Ask Your Preacher
How do the gospel writers reapply the Law of Moses for the New Testaments communities of faith? Also, what aspects of the Law, if any, are still in operation, and what aspects are no longer binding over God’s people? Thanks.
Dear Law Learner,
Jesus was born a Jew (Matt 1:17), lived under the Jewish law (Lk 2:41-42), and even taught His fellow Jews to obey the Old Testament law (Matt 23:1-3). Judaism was the right religion, until Jesus died on the cross and replaced Judaism with Christianity. The Old Testament, the law the Jews followed, was a tutor to lead people to Christ, but after Jesus came, mankind was supposed to follow Him instead (Gal 3:24-25). The Jewish law said that someday there would come a Messiah who would save them from their sins – Jesus was that Messiah (Jhn 1:45). The Jewish law taught mankind that they needed a Savior, and that they should prepare for His coming. Jesus came providing the grace and truth that wasn’t possible under Jewish law (Jhn 1:17). Jesus’ death made a permanent sacrifice for sins that none of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever could (Heb 10:1-4).
The Old Testament was a tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24), but now that Christ is here, He has fulfilled the law, and we are no longer bound by its laws (Gal 3:25). The Old Testament still provides many wonderful examples and lessons of morality (1 Cor 10:11), but its specific laws no longer apply.
Do you know why the medium freaked out after seeing the ghostly Samuel (1 Sam 28:12)?
Dear Surprise Me,
One reason she was so scared was because once she realized that the man who had hired her to conjure up a ghost was King Saul, she feared for her life. Saul had previously cast out all the mediums from the land (1 Sam 28:3). The other likely reason was that she had never actually seen a ghost! Mediums and sorcerors were charlatans back then just as much as they are today.
Is it a sin to marry or have a relationship with your first cousin?
The Bible never condemns marrying your first cousin. Even in the Old Testament, the prohibition only extended as far as aunts and uncles (Lev 18:12-14). It isn’t a sin to marry your first cousin. In fact, it hasn’t even been culturally taboo for very long. Even two or three generations ago, it was much more common to marry a first cousin. Today, it is an odd thing to see a first cousin marriage, but it isn’t wrong. Cultures change all the time, and this is a cultural issue, not a Biblical one.
I was told by someone from the church of Christ that I was not saved because I was not baptized in the church of Christ. When I was baptized, I was doing it for Jesus and then for the body to show my faith. Am I not saved?
The word ‘baptism’ simply means ‘immersion’ – it is the reason for your immersion that makes baptism a soul-saving act. When we understand that baptism saves us from our sins (1 Pet. 3:21) and are baptized by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38) and believe in His Name (Mk. 16:16), then that baptism saves us. Many people are baptized without understanding these things… in which case, they just get wet. Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”. Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21). Baptism is the point when someone goes from being lost to being saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5). Baptism is the final requirement to become a christian (Acts 2:37-38, Mk 16:16, Acts 2:41). There is not a single example of someone becoming a christian without baptism. You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not you understood what you were doing when you were baptized (Php 2:12). Ask yourself the question, “When I was baptized, did I believe baptism was when I became saved, or did I think I was saved before I was baptized?” If you believed you were saved before you were baptized, then you didn’t do it for the right reasons.
Help me try to harmonize these Scriptures (Matt 27: 3-8 and Acts 1: 18-19) about Judas when one says that he purchased a field, and the other says he left the money.
Dear Questioning Accounts,
Matt 27:3-8 and Acts 1:18-19 are two sides to the same story. Matt 27:3-8 says that Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver back at the chief priests and elders. The chief priests said that they couldn’t put the money back into the temple treasury because it was “blood money” (Matt 27:6), so they instead used the money to purchase the potter’s field (Matt 27:7). In the Acts account, we see that they purchased the field using Judas’ silver, and they purchased it in Judas’ name (Acts 1:18). That particular field was purchased because it was the one that Judas had hung himself in. The field became synonymous with blood money and death because of the grisly details surrounding its purchase and Judas’ demise (Acts 1:19).