Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, October 23, 2019 

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

What is “hate speech?”  We are reaching a critical juncture in society where saying something intended as loving and helpful can be considered hate speech.  

If I speak to a thief and urge him not to steal, is that hate speech.  Of course not, but go with me here on this.  If I speak to an adulterer and urge him not to commit adultery, is that hate speech?  Now you know where I’m going.   If I speak to any member of the LGBTQ community (my own name is the “alphabet soup” community) and urge him to obey God, is that hate speech?  There, I went there.

It seems like we are already at the threshold, and yes, have walked through the door when just reading the Bible aloud will be considered hate speech.  We have freedom of religion in this country.  That is now being interpreted as freedom to believe what ever you like, but we no longer have freedom to practice whatever we like.  

Believe to yourself whatever you want, but if you speak what you believe and it offends anyone in any way, that is now labeled hate speech.  

Mark 13:11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh…. 13 And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Week 43
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

211   10/21    Monday:         1 Corinthians 15-16

212   10/22    Tuesday:        2 Corinthians 1-2

213   10/23    Wednesday:  2 Corinthians 3-4

214   10/24    Thursday:      2 Corinthians 5-6

215   10/25    Friday:           2 Corinthians 7-8

Question of the day:  What does this mean? 2 Corinthians 3:6b For the letter kills, but the Ruach (Spirit) gives life.

Answer:  The entire chapter is written around this verse.  I could even make a case that the entire Bible is written around this verse.  And it’s not even a whole verse.  

One thing to keep in mind is that the Law of God is unchanging.  Both in letter and in spirit, it’s the same law.  It’s our approach to the Law that makes the difference between life and death.  So let’s examine that approach.

In the “letter” approach we have to perform to receive God’s favor (another way to describe “grace”).  Working for grace is not grace at all.  The striving is to perform at an acceptable level.  

When we approach God’s righteous standards (another way to describe Law) in the Spirit, being acceptable to God is no longer on the table.  Grace covered that.  It is no longer an issue.  Our acceptance is by grace.  

Now we are free to obey God according to the leading of His Spirit.  And His Spirit will never lead us to disobey Him.  That would be a house divided against itself.

When we walk according to the letter of the law, we walk in fear of disobedience.  When we walk according to the spirit of the law, we walk in love with a delight to be obedient.  

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what was impossible for the Torah—since it was weakened on account of the flesh—God has done. Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh— 4 so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.