Recently, a church very close to the fellowship I help lead had some interesting material on their sign.
Maybe I’m hypersensitive to perceived attacks on those who would follow Torah, or maybe my conversation with their pastor leads me to believe he is aiming the sign at us…
I am new in this community and when he ran into me at the post office we had normal pleasantries before he asked about where I went to church. When I said that I lead the Messianic fellowship down the road he offered three very interesting observations.
- He stated that he had noticed that our Sabbath group has been steadily growing. (It has!!)
- He offered that there is a real interest in the ‘Old Testament’ in his congregation. (Seems to be happening on a very broad scale, not just here…)
- He didn’t believe like we believe because, “I guess you know, I’m a dispensationalist.” (He hasn’t considered The Error of Dispensationalism.)
Taken individually, on face value, both of these statements are true, however, the implied underlying theology is errant. Particularly when, like two sides of the same coin, they are presented in tandem as the photo evidences.
My hope is to have lunch and build a relationship with this pastor, so instead of assuming what he was implying, I want to zoom out to a broader focus of the church at large and the error they teach, nearly perfectly portrayed in these theological sound bytes.
The church generally does exactly what this sign demonstrates. It pits Law and Grace against each other with the continual mantras that,
- Grace trumps Law, and
- The Law has been done away with,
- Therefore, all we need is Grace.
And, that is FALSE!!
Unraveling the Gordian knot of 1700 years of false Christian doctrine will require a longer post than I have time to write, but just a few thoughts and Scriptures can quickly help us sever major connectors that leave the ‘Grace v. Law’ idea in shambles. Consider:
- There can be NO GRACE where there is no Law. If the Torah is ‘done away with,’ then there is NO grace… No need for it. Rav Shaul (Paul) says, “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law!” Breaking the Law is what puts us under condemnation/judgment and causes our need for grace. I John 3:4 says, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” Simply, Grace and Law are two sides of the same coin. They are inseparable.
- Moses and Yeshua (Jesus) were NOT enemies, nor did they teach anything differently!! Yeshua said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” And He also said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me.” And Moses, speaking the very words of Yahweh said, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” What were ‘His words,’ the Words of Yahweh? Torah! (Remember, “I the Lord do not change”?) The church heretically thinks Yeshua taught something differently than the Words of Yahweh given to/by Moses. He couldn’t!!!
- Yeshua said, “I did NOT come to abolish the Law!”
- The grace of Yeshua constrains us to be obedient to the Law!! He said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” What are His commandments? See #2, or consider that Ya’acov (James) tells us He IS the Lawgiver. John tells us, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” Conversely, John also says, “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…“
- Yeshua, given the opportunity to divide the Law, did the opposite. He affirmed that ALL of it applies!! “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
- The Law IS the measure of righteousness. It IS the standard by which we will be judged. Yeshua hates lawlessness!! Sins is equated with lawlessness!! In fact, a great study would be the very simple word, ‘lawless.’ Those 17 occurrences mean, ‘TORAH-lessness.”
Simply, the Law/Torah, stands. Grace is null and void without it. Further, Grace doesn’t free us from the Law, it frees us TO the Law. We are freed from past sin to walk in obedience TO the LAW! When we fail, we have Grace to pick up and again be obedient. We do not, by Grace, have license to be Lawless.
A closing note, before I get fired up… LOL!
Salvation does NOT come by works of the Law. It comes by Grace so that we can be obedient TO the Law. In keeping the Law is great reward!! The Law is life!! (Which reminds me… time to do the third post in that series… )
I pray this post has challenged and encouraged you to look beyond ‘sound byte’ theology and dig into the Word of Yahweh!!
Yahweh will bless you and watch over you.
Yahweh will smile on you and be kind to you.
Yahweh will look on you with favor and give you peace.