Dead to the Law???

I believe this is an important topic, and I beg all believers to work through it very, very slowly; and very, very carefully.  Check everything I write against the Scriptures, but do your best to do so as though you were standing in the sandals of the prophets.  I offer this special word of guidance because, if you do as I urge you to do, you might find that it is only when we read the Scriptures as a TORAH observant Hebrew that we can start to see that it may not actually say what so many of us have been taught to believe.

[NOTE: To assist readers in digesting this essay, I have broken it down into sections in the hope that this will make it easier to digest.  Just take it one section at a time.]

 

SETTING THE TABLE

I was raised Catholic, but realized at an early age that there are serious problems with Catholic doctrine.  Mind you, I am not passing judgment on any individual Catholic: I believe many in the Catholic church belong to the Lord.  It is the teaching of the church I question.  However, upon leaving the Catholic church for the Protestant church, I discovered that there are similar problems with their doctrines, as well.  Chief among those problems is the belief that The Law has been done away with by Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Try as I might, I cannot find anything in Scripture that actually teaches this belief.  Yet, when I asked, I was told the New Testament clearly teaches this idea.  One of the most common passages in Scripture given to me as proof is found in Romans 7.  But before we start to dig deep into Paul’s words in Romans 7, I think it would be wise to recall a very important warning given to us by the Apostle, Peter:

2 Peter 3:15-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 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.

Now that we know we should be careful with Paul’s letters, we’re ready to dig deeper into Romans 7.

ROMANS 7

Romans 7:1-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Believers United to Christ

Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

Let’s start by first taking note of who Paul says he is addressing:

“…(for I am speaking to those who know the law),…

Let me ask you: how well do you know The Law?  I mean no insult by that question.  Not that long ago, if you had asked me this same question, I would have told you it was some 613 commandments handed down by Moses.  As to what those commandments were, or how they affect my faith, I would have been hard-pressed to point to anything more than the Ten Commandments.  So, I ask again: How well do you know The Law?  In the event that you are like I once was, let me take you to the section of The Law that Paul is about to address:

DIVORCE AND ADULTERY UNDER THE LAW

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Law of Divorce

24 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

This is what Paul wants us to be thinking about when he says:

“…the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.”

You see, Paul is expecting that his audience knows and understands that the House of Israel (i.e. the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’) had played the Harlot (i.e. had chased after other gods) and that, because of this, YHWH had given the House of Israel a bill of divorce.  The point that Paul is making here is that Israel was an adulteress and, therefore, it was unlawful for YHWH to take her back as His bride as long as YHWH continued to live.

ISRAEL’S BILL OF DIVORCE

Jeremiah 3:6-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Faithless Israel

Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. I [a]thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. 10 Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord.

Since YHWH gave Israel a divorce, according to His own Law, YHWH could never again take Israel back so long as YHWH continued to live!  In order to meet the requirements of The Law, YHWH had to die.  It is the only way Israel could be set free from the sin of adultery.

Who was it that became man, came to Earth, and died

— so that sins may be forgiven?

Does this make more sense now?

“4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead…”

Paul is saying that we ‘died to The Law’ — died to fulfill, or per the requirements of The Law — through Christ.  By being joined to Him, we share in His death and resurrection.  Thus, by dying with Him, we are released from the requirements of The Law — which is death.  Since we have already died, through Christ, we are no longer under the penalty of The Law, which is death. But nowhere does Paul tell us that The Law has been destroyed, set aside or in any way done away with!  You see, Paul is not saying The Law has died, he is saying we met the penalty demanded by The Law — through Christ!  Y’Shuah paid the penalty for us!

Y’SHUAH SAYS THE LAW REMAINS!

Matthew 5:17-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Why do we doubt that Y’Shuah meant what He said?  Clearly, He said The Law will remain until all is accomplished.  Now, I know that there are those who will say that Y’Shuah was referring to His crucifixion and resurrection, and that, after that, The Law would be no more.  But this clearly cannot be what He meant.  Doesn’t Y’Shuah reference the prophets in this passage?  And doesn’t He say until all that they have written is accomplished, The Law will remain?  Well, has Christ returned a second time?  Then has all been accomplished?  And, if not, doesn’t The Law remain?

By my understanding of this passage, Y’Shuah could not be more clear: until everything is written by the prophets has been accomplished, The Law remains in place.

DRIVING THE POINT HOME

Going back to Paul again:

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

By now, we should see that Paul is telling us we died — figuratively and Spiritually — with Christ, therefore, the price demanded by The Law for our sin — death — has been paid, by Christ.  This frees us to be joined to a new husband.  In this case, that is Y’Shuah.  And it is through our union with Him, by being ‘grafted in to the vine’ that we are finally able to bear fruit.  In saying this, Paul is doing nothing more than repeating Y’Shuah’s words:

John 15:1-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Dear reader, I beg you: hear what Y’Shuah is saying (and what Paul has echoed):

We must ‘abide’ (i.e. live) in Christ.

If we live in Christ, we will bear fruit: but if we do not live in Christ, we will be tossed into the fire.

We cannot abide or live in Christ unless we obey His commands, as He obeys YHWH’s commands.

Therefore I ask, what commands are these if not those of The Law?

I know that there will still be those who will want to argue that I am getting this all wrong, but I simply cannot see how.  Everything I have read about this in the Scriptures (and there is a lot more I have not cited), tells me that this is the proper understanding of Y’Shuah and Paul’s teachings.  Which leaves us with this word of warning from Y’Shuah, Himself:

Speaking of the law, Y’Shuah said:

19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Do you remember Peter’s warning from the start of this post?

2 Peter 3:15-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 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.

 

 

 

ADMIN TAGS

Sandals of the prophets

House of Israel