Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unpacking Luther’s Baggage, chapter 3, page 8

Some lessons from these passages are:
Acts 20:7     Paul and the early church attended the Temple and the synagogue. They also met together as a Messianic fellowship in private homes. They observed the Biblical festivals.
Acts 10 Peter and the Messianic believers were Torah observant. God is very creative in helping his people think outside the box. The introduction of Gentile believers  to the body of Messiah brought a whole new set of dynamics to the ecclesia (congregation), as Acts 15 would soon testify.
Ephesians 2:15 There is a big difference between the written and the Oral Torah. It is very helpful to study the “New Testament” with the aid of Messianic and Rabbinic scholars to help sort out these differences. The subsequent denominational churches didn’t understand these distinctions and took the position that the law had been done away with. 
Matthew 5 Yeshua is the consummate rabbi who, among many other things, came to teach us how to properly interpret the Torah. Whoever teaches others about the commandments will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven and whoever breaks the commandments and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven.
You might be wondering where I put myself on the Extremeter dial and that’s totally understandable. First of all, I know my sin and weakness all too well. I place my hope of salvation in the blood of Yeshua/Jesus and am deeply grateful for his forgiveness and love. Torah means teaching and I need to learn. The Holy Spirit is my teacher and the Bible is my textbook. The wisdom found in the stories, principles, and experiences throughout the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy form the foundation that the rest of the Bible builds upon. You can’t read very far in the Gospels or letters without running into a quote, idiom, or analogy which finds its roots in the Torah. When given two extremes, I often go for the middle ground, so perhaps I’m somewhere between Torah Friendly and Torah Honoring. For example, I am quite convinced that God wants his people to rest on the Sabbath. While I acknowledge this, I confess that I do not often do this and I so I lose the benefit of the rest as well as not honoring the Sabbath. It is partly because I live in a Christian culture that pays little attention to it, but it is mostly because of my weakness. But I keep trying; not to earn points with God, but to be more like Him (Jesus). It’s time to go to bed, and so I’ll sign off.

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