Archive | March 2012

Walking in love

 

A very much needed message about love.  We all need to walk in love.  Lord, help us walk in love.  In Jesus Mighty Name I pray, Amen.

 

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I apologize for the confusion about Benefits of the Law

I have come to the conclusion that I still don’t understand the Law vs. Grace and was condemned by my own message.  It was a mistake and I cannot put in the Trash, it is in error when I do it.  But I believe the Ten Commandments are still valid, but we have a better covenant, and after I have thoroughly researched and understood it, and I apologize for that mistake.

Those that know their God

This video examines the differences between knowing God, and knowing of God.  It’s a really anointed message and worth every Christian to look at it.  It’s spoken with ease and simplicity and it gives hope to those that earnestly seeking the Truth about our Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father, the LORD God, and the God Almighty.

 

Benefits of the Law to a society, Justification by Grace and Faith to a believer- Revised

I am going to do some teaching and I’m sorry if it makes your head hurt, but this I have to share because it has really been put on my heart.

Before I start off I am going to define what a Covenant is.

A Covenant is an agreement between God and another party which cannot be broken based on the conditions of the Covenant.

The Old Covenant, and this particular Covenant of Moses was made by God and Moses and it could not be broken.

The New Covenant is made between God and Himself – that’s why the Bible says that because He could not find anyone greater, He swore by Himself – Hebrews 6:13, and that is the Blood Covenant that He had with His Son.

I’m going to start off by saying that we are in no way bound by the Law or Torah, or the curses in it because Jesus paid the price for the curse and we are now under a New Covenant which is much better than the Old Covenant.  It is the Holy Spirit that leads us through the conscience with the law written upon our hearts, which is part of the New Covenant, a much better covenant and we are justified by grace and faith alone!!

Now the Law, which is not the same as the Old Covenant was not all bad either, and many people Christians and non-Christians alike still follow the law for whether consciously or unconsciously.  There were reasons for eating animals that chewed the cud, and with divided hoofs, and reasons for that were mostly sanitary and hygienic.  Most of the laws were guidelines for being sanitary and hygienic during those times because the society was not as developed with technology as we are now, so they had to find a way to take care of their lives and obey the laws.  For example, I want to ask a question to you – Take a typical 5 year old girl….would she want to eat a lizard?  Yet the lizard is considered unclean.  If you ask her she would say, “Yucky”.  If you asked a 9 year old girl she would probably say, “that’s disgusting.”  I’m trying to find the right age group to pose this scenario with, but in reality a typical girl would say no.  You have animal rights groups protecting the rights of the eagle, and other animals, and I am sure they include some of the animals mentioned in Leviticus 11.  Also there is a law that says if that if an insect has landed into your bowl you are to break it and not to use it.  Would you want to eat out of a bowl with a fly in it?  Probably not, so these laws are already ingrained in human nature and are by most cases common sense.  So that’s where it came from and the principles of how to live are there. So that shows the benefit of the law and maybe hints at the reason why it was there.  It was there to ingrain into the society the proper way to live, and whenever they strayed away from the Law there was destruction.

 

Now we are no longer bound under the Law anymore, we are under Grace, which is unmerited favor.  That means that you don’t have to do anything to earn the favor of God.

Here is the definition of the word charis for favor –

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward”

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for charis (Strong’s 5485)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 27 Mar 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G5485&t=NASB >

Paul brings in clarification between sin, law, and grace –

Romans 2:12-16

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Same verses in the Easy to Read Version –

12 People who have the law and those who have never heard of the law are all the same when they sin. People who don’t have the law and are sinners will be lost. And, in the same way, those who have the law and are sinners will be judged by the law. 13Hearing the law does not make people right with God. They will be right before him only if they always do what the law says.

14 Those who are not Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do what the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law. 15 They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done right, and this makes them not guilty.

16 All this will happen on the day when God will judge people’s secret thoughts through Jesus Christ. This is part of the Good News that I tell everyone.

Same verses in the Message Bible –

12-13If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God’s yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.

