Culture The Decalogue The Law of Moses

What Does it Mean to Keep the Sabbath?

Among the Ten Commandments, none has been treated with more flexibility than the Fourth.   One encounters a whole range of views on the Sabbath command, and what people believe their obligation is toward it.  Since it is one of the Ten Commandments, it makes a good test case whether those who insist Christians must keep the Ten are actually doing so. The first question is, what is the Sabbath Day? Many point to the…

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Life in Christ The Decalogue The Law of Moses

Fulfilling the Law or Keeping It—What’s the Difference?

No single verse of Scripture gives a complete picture of the Christian’s relationship to the law. One has to read the whole of the New Testament to come up with a coherent picture of how the law of Moses may (or may not) relate to the believer in Christ. But without question, the apostle Paul has more to say about the law than any other writer, and one of the things he’s careful to say…

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The Decalogue The Law of Moses

A Fool’s Errand: Law-keeping and Christlikeness

Michael F. Bird of Ridley College in Australia recently quipped that Galatians should be printed in all capital letters since he’s fairly sure that Paul screamed the words of the letter to the poor sot who acted as his scribe. Bird’s remark is humorous because, as with most zingers, it contains a fair bit of truth. In no other letter is Paul’s tone quite as strident and severe, as he anathemizes those who preach a…

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The Decalogue The Law of Moses

Rethinking the Third Use of the Law

Is Commandment Without Consequence Still Law?  How Christians should regard the Mosaic law is still a point of contention among believers of various traditions. One of the rare points of agreement between Reformed believers and those on the Arminian side is the Third Use of the Law. Indeed, both Wesley and Calvin affirmed very similar positions on this. They both believed the law to be a guide and standard for believers in their Christian lives.  But…

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The Decalogue The Law of Moses

The Law and Its Fulfillment in Matthew 5

Does Jesus bind his followers to keep the law?   The question of the applicability of the Mosaic law in all its forms to the Christian life is a perennial one. Discussions never get very far before someone will quote Matthew 5:17-18 as a proof for the continuing authority of the law for us. But they do so without considering where this would lead. The passage reads: “Do not think that I have come to…

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