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Totoosart

How far does a Christian need to follow the Old Testament guidelines?

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Greetings, all,

Happy Easter, and hope you are all having a great time.

As a new Christian, i was wondering how far and to what extent does a Christian need to follow and set in action the guidelines of the Old Testament.

For instance, i believe Christians do not feel the need to circumcise nor do they stop eating pork, for instance.

What else?

You might like to put it more broadly and think: how important is the Old Testament, apart from the fact that it foretells the coming of Jesus Christ?

Do Christians have anything more to do with the Old Testament than that? 

Thank you for your time and may the Lord bless your hearts and Grace us all,

Totoo

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A Christian needs to study and rightly divide the Old Testament. Part of rightly dividing is determining what are moral laws (still applicable), what are ceremonial laws (passed away but still teach us spiritual lessons), what was specifically given to the Jewish nation (such as the sabbath), and so on.

Too many go to one extreme or the other without studying out the matter. So on one hand you find cultists trying to put their followers under the OT food laws, and on the other you find worldly “believers” with Jesus tattoos, wearing clothing that pertains to the other sex, fellowshipping with any religious group they come across (rather than separating from idolatry, etc.).

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Dear Jerry, 

Thanks so much for your kind reply.

The question, however, is still there.

as mentioned before, i am a brand new believer in Christ, and i am so full of questions.

thanks again and have a great time, bless your heart.

Totoo

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Totoo,

Interesting question. I think Jerry gave a good, and broad, answer, to a complicated question that could fill realms of paper on the subject.

With your permission, I would like to change one word in your post to another. The word is 'guidelines' to 'precept.' Guidelines is a good word, but, the word precept, in my response, fits my answer much better.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines precept as: "A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct."

In the book of Psalms, the word 'precept' is used 21 times. I will quote one instance as the subject is very extensive.  King David wrote, “Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness." Psalm 119:140

In the light of the definition of the word precept, King David stated that he longed after the principles of conduct that God had written down, in both the Law, the book of Genesis, and the history as written in the scriptures before his era.

For example. As King David read the life of Abraham and the Patriarchs and their dealings with the heathen about them, he was able to determine the proper course, and conduct, in his life as he walked by faith and dealt with the unbelievers in his age.

The Old Testament is full of precepts. The book of Proverbs is full of precepts. The book of Proverbs covers just about every aspect of life, and how to conduct oneself in the issues of life,  that a saint needs to know.

I do hope that this brief talk about precepts and the Old Testament has helped you.

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
spelling

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We also have to know what is Testament, which rules over all mankind and what is a personal or group covenant which rules over only a select group of people. While we can learn what God likes and wants by looking at an individual or group covenant, but we are not obligated to keep a covenant we are not in. The National covenant of Israel also standardized what they were to do in regard to Testament obligations so there is some overlap in laws so their covenant is a good good tool to see what was required of God for the Old Testament as well. Many Nations, though not under the National covenant of Israel, have been blessed by aliening with the laws and structures of Israel so though something bay not be an obligation for us to keep it can make for good practices for society and health as a whole.  Today we live in the New Testament because Christ took over Old Testament Melchizedek priesthood, and sacrifices for intersession for mankind, so we do not do any of the Levitical sacrifices, or holy days, or cleansings for physical righteousness (though they are sill good for basic hygiene!).

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4 hours ago, Alan said:

As King David read the life of Abraham and the Patriarchs and their dealings with the heathen about them, he was able to determine the proper course, and conduct, in his life as he walked by faith and dealt with the unbelievers in his age.

Dear Alan,

David was not a Christian, was he? 

my problem is,

as a Christian,

should i follow the precepts, and the laws, the rules there are set in the Old Testament or should i just follow the one new commandment that Jesus gave before his crucifiction:

John: 15 - 12:

'This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.'

Which, if you ask my humble opinion, would suffice, i truly believe all the evil in the world would go away if everyone could love everyone as the Lord loves us.

Naturally, the book of proverbs is full of guidelines and precepts, as stated at the very beggining of the book:

 

Proverbs: 1:

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

 

 

And there are the book of Psalms which is, as you mentioned, full of references to the precepts and laws of the path. There are surely many other books in the Old Testament that contain and convey the precepts such as, of course, the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments stated there.

i can easily believe, except for the first few commandments that deal mainly with the relationship between the Creator and His creature such as:

 

Exodus: 20 : 1, 2 and 3 [The 1st Commandment]:

And God spake all these words, saying

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

From the 5th commandment on, they are all about relationships between people with people.

 

Having said all this, i am reminded of a saying, 'When in doubt, don't do it!'

i do apologise for taking so much of your precious time, but you do understand that this is my Church here and i have not access to any other church nor pastors around and near me, so may the Lord bless your hearts for helping me out and spending your time replying to my crazy questions and problems.

 

Totoo

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Young said:

Today we live in the New Testament because Christ took over Old Testament Melchizedek priesthood, and sacrifices for intersession for mankind, so we do not do any of the Levitical sacrifices, or holy days, or cleansings for physical righteousness

Dear John,

Thank you for your kind reply.

