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.
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).
Why are women no longer required to cover their hair when they come into a church? Are we being disrespectful to God and our husbands by not covering our hair?
Lady In Wonder
Dear Lady In Wonder,
Women must always have their heads covered while praying (1 Cor 11:5), but God has built into every woman a permanent head-covering – her hair (1 Cor 11:15). God designed men and women differently… this should be no surprise to anyone that has ever dealt with the opposite gender! Men are to be the leaders in the home (Eph 5:23) and the church (Tit 1:5-6). Women are the heart of the family (Tit 2:4-5), and men are not complete without them (1 Cor 11:12). Both genders are equal heirs of salvation, but they are designed with different strengths and roles (1 Pet 3:7). One way that God signifies this is by having men look different from women. When women have long hair and men have short hair – it pleases God (1 Cor 11:14-15). There are varying degrees of long and short hair, but ultimately – men are to look like men, and women are to look like women. This principle is even borne out in the Old Testament (Deut 22:5). The teachings of 1 Cor 11:1-16 are simply teaching that a woman’s long hair is a God-given covering for her head, and men are not to have that same covering due to their varying roles in leadership.
Jesus said "Get behind me, Satan!" in Matt 16:23 and Mark 8:33, but throughout the whole chapters of Matthew 16 and Mark 8, there are no details given if the devil is literally present at this scene or of him taking any action or starting a dialogue. It just says Jesus mentioned the word "Satan." A buddy tells me that Peter is possessed by the devil, but I'm not so sure about that because he doesn't act like a demoniac, and also Peter seems so concerned about Jesus after Christ telling him about His suffering and death. Another buddy suggests that since Matt 16:23 says "Jesus turned and said to Peter...", Christ is calling Peter a "Satan" or, more literally, an adversary, but how do you explain this?
A Little Help Please
Dear A Little Help Please,
The word 'satan' literally just means 'adversary'. Context decides whether or not 'satan' is referring to the great adversary or just a normal adversary or opponent. The latter part of Matt 16:23 makes it clear that Jesus is telling Peter that he is opposing God's will and being an adversary to God's plans. There is no reason to believe Peter was possessed – Peter just wasn't respecting God's wishes.
What is The Feast of Dedication that is mentioned in John 10:22?
I Like Parties!
Dear I Like Parties,
The Feast of Dedication was a national Jewish holiday – but not one instituted by God. Just like Americans have Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, etc., the Jews had several holidays that they regularly observed that had nothing to do with Old Testament law. Judas Maccabee, a famous Jewish warrior (his nickname was Judas the Hammer), instituted the Feast of Dedication in 164 BC in commemoration of the day when they cleansed the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. The feast began on the 18th of December and lasted eight days.