Is Messiah the Termination of the Torah?

REVISED EDITION ORIGINALLY POSTED 20 JANUARY, 2004

A foundational principle of Christianity is supposed to be “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In theory, most evangelical conservative Christians claim to honor the Bible as if all of it is the inspired, inerrant Word of the Lord. However, in practice, the same cannot often be said, especially when it comes to many Christians’ attitude concerning their approach to the Law of Moses, or the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy).[1]

The Psalmist declares, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8), and “If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction” (Psalm 119:92). Yeshua (Jesus) tells us in Matthew 19:17, “if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” These concepts are admittedly hard to understand for many of today’s Christians. They show us that God’s Law is to play some role of importance in the lives of His people.

Have we not also been taught, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8), and “if righteousness comes through the Law, then Messiah died needlessly” (Galatians 2:21)? These too are important concepts of our faith not to be disregarded.[2]

The Apostle Paul writes, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling[3] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We are to be very careful when handling Holy Scripture, especially if one claims that certain parts of it, such as the Law of Moses, are no longer relevant for today’s Believers. As Yeshua warns, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).

What is the average Christian to do about what can appear to be contradictions in the pages of the Bible? From one perspective, we could argue that the Torah is not for Believers today, whereas from another we could come to the conclusion that Believers must and should be observing God’s commands, with His judgment ready to strike the disobedient at a moment’s notice. Rather than be dogmatic about a particular persuasion, let Biblical continuance be our quest. Let us understand that the Bible has no contradictions regarding God’s purpose and plan for His people—and that it is our job to seek what is true above all else—even our own opinions. We must synthesize what appear to be opposing viewpoints among Scriptural passages.

Through the advent of the Messianic movement and Believers embracing the Hebraic Roots of their faith, many have been convicted to study and keep God’s Torah. But at the same time, there are concerns that exist, the first one often being, “you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Letting the whole of Scripture be our guide, we will attempt to set straight many of Christianity’s misconceptions of the Law in this article, as “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). As Yeshua told a group of Pharisees, “if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me” (John 5:46), as they seemingly forgot to read what the Torah said of Him. Have we made the same mistake, failing to see Yeshua for who He is in the Torah of Moses? How much do today’s Christians not understand human sin, and the Savior who came to redeem them, because they do not study God’s Torah (cf. Galatians 3:24; Romans 3:20)?

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Is_Messiah_the_Termination_of_the_Torah_INTRODUCTION_TO_THINGS_MESSIANIC

reproduced from Introduction to Things Messianic

Are you new to the Messianic movement? Do you have questions about what the Messianic movement, lifestyle, and theologies are all about? Do you need answers on a wide variety of issues with some detailed information? If these are the questions you have been asking, then Introduction to Things Messianic is a book that will definitely benefit you.

Written to the new person investigating Messianic things, Introduction to Things Messianic is a compilation of articles that will inform the inquirer on a wide array of Messianic topics relevant to the current state and growth of our movement, including:

  • Is “the Church” truly a new group of elect?
  • Is the Torah or Law of Moses really relevant for Believers today?
  • Who were the ancient Pharisees and what did they believe?
  • What are the ancient civilizations relevant to the Bible?
  • Am I required to keep the Sabbath?
  • What are the Biblical festivals?
  • Am I required to eat kosher?
  • Why do many Messianics use the proper name of God?
  • What do Messianics think about the end-times?
  • How do I properly grow in this new walk of faith?

These questions, and many more, are discussed and detailed in Introduction to Things Messianic. This book builds on the foundational material in Hebraic Roots: An Introductory Study in a much more thorough way for those wanting an in-depth view of these basic issues. Introduction to Things Messianic can be used for a single person or a group Bible study, as study questions follow each chapter. This publication can also be used as an excellent primer to other publications available from Messianic Apologetics.

250 pages