Does that statement coming from this blog startle you? =)
Let me explain…
If we begin reading in the letters to the Romans and Galatians, we can see that our brother, Shaul, who wrote the letters to the believers in Rome and Galatia, is saying that they are no longer under the law. Considering that Galatia is in what we now call Turkey, and Rome was also a pagan nation, there is little chance that they were following the Torah prior to following Messiah. So why would he tell them they were no longer under the law? They weren’t ever obeying it in the first place!
As sinners, we are all under the Torah ~ subject to the penalty or wages of not keeping it. 1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of lawlessness (sin) is death, but the gift of Elohim is eternal life through our Master Yeshua the Messiah.” However, it is this same process which leads sinners to Messiah (Galatians 3:23-25), when we realize our need for a Savior because we cannot keep the Torah.
As believers, if we try to follow Torah in order to earn Salvation, we are also under Torah’s curse. Paul states this very clearly in Galatians 3:10 “For as many as are of works of Torah are under the curse, for it has been written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all that has been written in the Book of the Torah to do them.'”
These believers to whom Shaul was writing, were no longer under the curse of the law as sinners, but they were confused by some religious people who said they had to keep the Law in order to be saved, so they were trying to put themselves back under it by doing “works” for their salvation.
So, praise YHWH, I am no longer under the Torah! I have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, the penalty for not keeping it, by the blood of the Lamb.
Some may think that if we are no longer under Torah, it means we no longer have to keep it. But, think about this.
1. If Shaul wrote this to believers who had never before followed Torah, how could they stop keeping it?
2. How could Shaul
- live out his entire life practicing Torah (Philippians 3:5,6, Acts 24:14 and Acts 25:8, etc)
- and even go so far as to prove that he was not teaching against it by making a sacrifice at the Temple (Acts 21 and 24:17-18)
- if he taught that we are no longer to obey the Torah?
Was he a hypocrite? A chameleon? unstable?
Or are we misunderstanding him?
3. Could Shaul
- promote the Torah as set apart and righteous and good (Romans 7:12)
- keep it himself perfectly
- commend the Bereans for testing his teaching against Scripture [which included the Torah, but none of the “New Testament” (Acts 17:1)]
- and tell Timothy that all Scripture (which included the Torah, but none of the “New Testament”) was profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness and for perfecting the man of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
- said He did not come to destroy the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19)
- and taught His disciples to obey Torah, [so that they were still obeying it 10 years after His death (Acts 10)]
- could Shaul then come along and teach contrary to that while claiming to be His follower?
- that the believers ever ate animals that were created unclean
- that the believers met on the first day of the week as a regular practice
- that the believers stopped keeping Sabbath