When the bible mentions “the Law”, it ordinarily means the Law of God which was given by Moses atop Mount Sinai. The Law is to be taken to mean the Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments as well as the so-called “ceremonial laws.” In Galatians 3, Paul speaks of the Law, so as to define that of which he is speaking without doubt and beyond dispute. He says, “now this I say: a covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannual, so as to make the promise of none effect” (Gal. 3:17). What is the Law? It is that which came 430 years after the promise was made to Abraham.
Someone might ask: What is the difference between the law of Moses and the Gospel of Christ? By the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we mean that system by which God had purposed from eternity to save fallen man. It is referred to as a promise in some instances. In fact, Paul says, “Now unto Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to they seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16 f; Gen 12:1-3).
So God’s plan of salvation is called the Gospel, and it is also called the Promise. Furthermore, the Gospel is also called the Faith. Many times, when the word “faith” occurs, it is not speaking of believing, but it is speaking of the system of faith, the Gospel, or of the fulfillment of the Promise made to Abraham. In Rom. 3:28, Paul says, “We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” Paul is saying, that one is justified by the Gospel, and not by the Law of Moses. Some people use this passage in an effort to prove that salvation or justification comes by faith only, but to so use it is to misuse it.
During the New Testament times, one of the greatest dangers confronting the church was that of mixing Judaism with Christianity. People in New Testament times had just come out of Judaism, and therefore it was rather difficult for them to leave all of their Jewish concepts, and to replace these with Christian concepts. As a nation, the Jews had lived under the Law of Moses for fifteen-hundred years.
Some in Rome obviously thought that they could be saved as were those who lived under the Old Testament Law. So Paul wrote to correct this false impression. Some of the members of the church were on the verge of going back to the Law, and even already some of them were intermixing the Law and the Promise. The Hebrew epistle has a similar intention. Certain ones of the Jews that had been converted to Christianity were getting a little discouraged. So Paul wrote to them to encourage them to continue in the Faith, and to warn them of going back to the Law. These brethren were being severely persecuted by their former Jewish brethren and this persecution had something to do with their retreat toward Judaism. Paul rebuked them for giving up, saying, “You have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:4). The indication is that there was great danger that they were going to have to shed some blood because of renouncing Judaism, but he said you are giving up before you even shed your blood. So one can readily see that this problem of intermixing the Old Testament and the New Testament laws was a problem confronting the church.
Some denominations today exist as separate bodies simply because they want to intermix the Gospel with a touch of Judaism, and this touch of Judaism is often a rather heavy touch. There are some individuals who try to bind the carnal act of circumcision, and to say that it is an obligation upon these living today under God’s Law. There are some organizations that keep the Sabbath Day. They do not meet upon the First Day of the week as the New Testament church did, but they meet on Saturday. Why? Because they try to bind on people today a portion of the Law of Moses.
There are some religious organizations which burn incense in their worship. Why? Not because of any commandment found in the New Testament, the Gospel of Christ, but merely because it was a part of the Law of Moses. They mix the two laws and come out with a conglomeration that is indistinguishable as either Christianity or Judaism, but is a mixture of both.
The vast majority of religious organizations use mechanical instruments of music in their worship service. They sometimes resent others inquiring as to why they use their instruments. Let someone ask them why They have an instrument or music to accompany their singing, and when they search the New Testament for the authority for it, and fail to find it, they become offended. Usually, they reply by saying, “Well they had mechanical instruments of music in the Old Testament, didn’t they?” To which one must reply, “Yes,” but it just so happens that we are not living under the Old Testament Law. This is but another attempt on the part of man to intermix Judaism and Christianity. Instruments of music are no part of Christian worship, but were a part of the Old Testament worship.
There are others who think a preacher or a “priest” has to make intercession for the sinner, and that they have to make confession to some man in order to have their sins forgiven. Under the Old Testament, the priests had to offer the sacrifices, and they did stand between God and the sinner. But not so in the New Testament. Christ is the High Priest, and each Christian is a priest, so each person can pray to God for forgiveness. This is another example of mixing the two systems.
Conclusion: The bottom line is this, it is impossible to mix the law of Moses and the law of Christ and not get a contradiction. It is an abomination to God for anyone to mix the two laws, inasmuch that the Spirit had Paul to write that anyone who attempted to mix the two had “Fallen from grace”. (Gal 5:4) It doesn’t get any worse than that, for anyone who is fallen from the grace of God has no hope for eternal salvation.