Becoming Free From The Curse Of The Law
Understanding the purpose of the Old Testament laws
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”
When we talk of the Old Testament Laws, they are rules and orders God put in place under the older covenant to make his called out children separate from the heathen nations in terms of how they are to carry out spiritual duties, ceremonial duties, inter-personal relationships, things unclean and clean, keeping the sabbath day, etc. All of which serves as a pointer to a better hope in Christ to bring about a more stable way to serve God acceptably without the works of the law but that which is of faith seeing that the Old Testament laws has never made anyone free due to its many limitations, one of which was a religious keeping of it without no corresponding grace or spiritual backing, often leading to a violation and punishment without mercy. Because of this, the law binds rather than sets free.
Recommended: Christ Addresses the Law and the Prophets
Many important lessons are there for us to learn from the Old Testament laws but by the coming of Jesus Christ, he redeemed every one who come to him in repentance from the curse, making most of those laws inapplicable for believers under the new covenant because his redemption brought the believer under a new law of justification by faith and not by works. Of forgiveness for the guilty and not judgment and vengeance. Grace and long-suffering instead of eye for eye — tooth for tooth
From the previous post, we talked about Elijah, a man under the older covenant, and also saw two disciples of Jesus — James and John in a new covenant under Christ and the question they asked him. It was clear that Christ’s teachings on forgiveness and doing good to all, including perceived enemies hasn’t yet been adopted by them. They thought that it was expected of them by Christ to follow the same pattern as practiced by old testament disciples. That is why Christ took his time to address the law and the prophets in his sermon on the mount where he said, “Ye have heard by them of old…” “But I say unto you…”
The coming of Christ gave way to what has been said of old Click To Tweet “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” – Hebrews 8:7-8,12-13
There can be no true freedom when the soul, the human heart has not experienced an inward cleansing from sin. Our man made works of righteousness, no matter how rigorous or dedicated, will not put away the judgment of God when the law of sin is presently reigning within. The curse remains death. “For the wages of sin is death…” But here is the good news. Christ paid the ultimate price with his blood! Before His coming, those that lived under the law were judged by the law, but believers under this dispensation will be judged on the basis of whether or not they received Christ sacrifice for their sins and not on how they followed and kept some rules. Here is salvation — God taking away the curse and giving us his righteousness.
We start becoming free from the curse by putting our trust on the finished work of Christ and receive his total justification by faith. His coming, death, burial and resurrection condemned sin in the flesh so that man who has been so overladen with sin without a way out since the fall in the garden of Eden, can be a partaker of divine mercy. No longer to offer burnt offerings or peace offering to feel closer to God but to make Christ their peace.
The Law And Grace Compared
John 8:1-5 NKJV
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
The law required that the woman be stoned but because of redemption, there is a new law governing all who lived under the new covenant, and this requires that the woman be set free. This is a supernatural way to kill sin in the flesh because Christ had already bore her curse by his death on the cross. While he hanged on the cross, he was bearing her sins and all the sins of mankind. He made himself a substitute for her condemnation so that she can live for God the rest of her life by expressing her faith in Him.
If not for Christ, the woman could have unfortunately been sent to a damned eternity because some men decided to kill her, thinking they were putting sin away in the flesh but forgetting that her sins – which is in the heart is not killed yet. But thank God, Christ has condemned sin in the flesh by dying the death, buried for us, and going into hell to deliver us from the power of the curse, he took away the keys of death and now we have the key to eternal life when we believe on his finished work!
We need to understand the purpose of Christ’s coming, that it is to bring a total remedy to sin problem which the Old Testament laws could not give. Thus, every event that happened then is translated into a spiritual application in this dispensation.
Since some so-called religious leaders in his days prefers to remain with the law of Moses, he responded in wisdom to their question by bringing their own sins to light.
” He that is without sin condemned by the law — guilty, let him cast the first stone…”
Remember, those who (want to) live by the law will be judged by the law. If they killed the woman, they will equally die under the law, being not free from sin themselves. They all worked away, one by one.
“…Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” — John 8:10-11
As Christ gave us redemption from the curse through repentance and forgiveness, he expects us to produce the fruit of the new life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
But if we profess to know him and still bear fruits of unrighteousness then we are still under the law and need salvation.
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers…” (1 Timothy 1:9 KJV)
Implication of the Law
Romans 8:6-7 KJV
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
The natural man is not subject to the laws of God divine laws – divine laws cannot be kept with the natural strength or ability, but by grace neither indeed can it…
The implication of the law is that it awakens sin consciousness, for with the law is the knowledge of sin. But the bible says that we are dead to sin as new creatures observing the law to Christ. As a result, we are free from the law, but not without law — that is, being a child of God does not make us lawless but rather we are under the law to God.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is righteousness…”
Here we see the Old Testament Law and the law of Christ in display. The text seems to present two options to us, asking if we would like to remain under the law that leads to death because it is awakened in sin, or would rather come under the law of Christ that is awakened to righteousness and dead to sin?
What is the law of Christ? It is the statues to obey God with corresponding grace, not by human strength. It is to show mercy even to the unmerciful. This too is by grace and not by our natural strength. It is the liberty to be bound under the yoke of Christ. The law of Christ sets us free in that it gives us the liberty to do the good and not the evil.
So now we know that the judgment of sin is as a result of the law of sin. If a child of God is judged for sin, it means such has fallen from grace and has become awakened to sin again.
“I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. …For apart from the law sin was dead… (Romans 7:9,8)
We cannot have a complete Bible without the Old Testament, so we cannot say it is irrelevant and shouldn’t be studied, indeed it should and very important because, just as we have seen from this post, those laws helps us know what Christ has set us free from.
Also, the Law The Old Testament books shows the beginning of God’s documentation of his creative works, his unique purpose for man, the plan of man’s redemption, his covenant to the seed of Abraham, his holy service and many others that we cannot do without, and then a pointer to a better and more stable way to serve God through the grace found in his Son, Jesus Christ, under a New Covenant
Romans 15:4 NKJV
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
The Old Testament Laws are important because it helps us see the weight of our sins and the need for a Savior. All the sacrifices for sin was not enough for the people to be completely free from guilt and its consequences. The only solution would be a Savior with the spotless blood and innocent like a lamb to give the final sacrifice for sin once for all.
It also shows us how, as new testament believers, must not spare sin in our lives. Sin must be put to death without mercy, so that other believers can see our deadness to sin, and become sober to Christ as in the Old Testament. (Ref. Deut. 13:10-11)
The purpose of the Old Testament law is to show us what we cannot do by the deeds of the flesh but by the grace we would receive in the Son of God at his coming, death, burial and resurrection.
It is to help us better appreciate the gift of Salvation.
Colossians 3:5 KJV
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”
“For by the law is the knowledge of sin, but we are not under the law but under grace”
Born in the Western part of Nigeria, is a teacher of God’s word and a promoter of purposeful living. She is on a mission to bring humanity closer to God through her inspired God-centered teachings, and help Christians live their lives in full for God’s glory