Australia is a country almost as large
as the “lower 48 states” in America. On
Australia’s eastern side there is The Great Dividing Range, which is 2,175
miles long, the third largest in the world and superseded only by the Mid Ocean
Ridge (which is under the sea), the Andes and the Rocky Mountains. The Great Dividing Range varies in width from
100 to 190 miles and separates the eastern coastline from the outback on its
western side much like the Rockies divide central North America.
The climatic effect on the land is
amazing. The eastern coast benefits from
oceanic rain while the western side does not. Climatically, the difference is understandable. Moist air is blown from the sea and rises
over the Range releasing its moisture before moving west to the outback. This creates a dry and arid interior in
contrast to the green lush coastline.
The Great Divide
There is an analogy that may be
drawn from The Great Divide that exists between the Old Testament and the New
Testament in the understanding of most modern day Christians. In essence, the difference between the New
Testament as a verdant period of grace and love and the parched dry Old
Testament of an angry God with an eye for an eye harsh set of laws without love
The purpose of this article is to
demonstrate that this “Great Divide” between the Biblical Testaments is
academic and artificial.
Is The Old Testament
Let us examine the proposition
generally accepted that the Old Testament is old, done away, void, out of date
and passé. As such, it does not
have much practical relevance in our modern world of theology. Conversely, the New Testament is the green
and verdant well-watered land for the
born again Christian who is under Christ’s sacrifice of love and grace. The Law has been nailed to the cross. Law keepers are branded as “legalists.”
Clearly, a great divide does
exists in the belief system of modern Christianity compared to what the
Sabbath-keeping Churches of God understand and teach as they follow the Early
New Testament Church led by Jesus. We
hold the view that there is no great divide between Old Testament and New
Testament. God calls individuals across
time from the beginning of history until today. He sets the standards of righteousness for all humanity, which remain
consistent for all time both prior to Jesus’ sacrifice and subsequent to it.
So when and how did this divide
The Emergence from the Dark Ages
Let us begin with a brief historic
review by recognizing the Early New Testament Church basically disappears into
the mists of history. For all practical
purposes the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD to Titus Vespacian ended the Jewish
state. Jesus’ followers fled to Pella in
the Jordan Valley and were spared the slaughter that ensued. We pick up the story in the 3rd and 4th Centuries AD. We
pause at the battle for control of the Empire by Constantine, which was
successful. His dominance of State and
Church was complete and remained so until AD 476 when the Roman Empire
fell. The Roman Catholic Church then
emerged from the political vacuum and dominated Europe for the next thousand
years, until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
Leaping over 1,000 years from the
close of the first century when the Early New Testament Church basically
disappears into the mists of history, we pick up the story in the 16th Century. The Protestant Reformation
progressively created the freedom to read and discuss the Bible. The stranglehold on doctrines and education
enjoyed by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries was crumbling. These Catholic doctrines had differed
markedly from the teachings of the Old Testament and from the examples of Jesus
and his disciples.
Developed the Notion of a Divide?
The first great example of going
against the tide of the Catholic Church was John Wycliffe (1320-1384). Known by the honorary title, The Morning Star
of the Protestant Reformation. He was
the first to translate the Bible into English. Of course, this attracted great resistance. The Catholic hierarchy who
controlled religion with the Latin language, ritual, power and wealth, did not
want a translation in the common tongue. Persecution and resistance ensued but did not prevent the eventual
limited success indicated by the following quote.
“What I note about Wycliffe is that he
was a turning point for taking the Bible out of the exclusive hands of the
Roman priesthood and putting it into the hands of the common folk everywhere,
revealing to them truths of the scripture, and lies the Roman church had used
to hold them spiritually captive. Knowledge and freedom are wonderful
Next to arrive on the scene was William
Tyndale (1492-1536). He was determined
to build on Wycliffe’s seminal work and was the first to print an English New
Testament. Motivated to stop corruption
in the Catholic church, he completed the task before being hunted down and
strangled. The final indignity was to
burn his body at the stake in 1536. Emerging from these humble beginnings, the Protestant Reformation
sparked a schism around 1517 when Martin Luther posted his Ninety Five Thesis
confronting the Papacy in particular about the power and efficacy of
The dyke was cracking as differing
ideas began to merge in opposition to Catholic dogma. The Fathers of the
Reformation, Martin Luther, Jean (John) Calvin, Urilch Zwingli and John Knox
led the movement. A violent battle for
freedom and reform raged all over Europe as hundreds of thousands or people
perished in the struggle. The result of
these rebellions spawned theological studies, which in time increased the
growth of many different denominations. A few are Anglicans, Anabaptists, Baptists, Puritans, Lollards,
Calvinists, Congregationalists, Lutherans and Reformed Churches who exploded
into existence in the 16th century.