Before I go into this, I want to point out there are things that all people have in common regardless of whether they believe in Jesus.  For example, everyone has a spirit.  The believer’s spirit is subject to the Holy Spirit, and the unbeliever’s spirit is subject to the kingdom of darkness.  So even though Gentiles or Jews who are unbelievers, when they naturally obey the Law, they still have a conscience that proves them guilty or not guilty, and since they do not have Jesus they either write off their conscience as saying that, “I do not have to seem guilty for anything” or they say “I really feel bad for what I did because I know it was wrong.”  The believer has this hope that Jesus Christ will forgive them for their sins and cleanse their transgressions as far as the east is from the west, but the unbeliever does not have this hope because they do not have this hope.  The New Covenant replaced this overbearing burden of following the religious Laws that were becoming a burden, with replacing them with a Law of Love or Agape, and now under this new Law, it does not matter whether you break the Mosaic Law (but God still wants you to follow the ethical guidelines in the Law especially the Ten Commandments), as long as you act out of a unconditional self-sacrificing love that comes only through Jesus Christ, and with a desire to become more like Him.  Granted we are not all perfect, and still a work in progress, but the Lord is merciful and patient with us to make sure we develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit that He has put in as seeds, which will grow and bear fruit.  But if you are weighed down with feeling unclean, or burdened by all the Laws in Leviticus don’t be because God knows your heart, and He is testing you to see how much you will follow and obey Him.  Sometimes people, especially unbelievers, end up with a seared conscience when they have done something wrong so many times that they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, and that really effects the society.

The thing that really helped me is knowing and having that vision that we are already in Heaven, those that sincerely and with a pure heart believe on the name of Jesus, and the life here on earth is just temporary, and like the Bible says, “but a vapor”.  We have to be eternity minded.  On the big scheme of things is it really going to matter whether you had a ham sandwich, or ate that piece of shrimp.  Probably not, but if you want to live and make the most out of the body you have been given here on earth then you should probably not eat that.

The Message has a pretty good explanation of what happens to a society after they don’t obey God, and are not motivated by a pure and sincere heart to believe Jesus of the Bible and love Jesus of the Bible and to do whatever He tells them to do, –

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen [imagine hoarders buried alive- but in this sense made their lives a mess], smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

So now before I get a bucket of slime poured out over my head, I just want to say that this was a historical trend throughout civilizations, time and time again, what happened when people took their eyes off of God and did what was right in their own eyes.

Romans 2 again – The Message Bible –

God Is Kind, but Not Soft

1-2Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.

3-4You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

5-8You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!

9-11If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.

In the NASB – Romans 2 –

4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But [d]because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress [e]for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

2 Timothy 3:2-6 says:

2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

6For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

 

Some people especially unbelievers think God is softhearted, and He is not going to take into consideration all the wickedness that is done, that He is not going to do anything about all the stuff going on right now – you see it, it’s on the news, but believe me, the day is coming when He will no longer overlook, but for those by perseverance {precondition believing on Jesus} in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, and eternal life.  But those that don’t do what is right are storing up for themselves a time of wrath.  Point being that if you’re an unbeliever seek God first through His Son Jesus Christ, and if you are a believer, then don’t Judge because the greatest law there is in this world, is the Law of Agape or love through His Son Jesus Christ.  This kind of love builds on relationships you have with people, and makes you want to help people out.  And you may see people who are not Christians that might seem to have more of this unconditional self-sacrificing love – it literally means affection, goodwill, love, and benevolence, or brotherly love or loving one’s neighbor, and since we are all created in the image of God, we all have potential for this kind of love, but for the potential to be maximized, the only way is through Jesus Christ.  Because despite being just a nice or good person you are not perfect and your sin still has to be redeemed and that is through the Blood of Jesus Christ.  The safer side for a Christian with a pure sincere heart is to be on the side of Grace, because Jesus is the Personification of Grace…and if you want God’s favor you will need Grace, but if you make mistakes and you honestly feel bad about it and you don’t want to do it, and if you have accepted Jesus then you have nothing to fear as long as you keep up with it, don’t give up and don’t lose faith!!!

Dangers of Pride

Before you look at someone else and say, “Hey, they have pride,”  or you look at the people of the Bible and their destruction because of their pride, take some time to examine your own heart, and see if there is any pride in your own heart.

There are many factors that lead to pride, one of them is selfishness, and another is judgmental, critical nature.

I’ll start with the judgmental, critical nature.  The judgmental and critical nature starts with insecurity. We don’t like how we feel about ourselves because we don’t see what God sees in His eyes when He looks at us.  We see the icky lies that the enemy has been provoking us to believe about ourselves, but then we start to believe them after they have been repeated over and over and over again in our heads like a record player.  When you begin  the Christian walk you are supposed to build yourself up in the faith by a church that supports the growth that you have by feeding you with the Word of God, and you also have to begin to build a relationship with God yourself.  But somewhere down the line, we begin to think, ok, “I know it all”  and we begin to judge people for the things we don’t like about our old selves.  Someone once said that godly men may try to have a conversation with an evil man and they will have nothing to talk about because [my interjection here] – they have no common language.  At some point all of us begin to become judgmental and critical in nature, and it takes a real life transforming experience with Jesus, and the Word of God, to change us.  When we think we have reached a certain of level of “maturity” and of “holiness”, then we will be knocked down a few blocks because we know that we really don’t know it all, but it is God who warns of this pride.  That’s why He says in Isaiah, “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and My ways higher than your ways.”

