Ephesians: Christ Has Abolished The Law


Greetings in Jesus’ name,

It’s time to begin our service this afternoon, and we are so thankful to have you here with us.

I want to extend special greetings to all our friends across Africa. I have exchanged messages this week with several of the brothers in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa. God is working there in their midst, and they are seeing wonderful breakthroughs. So let’s just keep all of them in prayer and the work they are doing.

I pray for everyone, and I count everyone as a friend who wants to be one. I have been very cautious in directing people one way or another; I mainly just try to point you to Jesus. I trust he will lead you to a place where you have community. But there are other brothers out there doing wonderful work who come from our background.

If you are listening here for the first time and wonder who we are, my name is Charles Paisley. Most of our listeners here are formerly part of the cult following of William Branham known as the message. I am the former associate pastor of the second oldest continuously operating message church in the world, located at the birthplace of The Message in Jeffersonville, Indiana. This is a little mission we run to try and help people exiting The Cult.

Today, we are continuing our study of the book of Ephesians, and this is our ninth message examining this second chapter. This chapter has so much in it; it’s not something we can rush through because some of these things are very important to what is going to come afterward. Today, we are still looking at the second half of the chapter, and the last lesson we focused on verse 13 and 14. But today, I want to focus on something in verse 15.

Paul makes a statement in verse 15, which, in a sense, is just said in passing, and I want to spend a little time focusing on that this afternoon and draw our attention to it because I think it will be helpful to us.

And for context, I will read from verse 13 down to verse 16. Let me read.

13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Ephesians 2 ESV


Lord God, we thank you for your love and kindness towards us, your people. We thank you for saving our souls, and we thank you for the Bible. We thank you for our teacher, the Holy Spirit. Lord God, please bless our time today as we look at the scripture. Grant us understanding. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Well, brothers and sisters, we have a topic to look at today which is something some people in the places we come from would find controversial. Most Christians would not, but most people in fundamentalist branches of Christianity do not believe this verse of the Bible we have just read, and it is verse 15. Specifically, in the first half of that verse, Paul has said, very plainly, that Jesus Christ abolished the law of commandments expressed in ordinances. That is the portion of the verse we will be focusing on in this lesson.

Now, in context, Paul has been describing how Jesus Christ created peace: peace between sinners and God, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace between individual members of the body of Christ. As part of what Jesus did to create this peace is that he abolished the law of commandments expressed in ordinances.

That is speaking directly about the Law of Moses because the Law of Moses, which we read about in the Old Testament, is just that—it was a law of commands and ordinances. And that law is what caused Jews and Gentiles to be separate. As Paul explains why Jew and Gentile should be able to get along now and why there is no longer any basis for them to be separated or hostile towards each other, as part of that argument, Paul says here, almost in passing, that the law has been abolished.

That law, which laid at the heart of the division between Jew and Gentile, is abolished. Today, I want to delve into that. Let’s talk about what that means and the implications of saying the law was abolished.

What Is The Law Of Moses?

But before we do, let us just remind ourselves of what the law of Moses even was.

The law of Moses was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. It happened after the Hebrew children left the land of Egypt.

And the law of Moses is something that can be divided into multiple parts. It is made up of multiple components.

Some of the law of Moses is what you could call the moral law:

  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery. The moral law includes things like that.

And then there is another component, which could be called the ritual law. Those are the laws that were all about the symbols and the types and the shadows. Offering sacrifices at the temple, and the ritual laws were all about staying clean. If you touch a dead body, you are unclean. If you eat a pork chop, you are unclean. If you get too close to a gentile, you are unclean. And then if you have become unclean, there are all these sacrifices or rituals you go through to clean yourself back up. You dip yourself in a pool at a certain time and place, and then you are clean. That is where baptism comes from. Or if you have committed certain sins, you need to offer a sacrifice at the temple to make it right. And then there are all these different feasts and holidays you have to celebrate in a certain way.

And all of those ceremonies, and all of those rituals, and all those rules about staying clean, all of those things were symbolic. They were symbolically pointing the way to true holiness and true righteousness. And they were symbolically pointing toward the savior who was going to come. Things like the Passover lamb, or the peace offering, the way the temple was laid out, or the symbols around the Holy of Holies, or the ark of the covenant. Those were all things designed to symbolically point the people towards God, towards true holiness and righteousness, and towards the coming savior who would redeem them.