One might say: 'Well, then, Christ sacrificed himself for me, so i do not need to do anything, i am free of sin and no matter what i do, i won't get punished for it.'

i do not suppose that could be justified.

In my humble opinion, having been pondering about the question at hand for many days now, i believe we have to take the Old Testament precepts into consideration and follow them as best as we can, the book of Proverbs is a great resource for learning how to live piously and righteously and isn't that a good thing?

And as i mentioned above replying to our dear friend, Alan, one might think: to love everyone as the Lord loves us would probably mean to follow every and each precept stated in the Old Testament.

Bless your heart,

Totoo

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This is a VERY broad subject that can't be answered simply.

I would like to suggest that you read Galatians 5 slowly, carefully, and prayerfully. Verse 14 is key. After reading the chapter, go back and think about what verse 14 entails. 

However, to answer your question shortly and succinctly, there are no old testament laws that we are bound to; however, there are some old testament laws that can lead, guide, and direct us unto living a holy and separated life. This comes with study and rightly dividing God's word.

Christ fulfilled the law for us, and we rest in his righteousness. That isn't a free ticket to sin; rather, it's a motivator to live for him.

Your questions are truly a blessing.

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Dear No Nicolaitans,

Thanks for your kindness.

i will go and study and will come back to report or ask more questions 😉

Have a great time and bless your heart,

Totoo

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Dear No Nicolaitans,

Well, i have gone and done my readings and thinkings.

i understand what you mean now, but i have my doubts and questions.

i am not sure if i am allowed to doubt Peter or not in what he says, i do not want to say that i know any better, but i want to say that Jesus knows better for sure, and if we study Matthew 5:

17 - Think not that I am come to destory the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 - For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 - Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 - For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Therefore, my humble conclusion is what i learn from Christ Himself, to follow the law and try to exceed them to my best, now whether or not i can reach this goal, that's another story, but i should try to fulfil and exceed them.

Thank you for your time, bless your hearts,

Totoo

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I’m sorry - but it is literally 100000000000% impossible for you to fulfill the righteousness of the law, which is why Jesus had to die on the cross for your sins. He fulfilled all righteousness in keeping the law perfectly. When we receive Him as our Saviour, His righteousness is credited to our account in the eyes of God the Father (and ultimately our righteousness through Christ exceeds that of the scribes and pharisees, which is what God’s Word teaches).

2 Corinthians 5:21
" 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

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This is an interesting addition to your study.

Gal 3:22-25
(22)  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
(23)  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
(24)  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
(25)  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
 

The Law had a job (purpose) of teaching us that we need Christ.

Even today, the fact that no one is able to keep all the Law teaches those willing to listen that there is only one way - through Christ Jesus the Lord.

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4 hours ago, Totoosart said:

Dear No Nicolaitans,

Well, i have gone and done my readings and thinkings.

i understand what you mean now, but i have my doubts and questions.

i am not sure if i am allowed to doubt Peter or not in what he says, i do not want to say that i know any better, but i want to say that Jesus knows better for sure, and if we study Matthew 5:

17 - Think not that I am come to destory the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 - For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 - Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 - For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Therefore, my humble conclusion is what i learn from Christ Himself, to follow the law and try to exceed them to my best, now whether or not i can reach this goal, that's another story, but i should try to fulfil and exceed them.

Thank you for your time, bless your hearts,

Totoo

Hi Totoo!

I hope that you also see why I said this is a broad subject that isn't easily answered. If I may, let me ask you a question about Matthew 5...to whom was Christ speaking to? Was he speaking to Christians, or was he speaking to Israelites who were still under the law? Christ spoke the truth when he said that not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled...and it was fulfilled...by him.

I'm not sure what you're referring to when you ask if you're allowed to doubt Peter; however, I would like to quote something that Peter said when a situation arose; in which, the Pharisees (who were more versed in the law than anyone else) were trying to say that Christians should obey the law...

Matthew 15

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Even the Israelites were unable to keep the law...no one can.

Look at what James said...

(James 2:10) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

If a person tries to keep the law, but breaks just one of them...they would be guilty of breaking all of the whole law. I don't remember the exact number, but there are around +/- 670 Old Testament laws. Find your rest in Christ and his righteousness...living a more holy, sanctified, and separated life comes as you grow in him.

Take care.

Edited by No Nicolaitans

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Thank you al for your kind replies and time,

i will keep studying and i will keep your kind suggestions in mind.

Please do forgive my ignorance, i am a newbie Christian and just trying to do the right thing and follow the right path.

It was very difficult to believe in Christ in the first place, but now that i have come to believe, with the help and assistance of the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself, as wella s the guidance of many friends here, i just want to be a good Christian.

Thanks again and have a blessed time,

Totoo

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Galatians 5:

1 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

2 - Behod, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3 - For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

4 - Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

5 - For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

6 - For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

 

i think i understand better now.

Thank you all,

Bless your hearts,

Totoo

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