Whole Bible Christianity

It's a God Thing

 

Yes, The Law is Restated in the New Testament

How many times does God have to say it?

Law, Restated

Lots of people dismiss the Law because they say it isn't restated in the New Testament.

Lots of people are stupid.

Eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. Sorry, but I've run out of patience with these kinds of people, and I think I should just lay it out there. They are false teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing, and need to be smacked down as often as possible.

I don't think people who believe this even bother with actually reading the whole of the Word, let alone do what He says. All they've got is a fake front, like whitewash on a tomb. There are many, many restatements of the Law throughout the Bible, and we cover some of them here. Try reading the Bible and you might see them too.

It's Not Always a List

The Law shows up in different ways all through the Word. Sometimes it's in a sentence. Sometimes a phrase, or a single word, like love. There are many words and groups of words that are equivalent to the Law, and many themes God uses to illustrate the Law. It is not always a list of commands, and it doesn't even look like legislation most of the time.

Missed by Many, Followed by Few

The reason that people think the Law is not restated in the New Testament is that they do not want to follow it. Jesus told us that the path to life is hard and few there are that travel it. The road is wide and well traveled that leads to destruction. The people on that road want to reserve the right to pick and choose what they want to do and what they don't. So they make up a rule like "it's not restated" to keep their options open. If they get rid of the objective standard, they can continue their self-seeking ways and make up their own rules as they go along.

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Getting Rid of God's Law

So many people want to get rid of God's Law. Surprisingly, most of them are in the group of people who claim to follow Him. The Jews mostly specialize in stopping the Law on the outside and not letting it get all the way in to the heart. Isaiah describes this as "tradition learned by rote" (Isaiah 29:13) and lip service. The church excels at lip service, but they also add many doctrines changing the plain meaning of the Word and push the Law into a corner where it won't bother them. They make it out to be "terminated" by the crucifixion, or it's old, or just for the Jews.

One of the big teachings for getting rid of the Law I've been taught is that it isn't restated in the New Testament. Where this requirement came from I don't really know, but it is common in the church. I suspect it grew out of the time long ago when believers were trying to distance themselves from Jewish rebellions against the Roman Empire. They didn't want to "look Jewish" because they would get caught in the crossfire.

In any event, "New Testament Christians" only follow the New Testament, and claim that since the Law was not "re-given" then in that group of books it isn't for Christians. The old is for Jews, or idiots who want to "earn salvation" or something like that. This in spite of the fact that Jesus tells us in John 10:35 that Scripture cannot be broken. He assures us that none of the Laws were eliminated, while Paul says things like "we uphold the Law" in Romans 3:31.

There are actually two issues connected with the teaching that the Law is not restated in the New Testament. Is it restated or not, but if it is, do we follow it? So first, let's take a look at the many ways the Law is stated in the Old Testament. Then we'll have some background for determining if it is indeed restated in the New.

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The Law Summarized

The Law is not always presented as a list of rules like we see in the so-called "Ten Commandments." Many times, the Law is summarized. A summary is a short-hand way of referring to the whole Law, or even all of God's will. Prophets used summaries to spotlight areas which proved Israel wasn't following the whole Law, and to encourage a change in Israel's direction. Summaries are not intended to cut short God's Law, nor are they meant to say that the summary is limited to what one has to do at any given time. They are merely highlights; flavors if you will. Summaries are like the meat and potatoes of God's will for believers. A couple examples of Law summaries are in Zechariah.

8And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” (Zechariah 7:8-10 ESV)

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.” And the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace. (Zechariah 8:16–19, ESV, underline added)

Zechariah doesn't go through the whole list of commands when urging repentance. He doesn't need to. Even if the people were following much of the external parts of the Law, and even adding to it with extra fasts not commanded by God, the heart was missing. So that's what God highlights. The message seems to be: "Fast all you want, but don't expect to do what is right in your own eyes and still receive God's favor. You've got to follow my words, especially and most importantly with your whole heart."

I underlined the last sentence of verse 8:19 because by itself it is an excellent summary of the Law. "Love truth and peace" wraps up all of the different laws together neatly. Is there a Law of God's that isn't truth? Isn't the main point of the Law peace with God, and with each other? When you think about it the only reason we need so many different laws is that man is so good at finding self-seeking ways to interfere with that peace of God.

