How to define the ceremonial law in the Bible? What was it used for? What is the meaning of the moral law in the Bible? What was the purpose of the ceremonial law? What is the moral law? How to distinguish between the ceremonial law and the moral law in the Bible? Learn everything about the difference between the ceremonial law and the moral law in the Bible, in this article that preacher Thomson Dablemond offers you.
The laws in the Bible, there are some. There is so much law in the Bible that it is often difficult to know how to do things in the Bible. It is on this subject that wants to overcome this article. In the Bible, especially in the Scriptures (what is called “Old Testament” in our Bibles), we distinguish different types of laws.
The Ceremonial Law and the Moral Law in the Bible
In this article, we will address the subject of the difference between ceremonial law and moral law. If there are two types of law that lend themselves to controversy and confusion in the Bible, it is indeed: the ceremonial law and the moral law in the Bible. Many people confuse them. Some do not know how to distinguish them. And others do not understand the meaning of each of its two major types of law in the Bible.
The Ceremonial Law in the Bible
The ceremonial law considers the laws about worship and pertains to the Tabernacle: sacrifices, ablutions, service in the Temple, etc. For example, the Jews had all kinds of rites to respect, such as purifying themselves before serving in the Temple for the Levites and priests, to make a sacrifice when one had sinned. […]. In part, this ceremonial law explained precisely the sacrificial system’s whole functioning, describing the rites that were to take place in the earthly sanctuary.
The Moral Law in the Bible
The moral law designates the Ten Commandments. They exist since eternity; God does not change (Hebrews 13: 8). He is holy, and he wants a holy people. These laws still apply. They are engraved in our hearts according to the promise that God made in Jeremiah 31: 31-33; Ezekiel 11: 19-20, and Ezekiel 36: 25-27. This is the moral law, the Ten Commandments, a reflection of God’s character.
In the following lines, we will highlight the differences between ceremonial law and morals in the Bible. Several points distinguish the ceremonial law from the moral law.
1. The Moral Law or the Ten Commandments of God, was proclaimed on Mount Sinai, written on two stone tablets by the hand of God, and handed over to Moses to be placed in the ark of the covenant (Deuteronomy 10: 1-5). The moral law is also called the law of the Lord (Isaiah 5:24). Yet the ceremonial law or the law of Moses, written in a book by Moses’s hand and handed over to the priests to be placed beside the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31: 24-26).
2. The moral law is a royal law (James 2: 8). The ceremonial law is a mosaic law (Acts 15: 5).
3. The moral law was engraved on the stone by God’s finger (Exodus 31:18). Now, Moses wrote the ceremonial law in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24).
4. The moral law was placed in the Ark (1 Kings 8: 9). However, the ceremonial law was seated next to the Ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).
5. The moral law consists of moral precepts (Exodus 20: 1-17). But the ceremonial law consists of ceremonial precepts (Hebrews 9:10). Indeed, as we said earlier, the law of Moses explained how to present offerings, celebrate feasts, and so on. This is why it is called ” ceremonial law. ” Meanwhile, the moral law does not speak of ceremonies, nor of the way of presenting the offerings. His integral text, which constitutes the Ten Commandments, is found in two places: in Exodus 20: 1-17 and Deuteronomy 5: 6-21.
6. The moral law cannot be abolished; it was never abolished either by Jesus or by the prophets (Matthew 5: 17-19). Yet, it is abolished as to the ceremonial law (Ephesians 1:15, Ephesians 2:14, 15). Indeed, Christ, by His death on the cross, became the Lamb of God sacrificed for the world’s sins. Thus, the whole sacrificial system of the earthly sanctuary became useless. This is why the veil of the sanctuary was torn at the death of Jesus. On the other hand, Jesus clearly mentioned that He did not come to abolish the moral law, the Ten Commandments, a reflection of the character of God Himself. Christ has always shown great respect for the Ten Commandments. Far from abolishing them, He recommended the observation to all. (Read Matthew 5: 17-18, Matthew 19: 16-19).
7. The moral law is perfect (Psalms 19: 8). The ceremonial law is imperfect (Hebrews 7:18).
8. The Bible teaches us that the moral law makes us happy when we consider it and put it into practice. (James 2: 23, 25). And since the ceremonial law, being “a shadow,” it cannot sanctify entirely (Hebrews 10: 1-4).
9. The moral law is spiritual (Romans 7: 7, 14), while the ceremonial law is carnal (Hebrews 7:15, 16). In reality, while Moses’s law is called the “rule of a carnal ordinance, “the moral law is called ” spiritual. ” The context of the passage of Romans 7 that we quoted clearly shows us that the spiritual law designates the Ten Commandments.
10. The Moral Law is established by faith always (Romans 3:31, Psalms 119: 89). Regarding the ceremonial law: It is abolished by the cross (Colossians 2:14).
11. The Moral Law is confirmed by Jesus Christ (Matthew 19: 16, 17). But as for the ceremonial law, it ceases to exist as the law of precepts and ordinances (Ephesians 2:15).
