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“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). The discussion here is not over the weekly seventh-day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) but over the yearly feast days of the ceremonial law of Moses (Leviticus 23). The whole chapter of Romans 14 is on judging one another (Verses 4, 10, 13). Jewish Christians were judging Gentile Christians for not observing them. Paul is simply saying, don’t judge each other because the ceremonial law is no longer binding
Moses’ law was the temporary, ceremonial law of the Old Testament. It regulated the priesthood, sacrifices, feasts,rituals, meat and drink offerings, etc., all of which foreshadowed and ended at the cross. There were seven yearly holy days, or holidays, in ancient Israel which were also called sabbaths. These were in addition to, or “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:38), or seventh-day Sabbath. This law was added “till the seed should come,” and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16, 19). The rituals and sacrifices of Moses’ law pointed forward to Christ’s sacrifice. When He died, this law came to an end. That there are two laws is made crystal clear in Daniel 9:10, 11.
God’s law has existed at least as long as sin has existed. The Bible says, “Where no law is, there is no transgression [or sin].” (Romans 4:15). According to the Bible, ” sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). God’s law “stand[s] fast for ever and ever” (Psalms 111:8).
Let’s examine closely these two laws:
|Called “the law of Moses” (Luke 2:22).|
|Called “law … contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15).|
|Written by Moses in a book (2 Chronicles 35:12).|
|Placed outside the ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).|
|Ended at the cross (Ephesians 2:15).|
|Added because of sin (Galatians 3:19).|
|Contrary to us, against us (Colossians 2:14).|
|Judges no one (Colossians 2:14-16).|
|Carnal (Hebrews 7:16).|
|Called “the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 5:24).|
|Called Ten Commandments-“the royal law” (James 2:8).|
|Written by God on stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:16).|
|Placed inside the ark (Exodus 40:20).|
|Will stand forever (Luke 16:17).|
|Points out sin (Romans 7:7; 3:20).|
|Not grievous (1 John 5:3).|
|Judges all people (James 2:10-12).|
|Spiritual (Romans 7:14).|
|Perfect (Psalms 19:7).|
Jesus taught, “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” (Matthew 5:18); “The son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8). And “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15). John the beloved confirms, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3, 4).
Paul makes it clear that the Moral law is still binding “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet” (Romans 7:7). And he adds, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law?” (Romans 3:31).
And he further emphasizes that the circumcision of the Mosaic law is canceled at the Cross but keeping God’s commandments remains for ever binding “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19).
To conclude: in Romans 14:5, Paul is counseling those believers, whose faith enables them immediately to leave behind all ceremonial holidays, that they should not despise others whose faith is less strong. Nor, in turn, may the latter group judge those who seem to them lax. Each believer is responsible to God (Romans 14:10–12). And what God expects of each of His servants is that he shall “be fully persuaded in his own mind” and conscientiously follow his convictions in accordance with the light he has received and understood so far. Among Christ’s followers there is to be no force, no compulsion. A spirit of love is to prevail at all times.
In His service,
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