What was once a continent controlled
for 1,000 years by fear, education, language, wealth and ritual began the
course of religious freedom that we enjoy today. In addition, research and progress in
theological study and an increased access to the Bible, spread the word. Various editions of the Bible were printed,
which led to questioning the soundness of Catholic teachings by the masses.
The Fruits of Academic
James D. Smart notes in his book, “The Strange Silence Of The Bible in The
Church”, as academic progress was being made during the 18th and 19th
century in understanding the Bible, something else was also occurring. Through the various academic disciplines of
linguistics and etymology, archeology and history, religious schools of thought
began to emerge. Hermeneutics (the
approach of using a method or theory of interpreting the Bible) was
developed. German Scholars were
particularly influential in the nineteenth century (De Wette, Eichhorn, Gunkle, Herder, Vatke, and Wellhausen). They laid the foundation of the modern approach used today to
investigate the Scriptures. On the one
hand, great light was shed on the Scriptures but in so doing it also created a
negative and opposite result.
The Old Testament was viewed
distastefully. This in turn effected the
teaching of it in seminaries and the pulpit. The result was to shape the minds and thinking to the point of viewing
the Old Testament with distaste and eventually embarrassment! Progressively there were few individuals who
actually could understand and explain the Scriptures and interpret them
intelligently to others (Smart, p.18). This caused a recession (going back) of interest in the Old Testament in
the church at large.
The importance of the Old
Testament was reduced to a simple historical background to understanding the
New Testament, according to Smart. “The
OT is an alien factor in recent theology, according to Walter Zimmerli, in his
Sprunt Lectures of 1963” (Ibid. p. 20). It became an embarrassment to
Protestant theology. Why was this
so? The reason was because theologians
could not describe their Christian
beliefs in the light of the Old Testament witness. Christmas and Easter, for example, have no
place in the Scriptures or the example of Jesus. These modern holidays are firmly grounded in
tradition and pagan origins.
In the United States churches
today we see that many churches have abandoned the Old Testament teachings as a
source of inspiration. Generally
speaking, little preaching is undertaken from the Old Testament, as it has
slipped quietly into obscurity and abandonment.
The Old Testament is the
foundation of salvation on which the entire New Testament writers based their
letters to the early Churches. Their
writings are commentary on the actions of Jesus and his disciples who lived the
teachings of the Old Testament. The
teachings of The Messiah from the Old Testament with its emphasis on love and
grace was the main thrust. The Old
Testament was the author’s point of reference as may be seen from the multiple
references from it in their writings.
The Problem of a
Does God have differing standards
for those He calls? Adopting “The Great
Divide“ concept between the Old Testament and the New Testament creates a
double standard of salvation for those called at different times. This position proposes all the faithful God
called before Christ’s sacrifice had to obey the principles of the laws in the
Old Testament that he stated. Conversely, after Jesus’ sacrifice, it is commonly taught today that
modern Christians do not have to obey those same laws.
As a result, today, we are expected to believe the untold
number of faithful people who did obeyed God prior to the Messiah's sacrifice
kept laws that were temporary. These all
then became null and void after the crucifixion. Jesus paid the price on the cross for all sin
and we can’t earn salvation by law keeping, so it is a matter of salvation by
faith alone, according to Martin Luther (Romans 3: 28). Despite the fact that alone does not appear in Romans 3: 28 millions of Lutherans believe Luther’s
conclusion is true. That conclusion
means that we, in the New Testament period, don’t have to obey applicable laws
of God stated in the Old Testament, so the argument goes.
I have difficulty with that
reasoning, not that faith and grace are not important because of course they are. What the Great Divide concept creates is two
different standards for salvation. For
example, from creation we see the sanctification of the seventh day (Genesis
2:1-3). The Sabbath’s are mentioned in
the Old Testament 109 times and 60 times in the New Testament. Jesus’ custom was to observe the Sabbath (Lk.
