Gods Grace Is
Based on Torah
Some Christians insist that Gods law did
not exist prior to Moses and does not apply now. However, the Bible teaches that
"sin is violation of Torah" (1 John 3:4)
and "where there
is no law, there is also no violation." (Romans 4:15). If the principles of Torah do not exist today, how
can mankind ever be held accountable for sin? If there was no law to expose sin prior to
Moses, how was it that God acknowledged
"the people on earth were very wicked"
(Genesis 6:5) and judged the world with a
flood? How was it that Joseph recognized adultery as a
The Brit Chadashah (New Covenant) says
have sinned and come short of earning Gods praise."
is no law,
then there is no transgression, no sin, and no need for a Savior. Grace is
forgiveness of our sin. It is not our repentance that causes Gods forgiveness;
rather it is his forgiveness that causes our repentance. To be forgiven means to forgive
and accept one another.3
Gods Judgment Is Based on Torah
"Here is the conclusion,
now that you have heard everything; fear God, and keep his mitzvot (commandments); this is what
being human is all about. For God will bring to judgement everything we do,
including every secret, whether good or bad."
12:13-14). The New Testament sums up the
purpose of Gods "royal law" this way,
"Keep speaking and acting like people who will be judged
by a Torah which gives freedom."
Just as judicial courts judge by established law,
so God will pass final judgment using the principles of his law (James 4:12).
will judge our hearts (Romans 2). Those accepting Gods grace, though guilty,
will be free in him.
Pauls Comments on Torah and Grace
Paul, who was Jewish, gives a balanced
perspective on Torah and grace throughout his writings.
"For you have been delivered
by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but Gods gift.
You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast. For we are of
Gods making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions
already prepared by God for us to do." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
"For it is not merely
the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah
says who will be made righteous in Gods sight."
His sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of
legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is
show people how sinful they are." (Romans 3:20)
follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary,
we confirm Torah."
will not have authority over you; because you are not under legalism but under grace.
Therefore, what conclusion should we reach? 'Let's go on sinning, because we
are not under legalism but under grace?' Heaven forbid!"
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."
"So the Torah
is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good."
Paul is not teaching disobedience to
law. Rather he tries to convey an understanding that mere obedience does not save anyone.
Salvation does not come through legalistic rules and practices (Galatians 5:4;
Colossians 2:22), but through Gods grace. Yet Paul admonishes,
circumcised means nothing, and being uncircumcised means nothing; what does
mean something is keeping God's commandments."
Paul regards the law as holy, just and good,
and never taught its abolishment. The law expresses the will of God and the law of Yeshua (Jesus),
which is a law of love, completes the Torah.4
Observance of the law cannot save anyone.
However, Paul also knew people would not be saved if they blatantly transgressed it.5
When we do transgress Gods law, we can ask for forgiveness and
cleansing from sin. Ezekiel 36:25-27 promises us cleansing from impurity, a new heart of
love, and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to instruct us in righteousness.
What did Yeshua Teach?
think that I have come to abolish the
Torah or the Prophets. I have come not abolish but
Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away,
not so much as
a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah;
not until everything that must happen has
So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot
and teaches others to do so
will be called the least
in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them
and so teaches
will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
in Matthew 5:17-19
Many followers of Jesus are
taught to believe that Yeshua in Matthew chapter 5 is establishing a new set
of commandments that we are to follow. But if you understand
rabbinic thought, you would realize that what Jesus is doing is simply
expanding on the existing commandments of God by telling people how to
practically fulfill those commandments.
Yeshua said he came to fulfill the
law, not abolish it, and that the law would endure until heaven and earth pass away. The
word "fulfill" is a Jewish idiom, meaning to fill up to the brim and make
How many followers of Jesus are
going to be called "least" in the Kingdom of Heaven because of their
reinterpretation and disregard for the Torah that encompasses God's
commandments? Believers need to think and pray seriously about what
Yeshua is teaching in Matthew 5.
Are Yeshua's teachings regarding
Torah and the commandments of God to be replaced or undermined by the
teachings of Shaul (Paul)? Is Shaul the final authority on Torah, or is Yeshua?
And furthermore, did Shaul really dismiss Torah? Not according to Acts
24:11-14; Romans 2:13; Romans 3:31; and Romans 7:7,12.
In the new covenant,
God promises to
write his law in the minds and hearts of his people (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews
8:8-10). Yeshua renews the promised covenant. He does not
create a new Torah and abolish the existing. Rather, Yeshua makes it complete.
"The Jewish rejection of
by the Christian
rejection of the Law." 8
The emerging attitudes in the non-Jewish Church
made it impossible for the Jews to accept the messianic claims of Yeshua. The non-Jews
presented Yeshua on terms reflecting their own misunderstanding of the law; conditions
unsupported by Yeshua himself.6 But the principles of Gods
instruction do not change because God does not change (Malachi 3:6).
Because of anti-Jewish sentiment expressed within
Christianity, many Jews have come to view the Messiah and the New Testament as being
irrelevant.7 However, negative sentiments do not justify ignoring the
truth of the matter. Have you searched for the truths found in the Bible, rather
than the teaching of men - whether ministers or rabbis? God says, "If with all
your heart you truly seek me, you will surely find Me." Yeshua said, "Seek
and you will find."