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May 10, 2010


does gregs bible fast forward go into more detail with this subject?

Is this known as covenant theology? I don't know what it is but i've heard the term thrown around alot. Or is this dispensationalism? i don't know what the difference is.

Is covenant theology the "replacement theology"?

Great link from Piper's site explaining the views you ask about.

The real clincher is your view of God's moral law/the decalogue in general and the 4th commandment in particular, whether it is binding on NT believers. Its en vogue to side with NewCovTheol and say Jesus = sabbath rest, thus 4th Com is abolished. That does not mean they are right/Biblical, just trendy.


Greg said something about 9 out of the 10 commandments towards the end of the video: Which one commandment did he mean to leave out?

he meant to leave out the Sabbath, because it's not repeated in the new testament.

I think the only law that applies today is anything that applies to gays. Everything else has been tossed out the window as too inconvenient.

"Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death."

Working on the Sabbath? One fellow got stoned to death for just picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Today, however, I doubt you'd find anyone who condemned someone who "had" to work on the Sabbath.

Bring up homosexuality, however, and you'll find people quoting Leviticus left and right.

I wonder why that is ...

It's because of the nature of the Law that was given to the Israelites. We're not under that law code today (because we died to the Law and were joined to Christ), although we can learn many moral principles and ideas about God from it. The Sabbath was the sign of the covenant that God made with the people of Israel. We aren't part of that covenant.

This link mentioned above is an interesting discussion about the Law that might be helpful to you. Here's a quote:

[There's] a distinction between the eternal moral law of God and the code in which God expresses that law to us. The Mosaic Law is an expression of God's eternal moral law as a particular code which also contains positive regulations pertinent to the code's particular temporal purpose, and therefore the cancellation of the Mosaic Law does not mean that the eternal moral law is itself canceled....

There are many similarities between the Law of Christ and Mosaic Law, but that does not change the fact that the Mosaic Law has been canceled and that, therefore, we are not to look to it for direct guidance but rather to the New Testament. For example, England and the US have many similar laws (for example, murder is illegal in both countries). Nonetheless, the English are not under the laws of America, but of England. If an English citizen murders in England, he is held accountable for breaking England's law against murder, not America's law against murder.

Homosexuality was illegal under the OT code, but behind the code is a moral principle that is again expressed in the New Testament. It's not a code that was specific to the Israelites for a specific purpose, but the moral principle behind it transcends that particular covenant. (This is why if I hear a Christian quote the Bible on this subject, I will more often hear a verse from the New Testament, not the Old (i.e., not Leviticus).)

The moral principle behind keeping the Sabbath, on the other hand, was the idea of keeping the covenant they had made with God (for which the Sabbath was the sign). Breaking the Sabbath meant breaking the covenant. Since we are in a new covenant now of which Sabbath keeping is not the sign, breaking the Sabbath no longer has the same moral significance.

So Amy, are you saying that the Fourth Commandment is irrelevant today or that it is not even possible to break the Commandment?

If it is, how does one violate it?

A clear scenario would be helpful.

What I'm saying is that we are not under the Old Testament Covenant. There are different ways that people work this out, but there's a difference between God's moral law and a particular code given in a particular covenant.

For example, God's moral law that murder is wrong transcends time and place. The particular law codes of different countries reflect this moral law but only have jurisdiction over the people of that particular country. So if I murder someone in America, I'm breaking American law but not Canadian law since I'm not under any obligation to Canadian law. With me so far?

The Sabbath law reflected God's moral law of covenant keeping and I think also some moral principles of resting, devoting time to God, and seeking Him. However, I'm no longer under the jurisdiction of that particular law, so it's not possible for me to violate it. (It's as if you were asking me how I would do something in America that would violate a law in Canada. Canadian laws do not apply here.)

In terms of God's moral law of covenant keeping in the New Testament under Christ, the comparable act to Sabbath breaking in the OT would be to deny Jesus under the new covenant. The moral implications behind both actions would be the same, and God would take both equally seriously in the context of their covenants.

As for the moral principles of resting and seeking God, I do, in fact, normally reserve Sundays (not the Sabbath, but the day of Christ's resurrection) for ministry, rest, and seeking and celebrating God. I don't do this because I'm under the OT Law and in danger of violation, but because I think it's a wise principle for my good. But I also think that those principles of rest and seeking God could be fulfilled in other ways, as well.

What remains the same in the Old and New Covenants is the necessity of not breaking the sign of the covenant (God's moral law). What changes is the way that moral law is expressed in the particular covenant (breaking the Sabbath or denying Jesus).

Amy, how does a nation make the best laws for the land? If not to follow the Laws of Leviticus and its penal code, how would we know the concepts of "restitution" or "two or more witnesses". Is the OT the guideline for God- honoring modern law? If so, how do we determine that the adulterer and the homosexual do not deserve the death penalty, but the murderer does deserve it. Looking forward to your response. This question plagues me.

>>Is the OT the guideline for God- honoring modern law?

In a way. We can certainly learn many moral principles and wisdom from the Old Testament Law. However, we have to keep in mind what the purpose of the Law was. Our situation is different now. I wrote something about this here.

The governments of nations today have the role of keeping order, rewarding the good, and punishing the bad (according to Romans 13), but it's not their job to create a holy nation as it was the job of ancient Israel.

As for murder, the severity of that crime above all others is set forth as a principle transcending any particular code when God gives the very first instructions He gave to Moses after the flood in Genesis 9:

Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

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