This is a post adapted from a Facebook post at the JGIG Facebook page. Periodically, I do an ‘Exercise in Discernment’ post on the JGIG Facebook page, and since not everyone is on Facebook (shocking, I know, ha!), I’ve adapted the post here for reference. Edited and expanded with formatting and links for this venue.
Exercise in Discernment
(Pay special attention to the G2673 – katargeō portion; I had never seen this before! Very cool!)
Rhonda, on another [Facebook] page, wrote,
“HRH, can you not understand Col 2:16-17? Verses 8,14,20,22, ‘…tradition of men, rudiments of the world, ordinances that was against us, commandments and doctrines of men…’ Do you know the difference between commandments of God and commandments of men?”
What was blotted out and nailed to the cross? What stood against us? Convicting us in the sight of God?
SIN. Law Keepers assert that Christ merely nailed human traditions (Rabbinic laws) added to the Law or just the curses in the Law to the Cross. Jesus accomplished so much more than that.
It was our sin and the Law that was nailed to the Cross, not just man’s additions to or the curses in the Law.
A Hebrew Christian friend of mine wrote this:
“The LOM [Law of Moses] did NOT die on the cross, Jesus did, and through HIS death on our behalf, all believers have DIED as well — The LOM is NOT dead, but WE are DEAD to IT (a crucial distinction) … It is our SINS which Jesus took upon His own head on the cross when He became SIN for us (He did NOT become the LOM) — I think that is a pivotal point to keep in the forefront of our thinking as we read this passage & others relating to it … WHAT is REMOVED in Col.2:11 ??? NOT the LOM (!!!) but our body of flesh, our body of dead works, our body of SIN … The decrees certified against us in verse 14 have been CANCELLED out and taken away (Because our Transgressions were forgiven, having been Nailed to the Cross in HIS Body) and the charges have been dropped against US since they were levied upon Jesus (in our stead) who PAID our DEBT BOND, He Himself being the Surety Forfeited because of our DEFAULT.”
Seeing that human traditions (commandments and doctrines of man) carry no authority to convict man in God’s sight and sin (transgression of God’s Law) does, it could not be just human traditions or only the curses in the Law that were nailed to the Cross.
That assertion simply fails in light of the facts and the context.
Once sin is washed away, the Law is done with us . . . it has led us to the Cross (Galatians 3) and there we become a New Creation! We are the very righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)! We no longer have the same relationship with the Law as we did before the work of Christ in our lives!
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having >>> canceled G1813 – exaleiphō <<< the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having >>> abolished G2673 – katargeō <<< in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
The Law IS abolished for those IN CHRIST.
Christ IS the end of the Law for righteousness for all who believe (Romans 10:4)!
Oh My! I just checked this out . . . this is so cool . . . now it gets really interesting . . .
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been >>> delivered G2673 – katargeō <<< from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
G2673 – katargeō is translated as both ‘abolished’ in Eph. 2:15 and as ‘delivered’ in Rom. 7:6.
Here’s the definition:
1) to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
a) to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
b) to deprive of force, influence, power
2) to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
a) to cease, to pass away, be done away
b) to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
c) to terminate all intercourse with one
That’s talkin’ about the Law for those in Christ, folks!
The Law, for those in Christ, is these things:
➞ inactive (!!!)
➞ inoperative (!!!)
➞ to cause a person to have no further efficiency
➞ to deprive of force, influence, power (!!!)
➞ to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish (!!!)
➞ to cease, to pass away, be done away (!!!)
➞ to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one (!!!)
➞ to terminate all intercourse with one (!!!)
Rhonda also wrote,
“Rom 10:4 For Christ is the AIM of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. He showed us how it’s done! τέλος is the same word for end, aim, eternal, purpose. Isn’t it amazing how one little word can change the entire sentence? [Isn’t it though?!] You can go with ‘end’, but that will give you the translation that lawless ppl like the most. If you go with ‘aim’, it harmonizes with all of scripture. What translation do you prefer?”
