“In it’s simplest form, to sin is to disobey a commandment believed to have come from God” (Rene)
I do agree with you here – but the commandments exist for the benefit of humanity – not for the benefit of God. So one could argue God’s intention was for humanity to have some guidelines to conduct itself within…basis being humanity’s safety.
“So why do Christians not have to follow the same commandments that Israel did? This is because Jesus Christ gave a new commandment which replaces all the others.” (Rene)
I have to disagree here – in some regards. Jesus only gives a new commandment to those whom have never studied Torah – that teaching comes from Torah plain and simple (love one another – Lev 19:18). There is actually nothing new about that teaching.
However, the real problem with your statement is duality. Jesus gives us new commandments which trump that of the God of Israel’s commandments – which evidently came from the very fingertips of God to Moses on Sinai (if we are literalists). Basically, Jesus becomes more important than God himself – and in most cases – God Himself.
Where’s the problem….there are several.
(a) Jesus did not teach against the Torah/Law (Matt 5:17-19) – and actually garnered his authority (which was his message) from the OT/Tanakh. I cannot think of a single teaching Jesus gives that is not based in Torah or Prophets – even his 2 great commandments and ‘treat others’ teaching all come from there – and acclaim authority to the Torah and Prophets.
(b) Jesus, if he were giving a new commandment which usurps the old commandments, is telling God his commandments are weak. Problem solved if Jesus is God – which is very convenient – but then we have God declaring He was ‘wrong’ and needed to ‘right’ that wrong! Basically, it’s no different than when Joseph Smith declared polygamy okay and then later on another prophet declares is not okay – God is in the business of changing His mind it would seem.
(c) You can end up with 2 God syndrome in this case – God of the OT and the God of the NT (which is Jesus). I actually do think this is slightly the case – but not by biblical directive – but later church commentary directive (being non-Jews and all – and looking at it all from a Greco-Roman perspective).
***Taken from my blog ‘What is Sin and How Do We know’