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The 'Old Testament' and The Law - My Notes

Updated: Apr 7

I'm going to share some snippets and notes from conversations I've seen and participated in over the last several weeks in groups and among friends. The topic of the OT and the Law is a very hot one. These are my notes; it's handy to have them all in one spot. Please comment below if you can add to or correct anything mentioned here.

I'm learning WITH you. And I appreciate learning from others. Iron sharpens iron.

Disclaimer (please read)

 

This question came up in a group that I help with administrative duties. I'd like to share my response to the question because I discern it could be edifying.



I think it would be more appropriate to say 'God's traditions and instructions' rather than "Jewish" traditions.


And yes. Many Christians are diving in. But do not assume they are basing their salvation on obedience because "Law", "Hebrew", "Torah", etc. have become trigger words.


That said, also be very vigilant of groups saying you are not saved if you do not obey - the only one that truly obeyed was the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.


I've shared things in the past that would group me with certain individuals, groups, and movements and I'm not having it. Just because I may use similar words or phrases as someone else or another group means nothing.

They've hijacked key words so that that is all people hear no matter how articulate you are. The truth is the truth no matter who says it!

And something I've learned along the way is THE Truth has a name. The name above all names. Do not lump me in with anyone but Jesus Christ.


I digress.


Traditions of men: We see that phrase A LOT. What does it mean?


𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐮𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐇𝐢𝐦𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬. There were false prophets not only in Jerusalem, but also among the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon.


While the exiled Israelites were in Babylon, Babylonian beliefs and traditions made their way into Judaism and ultimately became Talmudic teachings.

We must be vigilant of this, because they will call this the "Torah" and that is not what the Torah is. So get that clarified anytime a "teacher" is mentioning the Torah. Which "Torah" are they referring to? Talmudic teachings that include the teachings of men or the actual Torah?


Torah: The Torah is the compilation of the first five books of the Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.


“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”


Translation: They talk a good game but in reality they don’t teach my law, they teach a law they made up themselves and hold it above mine.


Example: If a believer chooses to observe Passover instead of Easter - Jesus was the final blood sacrifice; it is finished. Observing something like Passover would be spiritual application of the blood. We are covered by the blood of Jesus.


I did my best to answer this broad, blanket question. If one would like to be more precise in what they are asking, they might get better answers. Making a broad, blanket statement like this question brings discord and arguments that won't be edifying.

This topic often brings about red herrings, deflections, pride, accusations, strawmen, unfruitful/unedifying arguing, insults, semantics, and people unable to focus on the initial point being made; I do not participate in such things but on the rare occasion I am led to.

 

"𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫."

Do some abuse this statement?


Is this statement a free ticket to sin or continue in sin due to His grace?


What is "sin" anyways?

How does one know? (Rhetorical question)

Is His Law good? (Rhetorical question)


Who determines what is a salvational matter when that statement is made?

Have you read the scriptures or are you taking the word of a mere man who is as frail as his next breath? Sugar coated words that flow from his lips like GMO honey?


I just want to encourage us all to read the bible ourselves. Test all things and hold on to what is good. God does not change and will not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


"𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫."

Sometimes this statement is indeed applicable. We do not quarrel over opinions, dispute over doubtful things. We hold fast to what we have learned. (Romans 14:1, Philippians 3:15-16).

 
***freedom FROM sin. not freedom TO sin***

"No one can be saved by keeping the law" - Drives me batty when this is the knee jerk response. We KNOW this.

I firmly believe that people hear trigger words and go from there (trigger words: The Law or Torah, for example).


"We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit." -Seeking Scripture, Christy Jordan


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.


“Therefore by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right before Him, for by the Torah is the knowledge of sin.”


"It's a beautiful reminder that love and obedience go hand in hand. The Bible teaches us that love is the foundation of God's commandments, and we should follow them not out of obligation or for salvation, but rather out of love for God and for one another.

In 2 John 6, we're reminded that love means doing what God has commanded us, and that we should love one another just as we've heard from the beginning. This echoes the teachings of Jesus in John 14:15, where he tells us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments.

It's also reassuring to know that God's commandments are not burdensome or grievous, as we read in 1 John 5:3. This means that following God's commands should not be seen as a heavy burden, but rather as an expression of love and a way to deepen our relationship with God.

