I think it should be pretty clear by now that most people have no idea what the heck they’re talking about when they say “we’re no longer under the law”.
What Paul meant when he said “we’re no longer under Law but grace” is that instead of receiving punishment or eternal separation from God for our INTENTIONAL SINS, we would now receive grace.
When he said, “Christ has freed us from the curse of the Law”, he was talking about the transformation of one specific aspect of God’s justice system, and not leveling condemnation at all of God’s Torah.
This is the big error the gentile church has made.
In their fast food misinterpretation of this one statement of Paul’s, they have demonized God’s holy justice system brought forth by Moses and at the same time given birth to a virulent form of anti-semitism that has yet to be quelled to this day.
It is a mistake to refer to the Law as if it means ALL of God’s justice system.
God’s justice system consists of many components of which the Law is just one.
If I was to simplify it, I would say the justice system of ancient Israel was comprised of the following two main parts:
The LAW and the SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
However, technically speaking, that is not the most accurate way to present it because the sacrificial system is contained within the Law as part of the Law.
But for the purpose of making this a bit easier to understand, I am separating the two.
And functionally speaking, it is true that the Law and the Sacrificial system did operate as separate systems used for practically OPPOSITE purposes.
You have to understand that the LAW is NOT the same as God’s justice system (MISHPAT in Hebrew), it is ONLY a part of God’s justice system.
Or another way to phrase it that might make it even easier to understand is to say that WITHIN God’s justice system, the Law had its role to play and the sacrificial system also had its role to play and these two complemented each other.
Let’s compare this to our (American) justice system to get an even better understanding.
The justice system in the United States declares some crimes as less severe than others.
In general, we classify the less severe crimes as MISDEMEANORS and the high-handed serious crimes as FELONIES.
So using this as an admittedly imperfect analogy, the Levitical Sacrificial System ONLY atoned for MISDEMEANORS and NOT for FELONIES.
So in the Lord’s justice system, MISDEMEANORS equals UN-intentional sin and the FELONIES equal intentional sin.
Again, this is far from a perfect example and should not be taken literally.
As a teacher, I’m just trying to make things as easy to understand as possible here.
Now one major difference between our modern justice system and ancient Israel’s is that the crimes we commit are considered to be offenses against one’s fellow man.
However, according to the ancient Hebrew mindset, all sins committed were first and foremost an offense against the Lord even though the wrong done was something that harmed a fellow human being.
The reason is because it was God who defined what was right and wrong in one’s dealings with his fellow man.
Thus, any violation of any kind that occurred between fellow Israelites was also an offense towards YHVH.
Another misconception commonly held about the sacrificial system is that its purpose was to extract penalties from wrongdoers.
This is not true.
The sacrificial system was NOT an escalating system of penalties or fines.
It wasn’t like the bigger the unintentional sin you committed, the bigger or more expensive animal you had to offer up.
You didn’t sacrifice a dove for a tiny misdemeanor and an ox for a large misdemeanor.
The purpose of the sacrificial system was so you could MAINTAIN your relationship with God by providing forgiveness for any unintentional sins you may have committed.
The sacrificial system was a form of GRACE provided by God for the benefit of the people.
It was all about obedience and reconciliation to a holy God.