Law of God, Law Of Moses & Law of Christ – Is There a Difference?

I have really been enjoying my study of the different Laws in Scripture, The Law of God, The Law of Moses, and The Law of Christ. All three are referenced in 1 Corinthians 9:9-22.

1 Corinthians 9:9-22 (KJV)

9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

I have over eight pages of notes and verses but I know no one would find it as interesting as I do. 😆   Unless you really dig into the Scriptures, the Law can seem rather dry and boring. But here is a short explanation of the Laws and whom they were given to. I will add more and more verses to this as time goes on.  {This will be easier to read online so you can hover over the verse references, if you do not have Instaverse. There was no way I could include the full verses in all cases. It would have been too long.}

What is the difference between each of theses Laws? Who do they encompass? What are the expectations?

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The Law of God

This Law of God has always existed (1 John 3:11-12).  Man was created in the image of God with His Law written on their hearts (Romans 1:19, 20; Romans 2:14-15).  There could have been no sin if there had not been the Law of God on the hearts of all Creation.  All men through all societies have had this Law of God upon their hearts.  This is why murder is wrong everywhere.  Now true, sin has caused man to tamper with the Law of God and say well murder is OK here, here and here, but all other murders are wrong.  The Law of God is related to our conscience accusing or excusing them (Romans 2:14-15).  When we have broken the Law of God we know it and we feel bad about it, unless we have seared our conscience (1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; KJV).

This is the atheistic stumbling block.  When discussing with an atheist, they know certain things are right or wrong; however, they will not admit that God wrote those Laws on their hearts.  Yet, evolution does not explain away The Law of God.  Evolution says survival of the fittest, which essentially is death to the weak.  Atheists may deny that there are such Laws on the heart of man.  They may pretend that those are just things that people are taught and our governmental laws enforce.  They can talk a big talk, until someone commits a crime against them!  See murder, rape, stealing, etc. is still wrong if it affects them.  This is because the Law of God is written on their hearts from the beginning.

The beginning of the Jewish nation had these Laws written on their hearts.  That is how they knew they sinned.  Cain knew it was wrong to kill Abel without God writing out a bunch of Laws, it was written on his heart (Genesis 4:1-15).   Have you ever wondered how the early Jews such as Noah (Genesis 6:9), Abraham, and Isaac, or someone like Job (Job 1:1) could know how to follow God’s Law yet it was never recorded?  This is why, the Laws of God were written on the hearts of all men.

Notice “all men”, that is how God could judge nations such as Sodom (Genesis 13:13, Genesis 18:20) and Nineveh (Jonah 1:2) because the Law was written on their hearts.  This is where many non-Christians have issues.  See they claim God is unjust to judge those who have never heard the gospel nor even heard about their sin.  Yet, God wrote His Laws on the heart of every man.  Here also is a sticking point with many of those who desire to follow the Law of Moses, see they claim if you do away with the Law of Moses then there can be no sin.  That is based on misinterpreting verses such as:  Romans 3:20 (KJV) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.   But see we do not have to have the Law of Moses to show us we have sinned, although it does show us our sin.  Otherwise we would have to teach everyone the Law of Moses in order to share the Gospel of Christ. Also no one would have sinned before the Law of Moses was given on Mount Sinai.  We do not have an unjust God who judges man for things they know not.   How could anyone be just and punish another for a Law that they never knew?

Yet we can all start with the Laws of God as a basis, for everyone has these on their hearts.  Conviction of lying and stealing can then lead into more explanation of the Laws and how we have broken them.

The Law of God has neither beginning nor ending.  It is inherent in the Character of God which never changes.  When you read verses in the Bible speaking of the Law existing forever this is what it is referring to.  As we know the Laws concerning sacrifices, circumcision, clean and unclean, and many more Laws like them do not remain forever.  The Law of God is encompassed in both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.  It is the basis for all The Law of Moses and The Law of Christ.  Often people call this God’s Moral Law. James calls the Law of God the Royal Law in James 2:8 which is referring to Leviticus 19:18.  This is God’s Commandments Believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another (1 John 3:23).

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The Law of Moses

The Law of Moses has a definite beginning and end.  The Law of Moses began upon Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) and was delivered to Moses on tablets of stone.  The Law of Moses has never been written on the heart of men but has been written in tablets of stone and books of the Law.  No other culture knows those Laws specific to the Law of Moses.  Not wearing two types of cloth is not something written on our hearts (Leviticus 19:19).  This was a specific Law given to the Israelites.

The Law of Moses was given to Israel 430 years after Abraham.  This Law included the Law of God but also added ceremonial and civil items.  The Law of Moses also includes specific punishment for the breaking of them.    

The Law of Moses was just for the Israelites and those living in their borders.  This law encompassed the Law of God, ceremonial and civil laws.  This Law was a burden and impossible for the Jews to keep; an impossible burden to encourage the Jews to look for a better hope (Acts 15:10, Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 7:19, 22).  No Jew kept all the Law of Moses until Jesus kept, completed and fulfilled the Law of Moses.  Jesus was the point that all the Law of Moses pointed to.  Upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Law of Moses was fulfilled and completed.  OT and NT Scriptures point this out.

Galatians 3:19 (KJV) Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; …

Christ delivered us from the Law.

Romans 7:6 (KJV) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

The Law of Moses was a school master, a child teacher, for the Jews until Christ, faith, should come.

Galatians 3:23-25 (KJV)
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

But we are no longer under a school master.  We have the Holy Spirit living in us (1 John 3:24).


