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Hebrews 10:15-16 (NIV) reads:

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

What laws will God put in Christians' hearts and write in their minds? Is it a concrete list of specific laws? If so, I would encourage that answers provide an explicit enumeration of the laws accompanied by supporting verses.

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Jesus replaced Moses and Elijah.

Luke 9:28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.
...
34While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone.

Jesus represents the Law and the Prophets. Later, Hebrews affirms that in

Hebrews 10:15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

These laws of the Holy Spirit symbolize the Holy Spirit himself.

John 14:16

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever

Advocate
Παράκλητον (Paraklēton)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3875: (a) an advocate, intercessor, (b) a consoler, comforter, helper, (c) Paraclete. An intercessor, consoler.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

  1. "one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant; an advocate"

The indwelling Spirit in us tells us what is okay or not. He puts his laws in our consciences, and he writes them on our minds.

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    Makes sense. Galatians 5:13-18 seconds this: 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Feb 6 at 15:40
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    16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Feb 6 at 15:41
  • Actually, if one is the catalogue the existing 10 commandments, one will find they are divisible into 2 parts...1-4 = love God, and 5-10 = love thy neighbour. Rather familiar with Jesus statement isnt it!
    – Adam
    Feb 6 at 20:13
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At the outset, I would like to flag up two biblical principles that form my starting point for answering this important question.

(1) Romans 3:20 - “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Whatever answers folks come up with, there surely can be no disputing that striving to keep either all, or some, of God’s law will never contribute in any way to being justified in God’s sight?

(2) James 2:10 - to break the written law of God at one point means all of it has been broken. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Verses 11 and 12 add the strongest caution for all Christians who would strive to retain some kind of law-keeping, saying that they SHALL transgress that law, but that Christians “shall be judged by the law of liberty.”

Now I would simply like to list relevant scriptures further to those two principles, and let them speak for themselves, in light of the aforementioned principles.

Romans 6:14-18 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace…to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed FROM THE HEART that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

Ephesians 2:13-18 “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ, for he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS IN ORDINANCES; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby; And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

Colossians 1:21-22 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your MIND by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of HIS FLESH through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”

Colossians 2:13-14 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of YOUR FLESH, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 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 the cross.”

I have capitalised words and phrases relevant to the question, and related to the two biblical principles at the outset, which I hope will form a solid foundation for building an answer upon – the answer now being self-evident from the scriptures quoted.

Hebrews 10:15-16 is a key text in the question, which I address now. It quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-33, where I note that God promises a new covenant (singular) and a new law (singular) but written upon many new hearts, and contained within many renewed minds. This strikes me as significant when James speaks of the (singular) law of liberty – James 2:10-12 quoted in full at principle No. 2.

It is the (singular) law of liberty that is written in new minds (which are now the mind of Christ – 1 Cor. 2:16) and in new hearts of Christians.

God is not dealing with a litany of individual sins with individual Christians, because the new covenant in Christ’s shed blood dealt with ALL sin, just as ALL of the old covenant law was nailed to the cross, having served its purpose and now having been taken out of our way. So, why would any Christian want to go running back to that “handwriting of ORDINANCES that was AGAINST US”, to drag it (or even some of it) forward for consideration? It is no longer in the new covenant equation.

If a Christian has not discovered this law of liberty – their lack shown by keeping on going back to the old covenant law and ordinances, as if some of it still applies, somehow, in the new covenant – then they will have fallen between two stools. A person either sits on the stool of old testament law and ordinances (the entire lot) or on the stool of the law of liberty, found only in Christ. That’s where Christians would want to be found resting on, I suppose, for no rest will be found anywhere else. It simply is not possible to try to keep those two stools tied together, so that a Christian can straddle both. That may now call for a new question!

But my simple answer to this immensely complex matter (simple though your question actually is) is that God puts his law of liberty in Christians’ hearts and minds.

EDIT - You reasonably requested that I explain what this ‘law of Liberty’ is. Consider, please:

John 1:16-17 “For of [Christ’s] fulness have all we received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Verse 14 states that when the Son of God dwelt among men, they beheld him to be full of grace and truth. Acts 13:39 “And by [Christ] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

The movement is away from the law of Moses, which only condemns all who break it (all of us), to being justified in a legal sense before God. That can only happen when us law-breakers receive the fullness of Christ – grace upon grace. Then we are no longer judged by the old testament law because Christ blotted out “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15).