4:16). The Sabbath was made for man and
Jesus is called Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2: 27). There is no specific change to the Sabbath
law evidenced in Scripture which would be necessary for its abrogation (Hebrews
7:12). Therefore, would not obedience to
the Sabbath commandment be necessary for both Old Testament and New Testament
Christians, or does God have two standards?
The Case for
When I read the book of Hebrews it
presents me with another question.
The date of Hebrews is an
approximation of about A.D. 66-70 and we don’t know who the author was
(Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol.12 p. 8). This date is some 30+ years after the establishment of the Early New
Testament or Primitive Church. At that
time those early Christians believed many people were saved or had salvation
through faith before the Sacrifice of Jesus.
Hebrews 11, the famous faith
chapter, makes this point clearly. There
is a long list of believers beginning in Genesis with righteous Abel and
continues all the way through history to the date of Hebrews circa A.D. 66
-70. “For all these having obtained a
good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided
something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews
11:39-40). The clear indication here is
that those believers called of God in the Old Testament and those who were
called after Christ’s sacrifice would be made perfect together and at the same
This would appear to void the
Great Divide concept!
Again, “Does the LORD God have two standards, one for those in
the Old Testament and another for those in the New Testament?” If there is no difference, should we not be
obeying God in similar fashion as those who are used as examples of faith
deemed to be made perfect with those who followed them on the road of
There is no place for the
artificial divide conceived by theologians in the 19th century. This false idea has misled academic inquiry,
teaching in seminaries and sermons from the pulpit ever since.
Divide Part II
Where we are Today: Modern
The average person may find the complexity of theology and a
multiplicity of religious organizations to be confusing. How did we get from a fairly simple religious
system that Jesus modeled to the current religious diversity? It is confusing. Every possible permutation and variation on a
theme exists. Huge numbers of religious
broadcasts flood the airwaves espousing their unique brand or approach. Of course, “All roads lead to Rome” it is
claimed. Interpretation; it does not really matter what organization you belong
to, God loves you and all roads lead to heaven. Despite this the competition to attract members to a particular group or
organization is constant with the view that numbers of attendees is the mark of success.
Most Christian denominations would accept the notion that Jesus
loves us and grace covers all. From one
point of view that is true, but what happened to God the Father in all
this? What is it that He and Jesus
expect us to do?
Modern Christianity doesn’t
generally teach today that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament. However, the fact that Jesus was the God of
the Old Testament is firmly demonstrated by Scripture (see Exodus 3:13-15 and
John 8:58-59 and John 1:1-5,14). Therefore, the laws He gave such as the 10 Commandments and the seven
Holy Days were said to be a perpetual memorial, everlasting and consecrated
observances to all generations (Exodus 12:13-14,17 & 31:16; Leviticus 3:17
& 23:1-2,14,21,41; Deuteronomy 4:40).
The Witness of Jesus and His Disciples
Is there really any question that
Jesus and his disciples observed all of the laws previously mentioned? By example Jesus’ parents taught him by going
to Jerusalem every year to keep the Passover and the Feast (Unleavened Bread
Luke 2:41-49). Also all seven Holy
Days are also mentioned in the New Testament. Specifically, Jesus’ custom was to obey the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:8,
Mark 12:28, Luke 6:5, Luke 4:16). Additionally, it is clear by the New Testament Scriptures that Jesus,
his disciples and the early New Testament Church observed these same commanded
assemblies (Luke 2:41-42; 22:14-15; John 7:2,8,10,14; Acts 2:1; 18:21; 20:19; I Corinthians 5:6-8;
These sacred and undeniable
truths of God are abundantly evident in Scripture.
Opening of the Mind
In order for a person to
understand God’s Word, God must intervene in their life and open their mind
(John 6:44,65). After his resurrection,
Jesus opened the minds of two men on the road to Emmaus by expounding the
Scriptures concerning Himself (Luke 24:27,31-32). He also appeared to his
disciples and “...opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the
Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-49). When we
examine the four Gospels and the book of Acts, the internal evidence is
strikingly clear regarding their observance of the Holy Days and Commandments
of Jesus in the Early New Testament Church.
So why do we not follow their
Law or no Law, that
is the Question: Love and no law or law and no love?
