Here is a view of the ceremonial law that many may not have yet considered.
- That the term law means different things. It can mean just scripture in general (i.e. the OT), it can mean the 10 Commandments, or the ceremonial law, or both, or even a specific part of the law. I can demonstrate that if you ask, or I will share some text afterwards.
- The law was given in response to a misapprehension of the character of God. This is a very important point underlying the entire Bible. Israel could have entered Canaan without the law given to them. They turned back at the border, then after that they were given the law. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they were not given the law, but the walked with God better than their descendants.
So what stopped Israel from entering Canaan? Well, they had a wrong understanding of the character of God. Like the pagans, they thought of God as vengeful, a man of war, out to punish any and even slight errors, etc. Thus, every time anything happened not as they expected, they thought it was God trying to kill them. This they thought every time. In Egypt under hardship from Pharaoh, they thought God had abandoned them. In the desert they thought God had brought them there to destroy them. They lacked faith in God’s love character.
God had not asked them to fight, but they wanted to fight because in their understanding, that was their God’s character, quick to destroy his enemies by sword, a man of war. All the way until they killed Christ, on behalf of their God, because that’s what they thought their God wanted them to do, that’s what was in their minds.
Because of this, Israel was unable to reflect the character of God except a few times such as when Elisha captured the army of the Assyrians at Dothan, and instead of killing them, gave them food and sent them away. That is God’s character.
So the 10 Commandments are an expression of the character of God as he manifests himself in his people, not a requirement to his people to earn God’s love by pleasing him in doing all his laws. The 10 Commandments are the capacity of a person in whom the Spirit of God is manifesting. The 10 Commandments are how the righteousness of God is manifested in the heart that accepts him by faith. That’s what righteousness by faith means – a manifestation of the correct character of God in the heart, an end to the rebellion of the heart, and a reflection of the mind/spirit of God in the person. That is a result of faith in the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, to receive the SPIRIT OF PROMISE, i.e. the righteousness of God in us.
The ceremonial law and much of the OT history is a depiction of how Israel projected their own character on God. It was because of Israel’s own character that they were given the ceremonial law to show them how they feel about God, in other words, how rebellious they were. The ceremonial law is not a requirement to please an angry God with blood of animals, as God said he never required that (Isaiah 1:11,12). That’s what was pagan about Israel’s thinking, that’s what they copied from pagan religions of Egypt and other places. Thus the ceremonial law is the lens through which we see the condition of the human heart in rebellion to the Father.
Thus, in order to have faith in the true character of God, the moral law, you need to have a correct understanding of yourself, i.e. your own rebelliousness, i.e. the ceremonial law. In other words, in the NT, God sent His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON to show the correct character of the Father. Only him who has been and is in the bosom of the Father could accurately demonstrate and witness the character of the Father (That’s why Christ says no man has seen God except the Son who is in the bosom of the Father). Thus, to believe in the Son of God is to believe in the true character of the Father in the 10 Commandments as they were put in practice by the Son of God. It is to believe that human rebellion rejected the Son of God in fulfilment of the human’s state of mind as depicted by the sacrificial system and in pagan religions.
I am happy to discuss further with any questions on this topic.
The Rock Fortress Ministries