Part 2

Mike Blume
August 2003

Law ended with Calvary.

Netzari_ivri, do you believe Jesus Christ was God manifested in flesh, unlike you and I who can have God's Spirit indwelling us?  If not, then I request of you to think of what Jesus meant when He said He was the Holy Ghost, the Comforter in John 16.  He also said that He was with them but would be in them, in the context of being the Holy Ghost that filled the disciples in Acts 2.  The Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ in Spirit form.

You said, " 'What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the Torah but under grace? Certainly not!'  (Rom. 6:15). So then, Shaul was misunderstood as teaching that because we are under grace, we need not observe the Torah." 

I disagree.  Paul did indeed teach we are not under law.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Rom 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Rom 7:6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

The letter and the law refer to Old Testament covenant lifestyle.  While it is true that Paul did not teach we can commit sin, the truth is also that Paul said that a life outside of the Law, that is, outside of rule-book keeping of the ten commandments and Old Covenant observances, is there to be had for those of faith.  We will actually live according to the same righteousness that Law tried to instill within mankind, but could not.  Someone already quoted Romans 8:3 that teaches that Law could not do what it was set out to do with mankind since our human flesh obstructed that purpose.

But look at what Paul said law came to accomplish:

1Ti 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

That was the goal and aim of Law.  Get mankind to have true faith, a pure heart and a good conscience.  But Law could not do that.

Rom 8:3-4  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  (4)  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

And Paul picks this up again in 1 Timothy.

1Ti 1:14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

So he is teaching that the grace of Christ, which is attaining righteousness by faith, as opposed to the law which leads us towards righteousness through works, succeeded where the law could not.  Grace was full of love and faith which 1 Tim 1:5 taught was the goal of the law of Moses.

Paul did not keep Torah.  The reason he resorted to the ordinance in Acts 21 was to quiet the Jews.  They thought, as you well quoted in Romans 6, that Paul taught a life contrary to the tenets of law.  But that was not the case.  And it was easily mistaken for that, because the truth is that Paul taught we do not keep ordinances of the Law.  However, that does not mean Paul taught a life of lewdness.  No.  The work of God's Spirit in our lives, allowing His Spirit to live through us, will result in seeing us live lives that the law cannot speak against!  And yet we came to such a lifestyle without even resorting to Law!  Had we resorted to law-keeping, we would not have been able to ever live righteously.  

But since Paul said we do not need to go the route of law to attain such a righteous life, people thought he meant we should violate the righteousness of the law.

This is what Paul taught!  He did not keep law.  He lived a life of faith, believing for, and allowing Christ within him to live through him.  And THAT is how Paul was righteous and how he behaved righteously.

Paul did the things you list in your first response to me not as indication he kept Torah.  He did them to show he did not hate nor detest Torah, while he taught one need not keep Torah to be righteous.  Paul taught that righteousness comes through faith in Christ alone.  And if you say you do not need the New Testament, then you must not believe righteousness is a gift freely given to those who have faith in Christ's crucifixion as them.

Netzari_ivri, Christ died because you and I had to die, due to our sin.  Its as though we died, when Christ died.  Paul taught this strongly!  Baptism into Christ is claiming His death as our own.  And it is a wet baptism!  Not dry at all.  And that death counts as my death!  The soul that sins must die.  Law said so.  So grace agrees with Law, and claims Christ's death is intended by God to be our deaths.  And that frees us from the death penalty that Law placed upon man for his sins.  

So upon dying with Christ, Paul taught that we are removed from Adam's race of sinners.  And We are put into a new creation race headed up by the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.  We are actually new creatures.  God deems us as having died by way of Christ's death.  And the old "me" is now gone forever, judged by Christ's death on the cross as though it were my death.

And without Christ nobody, neither you nor me, is going to be redeemed and enjoy eternity with our God.  You simply will never get to the Father aside from Christ's work on the cross in our places.

Without Christ's blood, there is no true atonement.  

Paul was indeed speaking against keeping the Torah of Old Covenant, because he plainly stated that the writing and engraving of the commandments in stone was the letter and ministration of death.  I had hoped you would respond to 2 Cor 3's reference to the Ten Commandments as ministration of death.    Also, please respond to my words in Gal 3:10.  Paul lists off scriptures from Torah to show how Torah itself indicated that it could not make man righteous through urging man to exert works of obedience.

In Galatians 3 we find a worked-out reasoning of Paul’s system of faith that I pray every law-keeper under Moses would read carefully.  Paul uses Law to prove that Law-keeping was never meant to make us righteous.  

