How do passages like Col 2:16 and I Tim 4:3-4 that advocate freedom from the law compare/contrast/harmonize with Jesus' teachings in Matt 5:19 and Like 16:17, and with the Apostle John's teaching in I Jn 2:4, that no one should teach that the law should be broken? Do they agree on matters of the Law and Grace or they don’t? Please cover any relevant verses that will assist in this topic.
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Did the Apostle Paul preach the end of the Law? The short answer is “no.” Paul not only DID Torah, he also taught others to DO the Torah. For instance, these facts can easily be observed by James’ instructions to Paul in Acts 21:24, “…thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the Law.” James was addressing this specific rumor among the Judean Jews concerning Paul: “…that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs.” Paul demonstrated by his lifestyle that the Law did not come to an end in Messiah. Moreover, Paul admitted to this fact later on in his life (Acts 21:24; Acts 24:14-16; Acts 25:8; Acts 26:4, 5). Notice also that James does not add any supposed “three-part” breakdown to the Law (moral, ceremonial, civil). He just says “Law.” This would indicate those three designations are probably unsanctioned man-made distinctions, and as such, are confusing and unnecessary. We can also easily observe Paul’s view of the Law in Rom. 3:31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the Law.” We could also use Rom. 7:22, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being.” Also see Rom. 7:25. “So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” What came to an end in Messiah is the curse of the Law for those in Messiah (Rom. 8:1). However, this curse is still in effect for those outside of Messiah. What also came to an end in Messiah was the wall of separation that was erected by the Jewish communities in Isra'el who were wishing to keep a religious separation between Gentiles and Jews (Eph. 2:11-22). In Messiah, both Jews and Gentiles who embrace Yeshua (Jesus) as LORD become “one new mankind.” As one new mankind, they both comprise the Remnant of Isra'el and both inherit the blessings and promises of God—which includes the Torah given to Isra'el. Besides, if Paul taught the end of the Law, then, as a disciple of Yeshua, he would be going against the words of his Master, “Do not think I came to do away with the Law…” (Matt. 5:17) Yeshua clearly defined his use of the word “fulfill” in this passage by giving us the immediate example of Matt. 5:19, “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Based on Yeshua’s words, if Paul wanted to be great instead of least in the kingdom, then Paul needed to not only DO the commandments of the Law, but teach others to DO them as well. Which brings us full circle: by his life, Paul not only DID the Torah, he taught others to DO it as well.
The Law is the standard for perfection, and to break even the smallest rule should condemn you to Hell forever. Both Paul and Jesus knew this very well (Romans 3:20) (Matt 5:20). The reason the Law was given was to show people they would never be able to reach heaven on their own merit, because man in corrupt. It is through Jesus Christ that we are Justified in Gods eyes. (Romans 4:25) Both Jesus and Paul agreed on the purpose of the Law (Ephesians 2:8-9) and how it was to be an scale to show mans downfalls and the fact that we need a savior, because if we could be saved by works the Christ came for nothing. (Galatians 2:21)
Jesus fulfilled the Law by His death and resurrection. Fulfilled means completed and Jesus did for all of us (substitutionary death for our sins) which none of us could do by trying to obey OT law. Our old sinful nature(person) inherited from Adam died on the cross with Jesus and our new person (saved by grace in the likeness of Jesus) was born, Romans 5:19 Romans 6:3. To say we are still under the law is to say Jesus' death didn't erase all our sins which is a lie. Romans 6:6-18 explains perfectly how we are dead to sin and are now slaves to righteousness (to God) and alive in the risen Jesus Christ. This is also explained in 2 Cor 5:21. Romans 5:20 says the law was brought in so that sin might increase. God gave the Israelites the law so they'd be aware of their sinful nature and thus realize the hopelessness of trying to obey those laws. Romans 7:5 says sinful passions were aroused by the Law and, in 1 Cor 15:56, that the power of sin is the Law. Romans 6:22-23 explains we are set free from sin for the wages of sin is death and we received the gift of eternal life in Jesus. If we go through life worrying about sinning and are on guard to squelch it whenever it arises then we are focused on the wrong thing, trying to obey laws which only condemn us. We are to focus on Jesus. Hebrews 10:9 says Jesus took away the first (covenant of OT Law) to establish the second, the covenant of Grace. Galatians 5:14 says that the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself"'. The Bible can't be any clearer that the OT Law has been replaced by the new covenant of Grace. We are to focus on living like Christ, loving the Lord and loving one another which is life, not by focusing on trying to 'not sin', which is death.
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