Do we have to keep the commandments and laws given in the Old Testament, especially the laws of Deuteronomy?
No, we do not need to keep all of the commandments found in the Old Testament. The vast majority of the commands found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy deal with the Jewish ceremonial ordinances. In these books God gave commands and directions about who was qualified to be a priest, how the priests should dress, how the tabernacle should be built, what kinds of animal and grain offerings were required to atone for different kinds of sins, how the sacrificial offerings were to be offered, and the order of worship. But after Jesus came, died and rose again, the ceremonial laws were abolished. The Ten Commandments remained, except for one commandment.
New Covenant Established
In Hebrews 8:1-12 God had prophesied that He would replace the ceremonial system which was also called the Old Covenant with a New Covenant. The New Covenant was established when Christ died for our sins. Christ called it the New Covenant in My blood (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
The Old Covenant was faulty and was replaced by the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:7-13). The animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant could never forgive our sins (Hebrews 10:1-4), but Jesus’ blood – His death – can and does forgive our sins forever when one believes and depends on Jesus for the forgiveness of one’s sins (Hebrews 10:5-18). Hebrews 9 tells us that Jesus’ death made the ceremonial system of the Old Covenant obsolete. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice (John 1:29) which takes away our sin. Listen to Hebrews 10:16-18,
“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS,” SAYS THE LORD: “I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND UPON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (NASB) Hebrews 10:16-18
However, the Ten Commandments are a different story. All of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, except for the command to keep the Sabbath.
Notice there is no command in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath. In fact, in I Corinthians 16:2 we find the early church gathered for worship on the first day of the week – Sunday. In summary, only nine of the original ten commandments apply to us today.
The only commandments we are required to keep in the Old Testament are those that are repeated in the New Testament. Notice the command in Deuteronomy 6:6-7,
And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NASB)
This commandment – to teach the Word of God – still applies today.
In summary, the only commands among the Ten commandments that we need to keep are the ones repeated in the New Testament.
Suggested Links:How can God’s view change so much from the Old to the New Testament?
I do not want to worship idols and other gods. Should I obey my parents or God?
Did Moses write the terms of the covenant while God wrote the Ten Commandments?
What is the difference between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses?
Must we keep the Sabbath? — The Fourth Commandment
What is the Law in the Bible? — Meaning of the Law
Should we worship on Sunday or the Sabbath?
Which Old Testament laws can we ignore?