Laws vs. commands

Laws vs commands

OT Laws or NT Commands

New Testament Christian living is not an extension of Old Testament Law living.

The Old Testament (OT) contains over 600 laws.  One writer indicates there are over 1,000 commands in the New Testament (NT). I ain’t counting them.  Go for it if it’s important to ya and get back to me.

Let’s think about a fundamental difference between OT laws and NT commands.

The OT book of Deuteronomy records Moses reiterating the law to God’s people.  It’s an important book, quoted by Jesus more than any other OT book.  In Deut. 11:26-28a Moses says,

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and  the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God …”

OT Laws have blessings and cursings.

First you obey and then God blesses.  If you disobey, God curses.

NT Commands (note the change in term from laws to commands) do not have blessings and cursing.  Not one!

I wonder why that is?  Any ideas?

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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7 Comments on “Laws vs. commands”

  1. Ashlin Says:

    Love this thought, Dan. I neglect to be thankful enough for this. I believe that we’re living in a completely different time, or dispensation. A friend of mine, Ed Underwood says “Sadly, when I talk to many believers and I mention my gratitude for living in the era of grace, they have no idea what I’m talking about.”

    I had a great, short conversation with a friend the other day about the continuity between OT and NT salvation. Both are by faith alone, yet the large difference is the “era of grace.” Now, God freely blesses ill-deserving enemies of his–like me–without keeping tabs of my wrong-doings. Thankfully for Christ’s work, God won’t give me what I deserve in that regard. Not to mention that He overpays me for the small things I do that invoke a heavenly reward.

    So I’m thankful for grace–because it leads me to Jesus, and that’s where I want to be. It’s time to start responding to and living in grace.

  2. landsway Says:

    Maybe we don’t have curses in the NT because Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law. Is also why we now have commands and not laws. We could talk for the rest of our lives and still not be done seeing what all His grace does for us.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:


      Ka — CHING… thats a great one! Man I need to let that one sink in…

      You know how we know something but we really don’t know it. Or, we learned something but we have to relearn it. I think this is one of them


      Grace Freak
      Dan Rockwell

      • landsway Says:

        I think this one may be one we never really get because grace adapts to our constantly changing needs. Could anyone but Jesus adapt to all of that.

  3. Jared Young Says:

    Age of Grace. God deals with those on this side of the cross a bit different. Faith is still faith, God is the unchanging God. But this age is different. Just like before the Law came, God dealt with man slightly differently once the Law was instituted.

    my two cents

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Thanks Jared,

      I’m with you faith is still faith. Faith applies on either side of the cross.

      A change in method is not the same as a change in God’s character. God changes the way He deals with us but HE NEVER changes.

      Thanks for your 2 cents…



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