So let's continue to love one another and keep God's commandments, not out of obligation or for salvation, but out of love and gratitude for the love God has shown us."

 

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭


The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

"A lawyer (and Pharisee), asked Him (Jesus) 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."

We must be careful speaking against the Father's Laws; the greatest commandment hangs on those laws, per Jesus Christ.

Jesus fulfilled them, but He didn't abolish them. They are for us, not against us. Can we keep them all? Do we keep them all? I know in Deut 30, He says His ways are "not too difficult for us or beyond our reach". I strive to walk in His ways because I know His ways are good.

If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. I humble myself to my sin condition and need Jesus.

His yoke truly is light. He does not ask of us what we are not able to do, but we consistently fail. I am made righteous through my faith in Christ.


We love Him and He knows what's best for us and we do our best to be set apart and walk in His ways to the best of our knowledge and ability. Our salvation (praise God!) does not come from our ability to be obedient. God forbid. Our good works are as a result of our salvation and growing in our walk/relationship with The Most High.


I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.


I am a former enemy of God leaving breadcrumbs for the people I care about. Testifying of the good things He has done for me! The Great Physician. The Master at giving heart transplants!

Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10


The other thing people mention is there's no way to obey all 613 laws mentioned in the Torah (first 5 books of the bible).


Well, of course we can't and haven't. History is proof of that and God provided the Solution to that. In your reading you'll notice those laws were for different people (men, women, farmers, priests, etc during those times). So I'm not sure why people bring that up because many of those laws aren't for us. One day I'd like to study up more on that....or pay better attention in my reading on which law went to who and why.


God's commandments are good. For our teaching and learning. It's just spiritual logic without needing to join any cults or religions.

Jesus paid our debt. It's finished. Fix your eyes on Him. He fulfilled what we couldn't (not abolished).


Let's destroy the works of the devil in our lives through the power of Christ who is our salvation from sin. Amen. -Sean Nicholson

 

Sabbath


Another question asked in a group that I assist in:

Where in the NT does it record Jesus resting weekly on the Sabbath?


Jesus rested on the Sabbath because He obeyed the Laws 100% to be the perfect spotless lamb. He is without sin, so this point should be understood logically. We must read the scriptures in order to see this. I do not personally know of a verse that says, "Jesus rested on this Sabbath day". But, in our reading, we can see Jesus observed the Sabbath day and kept it holy.

A brother named Sean explained where you can find this in scripture if it's read properly. Leah R. said it well here, too: "It's good for us to have a day of rest; mentally, spiritually, physically. God knows what we need to live life in all it's abundance and joy."

Also, regarding the Sabbath, because it is always getting argued about:

Yes, we all find ultimate rest in Jesus Christ, but one thing we won't be doing is condemning anyone for observing a Sabbath day. The other thing we won't be doing is condemning those that choose not to observe a specific Sabbath day, but find their rest daily through Jesus Christ.


And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Mark 2:27-28


Do not make the Sabbath or the Law a stumbling block for other believers or make them question their salvation. And vice-versa. If you do not partake in the Sabbath in the way of setting aside a day, do not condemn those who do.

 

I received this image in an email so I looked up scripture pertaining to it; I will share it below in links. People who follow Christianity are called Christians and those who follow Judaism are called Jews, but those who follow the Bible are called Israel (people of God). In my reading, this seems logical now that I understand I am not bound by man-made labels.

His grace is for every person no matter who you are, where you are from, or what your DNA is.


So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. James 2


What does the bible say about the narrow path? https://www.openbible.info/topics/narrow_path

What does the bible say about legalism?

What does the bible say about lawlessness?

What does the bible say about works?

What does the bible say about faith?


These days, people are mortified to be associate with Israel. I get it! But there's so much more to "Israel". Click the link.

 

Link to context, cross reference, word study, commentaries, and different translations:





 

Have you gotten this far and are concerned this message is to attempt to put myself or anyone else "under the law"?

Let me clarify. 👇

My main point here, to reiterate, is that we must be careful speaking against the Father's Laws; the greatest commandment hangs on those laws, per Jesus Christ.


