Jul 252015
 

Word of GodHebrews 1:3-5

As a short introductory reminder, the writer is not describing Jesus just for the sake of description, but is making his plea and his case to keep this Christian congregation(s) of Jews from leaving the fold and returning to what they think is not only less persecution, but also “isn’t Temple Judaism just as good as following Jesus?”

3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

  • So we have more descriptions
    • Radiance – Moses just glowed for a few days
    • He is the wisdom and the glory of the Father.
    • The exact imprint – 1 Col 1:15
    • He is the exact representation of his nature and of his character.
    • The sustainer of all things – He holds the universe together. Let’s hope Jesus doesn’t sneeze. Col 1:17
    • Jesus, by the word of his power is the Lord of creation and history.
    • He directs everything so that it reaches its final goal.
  • He is superior to the priests
    • After purifying all things of sin – he sits down
    • The priests had to make their sacrifices continually.
  • Having completed his work – It is finished!!!
    • He sits at the right hand of God
    • Sitting at God’s right hand (God does not have a Right Hand) = Possessing the authority of God
    • Col 3:1 – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

  • Superior to the angels – because of who he is
  • But why the comparison to angels? Who brought messages from God? Angels did and Jesus did.
  • The writer must make the distinction.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

  • First is quoted from Psalm 2:7
  • Has any angel ever been called God’s son? Sometimes called sons of God.
  • The same heavenly benediction is pronounced on Jesus at his baptism – Mark 1:9-11 – ““In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
  • And again at the Transfiguration – Mark 9:7-8 ““And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ”This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.”

Second quote is from 2 Sam 7:14 – “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men,”

  • Nathan assures that through David, He will build a Temple (through Solomon) – but not just any Temple, but one where the Throne will endure forever.
  • Luke 1:32 – The angel Gabriel says about Mary’s son – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,”
  • Matt 12:6 – “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.”
  • John 2:19-21 – “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.”

So, to end this section, let’s review and wrap up and look forward to the remainder of chapter 1.

  • The end game – Jesus is better (superior is the key word – 13 times).
  • Why go back to something less?
    • The Temple is less
    • Animal sacrifice is less
    • The priesthood is less
    • Caesar worship is less
  • God has spoken – the people know this.
    • Jesus Christ is his Son
    • Jesus is superior to all created things
    • Jesus has completed the work of redemption for all mankind.
    • It is finished – he has sat down.

  318 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. Thank you for this study. As I was reading, I kept thinking of this song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rZ8k9m2hwo

  2. Smartly done my friend. Great start to my Sunday. Keep making much of Him.

  3. Awesome start to Hebrews!

    If the teaching is of this caliber we are in for some incredible Bible study in the book.

    I eagerly look forward to what is to come.

    ***

    I want to share another teacher of the Word…

    John Piper Is A Great Teacher Of The Word!

    He explores every angle point of God’s Word in a an easy to understand lesson format.

    I love this guy and think you will understand why…

    http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/jesus-name-made-this-man-strong

  4. John Piper’s last sermon as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/sorrowful-yet-always-rejoicing

  5. MLD is doing great work on this.

    The key passage here in my opinion is that He has finished His work and sat down…He made a one time offering for all sins, of all men, for all time.

    That should inform all your theology…

  6. excellent summation – good to think on today
    staggering to consider who it is we’re considering… how gracious of God, how kind, how patient …

  7. Em,

    That is another good point.
    We have reduced Jesus to a God made in our own image far too often.
    It should stagger and overwhelm us to meditate on the God who He truly is.

  8. #7- love was when God became a man, to quote an old song… that is where i met God – as a man – but it took me quite a while to step it up to give myself permission to think on what my mind can never fully contain – the One who orders and holds the whole universe (and beyond 🙂 ) together, let alone the creator of all that – Jesus Christ should lead us to God

    how can anyone consider their eye than feeds information of all kinds to a brain that then processes and acts on the data received to do incredible – and mundane – things and say, “if God wants me to know that He is real, He can get in touch with me; I haven’t seen anything yet that makes me know there is a God…?” is that wisdom?

  9. hope my #8 wasn’t off topic

    “The sustainer of all things – He holds the universe together. Let’s hope Jesus doesn’t sneeze. Col 1:17” … MLD that comment is so …. Jewish 🙂

  10. It is so wonderful to see this side of MLD.

    It puts him in a better perspective for me personally, showing us what God knows and sees about this man of God.

    I love that.

    We can so easily forget who we are in Christ as we banter back and forth on blogs and such among ourselves as Christians.

    But when it comes down to the teaching and understanding of God’s Word it is a whole nuther thing.

    There is a reverence and respect that comes across to me as MLD shares the Word.

    This is serious business as MLD represents the One of Whom he speaks.

    I can see why Michael has invited him to take the podium on this venue.

    He is worthy to the task and has made Christ central, which any great teacher of the Word should always do.

    Of course now I am wondering to myself, “Why has not/is not this man of God shepherding his own congregation?”

    He certainly has the experience and qualifications required.

    For that matter there are a few others here who also, if I may use the idiom, ‘fit the bill…

    We are having Church!

    ( I guess I been watching to much “America’s got talent,” Chef Ramsey and “American Idol” judging type shows…LOL )

    Well done MLD!
    5 Stars
    Thumbs up!

  11. Thanks for the kind words. As you read my studies please understand that these are my notes for my Sunday morning class and are meant to be delivered orally in an interactive setting. That is why I have questions imbedded in my text.

    We cover more ground each week in class as I have a word limitation here on the blog. My point will be, no matter how small the passage covered – to show Jesus.

  12. Surfer 51 asks – “Why has not/is not this man of God shepherding his own congregation?”

    It’s a question asked often when I was in both CC and SBC. But my answer is always very simple – I do not have a pastor’s heart.
    Teaching well and pastoring are two different callings and many times they get confused. I am called to the one and not the other.
    Somewhere early along the line I realized this. It has been tempting (when I was younger) but I think I would be doing a disservice to the cause of Christ.

  13. Thanks, MLD– I love Hebrews (and Romans, and Ephesians… well, they’re all so rich!) Thank you for doing this for us 🙂

  14. In an effort to go over my article word limit, I need to slip some more thoughts in through the comments. I think a phrase in v. 3 worthy of discussion is “After making purification for sins”
    Think of how the priest made purification vs how Jesus made purification.
    1.) Christ actually made the purification
    2.) Christ actually was the purification
    3.) Christ actually continues to be the purification (1 John 2:1)

  15. 3.) Christ actually continues to be the purification (1 John 2:1)…because He’s eternal and incorruptible.

  16. Okay—–was going sit this one out, but darn it all, just have to get this one in.

    God promised David that from his seed, the one to sit upon the throne would come be King forever over His Kingdom.

    Scripture only tells us that God said it would be from the David seed. We also have to take in consideration of the curse of Jeconiah, along with scripture telling us it was from Mary’s seed that a savior would be born.

    David had another son by Bathsheba, called Nathan. Mary lineage can be traced back through David, but through Nathan. Nathan was as much a prince as Solomon. There were two promises made: one conditional and one unconditional. The first having to do with obedience while on the throne and the second having to do with David’s seed giving claim to that throne on earth and in heaven.

    If Solomon had died and left no sons, then Nathan would have been next in line. As it was, he did not fall under the curse because he was not of Solomon’s seed, but of seed of David. Thus God’s promises were kept and Jesus could rightfully claim to be the King of the Jews, as much as King of the Kingdom yet to come.

    My understanding per Revelation, there will be no temple; however, there will be a New Jerusalem.

  17. “It is finished,” the words of Jesus on the cross before He gave up His spirit.

    This phrase has been interpreted as supportive of monergism.

    It may just mean that His suffering on the cross was over.

  18. May also mean that he fulfilled all the prophecies concerning Him.

  19. Uraiah, hmm – I may be agreeing with you a 2nd time. 😉
    “My understanding per Revelation, there will be no temple; however, there will be a New Jerusalem.”

    From Hebrews we get that there is no more temples to come – why would they, the writer is making it clear that Jesus is far superior to any temple. We will also find that everything from the old covenant is obsolete — but that is for another study.

    As to the throne, Peter in his great discourse in Acts 2 makes it perfectly clear that this promise of messiah sitting on David’s throne is happening right now.

  20. Xenia,
    “This phrase has been interpreted as supportive of monergism.” I have not heard that before – hmm.

    So are you saying that there may be work in God’s corporate plan of salvation that is not yet accomplished. How would you explain Jesus sitting? The priests don’t sit, the angels don’t sit. Is he sitting on the bench waiting to go back into the salvation making game when needed?

  21. “It is finished” and “sitting down at the right hand of God” are from different passages. Are they necessarily connected?

    Because He did not “sit down” at that time…. He was in Hades, setting the captives free.

    And then He was seen on earth for the next few weeks.

    I am sure we all agree that His “sitting” is a metaphor for something other than a physical chair.

  22. I have not heard that before <<<

    My LCMS sister used that verse to show that Orthodoxy (and synergism in general) was in error.

  23. By the way, MLD, you are doing a very good job here!

  24. Xenia,
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Well, I guess one could look at “It is finished” from a synergism view and say “Jesus has done all of his work for salvation now the rest is up to me.”

    The statements may be separate but I think that his “sitting down” is the result of his finished work … which was culminated on the cross. I word it that way because I believe that his perfect lived life is a part of that salvation work.

    One thing we need to sit up and notice is the context that the writer is using these statements and or theological wordings. His point should not be passed over.

  25. Col 2:14

    having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross (NIV)

    by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (ESV)

    As you may all be aware, “It is finished” was also a word used in the 1st century on documents when a legal debt had been paid. Whether that is what Jesus was implying we can’t say for sure but connected to the verse Paul wrote in Colossians there is that possibility.

    I think it is a strong case because everything was not really finished (including the prophecies) until He rose from the dead. However, the death on the cross did finish our sin debt to God.

  26. As to the sitting down (and MLD will get there), I think it is a little foreshadowing of what will be said in chapter 10, in contrast to the priests who have to stand, daily, offering their sacrifices.

    It has been noted that in the temple, there were no chairs..the priests had no place to rest…because the work was never done.

  27. “Jesus has done all of his work for salvation now the rest is up to me.”<<<

    We don't believe that either, of course.

  28. I heard somewhere that before the Passover, on the day when the lambs were killed in their thousands, after they were all killed the shofar was blown and the Chief Priest declared in a loud voice “It is finished!” <— This might be one of those stories people tell, I don't know if it's true. As Jesus is our Passover Lamb, He could have been referencing that proclamation.

    This phrase may mean a lot of different things.

  29. Xenia,
    I wonder which part you disagree with.
    The “Jesus has done all of his work for salvation” or
    The “now the rest is up to me.”

    If the ‘it is finished’ referred to something other than announcing the completion of His work of corporate salvation, what parts are left incomplete?

  30. What piqued my curiosity was this comment of Michael’s:

    The key passage here in my opinion is that He has finished His work and sat down…He made a one time offering for all sins, of all men, for all time.

    Is this an area of contention for anyone, be they monergist or synergist?

    Are there groups that don’t believe this? Or was Michael just stating standard Christian doctrine, such as the belief in the Trinity.

  31. I may not actually be disagreeing with anyone 🙂

  32. As I said, my sister sort of used that phrase as a battering ram (in a polite way, of course) to show that by my “working my way to heaven” I was denying “it is finished.”

  33. “Are there groups that don’t believe this? ”

    Yes, Jews and perhaps all non Christians. But this is where context is important and the point I made at the end of my #24. Forget ‘theology’ for a moment, and put your self in the shoes of this preacher / writer. He is making that exact point to this group – Jesus has finished his work and has sat down at the right hand of God. What you want to leave and go back to is a continual sacrificial system from which there is no rest – not for you and not for the priests that are trying to get you through this.

    My point always in these cases is that we are not the actors – Jesus is the actor in all of this.

  34. MLD, that makes sense in the context of the Jews, thank you.

    I was wondering if Michael had any modern Christian groups in mind.

    I know that some Protestants make the claim that in the Eucharist, Catholics and Orthodox (and probably Lutherans and Anglicans) are re-sacrificing Christ.

  35. This is good, MLD.

  36. I think that these are full blown born again Christians of Jewish origin who are talking of leaving the faith and going back to being Jews. Actually, I think when the whole epistle is read, some have already left, so have one foot out the door and the remainder have probably made a call to this guy (Barnabas in my book) to come and make this appeal.

    Many evangelicals make this letter (I think perhaps sermon) to be a general teaching about not falling away or how to protect yourself from falling away. A point I would disagree with.

  37. The 10 Commandments were not made obselete. 1 John 5:23 confirms that the Law of God is not grievous to bear. The Sabbath is actually a gift that Jehovah gives us to rest in him, it is not burdensome to keep. The pharisees made it burdensome with their man made requirements and ordinances. Two times in Revelation, it talks about those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 22:14 talks about those who keep the. Commandments of God. By faith the law is established not abolished says scripture.

  38. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.”

    That is your proof text for Christians needing to keep a Saturday sabbath?

