What Is Sin?

There is much debate on whether one should follow the full Torah, the Ten Commandments, or just to love others. Each side puts up verses that supposedly contradicts the other. I say supposedly, because I believe the Bible does not contradict itself nor does it correct itself. One topic that I rarely see discussed is what is sin. Maybe through defining what sin is we can see what we shouldn’t do and therefore see what we should be doing.
The Hebrew word for sin is chet and means to miss the mark. The Greek word for sin is hamartia and also means to miss the mark or to fail in hitting the mark. Whether one looks at either the Tanach or the Gospels/Epistles, sin is missing the target that one is shooting towards. Whether in archery or in life, missing the mark is not good.
The disciple John wrote about sin as well and said “Everyone who sins breaks the Torah; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). John understood the mark, the target, was Torah. Some people will state what is sin has changed and it no longer means breaking the Torah, but just the Ten Commandments or some other list of commandments.
Before we continue looking at 1 John 2, let’s dig a little deeper into what is lawlessness from verse 4. The Greek word for lawlessness is anomia and means without law either due to ignorance or violating it. The root of the word anomia is anomos and means destitute of the mosaic law. This is the same word Yeshua (Jesus) used in Luke 13:27 and Matthew 7:23 – “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ “ Those who may call on Yeshua’s name and do things His name, but practice rebellion against the Torah, God does not know you. Is this harsh? We might think so, but they are His words. Nonetheless, sin is destitue of the Torah.
As we continue looking at 1 John 2, I think it will become more apparent what the target is in regards to verse 4.
V5 - You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 
I am pretty confident in saying that just about every believer agrees that Yeshua was sinless. Hopefully, everyone agrees the target for Yeshua was the Torah. The same Torah God gave to Moses and His people at Mt Sinai. Yeshua did not come to take away the Torah, but to take away our sins. From here it is pretty clear the definition of sin is what we looked at previously, transgressing the Torah is sinning.

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The Truth In Love

Peter in his 2 epistle stated Paul is difficult to understand. Peter continues saying regarding Paul’s epistles, the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of Scripture, to their own destruction. Many disagree with Peter and state Paul is easy to understand and that he is delivering a message from G-d telling everyone that Yeshua (Jesus) free us from the Torah. A question to keep in mind while reading this is: if keeping Torah is truth would you do it? Would you believe it? If you are unwilling to follow the truth, even if it is confirmed to you to be the truth, then the issue is more about what you want and less about loving G-d. Let’s look into what Peter was saying about those distorting Paul’s epistles and dig into the truth.
just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of the wicked and fall from your own steadfastness 2 Peter 3:15b-17
Peter is very clear that Paul is difficult to understand, but who are they who distort them as they do the rest of Scripture? The untaught and unstable. The Greek word used for untaught is only used this one time in Scripture. It means unlearned, ignorant. That is easy to understand. Someone who is untaught in a subject is ignorant of the subject. The word used for unstable is used only one other time and is also within Peter’s epistle. It means…..unstable.
having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 2 Peter 2:14
In this section of Peter’s epistle he is talking about those who are teaching falsely. They are never ceasing from sin. It is critical than to determine what is sin. Sin can be easily defined as going against G-d’s word. Some today think that means only the commandments restated in the Gospels or only the epistles. Some think it is only the ten commandments. The problem with those two understandings of sin is it is the teaching of men. No where in Scripture is sin redefined. G-d’s Torah is the foundation and never changed. In fact, John in his epistle defined sin:
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4
Anomia is the Greek word translated as lawlessness. Nomia translated as law or the Torah and anomia as without the Torah. One who practices sin is Torahlessness. They are with sin.
Peter warns us in the Scripture above to be on guard so that we are not carried away by the error of the wicked. The wicked are those who break through the restraint of the law and gratifies his lusts. That is the definition of the Greek word translated as wicked. The NIV translates verse 17 like this:
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 2 Peter 3:17
Be on guard that you are not carried away by the error of the lawless. Those who are without the Torah or those who believe they are under grace and therefore continue sinning. Peter is warning all those who teach something other than the truth. The truth is important. You may think you know the truth, but do you? How does Scripture define truth?
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. Psalm 119:142
You are near, O L-rd, And all Your commandments are truth. Psalm 119:151
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. Psalm 119:160
The Torah, the commandments, the sum of His word is truth. King David could only be referring to the Torah when he stated the sum of Your word is truth. It is critical that one allows Scripture to define Scripture. We cannot bring our own thoughts and philosophies into Scripture and define truth. With this knowledge of what is truth, let’s look at a few verses:
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
Here Paul is telling the Thessalonians that the lawless one will with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth. They did not receive the Torah. You have heard it said that the Torah can be summed up in one commandment, to love. The Torah is love. It expresses love. Following the commandments show love:
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6
If you say you love G-d but don’t follow the commandments, then you are a liar. Please know these are not my words but John’s:
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 1 John 2:3-4
The lawless one will come deceiving. The lawless one does not want you to follow the commandments. The Torah gives us a formula to use to determine whether someone is from G-d or not. It is a pretty simple formula that all can follow, if you know the truth:
Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. Deuteronomy 12:32 – 13:4
The formula is if anyone comes claiming to be from G-d and they tell you to not follow G-d and His ways (Torah) then you are not to listen. So, when the lawless deceiver comes, it will be easy for those who know Torah to not be deceived. The truth sanctifies you…it sets you apart, makes you holy.

