Old Testament Law: The Accuser Christ Defeated on the Cross

Old Testament Law: The Accuser Christ Defeated on the Cross March 18, 2016

ancient sacred the unwrapped Torah scroll silver

This month we’ve been talking all things atonement as we prepare for Holy Week to arrive. So far we’ve deconstructed the Penal Substitution theory of the atonement on various grounds, and I have offered the suggestion that perhaps the Devil is the missing link (the agent of causation) within many atonement theories. Finally, I have suggested that the cross is best viewed from 50,000 feet where one can see an ancient battle between a benevolent God, and forces of evil.

While in my last post I focused on the word “ransom” and considered how this might influence our theology, it must not be missed that this Greek word also has strong connotations of liberation, as some astute commenters pointed out. This of course, invites the question, “Liberation from what?

While I have already demonstrated that the chief work of the cross was to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8), I also believe that is just one side of a two-sided coin.

Track with me for a moment: the Bible calls the Devil (however one wants to define him/that) as the “accuser.” In this regard, it points to this force of evil as being someone/something that is constantly pointing out our sin and failures, which we all have. In fact, in Revelation 12:10 the accuser is described as one who stands before God and accuses us day and night– constantly.

This invites another question: On what basis are we accused?

Like a prosecuting attorney, the accuser must have the basis of an accusation rooted in the law. To disarm an accuser one would need to accomplish one of two things: either (a) prove the accused is innocent, or (b) change or end the law that calls them guilty. Sure– one who loves to accuse will keep accusing, but without the law to back them up their accusations would be totally disarmed and futile.

For us, we have all sinned– thus the former is not possible. However, to disarm our accuser (even if the accuser is ourselves), Christ has accomplished the latter: he has freed us from the OT law that only served as a barrier between ourselves and God.

In Romans 7 Paul writes that he wouldn’t have even known he was a sinner apart from the law (7:7), and that the law ended up arousing sin (v5) and death:

“But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead.And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died.”

When considering what the law does, one could even say that the law itself is our accuser.

In this same chapter, Paul also argues that because of the death of Christ, we too have died to the law and have been freed from it– going as far as saying that the law was what controlled us (v6), and that without it we can find new life that is not “under the written code” (v6).

Thus, a chief work of the cross is that Christ has completely freed us from the oppression of living under OT law, which became the chief barrier between ourselves and God. To this Paul also writes in Ephesians that Christ has “destroyed the barrier” by “ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations” (2:15).

The Law of Moses resulted in death and a barrier between God and humanity, as it constantly accused us– so Christ removed that barrier by ending the entire system that served as a basis of accusation.

Beyond allowing us to find life and become new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), the result of bringing an end to the OT law had one final result: it disarmed our accuser(s). In Col 2:15 Paul describes it this way:

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

As the new Adam, Christ not only completed the law and set it aside; he disarmed our accuser(s) and made a public mockery of it all.

I believed this was accomplished through the mockery of a public demonstration. This public spectacle– one we’re still talking about 2000 years later– showed that one could keep the law perfectly, but still be murdered under the weight of it– even if that person was God in the flesh. I can think of no stronger basis for setting something aside.

Thus, when we talk of the atonements in terms of “ransom,” we could say that Christ has ransomed us from the accusations of the law.

Now, does this mean we can live however we want and that there’s no such thing as sin? Of course not– we are under the law of Christ, which is a higher law. What it does mean, however, is that the complex and oppressive legal code we find given by Moses in the Old Testament, was defeated at the cross. This has been done that we might find life in following Christ– without the barrier, hostility, and accusations the law brought.

One side of the coin is our accuser. On the other side of the coin is the basis of accusation– and the cross has disarmed and defeated both of them.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Realist1234

    It is no coincidence that the Temple curtain was supernaturally torn in two following Jesus’ death on the cross, symbolically showing the separation of the people from God’s holy presence was now torn down by the death of the Son.

    I recently read a book by Brant Pitre called ‘The Case for Jesus’. I found it excellent (which I rarely do!), especially understanding the 1st Century Jewish context in which Jesus lived. I cant recommend it highly enough!

  • Barbara

    Psalm 119 is a paeon to the “Law of the Lord.” And Paul also wrote, in re: Israel: “But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

    It’s impossible for those things to be true under this interpretation, so I completely disagree.

  • James Quinn

    So you think it’s ok to own sex slaves and stone children? That’s in the law. What about wearing mixed fibers or leaving town when you’re on your cycle? I can’t imaging you actually think the law is good and beautiful, or that it should actually be followed.

    But to your point: nothing he said makes the calling and gifts of God less than irrevocable, so I’m not even sure what your point actually is.

  • Tim Boone

    Yep! I think that is Good News!! Be done with the old Law… Love others because He loved us first!! and Love drives out fear… helping us be better people!!

  • Just Thinkin’

    I don’t believe Christ “did away with the law”. I believe He ended its power by fulfilling its requirements once and for all on behalf of all Humankind.

  • James Quinn

    He fulfilled the law, which does away with it. If you don’t believe he did away with it, how do you contend with the words of Paul that specifically say he did away with it?

  • Just Thinkin’

    Romans 7&8 are full of things that disagree with this.

    7:3b but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God

    Released, Freed.

