Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Law and Grace – part 18
I’m probably going to wrap this up with part 20 on Friday. I hope it is making some sense. Also, I don’t want to repeat myself. For today, I want to examine and appreciate to connection between Law and Grace. For the last 3 weeks I’ve mostly been making the case that Law and Grace are not antithetical to each other. Today I want to write about their harmony.
Without Law there is no sin. Without sin we don’t need Grace. Wow! That was easy. We all come to the same place as Paul, when he wrote… Romans 7:7 “What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Torah. For I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.”
The Law is not sin, it is transgression of the Law that is sin. If we disregard the Law after we receive Messiah, we don’t know the way to follow Him. Remember how Thomas challenged Yeshua? John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, “Master, we don’t know where You are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Most of Christianity embraces what they call “the moral law.” Is there a law of God that is immoral? Hear Yeshua’s words later in the same discourse…. John 14:23 Yeshua answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words. And the word you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” Yeshua was very specific when He set up the parable about building on a firm foundation. Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master’ and do not do what I say?”
For the rest of today, I want to talk about two specific areas of concern, Sabbath keeping and Kashrut (kosher laws). Both are found throughout the Bible, but especially in the Torah, Sabbath in the 10 commandments and kashrut in Leviticus 11. Most of Christianity places these two outside what are called moral laws. But I ask you, is there ever a need for a more moral foundation than when we “kill and eat?” Also, how we honor the creator by resting on His day of rest is very moral. I want to take you to a couple of New Testament Scriptures to make my point and we’ll be done.
Concerning kashrut: 1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. Some would say, “See Rabbi, ‘Everything created by God is good, and nothing to be rejected…’ if you pray over it.” Not so fast, my friends, read the next verse. 1 Timothy 4:5 for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer. What has been sanctified (set apart) by the word of God (remember, we’re talking about food) and prayer. And remember, “Miss Piggy” (Leviticus 11:7) and oysters (Leviticus 11:10,11) are specifically set apart in the Word to be avoided as food.
Concerning Shabbat: Hebrews 4:9 So there remains a Shabbat rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered God’s rest has also ceased from his own work, just as God did from His. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through the same pattern of disobedience. But, but, that’s written to the Hebrews. That’s to whom the book is addressed. But at the end of verse 9 we read, “for the people of God.” Is that you?
Let’s bring this to a close. When we obey God, He commands the blessing. Remember, observance is optional, but so are the associated blessings. Can we get to heaven without observing God’s sabbaths and kashrut? Yes, and probably quicker. Do we want to stand at the pearly gates and say, “Oh, that’s what you meant?”
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 02-Feb-2022 1st of Adar I, 5782 Rosh Chodesh Adar I (Day 2)
Ex 26:15-30 1 Ki 19 Ps 110 Jn 6:1-36 (2 Tim 1)
Memory Verse: Genesis 50:20 Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people.
30 1/31 Monday: Genesis 39-40
31 2/01 Tuesday: Genesis 41
32 2/02 Wednesday: Genesis 42-43
33 2/03 Thursday: Genesis 44-45
34 2/04 Friday: Genesis 46-47