Let there be no doubt that the Torah was abandoned by neither Jesus nor Paul. Both quoted freely from the Torah as though still binding upon Christians:
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.
The appendix below lists many instances where the NT quotes the Torah laws as still binding upon Christians.
Indeed, we have the frequent statements of Paul that
- 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).
So what of Paul's very significant doctrine of salvation by grace "apart from the law"? He made many such statements such as “free from the law” (Gal 5:1), “not declared righteous… by the law” (Rom 3:21), “not under the law” (Rom 6:14, 15), “released from the law” (Rom 7:6), “the law is powerless” (Rom 8:3), “Christ is the end of the law” (Rom 10:4), “If righteousness could be obtained through the law, Christ died for nothing” (Gal 2:21), “no one who relies on the law will be justified” (Gal 3:11), “the law was our guardian until Christ came” (Gal 3:24), “if you are led by the Spirit you are not under law” (Gal 5:18), “there is no law against such [who have the fruit of spirit]” (Gal 5:22, 23).
Such statements in view of the above does not mean that Christians are not subject to law! Paul’s intention is clearly that the Christian life is free from the chafing constrains of legalism because of the free atonement offered by Jesus. We do NOT have to be good enough to earn God’s favor because, not only do we already have it, but it is offered freely. However, Christians will live morally to reflect the life and character of Jesus, but only when motivated or “walking” by the Spirit who miraculously changes us (Rom 8:1-11).
Indeed, the NT contains for laws for Christians than the OT ever did. For example see the lists contained in places like See https://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201407/r1308729_17984331.pdf and https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/1050-new-testament-commands and https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-real-truth-movement/the-1050-new-testament-commandmentslaws/690826194404882/ and http://www.wholebible.com/NT_commandments.htm and http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/gods-commands-in-the-new-testament/
APPENDIX - NT Quotes from Torah laws
- 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;
... and so forth. This list is not exhaustive.
APPENDIX 2 - All the Torah Laws?
Special Note: I do not wish to suggest that all Torah laws are still valid; indeed, many of the laws in the Torah are now impossible to keep even we wanted to keep them. All the laws relating to the Temple/sanctuary, priesthood and Levitial rites cannot be kept as the temple and priesthood no longer exist.
The laws around jurisprudence cannot be kept because most Christians no longer love in ancient Israel. The same is true of the laws for the conduct of the the earthly king of Israel - the Davidic kingship ended in 586 BC.
However, the moral and ethical laws still apply as shown by their use in the NT.