Has the Law been set aside?
Heb 7:18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
Heb 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (NKJV)
Heb 7:18 The old rule, then, is set aside, because it was weak and useless.
Heb 7:19 For the Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been provided through which we come near to God. (GNB)
Now I do not write this to incite fleshly people to have an excuse to break the Law of God. As Paul said in Romans 6, “Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under Grace? Certainly not!” I write this because so many of us live with an eye on Law to gauge our spiritual progress. Many are slaving under law based living trying to be perfected by the flesh. But as this verse clearly tells us the Law is weak and useless when it comes to making anyone perfect or complete.
All the Law is good for is to show us we are lawless sinners who need a Saviour. Once we have realised that by the grace of God we no longer need to be under the Law’s tutelage. The Law is a hard task master, it’s purpose being to leave us condemned by it’s high and lofty standard.
The Law of course is perfect but it was given to imperfect humans who would never be able to keep it perfectly. That is why it is weak and unprofitable,(Rom 8:3) because it depended upon man to keep it. God found fault with the Law for this reason.(Heb 8:7) Of course God knew before hand that the Law was not the end deal and that it would be replaced with a new governing principle which did not require mankind to be able to keep his side of the deal.
God has put away the Law for “Christ is the END(goal) OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS to everyone who believes.” (Rom 10:4) But do you see that?…The Law has been replaced by Jesus Himself. He Himself is the new law! But Christ is only “the end of the Law for righteousness” to those who believe in Him as their full and complete righteousness.
If we do not believe in Jesus Christ then we are still under the condemnation of the Law even though Jesus has paid the price for our freedom from the Law. We must come to a place where we receive Jesus as our right standing with the Father—then the Law stops condemning us for we are no longer trying to be made right.
The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. But if we are trying to be made right with God on a daily basis through what we do then the law of sin and death still exerts dominion over us. A life lived under the Law even if we are believers in Jesus will be a life of death and sin. Sin will continue to have the mastery over a “believer” until he believes that he died on the cross with Jesus and was raised up with Him to newness of life.
Until we stop trying to measure up and accept that in our own self we will never measure up, we will continue experiencing the dominance of sin and death- Law
A better hope has been provided or as the King James puts it, the bringing in of a better hopeTHROUGH which we draw nigh to God. That “better hope” is Jesus Himself. Through the body of Jesus crucified for us, buried for us, raised for us, we enter into hope. When He died we died. When He was buried we were buried. When Jesus was raised we were raised with Him, in Him. These things we speak . Faith speaks these things for they are the reality that set us free from sin and death.
God has done away with the Law for a believer in Jesus. In fact the word in Hebrews 7:18 is a noun, “athetesis” and it means:
abolition, disannulling, put away, rejection
and comes from the verb atheteo meaning:
1) to do away with, to set aside, disregard
2) to thwart the efficacy of anything, nullify, make void, frustrate
3) to reject, to refuse, to slight (Thayer)
Let no Christian be under any doubt. God has put away the Law for the one who believes!! If you do not believe in Jesus as your ONLY righteousness the Law is very much alive and active over you still. That is not pleasant at all!
For where there is law, there are law enforcers and punishments and prosecutors.
We still struggle with sins only because we have not fully appropriated His grace. Grace sets us free from the Law and thus from sin. If you fully accept Jesus as your righteousness you will not sin for His Life is the grace that you are accepting as your own and it lifts us up into a spiritual life where Christ is.
But if you and I still try to please God by our efforts at the Christian life, even good religious things, especially them, then we will find the Law and the Accuser waiting for us up ahead.
Many are trying to overcome the flesh with it’s imperfections and lusts by will power, methods, Scripture reading, praying, fasting, worshiping, praising, serving others, etc etc etc–all this is in vain. The ONLY thing that avails says Paul, is a new creation.(Gal 6:15) The flesh profits nothing. The flesh and the law go hand in hand. Living that way is death.
What does the Scripture say: Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and lusts. Gal 5:24. Not they need to crucify the flesh…but have already crucified it. Believing in Jesus as your only righteousness automatically crucified the flesh. Not believing, but instead trying to establish our own righteousness allows the flesh to keep reigning over us even though we are born again.
It is through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, AND OURSELVES in HIM, that we enter into this better hope and find rest for our souls. For then we cease from all our works. Gal 2:20, Heb 4:10
It is the same today and in every age since Adam in the Garden. There are still two trees to choose between. The flesh sees the wrong tree which to it’s eyes seems like the right tree! “After all”, we reason, “how can trying to be a good person be wrong??” The tree of death is the tree of the knowledge of right and wrong. As long as we eat it’s fruit we are dying. There is another tree that is hidden within us, in our spirit. The Tree of Life- it is Jesus Himself in your spirit. We learn to live by Life not by intellectual reasonings. Peace and Life follow.
If all we are doing is living out of our intellect then it is death, no matter how many scriptures we include. That is how the world is run, but the Kingdom is not of this world.
If you as a believer are sitting under teaching that insists that the Old Testament law is still for you to obey in order to please God, you are being deceived just as the Galatians were and the Hebrews were too. I hope you get out from under that heavy yoke which neither Apostle Peter nor the father’s could bear and accept the easy yoke of Jesus Christ where all the work has been done for us. Acts 15:10; Matt 11:28-30
The work of God left for us to do is to simply to believe in Jesus. Jn 6:28-29