To many Christians the Torah is a set of laws, and (sadly) most Christians have been taught that these laws apply mostly just to Jews. Christians have been taught that Jews are saved by the Torah, but Christians are saved by faith in Jesus and all they need to do is be a good person and love each other.
Oy! If only it was really that easy.
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In fact, the laws that are in the Torah are really more like commandments, given directly from God, so let’s take a look at the actual Hebrew word for commandment, which is Mitzvah (מצוה).
Mitzvot (the plural form of mitzvah) are laws that God said we must perform. Until Yeshua taught us the deeper, more spiritual understanding of these laws (called the Remes), the Pharisees had been teaching just the plain language of the law, called the P’shat.
Here’s an example: the Pharisees had been teaching that you should not murder, but Yeshua said it was more than just not murdering- we should not even hate in our heart!
Another example is when the Pharisees taught not to commit adultery, but Yeshua said not to so much as lust with your eyes.
Yeshua taught that we must do more than just obey the law, we must personalize it. The New Covenant God made says (Jeremiah 31:31-33):
“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;”
What does it mean to write it on our hearts? To me, that means that we will not obey what God says to do just to meet the letter of the law, but it will be a part of us- just as breathing, as eating, and as any other autonomic function of the body because his mitzvot will be a part of our very essence, written right into our DNA.
So, what about the Gentiles who accept Yeshua? Will they also have to have God’s mitzvot written on their hearts?
I think the answer is pretty obvious- of course they will! Anyone who wants to be part of this new covenant God made (which, ironically enough, is what Christians believe they are under) will have to have God’s mitzvot written on their hearts.
Do you Gentiles out there get it yet? Being a good person won’t be enough; besides the fact that Yeshua, himself, said no one is good except God (Mark 10:18), God said (through Jeremiah) that anyone who is going to be part of the new covenant will have God’s mitzvot written on their hearts, so they will be (here it comes…get ready…) OBEYING THE TORAH!
Here’s another little goodie for you… a mitzvah has a secondary meaning of “a good deed”. That means if you want to stick by the improper teaching of all you need to do is be a good person, well, good people are known by the fact that they do good deeds, right? So, to be a good person you have to perform mitzvot, and since mitzvot means both good deeds AND God’s commandments, even under the traditional Christian idea of being a good person, that requires you to obey the Torah.
Oy gevalt! Traditional Christian teaching has always said the Torah is just for Jews, but now you tell me that to be a participant in God’s new covenant I have to obey the Torah?
That’s not what I say, it’s what God says. Those who God makes this new covenant with will have his laws/mitzvot written on their hearts, and the only mitzvot that existed, in fact, the only ones God cares about, are the ones HE gave us, and they are in the Torah.
That’s the reason why any person, Jewish or Gentile, who wants to be under this new covenant God is making with us will have to have his mitzvot written on their hearts, which means they will obey the Torah: not as a result of some legalistic motivation, not to earn salvation, and not from fear of going to hell if they don’t. No! Anyone who will be under the new covenant will obey the Torah because it will be as natural to them as breathing!
My advice to anyone who wants to be in God’s presence throughout eternity is that they will have to be under the new covenant God said he will make, and so the first thing they need to do is unlearn whatever their religion has told them. Next, whether Jew or Gentile (sadly, most Jews don’t know the Torah any better than most Gentiles do), they should read the Torah over and over to get familiar with the mitzvot God gives so they will know how to worship and treat each other the way God says to do it. Finally, and this is directed to my Jewish brothers and sisters, they need to accept the truth that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah God promised to send.
There you have it! All your Christian life you have been told just being a good person and loving others will get you a ticket into heaven, but now you know that is a bunch of drek. You need to obey God, not a religion, if you want to be in his presence.
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That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!