At a Sunday night church service the speaker we had gone to hear mentioned James 1:25 in his lesson. That verse mentions the perfect law of liberty. It reminded me of Psalms 19:7. That verse says that the law of Yahweh God is perfect. So it seemed like a good idea to do a word study on all the verses that contain the words Law and Perfect. I think that there are some interesting facts in the verses that came up in the search. Here is a listing of the verses.
The Law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making the simple wise.
There are many who read this verse and acknowledge that Yahweh's Law is Perfect, but then when reading in the New Testament they tell us that Christ came and improved or fixed the Law because it was not perfect. I have had some people try to pit Christ against God. They say Christ replaced God's imperfect law. Psalms says otherwise.
I am truly a man, a Judean born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the Law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today.
The phrase exactness of the law is from the Greek word akribeia, "perfect manner" in the KJV. Paul said the law of God was perfect, exact.
Therefore if perfection were by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the Law), what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
We know that the Law is perfect, but the Levitical priesthood was not perfect. The Levitical priesthood was added to the Law and was intended to be replaced by our high priest, Christ.
For the Law appoints men high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the swearing of an oath, after the Law, has consecrated the Son forever, having been perfected.
For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw near to God.
Even though the law is perfect it can not make anyone perfect.
For the Law which has a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, appearing year by year with the same sacrifices, which they offer continually, they are never able to perfect those drawing near.
The law is perfect, but sacrifices could not make anyone perfect. Christ fulfiled the sacrifices with His own sacrifice ending the need for the continued sacrifices of the law. Sacrifices were added to the law for righteousness. His sacrifice was perfect negating the need for their continuation.
Please note that Christ did not replace the law. He fulfilled those parts that were prophesied about him, Luke 24:44. Another way to say it is that he satisfied the parts of the law that were added "because of transgressions", Galatians 3:17-19. God's complete and perfect law existed from the very beginning. This is a fundamental understanding of the nature of God. To site only two of many examples we know that Abraham obeyed the Law as mentioned in Genesis 26:5. Moses was teaching God's law two chapters before he was given the ten commandments, which were finally written down for a specific purpose.
It was our sin, that was nailed to the cross.
blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.
Handwriting of ordinances was, as the Greek says, a bill of debt that our sin created.
Lastly, some might say that all of this does not matter because the old covenant was replaced with a new one, but let us look and see what is the new covenant. Here is the New Testament quote of Jeremiah 31:31-33.
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My Laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"
So then God's new covenant is his perfect law, now written on our hearts, not just on stone. It was not God's law that was imperfect or weak. The covenant itself was weak in that it could not make someone perfect. The new covenant includes grace because the ultimate sacrifice has now been made. God's perfect law is a part of both covenants. God and Christ are one and they only have one moral represented by the law.
But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.
Psalms 119:44 (KJV)
So shall I keep thy law continually forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
All quotes from the MKJV except where noted.