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Freedom from the Jewish Law

March 4, 2014

Having come from a very strongly doctrinal background, it can be difficult for me to try and explain how I’ve found freedom from the Jewish Law, especially since I don’t want to offend any of my other Christian friends and family who still place a lot of importance on it.  I know what that’s like, and I do admire those efforts but personally I have found it to be a futile exercise and I prefer to instead rely on the grace of Jesus which covers my sins.  Jesus gave us the commandment to love God and love each other and he did away with the sacrifice by becoming the perfect sacrifice for us.  I claim these gifts in my life so I no longer need to worry about the old law and performing sacrifices for my sins.  I’ve listened to the argument that the law is so perfect that it was never done away with and I’m fine with that view, but I reject that I am condemned by it any longer.

It’s come to my attention that there are some Christians who are unwilling to read what I have to say if I don’t quote scripture to back it up, well how about this for scripture…. Read all of it!  Apply all of it!  I cannot define my views in one scripture or several.  Instead, I try to follow the example that Paul spoke of in his letters to live our new life in Christ.  Paul was more than just the letters we have collated into the New Testament, he was a living testimony of the changing grace of an encounter with Jesus.  God has no favourites and none of us are any more or less important than Paul was.  Jesus celebrates when a lost sheep is brought back into the fold, but that doesn’t mean he values the sheep who never left any less or any more.  We are all adopted into God’s family now.  No, I will not quote scripture to back up my statements, go and look for the scriptural backing yourself!  I would rather not grossly misquote such eloquent prose by lifting out the one sentence that suits me just to prove a point.

I say I am no longer bound to the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments.  Does this mean The Ten Commandments don’t matter to me?  Certainly they do matter!  However, I am no longer condemned by The Ten Commandments with a requirement to offer sacrifices at a temple if I worry that I might have sinned.  Instead, I give myself to God as a living sacrifice each day by happily and freely following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and this leads me to naturally do what is right because of my love for God.  We are called to be holy because Jesus was holy.  How have we lost sight of this?  Christianity is supposed to be a practical culture, taught by one person to another and modeled by active love.  Paul writes about freedom from the law and points out that we should not be boastful in Christ nor do we have a right to judge each other!  I am not perfect by any means, and I know in my heart when I am sinning.  However, that is between me and Jesus.  What matters is that I don’t hurt my relationship with other Christians because we all have the same goal of sharing Christ with others.

Even if the tithe was still in effect today, I’d be a recipient of it rather than a giver!  In fact, in some ways I am under a similar system in that the government taxes everybody and gives my family a government benefit.  However, the tithe is not relevant today because we are not growing food to take to a physical storehouse in support of the priests and the poor in the way it was commanded of the Jews.  Instead of feeling condemned when I do not give money to my attending church, I am free to give as much as I want or as little as I can afford, and when I do give it will be to benefit individuals who need it rather than the mission of an institution and in this way I will be able to spread the love of God.  Christians are supposed to be adult enough and close-knit enough as a community that when someone has a lot they can give to those who have less, and those who have little can ask for help from those who have a lot.  Voluntarily communism, what a radical idea!

Here is another example:  Don’t tell me I’m sinning if I take a sip of alcohol.  Even Paul took wine every now and then, even if you want to argue it wasn’t alcoholic.  What would Jesus do?  Apparently Jesus would get the party roaring by supplying the wine for the celebration!  If it offends you, I will not do it in front of you, but whether or not I drink at all, again that is between me and Jesus.  Speak to another Christian out of concern and compassion, not out of judgment!  We have the priestly authority to forgive sins but it seems not every Christian exercises this authority.  This applies to all behaviours which could be considered sinful, not just the consumption of alcohol.  Let’s always look for ways to encourage each other rather than find ways to break each other down.

Does any of this make sense at all?  Christianity is accessible to everyone and it isn’t supposed to be complicated.  I hope that those are words of hope for you.

So for those who are still trapped by the Law, I just want you to take to heart that God loves you no matter what you do, or what you do not do.  The Law does not separate you from God so don’t let it!  When you sin according to the laws that you place importance on, go straight to Jesus who is our High Priest and ask for forgiveness.  Accept his grace.  Nothing more is required and there is no need for guilt offerings any longer because he has already paid the price.  God’s love to you all.

From → Personal

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