The old law is the founding and binding agreement of the Old Covenant which Jesus Himself said cannot be altered, modified, or relaxed in the slightest way until all things it foreshadows are accomplished (Mat. 5:17-19). Therefore, it’s wrong to assume that Jesus changed the old law by dividing it up and canceling the ceremonial and civil precepts, while renewing the moral aspects for believers today.
“For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” Heb. 7:18-19 ESV
“Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.” Col. 2:14 AMP
“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Heb. 8:6-7 ESV
Jesus didn’t modify the old law or make exceptions to it—He fulfilled it (Gal. 5:14; Rom. 13:8-10), set it aside (Col. 2:14; Heb. 7:18-19), and gave us a new law: the perfect law of liberty (Jam. 1:25; 2:12; 2Co. 3:17-18), the law of the Spirit of Life (Rom. 8:2). The new law rules by grace within, not by the external demands of the old law (Rom. 6:14). Inseparable from this new law, which He writes on our hearts, is the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah.
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31:33
Do you realize that Jesus could not even become a priest under the old law since He was from the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14-16)? Yet He became our High Priest under a new law (Heb. 9:11-12; 24-26), the mediator of a new covenant (Heb. 9:15).
“For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.” Heb. 7:12 ESV
Not only did Jesus fulfill the old law, but He fulfilled it in us, allowing us to have abundant life by the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead (Rom. 8:2-5). He fulfilled and set aside the entire unchangeable old law and offers His Word written directly upon our hearts as the founding and binding agreement of a new covenant (Rom. 8:2; Col. 3:15-17). The only way to live by the new law is to be led by the Spirit.
“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” Rom. 7:6 ESV
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal. 5:18 ESV
We no longer live according to the flesh with the old law condemning us, but we live by the Spirit with the law of liberty guiding us (Gal. 5:18, Phi. 2:13). The result is the exercise of love flowing from within by God’s grace, which is the ultimate fulfillment of the old law, as well as the example of Christ (Gal. 5:14; Rom. 13:8-10).
“[My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses].” Gal 2:4 AMP
Set aside the old law and come to Christ who fulfills it in us (Rom. 8:4). Live by the new law of Christ and be truly free.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.