Tuesday, 1 March 2016
In our attempt to explain how our Messianic Jewish lifestyle if different from that of the Christian church, we sometimes say things like: "We keep the Torah" or "We keep the Mosaic Law." Well, I do not want to make the explanation more difficult for us, but we keep neither, and we had better not unless, by "torah," (lower case "t") we mean keeping God's will broadly.
If your response to what I have said is: "Oh, of course we cannot keep those things that require the Holy Temple and its animal sacrifices," then try keeping these two commandments of the Torah that require neither:
Exodus 31:13-15: "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'You are to observe my Shabbats; for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am ADONAI, who sets you apart for me. Therefore you are to keep my Shabbat, because it is set apart for you. Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people. On six days work will get done; but the seventh day is Shabbat, for complete rest, set apart for ADONAI. Whoever does any work on the day of Shabbat must be put to death."
Deuteronomy 21:18-21: "If a man has a stubborn, rebellious son who will not obey what his father or mother says, and even after they discipline him he still refuses to pay attention to them; then his father and mother are to take hold of him and bring him out to the leaders of his town, at the gate of that place, and say to the leaders of his town, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he doesn't pay attention to us, lives wildly, gets drunk.' Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death; in this way you will put an end to such wickedness among you, and all Isra'el will hear about it and be afraid."
I think you get my point, which is that no one keeps the Mosaic Law today – not the church, not us, and not the Orthodox synagogue down the street. The real difference in the way that much of the church approaches the Torah and the way that we do is that the church tends to ignore what was commanded prior to Yeshua, while we focus on it, and try to adapt it. And try we must, for 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work."
So, how do we uphold the value of the Scriptures of the Mosaic Law given under that covenant? We use what is unique to the New Covenant (which we are now under), and consult the Holy Spirit for application. Remember that the word "torah" means God's teaching, so we, the church, and the synagogue down the street should all seek to keep torah.