Sunday, August 30, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 8

As a reminder, in the American English idiom, "It's Time To Lay Down the Law", doesn't mean to rid oneself of a "law", but to emphasize it - to place "rule" over your children, for example, as our Father in Heaven does for us!

Deu 5:29 'Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
Deu 10:12 "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deu 10:13 and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Folks, the Good Book is very clear. Torah is not a Burden, it is not Unachievable, it is not to be perceived as Bondage, it is not Obsolete! Instead, it is there for our own good - forever!

... let's continue with Romans, Ch. 3 ...

The word "Law" does not appear before verse 19, however, the context prior to this is important to understand. The main point of confusion in the Church, in my opinion, is that our development as believers is by FAITH, not by Works, and this is something they don't understand. Wait a minute, Tiger! The Church says it's all about FAITH and it's why Torah is not needed! How can the Work of Torah be helpful? See the confusion?  : )  Please allow me to elaborate, although Paul does so later.

Our life as believers, assuming we "run the full race" has 4 steps, biblically speaking:


All of these steps are FAITH based, NOT Works based, just as they were with Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Israelites, etc. If you want Works based lives you join Pharisaical Judaism, the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or perhaps your local Sunday keeping Church! All the other "religions" are so Pagan, they're not even to be mentioned.

SALVATION is defined beautifully in Ephesians 2:8. Do a word search and you'll find much more. Most in the Church stop at this step. "Once Saved, Always Saved" is the legalistic mantra! But we must continue the race. SANCTIFICATION is the Holy Spirit working through us to enable us to live a Holy (set apart) life. Part of this process is Purification. What defines sin? The Torah defines sin. What does keeping Torah accomplish, other than an expression of Love for Him, as the Bible states (John 14) ? It helps to purify us because no man has the ability to purify himself ! Does it take FAITH to follow Torah? You bet it does! A person who has a tiny, limited faith will not even consider Torah because they don't believe God's perfect Law is good enough (Psalm 19, James 1) !They lack the faith to even try, so they rely on Salvation only and stop developing. Remember the seeds in Matt 13 and 18? Most "Churchy" types are people with limited faith. They would rather follow a Preacher or Priest and his man-made "Torah". They don't have faith to follow God's instructions (Torah). They are stunted plants that will never produce fruit. Let's continue the race to the end. JUSTIFICATION also comes from FAITH and through God, not by man's efforts. And we are ultimately GLORIFIED in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye!

You see, whatever WORKS we do, including following Torah, is a RESULT of our FAITH,  just as Ya'a'kov (Jacob-James) says. Faith and Works go hand-in-hand. This is the point the Church has missed.

Jas 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
Jas 2:16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
Jas 2:18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
Jas 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
Jas 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
Jas 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.
Jas 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Jas 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Jas 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Folks, an entire book can be written on this subject. I must continue with the word study.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
Rom 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
Rom 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Rom 3:26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

[Note: You see, the Torah is so important, it is the mechanism by which "all the world" will be held accountable. Did Sha'ul just conflict with James in Rom 3:20? No, look again at 20 and notice Paul is speaking of works without faith and compare that to James 2:24. See the word, "alone"? Verse 21 is very powerful! Torah and the Prophets (the Tanakh) actually manifest the Righteousness of God! Paul is repeating this message in context of the Messiah, in verses 22-26.]

Rom 3:27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
Rom 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law
Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
Rom 3:30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.                                                      Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             [Note: Is Paul trying to confuse us here? I thought faith and works go side-by-side? No, Sha'ul is not trying to confuse us. We just don't read carefully. What context is Paul speaking in here? He mentions it in verse 24. It is in the context of Salvation. Our Salvation is evident whether we are following Torah at the moment or not! Remember the 4 Steps? Salvation is Step 1. This is why Paul then completely and overwhelmingly reaffirms Torah in verse 31! A "baby believer" will ultimately begin following Torah out of Faith and Love for Yehovah-Yeshua, IF the "baby" grows.Yes, I'm afraid it's true - I just called most "Churchy" types babies. They are the little seedlings that won't grow. It is my hope and prayer I can somehow nurture them.]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Folks! I think it's plain to see, you cannot take Paul out of context! And when you diligently try to understand the whole Bible, not "sound bites of verse", it all makes sense. I better stop at this point and pick it up later in Ch.4.                                                                 
The Observer

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