  39. SolRod,
    Three points
    1.) I wonder, do you keep the 10 commandments because they are in the OT – part of that old covenant? You do know that the 10 commandments were writtent for the Jews alone. Just read the introductory phrase “who I brought out of Egypt.” or
    2.) do you do like me and follow the commands as Jesus stated them “Love God = Love neighbor” and then look for meaning in as Jesus called them “you have heard it said … but I say”
    3.) The Sabbath was before the 10 commandments.

  40. Listen, keeping the 10 Commandments (though we will never do so perfectly) will make you a good citizen. I hope all humans strive to follow the 10. Then I know they won’t kill me or take my wife. Following the 10 commandments is a good idea.

    The question becomes, how does a Christian keep the Sabbath? The book of Hebrews makes it clear that our rest is in the finished work of Christ. We have a better Sabbath.

  41. To clarify my comments, since I have become Orthodox (synergistic) I have had a good number of people say the following to me: Jesus said “It is finished” and sat down at the right hand of the Father so any effort on your part is calling God a liar. (Or words to that effect).

  42. MLD – (Forgetting the buzz words of synergism and the like) – Doesn’t the fact that you Lutherans believe a person can reject their salvation and walk away from Christ after their baptism imply at least to some degree a responsibility on your end?

    Honest question. (And I know you always clarify this belief with the idea that this is hard to do…that someone really wants to abandon Christ…)

    What is the Lutheran responsibility after baptism….

  43. Thanks for doing this Michael and MLD.

    Not to quibble over small details MLD, but I have Jesus is superior to the prophets in the first three verses and reserve the priests to chapter four.
    Jesus is superior to the prophets because:
    – He is God’s Son,
    – He is the heir of all things,
    – He is the maker of the world,
    – He is the radiance of Gods glory
    – He is an exact representation of Gods nature,
    – He upholds all things,
    – He made purification of sins,
    – He is at the right hand of God.

    No prophet of old can proclaim any of those things (Moses, Elijah, Amos, etc.), nor can any prophet to follow (Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Chuck Smith, etc.).

    So then the outline for the book is that Jesus is better than the prophets (1:1-3), angels (1:4-2:18), Moses (3), the priests (4:1-13), and provides a better rest than the sabbath (4:14-7:28), and a better covenant (8-10), so that faith in Jesus is better (11-13).

    Thanks for sharing your work!

  44. Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV)

    2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

    My notes: So this is a creation ordinance and not just an institution from the Mosaic law which was given to the Israelites. This ordinance set forth here in Genesis was made long before there were Jews or before Moses recorded the 10 Commandments (which are commands that we still live by today as most Christians would state, but there is a controversy about the 4th command). The giving of the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 is a restating of the holiness of the Sabbath Day. So what does it mean when it says “God blessed the seventh day”? Blessed=barak (Hebrew) which means to kneel, to bless God as an act of adoration, to bless man as a benefit, salute, greet, it’s derived meaning is to bless someone ir something. So when we keep the Sabbath, we bless God as an act of adoration. God gave it to us as blessing for our benefit. Why wouldn’t we want to bless God and also at the same time receive the beneficial blessing of a rest day? Isn’t this better than working for more money and isn’t better than being mindful of secular things? This is a rest day that is used for worship of Jehovah without secular distractions and also to give us much needed rest from the week we had.

    What does it mean when it says God sanctified the Sabbath? Sanctified=qadash (Hebrew) which means clean (ceremonially or morally), appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, keep, proclaim, purify, sanctify, to be set apart, to be holy, to be treated as holy, to declare holy or consecrated. We see here that the Sabbath was set apart as holy by Jehovah from creation. He declared it and pronounced it. The Sabbath is to be a day of purification and sanctification in a spiritual sense. Even though we serve the Lord every day, it’s the Sabbath with it’s rest from worldly entertainment and our secular jobs that allows us to be purified spiritually from all worldly distractions that we had during the work week. Also, we enter a rest on the Sabbath that allows our cups to be filled physically so we don’t burn out. And most important, by entering this rest we can devote fully to Jehovah the worship he deserves without having to do anything or go anywhere. The distractions and cares of the world so easily beset the Christian, so God has given us a day of rest for us to adore him and for our benefit as well.

    Exodus 16:22-34 KJV

    22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

    23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

    24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

    25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.

    26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

    27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

    28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

    29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

    30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

    31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

    32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

    33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.

    34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

    My notes: in verse 23 Moses told the elders of the congregation that the Lord had said that tomorrow which was the seventh day (Saturday), (is the rest, special holiday and time of rest) of the Holy (dedicated, hallowed, holiness, holy, sanctuary, sacred place or thing, consecrated), Sabbath (to be set apart to the Lord and kept holy, officially established by Jehovah, set aside at creation). This set apart holy day of rest established by Jehovah at creation and restated in the 10 Commandments is to be kept unto the Lord. It is day of rest for us as a gift from Jehovah and also a day of undistracted worship and devotion to him which is our gift to him but it also blesses us as we draw closer to him and delight in him.

    Verse 25 restates that the seventh day is a day of rest unto the Lord, meaning we are to rest not only from our labours but also to rest in Christ by giving him full devotion that day without worldly distractions. This devotion can be manifest in prayer, worship, fellowship, ministry.

    Verse 26 confirms that the seventh day (Saturday on our calendar) is the sabbath.

    Verse 28- The Lord asks Moses how long will the Israelites refuse to keep (be circumspect, take heed (to self), mark , look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), wait for, watch (man), his commandments (law, ordinance, precept). Even having this Law proclaimed by Jehovah didn’t stop the Israelites from disregard for the rest day called the sabbath. We can all learn from this today and remember the Sabbath as told to us in the fourth commandment. Let’s not be like those Israelites who were disobedient and out of greed and wantoness, disregarded God’s Holy commandment.

    Verse 29-See=raah (Hebrew) which means advise self, appear, approve, behold, certainly, consider, discern, (make) to enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, to see. To see so that one can learn to know, whether it be another person or God.

    God is saying to Moses to “See” in other words discern and behold that he himself has given the sabbath to him and the people of Israel. That’s why they were commanded to gather two fold the amount of bread on the sixth day (Friday).

    Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)

    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore theLord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    Sabbath=shabbath (Hebrew) means Sabbath, day of atonement, Sabbath week or year, weeks. The Hebrew wors shabbathown comes from shabbath and means to rest, sabbath, a sabbatism or special holiday, a day of rest, a time to rest, a Sabbath feast.

    God says in verse 8 to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it Holy which has the same meaning in Hebrew as sanctified which was described above after the Genesis passage. In verse 10, Jehovah makes it clear that the seventh day is his holy consecrated rest (sabbath) day. No one in the household, whether children or servants or animals of burden are to do any work. In verse 11 we see that even Jehovah rested on the seventh day after all his work in creating the heaven, earth, sea and all that is in them. What can we learn from this as Christians? If even God rested on the seventh day from his labor, why do we as mere creation refuse the command and benefit of resting after our work week. Are we more able than Jehovah to not rest after a week of labors? We see that God blessed the seventh day, the Hebrew meaning of blessing was described above after Genesis passage. Most importantly Jehovah hallowed the seventh day. The Hebrew word and meaning for Hallowed is the same as Holy and Sanctified which is described above after Genesis passage. So we see that Jehovah takes this day very seriously and we have also learned that this command to keep the Sabbath was not just for the Israelites and not just one of the 10 Commandments, but for creation as stated in Genesis 2:2-3, as it was sanctified by him.

    Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (KJV)

    12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

    13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

    14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

    15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

    Verse 12-It is commanded to keep the Sabbath day as holy (sanctify) unto Jehovah. Keeping the sabbath day is resting from your labor (no working at secular job or at home) and setting that day apart for devotion strictly to Jehovah (by partaking of fellowship with the saints, prayer, worship, bible study, evangelism, other God centered activities). Commanded=tsavah (Hebrew) which means to appoint, bid, charge, command, send a messenger, put, set in order, to direct, to be ordered, to be commanded, to direct someone. There doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room for disobedience when God gives a command. In verse 13, we are told that all labour should be done during the six othet days of the week which are Sunday-Friday. Verse 14- Again, it is restated that the seventh day is the sabbath of God. The Sabbath means to rest and set apart as Holy (consecrated). Saturday is to be a day of rest from all forms of labour for the believer and also a day set apart for strict devotion and adoration of Jehovah. Versr 15-Note where it says “therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” Keep=Asah (Hebrew) which means to do or make, accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal with, labour, maintain, execute, exercise, hold, observe, be occupied, perform, practice, prepare, provide, put, sacrifice, serve. Commanded by God to keep the Sabbath day. After reading the Hebrew meanings of these words, it is clear that Jehovah takes observance of the sabbath day seriously. In order for the requirement of sabbath observance to be undone, one would then have to argue that we no longer have to keep the 10 Commandments or that the Sabbath day was changed from Saturday (the seventh day) to Sunday (the first day). For either of these scenarios to be true, there would have to be clear scripture to indicate so. We will find it in the New Testament? You may be suprised but I’ll hold off on my conclusion.

    Isaiah 58:13-14 (KJV)

    13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

    14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in theLord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

    My notes: Verse 13, turn away=shuwb (Hebrew) which means to retreat, to turn back (hence away), again, (cause to), carry again (back), answer, in any case, at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call (to mind), cease, certainly, come again (back), consider, continually, convert, deliver (again), deny, drawback, fetch home again.

    Here in verse 13 it says, if you turn away your foot from the sabbath (turn away meaning to drawback, bring your foot home again to the keeping of the sabbath) from doing your pleasures on the day Jehovah made Holy. In this passage Holy is translated qodesh in Hebrew which means a sacred place or thing, consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (most holy day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary, sacredness, holiness, a holy thing, something consecrated and set aside for sacred use only, not to be put into common use for if it is, it becomes profane and common, not holy.

    Unfortunately, the Church has made God’s Sabbath day common thereby removing the holiness of it. They have profaned it, by using it as a day of labour and/or a day of turning their feet TO their pleasures. This verse states that if we turn away (drawback to keeping the sabbath) our foot from the sabbath and from doing our pleasures on Jehovah’s Holy day and call the sabbath a delight which is the Holy of the Lord. Holy in this case translated qadosh in Hebrew which means sacred (ceremonially or morally), God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary, Holy (One), it denotes someone or something that is inherently sacred or has been designated as sacred by divine rite or cultic ceremony. It designates which is the opposite of common or profane.

    The Sabbath has been designated by God as inherently sacred and holy which should give us a very strong appreciation for the command of keeping the seventh day as a day of rest and adoration to Jehovah. Any use of this day that conflicts with Jehovah’s divine rite in sanctifying the sabbath, is making common and profane what was inherently made Holy.

    The word Inherently is key here: see the below definition

    inherent

    [in-heer-uh nt, -her-]

    adjective

    existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element,quality or attribute; inhering :

    This my brethren is what they call a game Changer regarding if sabbath keeping is still for today.

    So if we keep the Sabbath as commanded by Jehovah and call it a delight (meaning we enjoy it) and also call it honourable (acknowledging the holiness of it) we will be honoured by our Lord. Shall Honour in this text is translated kabed in Hebrew which means to be heavy, to weigh heavily, to be honoured, to be made heavy, to multiply, to harden, to let weigh down, to get honour, to make dull, to make weighty, glorify, be (make) heavy, be heavier, lay heavily, prevail, promote (to honour), be rich.

    The weightiness and heaviness and dullness in the meaning of Shall Honour is one of being strengthened. This is what we are promised by Jehovah if we keep the Sabbath holy by not doing our own ways, pleasures or speaking our own words.

    Verse 14-When we keep the Sabbath, we are promised that we will delight ourself in the Lord. We are then told by Jehovah that by keeping the sabbath we will ride upon the high places. High places= bamah (Hebrew) which means elevation, height, high place, wave, this word may, refer to a physical high place like a mountain or a place of worship.

    Do you see how much of a blessing keeping the sabbath is? We are promised to enter a high place of worship of Jehovah upon the earth. Earth=erets (Hebrew) which means common, country, earth, field, ground, land, it refers to the whole earth under God’s dominion. So by keeping the sabbath, Jehovah will cause us to ride upon the high places of worship of the earth which is under his dominion. We will be blessed by our sabbath keeping, experiencing a closer relationship with our saviour than ever before. This high place of worship upon the earth for the believer is a spiritual gift and blessing of initmate worship of Jehovah which brings us to that high place. Upon the earth which means we will reign with Christ here and now as Kings and Priests of a Holy Nation. We will have power to cast out and bind devils as members of a royal priesthood.

    We will be fed with the heritage of Jacob thy father by keeping the sabbath. Heritage=nachalah (Hebrew) which means something inherited, occupancy or (concrete) an heirloom, an estate, patrimony or portion, heritage, to inherit, possession, property, inheritance, the word implies property that was given by means of a will or as a heritage.
    As Gentiles grafted into Israel, we have the inheritance promised to the ethnic Jews. We now are part of the Israel of God (spiritual Israel). By keeping the sabbath, we are fed along with the heritage of Jacob (Israel) therby being granted the inheritance originally given to ethnic Israel. This heritage of Jacob is no longer ethnic Israel but the Israel of God (spiritual Israel). The command to keep the Sabbath day as Holy is for Israel. However in the new covenant, Israel is made up of Christian Jews and Gentiles. This means all Christians are required to keep the Sabbath day as Holy as we are the Israel of God which is now spiritual not ethnic or national.

