Continuity and Discontinuity


The Old Covenant is over, a truth which has radical implications for the Christian’s relationship to the Ten Commandments and other commands. However, the Old Testament remains inspired and profitable for believers. Continuity and Discontinuity helps us sort through these topics and related issues.



The subject of continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments is one of the “hot button” issues in theology today. How many of the laws in the Old Testament are Christians to obey today and how many are fulfilled and done away in Christ?

Some theologians divide the Law of Moses into three lists of laws: the ceremonial law, the civil law, and the moral law (the Ten Commandments). The ceremonial and civil laws have been fulfilled, but the moral law is still in effect without change. Any suggestion that the Ten Commandments have been altered or dropped in any sense earns the label “antinomian.”

This book affirms the following: the Ten Commandments are a vital part of a Christian’s rule of life, not as they were written on the tablets of stone for Israel (Exodus 34:27, 28), but as they were interpreted and applied by Christ and His apostles. Our Lord raised the moral standard in the Sermon on the Mount and in the epistles. He changed some laws, dropped some laws, and added some laws. He never contradicted Moses, but He did contrast His new and higher law with Moses.

The real issue is this: Does Jesus replace Moses as a new lawgiver in the same sense that He replaces Aaron as high priest? Is Jesus a new lawgiver, or is He merely the final interpreter of Moses? The answer comes as part of a larger question about continuity and discontinuity. When we discuss covenants, there is total discontinuity—the Old Covenant, in its entirety, has been replaced by the New Covenant. If we discuss God’s one unchanging purpose in sovereign grace, there is one hundred percent continuity.

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