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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Untying the Knot, continued
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)
Some of the Messianic congregations of our day are going back under the Law of Moses because they have found little substance in Evangelical teaching. Their reaction is understandable but misguided. One cannot add to the perfect redemption in Jesus Christ circumcision, the Sabbath, the kosher laws, the feast days, or any other statute or ceremony of the Law of Moses. All these portray Christ and are filled up in Him.
When we say we must keep the commandments of God we are speaking of moral purity, a forgiving, loving nature, the fruit of the Spirit, courage, honesty, faithfulness, the moral image of Christ. We are not referring to circumcision or the Sabbath day.
There is a tremendous difference here. Circumcision and the Sabbath are covenantal requirements. Moral purity, honesty, faithfulness, are part of the eternal moral law of God. They are included in and then transcend the covenantal requirements. Circumcision and the Sabbath do not transcend the covenantal requirements unless we apply their spiritual counterparts—circumcision of the heart and the rest of God.
So be sure when you are listing a passage from Paul that seems to prove our salvation is by faith alone and works of righteousness have nothing to do with it, make sure that by "works" Paul is not referring to the covenantal requirements of the Law of Moses. Paul's strong statements in Romans and Galatians are referring to the works of the Law of Moses. Paul knew very well that if we continue to walk in the darkness of sin we are courting spiritual death. Paul was a preacher of righteous behavior as the most casual review of his writings will reveal.
The second area of disagreement concerns the approach we are to take to the commandments given in the New Testament.
The first viewpoint concerning the second area of disagreement is that we are to regard the commandments as binding on us. We are to seek the Lord continually that we may walk in all His righteous ways.
Some passages from the New Testament are as follows. (Can you imagine how many there are in the Old? How about Psalms 119? Or should we throw out the Old Testament?)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11,12)
Now for a passage, in support of the Evangelical position, that reveals clearly the approach we are to take to keeping the commandments of the Lord.
Dearly beloved, now that the grace of our Lord Jesus has appeared you can safely forget about the commandments He has given and those we have written in His name. Their only purpose was to show you how badly you need a redeemer. Maranatha. (Nonsense 3:1,2)
To be continued.