THE VALUE OF MOSES’ LAW – 1 Timothy 1

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:8‭-‬9 ASV

It’s an error to make this verse some kind of license for binding the Mosaic law upon Christians.

Nothing could be clearer in the Pauline writings than the fact of the law of Moses having been “taken out of the way,” “fulfilled,” “abrogated,” “nailed to the cross,” etc.

Paul flatly declared that Christians are “dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4), this having reference, of course, to all requirements of the law in their totality.

Not even the moral code of the Decalogue is the law of Christ, for in the Magna Carta of the Christian Religion (the Sermon on the Mount), our Lord took up, one by one, the great commandments of the Decalogue, replacing each one of them with “but I say unto you,” in each case imposing through his own supreme authority a higher and better standard than that of the Decalogue.

However, Paul here said that “the law is good,” indicating that there is a legitimate use of it.

What are the legitimate uses, for Christians, of the law of Moses?

1. Its great prophecies point to the coming of Christ, some 333 of these being the most convincing evidence on earth to the effect that Jesus our Lord is indeed the divine Messiah “whose goings forth are known from of old, even from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

2. The old Israel is a type of the new; and the study of the history of the old Israel affords many glimpses of what is to be expected in the unfolding history of the new Israel which is the church of the living God.

As there was an apostasy in the old Israel, so there is in the new; and there are doubtless many other similarities that shall in time be unfolded.

3. The love, mercy, forgiveness and patience of God in dealing with the saints of the Old Testament are valid and certain pledges of his same dealings with the children of God in the new dispensation. “The things which were written aforetime were written for our comfort” (Romans 15:4).

4. The only logical and intelligent account of the creation of all things is found in the books of Moses (the Pentateuch).

Without the revelation of the Old Testament in this sector, people could not with confidence know the story of creation.

5. The course of hardening and rebellion among the pre-Christian Gentile nations is fully evident in the Old Testament, the same being a divinely inspired record, a test case, an authentic example of that which always happens when a nation turns away from God.

6. The psychology of both righteous and wicked minds is abundantly presented throughout the Old Testament, as seen in the compromises proposed by Pharaoh, the proposals to Nehemiah, etc.

7. The richest deposit of devotional material in existence is to be found in the Old Testament; and the things enumerated here are but samplings of the benefits to be derived from knowledge and study of the Old Testament.

Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1‭-‬2 ASV

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