No. This was debated at length in the early days of Christianity and the apostles all agreed that the Old Testament law of Moses does not apply to Gentile Christians. In fact, they held a conference about it in Jerusalem in AD50 at which they decided that Gentile Christians would only have to obey four aspects of the Jewish law. They were to abstain from (Acts 15:20)

  1. food polluted by idols
  2. sexual immorality
  3. the meat of strangled animals
  4. blood.

However, later Paul said that we could eat food polluted by idols provided it didn’t encourage anyone to engage in idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:27-33). Notice that circumcision and Sabbath keeping did not make the list although there were plenty of people who wanted them on it (Acts 15:1-2 and Colossians 2:16)

Of course, some parts of the law of Moses were repeated as commands of Jesus or his apostles. In fact, nine of the ten commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The only one not repeated concerns keeping the Sabbath.

However, the law is certainly not irrelevant to us. It provides an excellent guide to the way God views sin and injustice, and there are numerous allegories of Jesus in the law. The sacrifice of Passover, for example, is an allegory of the sacrifice of Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:7) — see chapter 9 of my book The Times for some of the chronological parallels.

Paul says that the law was a schoolmaster “to lead us to Christ” (Gal 3:24). We can learn a lot by reading it.

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8 Responses to Does the law of Moses apply to Christians today?

  1. Ed says:

    The originator of this question needs to be specific as to what constitues the Law of Moses vs. the Law of God.

    The Mosaic law is specific in content. The law of God – The ten commandments – are also specific.

    The Mosaic law were writen by Moses, which were ubject to change; howerver, the Ten Commandments were written by the hand of God (Ex. 32: 16): perpetual, everlasting, permanent, change not, etc. Thus, forever binding today and forevermore.

    Thank you,


    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      As mentioned in the answer, passages like Colossians 2:16 show that keeping the Sabbath was not eternally binding, and is not binding now.

      • friend yearly sabbath..cerimonier sabbath but not weekly sabbath..pray that d holy spirit should open the eye of ur hrt so that u will no the truth abouth the law of God..paul never talk about the weekly sabbath but yearly…o boy! i cry for ds world on how they misinterprete d bible

        • Jonathan Morgan says:

          Sorry, I can’t find any evidence for this.
          Could you please tell me:
          1. Where the yearly sabbath was instituted.
          2. Why you think Paul was talking about yearly sabbath rather than weekly sabbath (bear in mind that while the festivals mentioned in Colossians 2:16 were yearly, the new moon mentioned were monthly, so if as I assume it were a weekly sabbath Paul would be making a logical progression from least frequent event to most frequent event).

        • it is written in the book of exodo 20 the commandment # 4 that we must keep it holy right? so why some christians didn’t rest in sabbath day?

  2. Bob says:

    The Ceremonial Laws pointing forward to the Cross met their fulfillment when Christ was crucified. If the question was asked re the Moral Law, which has existed since Eden Gen 4:8-10 and Gen 26:5, it would most likely not even be asked if there were only 9 Commandments because no one would question whether it is OK for a Christian to have idols, take God’s name in vain, murder, steal, lie, etc. But isn’t it sad that the one commandement that God tells us to Remember is the one that most want to ignore. Not realizing that the 9 Commandements could be from Buddha, Krishna, or Mohammed. It is only the 4th Commandment that actually identifies the Author of the Law as the Creator of all. And yes, the Sabbath is in the New Testament Mark 2:27-28 and Heb 4:4-10. And John was still keeping the Sabbath on Patmos Rev 1:10 I know many will say, No that is Sunday but it is only man’s tradition that has labeled Sunday as the Lord’s Day. If you are going to accept the Bible only, you will not be able to find one verse designating Sunday as the Lord’s Day. But you will find that God calls the Sabbath His Holy day Isaiah 58:13-14 And no verses show that the Sabbath is not eternally binding because when shown in context you see they were a shadow of things to come Col 2:16-17 This, as other “sabbath” verses can only refer to the ceremonial sabbaths, not the Sabbath of the Decalogue, a memorial of creation. If not, someone would have collected 100,000 Euros, google “ukrainian lawyer offers 100,000 euros” Also, God is a God of order and He does not change, so He would not have the Sabbath, then Sunday, and then the Sabbath for eternity Isaiah 66:22-23 No, He instituted the Sabbath at Creation and it is forever binding thereafter. Just consider, the Jews had 2 things they cherished-circumcision and Sabbath. You will find much discussion and debate about not requiring circumcision. Can you imagine the controversy which would have erupted if the Sabbath was an issue. There is nothing recorded because the Christian church was still keeping it Acts 13:42-44 Would this not have been a good time for Paul to tell the Gentiles they could meet the next day on Sunday rather than wait till the nexst Sabbath? But no, even the Gentiles returned the next Sabbath day. Acts 16:13, Philippi, another Gentile city where Paul kept the Sabbath. If the Sabbath had been changed, wouldn’t Paul have changed his custom to clearly show that change? Acts 17:2 And Acts 18:4 Paul kept the Sabbath while in Corinth, persuading both Jews and Greeks. Note it does not say, persuading Jews on the Sabbath and the Greeks on Sunday, the new day of worship.

  3. i dnt have much to write but the writer says that 1 of the ten comandment was sorry may God for give u…the ten comandment which was written by God himself will never change..God help us to understand ur word bcos u just removed 1 of the tn comandment yourself and lied against God..the law of moses is diffirent from d ten comandment

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      Sorry, but I think you are incorrect. The writer didn’t say that 1 of the ten commandments was changed. He said that it was not repeated by Jesus and the apostles.

      The ten commandments were there for Israel, and nothing we say will remove that. That doesn’t guarantee that they are applicable to those who are not part of Israel but instead are followers of Christ. To decide what followers of Christ should do, we look at the commandments of Christ and of his apostles.

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