Under the Law?… or under Grace?

Question:  If you are really a Messianic Rabbi, why do you claim that we are still under the Law?

Answer: A better question would be: Why do you believe that we are NOT still under the Law when the Messiah himself said “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18)?

The last time I looked around, the earth was still here.

Scripture is built line upon line and precept upon precept.  The only way that we can know with 100% certainty whether or not something is of the Lord is by holding it up and measuring it by his Word; if it is in agreement, it is of the Lord, if not, then it is simply the word of man.  This includes actions and statements recorded in Scripture.

In the second book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, in chapter 33 of that book, there is an account of king Manasseh who made children to “pass through the fire”, set up an idol, built altars to false deities and generally behaved like a total idiot.  We know that all of these things were a bad idea and not of the Lord (even though they are recorded in Scripture) because all of them go directly against what the Lord has said.  The actions or words of a man being recorded in Scripture does not convey appropriateness or accuracy to those words or actions.

In many cases this is not a problem as the foolish actions or statements recorded are usually not things that have a great appeal to anyone who desires to serve the Lord. Problems arise, however, when the recorded folly of men is such that it appeals to believers.  Such is the case with the false concept that the sacrifice of the Messiah (or his resurrection, or his ascent… etc.), a sin offering, did away with or somehow fulfilled the Law in its entirety, thus releasing the people of the Lord from their responsibility in upholding the Law.  While we need no longer offer up a blood sacrifice for the remission of sin, as that sacrifice has already been made, the sin offering is only a portion of the Law.  Those who were reconciled to the Lord through the offering of a lamb or bullock still had to keep the rest of the law; the same applies to those who have been reconciled to the Lord through the offering of the Messiah.

When it comes to the question of Grace vs. the Law, the question itself is based upon a false premise.  It is by the grace of the Lord that we are afforded the opportunity to be reconciled to him through the Law instead of being eternally separated from him as a consequence of our rejection of his will. The consequence of sin is death (The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:20).  It is only the grace of the Lord that allows for this death to be that of other than the sinner.  We have been “under grace” since the fall of Adam and Eve; grace itself is a component of the Law.

The Lord instructed us to keep the Law. The Messiah told us that the Law would still be here until the passing of heaven and earth.  Why would I even consider following or spreading the teachings of any man who said otherwise?

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3 thoughts on “Under the Law?… or under Grace?

  1. In Matthew 5:17 it says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Then in 5:18 it says, “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.” So, this begs the question, and I may very well be alone here, what was the purpose of his coming if the law is still not fulfilled?

    • Shalom,
      There are still several portions of the Law that have yet to be fulfilled (judgement day comes to mind…), and many portions of the law can not be fulfilled by any one person on the part of all others. Likewise, in order to meet the requirements for the sacrifice (the shedding of blood) for the remission of sins, the Messiah COULD NOT meet the requirements for many other sacrifices and offerings which are also a portion of the Law. For instance, he could not be male (requirement for sin offering) and also female (requirement for unwitting tresspass offering), neither could he die (requirement for sin offerring) and go unmolested and alive into exile (scape goat offering for unclean).
      All of these other portions of the law, and many more, remain partially, or unfulfilled. All of these other portions of the law are our job.

  2. Shalom,
    The Messiah performed a very specific job; he provided the blood for the remission of sin through being both the perfect sacrifice and the perfect high priest (meeting all of the requirements in the Law for both). This fulfilled that portion of the Law, and the shedding of blood for the remission of sins has thus been accomplished. He also fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of the Messiah.
    Reconciliation is for all of creation back to the Lord, the creator, not just for mankind. The Messiah came because that sacrifice had to be perfect, as did the priest who performed it. He was, and did.

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