Let us continue our discussion of God’s Laws. When I first spoke to you on this subject, we saw that God’s Laws are divided into four classes COMMANDMENTS, JUDGEMENTS, STATUTES and ORDINANCES; that the COMMANDMENTS are the major rules governing man’s duties to his God; that the JUDGEMENTS are the rules governing man’s
relation to other men; that the STATUTES are the general rules for the health prosperity and peace of the nation (including the DIETARY and AGRICULTURAL laws, the SOCIAL and ECONOMIC laws, and the POLITICAL laws); finally, the ORDINANCES are the religious regulations, for the various festivals and the sacrifices and offerings.
Of these, only the ORDINANCES have been set aside by the New Testament. The rituals and symbols embodied in them were the expression of the Israelite’s belief that his Redeemer would come, in the future; but when Jesus Christ had come and performed the reality which these rituals symbolized, their usefulness was ended. The believer could no longer say that he was waiting for the future coming of his Redeemer— they must be replaced by new rituals looking back to the fulfilled Redemption.
But the other Laws of God are still in force: THOU SHALT NOT STEAL and THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY are as important today as when Moses carried the stone tablets down Mount Sinai. We do not expect to gain our personal salvation by keeping the law; and indeed, this was never their true purpose. But we do expect to gain the peace, prosperity and good order of the community thereby, just as we have tried to do this by enforcing the laws of our City, our State, and our Nation.