    Note the last part of verse 14, “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it”. That should be enough to not only believe by mouth what was decreed in the above passage of Isaiah but also to believe in deed by keeping God’s hallowed sabbath day.

    Exodus 16:22-34 KJV

    22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

    23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

    24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

    25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.

    26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

    27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

    28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

    29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

    30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

    31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

    32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

    33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.

    34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

    My notes: in verse 23 Moses told the elders of the congregation that the Lord had said that tomorrow which was the seventh day (Saturday), (is the rest, special holiday and time of rest) of the Holy (dedicated, hallowed, holiness, holy, sanctuary, sacred place or thing, consecrated), Sabbath (to be set apart to the Lord and kept holy, officially established by Jehovah, set aside at creation). This set apart holy day of rest established by Jehovah at creation and restated in the 10 Commandments is to be kept unto the Lord. It is day of rest for us as a gift from Jehovah and also a day of undistracted worship and devotion to him which is our gift to him but it also blesses us as we draw closer to him and delight in him.

    Verse 25 restates that the seventh day is a day of rest unto the Lord, meaning we are to rest not only from our labours but also to rest in Christ by giving him full devotion that day without worldly distractions. This devotion can be manifest in prayer, worship, fellowship, ministry.

    Verse 26 confirms that the seventh day (Saturday on our calendar) is the sabbath.

    Verse 28- The Lord asks Moses how long will the Israelites refuse to keep (be circumspect, take heed (to self), mark , look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), wait for, watch (man), his commandments (law, ordinance, precept). Even having this Law proclaimed by Jehovah and part of his 10 Commandments, didn’t stop the Israelites from disregard for the rest day called the sabbath. We can all learn from this today and remember the Sabbath as told to us in the fourth commandment. Let’s not be like those Israelites who were disobedient and out of greed and wantoness, disregarded God’s Holy commandment.

    Verse 29-See=raah (Hebrew) which means advise self, appear, approve, behold, certainly, consider, discern, (make) to enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, to see. To see so that one can learn to know, whether it be another person or God.

    God is saying to Moses to “See” in other words discern and behold that he himself has given the sabbath to him and the people of Israel. That’s why they were commanded to gather two fold the amount of bread on the sixth day (Friday).

    Verse 30- The people rested on the seventh day. Rested=(shabath) which means to desist from exertion, (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.

    So we clearly see above what the word rest means. The Israelites in keeping the sabbath ceased from work and activities that brought on exertion. This wasn’t to put a burden on them but actually to bless them with much needed rest. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Notice in the above Hebrew definition it says to put away (down) meaning putting down and away those tools and objects of labour.

    Verse 32-Moses said that this is what the Lord commandeth which we saw earlier means in Hebrew to bid, appoint, charge,. (Set) in order, to constitute enjoin. They were to fill an omer of manna as a remembrance of Jah’s righteous command to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest. This remembrance is to be kept for all future generations. Generations=dowr (Hebrew) which means a revolution of time, an, age or generation, also a dwelling, age, x-evermore, ever, posterity, period of time, setting of life, indicates the time from birth to death.

    This remembrance was twofold. To have a memorial of Jehovah’s bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and also the command to rest on the seventh day. Notice a generation in above definition means from life to death and in the verse it talks about current and furture generations having this memorial, meaning it is to be kept from the time of birth to death for all generations from that point forward until Heaven and Earth passa away. Some will say this was just for the Israelites but they ignore clear Bible teaching that as the Church whether Jew or Gentile, we are the Israel of God and we are Jew’s. Galatians 6:16 and Romans 2:28-29.

    Verse 33 restates the command by Jehovah to keep the memorial of deliverance from Egypt and to keep the sabbath as a day of rest and worship. It is also restated that these this memorial and sabbath command is to be kept for generations of which there is no end until Heaven and Earth pass away.

  45. I do not see Exodus 31:15-17 in that list…

    Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

    “the people of Israel shall keep…”

    “sign forever between me and the people of Israel…”

  46. Steve,

    Scripture is clear in Romans that we as the Church are now the Israel of God.

  47. i think i prefer to identify as the Bride over the label Israel – chosen people is good, of course and proves predestination 🙂
    i’ll arrive in Eternity with the question, “who am i?” and the answer is promised and immediate … until then, Redeemed works for me… and i’m sure a day of rest focused on God every week pleases HIm

  48. MLD @ 40 said….

    “You do know that the 10 commandments were written for the Jews alone.”

    MLD, or anyone else for that matter, can you please tell me who the strangers/foreigners are that are referred to in Exodus 20 Verses 8 thru 11?

    Are they Israelites or non-Israelites?

  49. Sol Rod, are you going to go back to sacrificing animals too?

  50. All the commandments except the Sabbath are repeated in the New Testament as to how we should live. Interesting

    The New Testament specifically includes instruction that all days are equal (as are foods – another Israel-only issue). Interesting.

    So when I read in Exodus that the Sabbath is the one and only commandment where God specifically said “This is for Israel” – and one must assume God knew that the Church would be the new Israel if we are, so why say that for just this one commandment and not the others…

    Well, it all adds up to a different conclusion for me when it comes to the Sabbath.

    Plus, our church worships the Lord on Sunday…so we’re screwed. Unless Sunday is the new Saturday, in which case only I am screwed as I work harder that day than any other of the week (and I don’t see any “Sabbath-substitution” where pastors can insert Thursday or some other weekday to not violate God’s commandment)

  51. The early church, by the very latest 95 AD, worshipped on Sunday as well. To distinguish themselves from the Jew, they began Lord’s day worship.

  52. Em, we are the Bride of Christ, that’s true. In the OT Israel is called the Wife of Jehovah.

  53. Josh,

    Sacrificing animals is not part of the 10 Commandments. Those ordinances were nailed to the cross!

  54. The Church in it’s over zealousness to seperate themselves from jewish practices disregarded the 10 Commandments which Jesus said not one jot or tittle will in no wise pass away until Heaven and Earth pass away

  55. I want to say this again, because it is the main point of Hebrews…

    Christians do have a Sabbath. A superior Sabbath than the old one. His name is Jesus. We find our Sabbath rest in His finished work.

    Christians also have a sacrificial system. Our sacrifice is also superior. His name is Jesus. His sacrifice is once for all.

    I could go on. This is what the book of Hebrews is about. The OT is a shadow of what is to come…Jesus is the fulfillment, and He is better.

  56. Not one single scripture changes the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Constantine instituted the National Sunday law to appease pagan sun worshippers in 321 AD. Roman Catholicism is all based on Sun worship.

  57. Well said @56, Josh.

    And I agree with Sol there is no reason whatsoever to think Sunday is now the Sabbath. That is an invention without Biblical support.

    My earlier point still stands though. The Sabbath was not just a day to flake out and sleep but it was the primary day of the week for worship. And our church worships on Sundays. So I guess we are in trouble.

    And as I also said, if I made an executive decree to change our worship to Saturday, whoever we still had left that came would still make me a sinner because that day would still be my busiest workday of the week….

    Its not apples to oranges…its apples to car batteries…

  58. “Not one single scripture changes the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.”

    Right. The Sabbath is now Jesus, not a day on a Calendar.

  59. In the OT Israel is called the Wife of Jehovah
    ————————————————–
    Yes, and then He divorced her for her adultery…freeing Him (under His own law) to marry another…the Church…where Jew and Gentile meet together with no distinction.

  60. And SOl, you are reading bad history. THe church was practicing Lord’s Day worship before the cannon was even completed. Assuming Revelation was written around 95AD, we know that it was place before that.

  61. #60 – the clarification is appreciated – my picture of a Bride (to be) readying herself for her groom doesn’t seem consistent with, at least what is my definition, a wife … i know that Jewish tradition has a stricter definition of what it means to be betrothed, but …?…
    i love the picture of someday knowing as we are now known – when we see Him as He is… seems to express a special intimacy … dunno

  62. The Sabbath is a shadow of Jesus Christ, not a law to follow, and now we rest in Him – Colossians 2:16-17.

  63. Josh,

    I agree that Christians were worshipping on Sunday long before Constantine’s National Sunday Law and there is nothing wrong with Churches gathering on Sunday however that doesn’t eliminate command to remember the Sabbath (seventh day). However the writings of the ante nicene brethren reveal a anti Jewish sentiment and they affirm the 8th day (1st day of the week) as the Lord’s day when scripture never says this. The Lord’s day mentioned in Revelation in the first chapter is the sabbath being that Jesus said he is Lord of the sabbath. The early Church in the apostles era was meeting everyday but there is no evidence that they didn’t keep the sabbath. The Ante nicene brethren writings have been corrupted by the Catholic Church so they are unreliable.

  64. Sol…do you believe all Christians should quit their jobs if forced to work on Saturdays?

  65. i always thought – well not “always” – i thought that it was humorous, growing up in a town where everything was closed on Sundays, except the Adventist’s bakery and it was jam packed on Sunday mornings 🙂 in those days and that time (before clothes dryers) it would have been scandalous to have your laundry out on the line on Sunday – mow the grass on Sunday? unthinkable in my neighborhood … guess we didn’t have any Adventists… actually, in those days you knew everybody on the block, almost… some atheists, but no Adventists

  66. Steve,

    Actually we as Christians have rights, There are religious exemption laws that allow for us to attend our religious duties. I requested saturdays off at my old job for religious reasons. We must obey God rather than man and lean not on our own understanding

  67. Steve or Josh, maybe you could jump in with an answer for me since MLD hasn’t been around today.

    Earlier, @ 40 MLD said the following:

    “You do know the 10 commandments were written for the Jews alone”

    I then posed the following for him….

    “Can you please tell me who the strangers/foreigners are that are mentioned in Exodus 20 Verses 8 thru 11?

    Are they Israelites or non-Israelites?

  68. So you aren’t really keeping the Sabbath, you are just going to church on Saturday.

    And hey, all good. Saturday is a fine day for worship…as is Tuesday.

    Our Sabbath is Jesus.

    Let’s say I went back and showed you where the calendar had changed a few times since the time of Moses. Then there would be no way to know which day was the actual Sabbath. Then we’d all break that commandment every single week of our lives, because we wouldn’t know the actual day.

    Luckily for us, all of that was just a picture to point us to Jesus. We an now keep the Sabbath every day of the week for the Sabbath has come and dwelt among us.

  69. Goose, being that it is not specified, I suppose it wouldn’t matter if the sojourner was Jew or Gentile. As long as he was “within the gates” he was to be stopped from working.

    It seems you are setting up a “gotcha” here, but I’m not following. This would protect against the Jew technically keeping the Sabbath, yet hiring foreign help to come do the work.

  70. Josh @ 69 said….

    “Let’s say I went back and showed you where the calendar had changed a few times since the time of Moses. Then there would be no way to know which day was the actual Sabbath”

    Matthew 28 Verse 1 is a nice verse to help locate the Sabbath….

    “Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave”

  71. Well, this is getting way off track, but you missed the point there Goose. What Calendar was Jesus using to locate the first of the week? Julian Calendar (I don’t remember for sure)?

    I know there was a major calendar change in the 1500’s because the day had gotten about 10 days off…and there were others between the time of Jesus and now.

    So to figure out which day was the last day of the week, we’d have to use the Julian calendar (assuming that’s the one. I don’t feel like googling). And not only that, we’d have to retrace the couple of thousand years that it hasn’t been in use. Then, possibly we could locate the actual Sabbath day, though it would likely coincide with more than one day on our calendar, because the week was slightly shorter.

    The point is, trying to keep an actual date is futile.

  72. Steve Wright,
    Way back up you asked “Doesn’t the fact that you Lutherans believe a person can reject their salvation and walk away from Christ after their baptism imply at least to some degree a responsibility on your end?”

    Everyone is responsible for their own “lostness”. God is responsible for salvation. But you know, it’s one of those mysterious things. As I have always said, agreeing with your mentor – stay under the spout where the glory comes out. Not to keep yourself saved but that is the place that God nourishes and keeps his own. People don’t really reject their faith, they starve their faith. They stop going to church, they stop fellowship with other believers, they don’t listen to the word, they don’t partake of the supper – and then one day they aren’t a Christian any longer.

    But down the road, they may find that God has been persuing them again all along, just like the first time and they come back all over again.

    I am sure later in Hebrews (6 & 10) we will disagree. 😉

  73. Goose @ 49
    “MLD, or anyone else for that matter, can you please tell me who the strangers/foreigners are that are referred to in Exodus 20 Verses 8 thru 11?”

    “2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

    The 10 commandments were given to the Israelites alone. V 8 – 11 is how they carry out their obedience to the law. Is a sabbath a sabbath if you make others do your work? That was why towns that had blue laws closed down on Sunday – you take your sabbath rest by not requiring others to do your work.

    Who was not to have other gods? The Israelites.

  74. I see Josh’s #70 said what I said @ 74. Good job Josh on all you said today.

  75. I can’t decide if a pat on the back from MLD is a good thing or a bad thing 🙂

    Just kidding. This is a good study, MLD. I feel bad for going so far off track.

