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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 5 : Honor God's Law | Day 34

Discern True Intent!

There is a common perception that in the Old Testament God reveals Himself as a harsh and unloving God and that in the New Testament He reveals Himself as a loving and compassionate God Who forgives our sins and overlooks our transgressions.

“I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).

In reality, the commands that God gave to the nation of Israel in the Law of Moses do not seem as strict as the commands that God gave to New Testament disciples through the teachings of Christ. Christ clarified the true intent of the Law of Moses.

Law of Moses Teachings of Christ
1. Thou shalt not kill. Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.   1. Whoever hateth his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
2. Thou shalt not commit adultery.   2. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
3. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.   3. Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
4. Thou shalt love thy friend and hate thine enemy.   4. Love your enemies; bless them that curse; do good to them that hate you.
5. Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.   5. Whosoever shall put away his wife ... causeth her to commit adultery.

“... Be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:15).

Those who try to take comfort in a supposed New Testament "attitude of leniency" toward sin need to hear again the words of Paul: “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6). However, there is hope, because “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).

Let us embrace the holy Law of God, recognize our sinful condition before it, and come boldly before the throne of grace to obtain the grace we need to live it out. (See Hebrews 4:15.)

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard