Why should we obey the OT when the NT tells us that all we have to do is love?

Hello K,

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Some claim the Jesus did away with the Ten Commandments on the basis of the “new” commandments of love. But Christ said,“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).

It is true that Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a summary of all the law.  When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law, he received the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). But these two love commandments simply summed up “all the law and the prophets.” They all hang upon these two principles of love.

These new commandments were not new in point of time? Jesus was simply quoting directly from the Old Testament when He gave those new commandments “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5); “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18).

Jesus wanted a love based obedience of the law instead of formalism. But the legalists of Christ’s day forgot the love principle and did not incorporate it in their everyday life.

If one loves Christ supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will obey the first four commandments that have to do with our duty to God. He will not take God’s name in vain, worship other gods, etc. And if one loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the last six commandments which relate to our duty to our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to obeying or fulfilling all the law (Exodus 20). And Paul repeated that saying “therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

 

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