Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, February 9, 2023

Be Doers And Not Hearers Only – Romans, part 23

Romans 2:12 For all who have sinned outside of Torah will also perish outside of Torah, and all who have sinned according to Torah will be judged by Torah. 13 For it is not the hearers of Torah who are righteous before God; rather, it is the doers of Torah who will be justified.

These two verses of Scripture mention Torah (Law) six times and Grace zero times.  The concluding thought is a hard saying, Romans 2:13b “It is the doers of Torah who will be justified.”  Isn’t this the same Paul who wrote in the next chapter…

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are set right as a gift of His grace, through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua.

To Paul, doing the will of God (as revealed in the Torah) and being saved by grace is seamless.  He is not suggesting that we are saved by keeping the Torah, he is telling us that keeping the Torah is evidence of salvation.  Remember, Paul previously said in Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 In it the righteousness of God is revealed, from trust to trust. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by emunah.”  “Emunah” is eternal faith, It is partly where we get our word “amen,” meaning “that is a faithful saying.”

The entire book of Romans (and the preponderance of Scripture for that matter) is a warning against deception.  It is deception to separate justification, salvation and sanctification.  They are a continuous filament of transition from lost to found, from habitual sinner to saved, and from ungodly to God-like.  By grace, God plants within His people the desire to do His will, which is found in the Torah.

Psalm 40:7 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire —my ears You have opened— burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. 8 Then I said: “Here I am, I have come— in the scroll of a book it is written about me. 9 I delight to do Your will, O my God. Yes, Your Torah is within my being.”

Please take a minute to read all of Psalm 40.  I did, and I’m amazed at the prophetic content.  It tells the story of Yeshua’s life in His own words.  Even though we proclaim the “Shema” every day, it is not about hearing, it is about doing.  Jacob 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.  Don’t be deceived.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 9-Feb-2023 18th of Sh’vat, 5783
Ex 19:7-19 2 Ki 5 Ps 126-127 Jn 7:25-53 (1 Ti 3)