Q: Based on the belief that Jesus died as an atonement for sin, a prevailing teaching in the Church holds that sins are automatically pardoned and the commandments of God are thus made null and void.
Does the law/Torah/teaching of God expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures still have relevance and, if so, how is it applicable in the life of a believer today?
At the conclusion this week of Ethics Now & Then 63, Avot 4:13, this question is raised… what are your thoughts?
Romans 8:1 reads: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua). For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Sadly, instead of applying this verse to the “law of sin and death” – the inclination toward sin that seeks to indulge and satisfy the flesh – it is applied to the Holy Scriptures themselves – the Word that brings life! Paul clarifies this in verse 7: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law/Torah; indeed, it cannot.”
Many Christians believe, as has been taught in Replacement Theology and in the majority of the Church’s denominations, that the “law” that one is set free from is the Law/Torah of God. This thinking, built on and substantiated by other random verses from the letters of Paul, effectively frees one from paying attention to the commandments of God given in the Hebrew Scriptures. Rather, the Torah, we are told, was written by the finger or Spirit of God, and will stand when all else fades. By His Spirit given in Yeshua all can cry, “Abba! Father!” (v. 16) and can learn, through His Word, to walk after the Good Shepherd Yeshua in Abba’s Torah (teaching) and ways of truth and kindness.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom.8:14).