By Ken Blue
February 21st, 2018. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies.

The dispensation of Law began at Mount Sinai and was set aside at Mount Calvary. It was given by God, and bestowed His people through Moses. It takes up a tremendous amount of the Old Testament, from Exodus 19:5 through the life of Jesus on earth, to John 19:30. Romans 10:4 describes the end of this dispensation: “ Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:14-15.

 Moses and Israel as a nation were responsible to administer the Law
The Law was from Mount Sinai until the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when He fulfilled the Law during His life and at Mount Calvery.
Man’s Responsibility: Keep the whole Law (Exodus 19:3–8) 
Broke the Law (2 Kings 17:7–20) 
Judgment: Worldwide dispersion (Deuteronomy 28:63–66; Luke 21:20–24) 
Grace and works: The promised Savior is sent (Isaiah 9:6–7; Galatians 4:4–5) 

God gave the Law to help His people understand righteousness and sin, and to point to the Messiah (Romans 3:20), but the Law didn’t save people, nor was it ever meant to. The Law also did not abolish the Abrahamic covenant, which is unconditional and is still awaiting final fulfillment. The Law can be thought of as a conditional covenant given specifically to the nation of Israel; it was also a *temporary covenant made void by the New Testament.

During the dispensation of Law, the Law defined for the Israelites how and when God would bless their nation based on their ability to keep the Law (Exodus 19:5). Of course, people are not able, on their own, to reach the level of righteousness that God demands, as evidenced almost immediately after the Law was given when Aaron and the people created a false god in the form of a golden calf (Exodus 32). 

The Law was for Israel only (Exodus 19:3–8; Deuteronomy 4:8; 5:1–3), and not Gentiles, as Jesus explained (Mark 12:29–30). Paul also explained that the Law was for Israel, not Gentiles, and not the Church (Romans 2:14; 9:4–5; Ephesians 2:11–12). 

Failure to uphold the Law characterized Israel’s history from Mount Sinai until 70 AD when the temple was destroyed. However, as all God’s dispensations, the dispensation of Law served the purpose for which it was instituted. The Law was fulfilled in Jesus. (Matthew 5:17). Jesus’ fulfillment means that we, by putting our faith in Him, may also be justified by Him, and not through the Law (Galatians 2:16).
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