    7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter

    Delivered FROM

    7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good

    The law is HOLY and GOOD – not an accuser – a revealer. There is a significant difference between a revealer and an accuser.

    Romans 8:1

    There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit

    This is what I said.

  • Just Thinkin’

    The premise that the law is an accuser is entirely false. This article looks wise, but it is not. There is a significant difference between a revealer and an accuser. A revealer is simply something that pulls away the curtain, or the veil, hiding sin from us. It creates a conscience if you will.

    But an accuser is someone or something that seeks justice by revealing GUILT in a way that hopes for and pursues justice through punishment. It seeks to create a divide between the law giver and the law breaker, and manipulate (in this case) the law giver into exacting vengeance on those He loves but who have betrayed him.

    An accuser has MOTIVE. A revealer has PURPOSE.

  • jaydweaver

    I came up with a similar conclusion on a piece that I wrote back in 2002. If you are interested, you will find it at: http://www.jdweaver.com/devot/law.htm

  • Barbara

    I don’t read the Bible word-for-word literally, so those things are not an issue for me. Clearly, those things belong to the time and place in which they were written; in any case, Jews seem to have had little trouble figuring out which things to keep and which to leave behind. I can’t figure out why Christians have such huge problems with this kind of thing.

    Here are a couple of sentences from the article: “Thus, a chief work of the cross is that Christ has completely freed us from the oppression of living under OT law, which became the chief barrier between ourselves and God. ” And: “The Law of Moses resulted in death and a barrier between God and humanity, as it constantly accused us – so Christ removed that barrier by ending the entire system that served as a basis of accusation.”

    If the Law is oppression and results in death, and if those who follow it cannot have a relationship with God, then clearly God has revoked His gifts – contradicting Paul’s statement. Both things can’t be right.

    BTW, the Law demands care for widows, orphans, neighbors, strangers, aliens, and the rest of the world. How come THOSE requirements – which outnumber the others by a great deal – didn’t come up here? It seems perfectly clear to me what the spirit of the Law is, but everybody is so hung up on the Letter.

  • Just Thinkin’

    If you don’t read the Bible on its own terms, and not yours, you are unfortunately disqualified from any serious debate.

  • Barbara

    Thanks for sharing. And didn’t you just upvote me for my first comment?

    Weird.

  • Just Thinkin’

    Barbara

    I owe you a humble apology. I was rushing out the door and replied too quickly. You deserve better and I apologise for sounding arrogant and dismissive.

    Of course you are entitled to any opinion you like. My comment was incorrectly phrased. My intention was to say that if we are discussing the Bible, then opinions should be on what the Bible says, not on a single persons opinion about what it should have said. (That includes mine).

  • yes! IMHO he made a way where there was no way.

  • thank god! not a debate, not a contest & not a contestant! free, indeed, to love and include all in mercy and faith! *\]:D

  • Barbara

    Thanks for the apology; there was no need, but thank you anyway.

    My comment was, exactly, based on what the Bible says, and directly in response to James Quinn’s question. He asked me, in effect, how I read the Bible. I responded.

    We all know what the Bible says; that’s a banality. The question is, how do we understand what it says? The fact that there are a thousand Protestant denominations is proof positive that there are at least that many ways of reading it.

    I really don’t know what’s at all controversial about this.

  • Bones

    So Christ didn’t do away with killing gay people and women being unclean……

    Ummmm maybe you need to think about that…..

  • Bones

    “The law is HOLY and GOOD”

    Really?

    So it’s good to kill gay people, keep away from unclean menstruating women, have rapists pay to marry their victims and take sex slaves……

    Well there ya go……

    I don’t think you people know what the Law is?

    (Btw – the Torah punishments were so horrendous they had to be watered down eg gay people were merely flogged)

  • Well, the Torah isn’t a person, so in a strict sense it doesn’t accuse anyone or reveal anything. The administrators of a legal system accuse people of breaking a law so that appropriate justice can be dealt out – predominantly punishment for breaking said laws.

    The prophets, for instance, used it many times to construct a case that Israel had broken her covenant. It wasn’t just some “revealer” of sin. You broke the Law, you suffered the consequences. In other words, to a T your definition of “accuser,” above.

    And it is this role in Israel’s life that leads to Paul’s very strong statements about how the Law was their death sentence. As long as the Law is in force, Israel suffers exile. This was the concrete role of the Law in their history. It was a curse, not an encourager.

  • Well, Paul writes in Eph. 2:15 that Christ has torn down the wall of hostility by abolishing the commandments expressed in laws. This allows Jews and Gentiles to be one people of God – the great mystery in chapter 3. It no longer has any kind of active role in the life of the people of God. It’s history and part of our story – an unpleasant part, over all – but God does not unite Jews and Gentiles by making them both subject to Torah. He makes them one by making neither subject to it.

  • Psalm 119 was written under the Law. It was not written after Jesus Christ. It’s a song David wrote under the Law in his administration over Israel. It’s not a theological treatise on the role of Torah for all time.

    And election has nothing to do with Torah. God chose Abraham before the Law while he was uncircumcised.

