Are believers in Christ required to obey any part of Old Testament law? Both Dispensationalists and proponents of New Covenant Theology, or Progressive Covenantalism, as one version of it has come to be called, simply say “no.” In their view, the laws of the Old Testament are fulfilled and abrogated in Christ. Believers are only required to obey the “law of Christ,” which is taught in the commands of the New Testament alone. That’s a simple hermeneutic that draws a sharp line between the testaments and tells believers they don’t have to obey any Old Testament law. One of the major problems with this perspective is that New Testament authors seem to assume the authority of the Old Testament in matters of certain kinds of law. Another problem is that in spite of objections to the contrary, the Old Testament doesn’t treat all of its laws the same way either. We often hear that “the Law” is a unit, that all of it is moral, and that if any of it is abrogated, then all of it must be. While the issues involved in this dispute among sincere brothers in Christ certainly require more than a simple blog post, I offer the following short critique of those views which teach that Old Testament law is monolithic and without any divisions.
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The meaning of the term “flesh” appears to be so obvious that many would regard it as quite a waste of time to look up its various connections in Scripture. It is hastily assumed that the word is synonymous with the physical body, and so no careful investigation is made. Yet, in fact, “flesh” is used in Scripture to include far more than the physical side of our being. We read of “the will of the flesh” (John 1:13) and “the works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19), some of which are acts of the mind. We are forbidden to make provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14), which certainly does not mean that we are to starve or neglect the body. When it is said “the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14) we are to understand that He took unto Himself an entire human nature, consisting of spirit (Luke 23:46), soul (John 12:27), and body. “In the days of His flesh” (Hebrews 5:7) signifies the time of His humiliation, in contrast with His present exaltation and glory. Again, the average reader of the Bible imagines that “the world” is the equivalent of the whole human race, and consequently many of the passages in which it occurs are wrongly interpreted. Many too suppose that the term “immortality” calls for no critical examination, concluding that it refers to the indestructibility of the soul. But we must never assume that we understand anything in God’s Word. If the concordance be consulted it will be found that “mortal” and “immortal” are never applied to man’s soul, but always to his body.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
I’ve been pastoring for over ten years now, and I believe in practicing church discipline with all my heart. But church discipline has been one of the greatest sorrows and griefs of my pastoral experience. I do not like practicing church discipline, but I believe in doing it because Christ commands it (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:13-14), and because it is one of the ways pastors are called to love and serve the church. The Second London Baptist Confession rightly says, “He has given [churches] all that power and authority, which is in any way needful for their carrying on that order in worship and discipline, which he has instituted for them to observe” (26.7). For several years at my church, it seemed as though we had one case of church discipline after another. Here are some of the lessons I have learned in the practice of church discipline.
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“Arthur T. Pierson (1837-1911) best exemplifies the integrity of the Philadelphian Church Era… His preaching (over 13,000 sermons), extensive writings (over fifty books), and Bible lectures made him widely known in America. He was a consulting editor for his friend, C. I. Scofield (1843-1921), with the original Scofield Reference Bible (1909), and was the author of the classic biography, ‘George Muller of Bristol’… A. T. Pierson’s association with D. L. Moody and his Northfield Conferences were the breeding ground for Pierson’s determination to see the world evangelized in his generation… Arthur Pierson was himself a speaker at the Keswick Convention. This deepening of the Christian life in Pierson saw him author one of his most spiritually significant books, ‘In Christ Jesus’ (1898), where Pierson’s personal journey had led him to the conclusion that ‘this brief phrase [‘in Christ Jesus’] — a preposition followed by a proper name — is the key to the whole New Testament.'”
Source [Reformed Reader]
Fear not saith God, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob,” men of peculiar trials, “are not consumed.”
4. Then again, they are men of peculiar trials. Ah! poor Jacob! I should not choose Jacob’s lot if I had not the prospect of Jacob’s blessing; for a hard lot his was. He had to run away from his father’s house to Laban’s; and then that surly old Laban cheated him all the years he was there-cheated him of his wife, threatened him in his wages, cheated him in his flocks, and cheated him all through the story. By-and-bye he had to run away from Laban, who pursued him and overtook him. Next came Esau with four hundred men to cut him up root and branch. Then there was a season of prayer, and afterwards he wrestled, and had to go all his life with his thigh out of joint. But a little further on, Raphael, his dear beloved, died. Then his daughter Dinah is fed astray, and the sons murder the Shechemites. Anon there is dear Joseph sold into Egypt, and a famine comes. Then Reuben goes up to his couch and pollutes it- Judah commits incest with his own daughter-in-law, and all his sons become a plague to him. At last Benjamin is taken away and the old man, almost brokenhearted, cries “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away.” Never was man more tried than Jacob, all through the one sin of cheating his brother. All through his life God chastised him. But I believe there are many who can sympathize with dear old Jacob. They have had to pass through trials very much like his. Well, cross bearers! God says, “I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Poor tried souls! ye are not consumed because of the unchanging nature of your God. Now do not get fretting, and say, with the self-conceit of misery, “I am the man who hath seen affliction.” Why “the Man of Sorrows” was afflicted more than you; Jesus was indeed a mourner. You only see the skirts of the garments of affliction. You never have trials like his. You do not understand what troubles mean; you have hardly sipped the cup of trouble-you have only had a drop or two, but Jesus drunk the dregs. Fear not saith God, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob,” men of peculiar trials, “are not consumed.”
Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855
They Are Vindicated From The Imputation
An Unwarrantable Stress
The Ordinance Of Baptism.
Against The Charge Of Bigotry
Communion At The Lord’s Table
By Abraham Booth
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2. We believe that the eternity of the punishment of the vessels of wrath, is an absolute eternity, knowing no end; as well as the eternity of the life of the Saints: Mat. 25.46. This we maintain against those that affirm that all men shall be saved at the last.
Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith