What Is The Law Of Moses? Of What Does It Consist?
Updated: Feb 9
Day 16 of the 22 Day Salvation Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
I. What is the Law of Moses? Of what does it consist? The Mosaic Law is more than the 10 commandments. It contains 613 commandments. II. What is the purpose of the Law of Moses? Why was it given? The Mosaic Law was given for several reasons. It has many good and valid purposes. PURPOSES OF THE LAW OF MOSES: 1. To reveal the holiness of God In the Law of Moses, we see what God accepts and doesn’t accept as far as behavior is concerned. When one reads the Law, they discover that God is a very Holy God. God desires that all people know that He is holy and opposed to all sin and evil. The Law clearly sets forth His standards of right and wrong. It doesn’t matter if people have a different opinion as to what is right or wrong. If God has spoken on a certain subject and reveals His feelings about it, that’s what’s important. We are obligated to conform our behavior to His standards. It’s not the other way around. Lev. 19:1-2 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 1 Pet. 1:15-16 - but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. 2. To reveal and expose the sinfulness of man and sin The Law is like a mirror. It will reveal dirt on someone’s face when they look into it, but it doesn’t have the ability to cleanse it. As we read the Law, we see our sin and how dreadful it is in the sight of God. But, we are left without a means of cleansing except for the fact of what God did through His Son the Messiah. Rom. 3:19-20 - Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Rom. 7:7 - What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 3. To reveal the standards of holiness required of those who desire fellowship with God The Law sets down the standards and principles for those who desire to walk in fellowship with God. Israel was a nation uniquely called by God. In order for them to walk in fellowship with God, they needed to walk in a way that was pleasing to Him. The Law lays down many of the standards that would aid them in this. Ps. 24:3-4 - Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, And has not sworn deceitfully. 4. To make provision for the covering of sin and to make possible restoration back to fellowship In Leviticus chapters 1-7 there are five offerings described. One of the things the Law did was to prove to Israel that they sinned and fell short of God’s standards. But, God provided a way for their sins to be covered. The offerings did not take away sin, but they manifested that the person offering them looked forward by faith to a time when one would come and take away their sin. In the meantime, the offerings helped them keep sin in check. 5. To make a distinction between Israel and all other nations Haman was exactly right in his conclusions about Israel’s laws. They were different. This was really one of the specific reasons for many of their commandments. Their dietary laws, their clothing laws, their laws about worship, just to name a few, were given to keep them distinct and separate from the other nations. This was God’s desire for Israel. One of the places that Israel ran into trouble was when they became relaxed in this and they became like the other nations that were around them. Esth. 3:8 - Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. 6. To help a person understand they need to be saved It was through Saul’s reading of the Law that he discovered his problem with coveting. Before this information, Saul of Tarsus didn’t see this major flaw in himself. God can still use His Law in this way. When unsaved people read the Word of God, they will come across verses that will manifest their sinfulness. Rom. 7:7-9 - What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “ You shall not covet. But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died. 7. The Law was to be a unifying principle for the nation of Israel The Law was designed to bring the people of Israel together under the same umbrella of standards, rules, and regulations. When Israel was presented with this, they agreed to do them. This is not unlike what the Word of God should be for the believer. That which is in the Bible is our standard for belief and behavior. It separates us from the world, but, unites us with all other true believers. Ex. 19:7-8 So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do! And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. 8. The Law was given to make provision and give direction for Israel to worship God In the Law, we find all that Israel needed to know to worship God. The Holy Feast Days were laid out for them in Leviticus 23. Directions for the tabernacle, the priesthood, and the sacrifices were clearly given. Israel was not allowed to worship God as they thought best. It was made known to them by God as to how they were to worship Him and much of that information is contained in the Law. 9. The Law was designed to lead one to Jesus as Messiah Paul explains that the Law was a “tutor.” In ancient cultures, a tutor was usually a slave who was responsible for watching over a child. He would take them to and from school and check their behavior. They would seek to teach the child right from wrong. In Paul’s analogy, the Law did that. It taught the Jewish people about themselves. When the Law is properly used, it will lead a person to the Messiah Jesus. Gal. 3:24-25 - Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Coming Next – Characteristics of the Law