I hope this post at least motivates one to read God's love story for mankind for themselves.

 

Religious Cults

 

I recently asked people on social media, “Why do you reject Jesus Christ?” One of the answers I received from a couple people was actually, “There are too many rules and people just pick and choose which ones they want to follow!” “Why are there so many rules to be a Christian”? That reply is tragic if that is how some people feel; that means no one has told them about the simplicity that is in Christ!


I was looking up "simplicity of Christ" and the first thing that popped up on the search engine's results was a cult's website - the opposite of what the simplicity of Christ is.

I guess I'm sharing this out of concern.

Many cults and religions have included Jesus and His teachings in their cult or religion as man has polluted the Gospel since the beginning. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.


Man has used His name in vain to further political ideology, justify war & mrdr, to gain the trust of people with certain political leanings, to fatten their pockets, or to make a name for themselves, - the list goes on.


The simplicity that is in Christ; link to context, cross reference, study, commentaries, and different translations:

 

Some old notes and scripture I'm just jotting down:

 

How did the Law define sin? 1. The Laws are upright and righteous. Psalms 119 2. But hold up…man is not righteous and never has been. So are we set up to fail? No. Let’s keep going. Romans 3:10-12 3. The Law made the world accountable for their actions and defined what sin was in the eyes of God. The Law showed that man absolutely could not be justified by the law. It showed we needed a Savior. We need God. We needed Jesus Christ to come and die for our sins. Romans 3:19-20 4. Sin is not assigned to man if there is no law. Romans 5:13 5. With the law in place, man is aware of sin and how harsh that sin is. Romans 7:7-13

Okay…so if man can never keep The Law perfectly, what’s the point of it? God gave us the ability to think and reason for ourselves; we needed God to define what was sin in His eyes. The Law convicts us of our sin. 1. The Law constrained man to their own sin. Galatians 3:21-22 2. Being constrained was necessary to God’s plan. Until mankind could see their helplessness, they would never appreciate the mercy of God. Romans 11:32 Kind of like, “you have to experience the bad things in your life to appreciate the good in it” type deal. 3. Due to man being constrained to their sin, it would eventually lead them to Christ. Galatians 3:23-25

The Law prepared mankind for better things to come! 1. The Law was a shadow of the New Covenant. Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 10 2. The things done under the Law by its followers were important, even if they did not comprehend the importance of their deeds. Hebrews 8:4-5 The Law was for Israelite Nation 1. By the Israelites following the Law, God bound the Israelites to Him. Exodus 19:5-6 2. The Law made the Israelites distinct among the nations and prepared the Gentile nations for the New Covenant. Deuteronomy 4:5-8

Was the Law was temporary? Jeremiah 31:31-34 1. Jesus said the Law would last until it was fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18 2. Jesus’s purpose was to FULFILL the Law. Luke 24:44 3. Christ is the ending of the Law? Romans 10:4

In Romans 10:4, it says "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." The Law does no longer makes us righteous. However, if you are reading His whole word, we see His ways are good for us. He did end His ways or instruction for us.

Though the Law has been fulfilled, it does not mean it is now useless. 1. The Law provides evidence that Jesus is the Christ. John 5:39 2. The Law speaks of Christ. Luke 24:27 3. Believing in the Law gives rise to the belief in Christ. John 5:46-47 4. The Law gives evidence of God’s purpose. God revealed His purpose through the prophets, though they did not always understand. 1 Peter 1:10-12 5. Righteousness comes from God – proven by how we fail to uphold the Law. Romans 3:21 6. The Law prepares people for salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 The Scripture Timothy learned was from the Old Testament; both the Old and New Testaments equip the saints. 7. Faith does not invalidate the Law, rather, it still serves a purpose. Romans 3:31

Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"


Q. Are followers of Jesus bound by the Law?

A. Romans 10:4 tells us Christ is the end of righteousness found in the law; Christ fulfilled the Law at the Cross so that there is righteousness for all who believe in Him as the Messiah, in His death and resurrection, and all who have repented of their sin and given their life to Jesus. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All are in need of a Savior. This Savior is Jesus Christ as no one comes to the Father except by Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23, John 14:6


For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. If you try to keep the Law in order to earn your way into heaven, you will fail. James 2:10 Good works are produced by the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Works alone will not get you into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9

Q. What happened to the people in the Old Testament when they died? Did they go to heaven since “Christ is the only way to the Father”? This is all so confusing!


