Are there some of the Old Testament commandments of God that have been cancelled with the coming of Christ, but not clearly pronounced as cancelled in the New Testament?

New Testament says that some of God-given commandments were abolished or cancelled with the coming, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. For example, circumcision or keeping the Sabbath.

Some parts of the New Testament clearly state that and point to those particular commandments that had been cancelled, for example:

  1. Circumcision:

    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (Gal. 6:15 AKJV)

  2. Sacrifices:

    7:11"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there then] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?


    7:15[yet] there arises another Priest,

    7:16who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life


    7:18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for its weakness and unprofitableness.

    7:19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by which we draw nigh unto God


    7:28For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [makes] the Son, who is consecrated for ever


    8:6[He] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

    8:7For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

    8:8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah


    8:13In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old [is] ready to vanish away


    10:1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    10:2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

    10:3But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year.

    10:4For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins


    10:14by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 7:11, 15-16, 18-19, 28, 8:6-8, 13, 10:1-4, 14 AKJV)

Now, I wonder if there are some of the Old Testament commandments of God that have also been cancelled, but not clearly pronounced as cancelled in the New Testament?

  • When asked, this question was perfectly on-topic. However, it is too broad/too opinion based to be answered under current guidelines and thus should be closed.
    – ThaddeusB
    Oct 10, 2015 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


The way I understand these passages, they do not mean that the OT law was canceled. Rather they refer to the fact that keeping the law cannot save us from Hell. We are saved by Grace alone through faith. (Ephesians 2:8)

Circumcision was a sign that God gave to the people of Israel to signify that they were His. It did nothing to save them, but rather it was a physical, external sign that they belonged to Him.

Animal sacrifices, likewise, were a temporary atonement for sins, but they never could save fully until Jesus became the perfect sacrifice. As the verses you cited state, "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

Other OT laws had to do with cleanliness and hygiene, and were clearly given to protect the people. (These would be the laws about what to do with an "unclean" person, and include measures such as quarantine.)

As Jesus stated, "not one jot nor tittle of the Law should pass away" (Matthew 5:15).

The major point of Christianity, compared to Judaism, is this: Judaism is still "under the law". In other words, they are trying to earn their salvation by keeping the Law. Christianity states that we cannot keep the law. Everyone has failed, and none of us are righteous. (Romans 3:10, 23).

The law still stands, but it cannot save us. We cannot be saved by obedience to the law or "works of righteousness". Therefore, none of the law was cancelled. What is good is still good. What is wrong is still wrong.

The law, as it applies to us now exists to show us what sin is (Romans 7:7), so that we can see that we are lost and cannot save ourselves.

It also serves to stop sinners from justifying themselves. How many people believe that they're really not a bad person and can get to heaven simply by being "good." If we look at even the Ten commandments, we can see that we've all broken at least one. As the bible states in James 2:10 (KJV)

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

Therefore, as we look at the perfect Law of God, the law shows us that we're not really "good" at all. It stops the mouth of those who claim that they are good, and shows them that they are guilty by showing them what sin is. (Romans 3:19-20)

Therefore, the question is based on a false belief that certain laws were abolished. The laws have never been abolished. They also never had the power to save anyone by obedience to them. The laws still exists, but through the redeeming blood of Christ, we are no longer held guilty.

Reading on in Romans, Paul continues in verse 31:

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

The rest of the book of Romans goes on to explain this far better than I ever could by paraphrasing, so I'll just leave it to yo to go through it.

  • (1) “Therefore, the question is based on a false belief that certain laws were abolished” - Okay, I see that my wording was wrong. Perhaps, instead of “abolished” I should have said “pronounced as incapable of saving those who are trying to fulfill them due to the sinful nature of all humans”. To me it’s actually quite close to “abolished” as it contains the thought that from now on fulfilling (=trying to fulfill) those parts of the OT commandments is not necessary as it won’t do any
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2011 at 1:39
  • (2) good to you anyway. In fact, that’s what we see in Acts 15: some men from Judea teach the gentile believers that unless “you are circumcised, you can’t be saved” (Acts 15:1), the gentile believers are confused by it and ask apostles to consider this matter, and the apostles decide that the gentile believers DO NOT NEED to practice circumcision (Acts 15:28, 29). To me it’s quite close to the act of
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2011 at 1:40
  • (3) abolishing, especially given the fact that it had been previously said in the OT that “cursed is every one that does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10) However, this is not the main point of my question. My main point was which parts of the OT are considered by today’s Christians as incapable of saving sinners and yet are not clearly pronounced as such ones in the NT.
    – brilliant
    Oct 24, 2011 at 1:40
  • @brilliant - I meant no offense, truly... I'm sorry if I came across that way. Oct 24, 2011 at 1:44
  • I think also that C.Ross's answer on your other question answers this one as well, and in less rambling, more clear terms than I do. His is based on the idea that we believe that the moral law still stands, while the ceremonial and civil law is abolished. I wouldn't argue with that and I wish I'd thought of it myself. It's what I believe, but I never bothered to verbalize it before. I think that would be a much better answer to your question. Oct 24, 2011 at 1:49

You say "The major point of Christianity, compared to Judaism, is this: Judaism is still "under the law". In other words, they are trying to earn their salvation by keeping the Law." I disagree. There is a) belief and b) there is law/rules to follow - two separate things.

Judaism does not merely call for following the Law, it more importantly calls for belief in a singular God, who is the law Giver. In fact the belief is a prerequisite to Jewish salvation. No Jew, I think, believes that abiding by the Law is enough for salvation at all.

Similarly, why would Christians not follow be required to a) believe in Jesus Christ (for salvation), and b) abide by the OT Law. How is there a conflict between the two (especially given Jesus himself says he is not abolishing the Law)? The conflict only arises if you assume Judaism is calling you to follow the Law to attain salvation. No, Judaism calls for pure faith for salvation, and the Law are rules to organize and govern here in this world. IMHO.

  • In the very beginning of your answer you are quoting somebody and attributing those words to me, while I don't remember saying that. Whom are you quoting there?
    – brilliant
    Jan 15, 2012 at 7:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .