Common Arguments Against Keeping God’s Laws

Below are several arguments that people use for breaking God’s laws (like the Sabbath and Holy Days).

1. The law was abolished

This is an easy one to debunk. (See: The Law of God is Forever).

2. The law of God was “fulfilled by Jesus”(using Matthew 5:17) so (for some reason) it no longer applies to us.

First, we should look at the scriptures more closely and in context to see if that even makes sense.

Matthew 5:17-19
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law b, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The people who use this argument incorrectly assume the following:

2a. That to “fulfill” means that we no longer have to obey the law.

In context, Jesus makes it plain that heaven and earth will pass before one jot or tittle will pass from the law. Then he talks about people breaking the least commandments will be called least in the Kingdom. Also, we know that Jesus instructed from the law (See: Jesus Instructed From the Law), that Jesus followed the law, (1 Peter 2:21) and we know that He lead his life as an example to us.

One of the definitions of the Greek word that was translated “fulfill” in this verse is, “carry out”. Although, fulfill makes perfect sense to me when read in context, some might need to read “carry out” to get the correct understanding of what Jesus was saying.

2b. Jesus did fulfill the law

If I told you that I was going to put a pool in your back yard, and I dug a hole the first day and that evening left and told you that I will be back, why would you assume that my job was finished?

It is true that Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law, but where can you prove that He did the whole job during his stay, 2000 years ago?

The people who do not study the OT and the law are usually the ones that make this error. If one would study the law, one would know that the law were “shadows of good things to come” (See: The Purpose of God’s Law). Jesus fulfilled the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost (the Spring Feasts) the 2000 years ago. When He comes back, he will fulfill The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Also, the 7th day Sabbath will be fulfilled at the Millennium reign.

3. We are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:14-15
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
What then? shall we sin (transgress the law), because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid

When Paul says things like "we are not under the law, but under grace". He is not saying that the law does not apply. Notice the word "but" used here. "But" means, "on the contrary".

Finish these statements:
I'm not cold, but ___________.
I'm not poor, but ___________.
I'm not healthy, but _________.

If I said, "I am not cold, but hot", that would make sense. If I said, "I am not cold, but rich", that would not make sense. What ever I say after "but" has to be contrary to the first part of my statement.

Is "grace" contrary to "law"? NO! "Grace" is the same as "mercy" or "pardon". Just as the analogy of the speeder having his ticket paid for (top of Introduction to Bible Law 101), "grace" was the time where the son paid the fine. "Grace" is not contrary to "Law"! "Grace" is contrary to "Penalty of the law"! In the above verse, "under the law" is the same thing as being under the penalty of the law (sin having dominion over someone).

4. We are not justified by the law but we are justified by faith, therefore we shouldn’t keep the law.

Romans 3:20
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.

I never claimed to be justified by the law. No one (except the Messiah) was ever or will ever be justified by the law.

Also notice the last half of the above verse. for by the law is the knowledge of sin”. Doesn’t this mean that one is sinning if he breaks the law?

5. Gentiles do not need to follow the law because the law was given only to Israel.

The most common argument that I hear from anti-law scholars that have studied this issue is that the law was given only to the Jews, but not the Gentiles, therefore the Gentiles do not have to keep the laws of God. I personally think this is the hardest theory to argue because people who use this theory not only say that the OT is not applicable to the Gentile, but this theory also allows the person to say something like, “Of course Peter and Paul still kept the laws of God after Jesus rose from the dead, they were ‘Jews’” and “Of course Jesus preached from the law, he mainly preached to the Jews.” This really limits the scriptures I can use to prove my point (it also really limits the scriptures the “Gentile” can use for “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”).

Before I go on, I must explain the government/kingdom that God set up on earth. God set up a government/kingdom with himself/Jesus as our King (John 1:49; John 12:13; Matthew 25:34; Rev 19:16 and so on). Just like all governments, he needed national laws. These laws are to keep peace and order and also to show allegiance to the King. He named his kingdom “Israel”. Also, note that Israel does not even have to have a piece of land to be a nation (as you can see when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years).

The following is a list of reasons why this theory does not work:

5a. When a non Jew repents (turns from breaking the law) and accepts Jesus as his King, he becomes grafted in to Israel (God’s kingdom)

Romans 11:13-26
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved:

5b. For a physical “Jew” or an Israelite to be “cut off” from Israel, all he has to do is stop obeying the law.

Exodus 12:15
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Exodus 12:19
Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

Exodus 31:14
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Leviticus 7:27
Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

All any Israelite, that didn’t want to keep the law any more, would have to do is stop obeying the law and become a Gentile. Would it make sense for a King to make a law for only half his people and then tell that half that if they don’t like the law, just don’t keep them and you can be apart of the other half that does not keep them (but no penalty for those who don’t keep them).

5c. The Jews are just one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Most Christians today who believe they are physical Gentiles are wrong. If you are an Anglo-Saxon, the chances are high that you are a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). But this fact really means nothing because the chances are also high that because of your transgression of the law, you have been “cut off” from Israel at one time or another. To be grafted back in, you must repent from breaking the law. God will graft the natural branches back in, just as he will graft the unnatural branches in.

5d. There was only one perfect example of how to live given (by Jesus). Jesus kept the law. Is Jesus’ not the example to the Gentiles?

5e. The scriptures tell us that one gets understanding by keeping the law.

Psalm 119:97-100
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:104
Through thy precepts I get understanding:

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Doesn’t the above verse say that the law can give understanding and “a good understanding have all they that do his commandments”? This implies that those who do not practice his law have a poor understanding.

5f. Only a fool would not want to do something that God himself claimed to be “wise”.

Deuteronomy 4:5-8
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Doesn’t God say in the above verses that other nations (Gentile nations) would look upon Israel’s laws and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”? Would you say then that it would be foolish for a Gentile king to say something like, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people, to have such a perfect law, but I don’t want my people following such a law. We will continue following the laws that I make.”?

5g. Jesus told us that ALL the commandments hung on "Love thy neighbor..." and "Love the LORD". Are Gentiles not expected to "Love thy neighbor..." and "Love the LORD"?

Matthew 22:35-40
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (he is obviously referring to God's Laws)
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5).
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (quoted from Leviticus 19:18).
On these two commandments hang all the law (the Sabbaths, the dietary laws, EVERYTHING) and the prophets.

See: All of the Law Hangs on the Two Great Commandments