In our previous blogpost, we talked about the difference between Law and Grace.

We shared about the how the Law killed 3000 Israelites on the very first day of implementation and how 3000 souls were added to the church on the first day where grace arrived.

We compared the treatment of the rebellious son under the curse of the Law and its treatment under the grace of God

Lets continue to consider one more difference.

Sabbath Keeping Under The Law and Under Grace

Under the law, if a man forgets the Sabbath and work, what would  happen to him?   Num 15:32-35 tells us of a case like this

“The man must surely be put to death;
  all the congregation shall stone him
  with stones outside the camp.” – YHWH (Num 15:35)

The bible did not explain why the man was gathering wood on that Sabbath. But  under the law he was killed regardless of his intention.

This was a contrary to the teaching of Jesus with regards to Sabbath keeping

Matt 12:1-8 : Records of a time where the disciples were hungry and the pluck the head of grains and eat. When the Pharisees accused them of violating the Sabbath

Jesus defended them saying

“Have you not read what David did when he was hungry,
  he and those who were with him:  how he entered the
  house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful 
  for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only
  for the priests?  Or have you not read in the law that on 
  the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath,
  and are blameless?” Jesus (Matt 12:3-5)

He concluded saying “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

In Matt 12:9-14 he was asked a question “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

Jesus replied saying

“What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it
  falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift
  it out?   Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? 
  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Jesus (Matt 12:11-12)

Similarly, both law and grace emphasized the importance of Sabbath, but they took a different approach to keeping the Sabbath, the law emphasized on punishment for sin, but grace considered

The Spirit Of Slavery Vs The Spirit Of Sonship

Despite its blessing found in the Mosaic Law, the curse of the law is also terrifying. But under grace, God poured out his spirit as a counselor and we are comforted by it. When Jesus was nailed on the cross, he took away the curse of the law. In fact the teaching of Jesus in the new testament made the law deeper and harder to keep. For in the New Testament, Adultery and murder begins with thoughts (Matt 5). During the time of Moses, punishment is accorded only when the physical actions is performed.

Christians today must adhere to the same standard of Morality given in the Old and New Testament. For the definition  of sins and morality had not change between the testaments. It was in fact deepened and made harder to keep.

God did not give us grace to “facilitate” sinning, but instead, it is given so that man could come to him for forgiveness. Therefore,grace is given so that we could uphold the law of God without the fear of the curse of the Law.

This is why the main difference in keeping the law under grace lies in the spirit in which we keep the law of God.  Just like what Paul says

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage 
  again to fear, but you received the Spirit of
  adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” – Paul Rom 8:15

Paul reminds us that we do not receive a spirit of slavery and we received a spirit of adoption as sons. The spirit of a slave is different from the spirit of sonship,

The spirit of slavery enslaves us, even though we work, we would not be free. A spirit of sonship is one that receive freedom. Even though we are free, we choose to do a slave work as our choice.

This concept can be seen in the customary foot washing during the time of the Law. This culture can be seen in Gen 18:4.

During that time, Abraham welcome a group of travellers and in those days, washing of feet is a work that is done for the guest of the house. This work is done by the slave. Other form of foot washing could be done from a disciple for his master.

At that time, when the guest comes in, it is the job of the slave to wash the feet of the guest and the master. The slave had no right to refuse, and he could only do the work.

But under grace, the situation is completely different.

Jn 13 records the time before Jesus was betrayed, and he washed his disciples feet. After he washed the feet, he said

“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well,
  for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have
  washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
  another’s feet.” – Jesus (Jn 13-14)

Under the law of grace, the higher status must serve the lower, and this is not done in the spirit of slavery, but rather in a spirit of sonship. If we were to consider this from the perspective of love, we will know that grace was build on a foundation of love.

On the contrary the focus of the law was to punish the sin.

Conclusion

In the law of Moses, the lamb was sacrificed for the sin of the master. If one sins and he need to put his hands on the lamb, and kill it, Offered it up as a burnt offering so that sin can be atoned.

But under grace the master died for his lambs, Jesus is our Lord, and he became an offering for sins, and through his blood, he forgives us of our sin. This is the biggest contrast between law and grace and the most important thing we ought to understand.

I hope that at the end of the exercise, we would reach a conclusion to understand that the standard of morality between right and wrong remain constant in the old testament and the new testament.

The law was given to define sin and prevent people from sinning against God. It uses the festivals and sacrifices to remind the people about God’s morality standards and their sin.  The law is given by God to Moses to teach man his standards, and to prevent man from sinning against him.  When man went against Gods standard, he would be judged immediately and death reigned in that law.

This law doesn’t justify man before God, sacrifices can can only atone for the sins and trespasses committed by the individual but it does not reconcile God and man. Sacrifices only serves as a reminder of sins, but it does not forgive sins thus man continues to stand guilty before God as a sinner.

Throughout the period of the Law, sin continues to hold dominion over man. Man was unable to adhere  to the standards of God.  The entire old testament is a testimony of man’s repeated failure in  trying to match the basic standards of God.

But all the sacrifices, feasts and festivals prophesied about Jesus. When Jesus was born into the world, he fulfilled all the sacrificial requirement of the law. As the result, we have grace today, Jesus came give grace to man.

It is because of this grace, now man could stand justified before God, as baptism washes away sins. The blood of Jesus continually washes away sin as long as one is willing to repent before God. Man could now use this grace in their daily lives and to keep the standards of God written in the Law without the curses of the Law.

Let us not mistake grace as a “free pass” given by God to allow man to continually sin against God. But let us understand it as a  help given by God to help man to adhere to Gods standards.

I would be taking some time to study into the Mosaic law to better understand how the law relates to Christians of today. But as it would be a long study. I am not sure when I could write more regarding this topic.

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