because G-d has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13b
Paul makes it clear in Romans 2:8 about obeying the truth:
but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Paul says the truth of Christ is in him in 2 Corinthians 11. Jeremiah speaks of the truth being put in your inward parts and written on your heart:
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the L-rd, “I will put My Torah within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their G-d, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:33
This is why John said for those who do not keep the commandments, the truth is not in him. The truth is Torah. The role of the Spirit? Bear fruits of righteousness, which is following Torah. Ezekiel talks about the role of the Spirit:
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. Ezekiel 36:26-27
This is G-d’s plan. To give you a new heart, a heart of flesh. He will put the Torah in your inward parts and write it on your heart. The Spirit will then cause you to walk in G-d’s statutes and ordinances. Those are G-d’s commandments.
If you have read this you know the truth. You see what G-d considers truth. Are you willing to start following the truth, Torah? It is not expected of you that you start following ALL the commandments immediately. That would be too overwhelming. Just start walking in them. Start reading the Torah. Start attending a Torah observant synagogue who is centered on Yeshua like Sar Shalom Synagogue. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived. The deception is great and so is the prize. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by the error of the lawless. Love G-d!
Baruch Hashem…until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is Hashem!

Believe

Millions of people have ministered to others trying to get them to accept Jesus. To accept John 3:16, that G-d sent His own Son to die for your sins and if you believe in Him you will not perish. Just accept this notion, say a prayer, and you will receive eternal salvation. Some may think this is too good to be true. It sounds very simplistic. Why didn’t G-d think of this before? Millions of people lived on the Earth before Yeshua was revealed and one would think that they would have wanted to know about this. Maybe believing in Him means something different than we think. Salvation is an important topic, so let’s spend some time looking into what is meant by believe in Him.
John 3:16 says:
“For G-d so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”
Believing in Him seems to be the most important thing one could do. For believing in the Son will cause one to have eternal life. The Greek word used in this verse is pisteuō and means to place confidence in or to trust. John is expressing that we must place our trust, our confidence in the Messiah. What does this trust look like? It is not just believing something to be true, for we are told in James 2:19 (real name Jacob or Ya’acov) that even the demons believe that G-d is one. So, there has to be more to the word believe in Him than just belief. Does that make sense?
Within Judaism, the notion that one needs to believe in a Messiah who will save you from all your sins based on belief does not exist. Now, I understand the difference between Judaism and Christianity, so here me out. Practicing Jews know their Bible really well, far better than even the most knowledgeable Christians. This is not a knock on Christians by any means. In general, Jews have the upperhand with history, knowledge of the Hebrew language, etc. The Jews belief is based on Deuteronomy 30. Deuteronomy 30 explains the terms of their return to the Promise Land. Verses 2 and 3 are the key verses:
and you return to the L-rd your G-d and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the L-rd your G-d will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the L-rd your G-d has scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:2-3
Deuteronomy is Moses last time he address’ the Israelites. He tells them they are going to leave G-d and stop following His commandments. He also tells them how to be restored from their scattering as well. The first thing Moses tells them is to return to G-d. The Hebrew word for return is shuv. Is simply means to return, turn back. Moses is telling the Israelites how G-d is going to bring them back. They must first turn towards G-d. What does this exactly mean? Does it mean believe again? The English word for repentance is teshuva. Do you see the shuva in teshuva? Teshuva is turning from your current ways of sinning and return to G-d. It is a very important aspect of believing in G-d. If you don’t turn from your ways then what you are stating is my ways are more important than your ways. Therefore you have not turned towards G-d.
What is one turning from though? Your sins. John in his first epistle tells us what sin is:
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4
The word translated as lawlessness is anomia and means devoid of the Mosaic Law. Yeshua actually used anomia in Matthew 7:23:
‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Notice, just before this verse this was said to those who thought they were doing things in Yeshua’s name. Yeshua said only those who do the will of My Father. His Father gave us His will back in the Torah. His will is for us to do the commandments!
