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The ten commandments and being saved

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  • 1) But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1. Tim. 1:5)

    2) For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, (1Tim. 1:6)

    Gill Comments: From which some having swerved,.... The apostle, in this verse and the next, describes the persons he suspected of teaching other doctrines, and of introducing fables and endless genealogies; they were such who departed from the above things; they erred from the commandment, or law, notwithstanding their great pretensions to a regard unto it; at least they missed the mark, the end and design of it; they went astray from that, and instead of promoting charity or love, created feuds, contentions, and divisions in the churches; and were far from having a pure heart, being filthy dreamers, and sensual persons, destitute of the Spirit of God, and were such who put away a good conscience, and made shipwreck of faith: such were Hymenaeus, Philetus, Alexander, and others, of whom he also says, they

    have turned aside to vain jangling; which he elsewhere calls empty talk, and vain babblings, 1 Timothy 6:20, from the solid doctrines of the Gospel, and a solid way of handling them, they turned to vain, idle, useless, and unprofitable subjects of discourse, and to treating upon subjects in a vain, jejune, and empty manner; entertaining their hearers with foolish and trifling questions and answers to them about the law, and with strifes about words, which were unserviceable and unedifying; they were unruly and vain talkers, Titus 1:10.

    Source: http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/1-6.htm

    3) wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. (1Tim. 1:7)

    Gill Comments: Desiring to be teachers of the law,.... They were very fond of being called Rabbi, Rabbi, and styled doctors of the law, and of being thought to have skill in interpreting the law, and good talents in expounding it, and preaching upon it; which was now most in vogue, and gained the greatest applause, when the preaching of the Gospel was treated with contempt, not only by the unbelieving Jews, but by judaizing Christians, and carnal professors,

    Understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm: they did not understand the law, the nature and end, the purity and spirituality, and perfection of it, which they were so fond of teaching, and went into many foolish and unlearned questions about it; see 2 Timothy 2:23, and which they as foolishly answered: these are the ignorant and unlearned men, who, notwithstanding their vain show of learning, and pretence to skill in interpreting the law, wrested the Scriptures to their own destruction, and that of others; they were ignorant of the things they talked of, and knew not by what arguments to confirm them, and yet were very bold and confident in their assertions: and generally speaking so it is, that those who can prove least assert most, and that with the greatest assurance.

    Source: http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/1-7.htm

    4a) But we know that the Law is good, ( 1Tim. 1:8)

    Gill comments: But we know that the law is good,.... The apostle says this to prevent an objection that might be made to him, that seeing he bore so hard on such who were fond of being teachers of the law, he was himself against the law, and the preaching and proper use of it; but this he would not have concluded, for he and his fellow labourers in the ministry, and all true believers know, from the Scriptures of truth, from the agreement of the law with the Gospel, and from their own experience, that the law is good, provided it be used in a lawful way, and to lawful purposes: and this is to be understood not of the ceremonial law, which was now disannulled, because of the weakness and unprofitableness of it, so that there was no lawful use of that; but of the moral law, which must needs be good, since the author of it is God, who is only good; and nothing but good can come from him: the law, strictly moral, is a copy of his nature, transcribed out of himself, as well as with his own hands; and is a declaration of his will, and is stamped with his authority, and therefore must be good: the matter of it is good, it contains good, yea, great and excellent things; the matter of it is honestly and morally good, as to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with God: and it is pleasantly good to a regenerate man, who loves it, and delights in it after the inner man, and serves it with his spirit; though the carnal mind cannot be subject to it, but rejects it, and rebels against it: and it is also profitably good; for though obedience to it is not profitable to God, yet it is to men; and though eternal life is not obtained hereby, nor any reward given for keeping it, yet in keeping it there is a reward; and that peace is enjoyed, which the transgressors of it are strangers to: it is good in the uses of it, both to sinners and to saints. To sinners it is useful for the knowledge of sin, to convince of it, and bring them to a sense of it, and concern for it, which is effectually done, when the Spirit of God sets in with it, or brings this commandment home to the heart; and if it has not this use, it is sometimes a means of restraining men from sin, which is the use of civil laws among men; and if it has not this, it is of use however to accuse men rightly of sin, and to pronounce justly guilty before God for it, to curse them as they deserve it, and to sentence to condemnation and death: and to believers it is of use, though they are not under it as in the hands of Moses, and as a covenant of works, and are freed from its curse and condemnation, and under no obligation to seek for life and righteousness by it; to them it is of use, to point out to them what is the will of God, and what should be done, and not done; and it is a rule of walk and conversation to them, as in the hands of Christ; and is as a glass to them to behold their own deformity, the impurity of their nature, the plague of their own hearts, and the imperfection of their obedience; by which they see the insufficiency of their own righteousness, how far they are from perfection, and what carnal creatures they are, when compared with this law: and as this serves to put them out of conceit with themselves, so it tends to make Christ and his righteousness more lovely and valuable in their esteem; who has wrought out a righteousness as broad and as long as the law is, and by which it is magnified and made honourable, and has delivered them from its curse and condemnation. And this law is good as it is holy, in its author, nature, and use; and as it is just, requiring just things, and doing that which is just, by acquitting those who are interested in Christ's righteousness, and in condemning those that have no righteousness; and as it is a spiritual and perfect law, which reaches the spirit and soul of man, and is concerned with inward thoughts and motions, as well as outward actions; and especially the end of it, the fulfilling end of it is good, which is Jesus Christ, who was made under it, came to fulfil it, and has answered all the demands of it: so that it must be good, and which cannot be denied

    4b) if one uses it lawfully (1Tim. 1:8)

    Gill comments: if a man use it lawfully; for if it is used in order to obtain life, righteousness, and salvation by the works of it, or by obedience to it, it is used unlawfully: for the law does not give life, nor can righteousness come by it; nor are, or can men be saved by the works of it; to use the law for such purposes, is to abuse it, as the false teachers did, and make that which is good in itself, and in its proper use, to do what is evil; namely, to obscure and frustrate the grace of God, and make null and void the sufferings and death of Christ. A lawful use of the law is to obey it, as in the hands of Christ, the King of saints, and lawgiver in his church, from a principle of love to him, in the exercise of faith on him, without any mercenary selfish views, without trusting to, or depending on, what is done in obedience to it, but with a view to the glory of God, to testify our subjection to Christ, and our gratitude to him for favours received from him.

    Source: http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/1-8.htm
    Last edited by Scrawly; 12-25-2014, 03:07 AM.

    Comment


    • Have a very Merry Christmas my dear friends.

      To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. (Tit. 1:5)

      Gill comments: Unto the pure all things are pure,.... The apostle having made mention of Jewish fables, and the traditions of the elders, takes notice of some darling notions, that these judaizing Christians had imbibed or retained; that there were some things, which being touched, or handled, or tasted, occasioned uncleanness, and which the apostle denies to them that are "pure"; by whom are meant, not such who are so in their own eyes, who yet may not be cleansed from their filthiness; nor do any become pure through ceremonial, moral, or evangelical performances, done by them; they are only pure, who are justified from all sin by Christ's righteousness, and are clean through the word or sentence of absolution spoken by him; and who are washed from their sins in his blood, and have that sprinkled upon their consciences, by which they are purged and cleansed from all sin; and who have the clean water of sanctifying grace sprinkled upon them, and have clean hearts, and right spirits created in them; and whose hearts are purified by faith, and have true principles of grace and holiness formed in them; whose graces are pure and genuine, their faith is unfeigned, their love is without dissimulation, and their hope without hypocrisy; and who, in consequence of all this, love pureness of heart, speak the pure language of Canaan, hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience, and follow after purity of life and conversation: to these "all things are pure"; whatever they touch, or handle, or eat, nothing can defile them; for it is not what enters into man that can pollute him; nor is any creature unclean of itself, but good, and to be received with thanksgiving; see Matthew 15:11.

