Before the cross of Christ, mankind was divided into two groups: Jews and Gentiles, a distinction caused by the covenants God had made for Israel alone with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants through Moses (Ex. 33:16; Lev. 20:24,26; Deut. 4:7-8; 1 Chr. 17:21,22; Psa. 147:19,20; Eph. 2:12).
After the cross a new entity came into existence—the church that Jesus Christ promised He would build of all who believe on Him. Now there are three divisions of mankind: Jews, Gentiles, and the church (1 Cor. 10:32). It is absolutely essential to understand that these three groups exist side-by-side in today’s world, and the church was created through offering to both Jews and Gentiles a “new covenant” relationship with God. This did not bring Gentiles under the Jewish law, but delivered from it both Jews and Gentiles coming into the church. God has “broken down the middle wall of partition between [Jew and Gentile]; having abolished in His flesh the [Mosaic] law of commandments contained in the ordinances; for to make in Himself of [Jew and Gentile] one new man” (Ephesians 2:11-22).
That the Mosaic law was never intended for Gentiles and is not applicable to the church is clear; it was “abolished” by Christ. Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18). Far from teaching that the law would always be in force, Christ declared that it would pass away when it was fulfilled, and that He had come to fulfill it. His life, death, burial, and resurrection accomplished this fulfillment and made possible the new covenant relationship with God whereby those in the church are “justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:21-30).
—Adapted from “The Berean Call,” September 1989 issue, by Dave Hunt