The second item expressed in Deuteronomy 30:2 is “and obey Him with all of your heart and soul according to all that I command you today.” Moses is quoting an earlier part of his speech to the Israelites. He is quoting a portion of the Shema. The Shema is the most important prayer in Judaism. With this prayer you are declaring the L-rd as your G-d. The Shema is actually quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-9 plus some other verses, but we are going to focus on the beginning two verses:
“Hear, O Israel! The L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is one! You shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”
The Hebrew word for hear is Shema and means more than just hear. It means to hear and obey. Literally, the verse is saying hear and obey Israel…. Then Moses says to love the L-rd your G-d with all that you got. Don’t hold back. These words should be on their hearts. Everything Moses commanded the Israelites to do was from the mouth of G-d. They were G-d’s commandments, G-d’s instructions. They are the words of G-d. We are also told that Yeshua was the word made flesh in John 1:14. The word here in John 1:14 is the Torah. I believe this for three reasons:
  1. The Torah was the actual spoken words to Moses and G-d met Moses and spoke to him unlike anyone else. The prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah for example all saw dreams and visions. They never met with G-d.
  2. King David wrote of the word often and it always pointed back to Torah.
  3. When this Gospel was written the Gospels and Epistles would not be canonized into a what exists today as the Bible for a couple hundred years afterwards. Therefore at most, word could be pointing back to the whole Tanakh (Genesis – Malachi) not the “New Testament”
Yeshua also quoted a portion of the Shema when He was asked how to obtain eternal life:
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law (Torah)? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28
You might be surprised that Yeshua did not state the lawyer should believe in Him. Instead, Yeshua asked him what is written in the Torah. The lawyer then quotes a portion of the Shema and Leviticus 19:18. Yeshua told him do these things and you will live. Every Jew knew exactly what the Shema means. They understand it means to love G-d and they understand how to love G-d. John in his second epistle told us how to love G-d:
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.  2 John 1:6
John has many quotes about loving G-d and following G-d’s commandments. This is G-d’s will for us. This is His plans for us. I know what you are thinking, Yeshua nailed the Torah to the execution stake. But He didn’t. There is not one verse in all of the Scripture that says He nailed the Torah to the execution stake. There is one verse that states He nailed our debt of sinning to the stake. That is a big difference.
Believing Yeshua is the Messiah is very important. Please do not misunderstand this message. Believing entails a lot more than just thinking something is true. The notion that one can just say a prayer and everything is hunky dory is just false. We must turn to G-d (which means you place your faith in Him), repent, and accept His ways to have eternal life. Yeshua said so Himself! Any other way is idolatry!
Baruch Hashem….until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is Hashem!

Why The Law Then

Law, law, law! I am so confused. What is Paul saying in Galatians 3? You could read it and assume every time Paul says law he is speaking of the Torah, the commandments. Unfortunately, that can’t be correct! If you believe that you are wrong! Yes, I am saying that emphatically! How can I be so sure? Let’s take a look at v19 – 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.

If the law came as a result of transgressions (i.e. sins) then it is not possible to sin. You cannot sin if the law did not exist prior to the giving of the law at Mount Sinai by G-d to Israel. Sin is transgression of the law (1 John 4:3), therefore the law (Torah) could not have been added due to transgressions because the Torah needs to exist prior to the sin to sin. You might need to read that a couple times, but one needs to understand the Torah (law) is eternal. It is forever. The law spoken of in v19 cannot be the original commandments given by G-d otherwise there would be no sin before that time period.

Confused? Great. Let’s try and find out what law was added that Paul is referring to in this verse. Initially, all of the sons of Israel were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5-6). Something happened though that caused this to change, the golden calf. The golden calf incident changed history forever. No longer were all the tribes going to serve as priests. Now, only the Levites. Prior to the incident HaShem already gave His instructions to the Israelites. Due to the incident new instructions came. The Levitical Priesthood would serve and teach the others. This is the law that was added because of transgressions. This is what Paul is referring to in v19.

