Monday, May 21, 2007

An answer for a question

My answering of this question is not to convince others, for that is not my calling, and I believe that Christ Jesus, Yeshua Messiah is the only one who we should take our convincing from. Many, many folks do not see things the way I see them and we must all answer to the Great "I Am, that I Am"...when our time here is through.

Question: I was wondering how you can keep the ten commandments? If you could, what need would you of a savior? I certainly agree that we should be obedient to God's commands. However, saying that we can keep his commandments is saying that we are not sinners. Just wondering if I missed something in translation.

Answer (long):
When God revealed Himself to us, he did not give us a systematic theology, creeds, recipes or diagrams. He gave us a legal code. He gave us laws. Yet they were more than just laws intended to tidy up human society. They are actual pieces of godliness. Each commandment is a small revelation of God. More than just a rule for governing human behavior, the laws of Torah are a reflection of the Lawgiver.

Yeshua (Jesus) told us that "the mouth speaks out of it that which fills the heart." Mathew 12:34. When God broke the silence and spoke to His creation on Mt Sinai, the words He spoke were the fullness of His heart. Each law, each commandment no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant, is actually a piece of revelation from God, an overflowing of His heart.

Because Torah is both law and revelation, it functions in a dual capacity. On one hand, it is a rule of conduct by which we are held accountable, On the other hand it is the expression of God in human terms. Torah is more than just legal formulations; it is the revealed person of God dressed in laws and commandments. It is His spoken word written down, His self disclosure to the world.

When one realizes that Torah is Gods self-disclosure to the world, one must also recognize the enormous gravity of declaring parts of that same Torah null and void. Even the smallest commandment of the Torah is suffused with godliness. To declare any commandment as irrelevant or obsolete is to deny the eternal and unchanging nature of God.

As soon as we begin to discard commandments, we have begun editing God. We have started reshaping God into an image we deem more appropriate. The Torah is given to us as both law and revelation. As such, we live our lives according to its commandments, we are living out a revelation of godliness. Outside observers should be able to look at the Torah-observant life and discern in it several truths of godliness. Deuteronomy 4: 5-8 says that when Israel lives out the Torah the world will see God.

Unfortunately, neither Israel nor any other group of people has ever lived out Gods Torah in its fullness. Even when the people of Israel have been Torah observant on the whole, the hearts of men and woman are still errant and disobedient. There is considerable disparity between Gods law, our notions of natural law, and our behavior.The Torah is the substance of which our deficient Natural Law is only a shadow.There remains a great divorce between Gods Law and human beings.

This is why Messiah is necessary. In Messiah, the perfect revelation of godliness is fully realized. Living in complete accordance with Gods Law, Messiah is a tangibel and intimately knowable representation of the unknowable God. He is the Torah lived out.

One of the purposes of Messiahs redemption is to reconcile the human race to Gods Torah. The ultimate completion of His work will be when the natural law of human society is identical to the revealed law of Torah. A day is coming when the Torah will be written on the hearts of men and women in vivid detail. Jeremiah 31:33 says, "I will put my law within them and on their heart I will write it." This is the very promise of the new covenant.
D. Thomas lancaster

I was listening to a radio show a while back and the person speaking said "God gave us the ten commandments to prove to us that we can not keep them" As you may have determined from the passage above, I believe we should strive not only for just the ten commandments, but all of Gods instruction (Torah)

Let me ask you this, have/would you ever give your child a rule/instruction, just to show them that they could not uphold it? That is foolish in my eyes. Not only does it sound foolish to me it is not scriptural. Christ Himself says time and time again that those who love My Father will keep His commandments. That to me implies that we can.

Let me ask you something else. Can you go your whole life without telling a lie? Yes! I have told my boys that even unto death, you must tell the truth! Can you go your whole life with out steeling? Yes! Can you not commit adultery? Yes! These are things that are doable.

Lastly, I am a sinner. Daily I struggle with matters of the heart. Yet I know that through the Holy Spirit given by Yeshua (Salvation), that lives inside of me, can cover my sins, make me a new person, righteous and holy, white as snow. The old is gone and the new has come!


Mrs. S said...

Hmmm... I think that your answer was well laid out and complete. Thanks for clarifying.

I agree that we are to keep his commandments. I agree that they are His law today, yesterday and forever. I agree that His commandments were not given to us simply to show us that we can not keep them. I believe they serve a dual purpose. One: They are God's law and therefore are commands that are to be obeyed. Two: To show us our sinful nature in light of these commandments.

However, saying that we can keep these implies that we can keep them perfectly, which is not true.

For instance... A few years back DH and I came to the conclusion that the whole 'the Sabbath was fulfilled in Christ' saying did not mean that we are not to keep a Sabbath. Therefore we began to study up on it, read and pray about it and we now keep a Saturday Sabbath. We do, however, struggle to learn what it truly means to keep the sabbath. So are we keeping that commandment? We are striving to, but still struggle, therefore we do not keep it perfectly.

I think it was just a change in wording that is needed.

Thanks for your time.

Mrs. S.

Peter said...

I'm new to your post, but ran into your comments through my wife. I'll throw in a few thoughts. So you know my perspective a bit, I am a follower of Jesus, as of 12 years ago. I know that the Father speaks through His word and reveals His truth to us who believe by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The letter known as the one written to the Hebrew Christians talks of how the law was a tutor to bring us to Christ. The apostles' letters to indicate that the law is "holy and right and just." They go on to say that the purpose of the law was never to make us right with God by obeying it. When God originally gave the law to Israel, it was when they rejected relationship with Him. (Exodus story). So, He gave them commands to obey, to demonstrate that they could never obey them all and be justified in that way. Thus, they were pointing ahead to a greater righteousness.

Jesus said that to love God and to love our neighbor is the fulfillment of all the commands. Jesus Himself fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law. By being joined to Him in covenant by faith, I am also fulfilling all the requirements of the law - I am "the righteousness of God in Christ." Fulfilling the law was always about faith anyway - not just doing the right actions.

About the Sabbath, I believe it's more than just experiencing rest one day of the week. I do believe we need that day, and I practice taking a sabbath. But the scripture says that "He who has entered into his rest has ceased from his own labors." That's one of the beautiful things of being a follower of Jesus - I cease from my own "works," that is all the things I do in my own righteousness. I live in His righteousness, and there is rest in His labor.

Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Duet 5:29