Old Testament Laws
Do we know which Old Testament Laws apply to Christians?
It’s a good question. We know the legalistic rules no longer apply – I was just reading 1 Corinthians 7:17-20 today while studying how we are to bloom where we are planted, and Paul is clear that “Keeping God’s commands is what counts” but he says that immediately after saying that it doesn’t matter if a man is circumcised or uncircumcised, the law is nothing.
We also know that in Acts 11, Peter was told specifically to eat pork which was forbidden in Leviticus. The rules regarding food were all lifted when Peter was told “do not call anything impure that God has made clean.
Jesus told us at the Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” So we know that many of the old legalistic laws were fulfilled by Christ, especially since Jesus reserved most of his anger toward the legalistic Pharisees.
On the other hand, some laws were strengthened. Jesus showed us that even thinking about adultery was just like committing adultery because that was where your heart is. Jesus focused us to interpret the Law with two things in mind: 1) love our God with all our heart, mind, and body; 2) love our neighbor as ourselves.
Also, many of the Old Testament Laws (613 of them!) only applied to Jews, and they still apply to Jews today. The ones that applied to Gentiles like us are the Noahide laws given to Noah. The Noahide laws were succeeded by the Ten Commandments and are binding on everyone, but not the 613 “mitzvot.” At this point, I complete reach the end of any sort of knowledge.
Was there a particular law you were wondering about? Is it closer to pork or adultery?