Needless to say, a person who has not received that fullness of Christ, that grace upon grace, will not understand – let alone experience – the liberty in Christ that comes with realisation of our new freedom in Christ. Only then does a person begin to grasp the wonder and joy of having been judged according to the law of Liberty, and thus being set free - liberated. But our sins have not been swept under a heavenly carpet. They have been dealt with legally. Individual sins were suffered by Jesus Christ in the hours of darkness, bearing our sins in his body on the tree. This deals with one's own personal actions committed within and by one's own body, mind and heart. Sin, itself, that which entered into the world by serpent, woman and man and passed to all under Adam’s headship, was dealt with in the death of Christ, sin being eradicated within his - clean - humanity, he having been 'effected' sin. That is why “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to very one that believeth… for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’.” (Romans 1:16-17) Pure justice was carried out at Golgotha, so that undeserved mercy could then be the verdict on all liberated from condemnation. That is the ‘law of Liberty’.

And that is why a new question now needs to be asked. You asked “What laws will God put in Christians’ hearts and write in their minds?” My answer was, “The law of Liberty”. You did not also ask, “And what are those laws?” Now someone needs to ask, “What, exactly, is this ‘law of Liberty’ seeing as it is not the Mosaic law?”

I have begun to deal with that, as you reasonably requested. But to do the matter justice, I would have to write screeds more. Having established what law is NOT in Christian’s hearts and minds, the way is now clear to go off in a new direction, to pursue the spiritual experience of this law of Liberty, to investigate how, exactly, this applies to Christians, what was required (legally) for God to no longer judge Christians by the condemnatory law of Moses, to grasp how Christians have no case to answer (in the heavenly court). This is a huge subject of which I have only provided tantalising glimpses. It requires a fresh question, I would suggest.

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    Thanks Anne for the answer, although it could be improved further if you included a paragraph explaining what you understand by law of liberty. There is a question about this on the site btw: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/13148/… Feb 8 at 14:55
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    Thanks for the heads-up. I have to close down for the night now but will consider doing that tomorrow.
    – Anne
    Feb 8 at 19:15
  • +1 I would add that the righteous requirements of the law may be fulfilled in those who walk according to the spirit rather than the flesh. - Romans 8:4. This is liberty from the outward code. The law works upon the flesh to condemn. Feb 12 at 0:50
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This answer may not fit comfortably with those with a doctrinal philosophical foundation. Neither will it specify the precise ‘Laws’ that are ‘written’ on your heart, you wanted specifically listed - because you can’t. And that’s because that is not what Hebrews 10:16 means. You are seeking an interpretation that can only be supported using eisegesis.

Hebrews 10:16 is referencing Jeremiah ...

JER 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;

The word ‘Law’ is referencing Torah, not the commandments. (Although Torah includes them, all 613). And Torah is “The manner and principles that man needs to follow.”. And it is this that is written on/in a believer’s heart in the new covenant. Now, let’s put this meaning into a biblical context. The “The manner and principles that man needs to follow.” is termed as living right, that is, living righteously. And, that was the intent of the Law, to give man the righteousness God expects.

And it is this, the ‘direction’, and/or intuitive knowledge that is ‘written’ on the heart.. How? Well, to understand this, you need an understanding of what happens when you become a believer, when you partake of ‘this new covenant’. You are ‘reborn’, you become a new ‘creature’. And it is this aspect that traditional doctrine sometimes fails to understand. Your spirit is made ‘new’, and it has righteousness as it’s life. And believers need to renew their mind to ‘listen’ to their spirit (heart), as this will prompt ‘the right thing to do’, that is, the intent of Torah.

Old Testament believers, those under the ‘old’ covenant, their ‘spirit’ was dead, so they needed the ‘Law’ via an external source - written - on tablets, so could only learn about how to ‘live right’ via what they learnt via their natural eyes/ears. Old Testament believers needed a conscience, New Testament believers need to renew their mind to follow their spirit, which itself ‘hears’ and gets guided by the Holy Spirit.

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  • The law was not given to give man righteousness. "Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. - Galatians 3:21-24 Feb 12 at 0:57
  • @Mike Borden - Paul here in Galatians is not saying the Law was not “to give man righteousness”. Rather he is saying the Law could not give man righteousness. He is explaining the reason for a new covenant. Prior to the new, the Jews were ‘under’ the Old covenant, with the ‘10’ as a mean to ‘get right’ with God. And they were held prisoners under that, as it was impossible to achieve.
    – Dave
    Feb 12 at 17:26
  • I'm confused. You seem to be saying that the law was given to give man righteousness AND that the law could not give man righteousness. Paul is saying that righteousness available under the law was by faith, the same as Abraham (before the law). Feb 13 at 13:36
  • @Mike Borden - Your not confused - because that’s what I said. And, righteousness was not by faith under this [Mosaic] covenant. That’s the reason this covenant needed to be replaced. And that’s what Paul is explaining. (See GAL 2:21). It was not ever Gods idea/intent that man be under this covenant, that’s why it was not ‘everlasting’.
    – Dave
    Feb 13 at 17:35
  • "This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. - Gal 3:17" "Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. - Gal 3:7" Even while the law was in place. Feb 14 at 13:05
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A bit before in Hebrews 8:10 (NASB) we read

For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel After those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.

In both of the passages (Heb. 8:10 and Heb. 10:15-16), Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NASB) is being cited

33 “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.”

Even though Jeremiah 31:33-34 triggers Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (NASB)

4 “Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

in which "These words" represent the Ten Commandments - Exodus 34:28 (NASB)

So he was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

the words in Jeremiah are likely refering to the whole law (Deuteronomy 4, 6, etc).

Between Jeremiah and Hebrews there's the following words of Jesus present in Matthew one ought to consider before answering. In Matthew 5:17 (NASB)

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

pointing of Jesus fulfilling the requirements of the law. Then later on in Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”

So to answer the question

What laws will God put in Christians' hearts and write in their minds?

The two commandments Jesus gave because by doing we would be fulfilling the requirements.

Yet, who can claim to love God with all his "muchness"? Thankfully Jesus could and did; still He died on the cross so that through Him we can now have peace with God and hope of a future glory (instead of waiting wrath). Only now we can change.


For curiosity, notice that the words "hearts" and "minds" appear in a different order in Hebrews 8:10, compared to both Hebrews 10:15-16 and Jeremiah 31:33-34.

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This is not an answer to the question as stated, but an interpretation of the NT verse: “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds” (Heb 10:16). 

These words do not appear to reference any specific list of commandments or prescribe a new set of laws. Jesus himself said that he did not come to abolish the law or the prophets:

  • “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17)  

Instead, the law that had once been written in letters, on stone and parchment, would come to be written in the mind and heart. In other words, Jesus came so that the law would first, be known, not in its entirety but in its essence; and secondly and more importantly, that it would lead to a transformation of the heart and mind.

Regarding the essence of the law, Jesus taught:  

  • “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Mt 22:37-39)
  • “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Mt 5:21-22)
  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? … Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:43-48)  

Thus God’s commandments are founded on the principle of love. This principle guides both the understanding and the application of the law. Jesus’ chief criticism of the Pharisees and the scribes of his time was that while they required strict adherence to the letter of the law, they failed to keep the principle of love in their hearts:

  • When Jesus encountered a man with the withered hand, the Pharisees were indifferent toward the man's suffering and were more concerned with whether Jesus would violate the law of the Sabbath: “He [Jesus] looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart.” (Mk 3:1-6)
  • In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the Pharisee boasted to God of his own righteousness, yet his heart was full of disdain for those he deemed to be sinners, like the tax collector: “The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or evenlike this tax collector.’" (Lk 18: 9-14)
  • In the story of the woman who was caught committing adultery, the Pharisees brought the woman before Jesus for him to judge and condemn her to death according to the law of Moses. Though their real intent was to test Jesus, their words betrayed a cold disregard for human life: “Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” (Jn 8:1-10)  

Jesus’ ultimate fulfillment of the law and the prophets was to lay down his life for the forgiveness of sins. In doing so, he placed the last stroke of God's commandment of love into our minds and poured its essence into our hearts:

  • In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn 4:10)
  • “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (Jn 15:12-13)
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There is short and a long answer to this question.

Short Answer

Some wit has attempted to list the laws in the NT that are specifically commanded on Christ's followers - all 1050 laws. I have no idea whether this is completely accurate but severs to demonstrate that there are plenty of laws for Christians to follow. See -

https://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201407/r1308729_17984331.pdf

https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/1050-new-testament-commands

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-real-truth-movement/the-1050-new-testament-commandmentslaws/690826194404882/

http://www.wholebible.com/NT_commandments.htm

http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/gods-commands-in-the-new-testament/

While this is initially impressive, when one examines these carefully, most (not all) can be classified as an expansion of one of the 10 commandments or other moral requirements from the Torah.

Longer Answer

The first thing to note is the many times the NT quotes many of the OT Torah laws as still authoritative such as:

Eph 6:2, 3 quotes Deut 5:16, Ex 20:12; James 2:11 quotes Ex 20:13; Rom 13:9 quotes Ex 20:13-15, 17; Rom 7:7 quotes Ex 20:17; Acts 23:5 quotes Ex 22:28; Heb 9:20 quotes Ex 24:8; 1 Peter 1:16 quotes Lev 19:2; Matt 22:39, James 2:8, Gal 5:14 quotes Lev 19:18; 2 Tim 2:19 quotes Num 16:5; Matt 19:18, 19 quotes Deut 5:16-20; Mark 12:32 quotes Deut 6:4; 2 Cor 13:1 quotes Deut 19:15; Matt 5:31, 19:7 quotes Deut 24:1; 1 Cor 9:9 quotes Deut 25:4; Rom 12:19 quotes Deut 32:35; Heb 10:30 quotes Deut 32:35, 36, etc, etc.

In fact, as is well known, Hebrews 10:15, 16 quotes Jer 31:33, 34 which says:

“But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law [= Torah] in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will each man teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more.”

Note that word translated "law" in Jer 31:33 is the Hebrew word "Torah". Now please do not misunderstand - this is NOT to suggest that the book of Hebrews is suggesting that we must keep the Jewish ceremonial system with its sacrifices and temple rites. What this does suggest is not all the law in the Torah is obsolete for several reasons:

  1. The NT quotes so many of the laws (as exampled above) as binding
  2. Even if we wanted to, most of the Torah CANNOT be kept because it required a temple and a Levitical priest hood which no longer exist.
  3. As shown in my answer here >> Do Matthew 5:17-20 and Acts 15 contradict each other? the Levitical covenant met its fulfillment in Jesus as did the Davidic (civil/royal) covenant and law. Therefore, the ceremonial system is no longer relevant and the Jewish jurisprudence no longer applies because we do not live in a theocracy.

However, Jesus did say in Matt 5:17-19 -

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

So what commandments are still applicable?

Actually, this question has no meaning except under a covenant. So a better question to ask is, What covenants are still binding? This is easier to answer -

  • The Edenic covenant with its instruction to be fruitful and multiply
  • The Noahide Covenant (Gen 8 & 9) which was eternal, Gen 9:6
  • The Abrahamic Covenant with its promise of the land of Israel which is eternal (Gen 17:9, 13, 19) but this is only associated with literal Jews, and Jews have always lived (along with others at times) in Israel. However, for Gentiles who do not live in Israel, it does not apply and its primary symbol, circumcision was officially abandoned (for non-Jews) in Acts 15 by the Jerusalem council.
  • The Israelite covenant is eternal (1 Chron 16:17, Jer 50:5, Ps 105:8) - this really only lists the moral laws to make God's people the special people they were.

The Levitical covenant (eternal Lev 24:8, Num 25:10-13, Ps 106:30) was fulfilled in Jesus as our great High Priest; the Davidic covenant (eternal 2 Sam 23:5, 1 Kings 9:5, 2 Chron 13:5, Eze 37:25, 26) was also fulfilled in Jesus who is now the King of the Christian community.

What are the Laws?

Having identified which covenants are still binding, the associated laws become easier (not easy) to identify. Here is my simplistic suggestion:

  • The Edenic laws
  • The Noahide Laws as these were given to all mankind and animals.
  • The Moral Law of the 10 Commandments as these existed before Sinai (eg, Gen 2:1-3, 4:8-11, 12:14-19, 26:5) and repeated in the NT, and further amplified and contextualized (for that time) in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. (We need to do the same for modern society.)
  • The Moral requirements as amplified in the NT.

The amplification of the moral laws was essentially what Jesus' sermon in Matt 5, 6, 7 is about. As shown above, when one counts these and others in the NT, we get over 1000 laws in the NT.

Endnote

Before leaving this topic, we must remind ourselves of two things:

While the NT commends the law in many places, eg

  • anyone who sets aside one of the least commandments and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:19), “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one jot of the Law to become void.” (Luke 16:17), the law is essential because “through the law we become conscious of sin” (Rom 3:21, 7:7, 13), “we uphold the law by faith” (Rom 3:31), “the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good” (Rom 7:12), “the law is spiritual” (Rom 7:14), “the law is good” (1 Tim 1:8), keeping the law is to do right (James 2:8). “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Certainly not! Instead, we uphold the law.” (Rom 3:31). “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? Certainly not!” (Rom 6:15); “we are now slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:16), or, “slaves to God” (Rom 6:22); “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.” (2 John 6).

Keeping the law does NOT earn us salvation or favor with God. We keep the law out of love for God; or, we keep the law because we are saved and God's special people, NOT in order to be saved. I note these frequent statements in the NT

  • Gal 3:21 - Is the law, then, opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come from the law.
  • Rom 3:20, 4:6 – atonement cannot be achieved by man by the works of the law
  • Eph 2:5, 8-10 – atonement is a free gift of God, out of His love and grace to do good works and glorify God
  • Gal 2:16 – we are justified not by works but by Jesus’ faithfulness because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified.
  • Titus 3:5 – we cannot atone for our own sin by deeds of the law
  • Isa 64:6 – our own righteousness (right doing or “deeds”) are as “filthy rags”
  • Acts 4:12 – sinners are saved by Christ alone
  • Phil 2:13, John 6:44, Rom 2:4, 5:5, Eph 2:5 all show that salvation and atonement are God’s initiative and that any positive response to God’s invitation is also the work of the Holy Spirit. • Rom 3:23, 24, 5:6, 8, 10 – the fact that God provided atonement for all sinners, while were still sinners, indicates that atonement is God’s initiative alone. Isa 65:1

This led directly to Luther’s reformation catch-cry of “solas”: Sola Scriptura, Sola fide, Sola Christos, Sola gratia, Sola Deo Gloria.

However, an objective law is essential to define sin and prevent tragedies like Waco and Jim Jones which were caused when the leaders of these groups lost site of the requirements of Scripture and claimed to obey the "Law of the Spirit", or similar.

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  • Are you sure the Israelite covenant is still in effect? Hebrews 8:6-7,13 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said [...] 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. Feb 6 at 15:08
  • @Spirit Realm Investigator...read from the last book in the Bible, Revelation 14:12 ...the patience of the Saints are those who keep the Commandments of God, and have the Faith of Jesus. I find it interesting these two are also represented by Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets).
    – Adam
    Feb 6 at 21:21
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  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator - look at all the requirements quoted in the NT of the new covenant and all come from the old covenant - this is the very reason that the NT quotes the OT so much. All 10 commandments are in the NT plus several more from the Torah. Look at 1 Peter 1 & 2 (esp 2:9) taken from the establishment of the old covenant and rebadged as the new covenant. Matt 21:43, Gal 3:29.
    – Dottard
    Feb 12 at 9:58
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What laws will God put in Christians' hearts and write in their minds?

When discussing the new covenant, at Hebrews 10:15, 16, the apostle quotes the prophecy of Jeremiah according to the Greek Septuagint Version and writes :

Hebrews 10:15-16 NET

15 And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying,[a] 16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put[b] my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,”[c]

Jeremiah 31:31-34 NET

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.”

Septuagint LXX Jeremiah 38:31-34

http://ecmarsh.com/lxx/Jeremias/index.htm

31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: 32 not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they abode not in my covenant, and I disregarded them, saith the Lord. 33 For this is my covenant which I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will surely put my laws into their mind, and write them on their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. 34 And they shall not at all teach every one his fellow citizen, and every one his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them: for I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more.

