Does God still expect us to offer sacrifices or go through special cleansing after our menstrual period? Does eating pork or shrimp displease God? How do we know what applies to us today?
These are good questions.
Some Old Testament laws were specific to the nation of Israel or a specific time in history. God did away with dietary laws(1) and sacrifices(2). But what about all the other laws?
There are complex theological answers to these questions, but the easiest way to discern what applies to us today is to ask: Is it also commanded in the New Testament? If so, it applies!
But perhaps the most important thing we should know about God's New Testament commands is their purpose. They are meant to protect us, help us find fulfillment, and help us become more like God, the Command-Giver.
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011
(1) Matthew 15:11; Acts 10:9-16
(2) Hebrews chapters 9 and 10
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