known of God, how turn you again to weak and beggarly elements wherein you desired to be in bondage?" Those weak and beggarly elements are the law. "You observe days, months, times, and years." They were keeping Sabbath day. They were keeping seven-month sabbaths, seven-year sabbaths. They were keeping sabbaths, and years. They were keeping certain years, like the year of Jubilee.

Paul said to this group of Christians who were observing the ceremonial law, keeping these feast days and holy days, he said, "I'm afraid of you lest I bestowed upon you labor in vain." (Galatians 4:11) Paul feared that the gospel had not taken root because these Christians wanted to go back and keep sabbath, keep holy days, keep the Feast of Tabernacles and do things that they thought would honor God.

Galatians 4:21-26 says, "Tell me, you that desire to be under the law..."  A lot of Christians today are disappointed and unhappy with Christianity, and I can appreciate that. So, they're looking for some way to find meaning. Many of them are turning back to keeping some form of the law in order to have an inner sense of accomplishment, a sense of peace with God, a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging. He said, "You that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? It is written, 'Abraham had two sons, the one a bondmaid, the other by a free woman.'"

Remember Hagar? Now, Abraham had a son by her who became the head of the Arabic people, the enemy of Israel to this day. The other one, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac became the head of the Jewish people. "But he who was the bondwoman was born after the flesh."  That is, the will of the flesh. The spirit of God didn't ordain it. "But he of the free woman was born by promise,"  the promise by faith, "which things are an allegory, for these are two covenants,"  the one that's the Old Testament covenant, the one from Mount Sinai. That's where the law was given.

So Hagar, this bondwoman, this Egyptian handmaid, not Abraham's wife, this act of the flesh was, he said, compared to the law delivered at Mount Sinai, "which gendreth to bondage."  The law, he said, causes bondage, which is Hagar. "For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia."  He mentions Arabia. That's interesting. "And answereth to Jerusalem, which now is and is in bondage with her children."  So you have Arabia, where the Arabic people live, where Mount Sinai is, which represents the law, which represents Hagar, which represents Ishmael. Then you have Jerusalem, which represents Abraham and Isaac and Jesus Christ and the gospel.

He said, "Jerusalem, which is above,"  that's the heavenly Jerusalem, "which is the mother of us all, nevertheless, what sayeth the scripture?"  Here's what the scripture says: "Cast out the bondwoman."  Who's the bondwoman? Hagar. Who's Hagar? Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai, the law. "And her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then brethren,"  Christians, "we are not children of the bondwoman, the law," Moses, the Old Testament, "but of the free," Jesus Christ. "Standfast therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free."  This is his command to Christians: standfast in the liberty, "and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,"  the law.

You can keep a whole bunch of law, a little law, or just a couple feast days or whatever you like. When you do that, you're entangling yourself with the bondage of the law, and it's a state of sin that causes Paul to doubt the sincerity of your faith in Jesus Christ. Now, that's the facts.

Okay. We'll stop there and thank you for listening. Tune in again.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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