Abraham was made righteous before he lifted one single finger of effort to obey God outwardly.  Now, we know Paul is indeed referring to Moses’ law, and not a trendy style of some new religion in Christ’s day, due to the words Paul uses in quoting Law, itself.

Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Notice that the work s of the law that Paul is speaking against are the same works that Law itself is proposing to Israel!  Paul cited ...

Deu 27:26  Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

So the works of the law are the works listed in Deuteronomy!  They’re not the works listed beneath some other extrabiblical text or belief system!  Moses spoke of “this law”.  And Paul cites that in reference to his context of what works he is speaking about.  Paul said all men are thereby cursed!  Now, that is a fact.

And even if you don’t believe Paul preached against keeping law, you must admit that Paul taught that every man is cursed due to the fact that Law claimed all who confirm not all the words of Moses’ law in actually doing them will be cursed.

Why would you think Paul believed that meant all men are cursed by default, my good friends?

And then Paul proceeds to cite more Law, when he writes:

Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

So , first of all, a man is cursed who is unable to keep all the works of the law.  Law said that, and Paul is not giving his opinion, but simply quotes law to show us that law said that.

Secondly, Paul says that Law also testifies, itself, that nobody who keeps law is ever going to be justified in God’s sight.  Paul quotes ...

Hab 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

There, we read that Old Covenant teachings proposed that one who will be just will be just by faith, and not works.  All men are cursed, but all men can be justified by faith , as law itself said!

Gal 3:12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

But here we read that the Law is not of faith!  In other words, men cannot be justified by living beneath the law.  Paul substantiates that claim by, once again, quoting LAW, itself!

Lev 18:5  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

This verse claims that Law encouraged men to LIVE BY LAW.  And this is tied into Deut. 27:26, which claims that if a man who tries to live by law cannot succeed, then that man is cursed.

Now, this is not my reasoning, here.  This is what Paul said.

Follow Paul’s logic carefully from Gal 3:10 onward.

When Paul quotes Lev 18:5, he is showing us that law, itself, urged people to live by statutes.  But Paul showed us how Hab 2:4 said we will only be just by living by faith.  In other words, living by statutes was never said to make us righteous.  Law told us that living by faith makes us righteous.

Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

And that curse that all mankind is beneath, because Deut 27:26 claimed that all who cannot keep law will be cursed, is removed from all mankind through Christ’s death.  And Paul makes this bold claim by , once again, citing the Law itself!  

Deu 21:23  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Paul teaches that this idea of hanging is to be applied to Christ’s hanging on the cross.  And Paul taught, therefore, that His crucifixion was absolutely necessary in order to remove the curse upon all mankind.

These are not my thoughts, but Paul’s.  They’re right there!

So Paul established that cursed men cannot try to keep law to be justified, because while the law curses those who cannot live up to it, the law also gave the loophole, itself, in saying we are justified by faith.

But what sort of faith?  Faith in what, specifically?

Gal 3:13-14  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  (14)  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Paul taught here, as well as in Romans, that Abraham’s blessing would never come until Christ came, and died on that cross in order to necessarily redeem us from the curse that was upon all mankind.  All mankind was unable to keep the law, let alone Israel.

And then Paul begins to explain that Law of Moses was only meant to be a temporary issue, until the promise to Abraham was fulfilled when Christ came and died on the cross to redeem us from the curse proclaimed by the law.

Gal 3:15-17  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.  (16)  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  (17)  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

God made a covenant with Abraham.  It cannot be nullified.  Moses’ covenant at Sinai is the entire issue here, and not some perversion of it, because Paul is speaking of it in that context.  Moses received a covenant from God that could not nullify the covenant given before to Abraham.  It could not make the promises to Abraham of no effect.  

Gal 3:18  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

And the inheritance we receive, which is Abraham’s promise fulfilled, is not attained through adherence to Moses’ law.  Moses’ law is the issue, and not a perversion of it.

Receiving an inheritance by keeping works of Deuteronomy’s law would violate the entire principle of inheritance!  You are promised something.  And working for what you have already  been promised will not cause you to obtain the promise!  And again, these works are works listed in Deut’s law.  

Gal 3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

So why did law come?  Law of Moses!  Not a Pharisaical perversion of it.  It was because of sins that law came for a temporary time.

With all due respect, if you adhere to Mosaic Law and do not recognize Christ’s crucifixion as the only way to redeem us from the law, then you are still beneath the curse that Deut 27:26 said men are beneath.

God planned for the crucifixion in order to redeem us to God by His blood, and free us from the cruse of the law.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  And Christ’s death counts as our own!  So only through Christ can you be redeemed from the curse of the Mosaic law.

This has nothing to do with Pharisaical perversion of law.

And that is Paul’s teachings, not my own.