Two approaches exist in modern theology about God’s laws and
they both can’t be right. However, they can both be wrong! How can we explain and resolve this apparent
Jesus before his incarnation gave the commandments of the
Old Testament. As God incarnate, he
lived those very same commandments as an example to all in the role of the
Messiah. He nowhere abrogates these laws
either by example or command. Rather he
criticized the religious leadership of that day for making burdensome rules and
regulations binding on people (Matthew 23:4).
So, how does modern Christian teaching explain the position
that a divide exists between the Old and New Testaments? The notion being that the laws given by God
in the Old Testament were cruel and harsh. Does this not create a double standard? If so, this does not make sense.
Well meaning people can focus on the law area too much and
fail in the love area. Equally well
meaning individuals can focus on the emotional domain too much and neglect the
principles of God’s laws (Matthew 23:23). As in a marriage, it takes male and female to form a family and have
children. You can’t have one without the
other. Likewise, we need God’s laws to
guide us objectively in behavior applied with a right heart (emotion) of love.
The Great Divide in
There was great division among religious groups when Jesus
lived. What caused this was a departure
from the basics of God’s law from the perspective of keeping the letter of the
law and not the intent of it. Putting it
another way, they kept the rules but neglected the emotion or heart intended by
God’s laws when combined with mercy.
A prime example of this hard heartedness is found in several
places. For example, in John 7 Jesus was
teaching in the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles (vv. 2,14). Jesus uses the example of circumcision, which
according to the law had to be performed on the eighth day after the birth of a
boy. Naturally, some children were
circumcised on the Sabbath in order to keep the law of Moses. Jesus contrasts this ceremony with his
healing on the Sabbath. “If a man
receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be
broken, are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the
Sabbath?” (v. 23).
There are many other similar examples of hard-heartedness
when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. There
is the man who had a withered hand (Matthew 12:9-14). A lady who was bent over for 18 years was
relieved from her infirmity (Luke 13:10-17). A man who had an infirmity for 38 years was healed (John 5:1-10,
16). What physician would not love to be
able to do this sort of good deed on the Sabbath like Jesus.
The hypocrisy of obeying the letter of the law and not
rejoicing over someone who is healed of great infirmity is instructive. These good religious people considered that
healing was work if done on the Sabbath (Matthew12:2). The question Jesus asked
them was, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or evil, to save life or to
kill?” The Pharisees refused to answer
the question! (Mark 3:4). Rather they
sought to kill him (Mark 3:6; John 5:16), which is against the sixth
commandment thou shalt not murder (Exodus 20:13).
So you may have the statement of a right rule being taken
literally and applied without any concern for the intent. Human compassion is erased by this attitude
of being right, without care for the particular situation and destroys the
intent of doing good and saving lives. Jesus said, “Do not judge
according to appearance, but judge a righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Attitude and Intent.
Two elements should be considered in considering how to
apply the laws of God. The first is the
basic rule and the second is the intent of the rule. Then two more things need to be added, is the
rule being taken too literally and is it being applied with love and mercy?
The Lesson of the
That famous teaching story of The Good Samaritan clearly illustrates
this point. It is found in three Gospels
(Matthew 22, Mark 12 and Luke 10). Reading all three will bring out various important elements in the story
missed by only reading the one account. We will use Luke 10:25-37 as our reference point to illustrate the basic
principles involved in the law and love, attitude and intent. Encouragement is given to read all three
The question to Jesus was posed by several possible
candidates, the Pharisees, Sadducees, a Scribe and a lawyer (in Luke 10:25,
margin: expert in the law). The question
asked by the lawyer was, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal
life?” Other accounts say what is the
greatest commandment or the first commandment of all. In all three cases it is clear that Jesus is
being tested with the hope of being found at fault.
Jesus replies, “What is written in the law? What is your
reading of it?” (Luke 10:26). It is
important to understand what this term “the law” meant. It indicates the first five books of the Bible
and was known as Torah (teachings and instructions of the LORD) and The Law of Moses. A summary answer was given by the lawyer
citing love God and love neighbor. Jesus
said, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live” (v.28).
At this point the justification begins with the lawyer’s
question, “Who is my neighbor?” (v. 29). Then Jesus tells of the story of the Good Samaritan who was traveling
from Jerusalem to Jericho and came across a man badly beaten and robbed. A priest and Levite had both passed by and
did nothing to help the victim. The
Samaritan, on seeing the situation had compassion. The Samaritan did what the two good religious
Jewish men did not do, i.e. love their neighbor.
