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A New Commandment

There is a lot of talk about whether we are still under the old testament law, were Gentiles ever ever under the law, and even what parts of the law we were under. Did God change the rules between the new testament and the old testament?

The law is what defines sin. Plain and simple, there is no getting around this.

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."

Rom 7:12; So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Rom 7:13; Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

Is it the law that kills us? Yes and no. The law is Holy, but we were unable to keep it. This not keeping it is known as "sin". Sin is what kills us, not the law directly.

Rom 6:23; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Exodus 20 we are given the 10 commandments. These were a part of the law, but they weren't the whole law. Were Gentiles expected to follow the ten commandments?

Josh 8:30; Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal,
Josh 8:31; just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
Josh 8:32; He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.
Josh 8:33; All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel.
Josh 8:34; Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
Josh 8:35; There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.

Notice that it says here "the strangers as well as the native". It also says " the strangers who were living among them". The israelites had just finished wandering around the desert for 40 years. There were no non-Jews living among them at that time. However when they entered Canaan and started conquering the cities there, some of the Gentiles that lived there came to be with them. This would include Rahab the Harlot who was Boaz's matriarch. Interesting to know the lineage of Jesus had Gentiles in His bloodline.

The point here was, even the Gentiles that came to live with the Jews were told the law and expected to follow it. Without the law, there can be no sin.

Gal 3:24; Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Without the law showing us what sin is, there is no reason to come to Jesus. Without sin, there would be no death and no reason to come to Jesus. Have you ever sinned? How did you know you sinned? Can you name an example of a sin that isn't in the Bible?

(New Living Translation)
Rom 2:12; When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it.
Rom 2:13; For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.
Rom 2:14; Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.
Rom 2:15; They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

When the Gentiles sin... what? Gentiles can sin? It says they can here. If they didn't have the law how did they know they were sinning? How can they be judged by the law if it wasn't given to them?

It says here that they instinctively know His laws, it says it's written on their hearts. It says their own conscience accuses them when they do right or wrong.

The plain and simple fact is, Gentiles were always under the law even in the old testament.

Here is the same passage in King James.
Rom 2:12; For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 2:13; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Rom 2:14; For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15; Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Even those who sinned "without" the law, will "perish" without the law. The bottom line is, they still die.

.... all of that, and I haven't gotten to the new commandment yet.
Matt 5:17; "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Matt 5:18; "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Matt 5:19; "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 5:20; "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus didn't abolish the law. It's still here. In fact the law doesn't go away until "heaven and earth pass away". (which hasn't happened yet in case you were wondering).
The wages of sin is still death. When we sin, someone still has to die. It isn't just the Jews who sin, "all" have sinned. Every one of us.

Rom 3:23; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Rom 5:12; Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

1 Jn 1:10; If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

The reason we die, is because of sin. Everyone of us sins. Jesus is the only human that never sinned.
So what do we do now? We're going to die. By the way... what does that mean.... doesn't everyone die? Christians and non-Christians still die physical deaths... so what is
the difference? The Bible says some people will have eternal life. How can they have eternal life if they still die?

When the Bible uses the terms "life" and "death" in the new testament, it usually isn't talking about the physical death of your body. It's talking about
spiritual life and death. Think about it, how can Jesus give us "life" if we are already alive. Why aren't there still Christians walking around from hundreds
and hundreds of years ago if we never die? Because it's talking about spiritual life and death. Your spirit lives forever. Your conscientiousness. Your "self".
Even when your body dies, the spirit lives forever. Now we don't become ghosts and wander around the earth. We either go to be with the Lord, or we
go into the lake of fire, where there is pain agony and gnashing of teeth. That's the only two options. So we can choose eternal life, or we can choose
eternal "death".

All of friends and family, those who love (and even those we don't love as much as we should) will end up in one of those two places. Plain and simple. Some don't believe it, but it doesn't matter what they believe, it matters what God's word says. Others are ignorant and have never heard any of this. Maybe they would choose Jesus if they knew the alternative.

Rom 8:2; For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

If Gentiles weren't under the law of sin to begin with, then Jesus can't set us free from it because we're already free from it.