  • Don B

    Barbara, the flesh Is very adept at keeping laws. The Pharisees were masters of it. We are not our sin as the apostle Paul said near the end of Romans 7. He is also says Christ was a sin offering and sin in the flesh was condemned at the cross. It’s finished. Yes , there can be natural consequences to sins , but for the believer Paul says it is no longer him that does it but sin living in his flesh. That is a huge difference. Sin is not part of our new DNA. And sin cannot be rehabilitated. Even as a believer , if you try to live by the law , you are arousing sin , not doing away with it.
    Ben is right on with his asssssment in this post.
    For more info, I would suggest Paul Ellis’s site , Escape to Reality. A gay Christian is not an oxymoron as John MacArthur, Franklin Graham and a host of perhaps millions assert. Jesus did it for everyone –but–you must believe that. And as we know from commenters on this blog, so many don’t believe that . Jesus Himself said the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin because they don’t believe in Me. Belief is key. Not performance , not a change of behavior although that may very well happen as we learn how Gor has our back and truly loves us.

  • Barbara

    So you disregard anything in the Hebrew Scriptures?

  • Barbara

    This doesn’t answer my question though. God gave the Law to the Jewish people; the Psalmist clearly thought of it as a wonderful thing. Was he wrong? If so, how?

    Are observant Jews today unable to have a relationship with God because they keep the Mosaic Law? How can this be, since God’s gifts are irrevocable?

  • Bones

    Are you unclean at certain times of the month?

    Should women who are accused by their fiances of not being virgins be subject to community physical examination and execution (but not men)?

  • Bones

    Well Jesus thought it was wrong.

    It was highly exclusive by maintaining a purity culture which excluded others by nature of their sexuality, sickness, social status.

  • Barbara

    Where does Jesus say that?

  • Bones

    Oh and gender…..

    “Where does Jesus say that?”

    Mark 1

    Mark 2

    Mark 3

    and so on……..

    Do people not read??????

  • Not at all. But I do recognize that the Hebrew scriptures are tied to their history, and when you interpret them, you have to take into account things that have happened afterward. Like Jesus.

  • Bones

    “I don’t read the Bible word-for-word literally, so those things are not an issue for me. Clearly, those things belong to the time and place in which they were written; in any case, Jews seem to have had little trouble figuring out which things to keep and which to leave behind. I can’t figure out why Christians have such huge problems with this kind of thing.”

    Make up your mind.

    Which parts of the Law do you want to keep?

    Executing gays?

    Executing witches?

    Executing heretics?

    Yeah Christians are confused when it comes to the Law.

    Do you really need a Law to tell you to care for others?

  • Bones

    God didn’t give the Law. It evolved during the Exile from priestly holiness codes and written into the narrative of Israel.

    We have documentation from Jewish communities such as Elephantine which dates back to 500BCE which show they had no Torah and even built their own temple.

  • Barbara

    Why be such a literalist? I don’t read the Bible in this one-dimensional way – and neither do millions of Jews, BTW. Why Christians are so hung up on this kind of legalism is beyond me. The Bronze Age was a violent time; the Mosaic Law was a huge step up from blood feuds and chaos.

    Clearly, many things in the Bible were written in a different time and place; why take literally for today something that was written three thousand years ago? The spirit of the Law is what counts.

    BTW, here are some other laws you didn’t mention:

    Do not stand by when a human life is in danger.
    Do not wrong any one in speech.
    Do not bear false witness.
    Do not cherish hatred in your heart.
    Do not take revenge.
    Do not bear grudges.
    Relieve your neighbor of his burden.

    Do not afflict an orphan or a widow.
    Leave part of your crops in the field for the poor to harvest.
    Give to a poor man what he needs.
    Give to charity.
    Do not cheat in business.
    Do not wrong the foreigner.
    Love the stranger in your land.

    How come these didn’t come up in your questions?

  • Barbara

    I want to keep the parts of the Law that you find everywhere in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and emphasized over and over again: care for the powerless and those who are alone; care for the poor, the friendless, the needy, the afflicted; care for the stranger and alien; a high regard for the truth; etc.

    Can I assume, given your apparent native goodness, that you have opened up soup kitchens and homeless shelters, spent lots of time visiting the sick and those in prison, and given away goods and money to help others? Christians do these things as a matter of course. They also host AA meetings and community groups of all kinds, and help all sorts of people in trouble day in and day out.

    If you’re not doing these things, why not?

    BTW, if you’re just here to blast Christians, I’m not all that interested. If you’d like to have an actual discussion, then I’ll be glad to do that.

  • Barbara

    If you can’t give me an example, I’m really not interested….

  • Barbara

    So how do you interpret Psalm 119?

  • Bones

    So you only follow the Laws you like.

    I do all of those without a Law.

    Even atheists do those…..

    It’s about being a decent human being…..

    Sorry but pronouncements about killing gays and non-virgin women aren’t from God nor are they laws for ANY time.

  • The NT says that God didn’t give the law, but that Moses did. It contrasts this with saying, “but truth came from Christ.”

    Also, how can anyone have a relationship with God apart from Christ? Jesus claimed such a thing was impossible– he is the only way to God, and the only way to have a right relationship is through Christ.

  • Matthew 5. Jesus quoted the Lex Tallionis, and disagreed with it– even teaching his disciples to not obey it.

  • Bones

    In other words Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself.

    It’s simple.

    The Law is nonsense and your cherry picking doesn’t help.

    I don’t need a Law if I’m loving my neighbour….I don’t need a Law to tell me not to cheat on my wife and a Law to tell me to kill my neighbour whom I should love is in direct violation to loving my neighbour.

