The Statutes in the Old Testament
The first books in the Old Testament are called ‘torah’. The term means; instruction, teachings, directions. ‘Torah’ is the code of laws that showed the right path to the people of Israel. In the New Testament the Greek term ‘nomos’ is used to mean ‘the law’. These terms are used in the Holy Bible to mean the will of God expressed through His commandments and injunctions.
If before the time of Moses, there was a kind of tribal law, from the time of Moses up to the time of the exile it was the covenant law that was in force (Genesis 12 :3). The Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:2-17, Deut. 5:6-12) and the statutes of the Covenant (Exod. 20:22-23, 33) were given during this time. The people of Israel received the unwritten and written laws of God. These laws were the expressions of the will of God.
The Law of the Lord and the Law of Christ
In the Synoptic Gospels, the law of the Lord is connected with the Incarnation. Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill a promise. The early Church in general reacted favorably and at the same time unfavorably to the claims of the law of the Lord.
St. Paul pointed out that the law of the Lord requires sincere repentance and perfect obedience. Perfect obedience is not slavish; nor is it a state of being bound within the limits of the law. On the other hand, it is a means to attain Christian freedom. The New Testament is not a Jaw, but a contract of love and freedom leading to sonship. Phrases like ‘the law of faith, (Rom 3:27), and ‘the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2), ‘the law of sin (Rom. 7:23), ‘the law of life’ (Rom. 8 :2) illustrate this truth. St. Paul explains how the law of the Lord becomes the expression of His will. St. Paul also lays great emphasis on its role in the act of redemption; he connects it to man’s freedom and to his faith in God.
Conception of the Kingdom of God
‘The Kingdom of God’ is the translation of the Greek words “he basileia tou theou.” ‘Basileia’ literally mean rule, supervision or kingship. It does not mean kingdom. Nor does it mean the territory under God’s rule. It means the rule of God. The conception of God’s kingship was part of the Hebrew tradition. The prophets of Israel interpreted this idea’ in detail. The expectation of the Israelites of the coming of Messiah was nourished by this idea.
The Universality of God
The Jews were looking forward to the establishment of the Kingdom of God in Judea with Jerusalem as the centre. But the trials and tribulations of the period of exile shattered their hopes. They came