Thursday, November 9, 2017

Are Christians (Gentiles) given the Holy Spirit to follow the Torah?

The Torah are the first 5 books in the Old Testament. In Exodus, the Bible introduces the Law, also known as the 10 Commandments. In Galatians 3:2. Paul wrote that the Law was our school master until the arrival of Jesus Christ so that we may be justified by faith. We are not justified by the Law. 

At my church we did a study on the book of Romans and when we were taught about Romans chapter 7, the Pastor taught a great message. It made me understand the whole teaching about the law being fulfilled in Christ. Chapter 7 starts speaking about how a woman cannot leave her husband until he has died and if she divorces him and marries another, she is an adulterous woman. The Law is our first husband. 

Imagine being married to someone who is always right. I know some of you might say that already about your spouse. So this spouse that is always right never shows you how to live right, only points out your faults. That is what the law does.

 Along comes Jesus who dies for our sins and is buried and rises form the dead in 3 days. When a believer repents and gets baptized, they are baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ. God transcends time, so the death of resurrection is still valid even two thousand plus years later. 

Romans 5:8 says that even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So we die to the Law and we are set free from it. The "husband" AKA the law does not die because it is eternal because God is eternal. So we are joined to our new Husband and not only is He always right, He shows us how to live out the law by placing His Spirit in us.This blew my mind!  

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In Romans 7, Paul writes we have been set free from the law. So who is right? Jesus and Paul are both right. 

The word of God cannot contradict itself. When you love the Lord your God with a your heart, soul and mind you don't have any other gods besides Him, you don't create images of God and you don't take the Lord's name in vain. When you love your neighbor as you love yourself you won't kill your neighbor, you won't covet for your neighbors belongings or his wife, etc. When you love, the law of God is fulfilled. But in our sinful nature, we cannot love the way it is required. 

Jesus fulfilled the law, but that doesn't mean the law is done away with. The law is written in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). All the law could do is show us that we needed a savior. Jesus lives a perfect life and gives us the example of how to live a God pleasing life. Then He takes our place on the cross and pays for our sins. And then Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can have the capability to live out the law. 

So the law is not abolished, it is fulfilled in Christ, not us. We are justified by our faith in Jesus, not the law. The law is written on our heart and the Holy Spirit teaches us how to live a righteous and holy life. None of this is done by our power, or our might. It is all done by the Spirit of God. Isn't that great news? So are Christians under the New Testament (the New Covenant) given the Holy Spirit to follow the Torah? After reading the Bible, I believe not. We are given the Spirit of God to seal us as His and to give us the capability to live a God pleasing life and the ability to have a relationship with our Creator. 

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