  • Barbara

    So Jews CANNOT have a relationship with God, then, is that what you’re saying? Even though God has promised that His gifts to Israel are irrevocable?

    How can you possibly reconcile these two ideas?

  • Barbara

    IOW, you’re not doing any of those things.

    Well, get back to me when you are, and we’ll have a nice talk.

  • Barbara

    I meant a condemnation of the Law itself, as a whole. I agree that the Law can be amended; that’s exactly what I’m arguing for here, in fact!

    The thing is that there WAS no Law in that part of the world at all; “an eye for an eye” was a step up, way up, from the blood feuds and violence at the time. “An eye for an eye” meant: equal punishment for equal infraction. You couldn’t take more in punishment than the original offense. That is still the law today, in fact.

  • Bones

    Let’s see

    Jesus’s interaction with lepers defying the law then pissing off the priests by telling the ex-leper to show what Jesus had done and in contravention to the Law- Mark 1

    Jesus forgives sins of the paralysed man openly repudiating the scribes and the whole system of indebtedness and the Law- Mark 2

    Jesus commits civil disobedience and openly defies the Law by picking up grain on the sabbath – Mark 2

    Then we could get into the interactions with the bleeding woman but that’s just reading the first 2 chapters of Mark.

  • Bones

    You are aware that Judaism has changed from Jesus’s time.

    Anyone can have a relationship with God, in fact everyone does.

  • Barbara

    What you need to give me is a statement in which Jesus says that the Law is wrong. That’s your claim; back it up.

    Jesus amended the Law several times – at least once to make it stricter! – and that’s exactly what I’ve been arguing from the beginning here. You have paid absolutely no attention to this, because you can’t seem to think outside your own box.

    The Law was a framework, and has been amended many times, just as laws are in our own time. It was a way out of the chaos of the period, and into something better. That’s why the Psalmist sings its praises.

  • Bones

    Like I’d take the judgement of a nobody who needs laws to tell her to be a decent human being.

    Some of us just are…..

    There’s no laws telling people not to rape kids, but we don’t because we’re decent human beings (as opposed to say, I don’t know, some Catholics)….

    Maybe God should have included a law for that…..

  • Just Thinkin’

    The Greek is “katargesas”, which actually means annulled, not abolished. Annulled means “declared null and void”; “as if it never existed” It was replaced with Jesus law which is higher and perfect “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself”

    So the Old law expressed this same idea imperfectly through commandments, in the absence of Grace: and Christ declared those commandments null and void (but not abolished) and replaced with the original concept, which was capable of being fulfilled now that Grace had come.

    When Christ received the penalty / paid the ransom to redeem us from the condition of sin that mankind was in, the consequences of the old law were abolished (if you will) – the hostility and enmity – but the better, more perfect law of Christ was made known.

  • Just Thinkin’

    See my reply to Phil L

  • Bones

    Lol.

    Jesus made the Law stricter.

    What nonsense is that…..

    You’re making up your own crap now.

    Maybe he wanted gay people tortured and waterboarded before burning them alive.

    (Of course if you’re referring to divorce which if we take Jesus literally means that you can’t remarry once divorcing a spouse who tries to kill you and your kids. – but once again Jesus defies the Law)

  • Bones

    So Jesus changed His mind????

    This is the problem with not understanding the Gospel of Matthew.

    Matthew is trying to link Jesus as the fulfillment of Judaism.

    I’ve no doubt Jesus never said that especially when you read the Gospel of Mark.

  • Bones

    Killing gay people was a step up too, hey Eva.

    Btw “an eye for an eye” was flogged from the Babylonians and is included in the Code of Hammurabi(cf 1754BCE).

    Looks like the Babylonians got in before God….

    “Ex. Law #196: “If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man’s bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one gold mina. If one destroy the eye of a man’s slave or break a bone of a man’s slave he shall pay one-half his price.”

    Like much of the Law it comes from other cultures…..

    So much for your theory…..

    I wonder what other laws from the Ancient Babylonians you want us to follow….

  • Barbara

    Yes, Jesus’ view of divorce is stricter than the Law’s.

  • Barbara

    So you’re just not going to pay any attention to anything I say at all, then.

    There’s really no point in responding any longer, in that case. If you think you can have a polite conversation, let me know; if not, I really have a whole lot of other, better things to do.

  • Barbara

    You don’t have any respect for “nobodies,” then, I see. Well, that’s nice; who else do you hate?

    Perhaps you need a Law more than you think you do?

  • Bones

    Well Eva, all I pointed out was the ridiculousness of your comments.

    If you can’t handle that, come back under a different name…

  • Just Thinkin’

    It is not a changing of the mind. That is a misleading and controversy-seeking misinterpretation of what I said.

  • Bones

    Depending upon which gospel you read though doesn’t it.

    So tell me Eva should a person get divorced if their spouse tries to kill them and their kids, or if the husband repeatedly rapes the wife……..

    According to the gospels they aren’t grounds for divorce…..

    What does YOUR law tell them to do?

    I mean WWJD?

  • Just Thinkin’

    And you prove my point in the process of trying to disprove it. “The administrators… accuse people…”; “The prophets… used it…” The law is merely a revealer, that is then USED by people, and by Satan, the original Accuser.