  76. It’s not off track – this is the very discussion going on behind the scenes with these folks being addressed. It’s basically “it wasn’t that bad still being a Jew. Let’s go back to where we know the rules and nobody tries to persecute us.”

    To many Christians, riding a bike with training wheels is easier and safer. Using the law / rules is like training wheels.

  77. Thanks Josh & MLD.

    So, what do you do with the other passages in the OT where we clearly see God’s laws and commandments applying to the non-Israelites as well as the Israelites?

    Why would God have subjected the non-Israelites to laws and commandments only set out for the Israelites?

  78. Josh,

    I did church on Saturday for 4 and a half years
    This past Friday sundown to Saturday sundown was my first time keeping the sabbath

  79. Goose – all laws are God’s laws and they are used for the purpose of holiness or just to keep order.
    Look at the 1st 4 commandments – the benefits are to the Israelite exclusively. The remaining 6 are for good community control.

    Look how Jesus used the law for an obvious non believer – “19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”

    OOOPs! what happened to the “god ones”?

  80. There are religious exemption laws that allow for us to attend our religious duties. I requested saturdays off at my old job for religious reasons
    ————————————————————–
    These laws are complicated and hardly clear cut when it comes to getting one day of the week off each and every week….There is no absolute legal right for that. The issue is an attempt at accommodation but even there, the religious person can’t jump seniority or other scheduling issues the employer may have…

    I hope nobody at our church would quit their job because they can’t get Sundays off as regularly as they desire…unless they have another job lined up already.

  81. The Scriptures make it clear that the law is powerless to do what it sets forth…the law only magnifies our sin, it cannot justify or sanctify the sinner. For the many who are accusing people like me, of “cheap grace” or antinomianism I have an accusation for them…that is cheapening the law to a means of righteousness which it’s incapable of performing. Many say that Luther denied the 3rd use of the law, which is total bologna…read the Formula of Concord…meanwhile these same people pervert the law and add a weird 4th use of the law (that of making you holy and righteous).

    “The law of God, the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot advance man on his way to righteousness, but rather hinders him.” Luther, Heidelberg Disputation, Thesis 1

  82. Solomon, out of curiosity, which OT Sabbath-keeping rules do you observe? Do you kindle a fire or travel beyond a certain distance, for example. Do you consider the use of electricity to be kindling a fire?

  83. And do you keep Kosher?

  84. Jesus did not end the laws, but to fulfill them in terms of blood sacrifice to atone (once and for all), whereas before this, sacrifices was offered up to the Lord to cover their sins and to gain a blessing from Him.

    Jesus often mentioned the laws, not just to those who were being anal about them, meaning being obsessive about doing exactly this or that, but He went much deeper than what people turned the laws into—that is, keeping it as a gauge to measure their righteousness, rather than to do as Jesus made clear to them. Likewise, I think we do the same thing when we think about laws, rules, and guidelines. We push the boundaries further and further away where sin becomes less and less serious to what we say and do towards Him and to others and even to ourselves. Jesus never said that the laws were no longer effectual or to be regarded. Instead, He kept telling us that the laws does serve to show us the errors of our ways and in this it is our hearts that needed to be changed. He told us that we must be born again by the Spirit, so that it could understand that sin is very serious and that God’s way is the only way that we could overcome that which is evil, corrupted, perverse, and corruptible in His sight.

    When Solomon said that he kept his first Sabbath—good for him. I know Solomon. He is a good man who earnestly seeks to know God and to walk closely with Him. Does this mean that since he chooses to regard the Sabbath on Saturday (the 7th day of the week), that he must also keep kosher. Of course not for that would be doing exactly what Jesus was telling us. That is, one would be of the heart, which Solomon have chose from his heart to do and the other would be doing so because of being legalistic, which is not of the heart.

    Remember, when Jesus was speaking with the leaders about their question of healing someone on the Sabbath and also regarding David eating the shewbred. He never said the law was not good, but he did tell them that when the law prevents one from doing was is good to help another person, then the law needs to also be framed by that which is beneficial and compassionate towards one who is in need.

    Jesus kept the Sabbath, but he also healed and rested. Jesus showed us how to keep the law, but never as an obligation, but rather because His heart was right, pure, and ever so honoring to His father for the sake of the Kingdom to come, but also for the sake of the world that was so lost and in need of giving hope and a promise to it and those whom would follow after Him, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He told us that He would send the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in obedience, so that we would not continue in our sins and to see the law as being good, but not to be used to control or to put a burden upon others, but to see that by following it would keep us mindful of that which could and would lead us into sin that would and does pervert our entire mind, body, and soul, if we neglect so great a necessity to keep ourselves from such that would compromise that which has been set before us in His word to show the path which we are to walk in Him. Having our hearts changed makes it much easier in some ways, but ever so challenging when having to make a choice between Him and that which could cause us to lose that which we hang onto even to our own peril should we decide to take a stand. But that is the way of the Christian—-isn’t it.

  85. On kosher:

    Jesus told us that it is not what goes into a person (that is what we eat) that corrupts us, but that which is in the heart and mind. Matthew 15

    3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

    4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

    7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

    11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

    13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

    15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.

    16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

    19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

  86. “More than sacrifice, more than praise. Bring a willing heart, ready to obey.”

    The law helps us to know where our hearts are with God.”

    Are we running from it because of sin in our lives.
    Are we in rebellious to it so that we can sin, believing we can claim His blood.
    Are we embracing it knowing that is if life to those whose hearts are changed.
    Are we using it to give an appearance of that which is not.
    Or are we kept in remembrance of it as a guideline to keep our hearts right and honoring to Him.

  87. Xenia,

    Good question. My Sabbath keeping is one of not engaging in any secular activity whether work either by paid vocation or helping someone with their yard work or house work. I also will not engage in public buying or selling. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath so if someone calls me and needs me to bring them food or medicine for sickness I will do it. No secular music, tv or entertainment. My sabbath keeping will be one of fellowship with a local church body, prayer, bible reading, worship and ministry activities. The Sabbath was always meant to be a delight for creation not a burden.

  88. Uriah,

    Thank you for the kind words 🙂

  89. We still have our home fellowship but I feel God leading me to support a sabbath keeping fellowship. I went to one in Point Loma on saturday and it was a blessing. The service was exactly what you would expect from any other evangelical denomination which was sabbath school just as some churches have sunday school, worship, study and then sweet fellowship via the breaking my of bread after.

  90. As far as kosher goes, I am, abstaining from pork but that is a personal thing so as to improve my diet and not to cause.my sabbath brethren to stumble. clearly its okay to eat it. Also not gonna drink beer anymore which I use to on occasion. I still feel that it is not a sin to drink per se but dont want go cause others to stumble

  91. MLD @ 80….

    You still didn’t answer my question or maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

    In the OT we see many cases where the non-Israelite is subject to God’s laws and commandments (and not just the 10 commandments). Why would God have subjected the non-Israelite to these laws and commandments if, as you suggest, they were only for the Israelite?

  92. Goose,
    California laws are written for Californians. Why is a New Yorker subjected to California laws when he comes to visit Disneyland?

    There is something special about God’s laws when applied to his people. I am sure that murder was against the law before the 10 commandments and just the same I am sure there was a God ‘twist’ when he saith “thou shall not murder” at Sinai.

    Were the non Isralites all over the world compelled to follow the laws? Were they all compelled to follow the 1st 4?

  93. MLD, sorry to be repetitive but you still haven’t answered my question….

    In the OT, between Exodus and Deuteronomy, why did God subject non-Israelites to the laws and commandments (not just the 10) that you suggest were only given to the Israelites?

  94. Goose,
    Were people all over the world subject to those laws – or just those traveling with the Israelites?
    This is the same as my California laws for New Yorkers. Do you realize that I am not subject to a single New York law – not one … until I enter New York.

    So, in Assyria, if a kid mouths off to his parents, under Israel law that Assyrian parent was obligated to stone their child? How about the people in Peru at the time? I may even ask, were the non Israelites in Israel compelled by God to do so.

    So I guess on your part, their was nothing special for or to the people of Israel that they received on Sinai – it was just a common territorial law?

  95. Goose:

    If you read closely the only people subject to the Torah are the people of Israel, the travelers they take into their homes, their servants and their slaves. The other people of the land would only voluntarily subject themselves, but that meant they could not participate in certain festivals and practices.

    In Jesus’ day the court of the Gentiles, where they venders set up their table and Jesus pushed them over, was a place the God fearing non-Jews could come to worship.

    While I don’t agree totally with MLD’s application he is correct.

    Even today, Christian gentiles are not Jews and the Torah is a light not a requirement for them.

    But the Sabbath is still the Sabbath. If we read the text God began Sabbath on the last day of creation and is still in it. The Sabbath of the Decalog was written to the people of Israel and as far as I can tell neither Paul nor the Jerusalem council ever made it a requirement for Gentiles who receive Jesus.

    Our Christian church has “oral traditions” that often throw a lot of confusion into who we are and what we should practice.

    One of the problems many Christians have today is they confuse current Jewish practice with that of Jesus’ day and during the early days of Israel in the Land of Canaan. Much of what is practiced today by Jews are additional “oral traditions” developed as the Jewish people spread out into the world communities. To fully understand how they came into being is beyond the scope of this blog.

  96. Oh one more thing, Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Decalog. It is the day the Christian church chose to worship and teach God’s word. Some say it was because of statements made in Acts about meeting on the first day of the week. Not really true historically, but that sounds good.

  97. Has anyone argued that Sunday is the Sabbath?

    Ok, I have to jump ahead in Hebrews here, but I have MLD’s consent. So to the Sabbath keepers, or even to the one who thinks thee is difference between Saturday and Sunday on the Gregorian calendar in God’s eye:

    When you read Hebrews 4:9 : “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,”
    You understand that “rest” to be speaking about Saturday? Am i understanding you correctly?

  98. Josh

    If your writing to me, please don’t read into that anything other than I wrote.

    Jesus is the Sabbath rest for all people. Now do not confuse that with the Sabbath of the Decalog because they are not the same.

    And while no one is arguing here Sunday is the Christian Sabbath many, yes very many, believe it is. I’m just addressing it and hopefully not adding more confusion.

    The question you must ask is, does the Hebrew text you quote annul or replace the Sabbath commandment of the Decalog? The best answer is no and that is why, if you remember, I bring up the Genesis statement about Sabbath.

    God has been in His Sabbath rest since the last day of creation. In simplistic terms Jesus makes it so all humankind can enter into that rest and completion. He restores man to where they should have been after being expelled from the garden of God. Adam and eve lived in God’s rest until they sinned, I guess everyday was a Saturday or Sabbath day.

  99. Bob, I was mostly writing to Solomon, however you seem to have some confusion as well.

    The whole point of the book of Hebrews is that the Old Testament (and yes the 10 commandments) are all pointing to Jesus.

    He has not annulled or replaced the Decalogue Sabbath, He has fulfilled it. He IS the Sabbath.

    You say so yourself, yet still hold that there is some special day that over rules the Sabbath that we (Jew and Gentile) have in Jesus. That makes no sense.

  100. Josh to help understand the function of “Saturday” as the Sabbath for Jewish people and their followers one has to understand what it means to rest.

    What it means to rest is not simply to not work the Hebrew meaning seems to say cease creating things. If that is the case the Decalog instructs Jewish people to not be in the business of creating or working/making things. It is silly to think it means to lay around and “rest” or do nothing.

    Got to go, thanks for the input.

  101. Josh:

    “The whole point of the book of Hebrews is that the Old Testament (and yes the 10 commandments) are all pointing to Jesus.”

    That’s a very shallow or simplistic view of the book and I think such a view puts one in the category of milk drinking like it states.

    The book of Hebrews is one of the richest texts in the NT and I might say only second to Romans.

  102. I can only follow that with a…huh?

    Nevertheless, we are not Jews. We are talking about Christians, regardless of ethnicity. To try to change the conversation to what is required of an Old Covenant Jew is fruitless for this discussion.

  103. You can insult, or you can make a point.

    Is there any point in Hebrews that compares the Old Covenant to the new, and claims that the Old is superior?

  104. Josh

    Read the first few sentence in John, Jesus always was and is the Sabbath and everything else, nothing new there. You might also remember where in the Gospels He say He is the Lord of the it.

    Please expand your narrow view of understanding and look into what it meant when Jesus said He fulfills. It’s worth the effort!

    Again thanks for the response!

  105. Instead of insulting my narrow view, teach me. How does Jesus fulfill the Sabbath if there is still a day that is required?

  106. Josh:

    Be careful on calling me the first to insult please.

    You said this:

    “we are not Jews.”

    Yes I made that point very clear and it is you who seems to be sensitive on that.

    You are the one who seems to say the OC is superior, I never mentioned that once.

    The question is did Jesus annul or remove the Sabbath from the Decalog and I said no. I also said Sunday is not the Sabbath, as some might believe, either.

    What I did write is this, Jesus did not remove the Sabbath neither did Paul or the Jerusalem council in the book of Acts for Jewish people (post resurrection BTW). Additionally they never required that non-Jewish believers adhere to Sabbath keeping each week.

