“For not the hearers of the law are
just before God, but the doers of the law shall be
justified. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do
by nature the things contained in the law, these having not
the law, are a law unto themselves.” Romans 2:13-14
watching a well-known Christian television station, a
televangelist’s program was on and I caught the words, “If
there is no law, then there can't be a sin.”
This amazed me, surely I
heard this wrong or he didn't mean what he seemed to be
saying. But no, he clarified his statement for emphasis.
If God has no laws, then
we can't sin against them.
This explains a great deal about the
state of “the church” today. The Old Testament isn't for
“us” and we aren't under “the law” (which is a curse) so if
there is no law, then how can we sin? Does this sound
familiar to you? The deception is rampant here and it is
deceiving very many.
The “law” as referred to so often is
NOT a curse. Let's get this straight. If the law itself is a
curse, then God must have made some mistake. After all, it
was God Himself who gave the law to Moses, wasn't it? So,
God must have realized the mistake and took it all back?
This is so far “out there” that it isn't even in our galaxy.
Unfortunately, most Christians today
believe this. It is exactly the thing that Jesus Christ, the
Promised Messiah, spoke to the Pharisees of His day about.
They had distorted HIS laws and he vocally and emphatically
rebuked them for doing so. The very way Jesus Christ lived
His life and the way in which He died was according to the
“law” (which is a curse). Someone forgot to tell Him it was
a curse, evidently.
In Romans Chapter 2, Paul is writing
to the Church at Rome and is explaining how a Gentile
Believer, (Gentiles were considered “strangers” or a “gerim”
and not a part of Israel. They were expected to keep the
civil laws but were exempt from observing God's Moedim or
Feasts unless they chose to do so and if they did, they had
to do so as was expected of God's people), could be elevated
to the status of a first class citizen of Heaven (by
becoming a follower of Jesus Christ). And the question Paul
asks is: why, gentile, would you want the second class
status of a gerim when you could have the status of a first
class citizen of Heaven? And, in effect, Paul offers the
same argument in other of his writings to the Jewish people.
That is, Paul says, 'hey Jews, why not accept Yeshua as
Messiah, and be elevated from your current legal status (the
legal status most of you were born into) as gerim to God, to
become first class citizens WITH God, in the Kingdom of
understand, all of this is contained in the rules and
ordinances of the covenants God made with Israel.
And, so often Christians
are taught or believe that the covenant is gone (referred to
often as “the old covenant”) but it is a fact that those
very covenants all speak of and point to the Messiah. Do you
Paul was not addressing
whether it is good to be obedient to the Torah, the Law, or
not (he addresses that issue head-on in other epistles where
he says in that it is good and preferable for a Believer to
obey the Torah). Read Romans 2:13 again. Paul says such
things as the doers of the law will attain righteousness.
And, in 2:14 “Gentiles who do what the law requires will be
held innocent.” And, in 2:25-28, “Those who keep the law
will condemn those who do not.” Paul is talking about
behavior and response to God, NOT how one becomes saved.
Paul is speaking not about how a gentile becomes a member of
the Kingdom of God but about how one is to live his or her
life afterward. But, he also says obedience to the Torah
(the Law, often called “the curse”) is the proper response
for a person who gets saved by his Jewish Messiah. This fact
is critically important to all Christians yet this fact will
not be printed, preached or discussed many places.
In the Old Testament, God set up
unchangeable patterns that we are to learn, recognize and
apply to our lives forever. These precepts of our Heavenly
Father, the Almighty One who created everything, are holy to
Him. Therefore, they should at least be important to us.
For instance, and since we are
approaching the season the Feast of First fruits is
celebrated, we see the principle of “first-lings.” In more
familiar language, First fruits. That is, everything belongs
to God. Back in the days of the Old Testament, only farmers
could participate in the most common First fruits offerings,
because they were the ones who grew the crops, and therefore
they were the ones required to offer the first of their
crops as sacrifices.
Numbers 15:17 begins showing us how
this was made possible for everyone, not just farmers, to
participate in this and how it became more practical.
Therefore, every Hebrew household became able to
participate. Every Hebrew household baked bread, as it was
the staple daily food so with the requirement of an offering
of a portion of that bread dough to God, every Hebrew home
could have a direct participation in the First fruits
offerings on a regular basis.
