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We are not under the law - A Study of Gal 5:18
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We are not under the law - A Study of Gal 5:18

     Q: Doesn't the verse "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law" (Gal 5:18)mean that we are no longer "officially" obligated to observe all ten of GOD's Ten Commandments?
 
A: You have to remember when you are studying the concept of law in the bible that there are two laws in the bible. One law is GOD's Ten Commandments which is also called "The Law of Liberty" and the other law is the Ceremonial Law also referred to as "The Law of Moses". Whenever you are studying law in the bible you have to be sure and understand the context in which law is being used in order to accurately determine which law is being discussed. GOD said "all his commandments aresure. They stand fast forever and ever..." (Psalms 111:7,8) but the ceremonial law which was given to Moses ended at the cross, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." (Col 2:14). We know it was the ceremonial law that ended at the cross and not the Ten Commandments because in Col 2:14 it says "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us". We can confirm that the "handwriting of ordnances that was against us" was the ceremonial law by studying Deuteronomy 31:24-26 “And it came to pass, when MOSES HAD MADE AN END OF WRITING THE WORDS OF THIS LAW IN A BOOK, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, TAKE THIS BOOK OF THE LAW, AND PUT IT IN THE SIDE OF THE ARK of the covenant of the LORD your GOD, that it may be there for a witness AGAINST THEE.” GOD wrote the Ten Commandments with HIS own finger in stone, but Moses "handwrote" the ceremonial law in a book. Notice that the "handwriting of ordinances that was against us" is the ceremonial law "handwritten" by Moses, not GOD's Ten Commandments.
            Now we have to determine in what context the word "law" is being used in Gal 5:18 and we can determine what law we are no longer "under". To do this we simply read the entire chapter to get the context, when we do this we notice that what is mainly being discussed is the topic of circumcision. "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal 5:3,4). The argument in this chapter is whether or not to continue the practice of circumcision according to the "law", but Paul tells the Jews that if they continue to practice the ceremonial law they are denying the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross since they are clinging to a now defunct law for their salvation.
            The last piece of the puzzle is to biblically confirm that circumcision was part of the ceremonial law. We can use the book of John to do just that, "Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision..." (John 7:22) and "...receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should not be broken..." (John 7:23). These verses also reference the Sabbath day of GOD's Ten Commandments but only in the context of whether a circumcision, which could be considered work, should be done on the Sabbath day, but the circumcision itself was considered part of the Law of Moses.
            So through accurate bible study we can firmly determine that if we are led by the spirit we are not under the "ceremonial" law. GOD's law, the Ten Commandments, stand forever! "...keep ALL MY COMMANDMENTS ALWAYS, that it might be well with them, and with their children FOR EVER!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)
 
Amen!
ken elliott jr 2009