    I also wrote that many of our views about Sabbath today are a result of Christian “oral traditions” (please do some study about what an oral tradition is) over the centuries and implied they are not specifically mentioned in the Biblical text.

    Ok fight with me if you that is what you want, but I believe I have made it quite clear.

    I really have to go, thank you again.

  107. OK, I leave you with this,

    What did it mean for God to enter into His rest on the last day of creation?

    What does it mean to enter in to the Jesus rest when one receives His finished work?

    Why was there no instruction or practice of Sabbath for thousands of years until God’s people were standing at the mountain and Moses brought the Decalog down to them?

    Teaching is asking questions, not giving answers. You are capable of deciding for yourself.

    Night!

  108. Bob, you are not only the first to insult, you are still the only one to insult.

    We are not jews is not an insult.

    I never said the OC is superior – You are either horribly misunderstanding, or willfully trying to twist words.

    You then again told me “(please do some study about what an oral tradition is)”.

    That is insulting Bob. I am a grown man. I have an MA in Biblical Studies, and I am working on an Mdiv with a concentration in Biblical languages. Do you think at some point in 10 years or so of Christian higher education I have encountered the concept of oral tradition?

    You assume that you are smarter, better informed, and more studied than the one you are in conversation with. That may or may not be true, but the assumption is insulting.

    I’m done with you for now.

    Solomon, if you come back, could you please answer my question in # 98? Thanks!

  109. This will fall on deaf ears for some but for others….

    The fact that the Jews were able to survive without a homeland for almost 1900 years is amazing even to the atheist. There is no similar historical example for any other people.

    The primary thing that kep them together, no matter how scattered they were, was the keeping of the Sabbath. So I find God’s word about the Sabbath being for Israel as a covenant forever unto everlasting generations more than just hyperbole (in the Exodus passage I cited earlier).

    Of course these Sabbaths were kept in unbelief, but nonetheless it was used by God to keep alive the Jewish people against incredible odds and persecutions. Now they have a land, (their same land)….

    Yes, I find the specific detail in the Scriptures about everlasting covenant for Israel on this one commandment, coupled with the NT teaching which clearly states all days are the same to the Church and we should worship by conviction to be very significant indeed. Dare we say…prophetic….given the history to the present day when the Sabbath is STILL the focal point of what it means to be a Jew..even an atheistic Jew.

  110. Josh has the right take on Hebrews. The writer is not saying that Jesus is superior to all of these things as if saying Chevy is better than Ford but go ahead and make your own choice. He is saying that Jesus is superior, and there is no 2nd choice to make.

  111. “Of course these Sabbaths were kept in unbelief, but nonetheless it was used by God to keep alive the Jewish”

    Steve, true, but I would see that in the same light as God using Babylon as a tool of correction ( Ezekiel 21) That is to say, God can and does use any person or circumstance for His own glory, but that is not an endorsement of said person or circumstance.

  112. MLD – I taught through Hebrews last year. It was the most in-depth study in had done on the book, but not the first. This time around, I intentionally stayed away from the “warning” passages. I mentioned them, but I feel that they are usually the focus of Hebrews studies. (Got the idea from John Phillips)

    In doing so, a whole new understanding was found.

  113. God can and does use any person or circumstance for His own glory, but that is not an endorsement of said person or circumstance.
    ———————————————————-
    That’s kind of my point. God intended to keep Israel around for 2 millennia without their homeland and used the Sabbath to do so. Lots of Jews don’t eat kosher and none of them offer animal sacrifices etc. But Israel shuts down (except for tourist buses) today on the Sabbath….It was God’s tool to work out His prophetic plan

  114. Cool. Didn’t mean to reiterate. Just making sure I understood. We agree.

    And it is amazing.

  115. Exodus 31:15-17 KJV

    15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to theLord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

    16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

    17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lordmade heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

    Verse 15- So, it’s restated that the seventh day is the sabbath of rest. Rest in this context in the Hebrew means a special holiday, a time to rest, it is a requirement of God’s people to rest on the seventh day. Noted in the above scripture that the sabbath is holy to the Lord. Holy meaning consecrated, set apart.

    Verse 16-This was a call for the children of Israel to keep the sabbath and to observe it. Observe=asah (Hebrew) which means to accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, commit, to make, to complete. This frequently used Hebrew verb conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation or a goal in view.

    So, here we see the clear command of the children of Israel to accomplish with moral obligation the keeping of the sabbath day. No work is to be done and it is a holy day set apart for worshipping Jehovah. They are to observe this holy day throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant. Perpetual=owlam (Hebrew) which means time out of mind (past or future), I.e. (practical) eternity, always, continuance, eternal, beginning of the world without with end, lasting, long time, ancient (time), forever.

    Contrary to traditions of men, this command to oberve and keep the Sabbath is one of a practical eternal nature hence forever. Meaning until Heaven and Earth pass away confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 5:18.

    Covenant=briyth (Hebrew) which means treaty, alliance, agreement, confederacy, covenant, league. It denotes an alliance, ordinance or agreement between persons. This word is used to describe God’s making a covenant with humankind.

    So according to verse 16, this is an alliance between God and the Israelites to be kept forever. You may say, well we are not Israelites so we have no need of keeping the sabbath. However scripture plainly tells us that the Church is the Israel of God and that we are grafted into the olive tree. It also says, that true jews are not ones who are Jews outwardly but those who are Jew’s inwardly. The Israel of God is made up of Jews and Gentiles as there ia no more ethnic distinction in God’s Kingdom, neither Jew nor Greek. Why as Christians are we so scared to claim what’s ours? which is that we are spiritual Jew’s and spiritual Israel which is the true Jew and the true Israel. Scripture clearly states that not all Israel is Israel which defines those as messiah rejecting Jew’s which is the synagogue of Satan according to Revelation 2:9 and Revelation 3:9.

    Galatians 6:16 (KJV)

    16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

    Romans 2:28-29 (KJV)

    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Romans 11:24 (KJV)

    24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

    Galatians 3:28-29 (KJV)

    28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Colossians 3:10-13 (KJV)

    10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

    11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

    12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

    My notes- Verse 12 above clearly states that as the Church, we are the elect of God not ethnic Jew’s or national Israel. We are spiritual Jew’s and spiritual Israel.
    Revelation 2:9 (KJV)

    9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

    Revelation 3:9 (KJV)

    9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

    The above describes Messiah rejecting Jew’s and their ungodly Synagogues.

    Why would Jehovah state that the sabbath is to be kept and observed forever by Israel throughout their generations if he knew that one day he would send his son to die on the cross? Remember, Jesus dying on the cross was always the plan and it was not some alternative plan B in case the Jew’s rejected Messiah. He stated the command of perpetual observance of the sabbath day for the Israelites because he knew that one day there would be an Israel made up of Jew’s and Gentiles to honor his Holy day. Jehovah would not make an eternal command like this if it would eventually be nailed to the cross. Jah is all knowing so it makes sense that the sabbath command is now for the Israel of God (The Church) to keep.

    Verse 17- This is a sign between Jah and the children of Israel forever which in this text, forever is the same word in Hebrew as perpetual=owlam. The reference to the creating of the earth and heaven confirms that this was a ordinance of a sabbath day was set forth at creation. God exampled the rest day for us and he was refreshed. If God kept the sabbath day and was refreshed, then the same blessing of refreshing applies to us when we rest on the sabbath from our labours. If it is good enough and needed for Jehovah then it is good enough for us his precious children and very much needed. We also set apart this day as Holy and bless God with undistracted worship and devotion.

  116. # 110 There is no similar historical example for any other people.<<<

    I remember my CC pastor making this claim. He ended with the rhetorical flourish "Where are the Assyrians today?" And a man stood up and said "Right here!" He not only was an Assyrian but was part of an Assyrian community that had stayed intact (although without a geographic county) for millennia.

    Solomon, I commend your attempts to withdraw from the things of the world one day of the week. It would do us all good to follow your lead, IMO.

  117. Solomon, are you copying and pasting all that?

    Could you just answer my question from # 98?

  118. I do agree with Xenia – as I said early on, a day of rest will do us all good.

  119. I believe the Lord created our bodies to be given one day of rest out of a seven-day week.

    Might as well be Saturday.

    I don’t do this myself as I don’t believe it’s a requirement, but it might be beneficial to our souls and bodies nevertheless.

  120. Josh,

    These are all my study notes. Can you restate the question? My phone doesn’t number the posts.

    Xenia,

    Thank you for the kind words!

  121. When you read Hebrews 4:9 : “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,”
    You understand that “rest” to be speaking about Saturday? Am i understanding you correctly?

  122. I know Xenia has plenty of anecdotes from her former CC pastor which the guy foolishly said….

    However, there is not the slightest comparison to be made between the Assyrian people and the Jews in terms of 2000 years of worldwide diaspora without a homeland. Or for that matter to compare the massive “homeland” of the Assyrians (covering multiple nations of today) and that relatively small sliver of land so-called Palestine.

    I’ll spare us all the cut and paste to back that up…

  123. I might add the Jews have had the extra bonus over the years of being made exiles from the nations that they settled in as exiles in the first place.

    And now…under the Law of Return, any Jew in the world, as long as he/she is not a Christian of course, can get to Israel and establish immediate citizenship – even an atheistic (secular) Jew.

    Tens of thousands each year…

  124. Solomon

    Nicely done, my friend and brother in the Lord.

    Yours truly, a born again, Jew, completed Jew, Christian Jew, Messianic Jew, by covenant and by His blood.

  125. Hey Uriah, you wanna answer my # 122?

  126. Hey Josh,

    I think Solomon already did. If not, then try asking your question in another way.

  127. Josh,

    In reviewing your question, I need to take some time to ponder the scripture referenced, along with what what written before and after it. It would help me to understand your question, if you would rephrase it.

    Thank you,

    Uriah

  128. Josh:

    “I’m done with you for now.”

    For such a well educated “adult” man is this how you deal with people? “I’m done with you?” I feel sorry for those who are in any class you might teach because should they challenge or question you in any way your response is this?

    I asked and pointed to a few simple questions about Sabbath and you blow them away with your response.

    In spite of our differences I do understand and have respect for MLD, you, maybe not so much at this point. But you’re “done with me” so it really doesn’t matter does it.

    Oh and please do all of us a favor and keep your certificates to yourself. Maybe it hadn’t occurred to you, but others do have do have both their own “sheep skins” and advanced educations also.

    One last question to chew on, Why were the Pharisees challenging Jesus about His disciples as they ate the grain on the Sabbath? Simple question, very big answer.

    Night and blessings to you!

    Xenia:

    Yes a day of rest is good for the body, but I think Sabbath is more than bodily rest.

  129. Bob, I don’t care if you respect me.
    You said you were leaving and I was trying to talk to Solomon anyway. Add that to the fact that you continually condescend and insult (even in your latest post) and that is why I was “done with you for now”.

    I’d be glad to re-engage now if you’d like. I would like for you to address me as an equal, even though you don’t see me as such. It allows for conversation, though, even with lowly “adults” like myself.

    To answer your question – Because Jews were to keep the Sabbath. Jesus was a Jew.

  130. Uriah, that’s cool. I would like to hear your response after you’ve thought it through. I don’t see a response from Solomon. I’ll just keep waiting.

  131. One last thing Bob, I only mentioned my education because you talk to me like I’m an idiot. I assume you are educated, and wouldn’t talk down to you either way. I just would appreciate the same from you.

    Now, let’s converse on topic, or be done with each other for a while.

  132. And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

    Josh,

    So you are saying this passage is simply about the interpretation of what is lawful under Torah to do on the Sabbath?

    OK, let me ask you these things:

    What do they call the picking of the grain left in the fields?

    Why in another Gospel, which refers to the same story, does it say, “rubbing them in their hands, and eating” and what does that ad to the story?

    In the day there were two major interpretations of the Torah and Oral Tradition (or Torah), who were they?

    Under the two major interpretations whose would prohibit or allow the disciples from picking and eating in contrast to rubbing the grain and then eating?

    What is the explanation why eating the grain was unlawful by one or both of these famous teachers?

    Based on the findings, which school of thought (or teacher) might these Pharisees have been taught under?

    Why did Jesus finally respond and what OT reference is He making when He says, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath?”

    These are all question made to me by another very qualified teacher and scholar. There are answers and it wasn’t just about who the Sabbath was made for.

    I will admit to you that I do not nor ever will have “all the answers.” But, these are valid questions and ideas to explore, especially for those who want to be teachers. Maybe you find such challenges and questioning insulting, but I don’t.

    I have never settled for simple, “this is what we believe and why” answers and I suppose I’m old enough now that I never will.

    I look forward to the day He returns and I am thankful He rose from the dead by the power of God.

  133. Bob, I do not find those questions insulting. Just the condescension, which was thankfully absent from the last post. I appreciate that.

    Most of those questions I would have to research to give a decent answer.

    Briefly, according to Spurgeon, gleaning was seen as work by the Pharisees. Plucking was reaping and rubbing was threshing. It seems to be a legalistic interpretation of the law, where the disciples were doing very little to get a little food in their stomachs.