This pride of lucifer was shown in Isaiah 14 –

For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

So it is very dangerous to get like that.  So before you go and think that “lucifer had pride, but I don’t have pride” that may be prideful itself because a humble person will never admit that they are humble.  There’s a difference between knowing who you are [in Christ], and speaking that with boldness like Jesus did, and showing false humility, which I am not going to go into because I don’t think I can even wrap my mind around that one. But basically we don’t know it all, and only God does.  We can learn from all of the anointed teachers of God’s Word,if they are truly sticking to God’s Word, but if they are not then we should look at ourselves, and say, “have I led anyone astray?  Have I led them down the wrong path?  Have I made them feel condemned?”  “Those that judge others, in the same measure you will be judged” Jesus says, and He also says, “Why do you look at the speck in the other person’s eye and do not see the plank in your own eye, first remove the plank in your own eye then you will clearly be able to see the speck in the other person’s eye.”

Let’s pause there for a second…Ask yourself, which areas am I struggling with the most in my relationships with people?  What don’t I like about people?  For me I don’t like it when people teach unbiblical doctrine, or doctrine that is opposed to what I have been taught, and when people condemn others with the Word of God, and so I need to say, Lord, where do You want me to change in this area?

Also another thing that you should do is ask Lord, if I am not acting out of Agape Love, then help me, teach me, show me the way.  In this sense I am using the term unconditional.  Are you still going to love the person despite what they do no matter how much they offend you?  That is something to think about.   IF YOU’RE NOT THERE YET IT’S OK – DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT.  One of the things that needs to be discussed is the difference between loving yourself, selfishness, and pride.

Loving yourself, means loving the person that God created you to be in the image of God, with the spirit of God dwelling inside of you.

Selfishness is a fleshly – and when I say fleshly I don’t mean body, but the sinful nature of man – attitude which feeds on which sinful nature of man in the oldself,  and obsesses about how to meet your own needs to the point that you don’t think about or care about or live for others, but it’s all about you, and what you want, and what you need.  We all have certain areas of life where we are a little bit selfish because we still are tempted to sin, but the more we line up with the Holy Spirit, the more we will not be able to, and the GOOD NEWS IS GOD FORGIVES US IF WE DO ACT SELFISHLY BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT’S NOT THE NATURE HE PUT IN US. (The ones who are sincere born again believers)

Pride is exalting yourself above God, and saying that you are better than God and that you know better than God and that you can control your life better than He can and it also has to do with thinking that you are better than anyone else.

A judgmental nature and pride is detestable to God.  If we don’t want to see judgment in the last days, then don’t judge.  If we don’t want see ourselves crumble and eat grass like Nebuchadnezzar did in the last days then submit and surrender to God.

Sometimes we have issues of receiving forgiveness and forgiving and that is rooted in insecurity about ourselves.  We can’t see the good in others because we can’t see it in ourselves.  We may love God, but unless we truly see that God loves us and created usin His image and when we received Christ, we took on the nature and characteristics of Christ [righteousness, holiness, perfectness] then we have a flawed perspective and that perspective needs to be dealt with.  You can learn all this in head knowledge and you can read the Bible all you want that true heart transformation then you will have to put on the right lens of perspective.  There are teachers that can give you a proper lens and perspective that can help you see the Light of Christ and what it means by True Christ Like Love, and then there are others who will always look down on people who are less than they are and deem them, “not worthy” of our attention.

It’s very hard these days to see Christians who behave like Paul did, who was not carnal at all, but also treated people with love, respect and care for the sheep and rich in the wisdom in the grace of God, but then there is Jesus who is our perfect example, our perfect witness of the Holy Spirit.  One of my favorite verses in the Bible talks about how Paul in his person may seem weak and limited because of physical infirmities, but in his writing he is bold.  Many times that’s the way I feel.  In person you may not be able to see the same thing that you see in my writing.

How do we rectify this problem?  We put our focus on the Lord, and move in whichever way the Lord leads us.  The Lord moves us in mighty ways, but we don’t need to feel guilty about anything that we do because the Lord loves us tremendously and He is just waiting for us to come to Him with our problems.  We need to run to Him.  Remember He knows us better than we know ourselves.