      But unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; all mankind are defiled with sin; they are altogether become filthy; there is none good, no, not one; and all of them, or that belong to them, are unclean; the members of their body, and the powers and faculties of their soul, their mind and conscience, understanding, will, and affections; there is no place clean: they are originally so, from their first conception and birth; and they are actually defiled by their own evil thoughts, words, and doings: some are openly impure, like the dog and the swine, who wallow in their impieties, such are the profane part of the world; others are more secretly so, as those of a pharisaical complexion, nominal Christians, and formal professors; and such the apostle has here in view: and who, notwithstanding their profession of the Christian religion, were "unbelieving"; they had not true faith in Christ, though they professed it; they were not indeed unbelieving, as the Jews, who rejected Jesus as the Messiah: yet they did not purely and cordially embrace the doctrines of the Gospel, nor yield a spiritual and cheerful subjection to the ordinances of it; but were for mixing the ceremonies of the law with the institutions of Christ: and to these were "nothing pure"; right and lawful to be done, or not done, even in the case supposed, about eating things forbidden by the ceremonial law; to eat them would be to eat with offence, to their own consciences, on their principles, and so be evil, Romans 14:20 and to abstain from them on account of laws not in force, would be superstition and will worship, and so criminal, Colossians 2:21. There is nothing that defiled persons can do, but what is unclean; as are their persons, so are their offerings and works, Haggai 2:14, and being destitute of true faith, whatever they do is sin, and not anything they do can be acceptable and well pleasing to God, Romans 14:23. There were some things among the Jews, which were prohibited to them that were defiled, and were free to them that were pure: thus, for instance (u),

      "the flesh of the most holy things, and the flesh of those which are lightly holy, boiled with flesh of delight, (or common flesh,) are forbidden "to the defiled", but are free "to the pure".''

      Which one of their commentators (w) thus explains;

      "the flesh of the most holy things is forbidden to strangers, though pure; the flesh of things lightly holy is free to strangers that are pure, but forbidden to them that are defiled.''

      Whether there may be any allusion to this, may be considered: however, the reason the apostle gives why nothing is pure to the impure, is, because of the pollution of the superior powers and faculties of their soul:

      but even their mind and conscience is defiled; there is nothing in them, or that belongs to them, that is pure; their mind or understanding, which conceives and judges of things, and forms notions of them; and the conscience, which draws conclusions from them, are both defiled with sin; and what then must the thoughts, the words and actions of such persons be? it matters not what they do, or abstain from, what they touch, taste, or handle, or if they do not, they sin in all they do.

      (u) Minn. Orla, c. 2. sect. 17. (w) Bartenora, in Misn. Orla, c. 2. sect. 17.

      Source: http://biblehub.com/titus/1-15.htm
      Last edited by Scrawly; 12-25-2014, 02:56 AM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
        A lot of the discussion about the law in the Bible has to do with a particular way in which it is followed. A rabbi or group had oral laws consisting of interpretations, customs, traditions, rulings, and fences that governed the way that they thought the the written law of the Torah should be correctly understood and followed. This is what is encompassed by the phrase "works of the law" so the Pharisees, Judaizers, Jesus, Paul, etc., all had their works of the law. The rabbinic phrase "to fulfill the law" means to interpret it in such a way that filled it up with meaning, added to its meaning, or showed how God meant it to be understood. So when Jesus said he came to fulfill the law, he was saying that he came to give us a correct or complete understanding for how to follow the Torah, and this was his works of the law, also known as the law of Christ.

        One the main problems Paul had was with the circumcision group, who wanted to say that you had to follow their works of the law and follow the Torah in the way they said in order to be saved. Paul upheld the Torah, so he never taught against keeping it, but rather what he opposed was their way of keeping the Torah and the idea that you could be justified by keeping it - that was not the reason why it was given. The problem was faithless works and the solution was not to stop doing good works, but to start doing them in the right way.

        Romans 9:30-32a What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

        The problem here was not with pursuing the law, but with pursuing it in the wrong way.
        Wright understands the term “works of the Law” to mean more than just a particular rabbi’s interpretation of Torah, holding that it was covenantal and eschatological.

        Quote
        Let me state my proposal at the outset in six propositions, for which I shall then argue. The
        first and third form the heart of my contention.
        (1) The context within which the key line C31 may best be understood is explicitly covenantal
        and eschatological.
        (2) The halakhic precepts offered in the text are intended to function as indicators, boundarymarkers,
        of God’s eschatological people; this is the meaning of “justification by works” in the
        present time, anticipating “the end of time”.
        (3) Paul, arguably, held a version of the same covenantal and eschatological scheme of
        thought; but in his scheme the place MMT gave to ‘works of Torah’ was taken by ‘faith’.
        (4) Paul’s doctrine, like that of MMT, was not about ‘getting in’ but about community
        definition.
        (5) The Pauline halakhah, if that is what it is, plays a quite different role within his
        community definition to that which halakhah plays in MMT.
        (6) MMT is written neither by nor for Pharisees. Just as the ‘works’ it prescribes are not those
        of the Pharisees, so we cannot assume that the form and structure of its doctrine of justification are identical, or even similar, to that of the Pharisees, or of the Galatian ‘agitators’, or of Peter in Galatians 2.

        http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_4QMMT_Paul.pdf

        The context is that of the prophecy contained in Deuteronomy 39:

        Quote
        The writer then repeats an earlier exhortation to study the scriptures (C10). The scriptures he
        has in mind are the covenantal passages from the end of Deuteronomy (30—31), in which the
        blessings and the curses of the covenant are invoked upon those who keep or reject Torah. But these passages are not merely covenantal; they are also to be read (as, arguably, they ask to be read) historically and eschatologically.22 They do not merely hold out a timeless blessing and a timeless curse to anyone, anywhere, who keeps or does not keep Torah. They offer a historical sequence, which Israel as a nation will follow through, first experiencing blessing, then pulling down on herself the curses, and then, at the end of days, discovering the way to blessing once more:

        11And in the book (of Moses) it is written [... ... ...] not 12[...] and former days [...] And it is written that [you will stray] from the path (of the Torah) and that calamity will meet [you]. And it is written 13‘and it shall come to pass, when 14all these things [be]fall you’, at the end of days, the blessings 15and the curses, [‘then you will take] it to hea[rt] and you will return unto Him with all your heart 16and with all your soul’, at the end [of time, so that you may live ... ...] 17[It is written in the book] of Moses [and in the books of the Prophets] that there will come [...] 18 [the blessings have (already) befallen in ...] in the days of Solomon the son of David. And the curses 19[that] have (already) befallen from the days of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and up to when Jerusalem and Zedekiah King of Judah went into captivity 20that He will bring them [...]. And we know that some of the blessings and the curses have (already) been fulfilled 21as it is written in the bo[ok of Mo]ses. And this is at the end of days when they will return to Isra[el] 22[forever ...] and not be cancelled, but the wicked will act wickedly, and [...]23

        http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_4QMMT_Paul.pdf

        In other words, Paul is only following in the path of rabbis who offered interpretations of what God required in order to be restored from Exile. The archaeological evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls supports this view.


        If you asked any Jew what sin was, they would say breaking the Laws of Moses, so I see no good reason to think that they were talking about anything else. God did not give the law to be a burden, but to be a delight. Any discussion of the law in the Psalms will confirm that, especially 119.

        Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man[a]
        who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
        nor stands in the way of sinners,
        nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
        2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
        and on his law he meditates day and night.