  134. Josh,

    Meaning no offense, but it would help if you clarify your or rephrase your question because as it stands now, I think Solomon answered it, but since you are still asking it, then I am assuming you are asking something else. So in line with rephrasing your question, it will help as I give thought to the scripture that you referenced.

  135. Hebrews 4:9 : “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,”

    The Sabbath that remains…is that Saturday?

  136. Josh,

    In your #98 comment you mentioned the Gregorian Calendar for some reason. Perhaps because it has to do with it being used to say that the Sabbath took place on Sunday. I’m not sure.

    Nevertheless, here’s one article that provides information on the ways people kept track of days, months, years, and seasons.

    How that fits in with your question re: the Hebrews verse—still not clear given your question. Please do me the favor of what I asked as I would like to move forward with this as I develop my response to what you would like to know what I think about this.

    Thank you, Uriah

    http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Calendar/Gregorian/gregorian.html

  137. Bob, one problem that you are going to have is that a blog comments section is better suited for quick succinct points. You seem to be working towards a good point, but it may take weeks for me to learn it. I understand your philosophy of asking questions, but not sure that is the most productive approach for a comments section. It requires me to be more invested in your point than you are. Now, if I want to learn your point I have to research several of those questions you asked, (in between two jobs, family, and school).

    For the purposes of a blog, your wisdom might be better utilized by breaking your points into bite-sized chunks, and actually putting the food on the plate for the reader rather than forcing us to go search for it ourselves.

    I understand your teaching philosophy, just suggesting that it may not be the best suited strategy for a blog conversation.

  138. Uriah, I did rephrase the question in # 136. The Calendar discussion is unnecessary on my part.

  139. Josh,

    You’ve been gold all week.
    Much respect to you.

  140. Because I’m not very nice…

    In my book you’re either a Christian or a Jew.
    There are not a “completed” Jews anymore than I’m a “completed” Native American or a “Messianic” Englishman.

    Had to get that off my chest…

  141. Thanks Michael! I really appreciate that.

  142. Bob, SolRod and Uriah are those being addressed in this letter – there is no doubt about it. It’s like they are saying “yeah, yeah, I am familiar with all this Jesus stuff – but have you seen what they do at the temple – cool stuff?”

  143. Josh,

    It’s well earned and has been noted by more than a few.
    Keep it going…

  144. MLD,

    @143… it makes me shake my head.

  145. About completed Jews – oh what the heck, Jews are like totem pole worshipers, at worst they worship a false god and, well at worst also, they deny the true god.

    Jews may be great and wonderful people – I know my family is – great people, doing what they can to promote goodness and do great things for mankind, but still Christ deniers especially those who should know better are reprobate. So a completed Jew would be a completed reprobate.

  146. Josh,

    (Chuckling to myself) My, you are persistence. That is only using the same words, not rephrasing the question.

    I think I’m getting a clue to what you are asking. Will get back to you on this. Have some irons in the fire that needs attending.

    Are you asking if the Sabbath still holds true for the 7th day of the week or if it has been put aside because Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath or as some might say, Jesus is the Sabbath and our rest, thus keeping the Sabbath is null and void. Not sure what you are asking—–

    Maybe it would help if you were to respond to what Solomon so diligently set forth. In what he shared what parts do you agree or differ in how, when, or even if you don’t keep the Sabbath and your reasoning behind this, if you choose not to do so.

  147. I believe in Jesus…therefore, the Sabbath is has been kept.

  148. I have been so busy at work lately I haven’t been able to look in – so at the end of the day I need to catch up

    Steve Wright @110 – “Yes, I find the specific detail in the Scriptures about everlasting covenant for Israel on this one commandment,”

    Isn’t that ‘continuing’ everlasting covenant for Israel Jonh Hagee’s plank in this discussion. That Jews don’t need Jesus (in the way non Jews do) because they have not only a separate but an everlasting covenant with God? Why would you need anything else (Jesus) if you have a direct ‘everlasting’ covenant? you can’t break those.

    John Hagee goes as far as to say that it is wrong to witness to Jews and try to get them to undo their end of that covenant.

  149. It seemed like a simple question to me, which made it hard to rephrase. I’ll answer the question myself:
    I asked:
    “Hebrews 4:9 : “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,”

    The Sabbath that remains…is that Saturday?”

    My Answer: NO. The Sabbath that remains for the believer is not Saturday. The Sabbath that remains is Jesus. Furthermore, I think that if you think the “Sabbath that remains” is Saturday, you have missed the entire point of the book of Hebrews.

  150. “So a completed Jew would be a completed reprobate.”

    Not so, a completed Jew is one who accepts Jesus as the Messiah and worships Him with their whole mind, body, strength and soul. Walking in obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit that now dwells with them that enables them to do, to understand, and to set forth all that God has ordained before the beginning of time. Not perfect, MLD, but ever so willing to mend their ways and to put aside that which is not of Him. Which means the fruit of the Spirit is manifested first in their hearts and then upon that love that compels this person to love others, as they layed down their life, like our Lord did, simply because of the love that he shed abroad within their hearts to do so. It is a transformation that takes place at the cross within our hearts that leads us to worship, to love, and to obey. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able and enabled to do so.

  151. Do you call Muslim converts ‘completed’ Muslims? How about a ‘completed atheist?

  152. An ethnic Jew that believes in Christ becomes a “Christian”.

    No need to embellish the title.

  153. I don’t know why it is difficult to recognize Jew as solely an ethnic group. Then to recognize Judaism as a religion. Two distinct issues.

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, bond nor free in Christ. Now, that does not mean someone stopped being a man or woman, or that their legal status in the Roman Empire as slave ended upon being born again.

    Read that again. Then read it again.

    So why would one’s Jewish lineage end. It sure did not end for the apostles and earliest Christians who we can righty say were all “Jewish”.

    Saying someone is an atheistic or secular Jew is to communicate an obvious point. Saying someone is a Christian with Jewish lineage is no different.

    Now, MLD knows what I think of the crazy examples he likes to toss out – which I never support or state personally…about Jews being saved today apart from Jesus etc. and I think stays deliberately obtuse on this point.

    It’s sort of like people who say an Arab by definition is a Muslim. No. Those are two different things.

    My point about the Sabbath is that God used it to keep the Jews together for centuries..as was stated, just like God used Babylon for His purposes. I even said they kept it in unbelief.

    I agree with the entire focus of Hebrews as MLD has stated. Jesus is better, completes, and nullifies these aspects of the old ways. There is no alternative. It is not about picking a preference.

  154. Please keep in mind that Jesus is just one person of the trinity. Thus, when we love God with all of our strength, mind, body, and soul, we worship Jesus, as well as being obedient to what He has set forth in all of scripture.

    Some or rather many Jews have yet have their eyes opened from the blindness that God placed upon them, but He has told us that this is to be and that once the fullness of the gentiles is completed, this too will be accomplished. Even now as we bounce off of one another, many Jews are coming to the realization of just who Jesus is and in this, they too become completed in the faith and in Him. Just as prophecy have told us this would happen in the latter days.

  155. I don’t get the point.

    Why don’t we talk about the “Messianic” Irish or the “completed ” Navajo?

    It reminds me of when the Native Americans have their pow-wows there are always a bunch of white guys that show up wearing feathers.

    Everyone wants to be a special flower…

  156. Why is it necessary to disavow one’s heritage and ethnicity while also claiming to be a Christian. Paul didn’t do it and neither will I.

    Now the Catholic church insisted upon this saying that one cannot be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.

    I think Steve makes my point exactly. Unless I am misunderstanding him, that is.

  157. “Now the Catholic church insisted upon this saying that one cannot be a Jew and a Christian at the same time”

    It’s always the Catholics isn’t it, Uriah?

    If you are an ethnic Jew who becomes a Christian, you’re a Christian.
    You cannot be both a believer in both Judaism and Christianity…so the Catholics were right.

  158. Because in the Bible there are two groups. Jews and Gentiles. That is the extent of the separation.

    God has blinded and hardened the Jews, in part, as He is taking from the Gentiles a people for His Name. (Insert all the Scripture references here)

    However, most Jews (ethnically) I know that are Christians do not make a big deal about their Jewish lineage, and often I find it out in passing after I have known them for years. I agree with all of you that there is some sort of an agenda when people make a big deal about it as their identity.

    However, I also think the church does a disservice (and the Bible speaks on this) when someone with a Jewish heritage comes to faith in Christ and we try to stuff a ham sandwich down their throat at the church potluck to prove their loyalty to Jesus.

    My basic point is this. Four Christians in a room getting to know each other and one says, I am Irish, I am Italian, I am German…MLD would say it is somehow wrong for the 4th to say “I am Jewish”….and the other three should shout “No, you are a Christian!”

  159. So an ethnic Jew IS NO better or IS better than an ethnic Peruvian? In relationship to God.
    An ethnic Jew who is an atheist has a leg up on an atheist ethnic Peruvian?

    Do you know how many times over the past 35 yrs I have been asked why I don’t call myself a completed Jew, a Messianic Jew or whatever? I tell everyone from the very beginning, I used to be Jewish now I am a Christian.

    Every atheist become Christian I know says “I used to be an atheist” –

  160. Oddly enough, I’ve never been in a group where we introduced ourselves according to ancestral nationality.
    I evidently don’t get out much.

    Blame it on the Catholics…

  161. I am Irish, I am Italian, I am German…MLD would say it is somehow wrong for the 4th to say “I am Jewish”…

    The other 3 mentioned what country they / or their families came from. Why didn’t the Jewish guy say I am Israeli?

    When I am asked, I don’t say Christian or former Jew – I say American and if we were going back to family lineage I say Russian.

  162. Well, the way some here find a preference for all things Jewish, if I were at a meeting and we were introducing ourselves and one of these said I am Christian – I may blurt out “No! you are Jewish.” 😉

  163. So an ethnic Jew IS NO better or IS better than an ethnic Peruvian? In relationship to God.
    An ethnic Jew who is an atheist has a leg up on an atheist ethnic Peruvian?
    ——————————————————————-
    The fact that you ask ME this question is proof you have never bothered to listen to anything I have written here on this subject.

    So one last time. Right now, the ethnic Jew is just as lost, just as destined to hell, has no “leg up” on a Peruvian or any other Gentile without Jesus.

    And that will STILL be the case if a new temple is built tomorrow, and they find a red heffer, and a bunch of Levites to put on priestly garments and convince PETA to allow the killing of lambs and goats

    And I too have never introduced myself by ancestral nationality, but certainly I have had conversations with friends over the years where the nationality of our parents, grandparents and beyond did enter the discussion. My point stands. In such a discussion can an ethnic Jew say so or does he have to leave the room before the conversation comes his way.

  164. Israeli is fine with me, MLD.

  165. MLD has ALWAYS loved Peru.

  166. I suppose that an ethic Jew could say so…but I wouldn’t be anymore impressed with that than I would be with, say, the ethnic French.

    If he brought it up all the time I wouldn’t invite him anymore or I’d always have pork chops at the party.

  167. Even Wikipedia gets it. We talk about Christians having their own confusing language all the time, but this is a case where our inside baseball actually differs from the world. (Well, your inside baseball, I side with wiki here)
    ———————————–
    Jewish atheism refers to the atheism of people who are ethnically and (at least to some extent) culturally Jewish. Because Jewishness encompasses ethnic as well as religious components, the term “Jewish atheism” does not necessarily imply a contradiction. Based on Jewish law’s emphasis on matrilineal descent, even religiously conservative Orthodox Jewish authorities would accept an atheist born to a Jewish mother as fully Jewish. A 2011 study found that half of all American Jews have doubts about the existence of God

    (and I assure you, Hitler would still have sewn stars on the clothes of that half who doubt)

  168. So what is this everlasting covenant? Remember – everlasting is, well everlasting. If there is no ‘religion’ attached to it and the ethnic Jew is lost as you just described what is the advantage vs the ethnic Peruvian who has NO everlasting covenant?

    To roll this back to Hebrews, I don’t remember anywhere where the preacher stated “… but if you do go back to temple Judaism, at least you are covered under that everlasting covenant.not my first choice for you, but good enough.”

  169. but I wouldn’t be anymore impressed with that than I would be with, say, the ethnic French.
    ————————————
    exactly

  170. I really don’t know what ethnic group I belong to.
    My ancestors seem to have fornicated without regard for national boundaries.

    On my fathers side they are all native Americans from my grandma…but I don’t bring it up cause she looked really white to me.

  171. MLD changes the subject because he just can’t accept the possibility of needing to abandon his favorite Hagee canard…..as it has served him so well 🙂

  172. Michael…I tell people I am a mutt. I do know I have something like 1/32 full blooded Cherokee but that is not enough to get any government money 🙂

  173. I’m German.

    George Hamrick was ran out of Germany in 1731 because he was Baptist.

    I get it honest.

  174. Steve,

    My father and his family parlayed whatever blood they had into housing on the reservation, jobs with the tribe, and a slew of benefits.
    My father died on the Grande Ronde reservation and was given a native funeral.

    I refused to participate in the money grab or the stolen identity.

  175. Another 1/32 or so of me was a wanted murderer for killing an Indian. Such is the potpourri that is Oklahoma…

  176. Steve, I didn’t back away from anything – I still state you use the exact same point Hagee does – the everlasting covenant.