Now there is a third component of the law, that some people call the social laws. And those are the kind of laws that you find in any country or nation, just for their society to function well. It is laws about property ownership. It’s about how property gets inherited. It is laws about how to settle disputes that may arise between people. Or the laws around having a king, or the succession of kings. Or choosing judges, and how courts should operate. In a sense, it is the same category of things you might find in the constitution of a country. It is the bedrock laws of the society itself.

So those are three areas of the law of Moses I want to point out to you:

  • The Moral Law.
  • The Ritual Law.
  • And the Social Law.

And, depending on who you ask, people might break those down into further categories. But that is, in essence, the three main divisions you could break all the law up into.

And, I am pointing out these different components of the law to you for a couple of different reasons. First is, I want you to understand that many people do break the law up like this, into different parts. It is a very common thing to do, and if you spend much time listening to preachers explain the law, you will come across them giving this sort of an explanation. And I think it is a very reasonable way for a person to categorize all the different laws.

And there are people out there who, they will take statements like we have read here from the apostle Paul, where he says, the law was abolished. And they will tell you, Paul means that only certain components of the law were abolished. They will tell you that the entire law was not abolished. And that Paul here means to say that only parts were abolished.

And it could be that is how you look at it too. And as we go along, I will explain to you how people with that viewpoint arrive at their conclusion, that only part of the law has been abolished.

Now, personally, I am not sure I agree with that. I am of the opinion that the entire law was abolished, in total. But I have spent my entire life in a doomsday cult. And things like this, I am very humble about it.

There could be something here I don’t fully understand. And there are some things here I still personally have some questions about, that I have never found an answer to. So I want to explain to you both of these views, so that way you can make up your own mind. You have the Holy Spirit the same as me. And he can speak to you, just as well as he can speak to me.

So, that is one reason I am pointing out the law of Moses can be logically broken down into these different component categories.

But one thing I want to point out to you is that categorization is not actually something you can find in the plain reading of scripture.

It’s not like the book of Leviticus is the ritual law, and Deuteronomy is the social law, and Numbers is the moral law. It’s not like that. There is not some heading you find in the Bible that says, these are the moral laws. And then it gives you a list of all the moral laws. And then a heading that says social laws, and then it gives all the social laws. It’s not like that at all. It’s all mixed together.

Like I said, it is logical, and it is reasonable to divide the law of Moses up into those different components, and to use that system to analyze and understand the law. But that system itself is not in scripture, to the best of my knowledge.

That is a man-made system of dividing up the law, based on man’s analyses of the law. And some of that analysis is done through the lens of the New Testament. And I again say, I honestly think there is nothing wrong with doing that.

But you have to be careful how far you take something that is not the plain reading of scripture.

And I am not comfortable taking that man-made system of dividing up the law and saying that when Paul talks about the law being abolished, he only meant certain components of it. Because we really have no certain indication, as best I know, that the law was divided up that way back there in the ancient era of time. That logical division of the law of Moses into components is something created in the modern era of church history, as best I know.

Let me read that to you again.

Verse 15 tells us that Jesus Christ made peace.

15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances.

He abolished the law of commandments expressed in ordinances. And what some ministers will say is that the last part there where he says, “expressed in ordinances,” that is just a part of the law. In other words, the entire law is not expressed in ordinances. Only part of the law is expressed in ordinance.

And therefore, the part of the law expressed in ordinances, that part is abolished. But the part not expressed in ordinances, that part is not abolished.

And that sounds reasonable. But the challenge I have is that I don’t see what part of the law is not expressed in ordinances.

If you take away the law expressed in ordinances, I am not really sure what is left. As best I can tell, the whole law is expressed in ordinances. So I don’t see how that really would indicate that Paul is only talking about a portion of the law here.

And I have looked into this quite a bit here as I studied these verses. And, to the best of my understanding, the entire law of Moses was expressed in ordinances. If it was not expressed in ordinances, then it was not the law of Moses. Because that is what Numbers and Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, and parts of Exodus all are. Those books are the law expressed in ordinances.

