POSTED 27 OCTOBER, 2017
Pastor: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23: It is only necessary to keep the Old Testament law to convert Jews to Christ.
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Messiah, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”
9:19 Regardless of how one approaches the details which follow in 1 Corinthians 9:20-23, that a figure like the Apostle Paul considers himself to be free from the constraints that others would, or might, place upon him, is clear enough from his statement, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19, ESV). The verb douloō means, “to make one subservient to one’s interests, cause to be like a slave” (BDAG). The statement of 1 Corinthians 9:19 bears some strong similarity to Yeshua’s own word, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45; cf. Luke 22:27). Yeshua is the One who left His exalted glory in Heaven, to take on the form of a servant or slave, and be horribly executed for human sin (Philippians 2:5-8). A figure like Paul, in emulation of his Lord, definitely frees himself from any unnecessary constraints that wider society might place upon him—be that society Jewish or Greco-Roman—so that the interests of the good news might be maximized. Paul is witnessed to have deprived himself of some things which the other Apostles did not, so he could influence the most amount of people with the good news of the Messiah.
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Today’s broad Messianic movement is of the conviction that the Torah or Law of Moses is relevant instruction for God’s people in the post-resurrection era. This is a conviction firmly rooted within the teaching of Yeshua the Messiah, who explicitly said that He did not come to abolish or eliminate the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19). Yet throughout much of Christian history, and even more so today, many theologians and examiners have argued that Moses’ Teaching has been rendered inoperative, and/or that it was only to be followed by those in the pre-resurrection era. Many of today’s Messianic people, while having a witness of the Spirit that God’s commandments are to be written on their hearts and minds via the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27), are not equipped well enough to answer common arguments delivered by evangelical Protestant family members, friends, acquaintances, or even various pastors or teachers that they know—when they quote verses to them from the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), in support of the premise that the Torah of Moses has been abolished.
The New Testament Validates Torah is a massive resource that all of today’s Messianic Believers need, especially in the current season of growth, development, and expansion in which our faith community finds itself. This publication is an extensive compilation of data across the wide range of books and commentaries available from Messianic Apologetics. The core of this resource is an examination of fifty passages, which are commonly used as proof texts to claim that the Torah is not to be followed by God’s people today. Statements such as not being “under the Law” (Romans 6:14-15), “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4), “All things are lawful” (1 Corinthians 6:12), ‘how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things” (Galatians 4:9), “abolishing…the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15), “having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14), and even “Thus He declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19)—among many—are thoroughly addressed. Considerable attention is given to various Hebrew and Greek issues, potential translation differences, and differences of perspective. Cross-examination and discussion with a wide number of commentators have also been offered, as well as an exploration of important subjects present within today’s Biblical Studies.
The New Testament Validates Torah is an important apologetic study that will benefit Messianic Believers and evangelical Christians alike. There is literally nothing in today’s Messianic movement that has compiled and packed as much information on Torah relevance for God’s people into a single book. Also, unlike some other publications issued on the message of Torah relevance, The New Testament Validates Torah is highly respectful to Protestant voices over the centuries who have valued what they have considered to be the “moral law” of the Old Testament, and seeks to fairly honor those who have preceded us in the faith, establishing common ground where possible.