the Old Testament law

The conversation goes something like this: Mr. Christian says, “Homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says in Leviticus 18:22, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.’” Mr. Not-Christian responds, “What about the other laws in the Bible, like don’t eat pork or don’t mix different types of clothing? You can’t pick and choose which laws you’ll follow.” Mr. Not-Christian thinks he has proven his point, but the conversation needs to continue. There’s more to think through, more to say, and more to obey.

Mr. Christian could reply, “There are New Testament verses that say homosexuality is wrong, too. Romans 1:26-27 calls it, ‘dishonorable passions, unnatural relations, and shameless acts.’ In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul warns, ‘Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, will inherit the kingdom of God.’ All of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, not only the Old Testament, affirms and celebrates the male-female relationship. Homosexuality is against God and His whole Bible.”

Mr. Christian should also make clear how Christians understand and apply the Old Testament laws. We understand the Old Covenant, the Old Testament laws, were for ancient Israel then, living in a theocracy and their own nation. It was between God and the Jews of that time. Christ came, fulfilled the Old Covenant, and gave us the New Covenant in His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Gentiles were not under those laws then, and neither Jews nor Gentiles today are obligated to those laws. Christ alone is the way, truth, and life. He Himself alone is the hope of both Jews and Gentiles today.

However, Mr. Christian should also point out that where Old Testament laws repeat in the New Testament, that’s how we are to live. So, for example, when it comes to food, Romans 14:14 instructs us, “Nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.” What about clothing? “Clothe yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14),” or Colossians 3:14, “Clothe yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” All of the 10 Commandments are repeated, reinforced, explained, or expanded upon in the New Testament, and they are to be followed. And yes, when it comes to homosexuality, it’s still wrong in the New Testament.

In the conversation between Mr. Christian and Mr. Not-Christian, Christ is our focus. It is not Mr. Christian’s intent to clobber others with Old Testament law but to speak the truth in love. It is a warning to those in sin, under God’s wrath, bound for punishment and hell. The Bible is a lamp onto our feet and light onto our path, valuable for teaching, training, correcting, and rebuking. Read, hear, and obey today.