If we are become dead to the law as said in

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.( AKJV )

& if disannulling of the commandment took place as said in

Hebrews 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. ( AKJV )

the why is Paul quoting from

Deuteronomy 17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. ( AKJV )


1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. ( AKJV )


Please see the list of Old Testament verse quoted from New Testament

  • 2
    When Paul says we are dead to the law and to sin, he doesn't mean there are no moral laws or sin any more, only that the law isn't how we are justified; not becoming just by keeping the law is different from whether God wants you to keep it or not. Apr 14, 2019 at 18:18
  • Christians are to live a holy and sanctified life. Some things from the law may seem similiar to new testament admonitions because they are both dealing with moral guidance. We are not under the commandments of the law. Though there is still ethical requirements that God has for us. Which is taught in the NT commandments and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Not to say the OT isnt full of lessons on morality, I reckon every commandment in the NT can be found somewhere in the OT through moral lessons one can learn from the stories.
    – GFFG
    Apr 14, 2019 at 19:13
  • 2
    There is hardly enough wording there to claim, outright, that it is a quotation. A better question (in this same area) is "Why does Paul tell children in the church to obey their parents and say that this is the 'first commandment with promise' if we are dead to the law ?" But you might find that is a duplicate question.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 14, 2019 at 20:38

3 Answers 3


If we "died to the law" & "disannulling of the commandment" took place the why is Paul quoting " Deuteronomy 17:7 " in "1 Corinthians 5:13"?

Your question, I believe, is one of the most important questions anyone can ever ask.

But actually, the answer will take you into territory which is very familiar to you. We are saved by grace, not by works. But if we are saved by grace then why does the NT speak of the law? We are saved in order that we might learn to live a life that is pleasing to God. It is the moral law, summarized in the ten commandments, spiritually understood (i.e. to be obeyed from the heart, with zeal, humility, sincerity, willingly, reverently, etc) which tells us how to please God.

There are many laws. There is: the moral law of the ten commandments; the ceremonial law of the OT; civil laws of nations involving judges and magistrates, etc; laws of manners and customs which differ between differing cultures, such as standing up when someone comes into a room to show respect, etc.

Then there are laws of nature, such as the law of gravity. It is this kind of law to which the Apostle Paul refers when he says "I find then a law that when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21) - he means he finds a force, a power that is present and rises up when he wants to do what is right and good. When we swim downstream and go along with our sinful nature then we do not realize the force of the river; only when we want to swim upstream against the flow of our old nature do we realize there is a law, a force, fighting against our newborn desire to obey God.

Some say our salvation depends on our obedience to the moral law: those who believe this are called "legalists". And those who say that the ten commandments have no place in the Christian life are called "antinomians".

The moral law is summed up in the ten commandments. Let us take just one of its laws: "Thou shalt not kill." Is that a law? Yes it is and no it is not. It is a law in that it tells us what we should not do. But, it is not a law in that it does not tell us what is the penalty if we fail.

"Thou shalt not kill" is the bare moral law. It can be seen as forming part of other laws only when the penalty for disobedience is stated. "Thou shalt not kill but if you do you shall be put to death" is the moral law as it forms part of the civil law of a nation; "Thou shalt not kill and if you do you shall spend eternity in hell" is the law as it forms part of the Covenant of Works; and "Thou shalt not kill, but if you do I, the LORD, shall discipline you, but ultimately still forgive you" is the law as it forms part of the Covenant of Grace. We need to know what is the penalty for disobedience before we can say which law is being spoken of.

In the NT the law of the OT is spoken of because the OT law tells us what pleases God. Sometimes when the NT says the law is finished it is referring to the ceremonial law, and sometimes it is speaking of moral law of the ten commandments as it forms part of the Covenant of Works. It is never speaking of the moral law as summarized by the ten commandments, per se, because the ten commandments also form part of the basis of the Covenant of Grace. What part do they play in the Covenant of Grace? Like this: it is as if the LORD says to us "I have pleased you by saving you freely by my grace through Christ, now please me by loving me and show your love for me by keeping my commandments."

