I have seen some Protestants arguing that Christ's teachings in the Gospels don't apply to us; that they were applicable only to the Jews, the immediate audience, since the new covenant did not begin at that time; and that only the new covenant teachings apply to us. The same is said about the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Here is one example of this doctrine, in an excerpt from an article by Paul Ellis, a popular Protestant preacher:
.... Sadly, it didn’t happen. Since the law-teachers had been negligent, Jesus had to do their job before He could do His own. Before He could save the world from sin, He had to preach the law that made sin utterly sinful. Before He give Himself as the answer, He had to make sure we were asking the right question. Who will deliver us?
So Jesus became the greatest law preacher of all time. As the prophet Isaiah had foretold, He made the law magnificent. He lifted up what others had knocked down and raised the standard to glorious levels of perfection. Never again would mankind be without excuse. You want to know what God expects? Just read the Sermon on the Mount. In it Jesus says that God demands perfection and nothing less.
How did Jesus preach the law?
Preaching the red letters of Jesus is a bit like drinking whatever you find in the laundry. If you’re not paying attention – if you fail to distinguish His life-giving words of grace from His death-dealing words of law – then you could really do some damage. Don’t believe me? Then consider these red letters:
If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Mat 6:14-15)
This is one of the most-quoted passages in the Bible and it is vintage law. It is a killer scripture. It is not good news. This verse should make us shudder for it says that our forgiveness hinges on our ability to forgive others and we are poor forgivers indeed. Men sin against us repeatedly. Have we honestly forgiven them all? What if we miss one? And what do we say to those who have been raped and abused? What do you say to a young child who has been molested? “Sweetie, you need to forgive that evil man otherwise God won’t forgive you.” That’s not grace. That’s the condemning ministry of the law in full bloom. How do you forgive the unforgiveable? You can’t! Then you’re in trouble. The law condemns you as an unforgiver. Now you’re beginning to recognize your need for grace and this is a good thing.
Any time you read a conditional statement from Jesus, you should interpret it as law. “Do not judge and you will not be judged” (Lk 6:37). That’s good advice but it’s also law. To avoid something (judgment) you have to do something (don’t judge). It’s a blessing you have to pay for. And anytime Jesus makes a threat, you should interpret that as law as well. “Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Mt 5:22). That’s bad news for anyone with a brother!
This quote is only to give an example and evidence of this doctrine. It may not be representative of the views of all others who hold a similar doctrine.
What exactly is this view, in what sense don't these teachings apply to us today, and what are the reasons or basis given to justify this view?