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The Law of Moses


Dr. Grant C. Richison


God gave the law to the nation Israel (Ex 19:3; Le 26:46; Ro 3:19; 9:4) and not to Gentiles (Dt 4:8; Ro 2:12-14). Believers in the church economy are not under the law; it was never given to the church (Acts 15:5, 24; Ro 6:14; Ga 2:19).

God divided the Law of Moses into three divisions:

Division 1= Moral Commandments (the Decalogue, Ex 20:1-17)

This division enabled the nation to establish standards for living. This division of law established the principle of freedom in society (life, property). This division carries over to the church. 

Division 2= The Ordinances

The ordinances were doctrine and spiritual dynamics for the nation. These were the principles that depicted the coming of Christ and His work. The ordinances taught the grace principle of salvation by faith (animal sacrifices, the tabernacle, ceremonies). Christology is taught by types in this division.

Division 3= The Judgments (social dynamics)

The judgments oriented to the government of Israel (jurisprudence, military, economics, diet, hygiene, soil conservation, quarantine and other national aspects to government). These laws enabled Israel to operate in civil society.

Division 1 and 3 demonstrated man’s sin and need of salvation. Division 2 was the provision for salvation.

Obedience to Division 1 and 3 produced righteous character. Belief in Division 2 produced a righteous standing before God (justification).

Jesus fulfilled the law to the fullest (Mt 5:17). He met the moral law with His life (division 1); He fulfilled division 2 by His death, burial and resurrection. He fulfilled division 3 by living under the laws of establishment in the nation Israel. Jesus is the end of the law for believers (Ro 10:4).

Believers in the economy of the church operate under a higher law (Ro 8:2-4). They function under the Holy Spirit (Ga 3:3).