And when Paul says Christ abolished the law, expressed in ordinances, I really don’t see any other way to take what he is saying except that he has abolished every single ordinance of the law, which is the entirety of the law recorded in Exodus, and Numbers, and Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. And I don’t see any way to make anything else out of this.

So that is, to the best of my understanding.

But I do want to make sure you know that there are lots of men who are very studied in the scriptures. And they take a view that somehow this verse is only talking about partially abolishing the law.

And the ministers who do that, they take the view that the moral law was not expressed in ordinances. And therefore, the moral law is still in effect.

A Puzzle

And, you can find examples of the apostle Paul or Jesus referring to certain commandments. For example, if we went ahead to chapter 6 of Ephesians, we would find there that Paul says, “children, Honor your mother and father,” which is the fifth commandment.

So, even after saying the law is abolished here in chapter 2, when you get to chapter 6, Paul is quoting the law to the Ephesians and telling them to obey it.

So that sets up a bit of a puzzle. How can Paul say the law is abolished in chapter 2, and then in chapter 6 tell the Ephesians to obey parts of the law?

That doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? And it is that very sort of a puzzle that leads some people to suggest that when Paul says the law was abolished, he must not have meant in total. And the fact he would tell the Ephesians to obey the fifth commandment in chapter 6 seems to be evidence of that.

And people who use that sort of reasoning launch off into the theory that the law must be divided into different components, and that certain parts must still be in effect. Then, they will go through all of Paul’s statements and arrive at the conclusion that Paul is saying the ritual law is abolished, and the social law is abolished, but that the moral law is not abolished.

And they will insist on that because Paul, in various epistles, tells his readers to obey certain commandments which would come from the moral law: obey your parents, don’t commit adultery, and so forth.

I hope that is making sense to you why some people hold that view because it is how they solve the puzzle I am talking about. That Paul says the law is abolished, yet he is still quoting certain Old Testament commands for them to follow.

But there is another way to resolve the puzzle. And this way makes more sense to me, and it is a way we can justify through the plain reading of scripture. We don’t have to create a man-made system for dividing the law into various sections. Instead, we can just use the words of scripture to explain it.

Love Fulfills the Law

And for that, I want to remind you of some things Jesus said. When he preached the sermon on the mount, the Pharisees asked Jesus if he had come to destroy the law. And he told them no, I am not come to destroy the law. But he said, I am come to fulfill the law or to complete the law.

And in the book of Galatians and Romans, Paul says the exact same thing – that Jesus Christ completed and fulfilled the law. All the shadows and all the symbols and types the law pointed to – Jesus Christ fulfilled them when he was here on earth.

So, the purpose of the law was fulfilled. The law is not thrown away as something that was worthless and a failure, but the law is put away as something that is completed and is now over. The purpose of the law was accomplished in Christ.

And Jesus, after he fulfilled the law of Moses, he gave us a new law. So, you and I today, we do still follow a law, but it is not the law of Moses. Today we follow the law of Christ.

And the law of Moses was a law expressed in ordinances, but the law of Christ is something different. The law of Christ is not written on tablets of stone. The law of Christ is written on our hearts. It’s something we do and perform from our hearts.

The law of Moses was concerned with an external list of dos and don’ts. But God is looking at our hearts; he is looking to produce a heart change.

And when the lawyers asked Jesus, what is the most important law? Jesus told them it was this – they should love the Lord their God with all their heart, and all their soul, and all their might, and to love their neighbor as themselves. And he said, on this hangs the law and the prophets.

Jesus explained that was the root from which all the rest of the law flowed – it all flows from love.

And at the very end, before he went to the cross, he told his disciples a new commandment I give you. And right there, he gave us the new law. He already told them the law of Moses was fulfilled in him; it was over. And when he said that, he was giving them a new law. He said, a new commandment I give you – that you love one another as I have loved you.

And that is it, that is the law. The apostle John wrote about it in his epistles; the apostle James called it the Royal Law, and he called it the Perfect Law of Liberty. The apostle Paul called it the Law of Christ.