        Psalms 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
        Interesting that the writer comments about meditating on the law and seeking it out, because DOING it would definitely be a burden:

        Acts 15: 6The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8“And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10“Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

        Besides God was not displeased with israel with sinning against the Mosaic Law, but because of their disloyalty, following Him out of Egypt and then not continuing in following Him:

        Hebrews 3: 7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
        “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
        8DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
        AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
        9WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,
        AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
        10“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
        AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
        AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
        11AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
        ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’”

        Comment


        • So the law of liberty just is the Torah rightly understood. However, by the time of Jesus, mountains of man-made oral law had turned what was supposed to be a delight into a heavy burden and many kept the law in an effort to become justified rather than out of faith and love. Jesus came to restore us to the right way of keeping the Torah and one of his biggest sources of conflict with the Pharisees was when they gave their own traditions a higher priority than the Torah:

          And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

          Mark 7:6-8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
          but their heart is far from me;
          7 in vain do they worship me,
          teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
          8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
          Are you saying that circumcision is a man made tradition? This is what the Judaisers were trying to force the Gentiles to undergo. I’m afraid you aren’t making much sense.



          Good verses, though I'm not sure why you're citing them.
          Jesus was asking His disciple to obey His new command: to love one another. By doing so they would be loyal to Him, and then He and the Father would come and unite with the disciple. He replaced the Old Covenant with a new one, He declared all food clean, He concentrated on the moral rather than the ceremonial, raising the bar significantly: do not murder became do not even hate. This is the eternal law, God’s permanent requirements. They were actually toned down to accomodate Israel’s hardness of heart. When Christ came, He reinstates them in the original form, there is no cumulative effect.

          Abraham was justified by faith just like everyone else:

          Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
          Only when faith is defined as “loyalty”: Abraham was loyal to God and it was counted as righteousness.

          The main differences between covenants are the means of atonement, the power of that atonement, the priesthood which offers the sacrifice, the Temple in which the sacrifice is offered, and its availability to everyone. The "New Testament" is properly translated as the "Renewed Covenant" and it involves the law being written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

          Galatians 3:17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.
          The Mosaic Law came 430 years after the Abrahmic Covenant, which was a ratified law, an unconditional promise, and is not comparable to the New Covenant which annulled the Old Covenant, which was conditional on obedience. The Old Covenant was annulled when one of the parties to the contract died:

          Romans 7:1Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
          4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

          All of the previous covenants were cumulative and the Renewed Covenant is no different. God's laws remain God's laws regardless of any particular covenant to follow them. Laws, such as the Sabbath were given before the law was given at Mt. Sinai, so even if the Old Covenant were annulled, it wouldn't follow that it was no longer necessary to keep it. And even then God's laws still remain instructions for how man can live righteously and demonstrate our love to Him if we so choose, which I see no good reason for why that's something we shouldn't want to do regardless of any particular covenant.
          Does this apply to circumcision?



          If there is no law and no transgression of the law, then it would be impossible for us to sin. We would be free to do whatever we wanted, but Paul said the exact opposite, that we weren't to sin, and to sinning was understood by him, like every other Jew, as breaking the Laws of Moses. When we are found to be righteous, that means that we are called to live righteously, which means following God's instructions for how to do that in the Torah. All of the Renewed Covenant authors remained Torah compliant and none of them taught against keeping it. The early Gentiles were also Torah compliant.
          But Peter ate with the Gentiles!

          And excused them from circumcision.

          EDIT:
          Jesus did not come to start a new religion, but rather he was born a Jew, became a Jewish rabbi, had Jewish disciples, came as the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, and all believers up though Acts 10 were Jews. Christianity is the true form of Judaism and Gentiles are grafted into a Jewish religion. None of them gave up their Jewish identities and Paul still identified as a Pharisee in Acts 23:6.
          When you say that Christianity is the “true form of Judaism” that is tantamount to saying Mosaic Judaism is the wrong form of Judaism!

          Comment


          • In other words, Paul is only following in the path of rabbis who offered interpretations of what God required in order to be restored from Exile. The archaeological evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls supports this view.
            Ok, I'll grant that I need to look more into how the phrase "works of the law" should be interpreted, but whatever it means, Paul contrasted it with being justified by faith. I completely agree with you that we are only saved by grace through faith, but my concern is with the next verse that says that we are new creations in Christ for the purpose of doing good works/living righteously. And even if we weren't called to live that way, it would still be an ideal way for us to live.

            Our motivation for doing good works plays a key role. Are we begrudgingly obeying the law because we think we'll be punished if we don't and we don't really have a choice, or are we cheerfully obeying the law because it is a delight and it is the least we can do to demonstrate our love to God and to our neighbor? God loves a cheerful giver, so the Torah properly understood has always been about building a relationship with God through faith grounded in love. Faith that is not grounded in love leads a perversion of the Torah and to trying to become justified through our own efforts, and as the giver of the Torah, that is what Jesus said he came to correct.

            Interesting that the writer comments about meditating on the law and seeking it out, because DOING it would definitely be a burden:

            Acts 15: 6The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8“And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10“Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
            The circumcision group was trying to get everyone to come under their authority and follow their interpretations, traditions, customs, and fences in order to be saved. Jesus criticized the Pharisees in Matthew 23:4 for placing a heavy burden on people, but also criticized them in Mark 7:6-8 for following their own traditions instead of the commands of God, so Acts 15:6 is talking about the same heavy burden, but it is vitally important not to confuse a criticism of the way in which some people taught that the Torah should be followed with a criticism of the Torah itself. God Himself said keeping His commands wasn't too difficult:

            Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.

            Besides God was not displeased with israel with sinning against the Mosaic Law, but because of their disloyalty, following Him out of Egypt and then not continuing in following Him:

            Hebrews 3: 7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
            “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
            8DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
            AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
            9WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,
            AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
            10“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
            AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
            AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
            11AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
            ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’”
            Indeed, following God's commands has always been about building a relationship with Him and helping us not to go astray.

            Are you saying that circumcision is a man made tradition? This is what the Judaisers were trying to force the Gentiles to undergo. I’m afraid you aren’t making much sense.
            There is no process given in the Bible for how a Gentile is to become a proselyte and neither is there any requirement in the Bible for all Gentiles to become circumcised, so requiring Gentiles to do that is entirely a man-made tradition. Note that there was even disagreement among Jews about whether circumcision was required for a proselyte:

            Yebamot 46a Our Rabbis taught: ‘If a proselyte was circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual immersion, R. Eliezer said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that our forefathers were circumcised and had not performed ritual immersion.’ If he performed the prescribed immersion but had not been circumcised, R. Joshua said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that the mothers had performed ritual immersion but had not been circumcised.’ The Sages, however, said, ‘Whether he had performed ritual immersion but had not been circumcised or whether he had been circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual immersion, he is not a proper proselyte, unless he has been circumcised and has also performed the prescribed ritual immersion.’

            Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.

            The Jerusalem Council had no authority to add or subtract from what God had commanded in the Torah, but they could interpret it and make rulings as to how it was intended to be followed. In other words, if they had said, "We think that God commanded in His Torah that all Gentiles were to be circumcised, but we think God was wrong and that it is too much to ask of them, so we won't require it" then the people would have tried to execute them as false teachers according to Deuteronomy 13. But instead they made a ruling, which I think was correct, that the Torah doesn't command all Gentiles to be circumcised. So when the Jerusalem Council ruled against circumcision being required for all Gentiles, they were not ruling against the Torah, but again man’s opinion about how the Torah should be kept. Like Jesus and Paul, they were upholding the Torah.