A. I know it sounds arrogant and intolerant for a group of people to say, “Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and there is no other way.” But it is written. If Old Testament saints can have salvation prior to Jesus walking the earth, why can’t people today go to heaven by simply being “good” or by obeying the Ten Commandments? The answer is that our God is a perfect and Holy God and none of us are righteous before Him, but by the blood Jesus Christ shed at the Cross.

But to further elaborate, for anyone truly asking this question and looking for answers: The people in the Old Testament, before Christ, were incapable of following the Ten Commandments and the countless other Laws just as we are. God provided the Law and recognized the fact that they would break it. This was to show man they NEEDED a savior (as explained in the above commentary and scripture presented). The people of the Old Testament were promised a Savior.

Example of Grace in the "Old Testament"

The people of the Old Testament were saved by the grace of God through their faith in a coming Messiah. This is where many religions branch off into dangerous territory as they believe Jesus was NOT the Savior of mankind, but a fraud and are STILL waiting on their messiah.


Even though they all saw the power of God firsthand through Jesus, they still rejected the Messiah. People are still to this day trying to get to heaven on a works-based system because they reject Jesus as the Messiah. None of us will make it to heaven trying to be “good”. This is where it pays to read the Word for yourself. Many of these religions are going to indeed accept an anti-Christ as their messiah.

Anyone who rejects Jesus as the Messiah is an enemy of God. There are many verses to support this claim, but 1 John 2:22 is succinct about it. “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist--denying the Father and the Son.” Who all falls under that category? I’ll let you ponder on that one. Are you standing with an enemy of God? A group, a religion, a people who reject Jesus Christ?

I hope this commentary answered some questions about the Law. I learned some new things, myself. If you’ve made it this far, have found fault, please correct in love, respectfully, and accompanied by Scripture.

I am humbly presenting things as the Holy Spirit puts on my heart. The Bible is alive and every time I read it, I am learning something new because as I grow in my walk, I will see and understand things differently and more importantly, correctly!

This age of information is a blessing and a curse. We have the wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips; it definitely has its pros and cons. We no longer rely on the boxed-up opinions of who and what we have in front of us as in the days of old. We can now share and learn with people all over the world with our discernment and the Word to guide us.

How does Jesus and the New Testament (NT) relate to the Old Testament (OT)? How does Jesus's teachings relate to OT law? The relationship is complex, but understanding how Jesus "fulfills" the OT is the key to unlocking true biblical understanding.


I will add more to the comment section below as I come across it.

If you have any correction to offer, please do so in the comments respectfully and cite which part of the post is incorrect. 🕊️


Grace and peace be with you!


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Christina
Christina
Apr 08
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Christina
Christina
Apr 02

We could sit here all night (and for the next week as some posts on this topic go) on this by picking out which verses we like. We must remember that there are over 30,000 verses in the Bible and each of those verses has the weight of all the verses around it bearing down upon it. We cannot separate a single verse from context and expect to have the meaning. https://seekingscripture.com/ecclesiastes-8-12/

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)


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Christina
Christina
Feb 20

Since the Torah and the God's Laws have been a hot topic of discussion, I thought I'd share what AoC Network has shared on the topic.

This shouldn't be a divisive topic, but rather one that can help us grow in our faith and walk with Jesus. It only becomes divisive if one chooses to make it divisive (possibly due to misunderstanding) or if someone tries to tell you that salvation is obtained by obedience. At this time of great division and distress, we need to seek King Jesus like never before. The Law of Christ documentary explores the Kingdom of God, the Law, Commands, and Covenants of the Bible in detail. God bless you all. I pray the documentary…


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Christina
Christina
Feb 20

God's story for humanity documented in the entire bible is full of grace and mercy time and time again. Search the scriptures with your whole heart and you will find it.

Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.

Isaiah 55:6


Micah 7:18 says, "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy." We serve a gracious, merciful God.

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Christina
Christina
Feb 20
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