Why doesn't the NT clearly differentiate between the OT ceremonial law and the moral law as it forms part of the Covenant of Works? I guess because humankind is very keen to make a covenant of works out of every law of the OT. So the Ceremonial Law is also turned into a covenant of works. Everything unbelieving men touch is turned into dross. The Ceremonial Law was given to give illustrations of how Christ would save his people, eg by the sacrifice of himself. But unbelieving men think the Ceremonial Law gave salvation by obedience to it: Does the Ceremonial Law say sacrifice this goat? So if I do this then I shall live. The Ceremonial Law then also becomes merely a covenant of works, and not a pointer to the way of salvation by faith in Christ.

"For sin shall not be your master for you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14. Here the Apostle is talking about the law of the Covenant of Works: you are not under the Covenant of Works but under the Covenant of Grace. You are not saved by your obedience to the moral law, but you are saved by grace. And now you are saved by grace remember that the moral law is my law and it pleases me, the LORD, if you try to keep it.

Under the Covenant of Works only perfect obedience is acceptable. We are rejected after one fall.. "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen" (Deuteronomy 27:26) and "Cursed be the man that obeys not the words of this covenant" (Jeremiah 11:3) and "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Galatians 3:10). These verses show that there is no forgiveness in the Covenant of Works even upon repentance. But under the Covenant of Grace God remembers that we are but fallen, he knows our condition and accepts us for Jesus sake, after repentance, after many (many!) falls. A loving father is pleased with his child's first attempts to walk, even though it is lacking.

I don't know if I have fully satisfied your question. Hopefully I've given sufficient hints. You cannot say the OT law no longer applies to believers. It still shows us God's will, what pleases God, gives instructions that still apply. The Ceremonial Law is finished in its entirety but it still teaches many things; and the moral law as part of the Covenant of Works is dead to the believer in Christ, but it is still our guide as to how to try to please God as it forms part of the Covenant of Grace.

In the NT little lessons are taught by referring back to examples from the Ceremonial Law, but no where does the NT recommend reintroducing the Ceremonial Law. Even though the Ceremonial Law is not to be reintroduced the OT still contains much that instructs us as evidenced by the following verses:-

"All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine...." etc (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

"Everything that was written in the Law of Moses ... this was written for us" (1 Corinthians 9:9-10).

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

"Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did... these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:6,11).

For further comfort in this then Martin Luther's monumental "Commentary on Galatians", "The Marrow of Modern Divinity" by E. Fisher and "God's Way of Peace" by Horatius Bonar would all be worthy books to dig further.


The modern Christian Church (as a whole) has never fully answered this question because it involves a dilemma: If we are free from the "Law" (Rom 6:14, 15, Gal 5:1) why does the NT so often quote OT laws as though they are still binding such as Matt 4;10, Rev 19:10 (1st commandment), 1 John 5:21, Acts 17:29 (2nd commandment), 1 Tim 6:1 (3rd commandment), Matt 19:19, Eph 6:1-3, (5th commandment) Matt 19:18, Rom 13:9, etc.

Indeed, some parts of the NT say we are free from the law and that by works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Rom 3:21); yet, there are many other places where we find statements that the law was not and could not be abolished (Matt 5:17-19, Luke 16:17, Rom 7:7, 13, 14, 1 Tim 1:8, James 2:8).

So which is it? One of the most common traditional answers (which I find unsatisfactory) was given by various churches during the early part of the Reformation (eg, see appendix below) which divided the Torah into three parts, namely, moral law (usually the 10 commandments), ceremonial law and civil law. The implication being that only the ceremonial and civil laws were abolished (Col 2:14-17) but not the moral laws.

