Thursday, 13 January 2022
This is a huge subject. I see it as a tree with many branches. As always, I start with prayer and then write what the Lord puts on my heart and follow the path (hopefully) according to His leading. On a good day, I'm hearing from God. My prayer is that this is a good day.
The Bible puts a high value on the Bible. Psalm 19:8a The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. You might say that is in the Old Testament. Of course the Old Testament loves the Old Testament. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed. Remember, when Paul wrote that to Timothy the only "Scripture" to which he might be referring is the Hebrew Scriptures.
So Rabbi, what's the point? It's a legitimate question. The point is that the Law of God (aka the Torah, aka God's commandments) get short shrift (Google "short shrift," I dare you.) in many New Covenant communities, and by and large, by Christian pastors (preachers of the Word). How so? The very name "New Covenant" implies an "Old Covenant," and that implies something done away. Something old is discarded as if it is no longer needed. Nostalgia fans might like old things, but modern and progressive people have little use for what has been replaced.
The Bible itself makes reference to this very issue. Romans 7:6 But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter. But we can't or shouldn't take verses out of context. The very next verse provides some understanding. Romans 7:7a What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be!
The classic verse is Colossians 2:14 He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. What was "nailed to the cross?" Was it the Torah, or was it our sins, violations of the Torah? Sin is not what makes you feel bad about yourself (as some teach). 1 John 3:4 Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness - indeed, sin is lawlessness. I like the KJV on that verse that says specifically "lawlessness" is "transgression of the law."
So, this is the point ... The Law (Torah and Commandments) of God is not the problem, it's our sin (transgression and rebellion) that is the problem. Yeshua came to fix the problem of sin, not to do away with the Law. Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill."
And I'm going to give Yeshua's big sermon (the very next verse of Scripture) the last word today. Matthew 5:18 Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. Do you catch that, "Until all things come to pass?" Look around you. All things have not yet come to pass! If this is all there is, we are in more trouble that I thought.
Okay, one more, the very next verse, (it's just too good to stop). Matthew 5:19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. What is Yeshua telling us? Don't break the Law, but teach the Law. Why be least when you can be great?
Now, I've reached my stopping point. With blessing.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,