The Truth about Biblical Law and how the Old Testament Applies Today

I have heard a lot of confusion about why Christians do not follow the laws from the Old Testament A.K.A. Jewish Law. This includes things like not eating shrimp, returning everything major you have purchased every 50 years, not being gay, leaving the city when you are on your period, and stoning adulterers. There are some very crazy, very strict, very clear cut laws. So why do we not follow them? There are Some people claim that we choose to ignore parts of the Bible we don’t like, which isn’t the case. A lot of people say that Jesus abolished the law, which is not true (I promise this is Biblical just keep reading). Some say he fulfilled the law, which is partially true (1/3 to be exact). As an amateur Bible Scholar I am here to clear up this issue. I have learned a whole lot in school but this part I learned from my husband, and to be honest it is my favorite thing that he has taught me. I love to hear it over and over again! So let me explain.

In the Old Testament there are 3 types of Law, each have their own purpose. You can not lump them all together, other than stating that they are all laws. They are all very different from one another. I am going to break them down and discuss them one by one, explaining what they are and how we deal with them today.

1. Civil Law – This type of Law is the one we think the least about. This was God’s rules for His nation. He set Israel Aside as his own. In the beginning they had no king and no ruler. He was to be their King and their Ruler. They would have something called judges to lead them. (These are not your everyday powdered wig, white robed judges). These judges would tell the land what God wanted from them, and kept them in line with the law. The Civil Law were rules to keep the nation running properly, similar to America’s Constitution. These are things like how to deal with property disputes, rape, lying, killing, and things like that. These laws were made for the nation to follow in order to keep it ruining smoothly without a ruler. You see a lot of this type of Law in Deuteronomy.

Why we don’t follow it today: We are no longer one nation. Christians are spread out all over the place, we have other rulers. The Bible is clear in the New Testament that we are to obey whatever government we are under.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except by God, and those that exist are put in place by God. So then, the one who resists authority resists the ordinance which is from God, and those who resist will receive condemnation on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2 NASB

We also see this same idea when Jesus was confronted with the idea of paying taxes. He said, ““Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Meaning that they should pay their taxes. -Mark 12

There is no longer a need for Civil Law because we are not God’s nation, we have a king, we have laws, rules, and regulations. We may call ourselves a nation under God, but we are not God’s Nation. The laws would contradict itself and leave much confusion.

2. Ceremonial Law – These Laws are what kept Jew right with God. These were things they did to show repentance and to be cleansed of their sins. This includes things like how to stay “Clean”, In what ways to sacrifice animals, what animals to sacrifice etc. It talked about the priestly duties, how to purify a house, and even taught Women how to handle their periods. This was all about staying clean and right with God. There are a lot of these laws in Leviticus.

Why we do not follow it today: This is what Jesus did for us! He fulfilled the law!

Jesus Said: “17 ‘Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [a]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [b]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [c]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20 NASB

He was very clear that the law was not to be annulled. God doesn’t change his mind, but he can change circumstance! He fulfilled the law, He finished it, He completed it! Instead of killing lambs and OX we repent and receive salvation, that is when the law has been fulfilled in our lives. (If you have any questions on this feel free to comment or message me).

*IF none of the law is to be annulled then why do we cut out the civil law? I believe it is because our government fulfills our need for this type of law, it doesn’t annul it (personal opinion, not fact).

3. Moral Law – Finally we end with the last but not least Moral law! This type of law is found all over the Bible and is the most commonly known. It has stood the test of time and is very commonly known. The most famous of them are the 10 Commandments, these are moral rules to guide our relationship with God and our relationship with others.

Why we do not follow it today: We do, or at least we try. We live in a fallen world that is infected with sin, meaning it is in our nature to disobey these, simply because we are not God and fall short of who he is. Today these are the rules that Christians try to follow.  Today Christians do our best to hold ourselves to the standards that these laws provide. It is an impossible task, the only way to be blameless in front of the law is to keep all the ceremonial laws. Which is also almost impossible. This is why God sent His Son. He sent him to fulfill the ceremonial law so that we may be forgiven when we do not live up to the standards of the Moral Law. He gives us so much forgiveness from what we have done.

It sounds like such a simple thing, he just forgave us, but we often forget how much he forgave us from. By breaking just one moral law we are unworthy to be his sons and daughters. We have failed the perfection that he attained and made us for! Because we have failed to live up to what we should be we deserve Hell. Hell is God’s wrath, his justice. He is a loving God but he is also just. People tend to forget that he is both. They like the love but ignore the justice. If we refuse to believe that Hell exist, then we can not fully fathom his love. The two contrast each other, like light and dark. You do not understand how bright a light is until you understand the dark that it is saving you from. I encourage you to contemplate Hell for a moment, so that you may understand the forgiveness we have received.

