In my article "Questionable 'Questionable Teachings' #2-Part 1" which addresses the QT of "Being Taught The 10 Commandments Is Like Taking Poison!", I said the following:
I agree with Rev Kong Hee that the Law is not just the 10 commandments and consists of three portions which we have conveniently categorized as civil,ceremonial and moral BUT I disagree that these portions can be individually separated and replaced. There is only ONE LAW and ONE COVENANT and either the WHOLE LAW applies or it doesn't. We, mere man, are the ones who divided the Law into 3 portions, not God.
Rev Kong Hee has kindly, perhaps unwittingly, confirmed for me that it is "We, mere man, are the ones who divided the Law into 3 portions, not God." In his post, Rev Kong Hee wrote the following:
The law consists of various parts. The most important portion is the Ten Commandments, also known as the “moral law,” as they express the morality, values and character of God. The commandments were engraved on stone tablets and are recorded in Exodus 20: 2-17 and Deuteronomy 5: 6-21. Because there are ten of them, they are also commonly called the “Decalogue” (Gr. dekalogos), which means the “ten words” or “ten pronouncements.”
Apart from these commandments, God gave Moses further instructions that governed the ethics and rituals of the Israelites. Augustine (354-430) divided the law of Moses into two parts: the moral and symbolical. For example, “you shall not covet” is a moral law; “you shall circumcise every male on the eighth day” is a symbolical law. To Augustine and the early Church fathers, the moral law of the Ten Commandments is still binding while the symbolical law is no longer binding. Besides circumcision and the sacrifices, Augustine categorizes as symbolical law the tabernacle regulations, the dietary laws, the feasts, etc. Because they are non-binding, he interprets the rules against blended clothing (wool and linen) and the mixed yoke (ox and ass) allegorically.
As always, Scripture must be compared with Scripture to avoid misinterpretation. It is clear that Jesus brought to an end the observance of the symbolical laws by His redemptive accomplishment. The entire sacrificial system and ceremonial washings were “external regulations applying until the time of the new order” (Heb. 9:10). These symbolical or topological law was “only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves” (Heb. 10:1), its regulations were set aside once the realities had arrived in Christ (Heb. 7:18-19, 22). Jesus ushered in the new order that made the ceremonial rituals redundant: “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb. 8:13).
This moral/symbolical distinction eventually gave way to the more precise three-part analysis first worked out in detail by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Aquinas says that the law of Moses is made up of moral, ceremonial and civil precepts. From the days of Aquinas to the Reformation, to our time, the Church has been consistent in teaching that only the moral law is still binding, all ceremonial and civil laws are no longer applicable to believers.
(emphasis in bold mine)
I shall now share my exchange with Roy Jr below and welcome comments from all of you:
I am not a theologian but I am just wondering, did any of those eleven historical church documents listed in the article explain how Rom 6:14 - “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” - fits in with obeying the 10 commandments?