The Truth makes you free

Recently, I’ve been swung back and forth like a pendulum between radical Law for Christians, and radical grace for Christians, so what I had to do is go back to the basics and read the Word of God for myself.  If the Word of God contradicts my opinions or what I have been taught, then I essentially have to go back to the Word of God and agree with what it says, and change my own mind, or repent for my opinions or beliefs that do not line up with God’s Word.

So here’s where I started this week –

2 Corinthians 3 –

The Spirit, Not the Letter

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;[a] for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Glory of the New Covenant

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, whichglory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The context of this passage begins with Paul’s exhortation to the believers in Corinth in stating that they are the “proof through the Spirit” or epistle that is not written with ink, but is a testimony of what Christ has done through the efforts of Paul’s ministry.

Some people like to believe that we take “too seriously” Paul’s epistle’s, and not the four Gospel books.  But in reality all the books from Genesis to Revelation are inspired [to be breathed upon] by God.  If you discount all of Paul’s epistles, then you also discount the book of ACTS too, which spoke of the ministry of Paul.  Paul went to the Jews to preach the Gospel or Good News, not Bad News, but they were too bull headed to believe it, so then he ran back and said, ok, “if you won’t believe in Jesus, then I’ll go to the Gentiles, and maybe they’ll receive the news better.”  The Early Church discussed on what should be done on what rules and laws that the Gentile believers are supposed to follow and the settled on a few and those are mentioned in the book of ACTS.  I believe they are to stay away from idolatry, fornication, and eating animals that were strangled, or the blood of animals.  If I remember correctly that was pretty much it, and they did what was “good as it seemed to the Holy Spirit.”

So then in Galatians 3 I read the following –

Purpose of the Law

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 1 says –

Only One Gospel

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Phillipians 3:

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Paul had all the “qualifications and requirements” to meet the Law, but he suffered a loss of all those things and his so called status symbol in the Jewish society, and he reached for something greater and when he found it he came to the conclusion that all of those things really didn’t matter.

So if the ministry of the death and condemnation is the Law, and the ministry of the Spirit and justification is by faith, then why still hold on to the Law, what benefit is the Law?  We have examined the Purpose of the Law, and that it is a teacher, but now the majority of the people getting saved are not Jews, so how do we distinguish?  The book of Romans goes through this quite a bit and I have studied on it, and I recommend that you do too as well as the book of Hebrews that goes quite into detail the depth of the study of the better covenant.

Then this statement from Jesus leaves us in a bit of a conundrum –

Christ Fulfills the Law

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

There is another time that Jesus mentions “being great in the kingdom of Heaven” – 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Also there is a mention of first and last where Jesus says that those who are “first will be last”, and “last will be first”.

I think the problem comes in is in the fact that our beloved Messianic Jewish Brothers and Sisters and the fellow Gentile Brothers and Sisters don’t seem to come eye to eye on the subject of the benefit of the Law and the Torah because the Messianic Jews have been taught all their life that the Torah is a Blessing, but in reality even the definition of the word, Torah means to “teach”, and that is how Paul used to define the purpose of the Law.  God is not the author of confusion.  Confusion comes from the enemy.

Matthew 23 –

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ [or Pastor, Pastor] But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher [or Pastor], the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

There is only One that is the Teacher, and that is Christ – what is the implication there, that Christ teaches you all that you need to learn taking the place of the Torah because the Torah teaches,  but Jesus is the Teacher.

From personal experience I’ve learned then when I listen to teachings about Christians or Gentile believers obeying the Law, and when I open up books like the Complete Jewish Bible, I don’t experience freedom, it actually seems like I’ll never measure up so that’s why I thank God for His Son who has given us freedom.  The Truth shall make you free, and if you sincerely believe in Jesus Christ, and follow the guidelines given the New Testament, then you are no longer under bondage and you are free.  You just need to be completely free and for that you really need Jesus to come in and teach you through the Holy Spirit.

I’d like to thank my fellow blogger mtsweat for his blog:  Resting in His Grace because it makes me realize that truly be able to rest is to know what Grace is all about.

This prayer is for me as well as for anyone else that might be struggling with this issue:

Dear Precious Heavenly Father,

We know that Your Word is Truth and in Your Word there is liberty.  We thank You that You are beyond our comprehension and that You have allowed as much as needed to understand You.  Thank You for revealing to us little by little who You are and what You are doing.  Help the believers to set the record straight so that Truth may abide in us and be made to dwell in our body, soul, and spirit, so that we are whole and undivided just like You are whole and undivided.  I thank You that You are revealing the Truth of God’s Word to all of your saints, and give us the eyes of understanding and ears to hear what You have to say Lord God, We Thank You.  You are not the Author of confusion, but you are the Author if wholeness, soundness, and You are abound in mercy.  Thank You dearly.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.