The purpose of this article is to give a comprehensive theological explanation as to why believers of the Protestant gospel of Jesus Christ are not mandated to the structure, regiment and ritual of Old Testament Law for either, initial conversion as well as post-conversion living and righteousness.
In reality, this is the Biblical position and not that of any particular era or religion. A study of the verses listed in the following should be sufficient to show that this is not something unique to any particular group, but rather, an exhaustive examination and summary of the matter.
1) For believers in Christ, we are no longer descendants of Adam and we are therefore, neither under the unatoned-for position of Adam’s race, nor the structure and format of righteousness for that lineage of Adam.
a)Having been born of the Spirit-we operate according to a transcendent format and structure of righteousness that is no longer dependent upon our earthly constitution and earthly relation. We are dead to that life which is related to the Law. John 3:8, 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Corinthians 5:14&16, Romans 6:6-14, Romans 8:10&14, Romans 7:1-6, Gal 2:19, Galatians 5:18.
b)The Law is merely a prelude unto us, for what the divine nature would be for us and within us. Thus, the obligation or objective of God for the believer is to have, what is, an action and law for the natural person, to be a nature for the spiritual person. The Law is designed for the natural born man, and the Spirit of God is for the Spirit born man. Leviticus 10:3, Lev 11:44, Lev 19:2 Rom 8:29, Eph 4:24, 1 Peter 2:9, Exodus 19:6, Deuteronomy 7:6, Gal 3:23-24.
c)We believe that The Holiness and Righteousness of God, precedes and presides over all other manner of righteousness or Holiness, and that our obligation to Holiness, is therefore originated and generated by God’s Spirit and not our human constitution and the abilities therein. Since God is Holy by virtue of nothing but His existence alone, we believe also that our holiness originates and exists by virtue of God alone. Any display or act that we do, which may be considered as obedience, righteousness or holiness, is a mere exhibition of, or association and alignment with, this said Holiness of God which exists within us, or unto us, beforehand and currently. Thus, the believer is endeavoring to be in accordance with the divine nature of Christ through the Spirit, rather than the Law through his flesh. Christ was righteous by virtue of birth rather than accomplishment, and so is His life unto us and in us. Rom 7:4-6, Rom 8:4, Rom 8:29, Gal 5:16, Col 2:6, 1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 5:21.
d)The law is not obsolete from a believer’s life. Because we hinge between two worlds and operate in two realms and on two planes, both the Spirit and the Law are conducive for righteousness. However, the Law cannot create nor sustain that living inward likeness to God which is created, generated and sustained by the Spirit of God. We believe the Law can prevent sin through its influences upon the human will which can result in bodily and moral disciplines, but it cannot subdue or crucify it, and neither can the Law create and impart or provide divine righteousness. The Law does not address or conquer sin in the domain from which it originates; it merely curtails or restrains its effects. We can address certain sins and immorality by the Law, but only the Spirit can address its origin. Gal 3:21, Gal 5:16-26, Rom 8:2-4, 2 Cor 5:17.
e)For the Spirit born person, foods and days are no longer as critical or pivotal or mandatory, because we are no longer commended to God on the basis of our bodily distinctions to one another. Righteousness is also, no longer in the domain of biological and bodily perfections. The advent of Spirit birth has now made the possibility of being distinguished based upon our separation from the natural plane and not just simply according to our bodily distinctions within it. Prior to Spirit birth however, any distinctions classified as righteousness were all on the natural plane and involved the distinction of one’s body to that of another’s body. The advent of Christ becoming a Spirit makes it possible for a person to be validated on a supernatural plane irrespective of his bodily signatures. Theologically, most distinctions and works under the law are simply lateral moves in the flesh. God may honor the motive as vertical, but the action or observance is simply lateral. Outward Circumcision is now benign for righteousness and covenantal admission. 15:8-9, Gal 3:28, Rom 2:28-29, Col 2:11, Phil 3:3, Col 2:20-23.
f)For the Spirit born person, the advent of Christ has restored spirit-to-spirit relation with God. Through Christ, God has come to repair our relationship to Him, and not our relationship to the Law. He is restoring Eden, not Sinai. If a person’s relationship to God is restored, there is no need for the law by virtue of a new heart. The law existed because mankind was not in harmony with God. Disharmony necessitates law. For God to write His law upon our hearts or to give us a heart that is compliant to His laws, is not about bringing us into harmony with the Law, but to bring us into harmony with God and His righteousness via the Spirit of God. We are brought into union with divine righteousness and Spirit based morality rather than natural, ritual law. Jesus Christ sought to bring men into harmony with Himself and not the Law because righteousness on the divine level, is Spirit based and not human based. Through the Spirit, Jesus Christ can call all men unto Himself, to follow Him as He is, apart from the human plane of operation. Galatians 5:18, Ezekiel 11,36,37, Jeremiah 31, Acts 15:8-9, Rom 3:21, Romans 9:30-33, John 4:23, 1 Cor 1:30, Gal 5:5.
g)The advent of Christ, the tearing of the Veil, and Spirit birth have made all things to be apprehended apart from the natural plane and by natural means. This is what the phrase “by faith” entails. A person who has been Spirit born has been moved into this supernatural realm where the natural aspects of the Law are transcended to a divine personal and relational context. Any shift in the natural realm only secures a change in that realm and a person has not necessarily apprehended anything beyond that. A change in the natural, may indeed be a sign of change in the supernatural, however, a change in the natural does not necessarily constitute, secure, or apprehend that which is supernatural. As is stated in point (e), these actions are generally limited as lateral moves and do not necessarily require or prove faith beyond the natural. Therefore, the advent of Spirit birth and Spirit based righteousness has resigned the structure of the Law to lateral movement and not vertical movement, thus, the law is not of faith. It could be stated that the Law is not a valid currency in a supernatural economy. It only makes, or is limited, to an exchange of natural goods, while faith and the Spirit are the currency and mode of exchange for supernatural goods. Rom 1:16-17, Rom 3:21-28, Gal 3:12, Rom 10:3-4, Rom 9:30-33.
The material listed above contains point no. 1 as well as sub points (a) through (g) which include, the majority of the general and specific defenses of the Protestant Gospel of Jesus Christ concerning obligations to Old Testament Law.
While we understand these points may be difficult for some to understand and apply, to deny these things with full knowledge of the facts and claims, would be for a person to possibly suggest, that he has not been brought into union with Christ in this manner of His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Let us be considerate of theses things.