Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A discussion on "dead to the law"

Someone recently posted a wonderful comment in response to one of our blog posts – and I felt it was so good that it needed to be shared with the world.

COMMENT:

I am wondering does 'dead to the law' mean that we become more and more like Yeshua, putting away sin as we gradually die to ourselves and the sinful wants of our human nature?

To me, that would make sense. If I 'die to the law' that means I no longer want to commit sin because I am dead to it, and dead doesn't wake up, isn't tempted by sin. And this most certainly is a process throughout our lifetime, walking with Yeshua, learning from Him, being guided by His Spirit, gradually dying to our old sinful nature.

This is something I feel like I am experiencing, sinful things that I used to struggle with, no longer tempt me, as if I was dead to it. The more I read the scriptures, the more I learn from Yeshua and keep to Him, the more this transformation and 'dying' occurs.

I still struggle with many things in my daily life, many things I'm not happy about and that needs to change, but I am a very different person now than when I began this journey.

Correct me if I'm wrong!


MY RESPONSE:

GREAT question, and every word you wrote is absolutely right on!  You wrote:  “I am wondering does 'dead to the law' mean that we become more and more like Yeshua, putting away sin as we gradually die to ourselves and the sinful wants of our human nature?”

The answer is a resounding YES!  That’s exactly what it means.  Unfortunately, many have decided that “the law” died – when nothing could be further from the Truth!  Why would Torah (our only divine blueprint for moral, holy living) become defunct, null and void, just because Y’shua’s human body died? 

We must remember that “Torah” means “instruction in righteousness”; it never meant “law.”  Somehow the Greek Bible translations lost the true meaning and, consequently, Christianity twisted YHWH’s Torah into being something that was “only for the Jews” (and even a “curse” -  because they misunderstood Galatians 3:10), and suggested that Christians are "under grace" had to do nothing but “believe in Jesus.” 

Somehow, no one seemed to realize that these erroneous thought processes totally removed the relationship between God and man!  After all, if you don’t OBEY your Creator by keeping His commanded weekly and yearly Sabbaths, etc., then WHOM are you worshiping?  Just “believing in Jesus” does not teach a child right from wrong or how to play nicely with others….

But yet many will use passages such as Colossians 2:14-15 to “prove” that “the law” was abolished at the cross:

Colossians 2:14 - He wiped away the bill of charges against us. Because of the regulations, it stood as a testimony against us; but he removed it by nailing it to the execution-stake 15 stripping the rulers and authorities of their power he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by means of the stake. (Stern’s)

This passage NEVER suggested that, because Jesus died, Christians were so special that they were released from any responsibility to obey YHWH's "forever" commands because they were suddenly "under grace!"  (Grace has always been around, or else Adam and Eve would have been wiped off the face of the earth, and none of us would be here now.)

Read IN CONTEXT Colossians 2:14-15 reveals that YHWH wiped away the documented opinions of men (bill of charges) against us and took them from our midst....The Torah was NOT “wiped away”!  Why would it have been?  The Torah is holy, righteous and good. To suddenly have it "nailed to the cross" would mean that the things of God were originally evil, something to be done away with.

People tend to forget that sin is transgression of TORAH  (I John 3:4)!

Let’s do a little study from the Aramaic English New Testament and its awesome footnotes on a passage in Galatians 2 – another passage many attempt to use to prove “the law” was abolished at the cross.  Please read the footnotes very carefully, because they serve to clear up some terrible misconceptions about the writings of Paul:

Galatians 2: 14. But behold! When those who did not follow righteously the truth of the Good News,[1] said I to Peter, to the eyes of them all, “If you who are Yehudeans, live as Arameans;[2] why do you urge the Gentiles who have joined themselves to Yehuda to live as Yehudeans?”  15. For if we who have a Jewish nature[3] ourselves, and not those who are from Gentile sinners, 16. for we know that the sons of men are not made righteous by the works[4] of Torah, but by faith in Y’shua the Mashiyach. Even we who believed in him know that it is from the faith in Mashiyach that we will be made righteous and not from the works of Torah.  For from the works of Torah no flesh will be made righteous. 