And this new law is the one we follow today because the old law was not actually adequate. The old law of Moses was about symbols and externalism. The law of Moses pointed the people to their coming savior and pointed out that they were supposed to live a life of love. But it didn’t actually have the power to change their hearts to make it so.

But in the new covenant, which Jesus Christ paid for by his blood, the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives can truly change us. God puts a love in our hearts, and that love of God in your heart is true holiness. That love of God in your heart is not just a symbol; it’s the real thing.

And now, we can live a life of love; we can live a life of true holiness in a way that was never possible under the law of Moses because the Holy Spirit bears the fruit of love in our hearts and lives.

So Jesus told the disciples a new commandment I give you. And we find Peter, John, and James – they all wrote about this in their epistles. And Paul, especially, he explains it in Romans 13; he wrote about this too. And I will read it to you.

Romans 13, verse 8, and this is the explanation that makes sense to me. This explanation is how Paul can go back in the old testament and pull forward commandments and tell people to obey them, and it’s not by saying some part of the law of Moses is still in effect.

Let’s read it together.

8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Now, you see, Paul is saying there exactly what I have been describing. If you love and let love guide your actions, then you have fulfilled the law.

Romans 13, King James Version.

It’s that simple. And if you notice there in verse 9, Paul said, and if there be any other commandment… If there be any other commandment, Paul there is explaining how it is that he is bringing up these commandments from the law of Moses.

And he is not saying, “thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “thou shalt not kill,” on the authority of Moses and the law of Moses.

That is not the authority that Paul appeals to when giving those commandments.

And he can’t; Paul cannot appeal to the authority of the law of Moses because the law of Moses is over, it is completed.

And I believe we make a mistake whenever we appeal to the law Moses as the source of authority for keeping any commandment. It is no longer a valid source of authority. And I believe we make a confusion of the scripture and confuse people when we try to appeal to the authority of Moses for keeping a commandment.

So notice there, by what authority is Paul saying, “thou shalt not kill”?

He is appealing to the new commandment; he is appealing to exactly how Jesus explained this thing.

9 … and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Romans 13 King James Version

Paul is appealing to love; he is appealing to the commandment and explanation that Christ gave. And it’s not, “thou shalt not commit adultery because the law of Moses said so.” It is, “thou shalt not commit adultery because that is what love requires.”

And that is it; that is the answer to the puzzle, as best I know. How can it be that Paul would, in one breath, say the law is abolished and then, in another breath, tell people to keep parts of the law?

It’s because he is not telling them to keep those commandments on the authority of the law of Moses. Paul is telling them to keep these commandments on the authority of the law of love.

And the way he words verse 9 there – he says, “and if there be any other commandments, it is comprehended in this saying, love your neighbor as yourself.”

Brothers and sisters, that’s it. Any commandment you want to bring forward from the law of Moses – that is the only way to bring it forward. It has to be justified under loving your neighbor as yourself.

And if you can’t do that, then you have no legitimate basis to bring it forward. You need to leave it back in the old testament. It had value at the time; it had a purpose at the time. But Christ fulfilled it, and it no longer has an application today.

If you want to eat a pork chop, have at it. If you want to wear clothes that have a wool and cotton blend, have at it. If you want to reach out and touch the dead body of your loved one at their funeral, you can do all those sorts of things.

You couldn’t do it under the law of Moses, but you can do it under the law of Christ because none of those things have anything to do with loving your neighbor. They were just symbols of holiness, but now we are the genuine article. They were just symbols pointing to the savior, but now we have the savior.

And we don’t need those symbolic things anymore.

The law is abolished, not in the sense that it was bad and worthless, but in the sense that it no longer serves a valid purpose. We have something better; we have a better covenant; we have been upgraded.

And that is what the bible tells us; that is what we have read in Ephesians 15.

The Law Abolished

The law of ordinances is abolished.

Now, what does that word mean, abolished?

I looked it up, and I want to give you the definition just so we are all clear on the meaning of the word.

Abolish: to formally put an end to a system, practice, or institution; to end the observance of something; to completely do away with something; to annul, halt, cease, cancel, and eliminate; to get rid of.

