The Law, a Shadow of Things to Come

For the law having a shadow of proper matters to return, and not the very photo of the matters, can in no way with the one’s sacrifices which they presented year through the year constantly make the comers thereunto best. (Heb. 10:1)

Which are a shadow of factors to come back, but the frame is of Christ. (Col. 2:17)


The Law, A Shadow of Things to Come

It has been stated that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is Old Testament revealed. However, many preachers do not apprehend the connection between the types and shadows of the Old Testament and their success within the New Testament (Col. 2:17). Many have omitted a completely crucial hermeneutic principle of interpretation when interpreting and making use of Old Testament scriptures. That is:

When deciphering the relationship between the kinds and shadows of the Old Testament and their achievement inside the New Testament, we have to progress in revelation and understanding from a revealed reality (the New Testament covenant of Grace) so that you can recognize a concealed fact (the Old Testament covenant of The Law). Think of the Law as the shadow of an object that is forged backward thru time. The shadow (in this example) is the Old Testament typology of the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Lk. 24: forty-four). The object which solid the shadow backward via time is the cross of Jesus Christ, His “completed work,” and the New Testament of Grace.

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In different words, as New Testament believers, we ought to interpret the kinds and shadows of the Law from the standpoint of Grace in preference to interpret Grace from the Law’s viewpoint. Just due to the fact we were first introduced to The Law (the shadow) does no longer suggest that we are to use the Law to interpret Grace (the frame casting the shadow) (Col.2:17). Why is this so?

A shadow can’t interpret or provide that means to the item that cast the shadow. However, the thing that casts the shadow translates and gives that points to the shadow. In this situation, the shadow (the Law) is a vague and ambiguous illustration of something else (Grace). No shadow can provide sufficient elements to reveal all there is to recognize about the object it represents. All we can assume are hints and clues.


For example, the shadow of a person might not be clear enough to inform if it had been a man or a lady, an awful lot, much less whom it’s far. The shadow of a plane or chook flying might no longer monitor its type. Even the shadow of a hand and arms cast upon the ground may additionally appear like a rabbit, a dog, or some different creature. The reality is, till the item that forged the shadow is fully recognized or discovered, questions will stay. What coloration, how tall, deep, or extensive an object will remain a mystery until the object itself is in undeniable view.

A shadow is most effective a brief representation and exists because there may be an actual item that forged the shadow. Likewise: Similarly, because the Old Testament believers had the most effective Law, we are not able to ultimately interpret what we discover there because it’s miles handiest a shadow of exact things to return. Nevertheless, if we tune the shadow, it’ll lead us to its supply, the go. In other phrases, the Law is supposed to “convey us unto Christ that we are probably justified by using religion” (Gal. Three:24).

The unknown or concealed truth in this instance includes the types and shadows of the Law itself. That is why we confer with them as sorts and shades because they represent something else-something but to come. In this instance, the revealed or known truth is that: His finished work of atonement and the New Covenant of Grace is the actual item that solid the shadow (backward) into the Old Testament.

If we will understand this, our knowledge of Grace theology is a whole lot clearer. The Law with its kinds and shadows does now not interpret Grace; however, as a substitute, Grace interprets the Law. Therefore, Grace is the genuine item recognized simplest via revelation, and the Law is simply the shadow of Grace no longer yet found out or made regarded.

You see, the Bible tells us very plainly that the Law is our “schoolmaster (a guardian who teaches) to deliver us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24). However: The legalist preaches Christ to convey believers beneath the yoke of the Law. Therefore, legalism makes Christ the shadow and the Law the successor item of reality (Acts 15:10). The result is:


Legalism eliminates the believer from Calvary and the freedom of the move of Christ and takes him back to Sinai to the yoke of bondage. The legalist would possibly start his message at Calvary, but sooner or later, he will turn out to be at Sinai. However: On the alternative hand, the Grace believer preaches the Law to convey men to Christ. The expertise of Grace makes the Law the shadow and Christ the fulfillment or object of reality. The result is: Grace gets rid of guys from Sinai, and the bondage of the Law takes them to Calvary and flowers them inside the grace and liberty of God. Remember, tune the shadow (the Law) to its supply (Christ) (Gal. 3:24).

