Why do you think that Christians should observe the Torah?

Email Received:

You state at your website that we should obey the rules and regulations of the Torah (letter of the law). I am a born-again Christian who does not believe that God wants that for us. I enjoy living by Gods Law of the Spirit of His Love.

I think that it was very wonderful when Jesus taught that we obey His Law with our hearts (Spirit of the Law), not our minds only. By Gods wonderful Spirit, I believe that God provides by His own blood all that my soul needs. Amen.

Why do you think that Christians should observe the Torah? I also would enjoy hearing your ideas on what I believe.

Ted's Response:

I'm glad that you are a believer saved by the grace of God, through the atoning blood of Jesus. Understanding that He sacrificed His life and shed His blood to atone for our sins are the most important things to know in our minds and to feel in our hearts.

The Torah is a holy set of instructions, given by God, as a blueprint for righteous moral living. There are blessings in store for those who observe it.

These instructions or commandments were God's spoken Word, and Jesus was the living Word of God (John 1:1,2). That is, our Father's Word became flesh in Jesus (1:14). Furthermore, Jesus Himself was Jewish and obeyed the precepts, commandments, and instructions of the Torah. In essence, He was the living, breathing Torah.

Paul said that the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12). Paul also said that we uphold the law, not nullify the law, by our faith (3:31). James indicated that the perfect law gives freedom and brings blessings (James 1:25).

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or Torah; He came to fulfill and observe all of it in person (Matthew 5:17). Furthermore, Jesus said that not one bit of the Law or Torah would pass away until heaven and earth pass away (5:18). Had Jesus failed to observe and obey the precepts, commandments, and instructions of the Torah, He would not have qualified to be the perfect, flawless sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

Jesus, as a Jew, was a natural "branch" who grew from the "olive root" or "olive tree" of Israel. Followers of Jesus are "wild olive shoots" who have been "grafted in" to the same natural "olive tree" (Romans 11:17,24) of Israel (see grafted and re-grafted). Just as Jesus produced fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), we are to do the same. And just as Jesus kept the foundational commandments given to Israel, we should do the same, since we also have become part of that "olive tree."

The Torah, including the Ten Commandments, did not become null and void for believers simply because Jesus died for our sins on the cross. What became obsolete with His sacrifice was the necessity of continuing to offer sacrificed animals as compensation for our sins.

What was "nailed to the cross," figuratively speaking, were the sins and transgressions, along with their associated penalties, of those who will accept Jesusí sacrifice on their behalf. Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse or penalty of the law by becoming a ďcurseĒ for us on the cross (Galatians 3:13).

Jesus fulfilled the Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days at His first coming. Likewise, He will fulfill the Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days upon His second coming.

Jesus spoke and taught in Jewish synagogues (Mark 1:21,22; Luke 4:15,16,31, 13:10), which would have been on the seventh day of the week. So He observed the proper seventh-day Sabbath. Paul also attended synagogues on the Sabbath (Acts 13:14,44, 16:13, 17:1,2, 18:4,11). See Sabbath: Saturday or Sunday?

I do attend church on Sunday morning, mainly because my pastor is an excellent Bible teacher. However, in my mind and heart, sunset Friday to sunset Saturday is the Sabbath. That is when Jesus observed it. On Friday night, I light candles. On Saturday mornings I assemble with friends for breakfast, and our focus is on God and on His eternal written and living Word for a couple of hours. Also, on Saturdays, I try to get more rest than on other days, and I typically refrain from tasks involving physical labor.

John said that if anyone obeys God's word, God's love is truly made complete in him; and whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:5,6). Jesus walked daily in obedience to the written commandments of God. Furthermore, keeping God's commandments demonstrates to Him that we love Him and His Word, and it makes it more likely that things may go well for us and our children (Deuteronomy 4:40). More details can be found on my Law/Torah page.

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