The New Testament in the Christian Bible has several letters of Paul and many churches are blindly preaching Paul’s instead of Christ’s teachings. Since Paul taught contrary to Christ and if we reject Paul’s letters as non authoritative, gentile Christians are left with several questions. Are gentile Christians required to become Jewish and follow the old covenant laws? Are gentiles required to be circumcised?
- Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth (Gen 9:1)
- Can eat any animal or green herbs (Gen 9:3)
- Do not eat flesh with blood (Gen 9:4)
- Do not murder (Gen 9:5-6)
The Noahide laws are for all mankind.
- Do not commit incest (Lev 18:6-17)
- Do not marry multiple sisters (Lev 18:18)
- Do not have sex when your wife is customary impurity or mensuration (Lev 18:19)
- Do not commit adultery (Lev 18:20)
- Do not abort or kill your own children (Lev 18:21)
- Do not commit homosexuality (Lev 18:22)
- Do not commit bestiality (Lev 18:23)
As God explains, it is for these above abominations, the Lord had cast out the nations in the land of Canaan and gave it to the children or Israel (Lev 18:26-28). God expects the above commandments to be followed by all nations of gentiles.
Law of Moses?
You may notice, the law of Moses given to the Israelite people repeats the Noahide Laws and Gentile Laws but adds several hundred laws to follow as part of the covenant where obedience to it gives blessing and disobedience gives curses (Deut 11:26-28) and all these are related to the land of Israel and dwelling in it.
Well great! Can a gentile follow the law with whole heart and be part of the old covenant to inherit the blessings mentioned in the law? Absolutely not!. The Lord will only make them joyful in the temple and accept their burnt offerings and their sacrifices for which the temple must exist (Isa 56:6-7). Hence a gentile has no benefit in following the law, not does it promise anything back to a gentile even if they follow the law wholeheartedly. It is also important to note that gentiles were never given the old covenant to begin with.
God married Israel (Isa 54:5) but divorced because Israel didn’t keep the old covenant and involved in spiritual adultery i.e., idolatry (Isa 50:1). Now, God cannot take Israel or His people back (Jer 3:1). So, God sent His Son as an atonement (Eze 16:62-63) to wash the sins of His people (1 Jn 2:2) and make them as a bride (Rev 21:2) to marry them (Mark 2:19-20) through a new covenant. If we follow any of the old covenant, we go to the Father as a divorced wife which is an abomination (Deu 24:1-4). So, we must go to the Father through Jesus Christ (John 14:6) who is the only way using the new covenant as a bride (Rev 21:9). Old covenant and the new covenant are marriage contracts. They are good and perfect as long as they are married. However, following old covenant after the new covenant has come, is like keeping marriage obligations after divorce which is an abomination. This brings up several questions like what is the new covenant? or Didn’t Jesus preach the law?
Jesus did not preach the law which the Pharisees and scribes already knew but what God wants, and His teachings are for all nations including gentiles (Matt 28:18-20). Do not murder is the law (Matt 5:21) but what Jesus taught is not even to be angry with our brother without a cause which is not in the law (Matt 5:21). Do not commit adultery is the law (Matt 5:27) but not even to lust in heart is not from the law (Matt 5:28). Do not swear falsely but perform the oaths is the law (Deut 23:21) but Jesus taught not to swear at all (Matt 5:33-37). Jesus taught even to cut off our body parts to keep ourselves away from sin and enter life (Matt 19:11-12; Matt 5:29-30) which is against the teachings of the old covenant law (Deut 23:1). Jesus also said the hour has come that true worshipers will not worship in Jerusalem but in truth and spirit (John 4:21-23) which is also against the teachings of the old covenant law (Deut 12:5;1Kgs 11:36).
Jesus did not forgot to mention Sabbath instead He didn’t (Matt 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18). To understand why, we need to go back to why Sabbath was given (Exod 31:13) where the Lord sanctifies the Israelites. However, when Jesus came, we are cleansed with His blood according to the new covenant (Rev 1:5). This is one of the reason, we no longer have Sabbath.
If the law contains everything, the Father doesn’t have to say in the law to listen to what He speaks through His Son (Deut 18:18-19).
Jesus Christ preached the new covenant which provides salvation to all, that is not through grace alone or faith alone, but cleansing the inside of our hearts through righteousness and holiness. Once Christ had washed the sins with His own blood (Matt 26:28), we need to keep our garments undefiled to get salvation (Rev 3:4-5). To keep our garments undefiled, it can cost our entire wealth (Matt 13:44-46), all our relationships (Luke 18:29), our body parts (Mark 9:43-48) and even our own life (Mark 8:35).
The disciples of Jesus also decreed in Jerusalem that gentiles who are turning to God must abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood (Acts 15:20). This is also where Paul split (Acts 15:39) and even taught contrary to the decree and preached gentiles to eat things sacrificed to idols (1Cor 8:1-13).
Rev 21:7-8 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
It is important for us to overcome and inherit all things. If we do not overcome, we will be thrown into the lake of fire.
It is not the old covenant law we (gentiles) need to follow but the new covenant what Jesus Christ taught (Deut 18:18-19) for all nations (Matt 28:18-20) which is cleaning the inside of our hearts to be righteous and holy (Mark 7:21-23). We must not commit any abominations which God expects from all nations either Jew or gentile (Lev 18:27) that is incest (Lev 18:6-17), marrying multiple sisters (Lev 18:18), having sex when wife is in customary impurity or mensuration (Lev 18:19), committing adultery (Lev 18:20), aborting or kill your own children (Lev 18:21), homosexuality (Lev 18:22), bestiality (Lev 18:23). We must follow the laws given to Noah which is for all mankind that is not eat flesh with blood and not to murder (Gen 9:4-6). Cleansing the inside of our hearts was not found in the law but Christ’s teachings is fully about them. The old covenant law will one day pass away (Matt 5:18) but Christ’s words will never pass away (Matt 24:35).