Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

—Romans 7:12

Reading through the Law can be a daunting task.  Everyone of us should read it if we are following a systematic reading plan that will take us through the entire Bible.

Sadly, there are many Christians, who make the dreadful mistake of dismissing  and neglecting the Law.  This is a mistake.  The Law is essential in that it convicts us of sin (“sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3:4) that we may flee to Christ for grace.  The law also restrains sin, since consequences are attached.  And further, it remains a picture of what holy living looks like.

But what about the fact that Christians are “not under Law but under grace”? (Romans 6:14).  Being under grace does not erase the holiness of God’s Law, it merely delivers us from the condemnation of the Law.  Remember Jesus’ words that until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle of the Law shall pass away (Matthew 5:17-18)!

Is there anything about the Law is no longer binding?  The answer is simple: There are three aspects of the Law: 

  1. The Ceremonial Law that regulated the Old Testament Jewish religion.  Because Jesus fulfilled all those ceremonial aspects of the Law, we are not living under that sacrificial system. 
  2. The Civil Law that regulated the civil affairs of Old Testament Israel.  Those laws for Israel are not binding on anyone since that government no longer exists. 
  3. The Moral Law that governs all people spiritually, telling us what is universally right and wrong.  The most perfect example of that is the Ten Commandments.  This aspect of the Law is timeless, without borders, and is therefore binding on all people at all times.

So when reading the Law, we do well to be interested in the Ceremonial Law to appreciate all Christ has fulfilled for us, and be discerning about the difference between the civil and moral aspects of the Law to know what is historically interesting, and spiritually binding.