We've all heard people try to tell us that lie. Truth is, this statement is partially correct, in that people who belong to YHWH/Yeshua are obligated to obey His Torah (Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 56:6, and Romans 10:12-13).
Whenever the statement above is made, the person saying it is MISQUOTING Paul while trying to tell us "...it's not possible to keep all of Torah; and therefore, we shouldn’t bother keeping any of it."
Well, first of all, YHWH never said "I give you these rules and you must keep all of them!" No, He said: "A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice." (Deut. 27:26)
We ARE to put Torah into practice in our daily lives! We must use also some common sense to discern what parts of Torah apply to us.
You see, of those original 613 (which were numbered by men), MOST were only for Levite Priests, some were for men only, some for women only, and some apply to everyone. "Keep the Sabbath", for example, applies to everyone.
See where this is going?
We could prevent these misunderstandings simply by digging into the Bible, diligently studying Scripture and learning to compare “Old Testament” with “New Testament” passages to figure out what certain passages mean. Why bother with the “OT” passages? Because everything in the “NT” points back to the OT where the actual passages all originated!
I promise you, Paul would be much less misunderstood and misinterpreted and accused of teaching against Torah - IF we actually did our homework, and identified which Old Testament scriptures he was talking about!
Galatians 3:10. For those who are servants of Torah are still under a curse, for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not act on all that is written in this book of Torah." 11. But that no man is made righteous by Torah before Elohim is evident, for it is written, "the righteous will live by faith". (AENT)
Where is this from? Paul is quoting Habakkuk 2:4 which says: "Look at the proud: he is inwardly not upright; but the righteous will attain life through trusting faithfulness." (CJB).
You see, Paul understood that Torah is good and just, but he also knew the Jewish leaders of his day (the Pharisees) were "requiring" obedience to Torah by their interpretation of Torah.
So, Paul is simply pointing out that one is not made righteous by their practice of Torah; rather, he says it clearly that "the righteous will live by faith". That, is, you have faith in the gift that you will live IF you obey YHWH.
No one "earns" their righteousness by "doing" Torah. Look at Deuteronomy 4:1, 5:33, 6:2, 8:1 for examples which all say "...take care to obey Torah so you will live". Obeying Torah is NOT therefore for "credit"; obeying Torah is the way YHWH asks His people to live! So you obey because you want to, and you want to live, and you desire things go well with you.
Let’s move on to verse 12: "Thus Torah is not made by faith, but whosoever will do the things that are written in it, will live in it."
Here Paul is quoting Leviticus 18:5 which says: "You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am ADONAI." (CJB).
Something that YHWH said can't be "bad" for us, so obeying His laws and rulings is decidedly a good thing. In the verses following Galatians 3:12, Paul explains that Torah came about after the promise to Avraham because YHWH's people kept failing away from Him to go off and live unholy and unrighteous lives of the pagan nations.
In this way Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, compared Torah to the "false tutors" of his day - the Pharisees - who were demanding that the Gentile converts obey the oral traditions over Torah. Paul tried to explain that with the Messiah, all have life through faith, not just the Jews, and that only the righteous rulings of YHWH (Torah - the "true tutor") apply to ALL who choose the God of Avraham as their God, and not the "false teachings of the Pharisees". (See Galatians 1:7-10).
When Paul says "For those who are servants of Torah are still under a curse" he is referencing Deuteronomy, and in Deuteronomy 27 YHWH tells the people that they are to "... listen to what ADONAI your God says and obey his mitzvot and laws, which I am giving you today" (27:10, CJB).
Then YHWH goes on to list some example of how people are cursed if they don't obey! (See 27:15-25). If you keep reading into Deuteronomy 28, YHWH transitions to the blessings one will receive if they obey His Torah - see Deuteronomy 28:1-14! And, if that was not strong enough, Deuteronomy 28 continues after verse 14 with more curses if people don't obey!
So, you see, Torah is GOOD, and PEOPLE (not the Torah itself) are cursed IF they refuse to obey His commands for holy, righteous, set-apart living….
The key is always in the CONTEXT!
I get mocked by people for believing or thinking that we can be cursed. No surprise that these people don't read or meditate on Scripture.ReplyDelete
If a person says they "Praise the Lord" and "I believe in Jesus" but then mock the Torah, is that like saying don't get wet when swimming?ReplyDelete
That's a great analogy, Kevin!Delete