  • Bones

    Well no, Eva/Andrea/Barbie. Not for nobodies who think they know who I am……..

  • Bones

    So God gave the Law so Satan can use it…..

    Uhuh?

  • Bones

    Well God ie Jesus gave the Law (including the bits about the Sabbath, killing gays, women being unclean etc) then God ie Jesus annulled it…….

    How is that not God/Jesus changing His mind?????

    These are the knots you people tangle yourself up in in defending a moral code which is immoral and which Jesus Himself repudiated.

  • Barbara

    I’m not a literalist, as I’ve already said.

    So what’s your problem, anyway? Why are you attacking me, when I’ve already said, about 6 times now that I’m not a literalist about the Bible? You seem to want to have a fight with me about nothing; what’s the issue?

    I’m not Eva, BTW, whoever that is. If you think I’m somebody else, you’re wrong.

    Why are you so nasty?

  • Bones

    Was the question too hard, Andrea?

    You’re the one on here supporting laws but only laws that you want to follow.

    Do you think God changed His mind on killing gay people?

  • Barbara

    You’re not as evolved as you think you are, Bones.

  • Bones

    You haven’t even seen me…….

  • Just Thinkin’

    Remember, the Torah was given AFTER the Abrahamic Covenant, so we have the initial covenant between God and His people being justification by FAITH, not by works, then we have the Torah, then we again have Christ returning us to the principle of justification by faith, but this time including all people not just the Jews.

    The Torah and the 10 Commandments are a WORKS based set of rules that encapsulate the FAITH based justification. But the initial, and the final statement of justification is FAITH, not WORKS.

  • Barbara

    Answer the question. Why do you spend so much time on Patheos boards ridiculing people you don’t know and telling them that they’re “nobodies”? Is this what you mean by being a “decent person”? It doesn’t sound too decent to me.

    Do you think this is positive, or productive in some way? Is it helping you in your life? What do you get out of it? Are you just bored? Or as you as angry and full of hatred as you sound?

    Is this what you’re doing with your life? It’s pretty sad, really….

  • Barbara

    Unfortunately, I’ve been listening to you for about an hour now.

  • Barbara

    BTW, I think you’re probably following only laws that you want to, as well.

  • Bones

    It’s mainly just you Andrea…….

    Get with the internet…..

    That you think you know people through comments on a blog shows more about you.

    But hey, you think gay people are perverted……or something….

    I always find that ironic…..

  • Bones

    Yeah sure.

    Like the one about cutting your wife’s hand off if she grabs your attackers testicles.

    I’m living by that one and I have my knife ready.

  • Bones

    And you still don’t make any sense.

    Do you believe everything the Catholic Church tells you to believe?

  • Barbara

    But it’s OK for you to call me a “nobody.” Nice.

    I AM gay, BTW. But hey, I’m just a nobody, so why would you care?

    You really need to get outside your little box of assumptions at some point. It’s really boring, I have to tell you.

    So are you always like this? Starting arguments for no reason?

  • Bones

    “The Torah and the 10 Commandments are a WORKS based set of rules that encapsulate the FAITH based justification.”

    Nope.

    The Torah was not given by God.
    Why didn’t God just send Jesus to start with instead of a Law which Satan would use (which God knew).

  • Bones

    Well just as well you weren’t living back under the Torah then isn’t it??????

    Build a bridge and get over it…..

  • Barbara

    There’s nothing in the Torah about lesbians.

  • Bones

    That’s right it’s just the blokes who get taken out ISIS style.

    Whereas if you get raped, the rapist is required to marry you, whether you are a lesbian or not.

  • Barbara

    I think that’s a condemnation of anal sex. This makes sense, since women aren’t mentioned at all. So I highly doubt many gay men were put to death.

    And I hate to tell you, but the world actually existed before you were born. Most cultures have treated women horribly for most of history, so it wouldn’t have been all that much fun to be a woman almost anywhere. It’s been like this right up to the present day in most places on earth, and I find it hilarious that men are so oblivious to this fact. But thanks for mansplaining (and straightsplaining!) how terrible it would have been for me “under the Torah back then.”

    In fact, women’s rights movements came about in Christian lands – as did all the other human rights movements. Gay people have marriage or partnership rights only in the lands of Christendom (and in Israel).

    So I don’t think I need your advice on how to live my life. Thanks anyway.

  • Barbara

    So how old are you? At first I thought you were an adult, but maybe you’re only a teenager? That would definitely answer most of my questions about your behavior here.

    People who lived in earlier times had much more difficult lives than we do; they weren’t really much like us. They lived in violent places among violent people; finding a way out of violence and chaos must have seemed a beautiful thing to them. The spiritual parts of the Law are wonderful and have lasted; it’s completely obvious that many other parts of the Law are bound to the culture of the time.

    So, yes: I think for the most part, the Law was a great step forward in making life better for people in a very hard place and time. Clearly, too, there were things they got wrong.

  • Bones

    Whaaaattt?

    You can still live under the Torah. Just become an Orthodox Jew.

    Just that if you put someone to death for working on the Sabbath or having anal sex, you’ll be arrested for murder.

  • Bones

    Like I care what a nobody thinks. You’re the one who thinks like a child. Like God executes gays for having gay sex. Yeah that’s a good thing right there hey Andrea?

