Do you have some things you wonder about in the Bible and haven't quite found the answer yet?
I do! So I was happy to find an answer to one of those questions in my reading today.
I have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible for my morning devotional time. (Click on the link and you will go to it! Make sure you go to July 21st) and today's section in Romans had some answers for me.
I always wondered, as Christians, what our relationship was to the Law and all the regulations of the Old Testament. After all, they were given to the nation of Israel, and we're Gentiles, not Jewish. Most of us will admit the 10 commandments are relevant to everyone, but what about the other rules and regulations? Everything from not eating pork, to tattoos, to being unclean, how does that apply to us today?
After all, Jesus did say in Matthew 5:17
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Ephesians 2 talks about our salvation being by faith, not by works. It also talks about Christ taking down the walls between Jews and Gentiles.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Today's reading in Romans 7 Amplified version...
4 Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.
5 When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives), the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs, [a]in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh), so that we bore fruit for death.
6 But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].
This gave me my answer. We are dead to the Law, but we are under obedience to the Spirit. Certain things from the Law will always be true, such as moral issues, do not kill, do not commit adultery, and the Spirit would bear witness to that. In my opinion, there are certain other issues that pertained to the times that may not relate to us today, such as a woman being unclean and not able to attend the temple during her monthly cycle. To go to church in our culture today during that time of the month would not be a sin. We don't have the same sanity problems that they would have had in their culture.
For me, this answered my question. Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and obey Him. If you have a question about what you are hearing, whether you are hearing God or understand something, talk to your Pastor or an elder or another mature Christian. So many have gone astray following their sinful desires and saying "God told me..." No, God would not tell you to divorce your spouse and marry someone who is also married. God would not tell you to do something contrary to His nature, which is pure and holy and just. Listening to God is a learning process. Don't be afraid to ask for confirmation or counsel.
We can walk, not in bondage but in newness of life...
Go hang out with His people today and celebrate!