How are God’s law and Moses’ law different?


By BibleAsk Team

God’s Law and Moses’ Law

The Bible made a clear distinction between Gods’ law (Ten Commandments) and Moses’ law (ceremonial laws). Moses wrote, “And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it” (Deuteronomy 4:13, 14). Here, Moses separated between the Ten Commandments, which “he commanded you,” from the statutes which “he commanded me” to give the people.

Again, the Lord spoke of the law “I commanded” and also the “law … Moses commanded”: “Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them” (2 Kings 21:8).

Also, Daniel gave the same distinction when he prayed for the desolated sanctuary of his beloved nation. “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him” (Daniel 9:11). We can see clearly the phrases “thy law” and “the law of Moses,” and this time the two are recognized as different in content.

Comparison Between the Two Laws

Moses’ Law

  • 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).

God’s Law

  • 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).

Moses’ Law Ended at the Cross

The Mosaic laws that pointed to Christ’s ministry and death (the priesthood, sacrifices, rituals, meat and drink offerings, etc.) were temporary as they foreshadowed the cross. When Christ died, they came to an end. Because of sin, Moses’ law was given (or “added” Galatians 3:16, 19) till Christ should come and die. Also, the yearly or annual feasts (which were also called sabbaths) or holidays of Leviticus 23 were nailed to the Cross (Colossians 2:16). 

God’s Law Lasts Forever

God’s law has existed, at least, as long as sin has existed (Romans 4:15). When people sin they break God’s moral law (1 John 3:4). Unlike the Mosaic law, the Ten Commandments (God’s law) “stand fast for ever and ever” and therefore, are binding today (Psalms 111:8). Also, the weekly seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment remains in effect (Matthew 5:17,18; Luke 16:17; Romans 7:12; Hebrews 4:9…etc.). 

Paul confirms that God’s Moral Law is still in effect: “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); “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law?” (Romans 3:31).

For more on this topic, check the following link: The Moral and Ceremonial Laws

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories Law

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