    The law was not given to Moses from God and despite the shrill attempts to defend it wasn’t much different to other ancient middle east codes.

    The parts of the law that lasted are actually in every human culture.

    And it’s so good no one wants to live under it, not even Israel.

  • Bones

    Yeah sure.

    But then lying is a second nature to you.

  • Tim Boone

    It is my understanding that the word often translated to “convict” or “conviction” in English more accurately means “Awareness” Since awareness precedes choice…. the purpose of the Word is to help us make choices as God would make them….. So perhaps the Accuser’s intent was to reveal our sin to produce guilt…. a state bad for people.. leading to denial and more sin….. and…….. Perhaps God’s intent is to reveal our sin to us so that we could/would make better choices…… In human relationships awareness tends to produce better choice when it occurs in a climate of grace…..in a climate of condemnation it tends to produce defensiveness and retaliation…… Grace brings out the best in us…………

    In any event looking at God’s teaching as a constitution is more likely to lead to bad things…… an addition to certainty…….in all things when really there is only one certainty…….God loves us :-) I lived in a world of Christian Pharisees for too many years…. it is an empty path. but Oh so tempting

  • Tim Boone

    Nice devotional Jay!!

  • Barbara

    You’re not doing several of these things right here, and I highly doubt you’re doing many of the others. I did ask you about them previously, and you ignored the question entirely. You seem, generally, to have a strangely false idea of who you are. But that’s not unusual; people do need a code of some kind, and ways to look at themselves such as those you find in religion, or else they become totally blind to their own faults and shortcomings. That’s one of the big plusses to following a religion or a philosophy.

    Yes, I’m talking here about the laws I like, and I do follow the laws I like – as do you, of course. And these laws are exactly the ones I’m talking about, and what I think the Psalmist was talking about.

    And I have to say I’m really tired of people like you, who use gay people as props in your argument against whatever the hell you’re arguing about here. You don’t care about us; this is all completely about you and your tedious worldview.

    Calling people you don’t know “nobodies” because they have ideas you don’t agree with – or even understand – makes me think you’re not really a very nice guy at all. That’s the way it goes, pal.

  • Barbara

    No, they’re actually not in “every human culture.” Most human cultures have been exactly like you: they decide that certain other people are “nobodies,” and have tormented and oppressed them.

    That’s what makes Judeo-Christian culture entirely different: it’s concerned for the victims of the oppressors. For example, the Law forbade the sacrifice of children, which was common in the cultures of the region at the time. And you see the concern for victims in Hannah’s song and in the Magnificat, for two examples of many: the belief that “God puts down the mighty from their thrones, and lifts up the lowly.” Christ was a victim of torture, too, by Romans who considered him a nobody; that is exactly why human rights movements arose in the lands of Christendom.

    Most cultures, are the opposite of this; most cultures have always been the opposite of this. Like you, they separate human beings into the few “people that matter” and the many “nobodies.”

    That’s the difference, and it’s what the Psalmist is talking about. And thank God for that.

    Perhaps reading some history would help you get some better perspective on the world. That’s another thing religion has helped with; I got curious about the reason why things were the way they were, and read a lot of history and cultural anthropology, etc. The world wasn’t always the way it is now, you know. Do some in-depth reading to get the real sense of things; it’s very interesting stuff.

  • Barbara

    I thought it was something like that.

    I’m so tired of listening to people like him, I have say. They need to get some kind of life, or something.

  • Um, it actually means both and many shades in between. For instance, it is the word used in Luke 13:7. When the vinedresser says, “Why should it take up the ground?” Obviously, it doesn’t mean the vine has made the ground cease to exist. There is a spectrum of meanings of the word and “abolish” is just as good an English translation as any.

    But overall, I agree with your basic trajectory here, and therefore I wonder what your beef with the article is. Is it because you feel the article is saying the Law is inherently bad? I thought Ben was pretty clear he was talking about the administration of the Law.

  • But the Law isn’t a revealer. It is a system of statues that specifies punishments for violating those statutes. The Law’s purpose was to govern Israel, not produce in them a psychological awareness of being sinners. You actually got stoned to death if that’s what the Law called for.

  • Bones

    Like I said I don’t care what a nobody who knows nothing about me thinks.

    It just shows you’re a bit of an idiot.

    Now if you want to live under the Law there are ultra Orthodox Jew communities you can join.

    Go for it.

    You’ll love it.

    “And I have to say I’m really tired of people like you, who use gay people as props in your argument against whatever the hell you’re arguing about here. You don’t care about us; this is all completely about you and your tedious worldview.”

    That worldview would be about equality and the renouncing of religious violence against gay people which is emphatically laid down in the Law you love and commanded by God no less…..

    That is tedious for you.

    You are quite bizarre…..

    I mean really this is all about you having a sook because your whole premise is rubbish.

  • The entire Psalm? Wow. Um, ok.

    Well, off the cuff, the role the Law played in Israel’s life at the time Psalm 119 was written is that it was the definer of who the faithful people of God were. If you were God’s people on earth, you had received the Law, submitted to it, and kept it to the best of your ability. The faithful pursuit of obedience to the Law was the very definition of what it meant to be faithful Israel at that time.

