Christopher Patterson Applying the Old Testament Law as Christians, Hays Essay Summer 2011 OBST 591-B05 LUO Dr. Street June 5, 2011 Applying the Old Testament Law as Christians is honoring Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The bible says that the Old Testament is a shadow of what Jesus Christ is. To look at it in a different perspective the” Light”, who Jesus Christ says He is, reflects a shadow on the Old Testament Law. Whatever Jesus Christ did in the New Testament was the Old Testament Law???Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament Law.
Hays’s article gives us an understanding that we as Christians today use the Old Testament Laws when convenient or relevant. He believes Christians are interpreting the law with little adequacy which may cause an application issue. Hays’ understanding of the Old Testament Law is that we should not categorize the Old Testament law with inconsistencies. For example, the writer believes some Old Testament Laws we adapt and claim to be moral should not hold any distinction from any other Old Testament Laws during that time period.
However, Christians today know when the Sabbath day is ???the last day of the week which is Saturday, but do not keep it. Furthermore, Christians use the first day of the week as the substitute by going to Church on Sunday and worshipping. Hays’ princplism approach–five steps to obey the Law: First, what did the initial text mean to the audience? Hays specifies that we must identify the historical and literary context. The next step is to determine the differences between Christians today and the initial audiences.
Thirdly, we are to develop universal principles from the scriptures, meaning we are to understand that God’s word has a meaning to all of His people???current and previous. Next, We are to correlate the principle with the New Testament teaching. The Old Testament Law can and does have commands that we are to adhere to even though we are covered by the Blood of Jesus. Lastly, we are to apply the modified principles to today. Jesus modified and commanded that we stive to live like im.
He fulfilled the Law by not breaking the Law. Hays’ strength of principlism is that it is fairly simple and consistent. Moreover, Hays approach (principlism) gives us an alternative to the traditional approach when training in righteousness as well as applying the Law. I agree with Hays’ suggested approach because when God ask you teach others and be a doers of the word, He makes it easy and light as well as simple. We are overcomers and God’s teaching is in no way hard to understand–. if it is not hidden to you.
There is a new Law, a new covenant in the New Testament that voids out the old covenant and is made much better. God’s Law is eternal as for both the fulfillment of the law through Jesus Christ and the curse of the Law. We as Christians are no longer under the Law because the Law was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. We are adopted in the beloved and are now considered sons of God. If we be a son of God then we must heir with Him eternally. The author initially critiques the Old Testament as if it still should be a Christians’ main focus.
Yes we should understand and be separate from sin, but we no longer have to recognize the Old Testament Laws as the way to do it. God has done something new. He has created a way for us to honor the Old Testament Laws through the Blood of Jesus Christ. He knew we could not keep the Old Testament Laws consistently in our own strength. Consequently the Old Testament has been fulfilled through Christ and is still being recognized and respected by Christians. Although we fall short of the actual Law, we must remember we are not under the Law. The Law has been fulfilled.
Hays has shed some light to my understanding that the Bible was not stating that the Old Testament law was eternally binding–due to the fact that Jesus’ sacrifices established the New Testament Law. In Romans 13 verses 8 through 10 allows the believer to remember the Old Testament Law and to fulfill the Law via Love. This also allows me to understand the “principlism” referred to in the article. In Leviticus 11:1-41, God identifies clean and unclean things to eat. A principlism approach to this would be to understand that all things are made clean if prayed over in Jesus’ name. Moreover, Colossians 2:16-17 demonstrates Christ’s Sufficiency.