            Jesus was asking His disciple to obey His new command: to love one another. By doing so they would be loyal to Him, and then He and the Father would come and unite with the disciple. He replaced the Old Covenant with a new one, He declared all food clean, He concentrated on the moral rather than the ceremonial, raising the bar significantly: do not murder became do not even hate. This is the eternal law, God’s permanent requirements. They were actually toned down to accomodate Israel’s hardness of heart. When Christ came, He reinstates them in the original form, there is no cumulative effect.
            Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

            What is new in Jesus' command is that Leviticus says "as yourself" while Jesus said "as I have loved you". Jesus demonstrated his love for us by dying for us, but he also demonstrated how to love by keeping the Torah perfectly. Loving the Lord your God with all of you heart, soul, and mind is a lot easier said that done, so the rest of the commands in Torah are instructions for how to do that. But the key element that binds the laws together is love because without it following them is nothing and worse than that, it is a perversion of the Torah. There are a number of things that got improved in the Renewed Covenant, but how to live righteously and demonstrate our love to God remain the same, so the basic structure of God's instructions remained the same.

            I contend that the topic of Mark 7 is whether ritual hand washing makes food that is normally kosher ritually unclean and never switches topic to annulling kosher laws. Mark 7:3-4 makes it clear they are talking about man-made traditions and in verses 6-8 Jesus criticizes them for following their own traditions rather than the commands for God, so it would make absolutely no sense for Jesus to set aside the commands of God a few verses later. Plus, doing so would disqualify him as the Messiah and be legitimate grounds for his execution under Deuteronomy 13. The parallel account in Matthew 15:19-20 further confirms that Jesus was still talking about eating with unwashed hands defiles someone. So Jesus ruled against a man-made tradition and upheld the Torah.

            If moral laws only concern man's relationship with man, then the first 4 of the 10 Commandments do not concern morality, including the law against idolatry. However, if moral laws also concern man's relationship with God, then all of His instructions are morally binding. Jesus was the giver of the Torah and thought it was important enough to follow perfectly, so I see no indication that he thought any less of the instructions that the Bible does not record him teaching specifically about. Jesus said that not the smallest letter would disappear from the law until heaven and earth passed away and that those who set aside the least of his instructions and taught others to do the same would be called least in the kingdom. When Jesus said not to hate, that was a perfect example of him setting up a fence around the law and in Matthew 23, he criticized the Pharisees for not being strict enough. All of the previous covenants back through Adam have been cumulative, so you're going to need a better reason for why this one should be an exception, especially because Jeremiah 31:31-34 states that the Renewed Covenant involves the law being written on our hearts.

            Only when faith is defined as “loyalty”: Abraham was loyal to God and it was counted as righteousness.
            Faith has always been about trust and loyalty, but my point still remains that faith is the one and only way in which anyone, including Abraham, is justified.

            The Mosaic Law came 430 years after the Abrahmic Covenant, which was a ratified law, an unconditional promise, and is not comparable to the New Covenant which annulled the Old Covenant, which was conditional on obedience. The Old Covenant was annulled when one of the parties to the contract died:
            The promises that God made are not depended on our actions and we can not make God a liar. His promises hold true today the same as on the day that He made them. And even if I were to grant that the covenant was annulled, it was renewed.

            Romans 7:1Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
            4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
            If someone offered to pay for every library fine you got, you would not be free from that law, but from the penalty of that law. In much the same way, when Jesus paid the penalty for our sins/breaking the law, he did not set us free from having to obey the law, but only the penalty or condemnation of the law. As such, being under grace does not mean we free to sin/break the law. Paul continues this idea in Romans 7, where the when wife's husband dies, she is not set free from having to obey any of the other laws of the Torah, but rather she is only set from from the aspect of the law that would penalize her if she had joined to another man. In Romans 7:5-14, Paul was talking about the capacity of the Torah to stir up sin in an individual, but he doesn't blame the Torah, but rather the fault is with ourselves.

            Romans 7:7a What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means!

            Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means!

            Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,

            Further confirmation that the law, properly understood, was a delight.

            Does this apply to circumcision?
            Circumcision was also commanded before the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai, but it was only commanded to Abraham and those born into his house or bought with money:

            Genesis 17:12-14 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

            But Peter ate with the Gentiles!

            And excused them from circumcision.
            Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

            These laws that Peter was violating in Galatians 2 are not found anywhere in the Torah, but are man-made traditions and customs, so again the the Torah is consistently upheld while man-made traditions are ruled against. I see nothing that indicates to me that they were eating anything other than kosher food. If you're being grafted into Judaism, one of your first concerns should be to learn what God has commanded His followers to do so that you can obey Him and avoid needlessly offending other members of your religion.

            When you say that Christianity is the “true form of Judaism” that is tantamount to saying Mosaic Judaism is the wrong form of Judaism!
            Perhaps "complete" would have been a better word choice. Without understanding Christ's atoning work on the cross, Jews had an incomplete understanding of God's plan of salvation, but completing this understanding does not change it from Judaism. That would be like expecting Jesus to start a new religion at his second coming or if Islam were true expecting the Mahdi to start a new religion rather than being in fulfillment of Islam.
            Last edited by Soyeong; 12-25-2014, 11:44 PM.
            "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Soyeong View Post
              Ok, I'll grant that I need to look more into how the phrase "works of the law" should be interpreted, but whatever it means, Paul contrasted it with being justified by faith. I completely agree with you that we are only saved by grace through faith, but my concern is with the next verse that says that we are new creations in Christ for the purpose of doing good works/living righteously. And even if we weren't called to live that way, it would still be an ideal way for us to live.

              Our motivation for doing good works plays a key role. Are we begrudgingly obeying the law because we think we'll be punished if we don't and we don't really have a choice, or are we cheerfully obeying the law because it is a delight and it is the least we can do to demonstrate our love to God and to our neighbor? God loves a cheerful giver, so the Torah properly understood has always been about building a relationship with God through faith grounded in love. Faith that is not grounded in love leads a perversion of the Torah and to trying to become justified through our own efforts, and as the giver of the Torah, that is what Jesus said he came to correct.

              Breaking news! God never intended to give Israel any Law:

              Jeremiah 7:22Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22"For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23"But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'…
              The circumcision group was trying to get everyone to come under their authority and follow their interpretations, traditions, customs, and fences in order to be saved. Jesus criticized the Pharisees in Matthew 23:4 for placing a heavy burden on people, but also criticized them in Mark 7:6-8 for following their own traditions instead of the commands of God, so Acts 15:6 is talking about the same heavy burden, but it is vitally important not to confuse a criticism of the way in which some people taught that the Torah should be followed with a criticism of the Torah itself.
              Misdirection. The Judaizers were not forcing their own traditions or interpretations on the Gentiles. They were forcing circumcision, plainly mandatory in the old covenant, not open to be interpreted or rationalised away.
              God Himself said keeping His commands wasn't too difficult:

              Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
              Absolutely. keep ALL His commands, fail and cry out to Him for mercy, it was that easy:

              Romans 10:1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
              5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”8But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus asLord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”


              Indeed, following God's commands has always been about building a relationship with Him and helping us not to go astray.
              Not really. OT saints never had God staying, making His dwelling, with them. Emmanuel, God with us, happened only with the sending of Christ.

              There is no process given in the Bible for how a Gentile is to become a proselyte and neither is there any requirement in the Bible for all Gentiles to become circumcised, so requiring Gentiles to do that is entirely a man-made tradition. Note that there was even disagreement among Jews about whether circumcision was required for a proselyte:

              Yebamot 46a Our Rabbis taught: ‘If a proselyte was circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual immersion, R. Eliezer said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that our forefathers were circumcised and had not performed ritual immersion.’ If he performed the prescribed immersion but had not been circumcised, R. Joshua said, ‘Behold he is a proper proselyte; for so we find that the mothers had performed ritual immersion but had not been circumcised.’ The Sages, however, said, ‘Whether he had performed ritual immersion but had not been circumcised or whether he had been circumcised but had not performed the prescribed ritual immersion, he is not a proper proselyte, unless he has been circumcised and has also performed the prescribed ritual immersion.’
              Untrue. Jewish arguments carry no weight with Christians, some of them being contentious for the sake of contention, some too fanciful to even dwell on. They can't even take things at face value. A judge in jerusalem held that atheists could still be jewish, since God couldnt be properly comprehended. All understanding of God fell short, were approximations, amounting to worshipping soemthing that was not God, idolatry. He based his verdict on the commentaries of Maimonides/Rambam.