I found the following website to have good information if you are interested in learning more about what laws are considered which category:

Similarities Between God and a Shower


In my Christian walk and studies I have noticed a lot of recurrences and similarities that are patterns older than time. C.S. Lewis calls it the law of undulation. It all boils down to the fact that there are times in our life when we flourish in our relationship with God, and there are times when we do just the opposite. We fall, we fail, we feel like God has abandoned us and left us empty with no message. In truth God is still there, He will never leave us, but that doesn’t mean He will never be silent. Christian Artist “Beautiful Eulogy” stated:

Elijah saw the clouds split
And know that God did it
And does it still
Still, his presence feels like chills
Right, and if I’m honest it doesn’t happen often
Something must be wrong
It’s boring when my life is more like the book of Ruth than Exodus
I’ve never seen the partin’
Of an ocean
Or a cloud by day or pillar by night
Just a normal everyday working of life


That hit me hard when I heard it. Read this line again, “It’s boring when my life is more like the book of Ruth than Exodus”. Exodus was filled with signs and wonders. God’s work was on display and everyone saw it. Tragedies and miracles all in one book. Imagine, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Plagues, Manna from heaven, water from a rock! Now compare that with the book of Ruth. A woman get’s married, then remarried by the grace of God. It is simple everyday life, its a beautiful love story, but in comparison it is boring. It is what happens in our everyday lives, it is what we see everyday. God didn’t give them messages, he didn’t give them signs. It doesn’t talk about God getting them through hard times it was just simple life. Sometimes that’s how we feel, God isn’t doing something HUGE for us every day, I can go weeks or months without feeling his presence, hearing his direction.

Does that make me bad? Not at all! Am I a terrible Christian? Absolutely Not! Does God still love me? YES! Is God still working in my life? Absolutely!!! You don’t have to feel God every second of every day for him to be real and active.

In times like these it can be hard to seek God. Picking up your Bible can be difficult and praying can feel useless. Which brings me to my main point, God is like a shower.
God is like a Shower

1. We hate getting in

This problem may just be me but I hate getting showers, don’t get me wrong I do it everyday but that doesn’t mean I am excited about it. I put it off and procrastinate as long as I can. If you can’t relate I am sure your kids can. Every time you mention baths and showers to a kid they complain and whine and fight you tooth and nail to avoid it. We often do the same with spending time with God. We put it off, we make it sound like a chore. We don’t often get excited about going to do a quiet time. We push it off or find distractions. Sometimes it turns into just another thing we have to do on our check list.

2. We don’t want to leave

Have you ever tried to get a kid out of a bathtub? They are stuck in there permanently. They will sit in that water until their fingers prune and the water turns to ice. Better yet have you ever had a warm shower after a long day that seemed to melt your cares away and relax every muscle? You never want to leave! You begin to question why you don’t do this way more often. This is exactly how we are with God. I don’t care how much you whined and complained about going to spend time with God once you actually get down to it you don’t ever want to leave. I’m not talking about just reading some devotional, I am talking about earnestly seeking God and praying. His presence will keep you there and you think, “Yes, heaven will be great, this for an eternity, just us and God in eternal fellowship, I can’t wait”! But lo and behold the next day you are back at it again, you consider skipping your quiet time to sneak in some extra chores before work. Why do we do this? Why can’t we remember how great it was just the day before?

3. It is calm and refreshing

Let me be clear, a shower can NEVER do for you what God can do for you, but we must admit they both make us feel better. At the end of a hard day, or preparing for a rough day to begin what better way to prepare yourself than with something calming and refreshing. Often times we turn to showers, or warm blankets, but God does it so much better! He can heal our wounds and put armor on before we get new ones. His love is comfort and protection. We need to run to him! 1st Peter 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you”.

4. We begin to notice when we have not gotten enough

What happens when you are sick and avoid a shower for a little too long? You get gross. Your head get’s itchy, you feel gross and oily and sweaty. Bad things happen. It’s that same way with God. One time a few years ago I let things get in the way of me going to church. I missed for a solid 2 weeks. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but any time is too long for a sinners soul to be away from the presence of God. Without fellowship and learning I became not so pleasant. I was rude and unhappy. I knew something was wrong and needed to change.

5. Others begin to notice

This one doesn’t need too much explanation. When someone hasn’t showered in a while you can tell, whether it is the smell or the tell-tell greasy hair, there is going to be an unpleasant side effect. It is the same thing when we sacrifice our fellowship with God. I remember a point in my life where my non church going parents noticed a decline in my attitude, and had no fear in pointing it out. It was at that same time that I let things get in between me and my relationship with The Father. My advice to my friends was not as good. I did not face problems with prayer. Now a days my husband can pick up very quickly when I have gotten my priorities wrong just through my words and attitudes, without even noticing a change in my devotion time. When we leave out the most important thing to us, people begin to notice.

Shower blog