Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, January 17, 2022
Law and Grace – part 6
Hello Rabbi. Would you please explain this verse? 2 Corinthians 3:6 He also made us competent as servants of a new covenant—not of the letter, but of the Ruach. For the letter kills, but the Ruach gives life. Gladly, here you go….
The “competence” we are claiming is from God, as is clearly stated in the previous verse. 2 Corinthians 3:5 not that we are competent in ourselves… but our competence is from God. But I want to explain what it means, that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
If we approach God’s commands by the “letter,” we have a mindset to do exactly as God commands. Except His commands are not that specific. Exodus 20:8 “Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy.” (Read down to verse 11 if you like. There still is not much detail on “how” to keep Yom Shabbat holy.) The “letter” means to do exactly what is written. But, as we said, what is written is not specific.
What we must guard against, is requirements made by men. Colossians 2:16 Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat.
Yeshua promised us the Holy Spirit to give us the details of how to obey God. Yeshua gives us a promise… John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. Then, as if to say, “While were on the subject of keeping My commandments,”… John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper so He may be with you forever— John 16:13a But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. The letter has strict limits while the Spirit leads us into all truth. The letter kills because the striving to perform every minute detail will wear you out. The Spirit gives life because it is refreshing (life giving) to please God.
The chapter of Matthew 5 ends with this… Matthew 5:48 “Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The Hebrew word translated as “perfect” is a form of Shalom, “Shalem.” It means complete, whole and lacking nothing. Yes, we are complete in Him, because only God fills us up to satisfaction.
Rabbi Trail: How can I get a Hebrew word from a Greek New Testament? There are no original manuscripts of the New Testament in Hebrew. But for the Gospels there is the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels which have been reprinted by FFOZ (ffoz.org). Franz Delitzsch was a German Jew who became a Lutheran theologian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Delitzsch His work is widely considered authoritative. End RT.
By the Spirit, we are complete in Him (capital “H”). Colossians 2:10a and in Him (Yeshua) you have been filled to fullness (made complete). Then significantly (and in conclusion) we don’t use the “letter” of small details to inform our practice, we allow the Holy Spirit to inform our practice. And remember, God cannot contradict Himself. The Holy Spirit will never tell you to break one of God’s commandments.
Romans 8:4 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.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 17-Jan-2022 15th of Sh’vat, 5782 Tu BiShvat
Ex 18:13-23 1 Ki 5 Ps 96 Lk 21 (1 Th 1)
Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 10:12 For we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding.
16 1/20 Monday: Genesis 27-28
17 1/21 Tuesday: Genesis 29-30:24
18 1/22 Wednesday: Genesis 31-32
19 1/23 Thursday: Genesis 33;35
20 1/24 Friday: Genesis 37