The Law: Its Purpose and Role Today

The Law: Its Purpose and Role Today

I have recently run into some confusion concerning the Mosaic/Levitical Law. For clarification's sake, I'm speaking of the Law that commanded the Hebrews, and that Hessitic Jews live by today.

The way I have always understood the Law is this:

Genesis tells us the story of why the Law is necessary. It also gives background information on some of the history concerning the Pre-Mosaic Law period, where God laid down some key covenants. It is not itself a part of the Law (in terms of a list of crimes, punishments, and retributions), but in it are things like the establishment of the death penalty (Genesis 9), God's promise to bring a Savior (Genesis 3), and genealogical records that could later be used to validate Christ's claim to the line of David (Genesis 5 and others).

Exodus is, again, somewhat of a history lesson. It continues the story of why the Law is necessary, and how it came to be established. However, Exodus focuses on one large string of events wherein we see the punishment for disobedience to the Word of God, even by those who do not believe in God.

Leviticus is the book where "the Law" officially begins. It is a list of sins, and how one is to placate God's wrath for that sin. This was done through a series of sacrifices performed by an intercessor between the trespasser and God. It also tells us that God is very serious about us following the Law, lest we be under the brunt of His wrath.

Numbers is all about the records. It's a book of genealogies, census data, and numbers in the Israelites. It also tells us how we arrived at the Twelve tribes of Israel, as far as I understand it.

Deuteronomy is again, a story book detailing the history of the Hebrews, showing more of why we as humans need the Law to show us where we err, and why we need a Savior.

That is how I have understood The Torah, or The Law. Now, in accordance with everything I've ever been taught, one of the key events during Christ's death was the tearing of the temple curtain from bottom to top. This curtain, which was about six inches thick, could not even be hacked into by a sword very easily. Nevertheless, upon Christ's death, the curtain between "The Holy Place" and "The Holy of Holies" was torn in two.

I understood that previous to this event, the priest could enter the Holy Place in order to make atonement for the person's sin by offering the sacrifice the person had brought. Once a year, the priest was allowed to go through a cleaning process, have a rope tied around his ankle, and enter the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. This was to make atonement for the nation, I believe. If he was not clean or did not follow the procedures God had set forth, he dropped over dead and they pulled him out via the rope around his ankle.

After the curtain was torn, this was God's way of saying that an intercessor was no longer necessary, correct? I also read that Christ came to fulfill the Law, and the only way to get to Heaven without Christ was to live a perfect life. Recently, some interesting conversations have come up among some acquaintances, and now I'm trying to gain a solid grasp of the role of the Law today. As far as I know, I'm not required to follow the dietary restrictions and the laws of the Bible in the Old Testament, but rather to live by the way Christ explained how to live--because the sacrifice system has been fulfilled by the Ultimate Sacrifice.

My peers believe that we are still subject to the Law, and yet under grace. How that works in their minds, I'm not sure.

Am I off my rocker, or are my peers two Spartans short of a phalanx?
There are alot of views on the subject so let us let the scriptures declare the Master's heart on the subject

Rom 6:14 And sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Rom 7:6
But now we are absolved from the law, and are dead to that which held us in its grasp: that we might henceforth serve in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Gal 3:10 For they who are of the deeds of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who shall not do every thing written in this law.
Gal 3:11 And that no one becometh just before God, by the law, is manifest: because it is written, The just by faith, shall live.
Gal 3:12 Now the law is not of faith; but, whoever shall do the things written in it, shall live by them.
Gal 3:13 But the Messiah hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, and hath been a curse for us; (for it is written, Cursed is everyone that is hanged on a tree;)
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Gal 2:16 because we know that a man is not made just by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus the Messiah; even we have believed in Jesus the Messiah, in order to be made just by faith in the Messiah, and not by the works of the law: for, by the deeds of the law, no flesh is made just.

Gal 3:21Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Gal 4:1
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Gal 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Gal 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: