There has been, in the last several years, a resurgence of the false doctrines concerning the necessity of following some Old Testament laws including diet and days –especially in regards to having to attend church on the Sabbath (Saturday). However, these doctrines are false and do not come from the Holy Spirit.
As 1 Tim. 4:2 says, “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods…” And as Col. 2:16 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”
We are not under the Old Testament law, and anyone who tells us we are is not serving Christ. Instead, “such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.” (2 Cor. 11:13-15)
About the law itself, 1 Peter 1:18,19 tells us that it made for an empty life, but… that Christ has redeemed us from that. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ…” It was empty. It has been “set aside because it was weak and useless.” (Heb. 7:18) “By observing the law no one will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16) “Those who rely on observing the law are under a curse.” (Gal. 3:10)
“For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has NO value and the promise [Jesus] is worthless, because law brings wrath.” (Rom. 4:14)
“We have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom. 7:6) “For He [Jesus] Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility [between Holy God and sinful humans], by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.” (Eph. 2:14,15) “Watch out for those dogs… who put confidence in the flesh… legalistic righteousness… I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ.” (Phil. 3:2-9)
Faith plus law? –is that what that said? –No.
Where does the New Covenant tell us to abstain from certain foods or to observe the feast days –or even the Sabbath Day? It doesn’t. To pressure others in this is merely the enemy’s ploy to get people off the real issues –like growing in righteousness, peace, joy, patience, purity, and holiness. And in remembering that “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom. 13:10)
We have been raised with Christ through our faith (see Col.2:12), not through ANY part of the law. It is “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [–Not in Hebrew history.] I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments… See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ… God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, [–does “cancelled” actually mean cancelled?] with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; [because we could not attain it.] He took it away, nailing it to the cross… Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ… Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world [or of the Pharisee’s principles], why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules..?” (Col. 2:3,8-20)
It often seems like people can read a clear Scripture passage like this and still not understand that it applies to them and their own need to have a mind-change. We are not under law. We are under a new master: Jesus. And if His Spirit dwells in us, then we are expected to obey His Spirit. That is why Gal. 5:18 says, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” And anyone who says he is born again must realize that this means “born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8), and must then exhibit “living by the Spirit” and being “controlled by the Spirit.” (See Gal. 5:16 & Rom. 8:9)
The Ten Commandments are only in effect as their principles are restated in the New Testament –under the New Covenant. How many are restated? All of them –except the fourth one about the Sabbath. In fact, we are told that that one has been eliminated in its previous form. Now we have it –not as the shadow– but as the reality –CHRIST Himself.
Whether we look at the 4th commandment in Ex. 20:8-11 or Deut. 5:12-15, there is nothing that speaks of going to church on the Sabbath. It speaks of RESTING. “On it you shall not do any work.” ANY work. Do “Sabbath-keepers” wash the dishes after eating after the church service? Oh dear… must we stone those women? Ex. 35:2 says, “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.” The verse before this one, as well as others, say that these are God’s covenant commands specifically “to the Israelites”, and it emphasizes “to the Israelite community” several times.
Now, if someone wants to burden themselves “again with a yoke of slavery… Christ will be of no value to you at all… [and you will be] obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Gal. 5:1-4)
“How is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you…” (Gal. 4:9-11) In other words, to observe these things is not commendable at all!
Gal. 3:25 tells us “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Faith comes by who? Christ Jesus. So do we need the law any longer? No, for we have Christ. “The law is not based on faith; on the contrary…” (v. 12) “What then was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions UNTIL the Seed [Christ] to whom the promise referred had come.” (v. 19)
Heb. 4:8-11 tell us that there was no rest until the TRUE “Sabbath-rest” came. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work…” What work? STRIVING to obey and please a perfectly holy God. Jesus is now our high priest (Heb. 6:20), for “we have now been justified by His blood” (Rom. 5:9), and “when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.” (Heb. 7:12)
So, back to Rom. 7:6 –“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
You must DIE to the old way in order to take up the new way. (See Rom. 7:1-4) But friends, that is actually really great news! It is called “Freedom”! ! !
Yes, for as Gal. 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Stand against the false doctrine; and stand against, or leave, those who promote it.