The Book of the Law – Is it “Against Us”?

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nailed to the cross sinMade to be Sin for Us

It is written in Colossians 2 that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he took something out of the way, having that nailed to his cross with him.  It is written:

Col 2:14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

It is written that Jesus took something out of the way, something that was “against us”.   Something that was written in handwriting.  He blotted it out, nailing it to the cross.  This is the gospel.  The verse before helps us to gain an understanding of what it was that Christ by the cross took out of the way.

Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Consider it with care.  He has forgiven you your trespasses or sins.  How could he do that?  He had to take them from you.  How did He do that?  By being nailed to the cross.  We read:

2Co 5:21 For he(God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

How did God make Him to be sin for us?  By allowing Him to take on our human nature.  By being “made flesh” (John 1:14), by being “made a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: ” (Gal 3:13), “made of a woman, made under the law”(Gal 4:4), “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,” (Heb 2:9), “made in the likeness of men:” in order that he might take our sins suffering “the death of the cross.” (Phi 2:7, 8).

Jesus Christ was “made” this way for us.  Why was he “made” this way?   Because of sin.  What is sin?

1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Rom 7:7 …I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Paul quoting the tenth commandment said he had not known sin except that the law had shown him what sin was.  The law makes manifest our sin.  The law of God, the law that God gave to Moses in two tables of stone.   But where was this written?  It was also written in the book of Deutoronomy.

Deu 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Witness Against Us

There are many that understand that the “book of the law” written by “Moses” was nailed to the cross.  But is this really what God has nailed to the cross?

We read in Deutoronomy chapter 31:

Deuteronomy 31:25-26 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

It was definitely witnessing against us back then when we violated it, but some say that it doesn’t witness against us after the cross if we violate it.  Is this true?   If I were to covet my neighbor’s wife, then would it witness against me?  Did God nail this book to the cross?  Did he nail the law of coveting to the cross?

Some might answer that God nailed the little book to the cross, however, the ten commandments are listed in this book.(Deutoronomy 5) They don’t believe that the ten commandments were nailed to the cross because God wrote those in stone.   Let’s consider one commandment that wasn’t written on those stones.

The Greatest Commandment 

This book of the law was based on two great commandments.  The first and great commandment was thus:

Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

This commandment was written not on the two stones, but the stones explained this commandment which was written in the little book.   This is a statute.   But also notice carefully the context:

Deuteronomy 6:4-8 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

The question comes.  Should we diligently teach them to our children today?  Should we keep that part?  Should we talk of them when we sit in our house?  Or shall we say “That old law is nailed to the cross”?  Consider the second great commandment.  God wants to put these in our mind, and bind them on our hand.

Second Great Commandment:

Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

But wait.  Again consider what Jesus is quoting.  He is quoting from that “old law” or “handwriting” that Moses wrote.  This was not written on stones.

Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

That was not written in stone, but rather was only written by Moses in a book.  There are many more statutes written in the book that even Paul himself quotes that many today were done away with, abolished, nailed to the cross.

The law is not the problem.  The heart is the problem.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Those who have a new heart in them love His law.   And rather than enmity, rather than warring against God, they have peace.

Psa 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Righteousness by Faith

There is an objection that is had.  That “the law is not of faith” (Gal 3:12).  Used out of context verses like these could be put together to suggest that those who have faith do not keep the law.   But the bible says “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17) and that “the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom 2:13).

So what does it mean that “the law is not of faith”?  Well, some were reading the books of the law, and they did not see “the gospel”.   We read in 2 Cor 3 and 4 of those who read the books of the law.  That all they see is “thou shall do this” and “thou shall do that” but they fail to see Jesus Christ, and they also fail to see the Holy Spirit, and they are blinded to seeing the goodness of God in those statutes.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light John_1_29of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Blinded to the gospel in when reading what?

2 Corinthians 3:13-15 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

The vail is upon their heart when reading Moses.  Not just then did the god of this world blind them from seeing the gospel in the writings of Moses, but also “even unto this day”.  Many when they read the law of Moses, all they see is restrictions and laws.  They don’t see power and promises.   They don’t see what was abolished.  What was abolished?

2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 

They were supposed to be able to see that in that day.  They were supposed to see righteousness by faith in the blood of Christ.  No man was ever justified by the law.  This was never the way of God.

Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Righteousness has never came by the law.  If it did, then Christ would not have  had to die.  The cross is everything.  Not just today, but even in the time of Moses.   There was no other way to receive grace, and there was no other way to be saved.

Grace by Faith – Walk in the Statutes

If we were quick to hear, and slow to speak, these words would be written on our heart, rather than as many do, condemning the law as unjust.   Note carefully the following.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

“…before ordained that we should WALK IN THEM”.   What are “THEM”?  What did God BEFORE ordain that we should “WALK IN”?  Line upon line, precept upon precept.   Let us read the word.

Deu 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

The ten commandments are listed in this chapter.  There are some who are quick to answer that it is bad to do the law, and they will quote a verse like the following.

Rom 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

But this is not where Paul stopped.  Paul quoted from Deuteronomy here describing righteousness by works.  But Paul also wrote of righteousness by faith in the next few sentences.

Romans 10:6-9 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

This is Righteousness by faith.  But where is Paul quoting from here?  He is quoting Moses.  Moses didn’t just tell the Israelites about righteousness by the law,  but he taught them righteousness by faith so that they could have the law not just written on paper, but written on their heart.   Let’s read of this “righteousness which is of faith” as described by Moses.

Deuteronomy 30:10-16 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments

minds blinded vail over the face
Minds were blinded to the gospel back then, just as they are blinded today when reading Moses.

and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.  See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;  In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

So here we read that the “book of the law” is to be written on the “heart” by faith.  And this would be what God ordained of old that we should “walk in”.   It is clear that this little book is placed in the ark, in the “heart” of the sanctuary.  You are the temple of God, so is it any wonder that he should write this in your heart with the commandments, statutes and judgments.

Some have come to believe that this law given to Moses, was only the law of Moses, and that it is different from the law of God.  But the fact is, that this is the law of God.  It was given to Moses and Moses wrote it in a book.  It is more often than not called “the law of God” and not just “the law of Moses”.  These terms are used interchangably.  Notice:

Luke 2:22-24 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Some have come to believe that the ceremonial law was “the law of Moses.” and not “the law of the Lord” or “the law of God”.  But we can see clearly that terms “the law of the Lord” and “the law of God” are used interchangeably of both the ceremonial and the moral law.

Let us be careful to understand that the ceremonial law is written in the law of God. And it pointed to the cross as the remedy for sin.  And the cross did abolish death.  And therefore the ceremonies ceased at the cross and have been nailed to his cross.  The ceremonies of sacrifices, offerings, and the Levitical priesthood and temple services that go with that.   However let us be careful not to nail more to the cross than that.

Let us be careful not to nail the entire book of the law which was given to Moses to the cross.

Malachi 4:4-6 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

This law has many blessings for us.  As we are told:

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

And what will we do when we get to the city?  We will come to the throne every month(New Moon) and every Sabbath for worship.

Isaiah 66:22-23 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

The times God ordained for worship are certainly going to be kept in heaven.  Many have nailed them to the cross today along with the book of the law which is to be written in our hearts.  When we understand what was really and truly nailed to the cross, what was abolished.  That Christ abolished death, rather than that he nailed the book of the law to the cross.  The gospel can only be seen to be that much more glorious.  And also that the love of God and his method of salvation has forever been the same.  That is that the little book of the law will be written on the heart of the man of faith.

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