Today: The practice of non-Jewish (Gentile) believers going back into the Jewish roots of their faith - how far to go?
What is the point of learning the Jewish roots of the faith?
Paul told the Corinthians in I Corinthians 10: 1-11 that the things that happened to Israel were an example for us.
In Romans 3: 1-2 Paul asked what advantage is there of being Jewish? He said the answer was that to them had been entrusted the 'oracles (Words) of God'. So there is advantage in learning the Jewish roots and the examples from their lives (OT) good and bad from the history of Israel.
But that is as far as it goes.
Paul asked the Galatians in 3: 2-3 if they...."received the Holy Spirit by the preaching of faith in Christ, or by doing the Mosaic law? Does God do miracles among you by His Spirit, or by you obeying the the law's rules and regulations? (Therefore) having begun with the Spirit of God, how is it you think you can be brought to maturity by doing the rules and regulations of the law of Moses?..."
Paul's statement here draws the line for us. If you think you can be brought into maturity in Christ by obeying the laws of Moses, Paul says you are mistaken. It is by the Holy Spirit the Father brings us into maturity in Christ.
The Spirit of God and messages concerning our faith in Christ 'set the stage' for God to move in our midst, to do miracles among us. He isn't against learning about the Jewish roots, he is against people saying you have to, or need to, or it would be good for you, or you think it will bring you into maturity to obey the laws of Moses.
Will you learn more? Yes. Will you mature more? No. Maturity comes through character and the fruit of the Spirit lived out as we walk with Christ. (II Peter 1: 5-8 and Galatians 5: 22-23)
The law of Moses is not for you
"Knowing this, that the law of Moses is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for unholy and profane, for murders..." I Timothy 1: 9
The law is not for the righteous, but to point out the sinfulness of man. If you have Christ in you, the law is not for you.
Why then the laws of Moses?
Romans 3: 19 says the law was given 'that all the world might be found to be guilty by God'. In other words, man didn't know we were sinners until the Mosaic law. That law defined sin for man. It showed us God's holiness and our sinfulness.
Paul said in I Corinthians 15: 56b 'the strength of sin is the law'. That means obeying the Mosaic law leads to more sinning. As James the brother of Jesus said in James 2: 10, "Whoever lives by the Mosaic law, but is guilty of just one point, he is guilty of all."
In other words, sin is sin. If you are living by the Mosaic law but miss it in 1 single law, then you become guilty of all of it because sin is sin - to be guilty of 1 is to be guilty of all.
If you grew up in a strict household with its own rules and regulations you know this is true. If you as a kid cleaned your room and emptied the trash, but you missed the yard work - your strict parent disciplined you for missing that one point of the yard with barely an acknowledgement of the good you did. That is the law of Moses.
So why now having Christ, do Christians think they can be matured by going back under that law?
"If God could have given a law (rule) that would have given eternal life, righteousness would have come through the law."
Stop and consider that statement from Galatians 3: 21: "If God could have given a single rule, a single formula, a single thing we could do that could have given us eternal life, He would have done so."
"...therefore the law was a school teacher to bring us to Christ, so that we can be justified by faith (in Jesus). So after faith has come, you are no longer under the teacher (the law), because you're now a child of the (Father) God." v24-26
Know your heart
Think about your family when you were growing up if that was a happy time, or a family that you knew of that seemed to be the perfect family, or a perfect TV family, sitting around the dinner table talking about their day...imagine that.
Those children are part of the family. Mom and dad want to know what happened during school, and you also have the brothers and sisters sharing back and forth about events in their day to each other. It's loud, with conversations back and forth, kids taking over one another, maybe one trying to tell mom or dad what went on, a sibling making a sarcastic comment or two...Mom and dad inwardly enjoying every minute, every confused, loud, rambunctious minute.
That's us with the Father God. We are His children - He enjoys the process of life we are going through. He wants to know every detail of our day. He is totally involved with us because unlike mom and dad above, He actually lives in us. So that means we take Him everywhere - to every place, to everything we do, to all we talk to - He is totally in us and us in Him.
No rule can improve on that, no confession out your mouth, no amount of fasting or giving or good works. Rest. Jesus is our Sabbath rest, 24/7 - enter into His rest, you are peace with God and God is at peace with you, the evidence is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Learn of the Jewish roots in the faith if you wish, for their lives were examples for us Paul said. Partake in the festivals and learn about the culture and law if you wish, for to the Jews the Words of God were given. There is great value in all that.
But you have Christ in you now. Don't let anyone tell you that now you need to obey Moses, for you have Christ already. Learn, grow, but don't be brought under the bondage of any of the OT laws. As Paul concluded his teaching on this subject to the Galatians in 6: 15-16: "For in Christ being neither Jew nor Gentile means a thing, but only being a new creation in Christ. As many as live by that rule, then peace and mercy is upon them, and on the true Israel of God."
New subject next week. Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at email@example.com