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Which Parts of the Bible Do Christians Need to Obey?

As Christians, are we to obey all the commands in the Bible, including keeping the Torah and the Sabbath? If not, where do we draw the line?

The New Testament has specific statements about the laws found in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). I hope you are willing to look them up, as there are too many to print out:

Health Law: Mark 7:1-23. The key phrase is in verse 19: “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.”
Civil Law: Romans 13:1-7. Since we are no longer in a theocracy, God has transferred this authority to the civil government.
Sacrificial Law: Hebrews 9:26-28 and 10:10-14. These sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ. It would be sin to practice them now because it would deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
The Sabbath Law: Romans 14:5-8, Luke 6:1-10, Mark 7:27. We can learn several things from these passages: God allows and receives those who consider every day alike; we are allowed to do good on the Sabbath; and the Sabbath was made for man - it is a gift of rest for us.
Moral Law: Romans 3:20, 5:20, 7:7-8, 8:3-4, and 1 Timothy 1:8-11. The law cannot save; it is meant to lead us to Christ. After we are saved, it is possible to obey this law.

With these Scriptures as a preamble, read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 10:6-11:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

"Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: 'The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.' We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:6-11).

It is good to wash our hands before we eat, but it does not save us or make us holy. It is right to obey civil laws, as long as they do not cross God’s laws. It is right to obey the moral law because God’s standards of morality do not change.

Faith obedience makes the impossible possible, by God’s grace. God’s requirements have not changed, but our ability to perform them has. The commands in Matthew 5-7, Colossians 3, and Ephesians 5 go far beyond the Torah. They cover obedience in the heart, not just the obedience of refraining from committing acts of sin.

"Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments'" (Matthew 22:37-40).


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