“Do Christians have to obey the Old Testament law?”The key to understanding this issue is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians.
Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example).
Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system).
Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules).
None of the Old Testament law is binding on us today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law
Romans 10:44 For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given.(For Christ is the end of the law) As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
Galatians 3:23-2523 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.
In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ
2 Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.This Law is: Matthew 22:37-3937 Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'(Deut 6:5)38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'(Lev 19:18)
If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of usMatthew 22:4040 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."
Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant today.
Many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of "loving God" and "loving your neighbour."
The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbour.
At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit.James 2:1010 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws.
Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some of it, such as the sacrificial system, He fulfilled all of it.Even obeying the new Law is an act of love towards God , we do it out of love because we want to not because we have to .
1 John 5:3
3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. Nine of the Ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament (all except the command to observe the Sabbath day).
Obviously, if we are loving God, we will not be worshipping false gods or bowing down before idols.
If we love our neighbours, we will not be murdering them, lying to them, committing adultery against them, or coveting what belongs to them.
The purpose of the Old Testament law is to convict people of our inability to keep the law and point us to our need for Jesus Christ as SaviourRomans 7:7-97 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet." (Exod20:17, Deut 5:21.)8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.
The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time.
We are to love God and love our neighbours.
If we obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us.
The 613 Mitzvot
248 Positive Mitzvot
365 Negative Mitzvot