Now that the Levitical Priests were setup to lead, for how long were they to lead? What does Paul mean until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. The promise was to Avraham. Not sure of anyone who would disagree with that. So what does “until the seed would come” mean. Yeshua is the seed. Until Yeshua would come the Levitical Priesthood would serve and teach others. We know from Hebrews 7 that the Levitical priesthood was not perfect. We know they did not fulfill their mission of teaching Israel. When Yeshua came (possibly when He comes again) the priesthood changed. No longer were the Levitical priests going to be the teachers of the people. Who is going to be the teacher?

Jeremiah 31:33 says HaShem will put His Torah within them and write it on the hearts of Israel and Judah. They will no longer be teaching, because all will know Him. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

HaShem is going to be the teacher. His Spirit is going to cause you to walk in His statutes and observe His ordinances. The Levites will still have their place in the Temple. In the Millennial they will be serving up sacrifices, including sin sacrifices. The Levites role of teachers ended though with the coming of the MaShiach.

Does Galatians 3:19 make a little more sense now?   There is some detail still to be written, but for the sake of time that will come later.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem

Apart From The Torah, Sin Is Dead

Romans 7 is a difficult chapter and last time we to a look at the first six verses and looking at dying to the law and what that meant.  Now, we look at Paul circling the wagons to make sure you do not misinterpret him.

What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Torah; for I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Torah sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans7:7-13

Paul, just to make sure you understand what he previously said in the first six verses wants us to understand that the Torah is not sin.  The only way you know sin is through the Torah.  Paul teaches the same concept at the end of Romans 3 and 5.  The Torah is not sin and we should not continue sinning.  The Torah is good, holy, and righteous.  Sin is the issue in our lives, not Torah.  Through the Torah we understand what is sin and how we are to live our lives.  Sin kills, but through the process of true teshuvah (repentence) we turn from our ways and turn towards the ways of G-d and He forgives our iniquity.

Are we to follow other gods or follow the One and Only G-d?  Deuteronomy 11 comes to mind here.  Following other G-ds means you are not following Him in His ways…not following the commandments:

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:  the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the L-rd your G-d, which I am commanding you today;  and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your G-d, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.  Deut. 11:26-28

So you see that not following the commandments is the same as following other gods.  How?  If you do not listen to G-d then you are listening to someone else whether it be yourself (evil inclination) or someone else.  Which G-d tells us in Deut. 13:1-4 not to listen to those who are telling you to follow other G-ds.

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

Obedience Resulting In Righteousness

Now that we know we are under grace and not under the law, Paul clarifies what He meant by not under the law.  Unfortunately too many do not read the whole context of what Paul is telling us in Romans 6.  Many believe the Torah is not important to believers any longer.  So let’s see how Paul clarifies verse 14.

 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!  Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?  But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,  and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.  Romans 6:15-18

Paul is actually repeating himself from the beginning of the chapter.  For verses 1 & 2a states What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  Most believers agree that we are not to sin.  The problem is how to define sin.  We have looked at this definition before and sin is lawlessness and if I may Torahlessness.  Sin has always been measured by Torah.  No where in the Bible is the definition of sin changed.  No where in Scripture is the definition of commandments changed.  I say this because many believe when Yeshua or the apostles say commandments believers think they are talking about the Ten Commandments, or the commandments spoken of in the “New Testament” only or even just the commandment to love.  The problem with this is they are changing the definition without being directed to by Scripture. 

So now that we are no longer slaves to sin (because Yeshua paid our debts and we are not free from the penalty of sin), we become slaves to the one who purchased us, Yeshua/G-d.  Many believe that we are made righteous by faith and this is true there is a faith righteousness.  Many also believe we cannot do anything to be righteous or increase our righteousness and this is false.  Paul tells us right here obedience leads to righteousness.  Paul also wrote about this very thought back in Romans 1.  One of Paul’s disciples Timothy said in 2 Timothy 3:15-16 that the sacred writings that gives us wisdom that leads to salvation through faith is good for what…training in righteousness.  James in his letter is all over this very thought in chapter 2.  Works without faith is dead, but faith without works is also dead.

