Leviticus 23:1-2 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Not too many of us read the Old Testament scriptures, and as a result are poorly educated on its importance. In many institutions it is taught as the Old covenant, a book not of importance causing many to ignore its value.
Before calling for the Old Testament, we are more incline to draw for the New Testament. In our minds it is the book concerning the grace of God replacing the traditional laws of the scripture presented in the Old. But is the Old Testament as we call it really an old book? I believe not as we are about to discover in this series of studies.
We will be looking at the feasts presented in the Old covers of the Bible, and the reason is, so that we might investigate its importance. Another reason we will be looking at the ancient covers of the Bible is to validate the claims we are not to uphold the old covenants. Through this research we will see clearly the reality of the covenants of God, and the symbols they point toward.
Jesus in his message told the people gathered, ” I did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but that he came to fulfill them”. For some of us this means we are to adhere to the ancient laws of the scriptures, and to others we are under grace and he has already fulfill the law; therefore, the is no need to obey the old. But did he?
Why would Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but that he came to fulfill them. If he thought they were out dated, according to many teachers of the scripture why did he make this claim. And if he has fulfilled the law on our behalf why is there a need for us to keep his commandments. Jesus told us, “: If you love me keep my commandments.” It all seems to point back to the law, although we are not under law, but under grace.
But before we delve into the reality of the feasts, there is a need for us to clarify what grace is, and what purpose the law serves in our modern time, and ancient times. It is very important we understand these two points, and it is when we do we will be able to live out our salvation as Christ intended.
So, what is grace? grace for many is the ability to live for God although we are sinners, and for others it might mean something else. But the most frequent response is the first answer, we are able to live for God although we are sinners. Although we are never guiltless, we through the actions of Christ are saved from the power of sin, which produces death, and at the end of the age will enter the kingdom of God.
Are we saved as a result of our good works? No we are not, we are rather saved on account of Christ’s death and resurrection. Because we through our ancestor, Adam had rebelled against God, death was the curse that came upon the world, and as a result we deserve to die. But God who saw us in our weakness, chose to give up his life for us as a sacrifice paying the penalty for our sins giving us life eternal. We are guilty of sin, but on account of God’s grace, underserved love we are forgiven.
Grace then is the product of God’s action toward us, forgiving us of our sins, that although we are sinners we are given full access to the kingdom of God crediting his son’s righteousness to our account.
So what purpose does the law serves, and is it important? This for many centuries has been a big debate. It has caused many church splits, and is the reason for many forms of denominations. For some it is important we serve the law, others not, and going back and forth through the writings of Paul we have challenged ourselves to the core of exhaustion.
The purpose of the law is for our benefit, it is to guide us in the way of Christ. It is shocking to know that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives he credits the righteousness of the law to our lives. When we come to Christ our hearts are transformed, and suddenly we desire to obey the law. Because of this desire, and our lack of knowledge we become confused based on teachings whether we need to obey the law, or not.
But why are we suddenly arose to obey and follow the law? Is it because of the Holy Spirit, or our quest for righteousness? No, it is rather because of the new desire of God placed within us. The law is our road map keeping us on the path of righteousness, not the means to salvation, for by the law we cannot obtain salvation.
This is where the confusion lives, many believe we are able to obtain salvation by obeying the law, which is where the law loses its power. The law to the contrary of many is the there to judge us when we go wrong, and our guide to repentance, and our way back to the straight path. Although it is important, it carries not the power of salvation, salvation is a free gift to the world, and Christ is our savior.
Let us think about it for a moment, how did we come to Christ, did we come by the law, or obeying the law then we accept Christ, or did we first come to Christ then look to the law for instruction. I believe it is the latter. In order to be saved, we must all accept and acknowledge that Jesus is the King, our savior and Lord, and despite the law and our short comings, only he can save us.
To sum it up, the purpose of the law is to instruct, but Christ is our savior. Those who have rejected Christ can in no way through good works, or by obeying the law find salvation. They will only meet guilt and condemnation, which is the effect of the law that they might seek salvation in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:8-15 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
What Paul is saying here is this, the works he does in the name of Christ are works done by the power and Spirit of Christ, for as a carnal man he hates and opposes Christ. Before the law he was free having no guilt of wrong, but when the law came it brought death on account of what it reveals to him.
The law then which is holy has revealed to him his need for salvation, a salvation he seeks in the person of Christ. Sin is made to be exceedingly sinful calling to the mind guilt. The freedom he seeks before the law was presented can only be obtained through and in Christ Jesus who gave his life for all. “For that which I do I allow not”: he hates the works of righteousness which he allows not; therefore, the works he does through Christ are not the works of Paul, but that of the Spirit of Christ.
“For what I would, that do I not”; Paul would rather live in sin, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, but on account of the law he knows to control his flesh; therefore, he does not the things he would rather be doing.” but what I hate, that do I”. Before he came to Christ he loved the world, and the things of the world, but when he came to Christ, he now do the things he once hated. Through Paul and Christ we see the importance of the law, that it is for our benefit, and that it is good, holy, and just.