17. But if while we seek (while in our eyes) to be made righteous by Mashiyach we still find ourselves to be sinners,[5] should (it be) therefore that Y’shua the Mashiyach is a servant of sin? Elohim forbid!  18. For if I build again the things I destroyed, I will prove to myself that I have passed by the Commandment.[6]  19. For by Torah I am dead, that I might live to Elohim.  20. And I am executed on a stake with Mashiyach, so it is not I that live but Mashiyach lives in me; and the life I live now in the flesh in faith[7] of the Son of Elohim who loves me and give his life/soul for me.  21. And I do not frustrate the grace of Elohim, for if righteousness came by Torah, then Mashiyach died for nothing.[8]
(AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1]  The original Peshitta reads awngaleyon, which is a loan word from the Greek evangelion. However, the New Testament Aramaic Peshitta Text with Hebrew Translation editor writes on page iv: “Concerning the word ‘gospel’, only the pure Aramaic word sevartha is used in this edition, rather than the Greek word where the Peshitta uses it in 27 places.” While the issue of loan words is complex and beyond the scope of a simple word-for-word translation, suffice to say that we should expect the Peshitta contain these, as it reflects the harsh reality of First Century Israel under Roman occupation.  If Aramaic were entirely “pure” this would tend to invalidate the Peshitta’s claim to originality.  There are clearly many more signs of Aramaic influence in the Greek “New Testament” than the other way around. It is for these reasons that every line must be scrupulously checked in multiple sources.

[2]  Rav Shaul consistently uses “Arameans” in Peshitta, where the Greek NT versions read “Greeks.”  Arameans are Semites who are closely related to Hebrews, but in this context “Arameans” refers to Semites living as non-Jews.

[3]  The only place in all Aramaic Renewed Covenant writings where the phrase “Jewish nature” appears.  The word kyanna refers to a classification without a physical occurrence, kind of like having an image of a bird in one’s mind, but not seeing the literal bird. As such, the only types of natures that are discussed are animal, human, or divine.  In this lone exception however, Rav Shaul bifurcates human nature further into Jewish and (by implication) non-Jewish.

[4]  The phrase “Ma’aseh haTorah” (works of the Torah) appears first in the Dead Sea Scrolls; it is indicative of the ultra-religious halacha of the Essenes, but also refers to the halacha (religious traditions) of the Pharisees.  This is NOT referencing observance of Torah in Y’shua.  If the reader does not distinguish between “Torah written upon the heart”, versus the “works of Torah” or being “under Torah” it would be impossible to understand the book of Galatians.

[5]  Paul’s teaching will forever judge those who say they follow Mashiyach but live and teach against Torah (see 1 John 3:4 for a definition of sin).  Religion uses words like “moral” (moralis 1340 CE) or “ethical” (ethikos) to establish their own standards of conduct; however, followers of Mashiyach are to live by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of Elohim (Deuteronomy 8:4/Matthew 4:4).  The Word of YHWH is absolute Truth and as such YHWH will Judge man’s wilful neglect of Torah. 

Many Christians, for example, are taught that they “don’t have” to observe Shabbat on the Seventh Day because it’s not part of their “moral code” and they say their “conscience” never convicted them of breaking Shabbat.  This is no surprise, because, even as children, they were taught that Shabbat is not included with Scriptural principles of right and wrong conduct.  They were not taught that erecting a Christmas tree is an abomination unto Mashiyach as it depicts Tammuz who was the son of Nimrod and Semiramis, the originators of the pagan trinity.  They were not taught that Easter is morally wrong because it originated with paganism (and is not even on the commanded Passover); and the list goes on.  The point is that Paul defined sin very astutely, but precious few care to listen because their cultural and status quo values are projected over his teachings.

[6]   “Passes over sin” is an idiomatic expression meaning “transgress.”  Literally, “to go around the commandment” – just as the Hebrew word for repentance means “to turn back.”

[7]  The faith here is two fold in Aramaic.  First, it is the faith in the Son of man, Y’shua the Mashiyach, who brings eternal life. However, that eternal life is made possible because Y’shua the man was obedient to YHWH’s Torah.  His faith brought him life, and through him, our eternal life.  So Rav Shaul says that his faith is in the Son’s perfected nephesh (soul) while the perfected nephesh (soul) became that way through the faith of the Son.

[8]  Torah instructs us about righteousness, but it can’t make anyone righteous in itself.  It is YHWH Tsidkenu (our Righteousness) who is the Spirit of YHWH in Mashiyach that purifies the spirit and soul of man.  As we read and study Torah we must “hear” the Ruach haKodesh inside of us.  YHWH gives us His Grace to turn to Him, walk in His Righteousness and observe His Torah.

2 comments:

  1. I so agree! Since I have been aware that I needed to observe Torah and have followed the Netzari way I have noticed the same, sins do loose a lot of their grip on you as you walk alongside Y'shua .As I have read Torah I see Elohim with new clarity and understanding which brings stronger life and light from and to the Word.
    Thank you for the work you do to bring this great information to us,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amein! Thanks for taking the time to write!

      Delete