Applying the Law

Daniel Hays starts his point off with a question that many Christians have asked. He asks, “How should Christians apply the Old Testament law?[1]” There are over 613 commandments given in the law, and there are many that no longer apply.  We need not worry about cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk is one example of this.  He proposes a term known as principlism.  In its basic form it is the categorizing of the laws into groups which still apply to us today.  To be clear, we are saved by the finished work of Jesus, but the law are guidelines on how to live our lives with those around us.  It is the foundation of morality that was laid down by God because He loves us.

With that said we are no longer under the requirements that the 613 commandments required.  So how do we reconcile that when Jesus said that the law is eternal and will never pass away?  Jesus lived the law perfectly, and at the time the law had given way to legalism.  The King James Commentary states, “Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God[2].”  The law had become legalistic and a heavy weight that the people were not able to carry.  Christ took that burden on His shoulders and fulfilled it.  He fulfilled it by his life, death, and resurrection.

Exodus 22:25-27 states, “If you lend money to a fellow Hebrew in need, do not be like a money lender, charging interest.  If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge of repayment, you must return it by nightfall.  Your neighbor will need it to stay warm at night.  If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am very merciful[3].”  Using the concept of principlism this verse is about putting others before yourself.  If a fellow believer needs help we should not go up and give a loan with horrible terms like a loan shark.  There are times when loans are acceptable such as to buy a car, home, or if it is good terms for both parties.  However the desperate should not be taken advantage of.  In today’s world this verse applies to the poor in our society that should be helped and not looked on to profit from.  In my life it means that I should be more charitable with what I have been blessed with.  I should not be looking to benefit from helping someone less fortunate.  If that is the case then I am doing it for the wrong reason.  In Matthew 25:40 Jesus states, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did to the least of these of these my brothers, you did to me[4].”  It will be a witness to not only our faith, but it could be an opportunity to share the Gospel.  The bottom line is we should be looking to help others without needing to profit from it.  Our priorities must be in line with Biblical values.





Exodus 22:25-27 (New Living Translation).

King James Version Bible Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005.

Matthew 25:40 (English Standard Version).


Hays, J. Daniel. “Applying the Old Testament Law Today.” Biblotheca Savra 158:629, 2001, accessed July 9, 2014,


[1].  Hays, J. Daniel. “Applying the Old Testament Law Today.” Biblotheca Savra 158:629, 2001, accessed July 9, 2014,

[2] King James Version Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005), 1419.

[3] Exodus 22:25-27 (New Living Translation).

[4] Matthew 25:40 (English Standard Version).

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