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Bahnsen’s view is radical but noble; however, it’s unlikely to happen in our lifetime. Bahnsen’s view suggests that Christian should live by Old Testament Law—moral and civil—in home, society, and country. Again, it seems unlikely that church would be willing to stone to death a man or woman caught in act of adultery. America doesn’t prosecute fornication or adultery because in a promiscuous society, such as ours, too many would take fall.
Strickland’s Dispensational view concludes on this note. “Nonetheless, as has been discovered, there is an aspect of law that has ceased in its validity and applicability. The regulatory purpose recognizes that Mosaic law was given specifically to nation Israel in order to provide guidelines for their relationship to God. This regulatory purpose provided requirement and means of fellowship, including provision for worship of God. The Mosaic law also served to govern Israel as a theocracy with a unique relationship to God. However, when Israel failed in its stewardship responsibilities under Mosaic dispensation, law in its regulatory function ceased in validity. Paul is equally clear that law functioned in a temporary fashion as a tutor until advent of Christ (Gal. 3:24), whereupon it ceased as a means of righteousness (Rom. 10:4). The Mosaic law, described as a ministry of death (2Cor. 3:7), faded and no longer remains (v. 11), leaving hope that is found in person of Jesus Christ. Instead, New Testament believer is governed by law of Christ, a law that is fulfilled by loving one’s neighbor (Gal. 5:14; 6:2).”
The point Strickland seems to make is this. The moral law or Ten Commandments is no longer an external thing to which a Christian tries to align his or her conduct before God. The moral law or law of Christ is now written on heart of believer. By power of Holy Spirit, believer is helped to overcome lust, greed, licentiousness, and other works of flesh that lead to overt acts of breaking God’s commandments. In doing so, believer now lives by power of spirit, not by works of flesh.
And then there is scholar Walter C. Kaiser Jr. who asserts following. It is moral law of God found in Decalogue and Holiness Code of Leviticus 18-19 that must act as absolute norms against which all other commands in God’s law are judged, interpreted, and applied to today. The hunger for someone to give believing community instruction in proper use of law is so great that one popular seminar since 1986, focusing on Proverbs (a veritable republication of law of God in proverbial form, as can be seen from marginal references to Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), has literally had tens of thousands of people swarming to its sessions in every major city in North America and now all over world. This is an indictment on church and its reticence to preach moral law of God and to apply it to all aspects of life as indicated in Scripture.”
Here again, emphasis is upon moral law’s use in sanctification of believer. John Calvin spoke in this regard during Reformation period of Church history. (It sounds logical to me, but not without some concerns.)
And last, Douglas J. Moo states this, “…I have stressed, to say that Mosaic law in itself is no longer binding on Christian is not to say that individual commandments within that law may not be. In fact, as we have seen, New Testament authors explicitly ‘reapply’ several Mosaic commandments to Christian…The content of all but one of Ten Commandments is taken up into ‘the law of Christ,’ for which we are responsible. I am not, then, suggesting that essential ‘moral’ content of Mosaic law is not applicable to believers. On ‘bottom line’ question of what Christians are actually to do, I could well find myself in complete agreement with, say, a colleague who takes a traditional Reformed approach to Mosaic law. The difference would lie not in what Christians are to do but in how it is to be discovered. While my Reformed colleague might argue that we are bound to whatever in Mosaic law has not been clearly overturned by New Testament teaching, I argue that we are bound only to that which is clearly repeated within New Testament teaching.”
Bringing it all together, hopefully.
The views have been briefly stated in conclusion. Overall what seems to ring true in every view is this. Justification for all believers, past and present, has been by faith in God through Jesus Christ. The Mosaic Law was uniquely given to a covenant people (already justified) who heralded God as their King. The law was for sanctifying purpose of covenant people, while maintaining civil order through God’s civil and moral laws. The ceremonial laws were to tutor nation of Israel to coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The new covenant with its focus on grace does not abolish all elements of Mosaic law because Church must progress along, being sanctified by Holy Spirit to overcome sin of world. Grace for church age does not mean freedom FROM law, but it means freedom from sin’s breach of God’s moral law. Sin no longer has a dominate hold on believer once she is born again and living in power of Holy Spirit. I believe it all comes down to this. There has always been, and will always be, a need to live a balanced Christian life. The balance is grace on one hand and God’s law on other, a picture of perfect scales of justice.
Keep faith. Stay course. Jesus is coming again.
Pastors a small church in Broken Arrow, OK. U.S. Navy veteran, retired police officer, and proud father of three grown children and one grandchild.