The beaten man was given medical assistance, was put on a
donkey, taken to an Inn, supplied with money for his keep and treatment. In addition further money was promised to the
Inn keeper if needed by this generous Samaritan.
What we do not know is the race of the victim of this
robbery. Let us suppose for discussion
sake he was a Jewish man. Here two
fellow Jews, who knew the law, abandoned their responsibility to help a fellow
Jew. In contrast, a despised Samaritan
who had a corrupted understanding of the law according to the Jews comes along
and did fulfill the command to love his neighbor! (John 4:21-22).
Despite having “the truth” the Jews did not have the heart
or emotional capacity to assist a fellow countryman and believer. Just imagine the contrast that Jesus was
illustrating to the lawyer and the other good religious men with him! The Samaritan whom they despised was more
righteous in applying God’s law of love than those who had all the rules right!
Jesus posed the question to the lawyer, who out of the three
men, the priest, Levite or Samaritan, was a neighbor to the victim of
robbery? The lawyer answered, “He who showed mercy on him” Jesus replied, “Go and do likewise”(Luke
The Two Great
Today, much is made about these two commandments that
summarize all of God’s Laws. Observation will confirm that most Christians will believe that all they
need to do is to love God and man and that is the totality of the requirement
today. Why? The law as well as Jesus was
nailed to the cross. It is claimed that
we will do the Ten Commandments automatically when we love God. The flaw in this position is that most
believers don’t automatically obey the Ten Commandments. The most obvious one is the fourth Command to
keep the Sabbath Holy (Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:1-3; Deuteronomy
5:12-15). Neither do they follow the
example of Jesus (Mark 2:27-28, Luke 4:16).
It is naive to say that the lawyer who approached Jesus
would agree with the conclusion held today by millions of sincere people
seeking eternal life! The reason being
that no lawyer or rabbi would ever consider countermanding God’s laws. Remember, the question asked was, “What is
written in the law.” The law or torah
mean the teachings and instructions of the LORD! How do we know what we should be doing to love God and neighbor? We look into
what torah teaches and the lawyer knew what that was. I say this because he correctly gave a
truncated summary sufficient to demonstrate his grasp on principle in Leviticus
19:18. The lawyer could probably cite
the whole section of scripture by heart as no doubt Jesus could!
To understand the background to these two principles (love
God and love neighbor), we are wise to return to the original source of
them. Only then will we see what the
teaching and instruction actually is. A
primary source is the original. In this
case there are two primary sources of love for God and man. We will address love for neighbor first and
then love for God.
The Second Great
We must reach back into the Old Testament to find what the
lawyer was citing and the first use of love. The Hebrew word for love is aheb (Strong's‘ H. 157). Aheb is a verb and is action based. We find it used for the first time in Lev
19:18 in the context of a command from God to love our neighbor. Obviously, aheb is used to indicate love between two humans earlier in Genesis
29:32 & Exodus 21:5.
A verb is an action, condition or state. So, when we read, “...you shall love your
neighbor as yourself:...” (Leviticus 19:18) it is important to know and understand
the context in which the verb aheb is
used. Viewing the context from verses 9
through 18 we find a number of socially beneficial actions that the Israelites
were commanded to do.
In this section a statement is repeated four times, “I am
the LORD (YHVH) [thought to be Yahweh or
Jehovah]. Put another way, “for this is
who I am” seems to be the indication given for the reason why we do or don’t do
certain things to one another. Verses
9-18 could come under the subtitle of, help the unfortunate and be fair and
neighborly. There are many actions
worthy of consideration here.
Positive and directive terminology is seen in, “shall
not...,” “...shall do no...,” “...shall not go about...,” “...shall not be...,”
”...but you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v.18).
We won’t take the time to spell out all these objective
criteria here but the reader is encouraged to study this section of
scripture. If we were to actually do all
of the things contained in these nine verses (9-18) what a wonderful world it
would be. It is not what we feel
emotionally, rather it is what we actually do that is important. Our emotions motivate us to do the right
thing as indeed was the case with the Good Samaritan!
His actions demonstrate his emotions or compassion in loving
the victim of assault and robbery. He
placed himself in the same position as the victim and said, “would I like to be
helped?” Then he acted and helped.
