Of the Law of God.
Chapter 19, Paragraph 3.
“Besides this Law commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel Ceremonial Laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties, all which Ceremonial Laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only Law-giver who was furnished with power from the Father, for that end, abrogated and taken away.”
1 Corinthians 5:7
The Ten Commandments are the universal law that was written on the heart of Adam, and remains (albeit disfigured) on the hearts of all his descendants. These were not the only laws given to the nation of Israel, though. What about them? Do they apply to believers today? Why were they given to Israel?
Some of the other laws God gave to Israel dealt with worship. These laws were types: they pointed to a greater reality that was to come. Some of them pointed to Christ and what He would accomplish. For example, the sacrifice of animals for sin pointed to the reality of Christ’s sacrifice atoning for sin. Some were instructions that pointed to a higher moral duty. Unleavened bread pointed to remaining free from sin. These ceremonial laws existed for Israel until something, or rather Someone, greater came along.
Through His life and death, Christ fulfilled that to which these ceremonial laws pointed. Christ is the One who has authority to give or take away such laws, and since His coming those laws are no longer needed. Our righteousness and forgiveness of sin is found through His mediatorial work! Because of this, ceremonial laws are not to be followed today.
Unfortunately, there is a fascination with ceremonial laws that goes beyond understanding how they are fulfilled in Christ. Some groups wish to bring back the food laws, the festivals, and other ceremonial laws. Those who follow such do not understand how Christ is the reality those laws shadowed. Do not live in the shadows. Live in the light of the Lawgiver!
Questions to Consider
- Are you more fascinated with ceremonial laws than the One they point to?