This is to make a case for Christians to follow the Law given by God to Moses in the Torah or Pentateuch. Here are a list of Pro Torah versus.
- 1 Justice
- 2 Royal Law
- 3 God never changes
- 4 The Prophets
- 5 To fully appreciate our need for grace and mercy
- 6 The Method of Grace
- 7 To Receive Blessings and Avoid Curses
- 8 To be Holy
- 9 Evidence the Early Church Followed The Law
What is more just? The laws of man or the laws of God? I think people look at some examples of God's laws that are hard to understand and quickly dismiss them. I think it is hard to say that man's laws are better having never lived for an extended period in a society that fully embraced God's law.
What is justice?
Aside from the bible, one of the oldest texts, The Republic, famously posed this question. Do the rulers dictate right and wrong? Do the strong impose their will on the weak? If that is true, then we would have to say rape and slavery is just. Does society dictate right and wrong? Do we collectively come to some "social agreement"?
The US legal system
The United States legal system is predicated on the assumption that society can best govern itself and it is fundamental to the design of this nation that not only can society best govern itself, that those rules will constantly improve over time. It would seem that in respect to women's rights and the abolition of slavery, we have made great gains. That said, there seem to be many glaring issues. More than 5,000 new laws are passed in the United States each year. Attorneys do not know the whole law, so it is a given that most citizens have only a cursory understanding of the law at best. Additionally, it is becoming more and more clear that businesses are influencing the legislative process by bribing politicians in the form of campaign contributions and lobbying.
When Jesus was asked the greatest of the laws, He said to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. John Piper has suggested the concept of Christian Hedonism, which suggests that our greatest possible pleasure is found in God. Is not the law to show us how to love God and our neighbor?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right. James 2:8
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced cthe Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:34-40
God never changes
I had always considered the New and Old testament as different. The Old testament is Jewish tradition. The New testament is Christian tradition. Looking at the Old testament through the Christological lens shows that Jesus, the Gospel, and concept of redemption and grace have always been present. To read the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son in any other perspective than it is a foreshadowing of what God, our Father, will ultimately do for us, shows a cruel God. The truth is the same as it was, is, and will be. So it follows that God is never changing. "For I the LORD do not change" Malachi 3:6.
problem with dispensationalism
Dispensationalism is a relatively new idea and cannot be true if one accepts that God does not change. Like evolution, dispensationalism suggests that our relationship with God changes with each dispensation or covenant. There does not seem to be consensus as to how many dispensations there are, but proponents of dispensationalism would all agree that the Mosaic or Law is separate from Grace or Ecclesial. The problem with dispensationalism is that it would suggest that God amends and changes previous covenants. The only way God can amend a previous covenant is to break a previous covenant.
If the law does not annul the promise to Noah, Abraham, or Israel, the presumably it does not annul any promise. If that is true of the promises, presumably it applies to the law as well.
the law and need for grace existed before they were established in the Torah
If I suggest that the Torah or Mosaic law is as relevant now as it was, I must also contend that Grace was as necessary then as now. Abraham did not question God when asked to sacrifice his son in Genesis 22 because he new he had fallen short of adhering to God's law and needed a sacrifice. Abraham, like us, was justified through faith. The revelation from God for our need of Grace did not happen when Jesus was sacrificed, but has always been there. "Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8. So Abraham must have known the law before Moses gave it to the people of Israel, broken that law, and knew he needed a blood sacrifice to atone for that sin.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Hebrews 13:8
This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. Galations 3:17
In the Old Testament, there are major prophets such as Isaiah, minor prophets such as Hosea, and others such as Miriam who did not write a book of the Bible, but prophesied. There are several recurring themes the prophets repeat, one of which is that God's people should repent and return to following the law.
They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Zechariah 7:12
This is God speaking to Zechariah through an angel saying that they cannot hear the law or the prophets that, like Zechariah, are telling people to repent and return to following the law.
To fully appreciate our need for grace and mercy
The first point in the five points of Calvinism is Total Depravity. Man is born into sin and sins himself. Not only that, in the times he does not sin, his motives are usually not as God would have them. Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). Although many ministers would agree with this, they do not believe we need to adhere to the Torah. As a result, many Christians do not even realize the extent of their ungodliness. If they do not know what God has told us to do or not to do, how can we know the extent of our sin? At the very heart of the matter is confusion of what sin is. How can a person really know how many sins (s)he is committing if (s)he has never tried to live by all the rules the Torah offers?
The Method of Grace
Through the Law, God establishes that sins can be forgiven by sacrifice and that debts can be erased and one’s inheritance returned to them. I think there is a conundrum that God solves. How can he be just and at the same time not punish those that are guilty? I think most people agree that we need to have rules that limit the will, that left to its own devices can do horrible things. Further, I think most would agree that without consequences, those rules are useless. The law of God is the method by which God establishes what we can and cannot do, what is to happen if we break these rules. It does not stop there, it establishes a sacrificial system, the elimination of debt, and grace itself.
To Receive Blessings and Avoid Curses
This is a touchy subject because of the Prosperity Gospel. I think it is dangerous to behave in some way only because you want to earn something. However, the Bible repeatedly has God saying if you do as he asks, he will bless you. Conversely the Lord repeatedly states that if you continue to live in rebellion, he will curse you.
When God made a covenant with the people of Israel at Moab, he said:
This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. Deuteronomy 26:16
Here and everywhere God says he will bless His people, but that blessing is contingent upon His people following His commandments and listening to His voice. Additionally, failure to follow His commandments and listen to His voice will be met with curses. He specifically lists those blessings and curses. I am not aware of anywhere in the Bible where blessings are not tied to behavior that is almost always tied to following statutes, commandments, and laws of God.
To be Holy
Evidence the Early Church Followed The Law
This is an endnote from The Iron King of the The Accursed Kings series by Maurice Druon. What he is describing is the calendar described in Leviticus. To be fair, it sounds like a solar calendar adapted to start at the same time as the biblical calendar. Although, the description of a "movable feast" seems to refer to the nature of the biblical calendar in that it moves from year to year depending on several factors such as the new moon in relation to other events, mainly the harvest and some astronomical events.
The methods used in the Middle Ages for dividing up the year were not the same as those in use today; moreover, they changed from country to country. The official year began, in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, on Christmas Day; in Venice, upon the 1st March; in England, upon the 25th March; in Rome, at one time upon the 25th January and at another upon the 25th March; in Russia, at the spring equinox. In France the official year began on Easter Day. This curious custom of taking a movable feast as the beginning of the year (this is what is known as the Easter style, or the French style, or the ancient style), led to the year varying in length from three hundred and thirty to four hundred days. Some years had two springtimes, one at the beginning and one at the end. This ancient style is the source of infinite confusion and creates great difficulties in establishing exact dates; for, if one is not very careful, one can discover a date of decease earlier by several months than the marriage of the character concerned, or again battles which appear to have been fought after the treaty of peace. According to the old manner of dating things, the end of the trial of the Templars took place in 1313, since the year 1314 did not begin till the 7th April. It was only in December 1564, under the reign of Charles IX, the last but one of the Kings of the Valois dynasty, that the beginning of the official year was fixed on the 1st January. Russia did not adopt this ‘new style’ till 1725, England in 1752, and Venice after the Napoleonic conquest. All dates in this book are translated into the ‘new style’.