Understanding the law of Moses is critical to understanding much of what Paul had to say about it. In the bible, it is clear that Paul writes both positive and negative things about the law, which can be very confusing. This is because the positive things are about the righteousness in the Law. Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests. He commanded them saying: “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 31:9-26) Moses wrote this law after the 10 Commandments and Book of the Covenant.
The law of Moses is distinct from the Ten Commandments and book of the covenant. It has blessings and curses of a covenant written in it. (Deuteronomy 29:21, Joshua 8:34) It is a witness against Israel. (Deuteronomy 31:26) A large part of it existed at the beginning of the world. It even contains a version of the testimonies of God. It has law abolished or done away with under the New Covenant. This part of this law is what ended with the Old Covenant. However, this law as a whole is not abolished or done away with under the New Covenant. This is because the book of the law also contains righteousness, which is the way of God. (Genesis 18:19)
The Law of Moses – Temporary Law
The Bible shows that the Old Covenant had laws associated with it that would not end. The Bible also shows that the Old Covenant had laws associated with it that would end. The following scriptures show that Ezekiel is simply saying that God instituted temporary laws. These scriptures also show that it is only these temporary, not good laws that ended with the Old Covenant.
Thus, it has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that faith may justify us. Now since faith has come, we are not under a tutor. (Galatians 3:24-25)
Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14)
By abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances. (Ephesians 2:15)
For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. (Hebrews 7:12)
For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness. (Hebrews 7:18)
They relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:10)
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:18)
In other words, the part of the law of Moses abolished or done away with under the New Covenant was not good law. Therefore, it is very easy to prove from the Bible that God gave temporary laws. However, it is not as easy to prove from the Bible that God also gave Israel permanent laws.
The Law of Moses – Permanent Law
It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the letter of the Law to fail. (Luke 16:17) In other words, it is not easy to abolish or do away with the law of Moses. The scriptures below also show that righteousness leads to life.
You must keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the Lord. (Leviticus 18:5)
They sinned against Your ordinances, by which if a man observes them he shall live. Also, they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen. (Nehemiah 9:29)
Ezekiel on Laws of Righteousness
However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself. (Ezekiel 3:21)
If he walks in My statutes and My ordinances to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord GOD. If he executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes he will surely live. When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. If the wicked man turns from all his sins, which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Because of his righteousness, which he has practiced, he will live. Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness, which he has committed, and practiced justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18)
I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. They rejected My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. They were not careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live. (Ezekiel 20)
If he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, and walks by the statutes, which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Moreover, when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them. (Ezekiel 33)
The Eternal Nature of Righteous Laws
The bible never says that sin will be done away with or abolished. It does say that death will be done away with or abolished. (1 Corinthians 15:26) But it does not say anywhere that such a thing will happen to sin. This is because God has only created beings with freedom of choice. As long as His created beings have freedom of choice, the possibility of sin exists. This includes those who have attained eternal. And as long as the possibility of sin exists, the law of righteousness must exist. Any immortal person who sins will simply join Satan in the lake of fire.
When it comes to the law of Moses, you cannot
through the baby out with the bath water.