    Since this Law defined the people of God, it was the standard of their vindication before the world. No matter how much nations prospered or rise or fell, Israel had possession of the Torah and followed it, thus proving who the true people of God were and who God would save.

    Psalm 119 is a hymn that celebrates this fact. In it, the Psalmist not only exalts the Law, but also uses it to contrast himself with the wicked. He pleads to God to deliver and prosper him and overthrow his wicked enemies on the grounds that he loves the Law and pursues obedience to it.

    In this way, the Psalmist is the voice for all of Israel who was often oppressed by enemies. It is a plea to God for vindication because faithful Israel follows the Law while the wicked nations around them do not. The idea is that God should intervene and save and exalt His own people. Verses 153-160 even hint that God’s own righteousness might be at stake if the wicked continue to prosper while His faithful suffer.

    I’d say the role this Psalm plays in the story of the people of God through the ages is that God does indeed move to save His faithful from their oppressors in various ways, but this deliverance reaches its climax in the work of Jesus Christ, after whom the purpose of the Law of identifying the people of God has come to its intended end. Faithful Israel is saved, and it is now faith in Jesus that defines the people of God – something that can bring together both Jews and Gentiles – Torah-havers and non-Torah-havers – into the faithful people of God.

  • Bones

    Yes they are in every human culture.

    They are even in the Koran.

    In fact the Israelites got their ideas from other cultures.

    “That’s what makes Judeo-Christian culture entirely different: it’s concerned for the victims of the oppressors.”

    Well only if you ignore the history of Christianity…..

    Not quite sure what version of Christianity you’ve been reading but Christianity has been the aggressor for the last 1000+ years.

    And if we accept the highly unreliable OT accounts, the Israelites committed genocide against the original inhabitants which Christianity followed…..

    The culture we have now, we have despite Christianity. Every social reform, Christians have fought against.

    It’s why secular countries are becoming MORE secular.

    It has been the triumph of secularism over religious dogma which incidentally the Middle East needs to do as well.

  • Barbara

    You know so little about so much; it’s kind of frightening. Yet you’re so completely sure about everything you’re entirely ignorant about.

    You have literally NO IDEA what “my premise” is; that’s because you’re not listening and clearly don’t care to listen. You’re just spewing endless nonsense from inside your own head all over this thread. You must just enjoy the sound of your own voice.

  • Barbara

    Oh, yeah. Secularism is absolutely marvelous. Just look at the 20th Century! World Wars, mass genocides, killing on an industrial scale; fantastic stuff!

    Half a billion people slaughtered in 100 years; that’s a world record. Can’t wait to see what you guys have cooked up for us next!

    Looking forward to seeing you renounce secularism now; not holding my breath….

  • Barbara

    “Stephen Hawking Warns Humanity Could Destroy Itself In The Next 100 Years,” January 16, 2016: http://www.iflscience.com/space/stephen-hawking-warns-humanity-could-destroy-itself-next-100-years

    ‘Stephen Hawking has warned that humanity is in danger of destroying itself in the next 100 years as we rapidly progress in the realms of science and technology.

    Speaking to the BBC, he said that while progress was good, it creates “new ways things can go wrong.” He highlighted nuclear war, global warming, and genetically-engineered viruses as possible harbingers of doom of our own creation.

    This is not the first time Hawking has warned that we face a self-made disaster; in 2014, he said that artificial intelligence could “spell the end of the human race.”’

  • Bones

    Yeah they say the same about gays.

    It’ll be the end of society.

    Not quite sure what Professor Hawkins has to do with Ancient Middle Eastern codes but I’m sure there’s a point there somewhere.

  • Bones

    If you think Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia are secular than you’re mad and totally ignorant.

    They actually are examples of state religion.

    Christianity had its over thousand years reign and the destruction it caused has turned people away from ever having a religious theocracy.

    But I”m sure there are countries where you might be happier like Christian Uganda or the Middle East.

  • Bones

    Your premise is laid out for all to see in this discussion.

    You’re all over the place.

    Like the Law is wonderful…..except for the bits I don’t like.

    You’ve actually shown yourself to be pretty stupid.

  • Barbara

    Heh. And I suppose the 19th Centruy, and all those wars – and Euopean colonialism and all its attendant slaughter – were just some other form of religion in disguise as well.

    Of course the logical end of this line of argument is that there really aren’t any actual examples of “secularism” at all. Except for maybe the past five minutes or so?

  • Barbara

    In other words, you’re a fundamentalist, like any other. Yawn.

  • Bones

    Lol.

    You don’t have a clue.

  • Bones

    Actually most of those wars were about getting out of the power of the Vatican so yeah like religion had a lot to do with it.

    It wasn’t secularists burning witches and heretics.

    Now you clearly don’t understand what secularism is verses dictatorial totalitarian regimes and state religion. Secularism is the separation Church and State like I don’t know, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden , Norway, Israel…….

    “Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries.”

    Now maybe you want the Catholic Church to run this country and go back to the good ol days. But even they have been forced to tone down their message because it was unpalatable to a secular society.

    It’s hard to tell what you’re actually thinking because you’re all over the place.

    The rights you have come from secularism – not from any divine Law….

    In fact if it was up to many Christians , you wouldn’t have any.