              Here is direct teaching from Scripture on what was to be done to someone wishing to be a Jew:

              Ex 12:48"But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.

              The Judaizers felt this Scripture supported their view. However, Jesus taught that He was introducing a New Covenant, where sensitivity to God, of which circumcision was a foreshadowing, now required a circumcision of the heart, the removal of the thick insensitive skin of the heart. The spirit of the law was more important than the letter of the law., requiring their replacement.
              Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.

              The Jerusalem Council had no authority to add or subtract from what God had commanded in the Torah, but they could interpret it and make rulings as to how it was intended to be followed. In other words, if they had said, "We think that God commanded in His Torah that all Gentiles were to be circumcised, but we think God was wrong and that it is too much to ask of them, so we won't require it" then the people would have tried to execute them as false teachers according to Deuteronomy 13. But instead they made a ruling, which I think was correct, that the Torah doesn't command all Gentiles to be circumcised. So when the Jerusalem Council ruled against circumcision being required for all Gentiles, they were not ruling against the Torah, but again man’s opinion about how the Torah should be kept. Like Jesus and Paul, they were upholding the Torah.
              Not relevant. Jesus and Paul were upholding the Eternal Law. Torah was a watered down version, given to accommodate Israel’s hardness of heart, a concession to flesh.
              Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

              What is new in Jesus' command is that Leviticus says "as yourself" while Jesus said "as I have loved you". Jesus demonstrated his love for us by dying for us, but he also demonstrated how to love by keeping the Torah perfectly. Loving the Lord your God with all of you heart, soul, and mind is a lot easier said than done, so the rest of the commands in Torah are instructions for how to do that. But the key element that binds the laws together is love because without it following them is nothing and worse than that, it is a perversion of the Torah. There are a number of things that got improved in the Renewed Covenant, but how to live righteously and demonstrate our love to God remain the same, so the basic structure of God's instructions remained the same.
              Please remember, Israel asked for the law, a written contract from God. Imagine how it would be if you promised to love your spouse unconditionally, and she responded by asking for a prenuptial contract to be written up, laying out your rights and obligations.

              I contend that the topic of Mark 7 is whether ritual hand washing makes food that is normally kosher ritually unclean and never switches topic to annulling kosher laws. Mark 7:3-4 makes it clear they are talking about man-made traditions and in verses 6-8 Jesus criticizes them for following their own traditions rather than the commands for God, so it would make absolutely no sense for Jesus to set aside the commands of God a few verses later. Plus, doing so would disqualify him as the Messiah and be legitimate grounds for his execution under Deuteronomy 13. The parallel account in Matthew 15:19-20 further confirms that Jesus was still talking about eating with unwashed hands defiles someone. So Jesus ruled against a man-made tradition and upheld the Torah.
              All foods declared, made, clean would mean ALL foods, since what is food, what are idols? What comes out of the heart is really what defiles a person. Jesus was removing the types the shadows, replacing them with the reality. Again what is the spirit of the law? Kosher laws were given to mark out and separate israel from her neighbors. They were a part of the bouquet of laws that made a distinction between jew and pagan and helped to isolate her. Food was used to distance her from her neighbours. Christ shed the minor distinctions: what would make God's people stand out from other nations was the love they had for each other. Food could not defile her, only bad deeds. Good deeds would distance her from the world if you want to think of it that way. You could say good deeds marked her out. Bad things coming out her heart would make her indistinguishable from unbelievers.

              How would israel be a light to the world? In this passage, Paul never mentions observing kosher as a keeping of the Law:

              Romans 2:17But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 18and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, 21you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? 24For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.
              25For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.


              In fact doing bad deeds made circumcision, the most important ceremonial mark of the Jew, null and void. Bad deeds defiled the Jew, made him a Gentile, pagan!
              If moral laws only concern man's relationship with man, then the first 4 of the 10 Commandments do not concern morality, including the law against idolatry. However, if moral laws also concern man's relationship with God, then all of His instructions are morally binding. Jesus was the giver of the Torah and thought it was important enough to follow perfectly, so I see no indication that he thought any less of the instructions that the Bible does not record him teaching specifically about. Jesus said that not the smallest letter would disappear from the law until heaven and earth passed away and that those who set aside the least of his instructions and taught others to do the same would be called least in the kingdom. When Jesus said not to hate, that was a perfect example of him setting up a fence around the law and in Matthew 23, he criticized the Pharisees for not being strict enough. All of the previous covenants back through Adam have been cumulative, so you're going to need a better reason for why this one should be an exception, especially because Jeremiah 31:31-34 states that the Renewed Covenant involves the law being written on our hearts.
              Again, Jesus was speaking about the eternal law.

              Faith has always been about trust and loyalty, but my point still remains that faith is the one and only way in which anyone, including Abraham, is justified.
              Loyalty is always fully expressed:

              in word, confession, at all times
              in action, when called for

              One could say that God's’ call is a certain event, it is not a question of if it will come but when it will come.

              The promises that God made are not depended on our actions and we can not make God a liar. His promises hold true today the same as on the day that He made them. And even if I were to grant that the covenant was annulled, it was renewed.
              Like you renew your insurance policy? All things remaining the same except for the period of validity? Not true, the document was jettisoned, a better one put into force, by Christ’s death.

              Galatians 3:1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

              If someone offered to pay for every library fine you got, you would not be free from that law, but from the penalty of that law. In much the same way, when Jesus paid the penalty for our sins/breaking the law, he did not set us free from having to obey the law, but only the penalty or condemnation of the law. As such, being under grace does not mean we free to sin/break the law. Paul continues this idea in Romans 7, where the when wife's husband dies, she is not set free from having to obey any of the other laws of the Torah, but rather she is only set from from the aspect of the law that would penalize her if she had joined to another man. In Romans 7:5-14, Paul was talking about the capacity of the Torah to stir up sin in an individual, but he doesn't blame the Torah, but rather the fault is with ourselves.
              Wrong metaphor. The verse specifically says Christ as the rightful representative of all humanity, died, breaking the obligations of all men to law.

              Romans 7:1Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
              4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

              Romans 7:7a What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means!

              Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means!

              Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,

              Further confirmation that the law, properly understood, was a delight.
              Again the Eternal Law, the law of God, is being discussed. good and holy, but unable to save, make a person a blessing to the world, because of the weakness of the flesh. God’s promise to Abraham was finally fulfilled in the sending of Christ, through whom the Spirit was released. enabling men to have life, energising to empowerment to bless the world.

              Circumcision was also commanded before the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai, but it was only commanded to Abraham and those born into his house or bought with money:

              Genesis 17:12-14 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
              Another law that foreshadowed the holiness, undefileness if you wish, that separated God’s People from the rest of the world.

              Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

              These laws that Peter was violating in Galatians 2 are not found anywhere in the Torah, but are man-made traditions and customs, so again the the Torah is consistently upheld while man-made traditions are ruled against. I see nothing that indicates to me that they were eating anything other than kosher food. If you're being grafted into Judaism, one of your first concerns should be to learn what God has commanded His followers to do so that you can obey Him and avoid needlessly offending other members of your religion.
              Yet Paul criticised Peter. If your contention is that Peter did no wrong, why was he confronted and criticised?

              Perhaps "complete" would have been a better word choice. Without understanding Christ's atoning work on the cross, Jews had an incomplete understanding of God's plan of salvation, but completing this understanding does not change it from Judaism. That would be like expecting Jesus to start a new religion at his second coming or if Islam were true expecting the Mahdi to start a new religion rather than being in fulfillment of Islam.
              Zacharias and Elizabeth were found righteous, so the law was complete for its purpose. It was still an inferior solution. Jesus did not start a new religion, He just brought reality to the types and foreshadowing of the existing one. Why would anyone go back to steam engines after benefiting from oil engines? Christ is of no benefit for people who adhere to the old covenant.
              Last edited by footwasher; 12-26-2014, 12:33 PM.

