[This post was originally on my myspace blog December 1, 2005]
I am a gentile believer in Messiah who is saved by grace through faith, not of works, lest I should ever boast.
But I also strive to follow the wishes of G-d through His everlasting love letter of Torah (which means “teaching”, btw). This seems a contradiction to some who may not understand that keeping Torah, celebrating the appointed time of the L-rd (Holy Festivals), and honoring and sanctifying the Shabbat/Sabbath, have everything to do with being saved by our Messiah and nothing to do with the gene pool.
As it says in the Apostolic Scriptures: there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free… So if G-d instructed His beloved children to avoid things at one time, would he not be overjoyed that his children would uphold his wishes and not push them aside later on claming that grace has freed them from obeying the commands of G-d?
*shrug* Just some thoughts to ponder.
The Torah a big topic that so many people have fiery opinions on. Everyone is welcome to their personal opinion, as we are all in that process of finding out what G-d wants from us as followers of Messiah.
I have not always thought this way about Torah. I have never loved it before. The Jews and the Torah were always “second class” to gentile Christians and “the New Testament”. But why should that ever be? That is a sin and it is truly heartless, thinking we are at all above those who came before.
Here are some Scriptures about the Torah. And New Covenant believers can glean much from them, I hope.
Matthew 5:17-20 17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
This doesn’t mean just Jews, does it? I would think not.
Lu 16:17 – But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void.
Luke 13:36-43Then he left the crowds and went into the house. His talmidim[disciples] approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world. As for the good seed, these are the people who belong to the Kingdom; and the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One. The enemy who sows them is the Adversary, the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all the things that cause people to sin and all the people who are far from Torah; and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where people will wail and grind their teeth.Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let him hear!
In the KJV, the phrase “those who are far from Torah” is said as “and them which do iniquity” and iniquity is defined here in the lexicon:#458 in case you’re curious.
Romans 2:13-15 For it is not merely the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah says who will be made righteous in God’s sight. For whenever Gentiles, who have no Torah, do naturally what the Torah requires, then these, even though they don’t have Torah, for themselves are Torah! For their lives show that the conduct the Torah dictates is written in their hearts. Their consciences also bear witness to this, for their conflicting thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them…
Ro 3:31 – Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.
Romans 9:30-33 So, what are we to say? This: that Gentiles, even though they were not striving for righteousness, have obtained righteousness; but it is a righteousness grounded in trusting! However, Isra’el, even though they kept pursuing a Torah that offers righteousness, did not reach what the Torah offers. Why? Because they did not pursue righteousness as being grounded in trusting but as if it were grounded in doing legalistic works.
Legalistic works in any way do not bring us towards that goal of righteousness, because it ONLY comes through trusting.my comments are in [brackets] and green:
Romans 10:1-10 Brothers, my heart’s deepest desire and my prayer to God for Isra’el is for their salvation; for I can testify to their zeal for God. But it is not based on correct understanding; for, since they are unaware of God’s way of making people righteous [through trusting] and instead seek to set up their own [we see this way involves legalistic heartless works], they have not submitted themselves to God’s way of making people righteous. For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. For Moshe writes about the righteousness grounded in the Torah that the person who does these things will attain life through them. Moreover, the righteousness grounded in trusting says…… “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness [which the Torah can help bring about if done with love and trusting instead of legalism], while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance.
2Th 2:7-8 For already this separating from Torah is at work secretly, but it will be secretly only until he who is restraining is out of the way. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua will slay with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the glory of his coming.
1Ti 1:8 – We know that the Torah is good, provided one uses it in the way the Torah itself intends.
Jas 2:14 He gave himself up on our behalf in order to free us from all violation of Torah and purify for himself a people who would be his own, eager to do good.
Jas 4:11 Brothers, stop speaking against each other! Whoever speaks against a brother or judges a brother is speaking against Torah and judging Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of what Torah says, but a judge.
1Jo 3:4 Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah – indeed, sin is violation of Torah.