Nullify the Torah?

Last time we looked at Romans 3:20-21 and the Law of Righteousness apart from the Torah.  As Sha’ul continues in Romans 3 he makes it clear again that justification (salvation) is apart from the Torah.  It is through grace, which has existed from the beginning of time, that we have salvation.  Therefore Sha’ul asks where is the boasting?  No one can boast, whether you have the Torah or not, again reemphasizing the comments he made in chapter two that we went over a few weeks ago.  This brings us down to verses 30 and 31 which says:

since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.  Romans 3:31

Many will say this verse says we do not need to be circumcised because we are all in faith together.  I will agree all are in faith together, yet I will also contend as does Sha’ul that we do not nullify the Torah through faith.  Sha’ul says may it never be!  It is through faith that we establish the Torah.

One can perform the works of Torah with and without faith.  The Torah is spiritual (Romans 7:14), so if you are following it through your own efforts it is meaningless and yoke I would not want to bear.  If, through Yeshua, we have faith then we can overcome this fleshly desire to sin and follow G-d in His commandments.  Yeshua said His yoke was easy and His burden light.  1 John 5:3 tells us His commandments are not burdensome for those who have faith.  Moshe in His addressing the Israelites before they enter the Promise Land says “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.”  Why?  Because their hearts will be circumcised….emunah (faith/faithfulness).

Yeshua’s yoke is not any different than G-d’s.  Yeshua came to speak only what the Father told Him.  Why some believe Yeshua came to speak a different message I don’t know.  May HaShem give them wisdom and to see the truth!  The truth…I have a whole drash on that as well.  Maybe soon.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

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Apart From The Law Of Righteousness

By now, we know that through works, i.e. following Torah, we cannot receive salvation.  Why?  Because we sin, breaking Torah.  This is what Sha’ul (Paul) emphasizes throughout Galatians and Romans.  I believe as we have gone through the book of Galatians and now the book of Romans that this is clear.  I also believe thus far no where does Sha’ul ever say the Torah is not for today though.  Remember Sha’ul is a Torah observant Jew based on his own testimony (see Who Is Paul).  Yet, many believe these next few verses in Romans 3 shows that Paul teaches we are not to follow Torah…let’s take a look:

But now apart from the Torah the righteousness of G-d has been manifested, being witnessed by the Torah and the Prophets,  even the righteousness of G-d through faith in Yeshua Mashiach for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of G-d, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Mashiach Yeshua;  whom G-d displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.  Romans 3:21-24

Apart from the Torah the righteousness of G-d has been manifested.  This does not say we should live apart from the Torah.  No.  Our righteousness (note there are two types of righteousness described in Scripture) is apart from the Torah.  Our righteousness is through Yeshua.  IF we could obey the Torah perfectly then we could pursue this righteousness, but since we don’t live it out perfectly we must obtain righteousness apart from the Torah.  Paul makes it clear that this has ALWAYS been the path since the Torah and the Prophets bear witness to it.  This is we are told way back in Breishit (Genesis) 3 that we would have a savior.  Paul is saying righteous apart from following the Torah and the Prophets would need to present itself.  We are told Avraham saw the day of Yeshua.  His faith provided salvation for him, not his obedience to the commandments described in Breishit 26.

Sha’ul continues on by saying this is for all people for all have fell short of the glory of G-d.  Whether you are born a Jew or come into the covenant through Yeshua the only way to G-d is through faith.  This is why Yeshua said in Yochanan 14:6 the only way to the father is through me.  While this verse has much deeper meaning, the plain reading of the text tells us we must accept Yeshua to spend eternity with our G-d.

Baruch HaShem!  I hope you these verses are a little clearer as to what Sha’ul is saying.  If you have any questions or comments please let me know.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

Why The Law? – Galatians 3:19-22

As you have seen thus far Galatians 3 is a tough chapter. Lots of phrases that can be confused if one does not understand the proper context. When reading Scripture it is best to understand the beliefs and life of the writer, the time period of the writing, and who is the audience. In this case we have Paul, who when he defended himself states he was educated under Gamaliel (which is not small thing), a Pharisee and son of Pharisees, brought offerings, found in the temple purified, he committed no offense against the law of the Jews, and in Acts 24:14 states “I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets”. So from this we see that Paul was well educated, still considered himself a Pharisee, still followed Torah, and believed in everything in the Tanak (what you may call Old Testatement).

Therefore, when looking at Scripture that Paul wrote one must keep this information in mind. For if Paul says all these things (Luke writes them), but teaches something different, then everything he wrote is questionable at best.

Let’s examine Galatians 3:19-22 which says:

Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.  Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas G-d is only one.  Is the Law then contrary to the promises of G-d? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.  But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Yeshua might be given to those who believe.

Paul says the Law was added because of transgressions which is basically sin. You might be going wait a minute, if transgressing the Torah is sin how was the Torah added due to sin? Paul did right about this in Romans 5:13 – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. In other words, sin was in the world, but you did not know it was sin. Therefore, G-d was not holding one accountable to it. Now with the Torah known you know what how sin is defined.  Now we see that we are not righteous in of ourselves and we need a savior. Amen that G-d provided for us! Take note, this does not mean we should continue to sin. Many believe the rest of the verse shows that Paul was stating the Torah is no longer before us. Nothing can be further from the truth. If I may let’s remove the words in between the commas and see if the verse is any clearer. It (Torah) was added because of transgressions until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Until the seed would come is the Messiah. What did the Messiah do for us? He took away our transgressions, our sins. It is not the Torah that was added until the Messiah came. No, it is the transgressions that have been done away with, not Torah. Paul could have said here , as he did in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in transgression now that the offspring has come? By no means!”

Paul continues on explaining that the Torah was never meant to impart life…give you salvation. The Mosaic Covenant does not impart life. Salvation comes from the promise given to Avraham. The Torah exists for 3 reasons:

  1. To provide G-d’s righteous standard
  2. Define sin which is breaking the standard
  3. To show that we fall short of this standard

Israel (you and me) was not saved because they received Torah, they received Torah because they had already entered into the covenant that saves….Avraham’s Covenant.

It is time to wrap this up today, but I hope you are starting to understand what Paul was writing about in Galatians. The Torah was never meant to save anyone. The works of Torah will not save you.

What do you think? Is this the Torah for all believers? Even Christians….

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

But Paul Said….Dietary Laws

But Paul Said….we could eat anything set before us.  Many Christians believe the dietary laws set out in the Tanakh were done away with.  Yet in Matthew 5 Yeshua said the Torah would not go away until heaven and earth pass away.   Hmmm.  There are many verses Christians use to say believers can eat whatever is set before us.   The verse in Mark 7:19 tells us that Yeshua thus declared all foods clean.  It cannot be both.  Peter tells us in Acts 10 that his lips have never touched unclean food.  Yet, this vision in Acts 10 occurred well after the events in Mark 7.  Certainly Peter did not forget what Master Yeshua said did he?

I was going to write a great blog on this topic, until I read the article contained in the link I provide below.  I could not really add to much to it so I thought I would just post the link to the posts.  There are 3 parts to the article.  Let me know what you think!

http://gatestozion.net/foundation-series/food-clean