Therefore, when the lawyer cited love neighbor as one of the
two great commandments, the context and
background would have been known to this expert of the law with his summary
statement of love God and love neighbor.
Did the Israelites
Love their Neighbor?
Despite all of the miracles surrounding the Exodus, that
carnal community could not bring themselves to either love their neighbor or
obey the LORD! The consequence of this attitude of
constantly tempting and disobeying God resulted in their dying in the
wilderness (Numbers 14:20-30). A new and
more obedient generation was needed to inherit a land blessed by God.
The First Great
Commandment to Love God
Where do we find the commandment to love God? Interestingly, it is in the book of
Deuteronomy and chronologically just prior to entering the Promised Land. Some 40 years later, the entire adult
generation that left Egypt had died in the wilderness. Two exceptions were Joshua and Caleb (Numbers
14:6,38). Moses wrote this final work
prior to dying, and he said to the people with Joshua beside him who was their
your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall
command your children to be careful to observe all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because
it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your day in the land which
you cross over the Jordan to possess” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47).
We find In chapter 6 the “Shema.” Shema means “hear.” Implicit in hearing is also doing! Chapter 6 begins with the commandments,
statues and judgments from God. They
were to be observed in the Promised Land that they were about to enter. Verse 5 says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart [emotions]
with all your soul [life] and with all your might [ability]. They were to be taught diligently within the
family to children and grandchildren. They were to be lived in every way according to the instructions of
God. Every evidence of the believers
life were to demonstrate obedience to God!
A little later Moses wrote, “...man shall not live by bread
alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3). We also read in chapter 10:12-22 what God
requires of us...it is to fear [respect] Him, walk in His ways, to love [the
Him and serve Him with all our hearts and soul (V. 12).
When we consider again the conversation between the lawyer
and Jesus in the teaching of the Good Samaritan story, two things stand
out. The first is that Jesus asked, what
is written in the law and what is your reading [understanding] of it? Secondly at the end of the “teaching” Jesus
said, go and do likewise. It is
unimaginable to consider that Jesus is doing away with the law in any way any
more than the lawyer was.
The Great Divide is not evident and should not be drawn from
the example of Jesus.
Division may be both good or bad depending on the
circumstances. It can be useful and
un-useful. Nature provides us examples
of useful divides in geographical terms. Humanity provides innumerable examples of negative divides. The greatest example of this would be The
Great Wall of China. Built over 11
centuries (5th-16th) it is the longest (4,160 miles) and biggest structure ever
built at the estimated cost of 2 to 3 million Chinese lives. It purpose was to keep people out!
The artificial divide created by tradition and arrogant
academic pursuit based evolutionary ideas is clearly evident today. The divide between the Old and New Testaments
causes division between God’s way and the revelation of the plan of salvation through
the sacrifice of Jesus is the fruit of man’s thinking. The moral laws of God, such as the Ten
Commandments can bring people together on an equal basis if obeyed. God did not create laws designed to divide
and separate individuals. Rather the opposite
is true. They were created to give people a solid foundation that keeps them
safely together on an equal moral basis. Imagine the wonderful benefit of obeying the law against adultery.
Consider, that today in America about 50% of all marriages
end up in divorce, and adultery is one major reason. Jesus took the law against adultery and
expanded it in The Beatitudes. He
magnified it from a specific act into a mental process of lusting, which leads
to the act. The emotions that surge
through all of us must have boundaries. The law of adultery gives us physical boundaries we need. It is the emotional domain where we
demonstrate our love for God’s law and the safety and security that it provides
in a home and family.
To argue that we don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments to
be saved is erroneous. We have to keep
them as perfectly as we are able. When
we fail, the grace and mercy of God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus the
Messiah, covers our sin based on our sincere repentance. Therefore, a combination of law and love
brings us into the Devine realm of God’s love.
God’s principles of Devine Law never change. To suggest that there is a divide between the
Old and New Testaments suggests that the Father and His son are divided on
their principles of Law.
Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
[copyright © Arthur Suckling,
Arthur Suckling is a pastor in the United Church of God
Has the Sabbath Been Abrogated? See:
What was the early New Testament
Church like? See:
Does the New Covenant Abrogate
God’s Laws? See:
How Should We Be Observing God’s Sabbath? See: