Why does the Apostle Peter add in [1 Peter 1:14-16] that all should be:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

partially citing Leviticus 19:2 to validate a command for holiness from the Torah קְדשִׁ֣ים תִּֽהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֹ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם “You shall be holy for I, YHVH your God, am holy” or alluding to the Law of Leviticus 11:45 “ For I am YHVH Who has brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. Thus, you shall be holy, because I am holy. ( כִּ֣י | אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָ֗ה הַמַּֽעֲלֶ֤ה אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לִֽהְיֹ֥ת לָכֶ֖ם לֵֽאלֹהִ֑ים וִֽהְיִיתֶ֣ם קְדשִׁ֔ים כִּ֥י קָד֖וֹשׁ אָֽנִי ),

when the believers in Jesus were released from keeping Ha-Torah (The Law) as stated in [Romans 7:6]?

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
  • Did Peter just want to use a temporary validation for divine statements to splice in one mitsvah from the Law humans in Christ are released from keeping?
  • We are released from bondage under the law, but never released from the goal of holiness! Why do you think Peter would teach that Christians shouldn't be holy???
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 11, 2021 at 8:18
  • 2
    Technically, we were released from keeping the letter of the law; e.g., we are to be circumcised in spirit, not in body (Romans 2:28-29), and offer up spiritual, rather than literal sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5); more on this topic here.
    – Lucian
    Jul 11, 2021 at 18:46
  • If you are asking At what moment the mosaic law became obsolete? there's already a Q one month ago. You should remove from the post since it is also unrelated to the Title of your Q. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/62169/…
    – Michael16
    Jul 12, 2021 at 12:48

4 Answers 4


We need to look at the understanding behind the question. You say ...[snip] “... from the Law humans in Christ are released from keeping?”. And you quote this verse from Romans ...

ROMANS 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

This does not say ‘delivered from keeping the Law’. Neither is this implied elsewhere in Romans 7. It says delivered from the Law. The ‘Law’ held the Jews in captivity - they were ‘bound’ under it. How? Via the covenant their Fathers entered into in the wilderness. A covenant is a ‘legal’ binding, and there was only one way out.

And Paul is expounding that now. That through Christ, they have a way out of this contract. Delivered - from the Greek ‘katargéō’ - means to loose from, or terminate.

Previous to being ‘released’, the Jews had to ‘keep’ the Law in order to access the blessings listed in Deuteronomy 28 - but failing to keep it enacted the curses further down that chapter. This is what they were released from.

The way they were/could be taken ‘out’ from ‘under’ the Law is outlined at the start of Romans 7, using a marriage contract (or more precisely, a marriage covenant.) as an analogy.

So the Jews were not exempted from having to ‘keep’ the Law. They were delivered from being ‘bound’ to it. Peter was outlining being ‘Holy’, being ‘separated’ from the world. The call to Holiness is as valid today as it was in the era of the Levitical covenant. And being ‘Holy’ requires a difference. The ‘opposite’ of Holy is being ‘common’. And believers are encouraged to learn be uncommon. (Holy). And Peter is right to be teaching this.

  • Very good and astute answer.
    – Dottard
    Jul 11, 2021 at 7:44

Romans 7:6

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

We have been released from the oldness of the letter of the Law. In its place, we are to serve in the newness of the Spirit of the Law.

Leviticus 19:2

Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

1 Peter 1:16

because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Jesus advocated similarly in Matthew 5:48

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Perfect holiness can only be accomplished in the newness of the Holy Spirit in Christ. That's what Peter was promoting in his epistles.


The Law refers to the restrictions for the Jews under the law covenant of Moses. The restrictions that separated them from the world as clean. There are many commands in the law that are from the general law which is beyond Moses, and applicable to all mankind, and even Gentiles are justified by obeying those laws (Rom 2:12-16). Righteousness, justification and holiness are not exclusive to the works of the Mosaic covenant. Adam transgressed without the law. Noah was righteous without the law. This point is mentioned in Romans 4:3 by the example of Abraham being counted righteous without the law works. Since it is possible to be holy and sinful outside of the law, it concludes that there's a law beyond the Mosaic covenant, Rom 6:1-2.

Believers under the new covenant are bound by the same general law. Peter and Paul are only freed from the law of Moses, not from the general law of God. Under the liberty from the law of Moses, there is still the law of God applicable to all.

  • Galatians 5:22-23; 6:1-2: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. … Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

  • ESV 1 Corinthians 9:21: “To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.”

  • SLT 1 Corinthians 9:21: “To the lawless, as lawless, (not being lawless to God, but subject to the law to Christ,) that I might gain the lawless,”

  • James 2:8-13: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

The whole purpose of the letters of Peter, James, Jude and John is to rebuke and condemn those who turned the liberty from the law to liberty to sin. See 2 Peter 2.


We were never released from the Law - Peter always followed the law as did Jesus. Peter confirms this to Paul

Acts 21:21-24 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.

“It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17)

“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law” (John7:19)

Revelation 2:14-16 - 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. James 2:20-24 - 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Matthew 5:17-20 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

“It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17)

“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law” (John7:19)

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