Summaries give us the real meaning of the Law tailored for a particular place and time, emphasizing what was missing in the practice of people who claimed to follow Him. God uses summaries to go right to the heart of the issues of the day. They point back to the whole of God's Word. They are springboards to get people thinking about following all of the Word so we can escape the misery resulting from our neglect of the Law. Summaries are not intended to limit God's Word, but to emphasize the heart of it. A summary doesn't exclude other parts of the Law; it just focuses on the gist of the message.

As far back as Genesis, we see summaries of the Law, even before the Law was repeated and written down at Mt. Sinai. "Doing righteousness and justice" pretty much covers "keep the way of the Lord" and the Law, doesn't it?

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” (Genesis 18:19, ESV)

Later in Genesis Abraham and Isaac are commended by God (and received the Promise) "because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." (Genesis 26:5, ESV) Yep, the Law has always been around.

Exodus 20 through 23 is the start of giving the written Law at Mt. Sinai. Perhaps we can look at these chapters also as a summary of the Law in its entirety. In Exodus 24, we read that Moses told the people "all the words of the Lord and all the rules" (24:3). In verse seven we read that Moses "took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of all the people." This is before we get other parts of the Law such as the building of the Ark (chapters 25 through 31). After the golden calf incident (chapter 32) more details were added, perhaps because of that tendency we have to think up new ways of ignoring the Law. Then the Law is restated slightly differently before Israel goes into the Land after the 40-year punishment in Deuteronomy.

Orphans and Widows

Isaiah gives a number of Law summaries. He has to describe man's departure from God's peace in many ways because the heart of man keeps trying and trying to slip around the rock of His Word and do its own thing instead.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:16–17, ESV)

Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them. (Isaiah 1:23, ESV)

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!(Isaiah 10:1–2, ESV)

Cease to do evil, learn to do good

"Cease to do evil, learn to do good" is another strong summary of the Law. That's what the Law is for - teaching good. Many of the prophets use phrases similar to the short-hand of "justice to the fatherless and pleading a widow's cause" to refer to violations of God's ways of living. It seems these two particular areas not only keep being a problem for man, but the orphan and widow are so helpless this is a quick check on how well we are living God's Words.

Jeremiah is a little more involved, but covers many of the basics in his summaries. He also uses the lousy treatment of widows and orphans, among other things, as shorthand for the Law. Our first summary from his book starts off with using the Temple like a lucky rabbit's foot. The people were ignoring God's Word and doing abominations, and then relying on the presence of the Temple to keep them from encountering harm.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 7:3–11, ESV)

We also see the widows and orphans thing again. We'll see it more and more as we go too. You might recognize that "Has this house, which is called by name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?" is quoted in the New Testament as Jesus is chasing out the money changers. A few chapters after this, Jeremiah gives a similar summary, probably basing it on ideas he first puts forth in chapter 7.

Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. (Jeremiah 22:3, ESV)

Another restatement of Law - The New Covenant

In this quote we have yet another reference to orphans and widows. Let us not forget that Jeremiah (with Ezekiel - 18:31, 36:26) also speaks of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The two main parts of it are a new heart of flesh with the Law on it written by the Spirit. Ezekiel (who was around the same time as Jeremiah) gives us contrasting summaries of a righteous man who fathers a son that isn't righteous, and then speaking of a grandson who is righteous. The definition of righteous starts with "what is just and right" and goes on to hit the highlights of God's Law.

“If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God. “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. “Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. (Ezekiel 18:5–18, ESV, underline added)

Keep my rules by acting faithfully

I underlined "keeps my rules by acting faithfully" in verse 9 because again, this is a beautiful one-phrase summary of the entire Law. Acting faithfully includes all parts of the Law like love and the Spirit. If we are faithful to His Word, we take care of widows and orphans. In the New Testament, faithfulness is mentioned quite frequently, and we have to ask ourselves exactly what that means. I think it's obvious that faithfulness includes being faithful to the will of the Father.

Honest Weights and Measures

After Ezekiel pictures for us three generations of men in regards to righteousness, he demands that people in verse 18:31 "cast away all transgressions and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit." Later on in his book, he gives us another summary using the analogy of correct weights and measures.

“Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people, declares the Lord God. “You shall have just balances, a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and the bath shall be of the same measure, the bath containing one tenth of a homer, and the ephah one tenth of a homer; the homer shall be the standard measure. The shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels shall be your mina. (Ezekiel 45:9–12, ESV)

Weights and measures is yet another creative way to not only cheat each other but cheat God too. The heart behind cheating with weights and measures also cheats on God's Word. I think this is why Jesus said that the measure you use will be the measure used for you (Matthew 7:2; Mark 4:24; Luke 6:38). If you don't forgive, then God won't forgive. If you mistreat orphans and widows, God will use the same measure for His treatment of you.

Those Who Do Not Fear Me

Malachi gives us another summary, and here we see the repeating theme of widows and orphans. Daniel, Amos and Micah follow it up with summaries of the Law using such phrases as "mercy to the oppressed," "trample the poor" and justice, love, kindness and humility.

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.  (Malachi 3:5, ESV)

Mercy to the Oppressed

Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27, ESV)

Trample the Poor

Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals— those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. (Amos 2:6-8, ESV)

Justice, Love, Kindness, Humility

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

You can probably start to see that the Law is represented differently than you might expect sometimes, and it's restated many times all through the Old Testament. But just because it is stated differently than you expect, that doesn't mean that the Law is not the Law. The word "law" perhaps contributes to the idea that the Law isn't restated in the New Testament. God's Word can certainly be regarded as "law." But the Hebrew word "torah" from which we get the English word Law means much more than just legislation. It is a way of life. It is structure. It's like borders on a path, and it is the path itself. The Law is much more than a series of regulations. Air is all around us and we breathe it in to live. God's Laws are similar. His Word is all around us, and we live when we breathe it in deeply and repeatedly.

Law Summaries in the New Testament

After this brief seminar on the different ways the Law is represented in the Old Testament, it should be easier to spot it in the New, if it is in fact restated. We might not recognize the summaries, or restatements, but it's because we simply do not read the whole of the Word. Or again it's that disturbing tendency to ignore what God wants and do our own thing instead. Let's look at some of the places the Law is restated in the New Testament. We'll save the words of Jesus on the Law for last, and we'll start with James because he uses the (now familiar) theme of widows and orphans.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27, ESV)

Do you recognize the equivalence in this statement to the many summaries of the Law in the rest of the Bible? Can you see how wrong the people are who say that the Law isn't restated in the New Testament, and therefore we don't have to do it? The Law is restated so many times in both Testaments it should be easy to spot. I think the reason we don't see it is because of hard hearts.

Summaries of the Law from Paul

Paul also gives us summaries of the Law. He just focuses on love and the Spirit, both of which are integral parts of the Law. You would think "love" would be enough of a Law (as in 1 Corinthians 13). But we have to define love by the Words of God because too many forget the Bible and think love is just squishy feelings. Paul summarizes what it means to love, showing details like you would find in a dictionary when looking for a definition of the Law.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9–21, ESV)

Paul pretty much quotes the "cease to do evil, learn to do good" thing again, just slightly different than Isaiah. And of course, good is God's Word or the Law. Evil is anything that goes against it. Love and the Spirit are infused all throughout the Law, which is something many people try to forget. Next Paul expands on the idea of love.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8–10, ESV)

Paul sums up the perfectly loving Law here by noting that love "fills up" the Law. The Law is like notes on a piano, but love is the spaces between the notes. Love wraps around, in and through the Law like sunlight in the trees. Timothy gets another summary from Paul where a bunch of ideas are all equated together with righteousness, which is the Law. Then the Ephesians and Galatians get similar summaries of the Law delivered by Paul.

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11, ESV)

(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), (Ephesians 5:9, ESV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22–23, ESV)

These three summaries are very close to our summaries from the Prophets, aren't they? We can see that Paul talks about the Law quite a bit. It's just from a different angle than simply quoting a list of regulations. He comes at it from the angle of love. Love is the core of the Ten Commandments and all the other Laws too. The first command is to "love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul and strength." Paul restates the Law repeatedly for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. It's pretty apparent that the prophets and Paul are in complete agreement with God's Word taken as a whole. How about this next quote from Paul for a summary of the Law?

Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5: 8b, 9, 10 ESV)

"All that is good and right and true" surely includes the Law, especially since Paul says the Law is "spiritual" (Romans 7:14) "holy, and righteous and good" (Romans 7:12). You can't get any more holy, righteous and good than God's will expressed in the Law.

Summaries of the Law from Jesus

And now to wrap up the thought of God's restatements of His Words in many and sundry ways throughout the centuries, we look at the summaries from Jesus.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12, ESV)

Jesus not only sums up the Law here, He does it by giving an all-around guideline for the entirety of God's Word. This is not a replacement for the Law; it is the heart of God's Laws. This summary wraps around all the other summaries and the Law even as it is expressed in a list of commands.

