Question:

Good sir,

Please, just for clarification, I want to ask: If the law has been abolished, what laws did God promised beforehand that He will write in our hearts?

Paul gave us the reason why the law (the Ten Commandments) was weak. He said, "the law was weak in that it was through the flesh." Why did Paul say this?

I will be happy to hear from you.

Thank you very much.

Answer:

If a police officer yelled out, "Stop in the name of the law," would you assume he was talking about the Law of Moses or the civil laws of the country? Clearly from the context, we assume that a police officer is talking about the civil laws that he upholds. In other words, "the law" doesn't tell us enough when by itself to let us know what body of law is being referred to. We have to consult the context in which it is used.

"Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands -- remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity" (Ephesians 2:11-16).

It was the Law of Moses, which includes the Ten Commandments, that was given to just one nation. "For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?" (Deuteronomy 4:7-8). The Law of Moses, by its nature, made a division between the Israelites and the rest of the nations. That division was visibly seen by the sign of circumcision. Therefore, the Law that Paul was talking about in Ephesians 2:11-18 was the Law of Moses.

"'Behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,' declares the LORD. 'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares the LORD, 'I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

Here God states that there would be a change in the covenants. It would not be like the old covenant, which would mean that it would have different laws. This does not imply that everything would be different, but it is definitely saying that everything would not be the same. Thus, the Law written on the hearts that Jeremiah prophesied is the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). As the writer of Hebrews pointed out, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, "'Behold, days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will effect a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah; ...'" " (Hebrews 8:7-8).

The weakness in the Law of Moses was it required men to keep the Law and they were not able to do so. A covenant is between two parties. The Law of Moses was a covenant between God and the people of Israel. But the Israelites were not able to uphold their part of the covenant and obey the terms of the Law. Paul talked about this further:

"For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me" (Romans 7:5-11).

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