I prefer the translation that is supported by both the original language (in this case, Greek) and by context.
Note this about Rhonda’s approach: She’s attempting to ‘harmonize’ a New Covenant Scripture by subjecting the New Covenant to the Old Covenant. The Scriptures are clear: The New Covenant is a better Covenant built on better promises (Hebrews chapters 4-10). We are NOT to subject the New to the Old! It’s folly to subject the superior to the inferior:
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
It brings another perspective to Galatians 5:4 where Paul says,
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
If they’re truly saved, it doesn’t mean that they’ve lost they’re salvation, but that they are making Christ of no effect to themselves in THIS life. They’re choosing to live by the Law instead of by Grace. They have fallen from Grace – from the higher reality in the New Covenant of Christ, to the shadows of the Old Covenant in Moses. Paul also says in Galatians 2:18:
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Who makes who a transgressor? The one who goes back under the Law or God? When believers put *themselves* back under the Law, *they* are counting their transgressions against themselves.
In Christ, God isn’t counting their transgressions against them:
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
They FEEL all the condemnation and guilt that the Law brings, because that’s what the Law was designed to do, and they’ve put themselves back under it! But that’s in this life – if they are believers they have been made perfect forever in Christ – that does not change (Hebrews 10). Foolishness, even rooted in devotion or pride does not change the Work of Christ. Dear believer, if you have put yourself back under the Law, come back to Grace and to the ‘freedom for which Christ has made you free’!
Back to the Romans 10 passage with a bit of context:
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of >>> God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, <<< have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the >>> end G5056 – telos <<< of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
First, to deal with Christ as the end of the Law:
a) termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)
b) the end
1) the last in any succession or series
c) that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue
d) the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose
2) toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods)
End, in this case, simply means end.
End of the Law for those in Christ.
A simple translation for the linguist guys.
But the HRM has to take meaning ‘1d’ to try to force a meaning into the text. Even then, their attempt falls short, as the Law points to Christ:
>>>>>>>>>> . . . He . . . Christ . . . <<<<<<<<
. . . is the end (the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose) of the Law, not the Law is the end of Christ!
The Law points to Christ, Christ does not point to the Law!
For those in Christ, the Law is abolished, and those in Christ
are released from the Law, having died to it!
(Rom. 10:4, Rom. 7:1-6, Eph. 2, Col. 2)
The second point I wish to make here is that the righteousness that is in Christ – the righteousness we receive – is the very righteousness of God. God’s righteousness is the righteousness that is provided in Christ for all who believe! (Romans 5, 2 Corinthians 5)
The only ‘righteousness’ you could ever hope for through the Law is your own (‘and seeking to establish their own righteousness’, from Romans 10, above), and that would require your perfect obedience, all the time, zero mistakes, which is an impossibility.
God offers you HIS Righteousness!
Through Faith! (Ephesians 2)
To demonstrate God’s Righteousness! \o/
I hope this short study has helped you to sort out some of the common Scriptures that those in Law-keeping sects try to use to support the keeping of Old Covenant Law. As one digs deeper and really examines the language and context of the Scriptures, the simple Truths of the New Covenant become clearer and clearer – and Christ Jesus becomes more and more exalted, not only as our Sweet Saviour and Lord, but also as our Perfect High Priest, in Whom we can always do this:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (from Hebrews 4)
Please also note that it is not through Law that we draw near to God, but by His Grace, faith in His Death and Resurrection, His Free Gifts of Righteousness and New Life, and His Perfect High Priesthood in the New Covenant, by which we draw near to God.
Grace and peace to you!
Other articles of interest:
- Millennial Prophecy – Measuring Unrevealed Prophecies in Light of Revealed Truths
- Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley
- The Law of Christ – Defined and Defended
- Tzit Tzit For the Believer In Christ?
- 12 Undeniable Truths That Drive Law ‘Keepers’ Crazy
If you or someone you know is in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect and are questioning what you believe, 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. May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.
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