Saturday, November 15, 2008

More From Poythress

I am always amazed at how relevant the Old Covenant ceremonial laws are for the Christian. So many today ignore the Old Testament since it is basically Law while the New is all Gospel. Such is actually not the case. Both Law and gospel run through the entire fabric of Scripture together.

Although I have written in the past about calling the laws of God "principles", the point that Poythress makes here is important and needs to be understood. Here are a few more quotes from Poythress on the moral law in contrast to the ceremonial law of the Old Covenant.
The Ten Commandments are not moralism or a legalistic way of salvation, but a call to life motivated by gratitude for God's compassion and deliverance...Egypt is a "type" or foreshadowing of the domain of sin. Redemption from Egypt is a kind of foreshadowing of redemption through Jesus Christ. Consequently, we who are redeemed are to be motivated to obey God's commandments just as Israel was.
He then comments on the relevance of the ceremonial aspects of the law.
Such laws are generally classified as ceremonial because Christians are not bound to observe them literally...Nevertheless, these laws still express permanent principles. "Touch no unclean thing" is quoted by Paul as a backing for his injunction not to be yoked together with unbelievers...because it embodies the general principle of separation from moral disorder.
His conclusion,
Thus it seems wisest to me not to draw a sharp distinction between ceremonial and moral law, but to study all of the law most carefully in the endeavor to appreciate its depth, the richness of its connections, and the unity of its purpose in foreshadowing Christ.

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