SYNOPSIS: The Law was an interim stage; by design, it had a termination point. Christian believers are no longer “under the Law” – They are “in Christ” – Galatians 4:1-7.
In the fourth chapter of his letter to the Galatians, Paul continues his argument by stressing that adopting the rite of circumcision would constitute regression to something rudimentary, a reversion to an earlier stage in Redemptive History (Galatians 4:1-7). Continue reading Redeemed from the Law
SYNOPSIS – The promises of everlasting life and new covenant find their fulfillment in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the New Creation.
The history of Israel records multiple examples of national idolatry and other sins that culminated in her expulsion from the Promised Land and the loss of nationhood. But all was not lost; Yahweh foresaw her fall and made plans to restore Israel when the nation repented and to institute a New Covenant, plans that included the nations of the earth. In this way, the New Creation becomes the ultimate hope and inheritance of His people, not Palestine.
Continue reading NEW COVENANT AND NEW CREATION
SYNOPSIS – If circumcision is no longer required, there has been a fundamental change in how membership in the covenant community is determined.
Circumcision is an obstacle to any claim that followers of Jesus must conform to the requirements of the Torah, a rite that was fundamental in the Abrahamic covenant for the identity of the covenant community, and mandatory in the Mosaic legislation for all male members. Thus, if circumcision is no longer required, then the jurisdiction of the Law has changed.
Continue reading CIRCUMCISION – A CUTTING ISSUE
Synopsis: According to the books of Hebrews and Galatians, the jurisdiction of the Torah reached a termination point with the arrival of Jesus.
The book of Hebrews cites the promise of a new covenant by the prophet Jeremiah to demonstrate that the earlier legislation made at Mount Sinai had proved inadequate; otherwise, there would have been no need for a new and better covenant. This logic also indicates the temporary jurisdiction of the Torah, the legislation delivered to Moses by angels at Sinai. The very need for a new covenant demonstrated that the former covenant was not “faultless” (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 2:1-5, 8:7-13). Continue reading Duration of the Law’s Jurisdiction
SYNOPSIS: The arrival of the superior “word” in the Son means that the jurisdiction of the Law given at Sinai has been superseded by the “word” spoken in Jesus.
The book of Hebrews is structured around a series of comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the revelation given in Jesus to that of the legislation given to Israel at Mount Sinai. The purpose is not to denigrate Moses or the Law, but to stress the superiority of the final “Word” spoken by God in His Son. Continue reading Old Covenant Rendered Obsolete in the Son
SYNOPSIS: The priesthood of Jesus is superior to that of Levi or Aaron because it rests on the endless resurrected life of Jesus, a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The letter to Hebrews employs a series of comparisons, t0 demonstrate the superiority of the revelation of God given in His Son, Jesus Christ. The “Word spoken in a Son” is superior to past “word” that was “spoken to the father in the prophets,” we well as revelations given through the angels and even Moses at Mount Sinai. Continue reading Jesus – A Priest Forever