    You backed away and defined the everlasting covenant as, well, you really haven’t other than to say it is there.

  177. Steve,

    That was truly the story of the West…one of my native ancestors somehow ended up with long blondish hair…and became an Indian hunter.
    Weird…

  178. I think my 169 makes the point.
    Anyway, we have strayed far – some of those speaking earlier, who I identified keep jewish law better than the Jews – and Jesus came to release us from those laws.

  179. Remember – everlasting is, well everlasting
    —————————————————–
    OK, first MLD. You look up all the uses of everlasting because I think it is going to cause you far more theological problems than me…unless you want to revise your opening premise there.

    The land…circumcision….priesthood….even everlasting life itself (which as a Lutheran you say can be rejected)

  180. This is the best Weekend Word discussion ever. Props to you on that, MLD.

    And Michael is proving himself wise by inviting you to do the study.

  181. Josh,

    I’m getting a lot of positive feedback…which is a nice change for me. 🙂

  182. There are multiple everlasting covenants. The only time it is used in the New Testament is in Hebrews, speaking of the blood of Christ…and THAT is why the lost Jew and lost Peruvian are equal without Jesus..and accepted by God on exactly the same basis, namely the blood of Jesus

  183. Have to run now though…I too enjoyed the discussion.

  184. Steve, that’s fine and that is my point – all previous covenants have ended in Jesus.

    A rejection of Jesus still leads to everlasting life … just not where you would want to spend it. 🙂

    I think we should all sit down and read the entire Hebrews in one setting so we don’t get l;ost in these smaller bits at a time.

    Chow time – gotta run

  185. MLD @ 95 said….

    “So I guess on your part, there was nothing special for or to the people of Israel that they received on Sinai – it was just a common territorial law?”

    I don’t believe they were just common territorial laws at all. I believe they were God’s holy laws and commandments for those He loved, some of which have geographical implications/conditions and some which do not.

    Therefore, I simply look at God’s Laws (let’s use all 613 for the sake of discussion) as His holy laws for those who choose to follow Him, love Him, and love their fellow man and woman.

    Yes, they were given to His chosen people, the Israelites, but we find ample evidence between Exodus and Deuteronomy of these laws applying to, and being for, the non-Israelite as well.

    So, God’s laws are for all of His people that believe in Him and desire to serve Him and follow Him.

    I am amazed at how quickly Christians look to distance themselves from the laws of God as if they are bad for His people. If God thought these laws were a help and a blessing for His chosen people (the Israelites) don’t you think they might also be a help and a blessing to the non-Israelites as well?

    Furthermore aren’t all of the NT laws and commands you always quote rooted in the OT laws and commandments that you suggest are just for the Israelites?

    I would rather see us run towards God in obedience to His holy laws and commandments than run away from Him in disobedience. We are to obey, not to be saved, but because we are saved!

  186. Steve,

    ” I find it out in passing after I have known them for years. I agree with all of you that there is some sort of an agenda when people make a big deal about it as their identity.”

    I don’t know about why they would wait so long in identifying their ethnicity when being Jew except that it could be that given the stigma and persecution of being Jew, we have learned to walk carefully when among those who are not. Many Jews, even though they had become a Christian were still identified as Jews and held in the camps, or murdered during the Holocaust.

    As for me, I have chosen not to hide this any longer and to be proud of the heritage that is in my blood and that now is covered by the blood. If that bothers people, it is only more of what Jews have suffered throughout history in maintaining their identity as a people, as a nation, and as those who once believe or still do hold onto the promise that God will send a Messiah. Not all are reprobates, or godless, or even atheist, nor did all deny God even when keeping the Sabbath as Scripture has told them to do. God has always, but always set aside a remnant and as you so clearly pointed out, for a season or for a time set by God, their eyes will remain blind and their hearts hardened. As Solomon brought to our remembrance, he or she is a Jew who heart is circumcised, not one who is circumcised outwardly.

    In Romans chapter 3, it tells us:

    29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    The point being that in my saying or signing off to Solomon in the manner that I did, some took this as a boast or something other than what it was meant to be. I trust Solomon knew what I was saying. And in this, I do not apologize but would like to say that for those that think I am wrong in doing this or to identify myself as a completed Jew, a Messianic Jew, a Christian Jew—it is a bit myopic to speak poorly of me or anyone else that does the same, just because they believe that one cannot be a Jew and a Christian at the same time. In this, I take great offense, but also understand the lack of understanding and appreciation towards the Jewish people and all that God did through them to enable us to understand better how to live and what it means to live by the Spirit and not of the flesh.

    It saddens me deeply when people dismiss this so easily. For me, being a Jew is a way of identifying where I came from and who my people are and why they do what they do and how God is working in them to fulfill His prophecy and to bring into the light and back to the land of Canaan, as He has promised to be a witness for all to know that He is God and there is nothing to hard or too difficult for Him to accomplish by that which He has promised and ordained.

    Remember too, that even the gentile once was in rebellion and blinded to the truth before having their own heart pierce so that their eyes and ears could hear. Saying that I am a Jew does not make me any less of a Christian, but rather sets my heritage before me and enables me to see things from a perspective that enlarges the O.T. and N.T. and causes me to be even more careful and mindful of my relationship with Him and with others. So great of a price was paid for that which I could not earn, but because He loved me, who am I but a small pebble on the sands of eternity, yet so very precious to Him who knew I would be the last of my lineage and in this claim Him as well as my people as My God and my people forevermore, without shame and regardless of what others may think or say.

  187. Goose,

    How elegant and precisely on target in all that you stated.

    I would add that the laws were given to the God’s people to enable them to live a life that was different from the heathens, the pagans, the idolaters from which the Hebrews were constantly being put into situations that would test, try, and tempt them to turn their faces away from Him. In coming out of Egypt, they were leaving a system that had had them not only in slavery, but in bondage to the flesh as well. The laws were like a wedding gift to them, as God had betroth Himself to them and He kept them circling in the desert to purge out the leaven in the camp and to cause them to be obedient to Him. He used this as a testimony to other nations as much as He used their history in making a statement to other nations, people, and religious practices and that is He hates sin and He hates the that which would pervert His Word and His way. And if it was not for the love that He holds towards the Hebrews/Jews and the unconditional promises He has made, they too would be utterly lost and forsaken by Him. He gave them the laws and in this He also was making a declaration that the rest of the world was not and could not be in relationship with Him unless they too would agree to live under His commandments, rules, and ordinance, if you will. In this, He set forth strict laws that would keep His people pure and holy, and separated from the world about them. But the people, like today heard only the should nots and the have to and the laws became a stumbling block to most, whereas, underneath it all, it has always, but always been the heart that is willing to obey that matters the most to Him. For a willing heart is able to see beyond the letter of the laws to embrace the greater concept of the principles which they were designed to accomplish in the lives of those who are of Him.

  188. I guess I could go back and call myself a Jewish / Christian as long as I could make it clear to folks that those 2 parts of me don’t worship the same God.

    I don’t understand why people blame the hardheadedness of the Jews on a blinding. I think that ended long ago. Look, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, me, Uriah and Marty Goetz had no problem. 😉

  189. ” We are to obey, not to be saved, but because we are saved!”

    How can we not know this in our hearts and minds for He has told us that He will write the laws upon our hearts and mind and that we are to teach our children and our children are to teach their children, from generation to generation. Jesus affirmed the laws and the Old Testament and taught from them and changed nothing except to say it is in the heart that must be changed and willing to pick up their cross and do likewise be obedient to what the Father has set forth for those who are of Him.

  190. Uriah,

    One can be an ethnic Jew and become a Christian.
    One cannot practice both Judaism and Christianity.

  191. “Jesus affirmed the laws and the Old Testament and taught from them and changed nothing except to say it is in the heart that must be changed and willing to pick up their cross and do likewise be obedient to what the Father has set forth for those who are of Him.”

    That is pure heresy.
    I’ll say it again.
    That is heretical.

  192. To say that Jesus changed nothing is to say that the Cross is of no effect.
    That is exactly what the Judaizers in Galatia were doing then and what Judaizers do now.

  193. “Jesus affirmed the laws and the Old Testament and taught from them and changed nothing except to say it is in the heart that must be changed and willing to pick up their cross and do likewise be obedient to what the Father has set forth for those who are of Him.”

    I know that we are suppose to be nice to each other, but not all views are equal.

    Jesus Christ perfect life, his crucifixion, death and resurrection obliterated the whole old covenant system. The above statement is 180 degrees in opposition to Christianity.

  194. “But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
    O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?”
    (Galatians 2:17–3:6 ESV)

  195. The writings of the Koran have more respect for the work of Jesus Christ than that statement.

  196. “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
    (Galatians 3:10–14 ESV)

  197. Michael I was just going to say something similar – this has switched now to being the error of the Judaizers

  198. MLD,

    This is I was so glad you accepted the challenge to do these studies.
    This is deeply embedded in evangelicalism and a Lutheran is best equipped to root it out. 🙂

  199. I agree that a Jew practicing as they do today fall terribly short of what was being taught prior to the Greeks conquered the Persians to then governed over the Jews with the full intent of causing them to become Hellenized, by setting a false high priest, along with his minions made up by those who sought to pervert the laws in such a way that catered to this authority while maintaining control of the temple and the courts that ruled in matters pertaining to them.

    But I also trust in God’s promise and what He will do in due season, just as He has done with those you mentioned. Why now for us, I don’t know, except to know He does have a purpose for doing so and in this we must stand in Him and make Him known to others through our words, actions, and deeds. We must be obedient and know that we have been called out and in this, we do have an awesome witness and testimony to share with others, even though it might seem that they don’t hear, we must trust the Holy Spirit to break down that wall and lift the blinders from their eyes and to soften their hearts to hear the message that God loves them and wants them to know, what we now know without a doubt—-that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, and that He is the lamb without blemish and that He is now waiting for them to repent and to believe too. Oh, what a story there is to tell in our testimony and in that which the greatest love story ever was written and contained in the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. By faith, we have believed but by the power of the Holy Spirit, you might say we have been conceived by Him, to do that which He has ordained before the beginning of His creation. Now we can take our rest, knowing, He is our rest and the life giver of all that is precious to Him. We are in Him, but there are many, many more that will follow in due season. Pray for them and never deny that you too are a Jew, a completed Jew by that which was poured out and finished upon the cross at Calvary.

  200. Goose wants us to start with 613 laws…you have got to be joking.

  201. When you combine religions (Judaism / Christianity) you end up with either Oprah or Santeria – which combines Caribbean spiritism and Roman Catholicism.

    It never works out and always ends up whacky.

  202. Uriah,
    “Why now for us, I don’t know,…”

    I have the answer – because God’s word does what it promises to do … create faith in people and save people. There is no one, absolutely no one who is held outside of that boundary. There is no one on the face of this earth who God is keeping from being saved.

    A Calvinist may have a theological reason to disagree with me, but it would not be based on God ‘blinding’ or perhaps better is binding a whole race of people.

  203. Michael,

    Here’s a question for you.

    When driving down the street and you come to a red light, why do you stop? Is it because it is the law that you must stop or is it because you realize that if everyone ignore the red light, there would be great harm that would come about as a result of not stopping?

    So, too is the the point that is being made regarding walking in obedience. Not to earn one’s salvation, but because one’s heart has been changed (circumcised) to know understand why God has told us not to do this or that and to do this instead. So that we would live and be blessed and be able to be a blessing to others as well. So that we would realize just how much He does love us and it is a love that is not afraid to say, No, you cannot do this or that and still claim me as your Father, nor can you lord this over others, or make a mockery of sin by getting a “set free pass” claiming it is covered by the blood of Jesus. because you have been baptized or that you took communion, and all was made right because you admitted that you are a sinner. It just doesn’t work that way, no matter what Luther would like you to believe. Sin is a choice and so is love. If you love Him, and believe in Him, then you cannot excuse sin and continue to live in it. Taking communion and be baptized can be as much the works of the flesh as one might do for the reason of following the laws God has given us as a framework to live within. Not as a stumbling block except to let us know that if we sow to this, we will reap to that.

    It has nothing to do with the flesh, as Paul clearly teaches us. So when we do decide to obey with a heart that is right before the Lord, it is not of the flesh which does cause the law to be viewed as being legalistic, but rather it is of the Holy Spirit that causes our heart to embrace the life of one that does truly believe and this belief is manifested in the attitude, mindset, values, and moral choices one makes that gives testimony to one that is obedient and have the same likeness and mindset of Christ obedience to the Father. Otherwise, to entirely dismiss the law, there would be no need to for the Holy Spirit to convict us when we do sin, and furthermore, no need for us to ever repent and we could simply hand out certificate with a signed statement declaring that we believe, although our actions and words reflect something entirely different. The law is not bad—it is good, if we are able to understand for what purpose it serves in helping us to walk and to abide in Him.

  204. Uriah,

    You are a fine person and I like you very much personally.
    However, you are a theological train wreck, very close to the Judaizers of the book of Galatians.
    This sums it all up:

    “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
    (Galatians 2:21 ESV)

    You (who blames everything on Rome) actually practices Roman Catholic soteriology.
    Your righteousness comes from your obedience, while the Gospel is based on His.