The Law covenant with mediator Moses was terminated at Pentecost 33 C.E. Christians come under the "law of Christ "(1 Cor. 9:21) "the perfect law the law of freedom"( James 1:25, 2:12 Rom. 3:27) with mediator Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:21 NASB

21 to those who are without the Law, I became as one without the Law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might gain those who are without the Law.

James 1:25 NASB

25 But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but [a]an active doer, this person will be blessed in [b]what he does.

Moses wrote the Law in code form, but Jesus did not personally put a law down in writing. He talked and put his law into the minds and hearts of his disciples. Neither did his disciples set down laws in the form of a code for Christians, classifying the laws into categories and subheadings. Nonetheless, the Christian Greek Scriptures are full of laws, commands, and decrees that the Christian is bound to observe.​ Some of the laws are:

1 John 5:2-3 NASB

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and [a]follow His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 4:21 NASB

21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.

1 John 3:22-23 NASB

22 and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 This is His commandment, that we [a]believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He [b]commanded us.

John 13:34-35 NASB

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.”

John 14:15 NASB

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

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If one reads the whole chapter the context makes the meaning perfectly clear!

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT WHICH I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, DECLARES THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEARTS, AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR MIND,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL NO LONGER REMEMBER.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, an offering for sin is no longer required.

Firstly this is a quote from Jeremiah 31:33 As is the custom of NT writers, they bring an trusty favourite of the Old Covenant and bring it up to date with a brand-new emphasis. Now there was some fulfillment of this under the Old Cov. but it always looked forward to its ultimate destiny in Christ.

The emphasis is not on laws but on Christ. No more offering/sacrifice is required for sin (law breaking) as all are included in Jesus.

19 since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let’s approach God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds...

The law of love is written IN our hearts through God and Jesus dwelling IN us in spirit, transforming us to finally be made in His image - but only in Christ.

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them". John 14:23

Every law God ever decreed was made in love - sometimes it might be hard to see the connection, but if we grasp the plan of God, love is written all over and through it. So, to have the law of love written IN our hearts and minds, we are obeying all the other laws. Not perfectly, but that doesn't matter as we are not supposed to be perfect yet. Christ is the perfect one and we are found in him by the Father and counted worthy of life eternal.

Christ or Judgment - these are the two options still available.

26For if we go on sinning wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28Anyone who has ignored the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severe punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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    So ... there is no explicit list of laws? Just "love", whatever that means? Feb 6 at 4:43
  • What would be the point? Do you think the list could be long enough to ever convey love sufficiently - love that is planted spiritually by God, not some human contrived love that fails miserably to fulfil any holy requirement? So, no, there is no list. Anyone that suggests one has missed the point of what Christ accomplished. Any lack of love is breaking some law - we all do every day. God's spirit calls us to account and repentance and we carry on until he returns. Always wanting to do better and represent Him more appropriately.
    – steveowen
    Feb 6 at 5:44
  • Nothing is gained from adhering to any list. It would never be enough! Matt 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    – steveowen
    Feb 6 at 5:46
  • I think Jesus provided a simple yet powerful way to live according to the law. We know that fundamentally, God is love, live from that angle and we have it in a nutshell. This does not absolve us of following our conscience. That is morality i think...if one knows the 10 commandments exist, and yet "intentionally ignores" even one of them (such as the 4th, the Sabbath), without asking for forgiveness, one is lost!
    – Adam
    Feb 6 at 21:29
  • @Adam - about the Sabbath in particular, you might find the following interesting: christianity.stackexchange.com/a/80369/50422 and hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/52345/… Feb 6 at 23:59
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Here is what I believe sums up the answer to this question... Revelation 14:12 "12Here is the [g]patience of the saints; here[h] are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

Which commandments are the commandments of God? A quick google search provides that answer...google tells me these are the ones found in Exodus 20:1-17 1And God spoke all these words:

2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3You shall have no other gods before Me.a

4You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing loving devotion to a thousand generationsb of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.

8Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

12Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.c

13You shall not murder.d

14You shall not commit adultery.e

15You shall not steal.f

16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.g

17You shall not coveth your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, or his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Some believe 10 commandments are no longer relevant, if that were true, then why is the moral law so closely associated with the Saints in Revelation? The answer is simple, if one catalogues moral law (10 commandments), one will quickly realise they fit into two parts... 1-4 = love God 5-10 = love thy neighbour

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