The reason God had to make Law in the first place is because the human heart is naturally self-seeking and needs to be schooled by God's Word. If you want to know how to properly interpret a Law, this is the code-breaker. Does a law seem to be confusing? This will straighten you out. Are you a little murky on some obscure aspect of someone's theology? Simply apply this nifty idea and suddenly it will be clear to you. God loved us first, while we were yet sinners, and it's only reasonable to return that love through the Laws that God graciously gave us. Here's another "restatement" of the Law from Jesus.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21, ESV)

There you go. The will of the Father was given in the Law. We do the will of the Father when we follow a Law; any law and every law. His Laws are the constitution of His kingdom. They are the framework on which His kingdom is built. When we go around removing pieces of His Law, we risk having the whole structure collapse. We need all of His Words, or none of them. To really frustrate the natural man, Jesus restates "the Law" again in a way that cannot be explained away.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:18–19, ESV)

Hmm. Not only does Jesus tell us that not even a dot or small mark will be removed from the Law, He goes on to say that the person who "does them and teaches them" will be called great in the Kingdom. Clearly, believers are to follow the Law. Some argue that the crucifixion was the event that Jesus meant would "accomplish" the removal of the Law. So when He died the Law was changed and believers don't have to follow it. I think this can only be believed if one does not read the Word, or at best reads only part and does only part. It should be apparent that heaven and earth need to pass away before the Law does. Another summary of the Law I think is found in this next statement by Jesus.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(Matthew 5:48, ESV)

Perfect? Did Jesus say perfect? We're supposed to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? How can this be? Isn't it the main part of most church teachings that we cannot be perfect? Isn't our lack of perfection what we use to hide behind every time we don't follow God's will? How many times do you hear people say that "I'm only human" and "I'm not perfect?" Yet Jesus tells us point blank that not only is it possible to be perfect, but that it is required of believers to be perfect as our Father is perfect. Perfection is in God's Word, even those words that we label Law. One of the meanings of the word "perfect" is "lacking in nothing." I think in this case perfection means having all of God's Word. Perfection also means having the fruit of the Spirit and confessing and repenting when we find ourselves outside of our Father's will.

For another summary we can include what is called the Sermon on the Mount. I call it the second Sermon on the Mount, because the first one was at Sinai. This one is closely related to the first one, but as usual with our summaries Jesus is going to the heart of the matter. He restates the Law from the inside out. Nothing He says is new or strange, because all of it can be found all over the Old Testament.

In three other places, Jesus plainly states that through the Law comes eternal life. Before you go off on a hysterical tangent about grace and faith remember that the Law is all of God's Word and includes grace, faith, love, hope, and the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, the Law is not a list of regulations, nor is it merely external. His Word and will goes all the way through us, in us, and around us.

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:16–19, ESV)

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”(Mark 10:17–19, ESV)

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” (Luke 18:18–20, ESV)

In three different places Jesus refers people to the Law for inheriting eternal life. He is not joking. There is no facetiousness in His statements. He is being genuine. However, He doesn't stop with a few commands. He drives through to what is really missing from the person's practice of the Law, which is the condition of the heart. If we stop with a few regulations, if we don't see that love is our motivation, if we think of God's Word and will as making us do things we don't want to do, then we don't see at all and our hearts are stone. One more example, among many others, where Jesus restates the Law.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:31–40, ESV)

These are extensions of the widows and orphan summaries. Taking care of those in need is part and parcel of the Law. And if it freaks you out that I think Jesus says that the Law saves, try thinking of the Law as part of the Word of God. If the Word of God doesn't save, then what does?

All of these summaries contain ideas and themes directly related to God's Law. Remember that the Law includes love and the Spirit. Love is a Law, just like all the other laws. Repentance is a Law (Acts 17:30). There were many in Israel who followed parts of the Law and ignored other parts, such as love and the Spirit. There were a few who followed the Law including its provision for love and the Spirit, and some of these wrote such books as the Psalms, Proverbs, and Ruth. Prophets understood the inclusion of love and Spirit in the Law and that was the reason for the call to repentance and caused them to come up with meaningful summaries of the Law. The Law is not restated in the New Testament? Look again.

Shalom
Bruce Scott Bertram

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