Are we still required to keep the law?
Shalom and greetings in the saving name of Yahushua the Messiah. There is a popular belief among many students of the Bible that says, "Whoever keeps the law, is under the curse of the law"...
Galatians 3:13 - The Messiah hath redeemed us from the curse of the law
But the question that must be asked, "What is the curse of the law?"
"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4
It therefore stands to reason, that the curse of the law is death! Another truth that is widely misunderstood, is the fact that we are now saved by grace, and not by the works of the law...
Romans 6:14 - For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
To understand the meaning of this, one must understand the definition of the word "grace". In most cases, it would be better translated as "favor". Favor is the result of the atonement performed by Yahushua the Messiah, when he died for our sins. The meaning of "being under the favor of YHWH," is that one has been forgiven for their sins! So, by implication, the word grace (Strong's 5485 "charis"), means "forgiveness"...
Acts 13:38 - "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 - And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
We are justified by forgiveness; but that in no way gives us the right to sin! While it is true that we are not saved by the works of the law, it is also true that once we are forgiven for our sins, we then prove our faith (beliefs) by keeping the law...
James 2:18 - Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
Did you see that? James said that he will show his faith by his works! Some people will make the following statement, "Since we are not under the law, we therefore are not required to keep it." But what does Yahushua the Messiah have to say concerning this doctrine of "lawlessness"?
Matthew 7:22 - Many will say to me in that day, "My master, my master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" 23 And then will I profess unto them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
The word iniquity literally means "lawlessness"! Yahushua literally said, "Depart from me, you law breakers"!
Isaiah 24:5 - The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
The term everlasting means "never ending" or "eternal".
Do the commandments spoken in the word of YHWH still exist; and are we still expected to obey them? Or are YHWH's commandments obsolete, fulfilled and done away with, by the death of His son? Millions would answer "Yes, we are no longer under the law. It has been done away with and we are therefore no longer expected to keep it." This is a major doctrine of many Christian churches. But what does the Word of YHWH say?...
Psalm 111:7 - The works of his hands are truth and judgment; all his commandments are sure. 8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
It says for ever and ever! Let's go to Paul again...
Romans 6:14 - For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under favor. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under favor? By no means!
Paul said that because we are not under the law, that in no way gives us the right to sin! Actually, the thing that Paul was saying is that we are no longer under the 'curse of the law' (death) but rather, we are under favor (forgiveness), commonly called "grace".
The following is the greatest command...
Deuteronomy 6:5 - And thou shalt love YHWH thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
This command was repeated by Yahushua in Mat 22:36-38. But, what does this command mean, how do we do it? We will again turn to the Word of YHWH for insight...
Deuteronomy 11:13 - And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love YHWH your Elohim, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 11:22 - For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love YHWH your Elohim, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him.
Joshua 22:5 - But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of YHWH charged you, to love YHWH your Elohim, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
According to the preceding verses, what we need to do in order to love YHWH our Elohim with all our heart and all our soul and all our might is to "keep His commandments". We need to strive to "not sin", but if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yahushua the Messiah (see 1John chapter 4). We should each have the goal to be over comers. Not only is it possible, but it is our duty!
1John 5:2 - By this we know that we love the children of YHWH, when we love YHWH and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of YHWH, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." That is pertaining to doing the entire will of YHWH. Yahushua taught...
John 14:15 - "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
John 14:21 - "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
Many people will go to Paul's writings to show that we no longer need to keep the law. But if Paul taught against the law, that would make him a false prophet!
Galatians 1:8 - But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other evangel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Did Paul teach against the law?...
Romans 7:12 - Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
People who use Paul's writings to teach against the law are "untaught and unstable" (2nd Kefa (Peter) 3:15-16).
It is hard to imagine how anyone can believe that once we are followers of the Messiah, that we are then no longer required to keep the law. Yahushua said...
Matthew 5:17 - "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Fulfill means to perform. In the same way, the meaning of a husband and wife fulfilling their wedding contract, means that they "do it, perform it, and honor it!"
Yahushua did not come to destroy the law; but rather, he came to perform, do and honor the law of YHWH!
Psalms 19:7 - The law of YHWH is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHWH is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Why would we no longer be required to keep something that is perfect?
1Kefa (pet) 4:18 - Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the wicked and the sinner appear?
Matthew 7:13 - "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
John 8:31 - Then said Yahushua to those Jews which believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
33 They answered him, "We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, 'Ye shall be made free?'"
34 Yahushua answered them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin."
Yes, that is what we need to strive for, to live a life free from sin, through the power from on high! We need to continue in Yahushua's words! For a definition of sin...
1John 3:4 - Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.
James 1:22 - But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before YHWH the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Yahushua is in agreement with the Torah...
Ecclesiastes 12:13 - Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For Elohim shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
However, if we want to be forgiven for our sins, then we must be willing to forgive those who sin against us...
Luke 11:4 - And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:14 - For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
1John 2:1 - My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yahushua the Messiah the righteous: 2 And he is an atoning offering for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of YHWH perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
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The Restored Name King James Version