Lawful or Legalistic


LAWFUL OR LEGALISTIC: How New Testament Believers Must Understand Old Testament Laws

Published by Xulon Press, Longwood, Florida USA, this book is available in soft cover at at a reasonable price.

It is similar to our free eBook #1 (Messianic Jews and the Law of Moses) but is written more from a Gentile perspective. Winner of the Best Christian Biblical Book of the year 2008 award given by

Grace versus law is an issue of supreme importance to every follower of Jesus the Messiah. Finding the proper balance between grace versus law is a major key to a joyful, victorious lifestyle that glorifies God. The on-line book titled Messianic Jews and the Law of Moses and the new paperback Lawful or Legalistic: How New Testament Believers Must Understand Old Testament Laws tackle the subject of grace versus law from a whole new perspective.

The author, Bill Nugent, a gifted Bible teacher, approaches grace versus law by giving a proper understanding of how the Old Testament law is a prophetic picture of the New Testament walk by the Spirit. For instance the Sabbath was a day of rest on which the people were commanded to cease from work. Under the New Testament we observe not a literal cessation from work every seventh day but rather we observe the spiritual fullness of resting in Christ whereby we cease striving and simply flow in Christ’s strength and joy to work in such liberation that it hardly seems like work.

Other aspects of the Old Testament Law such as tithing and the dietary laws are also discussed from this perspective. Issues such as Jewish believers’ Torah observance are discussed. The prophetic issues pertaining to the millennium in which some teachers claim that animal sacrifices will be offered in a rebuilt temple are also discussed at length. Other chapters contain some extremely helpful teaching on laying down the self-life and how to walk in continued guidance by the Holy Spirit.

You will enjoy reading this timely, insightful, practical and thought provoking book. What follows are short descriptions of each chapter:


The whole concept of covenant and covenant law is defined. The New Testament apostolic teaching on the Abrahamic and Sinaitic covenants is explained as a foundation for the central premise of the book. The fact that we fulfill the Law by walking in the Spirit is shown. Voluntary keeping of the literal Law of Moses is permitted but not biblically required. The apostles’ teachings in the epistles are studied in the context of their godly lifestyles which are recorded in the book of Acts. It is important to understand the lifestyle and cultural context of the apostles’ teachings. The emphasis in this chapter is why we must walk in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.


Specific examples of literal Mosaic laws (Sabbath, dietary laws etc.) are given in order to show how these laws find fulfillment in Christ. The emphasis in this chapter is on how to walk in the Spirit to keep the law in substance rather than shadow.


The eschatological question as to whether or not animal sacrifices will be offered in a stone temple during the millennium is dealt with here. This chapter explains why a reinstitution of the animal sacrifice system is not at all intended by the prophetic passages often cited to make this claim. A correct understanding of the prophetic passages is given.


There are some teachers who put Jewish believers under the literal Law of Moses who also attempt to put Gentiles under a separate legal system based on the Noahide covenant of Genesis nine. This chapter explains that Gentiles are free from this obligation because the commands given to Noah also find their fulfillment in Christ. Each of the commands of Acts 15:29 (alleged to be derived from Noah) are analyzed in depth.


We are under grace and not under law yet the New Testament is full of commands. This chapter analyzes the commands Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount and the commands given through the apostles in the epistles and explains how we are to understand and obey them. Specific examples of how the apostles understood and obeyed these commands are given. Examples from modern day life are also given to shed light on how we must walk by the Spirit to obey New Testament commands.

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(C) 2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

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