Is God's Law Done Away? (Part 4)

by: Wayne Schatzle


       Like any set of laws, a fair question is to whom do the laws apply. It is a very popular theory to say that the laws put forth in the Bible only apply to the people of Israel.  In a very broad sense that is true if you understand why. First of all, God did indeed only reveal His laws to the children of Israel. He never required other nations to adhere to His rules nor did He consider them His children either. In addition, we see over and over that Israel was required to faithfully observe His Laws forever. Plus, an important point to remember is that gentiles were welcome to dwell with Israel- but were required to keep the same laws as Israel {Lev 24:22}.

          Some have the impression that there is a code for Israel and another code for gentiles, but it may be a shock to people, but there is only ONE path to salvation as there is one Lord, one Faith {Eph 4:5}! You can only find a salvation covenant for the seed of Israel alone. An oft-quoted passage is Jeremiah 31 that is said to provide a way for Gentiles and Israel alike. But as you read it closely it says no such thing: verse 31,“Behold the days come when I will make a new covenant with the house of ISRAEL and the house of JUDAH”, notice it only mentions the Hebrew people. And here are the terms of this new covenant: “I will put My laws in their minds and write it on their hearts”. Throughout the Bible you see God’s unconcern for any people other than Israel. In fact the only mention of other nations in the Old Testament is the seven nations that occupied Canaan, and they were to vacate the premises or be wiped out.

          So what is a person to do? Here is the only hope for gentile people: Galatians 3:29, “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise”. Also we read in Romans 11 of the grafting in of the gentiles to that same way of salvation shown to Israel. Notice Gen 17:7, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after as an EVERLASTING covenant”. How was father Abraham in his walk with God? It says he showed his Faith by his obedience {Heb 11}. Genesis 26:5: “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept my charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” He didn’t intentionally disobey to show his great faith, which is the convoluted reasoning of today.            

           A common message you will hear from pulpits today is that Israel could have avoided the punishments if they had only followed God and kept His laws, but at the same time they will say that the law is impossible to keep, and to even try to keep the law is somehow an insult to God. Doesn’t Paul say, “The just shall live by Faith”? Yes he did, in fact he took that very passage from the Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk.

          The prophet Isaiah had much to say about the Law. Speaking in chapter 2 of the “latter days”: “The Lord’s house shall be established… ALL nations shall flow to it… God will teach us His ways and out of Zion shall go forth the LAW.  Chapter 8: on those who would teach you: “to the LAW and the testimony! If they speak not according to this word there is not light in them”. Chapter 30:  “rebellious people, lying children, who will not hear the law and say to their prophets, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits”.

           It is assumed by many that the Old Testament personalities were somehow saved by various works of the law- but the truth is just the opposite because they were saved in the same manner as modern Christians {Acts 15:11}. Salvation doesn’t have to be either or, it should be both faith and obedience. First Peter 1:14 encourages Christians to be obedient children, not conforming to the former lusts, as in your ignorance… be Holy, for God is Holy.                                                                                                               01/04

Written by Wayne Schatzle, director, Freedom Biblical Information Center
P.O. Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071)