Christ replaces Moses as a lawgiver, just as He replaced other Old Testament types. Moses was the shadow, but Christ is the substance. Moses gave laws to a civil nation made up of mostly unregenerate people. Christ gave laws for a nation of fully regenerate people who all know the Lord and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Christ swallows up and replaces Moses as a lawgiver. Just like He swallows up and replaces Aaron as a priest. And He swallows up and replaces David as a king. Is Christ a true priest? He’s the only true Priest that ever lived. Aaron was just doing stuff there with rams and stuff. He wasn’t interceding truly and taking away sin. Aaron was a shadow. Christ is the reality, you see.
The only real priest that ever lived was the Lord Jesus Christ. Was He a King? Yeah, He’s the only King who’s ever been. He’s the King of kings and Lord of lords. Everything that any other king – David or Solomon or whoever – they were just little shadows. They were weak men.
Now, beloved, listen to this. Is Christ the Lawgiver? Yeah, He’s the only Lawgiver there’s ever been. Moses was the shadow. He is the one that speaks the very words of God. Now that gives you a little different perspective about the Sermon on the Mount. People say, well, all He’s doing there is correcting false Jewish ideas about what Moses said. No, He is not. You’ve heard this about performing vows. I say to you don’t do it at all. How’s that correcting false ideas? See? You have heard you shall not commit adultery. I say to you whoever looks on a woman to lust has committed adultery already. The law of Moses was not talking about that. It was talking about a civil nation exercising the death penalty for an actual act of adultery. A judge in Israel had no way of knowing whether somebody committed adultery in his heart. Now, that doesn’t mean it was right back then. In fact, we learn from Job that he wouldn’t look on a woman. But the fact is is the Mosaic law itself was dealing with a civil nation.
Now what do we have? Well, that mount was glorious where God gave that law written by the finger of God, but if you have eyes to see, there was something more glorious than that. If I could choose, I’d like to be there at that mountain and see that mountain on fire and all that? No. I’d like to be there at the Sermon on the Mount where God Incarnate sat and said, I say unto you… You have heard this, but I say unto you… What’s He doing there? He’s telling us deeper things, yes, but what He’s doing is He’s giving the laws of His kingdom. And these are laws that can never be given to a civil nation – a physical nation of mostly unregenerate Jews. Most of them were unregenerate. Look at the way they lived.
But He’s giving laws that are for a nation of 100% regenerate people who all know the Lord and are indwelt by the Spirit. There’s stuff that’s absolutely impossible for anyone other than one empowered by the very life of Christ coming from outside themselves and filling them with strength to do it. And these are not legalistic 1, 2, 3, 4… They’re guideposts. They’re saying if somebody slaps you on one cheek, turn the other also.
Well, now what does that mean exactly? I got cheated on the Internet… You see, He’s giving us principles of life that is in a different realm. And the idea of going out here to the world and saying well, we need to impose the Sermon on the Mount on the world. That’s nonsense. That’s what pacifism says. That’s nonsense. The world’s not going to live by that standard. It can’t. So then you’ve got other people that come along and they say we need to impose the law of Moses on the world. Totally missing the picture that was given to a physical nation in a theonomy, in a theocracy, where you could go to God and say what are we going to do in this situation? God says he needs to be stoned to death. We don’t have that now. That applied to the nation of Israel. That’s gone. This applies to a spiritual nation. Sermon on the Mount. And that’s the church. It doesn’t apply to this world. They can’t possibly live in this. It’s a miracle whenever we live in it in any measure, you know. It’s incredible.
You remember in Deuteronomy 13 God says if your dearest friend or the wife of your bosom tries to lead you away to another God, what are you supposed to do? Remember what the penalty is? Anybody? Stone them to death. Your hand shall be the first. You shall not spare or pity them. So, if you live under the old covenant, you don’t come in and share in the prayer meeting, please pray for my husband. He’s become a Jehovah’s Witness. You don’t do that. The commandment of God was to stone them to death. And you were to be the first. You say, that’s a bad law. No, that was a perfect, that was a wonderful law for the situation into which it was given. Because He’s restraining, He’s teaching, He’s taking these people that are in this infancy stage and childhood stage and He’s got them under a strict tutor for their own good.