12. The moral law is a law of liberty (James 2:12). But, the ceremonial law is a heavy yoke (Acts 15:12). The Law of God or the moral law is not painful (1 John 5: 3).
13. The Moral Law: It contains the Sabbath, established from the creation, and which must continue to be observed even on the new earth (Isaiah 66: 22, 23). The ceremonial law contains within it the seven ceremonial Sabbaths, more the three trips to Jerusalem each year (Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16:16).
14. In the Moral Law, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment remains in force, being “made for man,” that is to say, for humanity. Jesus declares himself the Master. (Luke 4:16, 17, Mark 2:28, Matthew 12: 8). On the other hand, in the ceremonial law: his sabbaths, his feasts, his rites on eating and drinking, and the sacrifices imposed by the ceremonial law being only a “shadow,” were abolished on the cross; their time has come to an end (Ezekiel 45:17, Exodus 12: 8, Colossians 2: 14-17).
15. The Moral Law contains the Sabbath (the day of the Lord, the day of rest, the day blessed, sanctified by God, and consecrated for the worship service), which Paul, founder of the Christian churches, kept during all his life. Law from which one cannot remove one iota (Acts 13: 13-16, 42-44, Acts 17: 2, Acts 18: 4, Luke 16: 17). The ceremonial law contains circumcision, sabbaths, and ordinances rejected by Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles. (Acts 15:10, Colossians 2: 16, 17).
Conclusion on the Ceremonial Law and the Moral Law in the Bible
So far, do you see the difference between the ceremonial law and the moral law in the Bible? Here is another verse that clarifies this difference between the ceremonial law and the moral law in the Bible. The LORD said, ” I will not make the foot of Israel go out of the land that I gave to his fathers, provided only that they take care to put into practice all that I commanded them and the whole law. My servant Moses commanded them ” (2 Kings 21: 8). God, Himself made a distinction between His moral law, the Ten Commandments, and the law of Moses, to which Israel was to obey until the coming of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God.
The ceremonial law condemned men, subsisted against them until it was destroyed by the death of Jesus on the cross. The ceremonial law was given to explain the sacrificial system that was to be put in place, pending the coming of the Sacrifice par excellence, the Lamb of God, giving His life for the world’s sins. Thus, knowing the moral law, we can know when we sin, and then we ask for the forgiveness of God. What a contrast between the imperfect ceremonial law and the perfect moral law guiding our steps by the power of the Holy Spirit in us!
• There is one point I would like to emphasize, not to confuse people. When we say that the ceremonial law has been abolished, we are more alluding to the law affecting the “ sacrificial system.” Then all that is written in the “law of Moses” should not be rejected because it is not only the ceremonial laws in the mosaic laws, there are also other laws explaining that moral in contexts and practice – so that is actually a development of the Ten Commandments in specific areas. Thus, these mosaic ordinances about the moral law have not been abolished. We could mention, among others: homosexuality, incest, rape, occultism … […]
Tithing and the Sabbath Case
I would also like to draw your attention to Tithing and the Sabbath case. Note, moreover, that it was not a Mosaic law, but that it had already been applied, by revelation, by Abraham, or Jacob, prior to the Mosaic Law, just as much as the Sabbath was ordained by God from the World Creation, the beginning of the Exodus, and BEFORE God gives the ten commandments to Sinai, and mostly before Moses writes all the laws, ordinances, precepts … where he also recalls eternal laws!
Consider the following passage from Daniel 9: 4,11: ” I prayed to the LORD my God, and made this confession to him: (…) All Israel transgressed your law, and turned away from hearing your voice. . Then the curses and curses that are written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, are poured out upon us. ”
In this verse alone, we note the presence of the two laws:
First of all, the law of God, which has been transgressed;
Then the law of Moses, containing the curses for Israel in case of disobedience to God’s commandments.
Consider also the passage from 1 Corinthians 7:19 ” Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is everything. ”
In closing, here is a short verse that summarizes very well the Christian’s view of these two distinct laws, namely the ceremonial law or the moral law:
– The Christian does not have to observe the ceremonial law, which was abolished by the death of Jesus on the cross;
On the other hand, he must keep God’s commandments, which dictate every man’s duty to God and his neighbor.
Articles about the 10 Commandments of God, the Moral Law, the Law of God:
- General Introduction – The Law Given at Mount Sinai.
- (1st) The First Commandment of God – Adoring the One True God.
- (2nd) The Second Commandment of God – Do not worship idols and carved.
- (3rd) The Third Commandment of God – A Name to Glorify.
- (4th) The Fourth Commandment of God – When and to Whom to Worship.
- (5th) The Fifth Commandment of God – Relationship Between Parents and Children.
- (6th) The Sixth Commandment of God – Thou Shalt Not Kill.
- (7th) The Seventh Commandment of God – You Shall Not Commit Adultery.
- (8th) The Eighth Commandment of God – You shall not steal.
- (9th) The Ninth Commandment of God – Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor.
- (10th) The Tenth Commandment of God – The Covetousness.
- General Conclusion – the Law of God-Given at Mount Sinai.
- The 10 Commandments of God – The Law of God Is Immutable.