Not under the Law ‘anymore’

“For sin will no longer be a master over you, since you are not under Law [as slaves], but under [unmerited] grace [as recipients of God’s favor and mercy].” – Rom 6:14 AMP

This verse has become one of the biggest reasons why a follower of Jesus don’t have any responsibility towards the law of Moses or any other law for that matter. So after Jesus’ declaration that He has ‘fulfilled’ the law, what is our accountability or responsibility towards the law? Notice also that the word ‘anymore‘ does not appear in the verse above…

Just say for one moment we can assume there is still a binding application towards the Torah, we must understand that there is a big difference between ‘law’ / ‘Torah’ (instruction) and ‘brit’ (covenant) in the Bible. Even more so, we must remember that the more basic and unconditional covenant was made with Abraham and not with Moses. The Abrahamic covenant (Gen15) is based upon faith in God’s grace alone. The apostle Paul later referred to this as “justification by faith” and when we follow Jesus, the Bible calls us: “children of Abraham” (Gal 3:7-9, Rom 4:12-16). Every ‘brit’ (covenant) has it’s own ‘torah’ (instructions) on how to uphold that covenant. So too the Mosaic covenant has a specific set of instructions that both parties must adhere to, in this case God and the nation of Israel.

It is confusing to say, for instance, that we have “died to the law” without qualifying the idea of “law” to explicitly and exclusively refer to the legal subset of the terms of the covenant given at Sinai, and not to the Torah in general. If we don’t qualify what is meant by ‘law’ – it will imply that the Torah is not relevant for the life of a follower of Jesus today. We need only consider the teaching of Jesus himself, who clearly reinforced the ethical and spiritual teaching of the Torah and taught us to follow his example (Mark 12:28-34; Matt. 5-7). Moreover the theological concepts of sin, righteousness, faith, grace, and so on, all derive from the Torah of Moses, so when the New Testament urges, “Let no one deceive you: whoever practices righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7), it is appealing to the ongoing meaning and relevance of the Torah for the life of the Christian today.

The problem was never with the ‘law’ or ‘Torah’ or the ‘terms of Sinai’, but with our inability to abide by the terms of the Covenant (Rom. 8:3; Gal. 3:10-13, Heb 7:11-28). The Torah is not sinful, it is just powerless to transform the human heart, which is desperately wicked and in need of salvation. The law can merely reveal the truth, state the facts and mirror what is in our hearts back to us (1 Tim 1:8-9). Jesus Himself taught from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings (Luke 24:27), so why would you want to a return to a Gentile-informed Christianity that has incorporated much Greek/Roman paganism into its theology? Why would you close your eyes to the essential Jewishness of Jesus? He was a Jew, born King of the Jews, but that doesn’t mean He came to make us followers of the rabbinical system who rejected Him and established “Judaism without the Temple” after it’s destruction in 70 AD. It is essential to study and learn Torah, and if we don’t take the time and effort to clearly understand the Torah and the Prophets, we are liable to misinterpret the words of the New Testament…

There is a Torah of the New Covenant, just as there is a Torah of the older one. The Torah of the New Covenant is the same as the old one but is written on our hearts instead of stone. God made the New Covenant with the Holy Spirit or Himself and when we live by the Spirit (Rom 8:14, Gal 5:25) – we are able to adhere to the requirements of the New Covenant Torah.

Understood in this way, followers of Jesus are called to be Torah Observant, since that simply means adhering to the ‘instructions’ of King Jesus who is the embodiment of all genuine truth from God. Jesus came to reveal the true intention of the torah for man continually based his relationship to God and others on the intention of his own heart.

The intention was always LOVE but men made it about justification through deeds and therefor GRACE is the only tool for SALVATION that God ever intended.