              Comment


              • Does Mark 7:19 declare all foods to be clean?

                The context of Mark 7 is stated here:

                Mark 7:3-4 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

                The Pharisees had many traditions that went beyond what is found in the Bible, that they followed so that food that was normally clean wouldn’t become unclean. So their objection in verse 5 was not that the disciples were breaking dietary laws found in the Torah, but that they were becoming ritually unclean by eating bread with unwashed hands.

                Mark 7:16 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

                This phrase in verse 16 was commonly used to indicate the end of a parable, and indeed the disciples asked Jesus about the meaning of the parable in verse 17, so the parable must have been verse 15.

                Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

                Jesus used a figurative parable about moral purity to contrast it with the issue of ritual purity. It’s not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person, but about immoral thoughts and actions.

                Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.

                The conclusion of the parallel account in Matthew 15 makes it clear that Jesus was still talking in contrast to ritual hand washing and never switched topics to eating unclean meat. So the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was that they were out of balance by being more concerned with their own traditions governing ritual purity than with what God said about moral purity. By adding their own traditions on top of what the Torah said they were obscuring it and completely missing the moral teaching. In verses 6-13, Jesus criticized them for setting aside the commands of God in favor of keeping their traditions, so it would have been very hypocritical if Jesus had turned around and set aside the commands of God a few verses later and declared everything was permissible to eat. That would have immediately disqualified him from being the Messiah and caused the Pharisees to try to kill him.

                Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

                Any prophet who teaches God’s people to go against God’s commands is by definition a false prophet. Christians who claim that Jesus tried to turn the people from the way that God commanded them to follow are one of the biggest reasons why religious Jews reject him today.

                Matthew 5:17-19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

                Again, I have trouble reconciling these verses with the claim that Jesus was setting aside commands of God in Mark 7:19. Even if you think the Resurrection did away with the Law, this was said before that happened.

                We still consider certain foods to be unclean, we just disagree about which ones they are. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God told the Jews which things were permissible to eat as food and which things weren’t, so they didn’t even consider the things that weren’t to be in the same category as food, in a similar way that we don’t consider the meat of rats, bats, snakes, lizards, vultures, humans, etc. to be food. So when Jews talk about eating from the category of things that are food, it would be a mistake to assume they are also talking about eating unclean animals, unless it is specifically mentioned. It’s important to note that the Greek word koinais (“common”) is used in reference to manmade traditions and does not connote the same thing as the Greek word for what God has declared to be “unclean”, so there is no indication the food mentioned in Mark 7 is anything other than what the Torah permits Jews to eat.

                There is some debate around the proper translation of Mark 7:19b. Some translators say it is parenthetical by Mark or Jesus, but it is important to note that there is nothing in the Greek that is anything like “thus he declared”, so is something they added. The Greek literally had “cleaning all foods” or “purging all foods”.

                19 because it doth not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and into the drain it doth go out, purifying all the meats. –YLT

                The discussion in Mark 7 surrounds Jesus’ disciples not observing the traditional hand washing before eating bread that was instituted by the Pharisees. Jesus criticized them for being strict about ritual purity while at the same time neglecting concern over moral purity. They are unbalanced over something that ends up in the toilet anyway. On the other hand, the issue of moral purity does not pass through the digestive tract and out into the toilet, and it is that which defiles the heart.

                However you interpret it, it’s important to keep the context in mind. Did Jesus, a devout Jew who was sinless and kept the Torah perfectly, make a radical statement that was against God’s commands that would have sent shockwaves through his audience, but which no one seemed to notice? Or did Jesus simply point out that their concern for ritual purity wasn’t balanced by their concern for moral purity?
                "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

                Comment


                • Acts 10:***9On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” 15Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” 16This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.

                  Comment


                  • Breaking news! God never intended to give Israel any Law:

                    Jeremiah 7:22Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22"For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23"But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'…
                    No, God still told them to walk in all the way which He had commanded them, but on the day He brought them out of the land of Egypt, He did not give them commands concerning burnt offering and sacrifices.

                    Misdirection. The Judaizers were not forcing their own traditions or interpretations on the Gentiles. They were forcing circumcision, plainly mandatory in the old covenant, not open to be interpreted or rationalised away.
                    Jews argue that Moses gave an oral law, and to that extent I agree because many of the laws, such as the command to wear tassels need clarification as to how exactly they should to be followed. How long should they be? What other colors should be used? How many knots should they have? How should the knows be tied? Or what counts as working the Sabbath? It would have been natural for the Israelites to have asked Moses for these sort of clarifications, so Moses must have started some traditions for how to correctly obey the Torah, but I find it doubtful that the traditions we have today match the ones Moses created. In any case, the Jews thought their traditions traced back to Moses and were even more important than the written law of the Torah because you couldn't follow the written law if you didn't have the oral law to tell you how it was correctly supposed to be followed. So all of this was wrapped up in their concept of what they thought it meant to follow the Laws of Moses and what they were wanting Gentiles to obey in Acts 15:1.

                    As I pointed out before, nowhere does the Torah say what Gentiles needed to do to become proselytes and nowhere does it say that all Gentiles needed to become circumcised, so that was part of their traditions. If you want to insist that the Torah makes it mandatory for all Gentiles to become circumcised, then you need to cite chapter and verse because I tell you it's not there.

                    Not really. OT saints never had God staying, making His dwelling, with them. Emmanuel, God with us, happened only with the sending of Christ.
                    Are you trying to tell me that Abraham had no relationship with God? Faith is the building block of relationships and when we trust God and are loyal to Him, we build a relationship with him. God doesn't need to dwell with us in order for that to happen, but in any case, it is false that God did not dwell with us before the time of Christ.

                    Exodus 29:44-46 So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

                    Furthermore, John claims that Jesus was the same being who created man, who walked with Adam, who closes the ark, and who gave the Torah.

                    Untrue. Jewish arguments carry no weight with Christians, some of them being contentious for the sake of contention, some too fanciful to even dwell on. They can't even take things at face value. A judge in jerusalem held that atheists could still be jewish, since God couldnt be properly comprehended. All understanding of God fell short, were approximations, amounting to worshipping soemthing that was not God, idolatry. He based his verdict on the commentaries of Maimonides/Rambam.

                    Here is direct teaching from Scripture on what was to be done to someone wishing to be a Jew:

                    Ex 12:48"But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.
                    I didn't quote the Jewish argument as an authority on the matter, but to point out that what was required for Gentiles to become proselytes was an arguable matter of human opinion. Exodus 12:48 says nothing about becoming a Jew or requiring all Gentiles to be circumcised. The context is about Passover restrictions and it only says that those Gentiles who wanted to eat of the lamb needed to be circumcised. Gentiles were free to participate in God's other feasts without being circumcised.

                    Not relevant. Jesus and Paul were upholding the Eternal Law. Torah was a watered down version, given to accommodate Israel’s hardness of heart, a concession to flesh.
                    The Jews considered the Torah to be eternal, and the eternal law could not be different from the Torah because they had no authority to add or subtract from the Law. Jesus could not have taught against following the commands in the Torah without disqualifying himself as the Messiah, and in fact, he warned that those who did would be called least in the kingdom. But even if the Eternal Law were something different from the God's Torah, the Jerusalem council ruled in favor of both against man-made traditions and very consistently ruled in favor of both.

                    Is it so hard to take a step back and try to interpret the Bible through the lens of how the Torah is described in the Psalms and see if it doesn't make more sense? They consistently saw it as a delight and a guide and not as anything negative. Please quote where the Bible describes all of the laws in the Torah as something that is watered down to accommodate Israel's hardness of heart. And if it is the watered down version, then how much more would the full version be if not to exceed the requirements of the Torah?

