The Law of God
the Law of Moses
(Grace and Law)

This document contains a comparison between the Moral Law of God, which stands forever, and the Law of Moses, which was nailed to the cross when Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice once and for all for the salvation of man. It makes clear the relationship between grace and law.

The Moral Law of God VS The Ceremonial Law
The Moral Law The Ceremonial Law
Before sin After sin
Defines sin Defines remedies--burnt offering,
meat offering,
sin offering,
trespass offering,
peace offering
Was spoken by God. Deut 4:12,13 Was spoken by Moses. Lev 1:1-3
Was written by God. Ex 31:18, Deut 10:3,4 Written by Moses. Deut 31:9
On stone. Ex 31:18, Deut 10:3,4 In a book. Deut 31:24
Kept inside Ark of the Covenant. Deut 10:1-5 Kept in pocket outside Ark of the Covenant. Deut 31:26
Complete. Deut 5:22 Added to and built up. Lev 1:1-3; 4:1-3
Eternal. Ps 111:7,8 Temporary. Heb 7:12
Holy, just and good. Rom 7:12 Contrary, not good. Col 2:14
Points out sin. 1 John 3:4; Rom 7:7 Points out Saviour. Lev 4:27-31; John 1:29
Must not break. Matt 5:19 Must not keep. Acts 15:24
Spiritual. Rom 7:14 Carnal. Heb 7:16
Perfect. Ps 19:7 Made nothing perfect. Heb 7:19
Law of liberty. James 2:11,12 Yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1
Delight. Ps 119:77, 17 A burden. Acts 15:10
Christ magnified. Isa 42:21 Christ abolished. Eph 2:15
Till Heaven and earth pass. Matt 5:18; Luke 16:17 Till Seed come. Gal 3:19
Standard in judgment. James 2:12 Not used for judgment. Col 2:16,17

What is the Bible definition of SIN? Sin is the transgression of God's Law. 1 John 3:4.  People sin because they break the Commandments of God, His Moral Law.

A co-worker friend of mine was a part-time minister of his church. One day we were talking about the Ten Commandments. He said: 'Lydia, did you know that the Ten Commandments didn't come about until Exodus? The Apostle Paul was talking about the Ten Commandments in Galatians, and he said they were abolished at the cross.'

I told him that a lot of people believe that. But the Bible is plain when it says that the Ten Commandments, the Moral Law of God, is as eternal as God Himself and couldn't be abolished. See Psalm 111:7,8.  Matthew 5:18 says: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary (Grace - undeserved kindness) did not nullify or make void or abolish God's Holy Law.  In fact, the very reason for His death on the Cross was that the Law could not be changed.

Romans 3:31 says: 'Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.'  In Isaiah 42:21 we read that: 'He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.  Establishing the Law and magnifying it do not mean abolishing and doing away with it, does it?

The Law of God is His standard of righteousness for His people to go by. The sinner, beholding himself in God's great moral looking glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. That's the only purpose of the Law of God.

Imagine for a moment that there is no mirror around anywhere in your home. When your face is dirty, would you know about it? You wouldn't, would you?

People are teaching that God's moral looking glass, His Law, is all shattered and thrown out. They're saying there's no need for the law anymore because we're under grace, not realizing that it's the condemnation of the law that we are not under if we are in Christ Jesus.

I once heard a prominent radio preacher answer a question from a listener who asked if continual disobedience to the commandments of God would cause one to lose his salvation. His response was 'No!' He gave the example of the Prodigal Son. He said if anyone was disobedient, it was the Prodigal Son, but he was still the son of his father regardless of his sins.

I'm sorry, but the Prodigal Son returned to his father after realizing he had sinned against his father and Heaven. He repented of his sins, put them away, and returned to the father. Had he not left the pig sty, would he experience the joy of forgiveness, fellowship, home, and salvation? No, he wouldn't, would he?

The antediluvians were all children of God. God wanted them to be saved so He sent Noah to preach to them for 120 years. That's how loving and patient their Heavenly Father was. But, sad to say, they chose not to be saved. The same was true with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They slighted God's mercy and abused His grace. Genuine repentance from sin--breaking God's Law--is essential for salvation!  See The Harvest Is Past.

I'm reminded of the poem The Church and the World which says in part (relating to modern, worldly preachers and churches):

I will send you some of the better stamp,--
Brilliant and gay and fast,--
Who will tell them that people may live as they list
And go to heaven at last.
The Father is merciful, great and good,
Tender and true and kind;
Do you think he would take one child to heaven,
And leave the other behind?"
So he filled her house with gay divines,--
Gifted and great and learned,--
And the plain old men that preached the cross
Were out of her pulpits turned.

What do you think would happen when people throw God's law out the window? People would be committing all kinds of heinous crime--killing, stealing, cheating, adultery, lying, etc., and wouldn't know that it is wrong to do so. Sin would be rampant indeed, and this world would be one big chaotic mess, wouldn't it?

The Law of God is a spiritual mirror to reveal to us the 'dirt' on our faces. But it's the blood of Jesus that cleanses the 'dirt' or sin from our lives. That's why we find in the Word of God the following text that assures us of the rightful place of God's Law in our lives regardless of whether the majority of the people believe in it or not. The Law points out sin in our lives.  'What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.' Romans 7:7.

