I know I'm saved and justified by faith. But should we still obey the whole Torah even though I'm a gentile? Paul said we uphold the law: Romans 3:28. Like for example, should I not eat pork? (Leviticus 11:7-8)Should we visit a priest when we have rashes?should we put to death all who cursed their parents? Although these are just a simple example, I'd like to be totally enlightened.
Romans 3:1 - 31
ESV - 1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I will say right up front that I speak from the position of a Messianic Jew, that is, a Jewish man who has embraced his Messiah in the person and work of Yeshua (Jesus). Because there exists One God, One Messiah, One Spirit (essentially Eph 4:4-6 theology), One Body of believers called the Remnant of Isra'el, a.k.a., the Church (Rom 11:17-24), and One Law (from Genesis to Revelation) for both Jews and Gentiles in Messiah to follow (Ex 12:49; Jer 31:33; Matt 5:17-20; Rom 3:27-31; 1 Cor 7:19), I support any answer that upholds the continued validity and applicability of Torah (Law) for the lives of genuine believers—whether Jewish or Gentile. The original question had four parts to it, so I would like to directly address those four parts only: Q: Should we still obey all the commandments (Torah) even though we are gentile Christians? A: There are no verses in the NT that teach the abrogation of Torah for Gentiles joining the Remnant of Isra'el. On the contrary, Yeshua, the one True and Everlasting King of Remnant Isra'el stated that if you live him, you will keep his commandments (Jn. 14; 15, 21). He cannot force his subjects to love him. But loving God by choice, with all our heart, soul, and strength MEANS becoming obedient to the commandments the Father has given to Remnant Isra'el, the commandments our Messiah King Jesus upholds. Q: I know I'm saved and justified by faith. But should we still obey the whole Torah even though I'm a gentile? Paul said we uphold the law: Romans 3:28. Like for example, should I not eat pork? (Leviticus 11:7-8) A: The paradigm (example) established way back in the times of the Old Testament were that foreigners who attached themselves by faith to Isra'el’s God also took up covenant responsibility to walk in God’s Torah (see Ex. 12:49 and other locations that use “One Law” verbiage). Because God’s promises extend through Messiah to the Gentiles joined to Isra'el, it must also stand to reason that God’s promises of blessing found in the Torah also extend to those obedient Gentiles. So, try to avoid pork as best you can. Q: Should we visit a priest when we have rashes? A: I think you are referring to the commandments in Lev. 13. Since there is no standing Temple with functioning Levitical priests, application of this chapter has been put on hold. When the Temple is rebuilt for the Millennium, I’m sure you will have a chance to obey these commands. For now, if you have skin rashes, have other strong Christians pray for your for healing (James 5:16) or go see a doctor. Q: Should we put to death all who cursed their parents? Although these are just a simple example, I'd like to be totally enlightened. A: You must be referring to Lev. 20:9. God is not a merciless manslayer ready to kill people at the slightest infraction. The pronouncement of the death penalty found in many verses was simply the final punishment allowable under a theocracy. In reality, just like our modern courts today, the judges of ancient Isra'el did everything they could to prevent the death penalty from being carried out (see Mishnah Makkot 1:10). One final word about Torah observance, whether you are Jewish or Gentile: God wants your heart. He doesn't want coerced obedience or affection. Hunger and thirst after the Messiah and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) will cause you to have the same desires as the LORD. Spend time with Yeshua on a daily basis. Cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with him by pouring yourself into prayer, Bible study, praise and worship, solid preaching, fellowship with believers, and confession of known sins. Do this and your heart, like King David of old, will supernaturally be inclined to love the Law of God and want to uphold and keep it (read all of Ps. 119), and like David you will declare of God’s commandments: “Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Ps. 19:11)
The Apostles addressed this question in Acts 15. While honoring God in moral behavior, avoiding sexual perversion is still important and even a critical marker of a transformed heart, the ceremonial law and cultural distinguishing dietary laws were considered to be a shadow of the perfection of Christ and the complete holy and separate life he fulfilled and the perfect sacrifice he was to atone for sin of all who believe.
The Old Testament "law" called the Torah is more accurately described as God's instructions for how He wants His people to live. If we are His people by being "grafted in" through faith in Yeshua, then those instructions are for us. God tells us that it is life to keep His Torah (instructions) and we are blessed for doing so. Deut 30 He also tells us that anyone trying to lead us away from Torah are false prophets and that God tests us to see if we will remain obedient to His instructions (Deut 13). Paul and the apostle John clearly stated that violating God's instructions is the definition of sin. "Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is"… Romans 7:7 and see 1 John 3:4-10. Many argue that since we can't keep the whole Torah we shouldn't try at all. As a parent I would be much more pleased with the child who kept as much of my house rules as possible than with the child who said that they don't matter any more. I think that is how God sees it. In the millennium when Yehsua reigns from Jerusalem, the "Law will go forth from Zion" and he will rule with a "rod of iron". If the Law mattered in the past, and it will rule the whole earth in the future, it still matters now. Yeshua also said that before he came back Elijah would come and "restore all things". I believe we are seeing the beginnings of that process with so many curious about God's Torah and Time.
The purpose of the law is stated further down in this same chapter. 19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. Does that mean Jesus died so we could freely sin? No. He died so we could be freed from sin! If you repent and trust in Jesus, you will become a new creation in Christ and the desire for your old sinful ways will begin to change.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.