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The Law of Christ

The Law of Christ has a definite beginning (John 13:34), in the life, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  However, the Law of Christ never ends, but is everlasting.  The Law of Christ is only written on the hearts of believers.  It is not written on tablets of stone but on the flesh of our hearts not by human hands (2 Corinthians 3:3).  The Law of Christ is summed up by sacrificial Love (John 15:13, John 15:10, Romans 13:8-10).  Only the Church is expected to follow the Law of Christ, it is foolishness to all others (1 Cor. 2:14). 

This Law of Christ does not depend on a conscience, because the Holy Spirit is living and working in each believer (Acts 1:8, Acts 5:32, Romans 5:5, 1 Cor. 6:19).  Thus even those who previously had a seared conscience can still fulfill the Law of Christ.  If our heart does not condemn us then we can be confident with God (1 John 3:19-21).

All of Scripture, even the Law of Moses, points everyone to Christ (Deuteronomy 18:18, John 5:39, Acts 3:22).  The Law of Christ is a better hope (Hebrews 7:19) a better testament (Hebrews 7:22), more glorious (2 Corinthians 3:7-11) and gives life instead of the death in the Law of Moses (2 Corinthians 3:6).  The Law of Christ is the perfect Law, the Law of Liberty (James 1:25).  We are set free from the binding of the Law of Moses and married to Christ (Romans 7:1-6).

The Law of Christ took the Law of God and added to it.  While the Law of God commanded love because of the Lord (Leviticus 19:18); the Law of Christ commands love as Christ has loved us (John 13:34, John 15:12).  We are to lay down our lives for our brethren because Christ did so for us (1 John 3:16).



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4 thoughts on “Law of God, Law Of Moses & Law of Christ – Is There a Difference?

  1. Before the law was given in written form, though, Noah knew what clean and unclean animls were, and Abraham knew to sacrifice the firstfruits. If the sacrifices and unclean laws were part of the law of Moses and not of God, how did they know what was required? Rachel knew that her monthly period made her unclean and therefore hid the idols in her saddlebag, knowing the men would not touch it or her and defile themselves. Jacob and Esau fought over the birthright which by law beloinged to the oldest son (part of the law of Moses) and which would have prevented us from inheriting the salvation along with the Jews exceopt that we have been grafted in. They were not just keeping the laws of the conscience before the Torah was written- they were observing things that you have said were used for a specific time to separate the Israelites from others.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Motherofmany,

    But see from the beginning it was not so. God created every animal and called them good, not unclean. Adam and Eve didn’t sacrifice any of the animals God created and that Adam named prior to the fall and death.

    Also every green herb was given for meat, not animals.

    Genesis 1:29-31 (KJV)
    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
    31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    The only limitation to the green herbs was not of the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:16-17).

    However, Adam and Eve sinned and all creation fell with them. (Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:… )

    Upon sinning in the Garden the Lord made Adam and Eve coats of skin.

    Genesis 3:21 (KJV) Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

    The first sacrifice for sin, yet we are not told what kind of animal or even told anything about clean and unclean.

    Then Cain and Abel offer sacrifices we are not told why but assume it was instructed from the first sacrifice. But this was in a time when God walked with man and talked directly with man. (Genesis 3:8, Genesis 4:6, Genesis 5:22) We are not told what God spoke to them about beyond recorded Scripture.

    Noah was told to gather seven of every clean animal. (Genesis 7:2,3) But obviously this had nothing to do with consumption but rather sacrifices. (Genesis 8:20) But we know that the unclean animals are those that now scavenge the dead and dying, which was not from the beginning.

    It is not until Genesis 9:3 that man is told they may eat meat, so the clean and unclean was obviously for just sacrificing to the Lord for sins. But notice it says “Every moving thing that liveth … .” No clean / unclean mentioned.

    Genesis 9:3 (KJV) Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

    Genesis 9:4-6 also initiates the avoidance of blood.

    Abraham built an altar unto the Lord in Genesis 12:7 upon God revealing Himself to him.

    Then in Genesis 15:8-10 the Lord tells Abraham to make an offering for a Covenant.

    Then in Genesis 17:9-11 the Lord institutes the Covenant of Circumcision for Abraham and his seed.

    But notice all of these are progressively revealed to those who were the foundation of the Jews. Noah is not condemned for not having circumcised himself and his sons. The Lord has since the beginning been preparing Himself a people and setting them apart for His Glory.

    All through the time from Adam to Abraham God was leading up to and pointing to His Son and the work He would do. However, not until Abraham was there the Covenant expressed with the Lord choosing a particular people and setting them apart from the rest of civilization. Yet, they had been set apart by God since before the foundation of the earth.

    Contrast those progressive commands with the judgment given Cain for killing Abel or the judgment against Sodom. Those were laws written on the hearts of men from the beginning. God did not hold others responsible for things that were not revealed to them. We do not know all that the Lord revealed to His chosen people beyond what we are told in Scripture.

    But we are under a New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13, Hebrews 12:24) and are not to look back and desire the old (Galatians 4:9-10) like Lot’s wife did (Genesis 19:26).

    Berean Wife

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed both the post and the comments so far on this one, Berean Wife.

    I must admit that motherofmany made a good point, but from my perspective, all the OT law must be read through the filter of the NT liberty.

    Hebrews is clear that in Christ we have a “new and better covenant with new better promises.”
    The overall point is that we are not supposed to look to the OT as anything more than a schoolmaster, revealing to us the nature of our sin and our desperate need for a Savior.

    Thanks again for expounding on this very important subject.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    I’m glad you enjoyed them. That is just the short version! I have so many notes and have added more verse references to the original since posting this.

    But you are correct all of Scripture must be viewed from the NT perspective just as all Scripture and all Laws point to Christ and all we do are to bring Glory to Him (1 Peter 4:11, 1 Cor. 10:31 ).

    There is peace in the Liberty Christ has provided:

    Ephesians 2:14-15 (KJV)
    14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    Berean Wife

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