Paul goes on to say you became obedient from the heart…becoming slaves to righteousness.  Interestingly Ezekiel and Jeremiah write about this very thought.  Ezekiel 36:26-27 says  Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  So G-d is going to give a new heart and give you a new spirit and His Spirit will cause you to follow the commandments.   Ezekiel 11:19-20 same the same thing.  Jeremiah 31:31-33 states in the “New Covenant” He will write the Torah on His people’s hearts.  Do you think that is why Paul is stating you became obedient from the heart?  YES!  If you are a believer the Ruach Hakodesh (The Holy Spirit) shall cause you to walk in obedience to G-d’s commandments.

Again, so many want to change the definition of sin and/or commandments, but there is no direction in Scripture that tell us to do so.  In fact, we are told the opposite.  From Deut. 13:1-4 we are told if anyone comes telling to follow after other G-ds (meaning not to follow the commandments) that this is a test to see if you love G-d with all your heart, soul, and strength.  For you are to follow your G-d and fear Him and follow His commandments.

What do you think?  Do you disagree?  Why?

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

Do Not Let Sin Reign

Righteousness of faith has and will always be the way to santification.  There is no argument there.  We looked at Romans 4:13-15 last time to see just what this meant.  Today, we are jumping all the way to ch. 6 to look at not allowing sin to reign in our bodies.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,  and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:12-14

Paul tells us not to let sin reign in our bodies.  The question that arises is what is sin?   Sin is lawlessness.  Lawlessness is anomia and the root word of anomia means destitute of the Mosaic law.  Yeshua used anomia when He said And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”   Paul is agreeing with Yeshua in that we should not let sin reign in our bodies.  Yeshua paid for our debt from sin, but this does not give us a license to continue sinning.  

Believers have been freed from their debt of sin and therefore Paul declares that sin shall not be a master over you.  We are no longer under the law, meaning we are no longer under the penalty from disobedience to the Torah.  Why?  For we have been sanctified through grace.  G-d has saved us from our own selves, but we are not free to let sin reign in our bodies.  If you are a believer you have been purchased.  You now belong to G-d and should be obedient to G-d.  Yeshua said if you love me, you will keep My commandments.  Just know, His commandments cannot be anything different than G-d’s commandments.  For one, He is G-d.  Two, He only came speaking what G-d had told Him to speak.  Three, if He did direct people to follow a different set of commandments then He would have broken the Torah.  For the Torah says not to add or subtract from the commandments (Deut 4:2 & 12:32) and if one should come telling you to follow a different G-d (obeying this other G-d) this is a test and you should only follow the true G-d and keep His commandments (Deut 13:1-4).

There is no new definition for commandments in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament).  There is no new definition of sin.  Sin is simply transgressing G-d’s commandments.  Do not let sin reign in you!

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

Under The Law

Last time we read how Paul advised his readers to not sin more so more good will come in.  In Romans 3:9-18 Paul puts Jews and Greeks all in the same boat…we are all under sin.  Paul then quotes various Tanakh verses to support his point.  Paul concludes with this:

Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it speaks to those who are under the Law (Torah), so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to G-d;  because by the works of the Torah no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20

Just before these two verses Paul shows how all have sinned.  We know from 1 John 3:4 that sinning is lawlessness or if you will Torahlessness.  Yeshua said in Matthew 7:23 ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’  Now we know that we have all sinned and we are all accountable to G-d.

If you will remember when we looked at Romans 2, Paul discussed how just having the Torah and performing it without a circumcision of the heart does you no good.  Paul was simply gathering knowledge given in the Tanakh.  This is not new teaching.  There must be an internal obedience to the Torah.

Many times I am asked what is sin.  I usually provide verses I provided above, but I think Paul does an excellent job here in verse 20.  I am going to have to add this to my definition of sin.  Paul says through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin.  How do you know what sin is?  Through the Torah.  So without Torah you cannot know what is a sin.  When you sin you are under the Law as Paul puts it.  In other words you have a debt to pay for your sin.  This is what Yeshua did for us…paid for our sin.  This does not mean Yeshua did away with or fulfilled the Torah.  We are to live in obedience and not in sin.

So many people want to throw out Torah yet Torah is our definition of sin.  Pretty much everyone agrees that we sin.  How do you know what sin is if the Torah is thrown out?  How is G-d going to hold you accountable if you throw out Torah?  If the Torah is thrown out, do you even sin today?  Over and over again Yeshua said in one way or another “go and sin no more”.  To not sin means to keep the Torah.

I hope this is clear.  The amazing thought is the one whom is most quoted for getting rid of the Torah or at least following it says the exact opposite here in Romans 3.

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