And what did He say? Then they’ll all hear. Nobody will ever do this thing again. You see, He’s restraining them through the law. He’s trying to teach them basic principles of right and wrong and truth to preserve some remnant of understanding until the Messiah would come. But we’re in a different realm now. It’s an amazing thing. We’re not in that realm where we stone to death our husband or wife. We’re in the realm where we come and share at a prayer meeting and we start praying for them.
Beloved, Christianity is made to flourish in a pluralistic society where people beat us up. It’s not magisterial. We’re going to kill these homosexuals. That’s not the way it is at all. We’re in a realm now where the blessing – God teaches Abraham – He blesses him with all these physical blessings to let us know, you know, that He’ll bless those who serve God. And He still does it today in many ways. But by the time you come to Christianity, He’s wanting you to grow up enough that you realize that somebody like the Apostle Paul may not have anywhere to lay his head. And he says often sleepless and hungry. And He wants us to grow up enough to realize that God’s blessing is resting on that man mightily. You see how much more mature? Paul says in Galatians 3 moving into Galatians 4, he says you’re sons now. You’re no longer under that schoolmaster. You’ve got the Spirit of adoption. You’re full grown sons.
My oldest son is in his thirties now. I don’t have a list. I don’t tell him anymore: you’ve got to tie your shoestrings. I don’t call him in the morning: put your shoes on. And you’ve got to brush your teeth. Did you remember to brush your teeth? Don’t put your gum under the table. What is it? Much, much fewer rules and regulations. Much, much greater responsibility.
Our responsibility, beloved, is so big. We can’t comprehend it. He has opened the doors up. He says I take all those laws off of you. Now be like Me. It’s unbelievable. We’re free. Paul says you’re free from the law. It’s amazing. He’s dealing with the Corinthians talking about immorality. He could so easily quote – the Bible says in the law of Moses, you shall not commit adultery. What’s he doing? Dealing with Corinthians. The most immoral culture around and he starts talking to them about – he says you’re the temple of the Holy Spirit. Totally different way of approaching everything.
See, the law of Christ surpasses the law of Moses as much as sonship surpasses slavery. That’s how much it is. The law of Moses restrained and constrained a civil/physical nation of mostly unregenerate people. Held them in check for their own good. It was perfect for the setting in which it was given.
But we’re in a realm now that is unbelievable in terms of the liberty and the responsibility that we’ve been given. So Jesus saying things like they hit you on one cheek, turn the other one. You’ve heard that it was said you shall not commit adultery. I say this reaches right down into your thought life. Deal radically with it. You have heard you shall not murder. He says I’m telling you if you’ve got hatred in your heart, you’re a murderer already. And John says in 1 John, we know that no murderer has eternal life. You don’t stand and tell a group of Christians you know, we Christians, ought not to hate each other the way we do. If you hate people, you’re not a Christian. We know that we’ve passed from death to life because we love the brethren. That’s that law written on the heart.
Now, I’m almost done here. Well, after what I just heard him say, I’m going to take this and I’ll try to get the right spot. This big part of the Bible – I’m just going to throw that out. We’re in the new covenant now. No, that’s exactly wrong, isn’t it? (incomplete thought) We call this the Old Testament. But beloved, the old covenant is a different thing than that first part of our Bible. We’re not under the old covenant, but this whole first part of our Bible is still the Word of God to us. It is still absolutely authoritative. And Jesus said not one stroke – not one jot or tittle or one iota will pass away until all is accomplished. It’s the Word of God. He says in Timothy that all Scripture is inspired by God and so on. And he says that the man of God might be adequate. He’s talking about the Old Testament. New Testament hadn’t been written yet. You see, the big things about God and His character have never changed in the least. They haven’t changed. And all of this is the Word of God to us.