So, I think it’s pretty straightforward about what the word abolish means, and the law of Moses, which had been expressed in ordinances, is abolished. It ceases to have any authority in and of itself.

And, I have explained to you the two different explanations of how it is that Old Testament commandments are still repeated in the New Testament. One explanation is that only part of the law was abolished, and as I explained, I don’t personally see how to make that fit with the plain reading of scripture, but that is a viewpoint many people hold.

The second explanation is that parts of the law still have an application because they flow out of the commandment that Jesus Christ gave—the command to love one another as he loved us. Whatever flows from love is part of the law of Christ, and when we observe commandments that are required by love, we are not observing the law of Moses. What we are doing is observing the law of the new covenant, which is the law of love.

And whether you are under the new covenant or the old covenant, “thou shalt not kill,” “thou shalt not commit adultery,” “thou shalt not bear false witness”—those are all things we need to observe. But the reason and the authority behind it all have changed. Today, we do not follow those rules because Moses wrote it in the law, but we respect those rules because love requires it. Whatever love requires, that we observe because it is the law of Christ.


Now, before I end this lesson today, I want to read a few more verses to put with what I have said, and there are quite a few. I am just going to read through them quickly with you so you can have them as references.

Turn to Matthew chapter 5 with me. This is Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.

Matthew 5:17 King James Version

And that is what Jesus did; He fulfilled the law; He completed it. And in Luke 24:44,

44 Then [Jesus] said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Luke 24:44 English Standard Version

You see, and this is even more clear if you read this whole chapter. The law was all about Jesus, and he fulfilled it. So verses like these let us know that Jesus is the one who said the law was over and fulfilled.

Turn to Galatians, chapter 3 next. Paul writes in verse 23,

23 Now before faith [in Christ] came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian [the law].

Galatians 3:23-25 English Standard Version

So, very plainly, Paul is telling us the law of Moses is no longer applicable to us. And the book of Galatians, Paul’s main topic in that book, was to show his readers that the law is over and done with. So read that book if you want a detailed walk-through of that by Paul.

And it is passages like this one where it puts us fighting an uphill battle to try to say there is still authority behind the law of Moses because you have these very clear statements repeated over and over telling us that the law of Moses no longer has any authority behind it.

Let’s read Romans, chapter 10, verse 4.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Romans 10:4 English Standard Version

Again, if you believe in Christ, the law has ended; it’s over. It has no authority behind it. This is pretty clear.

Let’s go to Hebrews next, chapter 8.

The book of Hebrews, the main thrust of the book, is explaining how Jesus Christ fulfilled all the symbols, types, and shadows of the law. It goes into detail, and in chapter 8, I will just read one verse, verse 13:

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:13 English Standard Version

If you keep reading through chapter 9 and chapter 10, the entire explanation here, for the next chapter, is how Jesus Christ fulfilled the law of Moses, and now the law of Moses is finished and has become obsolete. That is exactly what verse 13 says; the law of Moses is obsolete now.

Jump forward with me to Hebrews chapter 10, and I am going to finish by reading some of chapter 10 to you. I will read the first 16 verses:

1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first [law] in order to establish the second [law]. 10 And by that will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering, he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16 “This is the [new] covenant [or new law] that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds

Hebrews 10 English Standard Version

Brothers and sisters, I think that is clear without much explanation. Those verses are part of a lengthy explanation as to why the law of Moses is finished and now ceases to have any authority. The first law died on the cross with Christ, and now we have a new law, and it is the law of love, which is written on our hearts and minds.


As we read at the first, back in Ephesians chapter 2, Christ has abolished the law. And like so many things in the book of Ephesians, Paul made just a short brief statement about it there. He didn’t give us a long explanation in Ephesians. If you recall, Paul had spent years of his time in Ephesus personally. He already told them these sorts of things in person. That is why he can be so brief, saying things like “the law is abolished” because they already know the full explanation; they already heard it from him.

But for you or I, we have to go to other parts of scripture to get the full picture. However, as we have done very briefly here, we can see that the law has indeed been abolished. And that means that the law of Moses, found in the Old Testament, ceases to have any authority behind it.

