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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

42- Christ's Authority over the Law


With Respect to His Authority over the Law

(1) The Law is God's Law and the commandments are God's commandments. From the beginning, God gave the Law and handed it, written, to Moses the Prophet (Ex. 20).         Image: Jesus reading the Holy Bible and preaching in the Holy Temple صورة: المسيح يقرأ الكتاب المقدس ويعظ في المعبد Image: Jesus reading the Holy Bible and preaching in the Holy Temple

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: المسيح يقرأ الكتاب المقدس ويعظ في المعبد

(2) But the Lord Jesus Christ laid down the Law of the New Testament for us in the Sermon on the Mount, in His words to His disciples: "A new commandment I give to you" (Jn. 13:34), and in every spiritual teaching He left, of which it was said: "He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matt. 7:28).


(3) The Lord Jesus Christ had a standpoint regarding the Law of the Old Testament which was manifested in the strong and marvellous expression which He repeated several times in the Sermon on the Mount, saying: "You have heard that it was said to those of old.. But I say to you..." (Matt. 5:22,28,32,34,39,44). No one has authority over God's Law except Him alone.


(4) We see that the Lord Jesus Christ had authority to legislate. Regarding the Sabbath: it is lawful to do good on it. Regarding the tithes: they are the least of the offerings and are to be observed with the commandment: "Give to him who asks you" (Matt. 5:42). He also had authority to legislate monogamy, divorce (Matt. 5:32) and all the other laws in Christianity pertaining to perfection.


(5) The most powerful expression recorded about the authority of Christ over the Law is what He Himself said regarding the Law of the Sabbath: "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath" (Mk. 2:28); (Lk. 6:5). If Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is the Day of the Lord, then Christ is God.


(6) No man has ever dared speak about the Law in such a way, saying: "But I say to you." Moses and the prophets used the phrase "says the Lord". Christ the Lord could not have spoken with such authority, saying: "But I say to you," unless He is God.

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