Thursday, February 28, 2008

Torah & Salvation

Torah & Salvation

While we as a Congregation have a strong love and respect for the Torah, sometimes the role of the Torah creates confusion in our minds. To clarify this, let's discuss the role of the Torah, and the role of the Messiah.

The Torah is Adonai's perfect W-rd. We believe it was given directly by G-d (through Messiah) to Moshe. The Torah is a covenant, a wedding contract (Ketubah); it defines a way of life for us. This way of life defines how we interact with man and G-d. The Torah defines right and wrong. The Torah does not provide a way of obtaining salvation. No one (except Messiah) is able to keep every commandment perfectly. Thus when Rabbi Sha'ul (Paul) speaks of Torah showing us our sin, he specifically is saying that we cannot live Torah out in our own strength.

Messiah came to make the Torah understood, and to correct errors of teaching that had occurred. More than that though, He came to provide the Mercy & Grace needed for us to obtain a right standing with G-d. Many prayers, espically at Yom Kippur, state "we have no deeds that commend us to you (G-d)". Thus we can see that it is G-d himself that must provide the salvation, it cannot be earned by following Torah alone.

Some in the Messianic Movement get so enamored with traditional Judaism that they come to the point where Torah becomes more important than Messiah. We do not have that option. Torah will not save us. Only G-d can save us, and He has chosen Messiah to be the agent for that salvation.

We must learn to walk in the middle of the path G-d has called us to. Not going to the right or left. The right, Torah without Messiah will not save us. The left, Messiah without Torah, is not keeping with G-d's word as we are not abiding in Him, nor keeping His commands (1st John chapter 3).

In Summary

We are called to follow G-d and His Messiah, and to keep Torah. That is the way the Master told us to live, abiding in Him and His W-rd.

5 comments:

shibboleth said...

Dear Rabbi Gavri'el,

Thank you so much for your insightful teachings and thoughts. I, as a gentile believer, takes a great joy in learning about the "Jewishness" of the gospel. I might say, I rediscovered Jesus through Yeshua.

I've been reading Michael L. Brown's books a lot lately, and trying to find out whether we gentile believers should follow the torah. David talks a lot about how his love of God makes him love the laws as well in Psalm. I understand that it is impossible to follow all the laws. But shouldn't we gentile believers at least try to follow the laws as much as we can since we have confesed our love for the Lord? Souldn't we must come to love the laws? Afterall, Yeshua came to fulfill the law.

TK said...

Hello and Shalom,

Why do you think some Messianics get so enamoured with the Torah that they put it over Jesus?

Also, why do some seem to love Judaism more than Jesus, and end up betraying the Lord?

Theresa

Rabbi Gavri'el said...

Yeshua came to make full, not fulfill the Law. To make full means to rightly teach or explain it's meaning.

Read 1st John Chapter 3, it says sin is a violation of Torah (or Law) and anyone who keeps sinning has no part in G-d.

Seems that answers the question, for me anyway.

IT is a gradual process, but after a little while, Torah becomes a joy, not a burden!

Blessings RGBG

Rabbi Gavri'el said...

TK,

Some Messianic are unstable, there are many questionable teachers and practices being labeled Messianic. I have seen it happen 3 times out of about 100 where a person finally drops Messiah and goes into traditional Judaism. It is a very small number, but 1 is too many.

From my prospective, bad theology and poor teachers are often to blame, but in all cases the person comes to see rules as more important than Messiah.

A balance approach of Messiah and Torah are needed. We are redeemed by Messiah, we walk in G-d's plan by following His Torah.

Blessings - RGBG

Chassidishe Yid said...

The works of Torah do indeed save us. The works of Torah cannot be separated from faith in HaShem, nor likewise the other way around. Faith without works is dead.
Faith actually comes by way of works.

In Sefer Ya'akov 2, this is taught:

"14 What does it profit, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Avraham Avinu justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Avraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahav the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Shalom,
Aharon HaLevi