For more than a year, our state has made national news because of Chief Justice Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments monument. Without going into detail, it should be said that Roy Moore is wrong. His refusal to follow the laws of the land, when not in contradiction to God’s law (Acts 5:29), is a violation of Romans 13:1-7. However, the thrust of this article is seen in its title. But the question comes, “Why not?”
I am not a Jew.
The Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law of Moses were given only to the Jews. Moses said this Covenant was made with the Jews in Horeb, and was not given to their fathers, but only to those alive that day (Deut 5:1-5). As a Gentile, the law of Moses was never for me or my ancestors.
The Old Law was nullified, being nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ.
O the Old Law, Paul said Jesus “took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross” (Col 2:14). The Hebrew writer spoke of the first covenant as being faulty (Heb 8:7-8), decaying, growing old and ready to vanish away (Heb 8:13), and as being unable to remit the sins of its practitioners (Heb 10:1-4). In Hebrews 10:9, Jesus came to take away the first covenant, that He might establish the second.
Any attempt to be justified by the Old Law separates me from the grace of God. Galatians 5:4 says, “Christ is become of no effect to you, ye who seek to be justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” One problem in the early church was the demand by some Jews that all men should keep the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ (Acts 15:1). The apostles and elders at Jerusalem repudiated the doctrine, saying there had been no such commandment given (Acts 15:24).
Some might respond, “Does this mean you believe you can commit adultery, lie, and steal?” Absolutely not! In truth, the principles found in nine of the ten commandments are found in the law of Christ. The only commandment not repeated in some way is the fourth – sabbath keeping.
Consider this example – The first body of law to govern our nation was the Articles of Confederation, which was ratified by the states in 1781. However, this law was eventually replaced with the US Constitution. Our present Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified in 1789. When placed into law, the US Constitution superseded the Article of Confederation. Though many ideas from the Articles were restated in the Constitution, the Articles became null and void when the Constitution was ratified. Therefore, I am not accountable to anything written in the Articles of Confederation.
A similar example is seen in the writing of a will. If a man writes a will and leaves his estate to me and 5 others, but later writes a new will that leaves me out but retains the other five, how much will I receive when he dies? Nothing! Though he retained most of the original will, the new will supersedes the old, and I am left with no claim to the estate.
In like fashion, I am not accountable to anything found in the Old Testament. Though it is inspired (2 Tim 3:16) and I can learn from it (Rom 15:4), I cannot look to it to for authority in matters of faith and practice, for Jesus has all authority today (Matt 28:18; Col 3:17). We must all give diligence to follow the present will of God, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must obey the gospel in order to be saved from God’s wrath (2 Thes 1:6-9). To obey the gospel one must hear the word of God and believe it (Rom 10:17); particularly, one must believe in the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-4); one must repent of sins (Acts 17:30); one must confess faith in the deity of Jesus (Matt 10:32; Rom 10:9-10); one must be baptized (immersed) in water in order to be saved/receive forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16); and one must live faithful to God unto death (Matt 10:22; 2 Tim 4:6-8; Rev 2:10).