Okay, so about Torah observance for Christians . . . setting aside – just for a moment – the scriptures which support the concept that we are free from the Law because of what Christ did at the Cross, there are some practical problems with keeping the Law in a post-Cross world, are there not?
There is no temple, there are no high priests, most believers do not or are not able to go to Jerusalem at the appointed times for the appointed feasts. So how do believers who are Torah observant reconcile these and other inconsistencies?
The following was posted by me on the mom’s forum I subscribe to in response to posts by those who “keep” the Law:
I just want to stress again that the following is intended as a defense of what I believe to be scripturally sound teaching regarding Grace and the Law.
At the Last Supper Jesus held up the bread and the wine and said, “This is my Body and my blood, do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:14-20) Jesus says in Luke 22:20,“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Jesus wants us to remember that His Flesh and Blood took the place of the old covenant (Law) to make us acceptable (free from sin – from spiritual death to spiritual life) before God. It seems to be a rather significant point made during the observance of a feast itself. He shifted the focus in a very clear way from remembering what the Passover was all about to remembering what the breaking of HIS Body and the shedding of HIS Blood was all about . . . replacing the blood on the doorposts (a TEMPORARY solution) with His own Blood (the PERMANENT solution).
To say that that is not enough, or to say that one does not realize the full meaning of all God has done UNLESS one observes the Torah, or that one is not pleasing to or loving God enough if one is not observing the Torah is to say that the shed Blood of Christ is really not enough. That is ground I would not care to tread upon. And make no mistake, that is where you are treading if you feel we all should be Torah observant.
It is not Jesus plus anything that pleases God. God in the flesh – Jesus – fully God and fully man, was crucified and shed His blood for our sins, rose from the dead three days later, and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He finished the complete work of salvation. God does not require that we follow Torah. He nailed the written code to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). He released us from the Law when He released us from our sin through the Blood of Christ.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a repentant believer, cleansed by the blood of THE Lamb, results in the changing of a person – from the inside out! The Law works itself from the outside in. And it’s never enough. Jesus talks a LOT about that in Matthew 23.
Can one truly be “Torah observant” when, in reality, one is selective in which parts of the Law one obeys? Are there not parts of the Law that require a High Priest and a Temple? What about animal sacrifice? Did God become flesh and spill His blood simply to spare us the inconvenience of sacrificing animals?
What about penalties for those who violate the parts of the law for which the punishment is death? Who will take on the “responsibility” of making sure that appropriate punishment is administered according to the Law? Do not Deuteronomy 27:26 and Galatians 3:10 say that “cursed is everyone who does not continue to do EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law?” (Caps mine.)
How is it, in the view of Law keepers, that Grace exempts one from observing/performing the parts of the Law that one finds inconvenient or impractical, but does not exempt one from observing/performing the more palatable parts of the Law?
Honestly, my intent is not to be antagonistic here. I really wonder how those who are “Torah observant” can reconcile these obvious problems with consistency in obedience to the Law. If you do go ahead and decide to perform sacrifices, to be consistent, then of what use is the Cross? Have you not left the Cross, rejected the redemptive work of the Blood that was shed there for you by the Lamb of God?
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:13-17)
I wonder . . . . . how does God view Law-keeping through the lenses of His Grace and His Blood?
Are we justified before God because of Jesus’ work at the Cross or are we not? I found a really really good teaching titled, “Justified Through Faith” at Pass The Toast. I suggest that you turn on the audio as you read through the teaching. The audio is a little fuzzy, but I found that I got much more out of the teaching as I listened while I read, to hear the inflection in the words which were being spoken.
May I also suggest that you take a look at the testimony of Aaron Budjen, a Jewish Christian. He gives a very good account about how God showed him the difference between spiritual death and spiritual life and how God led him from one to the other – all from the perspective of one born a Jew and raised a Jew – studying to become a Rabbi. His perspective on salvation and the Law is very enlightening.
Though the above was one of my last posts (there is one more in response to another “Law” mom I’ll be posting here later) on the mom’s forum regarding Torah observance for Christians (the discussion was shut down by the moderator to those of us who had been debating there), it was evident to me that based on the responses posted by “Law Keepers” that there was a stream of thought . . . a source of teaching . . . this doctrine was coming from somewhere. Not only that, but after my “What About the Blood?!” post, the responses that came from “Law Keepers” contained discernible heresy.
These and other issues regarding the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name Movements will be discussed in future posts here. Stay tuned . . .
For a complete listing of posts at JGIG regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement, click HERE.
Other articles of interest:
A clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE. For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page. General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE. Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE. Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.
Filed under: "Law Keepers", Belief Sytems, Discernment, Formulas, Grace and Law, Hebraic Roots, Hebrew Roots Movement, Holy Spirit, Legalism, Religion, Sacred Name Movement, Torah | Tagged: "Law Keepers", Christianity, Discernment, Galatians, Grace and Law, Hebrew Roots Movement, Legalism, Messianic Judaism, MOMYS, New Covenant, Religion, Sacred Name Movement, Torah |