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Old law vs. new grace

Submitted: 12/13/2004
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Question: I am currently going to an apostolic church and wonder about the dresses, long hair, no make up, etc. The old testemant was 'law' and in the new testemant, the law was then 'changed' by His grace, so are you to still live by the old or the new?

Answer: In Romans 3:30-31, Paul asked, 'Since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.'

The Old Testament ceremonial law was fulfilled and done away with in Jesus Christ. This means that we are no longer required to offer animal sacrifices, keep the Sabbath, or circumcise our children. But the moral law and God's basis principles of godliness were not done away with.

Jude warned that certain men have crept into the church-world who 'turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ' (Jude 4). These men promote the belief that because of grace we can live however we please and still be saved. The deny the lordship of God, that is, God's right to tell us what we must do.

Christian women wear dresses and allow their hair to grow without cutting it to illustrate the difference between men and women and to glorify God. It has nothing to do with Old Testament law. In fact, Titus 2:11-12 specifically states that 'the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.' Grace does not replace godliness but teaches it.