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                                                           BIBLE STUDY - LAW AND GRACE.

                                                         THE LAW OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Before we are going to look at the ‘Law of the Old Testament’ we must understand where and why the ‘Law of the Old Testament’ fitted in. In which time - slot or which period of mankind it was in action.

God had and has dispensational dealings with man from Adam and Eve until the last person, man or woman that will ever be born. Dispensational dealings meaning; different time slots or time periods that God the Farther had or has dealing with mankind.

1.  DISPENSATION OF CONCIENCE; from the time of Adam and Eve - until the time that Noah went into the ark.

2.  DISPENSATION OF THE LAW; after Noah and the ark, God gave Moses laws at the time of their exodus from Egypt - until the time that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary. For the Law was given by Moses but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17

3.  DISPENSATION OF GRACE; from the time that Jesus Christ rose from the death - until the end of time here on earth. This is the time that we are living in now. We will look at ‘Grace’ of the New Testament further in the course.

DISPENSATION OF THE LAW - THE LAW OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

God’s purpose was that the law should govern and guide Israel as a nation.

The law of the Old Testament or Ten Commandments was divided into three main sections.

Man towards God, man towards man and man towards religion.

A.  The Laws of God - mankind towards God.

Exodus 20:1 - 17 and Deuteronomy 5:1 - 21.

The Ten Commandments are commandments that God gave Moses and the children of Israel to lead and guide them. God has commanded His people to obey these rules in the time of Moses when he was supposed to lead them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

B.  Ceremonial or social laws - that of mankind to mankind. Also referred to as ‘judgments’.

Deuteronomy chapter 22; etc. See also the book of Exodus.

These are the more detailed regulations of the social or community laws that are summed up in the Ten Commandments.

Abraham lived before Moses as can be seen in the Book of Genesis, Exodus chapter 1 and 2 started of with the birth of Moses. Abraham started of with some of the minor do’s and don’ts which became part of the law later as in when the Jews had to move out of Egypt .

C.  Religious laws - that of people of God towards worship. Also referred to as ‘ordinances’.

Exodus 24:12 to Exodus 31:18. See also the book of Deuteronomy. These are the more detailed regulations of the religious laws of the Ten Commandments.

All the Old Testament books were written under the time of the law. When someone in the time of Jesus referred to the ‘Bible’ as we know it or the Old Testament, they referred to ‘Moses and the Prophets’ or ‘Law and the Prophets’ as in Luke 16:16 - 29 and 31. Moses, meaning; The Ten Commandments. The prophets; the rest of the Old Testament. Read also Luke 24:27; Acts 13:15 and Acts 24:14; Acts 28:23; Matthew 7:12; Mark 1:2; on Law and Prophets.

The law was only until John the Baptist, read Luke 16:16 etc. The Bible clearly states that Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law, Matthew 5:17. Man could not please God the Father via the Law that God has given to the Jews. Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the law, in other words He came and ‘rounded’ it off or completed it so that it can be done away with as in Hebrews 7:12 - 18. Read the letter to the Galatians and see how the complete Law has been done away with.

In our time we as children of God have the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, John 16:13 etc. We do not stand or live under the Law of Moses or the ‘Ten Commandments’. We are not ‘Spiritual Jews’ or God has no ‘grand children’. The law did not work for the children of Israel or the Jews as we know them.

God the Father has sent Jesus Christ to come and teach the Jews. The Jews did not want to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Jews also do not accept the fact that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, read Matthew 28:11 - 15. They paid soldiers to lie to the governor saying that someone stole the body of Christ from the grave.

                                                      THE GRACE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

There are many books and lots to say about grace. As usual we do not want to waist time and write long pages on the subject of grace. Grace is simply God the Father accepting a person according to his measure of faith.

We are living in the dispensation of grace. This is the third and last of the dispensational dealings that God the Father have with the human race. As mentioned in some of the previous courses.

1. From, Adam and Eve - Noah and the Ark ; The dispensation of conscience.

2. From, Noah and the Ark - the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross; The dispensation of law.

3. From, The crucifixion of Jesus Christ - the time we are living in now; The dispensation of grace.

The word grace can be described as; unmerited favour, non - deserved love or mercy.

John 1:17, ‘For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ This means that because of what Jesus Christ did, we have received the favour of God the Father; we are in God the Father’s good books again. The last time and verse the word grace appears in our Bible we find in; Revelation 22:21 ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.’

The fact that we all live in the dispensation of grace does not mean that we all share or partake in the grace of God the Father. Only those that have or will accept Jesus Christ as personal Saviour can share the grace of God the Father. Jesus and the grace that He brought can not be split up. If you accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour God the Father will forgive and accept you. Grace is tied up in the fact that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary in your place. Jesus justified you in the sight of God the Father. That is how you found grace in the eyes of God.

The Greek word “charis” for grace appear 130 times in the New Testament. There are more than 20 Scriptures referring to the grace of God that we are living in now. Man could not please God the Father to keep the Law of Moses or any other Law in the Old Testament including the Ten Commandments. The Jews did not know what grace in it’s fullness meant, the word grace does not appear in the Gospel of Matthew. The grace described in the Old Testament was merely singled out favour or mercy. They were under the Law of Moses. You will not find one place in the New Testament where Jesus promoted the Law or Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. Jesus Himself said that the only law we have to keep is to love God and one - another. Read the letter to the Galatians.

The following points are also mentioned about grace:

1.  Grace can bring forth salvation, Titus 2:11, ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.’

2.  Grace comes by faith, Ephesians 2:8 -9, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

3. It comes in various measures, Ephesians 4:7 ‘But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.’ Romans 6:1; Romans 12:3 - 6; Romans 15:15.

4. The grace of God is governed by the individual’s faith, Romans 5:2, ‘By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ Romans 4:16.

5.  We can grow in grace, 2 Peter 3:18, ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’.

6.  We can pray and ask for grace, Hebrews 4:16, ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’

                                                              Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

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