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Answering Questions on the Law

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10. theologypicjanHow would you answer someone saying you cannot quote books, such as Deuteronomy, to establish doctrine or standards of holiness because the law of Moses was for Israel?


Well, the space of this article does not permit me to go into detail to evaluate all the proposed approaches to explaining the role of the OT law in the life of the NT Christian. However, there are basic things we could point out that would show the fallacy of the above statement.

The major reason the above is dismissed is because we are Apostolic. That may sound trite or dismissive at first, but consider the following. Being Apostolic is more than a way to define ourselves against people holding other theological views, such as Trinitarians, Calvinists, Catholics, etc. It means we read Scripture in a way that is faithful to how Jesus and the Apostles did. Anything less is not Apostolic. Or to be more pointed, anything less is not biblical.

If the above claim was truly biblical, then it matches the methods and practices of Jesus and all NT writers. So baptism, the oneness of God, essentiality of water and Spirit baptism, tongues as the initial evidence, holiness as a life of faith, etc. all point out that we seek to be biblical in all things. However, after these essential basics we should go further by showing all we practice and teach is in THE model… the Bible. If it’s not in the pattern God gave, we do not need it. These boundaries clearly show all Christians should believe, teach and practice.

So how does this refute the claim above about the law? It’s simple. The Apostles did not believe that view of the OT law. Paul in 1 Cor. 9:8-10 addresses paying ministers. He says they should pay them but not simply on his word as an Apostle. The OT law teaches this as well (1 Cor. 9:8). Then Paul proceeds to point to an obscure OT law to make his case.

In 1 Cor. 9:9 Paul says, “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.” He’s quoting Deut. 25:4 which he will use again in 1 Tim. 5:18. Paul then gives a staggering disclosure that it was not for the OT people but, “For our sakes, no doubt, this is written…” (1 Cor. 9:10).

This is the test for every hermeneutical theory or theological understanding of the OT. Do they read the OT in a way that Jesus and the Apostles did? If not, they must admit they are not NT, or not Apostolic, or more simply… not biblical. The question then is, are they comfortable admitting that?

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