It is important to note that the
custom of offering some of the dough from the household
bread baking became such a deeply ingrained custom within
Israel that even after the temple was destroyed, women would
take a small piece of the bread dough and throw it into the
fire as a sort of “mini-sacrifice” in remembrance of this
commandment. Now, I will quote a saying of Paul, one you
have perhaps heard or read from time to time, but now,
perhaps you will better understand why he chose the words
that he did
“And if the first piece of dough be
holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the
branches are too.” Romans 11:16
Paul was simply using common
language of an everyday occurrence in virtually every
household in Israel as an illustration. He was referring
directly to the principle of First fruits, and to the law
and custom of offering a bit of the bread dough as a
sacrifice which in turn sanctifies the remainder of the
large lump of bread dough.
Jesus was the “First Fruits” and He
was our Passover Lamb. As Christians we should celebrate and
be joyous; rejoicing in these holy days. They are not just
for “Jews.” He is “The Root.” We, along with Believers of
all race, creed, color and yes, even “Jews”(who are
Believers) are “the branches.” Therefore, if the root is
holy, then we should also be holy. Holiness is a word not
frequently mentioned today. But it is expected. Think
set-apart, different, not like others, not conforming to
this world. This is how we should be and this is part of
As to how God's holy laws became a
curse, this writer cannot explain. Jesus Christ Himself
“Think not that I came to destroy
the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass
away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from
the law, till all things be accomplished. Whosoever
therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and
shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of
heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be
called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you,
that except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20
law and the prophets were until John: from that time the
gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every man
entereth violently into it.
But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than
for one tittle of the law to fall.” Luke 16:16-17
The passages of scripture above are
clear. And, Luke's reference to the fact that the law and
the prophets were until John refers to the fact that Jesus,
the Son of God, came after him (John the Baptist) preaching
the gospel of the kingdom of God. It, in no way, means that
after John came the law and prophets were just irrelevant.
That is distortion.
As to the
preacher on television, he was grossly distorting the Word
of the Almighty God with “another gospel” that he
understands; not necessarily the truth. There is one truth
and that is the truth God gives us; and it is in His Word.
By his rationalization, if
we believe God gave us no rules or laws, then if we do or
say something that isn't specifically addressed we can't be
sinning. How easy this is! Everyone should try it! This is
the same way I learned how clever children can be. Years
ago, I asked my then 12 year-old daughter to “Wash the
clothes after school.” But when I got home, I found clothing
in the washing machine, wet, washed but still there. When I
asked her why she didn't wash the clothes, she ever-so
innocently looked at me and said, “But Mom, you said
'w-a-s-h the clothes, you didn't say put them in the dryer,
then take them out, fold them, and put them away.'”
This is the very same
thing as the “principle” this preacher was teaching. God
forbid! By the way and for the record, my daughter never did
use our spiritual eyes.We must have discernment and if we
don't have it, ask God for it.
It's time to turn off the
television and open the Word of God. Spend time in prayer
with Him and let Him show you the truth. We need to
understand that commentary (any commentary – even this
commentary and others here) by definition comes after the
foundational material. In this case, it usually is
addressing teachings, principles or things we learn from
God's Word. All any preacher should do today (and most do
so) is to comment on what has been previously written
(specifically, Holy Scripture). The Old Testament is
foundational material and so the New Testament comments on
it (Paul especially).
So, if all one reads is the
commentary but not the foundational material, we're going to
get some things right and some things wrong. It is in the
Old Testament where we will find all of the foundational
God-principles explained in detail.
Testament fully expects its readers to already have Bible
101, which is the Old Testament. Without it,
it is like attempting
Algebra classes, without ever having studied basic math..
One may well get something out of the Algebra classes, but
the meat will go undiscovered and the reasons that underlie
the Algebraic formulas will go unknown and therefore will at
times be misused.
told that before anything, God existed. We are also told
that He never changes. Why would he not expect us to
understand the Old Testament completely?
Remember, the early church
did not have a “New Testament.”
Were they wrong, too?
“For I am the LORD (Elohim), I do
not change.” Malachi 3:6(a)
“Every good and perfect gift is from
above and comes down from the Father of Lights with whom
there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17
The “curse” spoken of in the Old
Testament is sin. The curse of sin is not the law! How could
anything God wrote be a curse? It isn't, wasn't and has
never been! Sin is “the curse” put upon mankind by Adam. In
Romans, it is spoken of in this manner: “The wages of sin is
death.” Same thing, said different ways. If one word has
been changed that God inspired in what we refer to as the
Holy Scriptures, then how can we believe any of it? Answer:
He has not changed any of it. But man has made his own
private interpretations of it. Be as the Bereans, test
everything against God's Word; not man's word, God's Word.
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