All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.

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chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
WCF 19.3 Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a Church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.

Does Christianity not have a ceremonial law? How can we say this ceremonial law has been abrogated when we have the Lord's Supper and Baptism? Isn't it more appropriate to say that this ceremonial law has been changed (Heb. 7:12)?
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
It might be good to consult a commentary on the WCF about this. My two cents is that they are abrogated in terms of needing to be fulfilled in the letter of the Law in which they were originally given. Vos I believe it was pointed out that the ceremonial laws were both a burden and a mercy for God's OT people. They were a mercy because they forepictured Christ, and in this sense, the cermonial laws were really their gospel, pointing to Him. But they were also burdensome, since they not only forepictured the Messiah who would come to fulfill them but were also real commands God placed on His people. As a side note, this is the reason that one of the distinctions between the OT and NT that Scripture speaks of is that of freedom; we've been set free from this burden. Incidently, Calvin calls these ceremonial laws a gracious imprisonment for the people of God. It was an imprisonment because of the burden, but it was gracious because the laws again showed forth Christ. Perhaps a fitting example could be Jews hiding in a small room of a house during Nazi Germany.

Sorry for the tangents. Getting back to your actual question, my take is that these ceremonial laws are "abrogated" as it relates to the burden aspect of us as God's people being required/bound to do these things in an actual manner (sacrifice animals, observe the feasts at Jerusalem, etc etc). But you are right to point out that we could use other terms as well. Perhaps the best is that they are "fulfilled" by Christ. I personally see the ceremonial laws as being best described as being fulfilled by Christ. On the other hand, the judicial laws I see as being transformed by Him, since these were the tangible ways the 10 commandments were fleshed out in society for OT Israel.

It seems to me the Lord's Supper and Baptism are distinct as they're primarily covenant signs in particular. And as you say, God didn't abrogate covenant signs but changed them in the new covenant, from circumcision to baptism, and the Passover to the Lord's Supper.
 
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SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
WCF 19.3 Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a Church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.

Does Christianity not have a ceremonial law? How can we say this ceremonial law has been abrogated when we have the Lord's Supper and Baptism? Isn't it more appropriate to say that this ceremonial law has been changed (Heb. 7:12)?

Bolded part for emphasis. Baptism and the Lord's Supper were not ordinances given to the people of Israel.

The ceremonial laws that God was pleased to give to the people of Israel are now abrogated under the New Testament.

The text really does speak for itself.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
Here, the Confession speaks of the ceremonial prescriptions of the Mosaic law. Yes, the New Covenant has it's ceremonies (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), but these have been instituted by our Lord to be observed in his church till the end of the age.
 
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