The Old Law. Why are there so many “rules” to be a Christian”? (There’s not, by the way.)

Updated: Sep 18

The Old Law. “Why are there so many rules to be a Christian”? I recently asked people on social media, “Why do you reject Jesus Christ?” One of the answers I received from a couple people was actually, “There are too many rules and people just pick and choose which ones they want to follow!” That reply is tragic if that is how some people feel; that means no one has told them about the simplicity that is in Christ! 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”



There are different laws in the Old Testament that were to be applied to different groups of people. This has caused confusion because those rules come from the Bible, God’s Word, but people aren’t distinguishing that the Old Laws were laws indeed for groups of people from the Old Testament before Christ fulfilled the Law.

There are hundreds of laws in the Old Testament. Let’s take a look at this….because we have new believers and people who want to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ but are turned off by the teachings of men. The Bible is very intimidating to study, but we all have to start somewhere to get a better understanding. We have to be teachable and willing to be wrong.

Of course, The Law of Christ supersedes the Law of Moses (the most commonly cited old law). So should we just get rid of the Old Testament and all those pesky laws that come with it? The answer is no. The Law defined sin for mankind. The Old Law clearly defines what God considers sin yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The world may change, but God never will.

How did the Law define sin? 1. The Old Laws are upright and righteous. Psalms 119 2. But hold up…man is not righteous and never has been. So are we set up to fail? No. Let’s keep going. Romans 3:10-12 3. The Old Law made the world accountable for their actions and defined what sin was in the eyes of God. The Old Law showed that man absolutely could not be justified by the law. It showed we needed a Savior. We need God. We needed Jesus Christ to come and die for our sins. Romans 3:19-20 4. Sin is not assigned to man if there is no law. Romans 5:13 5. With the law in place, man is aware of sin and how harsh that sin is. Romans 7:7-13

Okay…so if man can never keep The Law perfectly, what’s the point of it? God gave us the ability to think and reason for ourselves; we needed God to define what was sin in His eyes. The Law convicts us of our sin. 1. The Law constrained man to their own sin. Galatians 3:21-22 2. Being constrained was necessary to God’s plan. Until mankind could see their helplessness, they would never appreciate the mercy of God. Romans 11:32 Kind of like, “you have to experience the bad things in your life to appreciate the good in it” type deal. 3. Due to man being constrained to their sin, it would eventually lead them to Christ. Galatians 3:23-25

The Old Law prepared mankind for the New Law – better things to come! 1. The Old Law was a shadow of the New Law. Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 10 2. The things done under the Old Law by its followers were important, even if they did not comprehend the importance of their deeds. Hebrews 8:4-5 The Law was for the Israelite Nation 1. By the Israelites following the Law, God bound the Israelites to Him. Exodus 19:5-6 2. The Law made the Israelites distinct among the nations and prepared the Gentile nations for the New Law. Deuteronomy 4:5-8

The Old Law was temporary. Jeremiah 31:31-34 1. Jesus said the Old Law would last until it was fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18 2. Jesus’s purpose was to FULFILL the Law. Luke 24:44 3. Christ is the ending of the Law. Romans 10:4

Though the Law has been fulfilled, it does not mean it is now useless. 1. The Old Law provides evidence that Jesus is the Christ. John 5:39 2. The Old Law speaks of Christ. Luke 24:27 3. Believing in the Old Law gives rise to the belief in Christ. John 5:46-47 4. The Old Law gives evidence of God’s purpose. God revealed His purpose through the prophets, though they did not always understand. 1 Peter 1:10-12 5. Righteousness comes from God – proven by how we fail to uphold the Old Law. Romans 3:21 6. The Old Law prepares people for salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 The Scripture Timothy learned was from the Old Testament; both the Old and New Testaments equip the saints. 7. Faith does not invalidate the Old Law, rather, it still serves a purpose. Romans 3:31

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Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"


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Questions I’ve seen brought up time and time again. Let’s look at a few of them.

Q: What are the commandments of Jesus?

A: In the book of Mark, Jesus was asked this question by the scribes. Jesus’s answer was the Greatest Commandment: Love God and love others!

For study: Deuteronomy 6:1-19 and Matthew 22:34-40

Matthew 22:36-40

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

*This scripture cannot be read alone and taken out of context. You have to read the Bible to realize, Jesus’s death on the cross is not a free ticket to sin.Yes, Jesus paid our sin debt, but there is a difference between repentant and unrepentant sin or willful sin. That is a study you can do on your own as it would make this note much longer than anyone likely will take time to read.

Q. Are followers of Jesus bound by the Old Law? A. Romans 10:4 tells us Christ is the end of the law; Christ fulfilled the Law at the Cross so that there is righteousness for all who believe in Him as the Messiah, in His death and resurrection, and all who have repented of their sin and given their life to Jesus. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All are in need of a Savior. This Savior is Jesus Christ as no one comes to the Father except by Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23, John 14:6

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. If you try to keep the Law in order to earn your way into heaven, you will fail. James 2:10 Good works are produced by the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Works alone will not get you into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9

Q. What happened to the people in the Old Testament when they died? Did they go to heaven since “Christ is the only way to the Father”? This is all so confusing!

A. I know it sounds arrogant and intolerant for a group of people to say, “Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and there is no other way.” But it is written. If Old Testament saints can have salvation prior to Jesus walking the earth, why can’t people today go to heaven by simply being “good” or by obeying the Ten Commandments? The answer is that our God is a perfect God and none of us are righteous before Him, but by the blood Jesus Christ shed at the Cross. This was explained in all the above commentary.

But to further elaborate, for anyone truly asking this question and looking for answers: The people in the Old Testament, before Christ, were incapable of following the Ten Commandments and the countless other Old Laws just as we are. God provided the Old Law and recognized the fact that they would break it. This was to show man they NEEDED a savior (as explained in the above commentary and scripture presented). The people of the Old Testament were promised a Savior.

The people of the Old Testament were saved by the grace of God through their faith in a coming Savior. This is where many religions branch off into dangerous territory as they believe Jesus was NOT the Savior of mankind, but a fraud and are STILL waiting on their messiah. Even though they all saw the power of God firsthand through Jesus, they still rejected the Messiah. People are still to this day trying to get to heaven on a works-based system because they reject Jesus as the Messiah. None of us will make it to heaven trying to be “good”. This where it pays to read the Word for yourself. Many of these religions are going to indeed accept the anti-Christ as their messiah. Anyone who rejects Jesus as the Messiah is an enemy of God. There are many verses to support this claim, but 1 John 2:22 is succinct about it. “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist--denying the Father and the Son.” Who all falls under that category? I’ll let you ponder on that one. Are you standing with an enemy of God? A group, a religion, a people who reject Jesus Christ?

******************************************************************************************************** I hope this commentary answered some questions about the Old Law. I learned some new things, myself. If you’ve made it this far, have found fault, please correct in love, respectfully, and accompanied by Scripture. I am humbly presenting things as the Holy Spirit puts on my heart. The Bible is alive and every time I read it, I am learning something new because as I grow in my walk, I will see and understand things differently and more importantly, correctly!

This age of information is a blessing and a curse. We have the wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips; it definitely has its pros and cons. We no longer rely on the boxed-up opinions of who and what we have in front of us as in the days of old. We can now share and learn with people all over the world with our discernment and the Word to guide us.






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