You cannot go into the law of Moses and say, “You must observe this rule because it is written in the bible.” You can’t do that. That would be an irresponsible use of the scripture. In fact, I believe that would be an abuse of the bible. That doesn’t work just because the law of Moses is written in the bible, does not mean you have to observe it because the law of Moses has no authority behind it anymore. It is over in total. There is not one shred of it that can be revived on the basis of, “because Moses said so.”

Today we have a new law, the law of Christ, which is the law of love. Today, you and I, in practice, keep and observe some of the exact same rules that you do find in the law of Moses:

  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Thou shalt not steal.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.

These are all things we still need to observe today, but not because Moses wrote them in a book but because Jesus Christ has commanded you to love your neighbor as he has loved you. That is why we observe some of those same rules—because love requires it.

No greater love hath a man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. True love doesn’t kill, steal, bear false witness, or commit adultery. True love doesn’t hate; true love isn’t jealous, cruel, puffed up, easily provoked, or selfish. True love is kind, patient, and humble. The love that Christ has called us to is something far and above what the law of Moses ever required.

And those are all things deep down in the hearts and minds of man. They are something that you can never change by simply following an externally focused form of legalism. And people who focus on the law of Moses and ignore the realities of grace—that tends to be where they end up. They have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. They have the symbols, yet they lack the genuine article.


Brothers and sisters,

As I bring this lesson to a close, I want to encourage everyone listening to know that there were many Jewish people who were part of the early church, and they continued to observe parts of the law even after Christ came. A pork chop never entered their lips, even after Jesus came, and they all went to heaven. If you want to continue to observe things related to the place where we came from, there is really nothing wrong with that. It is perfectly okay. You have liberty in Christ Jesus to observe whatever things you feel like you want to. May God bless you, and may you be happy doing so.

I will tell you, there are plenty of things I observe in my life. When you have lived a certain way for ten, twenty, thirty, forty years, a lot just becomes habit or natural to you. You like to be that way. It agrees with you. It makes you feel comfortable. But you don’t have to, and I don’t have to either. It is just what we are comfortable with. And if you have certain things that you observe too, there is not a thing wrong with that. Jesus Christ saves us all by grace. Amen and God bless you.

Just like there were people in the early church who continued to observe some parts of the law of Moses, there were people who never kept the law of Moses a day in their life. There are people who ate pork chops all day long. There are people who never wore a phylactery once in their entire life, and they are in heaven too, because Jesus was their savior. And I am glad for that, because I like to eat pork chops. It’s one of my favorites, and I have never owned a phylactery before. But I am a child of God.

And here is the thing. The people who continued to observe different things – they did so recognizing the law had been abolished. And that recognition allowed there to be peace between them and the people who didn’t observe those things. That works both ways. The same freedom the gentiles had, which allowed them to choose to eat pork chop, allowed the Jews to choose not to eat pork chop, if they so desired. That freedom that came with the abolishing of the law swings both ways, and when both sides of the equation can realize that, then there can be peace.

If I want to go out and buy a phylactery to wear, I sure could do that, but I better not try to make you wear one, not unless you want to. And if I decide to go out and buy a phylactery to wear, and you don’t want to, that is perfectly okay. You don’t have to, but you better let me do it and not give me grief. It swings both ways, and I am not advocating us going to get phylacteries. I think that is pretty silly myself.

But that lays right here in the overall point Paul is making in this second half of the book of Ephesians. The wall of hostility is broken down, and these divisions should not be divisions anymore—Jew and Gentile, those who do observe, and those who do not observe. They should be able to sit in peace and respect each other because whatever thing you choose to do, you are doing it within the grace and liberty Jesus Christ has given you.


Let me close here in prayer.


Lord God, we rejoice in the knowledge of the truth. While in my example, I have spoken of phylacteries and pork chops, God, you know those sorts of things are not really a problem today between most people, but it is other things. It is other things we wear; it is other things we consume, and those things cause divisions still today. Lord God, help us all to understand that the law has been abolished and that today we have grace and liberty in Christ. Our liberty is not a license to live in sin, but it is a liberty to let the Holy Spirit lead us as individuals. It is a liberty to make up our own minds on things where the scripture is silent. Lord, let each one of us be guided by love, for love will cover a multitude of sins. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.