  • JINNY

    I tend to believe Jesus over Paul (Matthew 5). Also understand that what Christians consider “sin” is not so considered by the Jews. For us, it ends in eternal damnation. For them, it’s a couple of weeks of no Temple (except in cases of capital punishment). Also do not forget that Jesus was a Pharisee and kept the law himself, as did 99% of the apostles and disciples. Jesus’s negative messages concerning “the law” all referenced the add ons from the Rabbis over the centuries, not what was written in Leviticus. He did liberate the Jews from their own overly stringent exaggerations of the law, but BEING THE LAW HIMSELF (In the beginning was The WORD) he wouldn’t have said he was irrelevant. Jews to this day believe Leviticus is a gift that leads to a peaceful life now and brings great rewards.

  • Arbustin

    Those “higher and perfect” laws of Jesus are contained in the “Old law” itself, at Deut. 6:4 and Lev. 19:18.

  • Realist1234

    And yet Jesus didnt say if you follow all the Law’s requirements, you will live. Jesus and Paul are in total agreement. Only Jesus’ death on the cross can deal with sin, as prophesied by Daniel over 500 years earlier (Daniel 9).

  • Realist1234

    It should be noted that Jesus was saying nothing new when He said, for example, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind and all of your strength” – this was simply reiterating the first part of the Shema, which Jews said a number of times each day by way of a prayer. It also includes the words “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one”, which makes it obvious why the Jews were so often ready to stone Jesus to death for blasphemy when He claimed equality with the God of Israel. I recently read a book by Brant Pitre called ‘The Case for Jesus’ which looks at Jesus’ life, death and resurrection in the context of 1st Century Judaism. I found it very enlightening and would highly recommend it – as a former student of Bart Ehrman, he also takes him to task on a number of matters, confirming yet again to me that Ehrman really is no ‘scholar’.

  • Realist1234

    Agreed. From personal experience, I find satan to be the accuser, not the law, indeed he will often twist what God has said to produce guilt, as he did in the garden. But the Law could never bring ‘life’. Only Jesus can do that.

  • JINNY

    Paul contradicts Jesus all of the time. In this specific instance, compare Romans 10:4 to Matt 5: 17-18

  • JINNY

    Also consider that Jesus followed the law and all of his followers followed the law until Peter’s dream 10 something years later. James continued to keep the law even after that. He wouldn’t have been allowed into the Temple, otherwise.

  • Realist1234

    There is no contradiction. Jesus is saying the Old Testament continues to be important, which Christians agree with (eg Thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal etc), and that He is personally fulfilling it, including the sacrificial system. Paul says the same thing – ‘Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes’. Jesus said anyone who believes in Him will be saved, which includes receiving His righteousness.

  • Realist1234

    Im not sure about 10 years after Jesus, but lets agree a few years. And yes following Peter’s vision, he realised the gospel was for Gentiles (the ‘unclean’) as well as the Jews. But Jewish followers of Jesus at that time, and indeed today, still viewed themselves as Jews, but ones that now believed that their awaited Messiah had come, as prophesied for example in the book of Daniel, in the person of Jesus.

  • JINNY

    Very true. I just see far too many Christians deriding the original law, which God gave to us as a gift to make life better, when what Jesus was talking against was man’s amendments to those laws, which were ridiculous. I think the distinction should be recognized. If God thinks something is important, why should we have a bad attitude toward it, even if it no longer applies?

  • J. Inglis

    Your theory breaks down because, among other things, God gave Peter a vision that it was no longer wrong to eat unclean foods (and so those OT laws are abrogated), and Paul wrote that circumcision was no longer necessary and that it was not necessary to celebrate particular days (that would include the festivals commanded in the OT).

    So basically, God’s apostles are telling us that we don’t need to obey the law as written in the OT.

  • JINNY

    Actually, you are making my point. Peter had a dream. Years, maybe even a decade, after Jesus died. Concerning circumcision, James disagreed with him. James had access to the inner parts of the Temple. He would not have been allowed in had he eaten pork or been uncircumcised. This is why I say I side with Jesus over Paul. If it had been that important, he would have said something to James, who he left in as much authority as Peter. And Peter waffled – he went back and forth between Paul’s arguments and James’s. My other point is that Christians should not be disrespectful in their speech about a law, given as a gift that would help people live peaceful and fruitful lives, as though it were unimportant. Had Jesus thought the law unimportant, would he have followed it? I think Christianity is more Paulianity. Who does it really follow? Christ or Paul?

  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    Mr. Corey dude, really?

    While you point to a passage in Revelation about the ‘accuser’ did you miss the fact that it is Satan who is the Accuser? Did you miss those passages in Revelation? Did you miss Satan standing before God in the Book of Job? Where was the Mosaic Law then? Was Job under the Mosaic Law?

    ***
    Corey, does this whole passage, in its context, make it sound to you that the Devil isn’t more than a ‘thing’ or that it is the Law?

    Rev. 12:7-12) And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent*(*remember ‘Gen. ch. 3’?*)*, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. 10 I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
    ***
    The Law God gave through Moses is still a useful thing that helps to establish what sin is and that sin does indeed exist in the world. It is also said that without the Law, there is no basis for judging sin. Thus the law from God gives us something against which God can ‘judge’ the whole of the world. Jesus is the ultimate means of that law that He can judge ppl ‘guilty’ of sin for rejecting Jesus the fulfiller of the Law.