                    Please remember, Israel asked for the law, a written contract from God. Imagine how it would be if you promised to love your spouse unconditionally, and she responded by asking for a prenuptial contract to be written up, laying out your rights and obligations.
                    Exodus 19 3-8a while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

                    Even if it was as you say and they asked God for instructions for how to show their love to Him, it would be good to go beyond that, but following those instructions would be the least they could do. And even if other people had asked for those instructions and you were under no obligation to follow them, they would still be the least you could do if you wanted to show your love to God.

                    All foods declared, made, clean would mean ALL foods, since what is food, what are idols? What comes out of the heart is really what defiles a person. Jesus was removing the types the shadows, replacing them with the reality. Again what is the spirit of the law? Kosher laws were given to mark out and separate israel from her neighbors. They were a part of the bouquet of laws that made a distinction between jew and pagan and helped to isolate her. Food was used to distance her from her neighbours. Christ shed the minor distinctions: what would make God's people stand out from other nations was the love they had for each other. Food could not defile her, only bad deeds. Good deeds would distance her from the world if you want to think of it that way. You could say good deeds marked her out. Bad things coming out her heart would make her indistinguishable from unbelievers.
                    I made a post that goes into Mark 7 in more detail, but I'll clarify that there are different forms of purity being discussed. It was a sin to eat unclean animals whereas it is was not a sin to become ritually unclean. So when Jesus became ritually unclean when he was touched by the woman who was bleeding (Luke 8:43) he was not sinning. Someone could become ritually unclean by being in the same room as a dead body, then go home and eat a kosher meal, making it ritually unclean because they touched it, but they would still not be sinning. So the topic of Mark 7 is about ritual purity laws and about no food being ritually unclean even if it is eaten with unwashed hands. The word used is not the same one that is used for when God declared certain animals to be unclean.

                    In fact doing bad deeds made circumcision, the most important ceremonial mark of the Jew, null and void. Bad deeds defiled the Jew, made him a Gentile, pagan!
                    Circumcision is an outward sign of, among other things, a circumcised heart and it is the cumcised heart that is more important than the outward sign, but Paul was not saying that any Jew who did a bad deed became a Gentile. When David sinner, he didn't become a Gentile either, and if he did, then there would have been no more Jews left because all of them had sinned. There is no such them in the Old Testament, so you're taking it a little too far.

                    Again, Jesus was speaking about the eternal law.
                    Matthew 5:17-18 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

                    The eternal law just is the Law of Moses and in any case, the phrase the "Law or the Prophets" only ever refers to the Law of Moses. What would be the point in Jesus saying the eternal law is eternal? When Jesus was referring to the "least of these commands", which commands qualify as that? You really need to check the lens through which you are interpreting the Bible, so please try to consider the implications of what it would mean for Jesus to be talking about Law of Moses here.

                    Loyalty is always fully expressed:

                    in word, confession, at all times
                    in action, when called for

                    One could say that God's’ call is a certain event, it is not a question of if it will come but when it will come.
                    Having faith is demonstrating in action that you trust someone, but my point still remains that Abraham was justified by faith just like everyone else.

                    Like you renew your insurance policy? All things remaining the same except for the period of validity? Not true, the document was jettisoned, a better one put into force, by Christ’s death.

                    Galatians 3:1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
                    God is not a man that He should lie. If God can lie about His promises to them, then He can lie about His promises to you.

                    Galatians 3:7 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify[c] the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

                    Just a few verses later, Paul holds God to His promise. But you missed the point of Galatians because they were trying to become justified by works when they were already justified by faith, which isn't what I'm talking about.

                    Wrong metaphor. The verse specifically says Christ as the rightful representative of all humanity, died, breaking the obligations of all men to law.
                    Jesus paying the penalty for sins doesn't free us to sin, but it does cause us to no longer be condemned by our sins, so it puts us under grace. The woman is still follow the law when she gets married to her second husband, so Paul is continuing the thought from Romans 6:14-15 of dying to the aspect of the law that penalizes her. A woman whose husband dies in not freed from any other law in the Torah, so if you don't like Paul's metaphor, you can take it up with him. He tried several times to make sure you understand that by no means does being under grace mean you're free to break the Torah, that by no means is the Torah is sin, and that the Torah is holy, good, and just, but you shoehorn every attempt into the "eternal law" . Open your eyes, he was trying to make sure that you don't misunderstand him in the very way that you're doing. The answer to bad religion is not no religion, but good religion. In the same way, the answer to following the Torah in the wrong way (under mountains of oral law) is not to stop following it, but to start following it in the right way, and Jesus said he came to teach us.

                    Again the Eternal Law, the law of God, is being discussed. good and holy, but unable to save, make a person a blessing to the world, because of the weakness of the flesh. God’s promise to Abraham was finally fulfilled in the sending of Christ, through whom the Spirit was released. enabling men to have life, energising to empowerment to bless the world.
                    It sounds a lot like you're describing the Torah as it was meant to be understood.

                    Another law that foreshadowed the holiness, undefileness if you wish, that separated God’s People from the rest of the world.
                    Indeed, but the point again is that circumcision was never required of all Gentiles.

                    Yet Paul criticised Peter. If your contention is that Peter did no wrong, why was he confronted and criticised?
                    I never said that Peter did no wrong, but rather that the the issue at hand had nothing to do with kosher laws. The group was saying that Gentiles had to follow the Laws of Moses as they understood them in order to be saved. Up until Peter's vision in Act 10, only Jews had been saved, so it wasn't entirely unreasonable for them to think Gentiles had to become Jews to be saved, but it was nevertheless wrong. Peter's actions of moving to sit with the circumcision group sent the message to the Gentiles that they weren't actually saved until they had been circumcised, which was contrary to the gospel message.

                    Zacharias and Elizabeth were found righteous, so the law was complete for its purpose. It was still an inferior solution. Jesus did not start a new religion, He just brought reality to the types and foreshadowing of the existing one. Why would anyone go back to steam engines after benefiting from oil engines? Christ is of no benefit for people who adhere to the old covenant.
                    The Old Covenant in not the same as the God's instructions in the Torah, but is a contract to follow them. We live righteously through following God's instructions and Paul said in Romans 6:16 that we are are to offer ourselves as obedient slaves to God's instructions, which leads to righteousness. It is good to live righteously/obey God's instructions regardless of any contract to do so. Zacharias and Elizabeth lived righteously as an outflowing of their faith and love for God and it would be good for us to live in the same way.

                    The Renewed Covenant offers things that are indeed superior to the Old Covenant, such as having a far superior mediator, but it does not change God's instructions for how to live righteously.

                    Acts 10:***9On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” 15Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” 16This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.
                    I take Peter's response in his vision as confirmation that he did not understand what Jesus said in Mark 7 to mean he was free to eat unclean animals. Furthermore, I take it as confirmation that he was still Torah observant, even after Jesus' death and resurrection. Peter gives the interpretation of his vision in verse 28:

                    Acts 10:28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

                    Visions have figurative meanings and with no other vision in the Bible do we reinterpret them to mean something other than the interpretation that is given or reinterpret it to have its literal meaning, so I see no good reason to do so.
                    "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

                    Comment


                    • So it boils down to interpreting text and as some wise person noted, we can make scripture say anything we want it to say, and the arguments will continue until the cows come home, without anything concrete being decided conclusively.

                      Really the only way to resolve the issue is what i call the Silver Blaze Test I have often used on this forum before the website crashed and still use in other websites, which can be described in one sentence: the test to check if anything in the solution has been left unexplained.

                      http://www.christianforums.com/t7827578/

                      In the eponymous test, anybody could have been a suspect, all had motives, all lacked alibis, all had the opportunity. What stuck out, could not be explained, was why the dog did not bark in the night. during the crime. Every interpretation hadd some unresolved issues, and as long as that question is unanswered, the explanation is not water tight.

