So many people have no idea what the Torah really is. They think it is just a bunch of laws, and to some degree that is accurate, but those laws define more than just ceremonies or rituals- they define a total way of life.
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Recently, I was in a discussion with someone who was trying to convince me that the 10 Commandments are for everyone, but the Mosaic laws (I really think she thought they were Moses’ laws and not God’s) were only for Jews. I told her that the Big Ten were really just a condensed version of the Torah, but not all the laws God wants us to obey. I gave her examples of some Torah commandments not mentioned, at all, in the Big Ten but apply to God-fearing people, such as the Torah rules against sexual perversity within a family, homosexuality, and other penal code violations. I asked if she thought those activities are acceptable for Christians to do?
Can a Christian son sleep with his Christian Mother-in-law? Can a Christian father sleep with his Christian daughter-in-law? Can Christians be absolved from punishment if they commit acts of violence against each other (what are legally defined as torts)?
I don’t think so, do you?
These are covered in the Torah, but not mentioned at all in the Big Ten.
Here is the real scoop about the Torah- it was given by God to the Jewish people, but not JUST for the Jewish people. In Exodus 19:6, God tells Moses that the Israelites- the descendants of Abraham- will be his (God’s) nation of priests.
Now, what do priests do? Well, they do more than just run the services. Their job, overall, is to act as intermediary between the people and God, teaching the people how they are to live in accordance with the way God says we should.
God chose the descendants of Abraham to be his nation of priests; now, priests don’t serve other priests, so it is pretty obvious that the ones we Jews are to be priests to have to be the rest of the world.
Do you remember that Shaul said God made salvation available to all: to the Jew first, then to the Gentile? (Romans 1:16)
The Torah is God’s instructions on how to live a righteous life, and a righteous life leads to salvation. These instructions were given to his chosen people, chosen (I really should say “commissioned”) to be God’s Cohanim (priests) to the world, first to learn for themselves, and then to teach to the rest of humanity.
Yeah, that means Christians, too!
Now let’s talk about Yeshua and the Torah.
Yeshua was God’s anointed Messiah, and he lived a sinless life, which is why he was resurrected. According to God, the only way to be sinless was to be in 100% accordance with the Torah, so we can know, absolutely, that Yeshua lived a Torah observant life.
Christianity has stated that because Yeshua lived the Torah perfectly, anyone following him is not required to observe the Torah- in essence, Christianity says by doing something correctly, that makes it obsolete.
Does that really make any sense?
If I come to a stop sign while driving, and the person ahead of me stops completely, looks both ways twice, then slowly continues on their way, having completed the law for stop signs, can I now just go right through the intersection every time I come to a stop sign?
If someone stops at a red light and doesn’t go again until the light turns green, does that mean I can just continue driving through every red light I ever see, for the rest of my life?
You may say traffic laws aren’t like the Torah, but are they really that different? Aren’t the traffic laws created to protect us from being hurt?
Don’t the rules God gave in the Torah protect us? I am not talking about protection from being T-boned in an intersection, but protection from spending eternity in hell!
No one, no human, that is, can live 100% in accordance with the Torah, 100% of the time. That is why God created the sacrificial system: he knew we couldn’t do it right, so he gave us an escape clause to protect us from ourselves. But, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, that put an end (at least, until the next temple) to the sacrificial system, so now what? God’s escape clause from eternal damnation has been erased!
But wait! God sent Yeshua, the Messiah, so that through our belief in him as the Messiah, and by means of his sacrificial death, we could now find forgiveness from sin without the temple. And beyond that, Christianity tells us that Yeshua did more than make forgiveness available- he did away with the Torah!
Um… uh… hold it a minute. Shaul tells us that the Torah created sin (Romans 7:7), and Christianity says that Yeshua did away with the Torah, so doesn’t that mean there is no more sin? And if there is no more sin, then why do we need to follow any rules, ceremonies, or rituals? If there is no Torah, then there is no sin, and everyone is automatically saved without having to do anything! Hallelujah!!
What? You mean that’s not right? Are you telling me that when Yeshua did away with the Torah, which should mean there is no more sin, there is still sin? Shaul lied? God tricked us? Yeshua didn’t do away with sin?
But, but, but… if sin still exists, then the Torah is still valid, so how can Christians say the Torah is not valid for them? Are Christians automatically righteous in God’s eyes?
I don’t really need to answer that, do I?
Christians say that they don’t follow the Torah, they follow Yeshua, but Yeshua lived in accordance with the Torah and Christians don’t, so how can they say they follow him?
Here’s what it all boils down to, folks- if you REALLY want to follow Yeshua, then you need to live in accordance with the Torah, to the best of your abilities. And when you fail, as we all do, you still have Yeshua to fall back on to receive forgiveness.
On the other hand, if you choose to live according to one of the many Christian religions, all of which are composed of man-made rules, tenets, and ceremonies and (for the most part) reject God’s Torah, then I think you will have a hard time convincing God that you want to be righteous in his eyes.
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And remember that I always welcome your comments.
That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!