While such an argument is logically convenient, it is not satisfactory for several reasons:

  • No such distinctions are made in the Torah itself
  • When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He relied with two moral commandments that are not part of the 10 commandments (Matt 22:34-40) but still from the Torah.
  • Even if we maintain this tripartite division, there is no definitive way to distinguish between these different types of laws/commandments. The NT makes no such distinction.

The problem here is that the other assertion that Christians are completely free from law is also unsupportable. No one really suggests that Christians are free to cheat, steal, murder and fornicate, blaspheme, covet, worship false gods, etc. Nor are Christians free to disobey the laws of the land (Rom 13:1-7). Further, all churches have their own canon law which is enforced within the group - there are man-made laws which in some churches take precedence over Bible laws - the latter they say do not need to be observed! (Note the historic disputes about how communion is to be observed despite no such requirement explicitly stated in scripture.)

Some groups simply assert that we are free from the Torah entirely but must keep:

  • “Law of Christ” (Gal 6:2, 1 Cor 9:21)
  • “Law of God” (Rom 8:7)
  • “My laws” (Heb 8:10, 10:16)
  • “Law of the Spirit” (Rom 8:2)
  • “Law of faith” (Rom 3:27)

This is all very well until we ask what any of these are. The Christian church has never properly answered this question. Another way to state this dilemma is to say that legalism is just as bad as antinomianism. Paul recognised this problem in his magnum opus (Romans) and spends chapters 2-8 discussing these which I do not intend to repeat here. In Eph 2:8-10 he is most succinct:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The fundamental problem here is a ridiculous attempt (by some) to decide which laws are still relevant and binding - but a moment's thought tells us that this is very thinly disguised legalism. We keep forgetting that keeping the law (in human terms) is impossible!!!

Paul resolves this in the above quote and in Romans by telling us two things:

  1. We cannot keep the law and any attempt to keep the law is bound to fail. Therefore, by the works of the law no flesh will be justified.
  2. He also tells us that the law has authority over us (Rom 7:1) and that the law and commandment is "holy righteous and good" (Rom 7:12) and that the law informs our conscience (Rom 7:9-11).

Paul then states (again) that we cannot keep the law in our flesh. We must become a slave to God's law (Rom 7:25). As Christians, we become spiritual beings, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Rom 8:5.

In Col 3:1-3 we find the correct focus of the Christian "our minds are fixed on heavenly things, not on the law! See also Heb 12:2, 3, etc.


Numerous "confessions" make divisions in the Torah such as:

  • Thomas Aquinas discussed the tripartite law, moral, ceremonial, and judicial, in his “Summa Theologica”, section entitled "Treatise on the Law" and more specifically in questions 99-105.
  • Luther appears to believe in a bipartite Law, when in The Bondage of the Will, he referred to "the civil or moral law. (Luther Bondage CXLVI)
  • Calvin, in book 2 of Institutes of the Christian Religion (2.7, 2.8.31), presented a bipartite view when he discussed the law, its moral and ceremonial aspects. However, later, in book 4 of the Institutes (4.20.14), when he discussed civil government, he presented a tripartite law when he stated: "the well known division which distributes the whole law of God, as promulgated by Moses, into the moral, the ceremonial, and the judicial law.”
  • The Westminster Confession (1646) set out a tripartite law
  • The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) almost copies the Westminster Confession in assuming a tripartite law (see Chapter 19). (According to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, no such division exists.)

If we "died to the law" & "disannulling of the commandment" took place the why is Paul quoting " Deuteronomy 17:7 " in "1 Corinthians 5:13"?

Quite simply it is because Paul believed that the Law was still profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness:

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17

This is why Paul could write:

31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. -Romans 3:31

And also in the same book,

6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. -Romans 7:6

We are no longer bound to the law to serve it and be penalized by it, but we uphold the law (and the Old Testament in general) as breathed out by the Spirit of God and useful for equipping us for every good work.

In Deuteronomy 17:7, Paul mines a vital principle embedded in the text and related it to the lives of the Corinthians - not to bind them to the Old Law of Moses, but to equip them to live for God.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.