Friday, 4 February 2022
I want to start this last part of my series on Law and Grace with a question. Why would we want to obey God anyway? While this may seem banal or trite, it is exactly the argument of those who support the hyper-grace movement. They believe that since we are not justified by the works of the Law, there is no point in valuing God's commands.
Oh wait! There is the "tithe" exception. Every church that shuns the Law as if the Law (itself) and Legalism (the idea that we can be justified by obedience) are the same thing, proposes exactly that. When they receive the offering every week, they are breaking their own rule, that Grace is sufficient.
Here are some difficult but explainable verses. Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the deeds of Torah are under a curse - for the Scriptures say, "Cursed is everyone who does not keep doing everything written in the scroll of the Torah." Before Yeshua, we were all under a curse.
Paul had to deal with antinomianism. This is the idea that every time we sin, God gives us grace, which is both accurate and correct. Antinomianism goes beyond what is right, into what is wrong, by believing that (since more grace is a good thing), we should sin more to get more of it. Therefore; Paul wrote ... Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? And he answers his own question ... Romans 6:2 May it never be! How can we who died to sin still live in it? That should be the end of antinomianism.
But it seems the tension between Grace and Law is based on that very thing. Think of the Shema (the greatest commandment - Deuteronomy 6:4,5). Can we say we love God and at the same time disregard His commandments? Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and 'you will find rest for your souls'. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
What do we learn from Yeshua as we take His yoke upon us? Is it (as some teach) that it's not important to obey God? Or do we learn from Yeshua HOW to obey God? Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obey, you will eat the good of the land. But wait, that's from the Old Testament, we are New Testament people now. Well then ... Jacob 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
But Yeshua's yoke is not the yoke of the Law. We cannot be justified by obedience, but we do give evidence of our justification by obedience. Paul writes extensively on this subject in Romans 7. Romans 7:12-13 So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become death to me? May it never be!
Paul expresses that the Law exists to identify sin, marking a clear difference between the holy and the profane, what is right in God's sight and what is wrong. Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah. At the end of his great discourse on the war between Spirit and Flesh, Paul then clearly reaches a conclusion. Romans 7:22 For I delight in the Torah of God with respect to the inner man.
I pray this verse upon us all. That we will all (from the depths of our inner man) "delight in the Torah of God" and in doing so, come to Yeshua, Who gets the last word ... John 5:45-46 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me - because he wrote about Me. Thank you Yeshua. May we all find rest for our souls.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,