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Legalism vs. antinomianism

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The dividing wall of hostility between Torah observance and faith in Yeshua is strong.

The adversary loves to keep us divided, for divided we fall.

However, the Bible describes the followers of God as those who "obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Yeshua (Rev 12:17)."

The biblical concept is quite simple; it’s theology that gets in the way.

If Yeshua is the Word (and the Word is the Torah) as John 1:1 states, then a dichotomous separation between Torah observance and faith in Yeshua represents serious misinterpretations of certain passages of the New Testament.

For example, Colossians 2:14 does not state that the Torah (the written code) has been nailed to the cross and eliminated; it states that the condemnation that results from breaking the laws of God is paid for on the cross by Yeshua’s self sacrifice (as the right hand of God and the Torah himself).

In the body of Yeshua, the Torah is nailed to the cross. The condemnation dies. God’s laws remain.

God’s laws are our instructions for life on this earth. Yeshua himself says that they do not go away (Matt 5:17-18).

Let’s consider for a moment that Torah observance is not required of those who profess faith in Yeshua.

We have no need of God’s grace, for we have a license to sin. There is no more sin, really, because there are no more laws.

The Sabbath is any day we please.

Adultery and murder are OK.

Eating pork no longer marks us as an enemy of God. Clearly, we need to put a little more thought into the matter, for Yeshua says to such people, "Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness (Torah-lessness) I never knew you (Matt 7:23)."

Lawlessness in Greek is anomos, or Torah-lessness. Antinomians are those against the law.

Why is it that we still hold on to some of God’s law and scrap the rest?

While theologians divide the Torah into categories of civil and ceremonial law, the Torah itself makes no such division. Following God’s laws is called legalism by those who reject God’s laws, but it is called obedience by God himself.

May we stand on the side of obedience, understanding that the Torah defines sin (1 Jn 3:4), that Yeshua pays for the penalty of sin, and that he tells us to sin no more.

Faith in Yeshua necessitates adherence to his Torah.


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