The Grace preacher can also start his message at Sinai or from the Old Testament; however, he will usually end up at Calvary. For example: When preaching Christ from the Old Testament – Philip, Paul, and Aquila used the Law to deliver others to Christ. They did no longer pontificate on Christ for the Law’s sake; they preached the Law for Christ’s sake. They made use of the Law to reveal that Jesus became the Christ due to the fact he became the handiest character in history, which may want to, in reality, satisfy all the kinds, shadows, and prophecies given inside the Old Testament regarding the Messiah(Gal. 3:24-25; Acts eight:32-35, 17:2-3, 18:28).

When preaching to the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip the evangelist understood that the lamb delivered to the slaughter and the sheep shorn in Isaiah fifty-three turned into none other than Jesus Christ (Isa. Fifty-three:7; Acts eight:32-35)! Likewise, as Grace believers, we must use the Law to preach Christ and no longer use Christ to preach the Law!

We Have Found Him!

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have discovered him, of whom Moses within the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (Jn. 1:forty-five) Paul says while we find out the shadow source, we’ve found the actual object itself and haven’t any further want for a schoolmaster (the Law). Therefore:

The Law is no longer under pressure these days to folks who are in Christ

Why? The Law has served its supposed purpose; it has brought us to Christ. Paul says the Law is abolished, decayed, waxeth old, and is ready to vanish (2 Cor. Three: thirteen; Heb. Eight: thirteen).

Despite what the legalist may also say, we’re no longer beneath the Law, but beneath grace (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:24-25). In Grace, we find Christ, complete of “grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). No wonder the apostle Philip should say, “We have located him, of whom Moses inside the Law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Philip diagnosed Jesus as the Christ because the Old Testament scriptures testified against Him (Jn. 5:39).

In conclusion, when we preach from the Old Testament, we should hold forth the mysteries of Christ and the grace and reality that can be in Him, not the Law’s legalism. The unhappy truth is that many preachers today no longer hold forth Christ besides delivering people into the bondage of legalism. This, of a route, is inaccurate. The Judaizers and Pharisees of Paul’s day made this equal mistake regarding circumcision and the keeping of the Sabbath day (Acts 15:1; Mk. 2:23-24). They had been zealous for the Law of God, yet they lacked religious understanding. They focused their ministry on the shadow in place of the item that cast the shadow.

Today the legalist is making equal errors regarding the brand new beginning, water baptism, the Sabbath, guidelines concerning garb, the wearing of make-up and jewelry, duration of hair, food and drink, television, movies, and a bunch of other things they consider critical for salvation and righteous standing with God. However, the Grace believer understands that God intended that the Law need to serve Christ, and now not that Christ ought to do the Law.

For it’s far written “.The elder [the Law] shall serve the more youthful [Grace]” (Rom. 9:12). Jesus understood this principle when he corrected the Pharisees by pronouncing, “the Sabbath became made for man, and no longer man for the Sabbath” (Mk. 2:27).

In 2006 Charles Smoot founded The Grace Network, a “Church Planting Movement” (CPM) based in Maui, Hawaii. In 2009 Charles and his spouse Helen based Simple Church Ministries of Lancaster, a nearby House Church community devoted to Sovereign Grace’s message, House church evangelism, and discipleship.

Leah Leonard

Coffee expert. Troublemaker. Typical music guru. Friendly beer fanatic. Introvert. Web specialist. Uniquely-equipped for implementing bullwhips in Ocean City, NJ. Spent a year importing licorice in Hanford, CA. Have some experience licensing cigarettes for the government. Once had a dream of selling toy monkeys in Las Vegas, NV. Spent the 80's working on hula hoops in Minneapolis, MN. What gets me going now is working with action figures in the government sector.

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