My preacher friend had said that the Moral Law of God, the Ten Commandments, came about in Exodus, not before. But notice the following paragraphs:

In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve broke almost every precept of the Ten Commandments when they partook of the forbidden fruit. Eve coveted the fruit. She broke the tenth commandment. Both Eve and Adam stole the fruit and ate something that didn't belong to them. Therefore, they broke the eighth commandment. Placing the fruit before God in their lives, they broke the first and the second commandments. By disobeying God, they dishonored their Heavenly Father, breaking the fifth commandment. They were unfaithful stewards of God's property. They committed spiritual adultery, breaking the seventh commandment. God had warned them that in the day they ate the forbidden fruit they would surely die. They broke the sixth commandment.

In Romans 5:13 we read: "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."  Obviously, sin was imputed in Eden--Adam and Even committed sin. They transgressed the Law of God. See 1 John 3:4. The Law wasn't written on tablets of stone, but that doesn't mean that it didn't exist. Its principles were as living and dynamic as the law of gravity and other physical laws that came forth from the Lawgiver.

In Romans 5:12, we read: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  And in Romans 5:19 we find the same thought expressed: "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners..."  The Moral Law of God existed in Eden for it is eternal. Psalm 111:7,8.

The immutability of the Law of God is in harmony with the unchangeable nature of God Himself. The Law is a transcript of God's character which is Love. God is holy, just and good. The Law is holy, just and good. See Romans 7:12. Mercy and justice are attributes of God. God is merciful and He is just.

When a person sins (breaks the law) God's mercy demands that the sinner live. At the same time, His justice demands that He will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:6,7)--the sinner must die (Romans 6:23). What now? That's when Jesus' sacrifice (grace) comes in. Jesus came into the world to die to satisfy both the mercy and justice of God. His death on the cross reconciled and harmonized these two attributes of God.

In the book of John, chapter 8, Jesus told the woman caught in the act of adultery to go and sin no more--go and quit breaking the seventh commandment. Jesus did not give her a command that she was not be able to carry out.

Through His grace, it is possible to keep the Commandments of God. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil 4:13.

But maybe you're saying We're now under the new covenant dispensation and, therefore, we are no longer obligated to keep the Law under the old covenant dispensation. The word covenant means a binding agreement made by two or more parties. God covenanted with His people concerning His Law. "He declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deuteronomy 4:13.

Under the old covenant, obedience to the Ten Commandments was the condition upon which God made certain promises to the people--that they would be His peculiar treasure. Under the new covenant, obedience to the same ten precepts is also the condition upon which God grants precious promises to His people. God declares: "This is the covenant that I will make...after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Hebrews 8:10.

So what's the difference? The old covenant was based on the promises of the people to keep God's Law. "And all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do." Exodus 24:3.  This agreement was ratified or sealed with blood. See Heb 9:19, 20.

Less than 40 days after this covenant was ratified, the people of Israel broke their part of the agreement by making themselves a golden calf to worship. See Exodus 32. The flaw of the old covenant is that it was based on the people promising to be obedient to God not realizing the weakness and sinfulness of their own hearts. While they readily pledged themselves to be obedient, they failed miserably because they were doing it in their own strength.

Under the new covenant, or everlasting covenant of grace, God promises to write His Law in their hearts, and He will be to them a God, and they shall be to Him a people. Hebrews 8:10. Through the Prophet Ezekiel, God said: "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Eze 36:27.  It is Christ in the heart, through His Holy Spirit, that we are enabled to keep the Law of God. Forgiveness of sins and obedience to all precepts of the Ten Commandments through the power of the Holy Spirit constitute the new covenant between God and spiritual Israel. This is the essence of the Gospel.

God has promised that we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us. We can keep His Law just as Mary Magdalene kept the Law and obeyed the command of Jesus when He said: "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more."

O Shepherd Divine

O Shepherd divine, I know Thou art mine;
Thy great heart was broken for me.
Thy Grace and Thy Law I picture in awe;
They kissed upon Calvary.

Ah! life that was given to ransom my soul,
Ah! heart that was broken to make sinners whole,
This world is but loss in view of Thy cross,
My Shepherd, I follow Thee.

O Shepherd divine, I know Thou art mine;
Thy search in the night was for me.
This bleak world is cold, but warm is Thy fold;
My Shepherd, I follow Thee.

Thy beautiful lamp shineth bright o'er my way,
Thy glorious light unto Thy perfect day.
Thro' pastures serene, Thro' valleys of green,
My Shepherd, I follow Thee.

O Shepherd divine, I know Thou art mine;
I hear Thee say, "Follow thou Me."
Thy message today illumines my way;
The Spirit of Prophecy.

I thrill at Thy marvelous love to Thy sheep,
The way Thou dost lead to the still waters deep,
One staff and one rod, One fold and one God,
My Shepherd, I follow Thee.

--Herbert Work

See related topic: The Blue Halo

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O Shepherd Divine Midi