Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keep The Law Of Moses?

Over the past year I have witnessed yet another scheme of Satan to draw believers away from Jesus and His teachings, His English name, and His commandments. Many born again, Spirit-filled believers are going back to the law of Moses, the Torah, the Talmud, Judaism, the Hebrew language and everything else that's Jewish, why?

Is Jesus not the Son of God? Is Jesus not the Word manifested in the flesh? Is He and the Father One? Didn't He only speak what the Father told Him to speak? Is Jesus not the Way, the Truth, and the Life?

When God Almighty in the flesh said ALL the Law AND the Prophets hang on two commandments did He lie?

Matthew 22:34-40

"But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Paul who received his gospel and knowledge by revelation of Jesus Christ wrote the same thing in his epistle to the Roman saints.

Romans 13:8-10

"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

In Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas disputed with some brethren from Judea who were telling the new gentile converts that they had to be circumcised according to the custom of Moses or else they couldn't be saved. And what did they do?

Acts 15:2

"Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question."

Did they take it upon themselves to decide the matter? Nope! They decided to go up to Jerusalem and speak to more apostles AND elders about it.

Acts 15:4-5

"And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Sounds familiar doesn't it? I have heard very similar words coming from many believer's today!

After more disputing over this matter Peter stood up and spoke.

Acts 15:6-11

"Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,  and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.  Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

This word from Peter silenced them all! What a wonderful example of how a dispute should be resolved in the New Covenant church of Christ.

Then to conclude the matter, the apostles and elders along with the whole church of Jerusalem decided to send Judas and Silas who were prophets down to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They also wrote a letter telling the gentile brethren what they had decided.

Acts 15:23-29

"They wrote this, letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law” —to whom we gave no such commandment— it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:  that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

Here we have some of the apostles who walked with God in the flesh, elders who were appointed and approved by God to lead in the church of Jerusalem, James, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Judas, men who were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, along with the entire church making a decision about the matter of the gentile converts being circumcised and keeping the law. Now if all these godly apostles, prophets, elders, and brethren, with guidance from the Holy Spirit didn't decide to tell the gentiles to keep the law, then who are we today to tell a believer they need to keep the law?

Jesus died and shed His blood on the cross of Calvary to set us free from the law, sin, and death, so why would some want to go back into bondage? It's like the Israelites in the desert, they murmured and complained, wanting to go back to Egypt where they were in bondage and enslaved four hundred years!

My prayer is that the saints of God today will truly realize the freedom we have in Christ and keep themselves from being bound by the law.

John 1:17

"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

With All Love In Sincerity And Truth,
Tyrone