                      Really I’d rather spend my time listening to sermons by rabbis, available on website articles, Youtube and podcasts, for the insights they possess, since we ARE dealing with Jewish ideas and placed in Jewish documents. Western scholars labour hard to climb into the skins of the writers of the biblical texts, but it is really advantageous to be actual participants in the scenarios depicted, to understand those ideas.

                      For example, in a talk by a rabbi on Youtube, he explains that the Old Testament, vast in volume and scope as it is , is actually the equivalent of the notes taken at lectures that are heard in a class. In other words, there is a body of oral teaching preserved and communicated of which the Old Testament is maybe an outline . To explain, in the situation of a man who divorces his wife, who then remarries, who is again divorced by her second husband, there is a prohibition of the original couple remarrying. Now the Old Testament has no description of what constitutes a marriage, so finding a practical application for the law can be quite difficult when the basis of the relationship is not established. Marriage, therefore, must be defined in some other source where the definition of the relationship is spelled out, and that source is the oral teaching, which Jews believe are the instructions God gave to Moses orally, most of which has been later formalised in the form of Talmud, the recording in text of those oral teachings.


                      Christians therefore can be limited in their understanding of the Old testament, on account of their non use of Talmud, especially those following the tradition of sola scriptura.

                      This is where the Silver Blaze Test can be of great help. Sufficient information is available in the text to form outlines which can then be offered up for testing (as through fire). Jigsaw pieces can sometimes fit into places with a certain degree of accuracy, but one or two locking tabs may not fall into place. Therefore we can reasonably assume that the solution that has the most interlocking, matching, pieces is the one that is the closest to the solving of the puzzle.

                      The Bible is a rich tapestry of information, ideas and themes, each requiring huge amounts of words to describe intricacies and details, just as a fine watch would require reams of pages to describe its innermost workings. Imagine the mass of information that can be generated if competing interpretations are then offered .


                      Then again, we can safely assume that by using outlines of the understanding of the whole body of work, and the various themes, or as biblical scholars would label them, doctrines, offerings that are outlandish and skewed can be filtered out, rejected relatively easily.

                      Before offering an outline of the system or of some of the doctrines, it would be helpful to ask for a key sample, one that can maybe reveal gaping weaknesses in the views that we wish to support.

                      It would seem that the content of the Gospel would not be one of those key doctrines that can be used in this test, since one expects a strong understanding of this doctrine, and consequently and logically, a reasonably close consensus about what that content is. Surprisingly, this is not so, with many believers actually unsure about what the Gospel really is. Possibly, in the haste to get into the meat and potatoes of essential doctrine, the foundation has been not relatively well laid out.

                      I believe as we try to explain what we believe the Gospel, the Good News, to be, we will be surprised at the volatility of what we believe to be a firm and fixed idea, and this unexpected discovery may cause us to rethink our entire theology.

                      If you don’t believe me, go ahead and take the test. If you had two minutes to explain the Gospel to a person you meet on a plane, with time to kill, what would you, Soyeong, tell him?

                      I WILL return to answering all your objections once this small exercise is completed.

                      Kamsahamnida in advance.

                      Comment


                      • If you don’t believe me, go ahead and take the test. If you had two minutes to explain the Gospel to a person you meet on a plane, with time to kill, what would you, Soyeong, tell him?
                        Acts 13:32-33a And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus,

                        The good news is about the life, death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and return of Jesus, but to fully understand why that is good news, you need to know what all God had promised to the fathers, what was fulfilled by raising Jesus, and what the prophets said about it, which is much more in depth than can be covered in two minutes. The short of it is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that we are therefore subject to everlasting destruction away from His presence. But God so loved the world that he gave His son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins in order to reconcile us to Him. He died on the cross, but was raised on the third day, conquering death, so that all who repent of their sins, declare him Lord, and trust in him for salvation will have eternal life.

                        Acts 3:17-26 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
                        "Faith is nothing less than the will to keep one's mind fixed precisely on what reason has discovered to it." - Edward Feser

                        Comment


                        • Interpreting the massive amount of information offered by the text can lead to lapses, as already noted. If the historian gets it right, the grammarian may fail. Even if the latter succeeds, the theologian can trip, and so on and so forth, down the line, with the commentators, the preacher and finally, the end user, those who warm the pews, each capable of being a weak link.

                          An important example is in Romans 7, where some commentators have finally settled on a correct view, but the preacher still is not in the loop, as seen in the understanding you have of the text.

                          All men are under a law, the Jew having the Torah given by God, and the rest of the world a code, derived from common morality or conscience. Paul says that if the Gentile meets all the requirements of Torah without the Torah, will he not benefit from the blessings promised in the Torah, will not God find him acceptable? In other words, those who are without the law, but meet all the requirements of the law through moral living will receive all the conditional blessings of Deuteronomy 28.


                          1“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:



                          We know this condition came about through Adam’s decision to know good and evil, hebrewism for choosing accountability, parallels in knowing sweet from the bitter, curd from milk. Minors are not accountable to law till they develop judgmental ability, are able to make informed decisions. God did not want Adam to choose accountability, ability to discern moral action , because the flesh could not deliver what the moral sensibility required of him.

                          In other words, Adam, our father, was qualified to represent all mankind by virtue of his sinless state , was also responsible for marrying mankind to law.

                          Christ in His sinless state, a second Adam, was similarly qualified to represent all mankind, died, carrying all mankind which was married to life lived under law, to the grave.

                          The text says those who are in Chriist are married to him, a shortened form of stating we are married to a resurrected life, the life of NOT knowing good and evil, since without law there is no transgression, the life of NOT under law. Are we then to continue to serve our fleshly desires? No because living in the flesh is the opposite state of living in the spirit. It is a way of death by virtue of it being a way of not living. That which lives bears fruit and that life is available to those who live with favour, grace, the gift of the indwelling Deity.


                          That is why Jesus said the least in the kingdom of God is greater than the greatest ever born of woman, John the Baptist. No one before John, and even him, had the indwelling of the Godhead.


                          Summary
                          1 before the law was given, there was no transgression, still men died. Conclusion God still held men responsible.
                          2 death referred to both inability to live the life adam was created to live and the inevitability of the end of the temporal life.
                          3 Torah changed nothing, since the law which was meant to give life could only give death, inability to live the life Adam was supposed to live.
                          4 when Christ died on the cross, humanity tied to life under law died.
                          5 those who are in Christ are tied to the life under grace, since Christ was raised from the dead, carrying gifts , grace, for all men.


                          The Gospel therefore is that the Christ whom God sent is able to save us from our sins: the life that offered no opportunity to live the life Adam was created to live.


                          The first century Jew knew what was involved and what the terms and conditions in God's plans were:

                          Matthew 1:21
                          "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

                          See how most translations get it wrong, and how a denigrated translation thats was labored on to give a historical basis to the text to the common person, gets it right:


                          Romans 7:4 ►

                          Parallel Verses
                          New International Version
                          So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

                          New Living Translation
                          So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.

                          English Standard Version
                          Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

                          New American Standard Bible
                          Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.





                          Romans 7 The Message (MSG)
                          Torn Between One Way and Another
                          7 1-3 You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.
                          4-6 So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.

                          Comment


                          • The Decalogue, and all other laws given to Moses at Horeb, was binding on all Israelites in their covenant community. The Law saw its fulfilment in the true Israel of God, Jesus of Nazareth. All believers in Christ are part of His body, and are subjects in His New Covenant Kingdom (a Kingdom ratified by the blood of the King of Kings).

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                            • NewCovBeliever, welcome to Tweb!
                              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                              [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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