Did Paul Preach Against The Law?

Have you ever heard someone use the apostle Paul’s writings to nullify GOD’S HOLY LAWS? In particular, I am speaking about the ten commandments, dietary law, and sabbath days. Today, many teach and believe that we do not have to keep the old testament moral laws any longer. To justify this, they will generally use one or two scriptures out of context.

A common one is:

Romans 6:14
King James Version (KJV)

12 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

They will accompany this verse with sound bites like:

“The law was nailed to the cross”

“We are under a new dispensation”

“Jesus fulfilled the law”

“The law was our school master”

and so on…

If you have heard these popular sayings as an excuse to break God’s laws (i.e. sin), then you need to pay close attention to Peter’s warning about those who twist the writings of Paul to their own destruction (eternal death).

2 Peter 3:15-17
King James Version (KJV)

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

Unfortunately, the reason why countless preachers and zealous Christians believe that God’s eternal laws are no longer valid, is because they lack understanding. We live in a lawless society, and as a result, there is no peace and no order. Common sense should tell us that if we are to serve God then we must take orders. However, the world has been deceived (Rev. 12:9) and as a result of living in the last days, many are not enduring sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:3). Peter warned that Paul’s advanced writings were hard to be understood for those that were not well learned. Since God is not the author of confusion, and Jesus told us that man must live by every word of God, then the solution to this problem is learning and understanding sound doctrine.servants, and what Paul said.

Let us see, what it takes for salvation (eternal life) according to Paul:
Hebrews 5:9
King James Version (KJV)

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

If we are to obey God for eternal life, then what must we obey? Paul tells us that it is the law:
Romans 13
King James Version (KJV)

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Many think that since we are under grace, that we do not have to obey the laws of God. What does Paul say?
Romans 6:15
King James Version (KJV)

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Many also say that we no longer have to keep God’s laws due to faith. Does Paul agree?
Romans 3:31
King James Version (KJV)

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Today, droves of people speak against God’s laws as if they were bad. However, what does Paul say about the law?
Romans 7:12,22
King James Version (KJV)

12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Now that we have hopefully gained some understanding of Paul’s teachings and beliefs, I am sure you may be thinking, what law(s) were nailed to the cross? This is a very simple question and has a very simple answer. Since we know that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), and that we must keep the commandments for eternal life (Rev 22:14), then there is only one logical explanation to this. There is more than one law!

This might be a shock to many, but Paul actually makes this very clear, but like Peter said, you must be well learned to understand. Once we are well learned, then we can understand scriptures in context and not be deceived by a soundbite. The main soundbite that people take out of context is “Jesus nailed the law to the cross”. The problem is, if there are two laws, then which law did Jesus nail to the cross? Surely not all the laws, because then it would be okay to kill, steal, and commit adultery.

So let us see which law Jesus nailed to the cross:

Daniel 9:26-27
King James Version (KJV)

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

So we see that Messiah was prophesied to be cut off (killed), but not for himself, because he died so that mankind’s sins may be forgiven. Since Jesus became our ultimate sacrifice, his death caused the animal sacrifices and oblations to cease. Why? Because the animal sacrifice law was established to atone for our sins!

The Altar of Incense, Altar of Burnt-Offering, and Laver from the Biblical Tabernacle; illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible

The Altar of Incense, Altar of Burnt-Offering, and Laver from the Biblical Tabernacle; illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible

The animal sacrifice law:

Leviticus 4
King James Version (KJV)

4 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a sin offering.

13 And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;

14 When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation.

Now hopefully you have seen that sin has always been the transgression of God’s commandments, and that if anyone broke these commandments out of ignorance, there was a law in place that stated an animal was to die for our sins. This is because as Paul wrote, “the wages of sin is death”. Something or someone has always had to die for sin. The animal sacrifice was a symbol of God’s grace and mercy. It was also a school master and shadow of things to come, to teach us what Christ’s ultimate purpose was. Therefore, we see that there are TWO SETS OF LAWS : The moral laws, which contain the 10 commandments, the dietary law,  feast days etc, and the sacrificial laws which were done away with by Jesus’ death! When Jesus came into the flesh, didn’t he die for our sins? Wasn’t he called our sacrifice and our lamb?  Until Jesus came, an animal had to die for our sins. After Jesus’ death (i.e. grace through his blood) there was no need to sacrifice animals.

Now, let Paul clearly elaborate on exactly which law was done away with:

Ultimate Sacrifice
We are no longer under animal sacrifice. Image by David & I’ll B Jonathan, Inc
Hebrews 10
King James Version (KJV)

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Understanding that there is more than one law, explains which law we are no longer under.  It also explains seemingly contradictory scriptures such as:

Galatians 3:19-20
King James Version (KJV)

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

We saw in Leviticus 4 what law was added due to sin/transgressions. It was the law of animal sacrifice. We have also learned that Jesus, the seed and mediator came in the flesh and abolished the law of animal sacrifice.

Now you should understand why Daniel said that when Jesus would get cut off, he would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease! We have proven that there are two sets of laws and that Paul knew this. We also saw earlier that Paul knew that even though we are under grace, and should have faith, that we are still to keep the moral laws. Furthermore, he showed us that love and eternal salvation are embodied in the keeping of God’s laws. What is wrong with not killing, not stealing, not bearing false witness?

What is wrong with not committing adultery, not worshipping false gods, and keeping God’s holy sabbaths? Surely nothing can be wrong with obeying God. The problem is not the law, rather we are the problem for breaking God’s law, which is sin. Jesus did not die for our sins, so that we could continue to sin. That makes no sense. He died so that by not sinning, we could have a chance at gaining eternal life! So yes, it is true that we are “no longer under the law”. But be sure that you know it is the law of animal sacrifice that we are no longer under. Therefore, if we want to worship God and Spirit and in Truth, and if we want eternal salvation, and want to exhibit true love, then we must keep the commandments of God that were NOT done away with!

The wisest man of all time, King Solomon, made it very clear that the whole duty of man is to keep God’s commandments (Ecclesiates 12:13). Therefore, do not let any man or woman tell you that you do not have to obey God’s holy laws. Whoever tells you that is either deceived or trying to take away your eternal salvation. I have one question for those who think that all of God’s laws are done away with. If that is the case, then who will be casted into the lake of fire? Paul let’s us know:

1 Corinthians 6
King James Version (KJV)

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

For similar posts on this topic, Conversation with Apostle Paul.

If you are interested in learning more, please watch the following:

The Letters of Paul: Misunderstood, Misunderstood (Brother Elijah)

Two Sets of Laws: (Brother Daniel)