.... still no new commandment yet.
In the old testament there was something called the "sin offering". Exod 29:14; Exod 29:36; Exod 30:10; Lev 4:3; Lev 4:8; etc...
In fact this phrase "sin offering" is in the old testament more than 100 times. When you sinned you went to a priest and confessed your sin.
He then sacrificed an animal for you as an atonement (payment) for your sin to God. All through the old covenant, everytime you sinned
you had to go have another animal killed. So much for the humane society and animal cruelty back in those days, but God's law is God's
law even if you don't like it. This couldn't be just any animal, it had to be perfect, it couldn't be sick or old, or lame or have a disease.
The whole purpose of this animal dying was because when you sinned, someone had to die. So the animal died in your place. This was sometimes
called a "scapegoat" Lev 16:8; Lev 16:10; Lev 16:26;

In the new covenant, a lot of things are still the same. We don't have priests anymore because we ourselves are considered priests.
This is one one main doctrines that separates protestants from Roman Catholics. But we still have a high-priest (Jesus) who we can confess our
sins to and He still makes a sacrifice for your sins. In fact He Himself was sacrificed on a cross for your sins. He took your place, He died for you.
If Jesus would have sinned, He would have had to die for His own sins. But since Jesus never sinned (Heb 4:15; ) He was perfect spotless, unblemished
Lamb of God for our sins. The sacrificing animals was part of the old testament law.

Under the new testament, a Lamb was slain for our sins. This Lamb was Jesus. If we Gentiles were never under the law, then Jesus wouldn't have
had to die for us. He died to pay for our sins, if we were never able to sin and we were never under the law, then Jesus died for nothing. At the
very most He only died for the Jews (if they were the only ones under the law).

.... new commandment is coming, I promise.
In the "old" testament there were over 600 laws. Some people say 300 because they think there were some duplicates. Either way, there were alot.

The 10 commandments were part of the "old" law. But now we have new rules and new commandments.

John 13:34; "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

The phrase "love one another" isn't in the old testament anywhere. On the surface it seems that people weren't required to love each other.
But there was a similar command in the old covenant. ( Lev 19:18; )

Gal 5:14; For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

Jesus actually says there are two commandments still in effect under the new covenant.

Matt 22:36; "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
Matt 22:38; "This is the great and foremost commandment.
Matt 22:39; "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
Mat 22:40; "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Mark 12:28; One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?"
Mark 12:29; Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;
Mark 12:31; "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Mark 12:32; The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;

If we were able to keep from sinning 100% there would have been no reason for Jesus to die. There would have been no sins that needed to be atoned for.
God would much rather that we "loved one another" than for us to sin and have to offer up burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Matt 9:13; "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Matt 12:7; "But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

The new commandment... is simply that we love one another. The new covenant isn't so different from the old one in some ways.
All through the old testament and even in the new testament, people wasnted others to abide by some of the testament laws.
Even Gentiles were required to do this.

Acts 15:1; Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

Acts 16:3; Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Gal 2:3; But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

Abraham wasn't a Jew, but he was circumcised. Ishmael wasn't a Jew, but he was circumcised. Gentiles were always under the law.
Even in the new testament, Titus was a Greek, but the Jews said he had to be circumcised. Timothy's father was a Greek (which would have
made him a "half-breed" Samaritan). The Jews expected Gentiles to follow the law, because Gentiles were always under the law.
Interesting but the gentiles were not allowed in the temple back fhen.
And later in book of acts they did not require gentiles to be circumcised, it was an issue in the early church. Because of Jesus sacrifice, circumcision and animal sacrifices were done away with. The law wasnt but the works of the law as the bible says, were superceded because Jesus did the work on the cross. His blood paid for our sin.

Circumcision of the heart is what counts. A pure heart renewed by the washing of the Word is what will keep us from sin. Loving others keeps us from sin.,.we are too busy loving others to fall in to sin.
Also want to add, Jesus came from line of Judah but he did not come only for the jews, he was sent first to the lost sheep of Israel. Jews are just one tribe, Judah of the twelve tribes of Israel.

All israelites were circumcised, it wasnt only the jews, but because the kingdom was split, the jews became the dominant tribe of Jerusalem, and all in their line were Kings.

Paul was sent to be apostle to the gentiles when the jews would not accept Jesus as their Messiah. The rest of the israelites did.
Gentiles are people who did not naturally descend from Abraham.
But as we see, Jesus shows us we are grafted in to Israel by way of adoption. What happened with the jews actually those branches were cut off because they didnt believe. But they can be grafted back in if God chooses, when they repent too.

Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin. People seem to be confused between Judah and Israel. All jews were israelites, but not all israelites were jews.
Gentiles are people who did not naturally descend from Abraham.
Abraham is also the father of Arabs and Palestinians. Isaac was the first real Jew, he is also the father of the 12 tribes.

in book of acts they did not require gentiles to be circumcised, it
Agreed, Christians aren't under that law anymore. But non-believers will still be judged by the law whether they are Jews or not.

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