Jump to Questions

This topic is adapted from the Bible Munch YouTube channel.

As Christians do we really need to pay attention to or obey those Old Testament (OT) laws and commandments? What is the purpose of the old laws? These questions, and probably a hundred others, often float around the subconscious of Christians as they digest the OT books of the Bible. While the rules may not make sense to modern Christians, nothing in the Bible is purposeless.

[Related: Why Do Christians Ignore Other Old Testament Laws but Condemn Homosexuality?]

The Old Laws

The OT laid the groundwork for a series of laws instructing God’s people on right living. These laws often get spun up into modern day Christian values, causing confusion and muddying the waters for what is actually required by God. This set of ancient Israelite laws can be divided into three categories: civil laws, ceremonial laws, and moral laws.

Civil laws instructed people in the day to day tasks of life and the do’s and don’ts of living in society.

Ceremonial laws served as a basic guideline for how to worship God in a proper and appropriate manner.

Moral laws dealt with the relationship between humanity and God.

Good and Evil

These old laws existed to identify good and evil, largely to create the distinction between the two. While the old rules were important instructions on how to live a good and moral life, their biggest purpose was to point to the need of a savior – Jesus Christ.

Christians Are Not Bound by OT Laws

If you have spent any time in the OT it could be overwhelming to try and obey the 613 laws given to God’s people. Thankfully, Christians today are not bound by these laws and don’t need to follow them. While the coming of Jesus has freed Christians from the old laws, it is still important to keep sin at a distance by living God’s way. Just because Jesus paid for our sins doesn’t mean we should do whatever we please. It’s true that no one is saved by following rules, but when you truly live for Jesus, many of the moral tenets of old come as a natural instinct of being a “new creation” in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

[Related: Understanding the OT Law]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Are there any OT laws you still obey? Why or why not?
  4. Could some OT laws be a good practice to uphold? Name one.
  5. How did Jesus change the need for laws? Give one example.
  6. What does it mean to have “freedom in Christ?” Explain.
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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