  205. In some sense we all get a “free pass”.

    God will discipline His errant children, but there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ…because Christ has suffered the penalty for all our sin and His perfect obedience is “credited” to us as righteousness despite our disobedience.

  206. One cannot practice both Judaism and Christianity.
    ————————————————
    Agree 100%

    The New Testament epistles are filled with commands as to how Christians, having received the Lord, ought to live…..and I might add, always in that order.

    The order is always what God has done for us, who we are in Christ etc. And then the command to now live accordingly. The Law of Moses is over. Done. Irrelevant 100% to the discussion as to how a Christian ought to live. I have never once invoked the OT Law in preaching to the Body of Christ as prescriptive in any way to us today.

    The teachings in Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians and the rest give us that instruction.

    And where there is New Testament silence (what I call the white space between the verses) there is total freedom to live as God would direct that individual (NOT a fall back to some Old Testament passage). And what IS stated clearly is that in those areas one brother is not to judge another brother (in either direction) for his convictions or his felt liberty.

    For example, I have no problem with someone keeping the Sabbath. I have no problem with someone having a conviction that he is right about keeping the Sabbath. I do have a problem if someone lays the sabbath trip on me because I can point to (several) verses in the New Testament that explain why he has no right to do so…..and to violate the New Testament in order to keep the Old Testament is a massive error.

  207. I would add that it is important to recognize Jesus indeed did teach under the Law…just as He was born under the Law, lived under the Law, and died under the Law. But when He told someone to show themselves to the priest after a healing, or to encourage people to listen to those in Moses’ seat it is a huge mistake to think that audience is the same as the Body of Christ today – and that Christians likewise are to do such things. (Imagine having to find a priest to verify a miraculous healing!! – Sure don’t see a lick of that in Acts and there were plenty of healings taking place)

    However, Jesus did not simply try to clarify where the rabbis disagreed. He was preparing the first disciples for the coming dispensation…the building of the Church which He clearly said was future (Upon this rock I WILL build my Church). And maybe the greatest preparation was there in the upper room.

    Yes, this has turned into a Judaizer discussion, rather than simply a “falling back to the old ways” discussion which is the book of Hebrews’ focus.

  208. I don’t understand why people blame the hardheadedness of the Jews on a blinding.
    —————————————————————–
    Um…because of that pesky thing called Scripture that says this exact thing. You don’t have to be a Calvinist to accept that.

    However, to explain you and Marty, it is described as a blinding IN PART…not total.

  209. For me, being a Jew is a way of identifying where I came from and who my people are and why they do what they do and how God is working in them to fulfill His prophecy and to bring into the light and back to the land of Canaan, as He has promised to be a witness for all to know that He is God and there is nothing to hard or too difficult for Him to accomplish by that which He has promised and ordained.
    ————————————————————————-
    Goose…with all due respect. A Gentile dispensationalist can relate to these very things just as well. As far as the “where I come from”….Abraham is the father of the faithful, Jew or Gentile…the father of us all. I read the Old Testament (and teach it – but not as prescriptive) As to the awe of God working His prophetic word in the land and keeping His promises…

    Where you run off the rails is in saying ” but rather sets my heritage before me and enables me to see things from a perspective that enlarges the O.T. and N.T” because it sounds like you are putting the two side by side in a complimentary fashion.

    There is a reason Paul spent all those years in study before he began his ministry in earnest..he had to totally relearn what he had previously believed from the Old Testament.

    (And while many here know this, for the record, my (Christian) wife is Jewish ethnically and comes from a persecuted heritage so I do not simply speak theoretically)

  210. Steve, agree with your #209 100%…

    The blindness of the Jews will remain until Messiah returns and THEN they will LOOK upon Him whom they pierced and mourn in repentance as one who loses their first-born son.

  211. Josh:

    It’s early in the states and the reason I said “night” was because right now I’m on literally the other side of the world.

    Yes I was working towards a point and challenging because much of this exchange and the scads of others like them always focus on the surface stuff about Sabbath, and Jew verses Gentile (where it eventually headed). The thread even had the required accusatory comment from MLD about Bob, Uriah and Goose not wanting people to become something or else.

    My point is the is Sabbath is more than a day in the week and it has always been that way from the beginning of creation. Humanity wants rules and lists, God gave such things to His people at the mountain after which they built even more rules and lists to “fence in” the ones God gave them. Eventually the Gentiles did the same, taking them and building even more rules and lists in the wake of their grace and “freedom” from the Law (BTW so quickly proclaimed when discussing the Jews).

    I want to live as close (most of the time, because the darkness and shadows do have a certain allure) as possible to the Sabbath of God. The only way I know to achieve that is through Jesus, which is the simplest and yet most difficult message of Hebrews. The Author makes it quite clear there is no turning back once a person begins the journey. Whether it be Jew or gentile, our old practices are death.

    I would extend the “warning” (I believe someone mentioned it that way) of Hebrews to the Christian church. I believe through the millennium it too has added “oral traditions” which have “fenced in” the Sabbath of God in Jesus rather than keeping the door open and free to those who believe.

    So why do we argue which “day” the Sabbath is in Christendom and what defines work in the Jewish world? Because in my opinion we would rather do that than face into the light. We would rather have a Moses climb the mountain for us and give us God’s words than hear them ourselves.

    Good morning!
    And Thanks.

  212. Hey Bob, one of us must have misread the other, because we are in total agreement as far as the Sabbath goes. Well said!

    Which part of the world are you in now? Missionary work?

  213. Josh,

    The passage in Hebrews 4:1-11 presents the weekly sabbath rest as a symbol of the spiritual rest Jehovah gives as a gift to those willing to enter sweet fellowship with him. Israel for the most part ignored the command to enter into Jehovah’s spiritual rest, and they often disregarded the sabbath observance that symbolized it. Christians are admonished to enter the spiritual rest of which the weekly sabbath is the symbol. The passage in Hebrews underscores the emphasis on Sabbath observance as a sign of Holiness. Jehovah’s people are to be Holy in all their conduct. “You shall be holy, for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:15,16. Sabbath observance is the sign of their holy relationship with Christ, and it is the means by which this relationship is enriched.

  214. Steve and conscientious objector,
    “The blindness of the Jews will remain until Messiah returns…”

    Well the blindness you speak of must be something other than they are prevented from seeing the truth of Messiah. Today, there are more Jews who have turned to Christianity than any time in history … and there has always been a good flow.

    The fact that you can continually point to conversations with those who have converted from Judaism to Christianity must show that the blindness means something else.

  215. in part….MLD….in part.

    That’s what the Bible says.

    As far as your stat goes, not sure if you have the documentation for it but in any event this may also be the first time there was an evangelical effort made towards the Jews. Luther hardly was interested in doing so, right? 🙂

  216. The fact that you can continually point to conversations with those who have converted from Judaism to Christianity must show that the blindness means something else.
    ————————————————————
    And now YOU are the one mixing Judaism the religion with Jew the ethnicity. Many of the folks I can think of with a Jewish lineage had zero connection to Judaism and for all intents and purposes were no different than any secular Gentile.

  217. Michael,

    I like you as well, my friend and brother in the Lord.

    Your understanding of what I am sharing is very off, however.

    Along with this, due to our theological differences, I think you are thinking that I am saying one thing when I am saying something quite differently.

    I don’t agree that that a person can claim eternal security when in fact they are pursuing and living a lifestyle of sin and corruption, just because they “say” they believe. I also don’t believe that works earns one’s salvation. Nor does it make that person more righteous. I do believe the heart of a person must be change and the only way that can happen is for them to be born again by the Spirit and in this, that person becomes a new person in Christ whose agenda no longer rest in their fleshly desires and efforts, but now is driven by the Holy Spirit who indwells them to guides, enables, and equips them to do the works of the spirit set before them, such as telling the truth, loving others in word and deed, and exposing that which is evil while helping those who are oppressed, abused, or in want and in need. Far different than Catholicism, whereas, it becomes a system of doing things to earn one’s righteousness instead of understanding that our righteousness and desire to walk in obedience comes from He who lives within you. That the love shed abroad in one’s heart by that which was accomplished on the cross and by He who dwells within is now part and parcel of whom you are not being transformed into doing likewise.

  218. Steve,
    Check it out – until his latter years Luther was a supporter of Jews and presented them the gospel just like anyone else. It was their lack of response that turned him.

    So, what you are saying, if I witness to 2 Jewish people and one converts it’s because he had no religious ties to the Jews and if one rejects it is because he is under God’s everlasting covenant and is blinded..

  219. Thanks for answering Solomon. I think you are interpreting the passage 180 degrees from the author’s intent. In verse 10 he says that whoever has entered into God’s rest, has rested from his works (i.e. his own ability to keep a certain day).

    You are correct in saying that the Saturday Sabbath was symbol. That Old Testament symbol is interpreted in the book of Hebrews, that Jesus is the personification of that symbol. We keep the Sabbath by resting in Jesus.

    Taking a day of rest is good for your body, and probably your spirit. However, our only Holiness is found in Christ. Whatever day of the week you choose to rest will not make you any more Holy. Our works (i.e. resting on Saturday) are as filthy rags to Him.

  220. Uriah,

    However you parse it, your system is based on behavior.
    Your behavior.
    The Gospel is based on what Christ has done, not on what we do.

  221. ‘now being transformed . . . ”

    so much for being a “train wrecked,” huh.

    One must really repent (turn from, put away) of their sins——at least that is what all of scripture tells us. Not make excuse for them or just confessing that it is sin while continuing in them. That is not repentance—-not by a long shot.

    Catholicism has you doing penance and the rosary to absolve a person of their sins, cleaning the slate, so to speak, then starts all over again doing the same thing, then going to confession, saying the act of contrition, receiving absolution again, doing penance, saying the rosary, and they are off and running again. Man made traditions——-not a heart change of real repentance and a changed life.

  222. Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits.”

    Joshua told the people, “choose this day who you will serve.”

    Paul tells us, the difference between the fleshly works and works of the spirit.

    All evidenced by behavior. Out of the heart, is: what is manifested in our behavior. As Jesus has declared:

    Matthew 11

    7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

    11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

    12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

    13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

    14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

    15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.

    16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

    17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

    18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

    19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

  223. We are told to live (behavior) holy lives.
    We are told to honor God by observing the Sabbath.
    We shall not be entirely in His rest until He comes.
    The seventh day or the number 7 represent completness and perfection.
    We will not be perfected until this time. Until then, we are to strive to for the prize that awaits us, as Paul exampled.
    God completed his creation in 6 days and on the 7th He rested.
    We by observing the Sabbath also take rest of our body, mind, and spirit to be replenish and to prepared ourselves for the work that will be set before us in the next 6 days.
    However, Jesus is our rest and in this we can make everyday the Lord’s day or we can make the 7th day special observing it in such a way that sets it apart from that which requires most to work and to tend to that which drains and challenges us to keep our mind stayed upon Him.

    We are not to judge one another in how they choose to do this.

    Paul and the other Apostles celebrated the Sabbath—so did Jesus. Hmmm.

  224. Uriah,

    You’re practicing Christianized Judaism.
    Judaism was based on whether you followed the Law and your behaviors.
    Christianity is based on Christ having fulfilled the Law and having His behavior imputed to you as righteousness.
    No one could fulfill the Law themselves, no ones behavior is ever good enough to merit heaven…even the behaviors of the holiest of saints.

    Either Christ did it all and we receive it all after regeneration or He did enough and you have to do the rest.
    If you believe the former, you are a Protestant.
    If you believe the latter you are either Orthodox or Roman Catholic.

  225. Even putting a best spin on all this – the difference between evangelicals and Lutherans (and our buddies) – is that we preach the Christ, on all things, Jesus is pushing the verbs – evangelicals preach the Christian. It’s that simple

  226. it is interesting that not so long ago in this country commerce stopped on Sunday – attending church was optional, but it was a day of rest for all (excluding the necessaries… pharmacies alternated staying open, public transportation ran etc.) and it didn’t hurt a bit… it was a day off, to meditate or recreate, your choice… but no buying or selling…

    this thread has been a good read, i pray that no one comes away from it thinking that anyone here has said that redemption is personal performance dependent, tho

  227. Have i been preaching the Christian in my comments on this thread?

  228. Josh, think a broader scope of evangelicals. 😉

  229. No, you are broad brushing, and incorrect. You would call me evangelical, though I taught Hebrews the way you are, and all the commentaries and studies that I used were written by evangelicals.

    Certain evangelicals from your past may have preached that way, but my experience is that the broader scope do not.

  230. Thank you Uriah,

    Jehovah has been giving me a better balance on the Jewish people and customs. I’m afraid many a Christian has thrown out the baby with the bath water concerning the old covenant. Ceremonial law’s and ordinances and animal sacrifices are obsolete but the actual 10 Commandments are still binding and the sabbath was never revoked. Jehovah knew he would one day have to send his son Jesus to die as a ransom sacrifice for our sins so why would he repeatedly state the permanence of the sabbath day.

  231. Josh, although I appreciate your teachings on Hebrews and perhaps on all your teachings – but I find in general that evangelical preachers preach like the Army slogan

    “Christian! be all that you can be.”

  232. I think you are wrong, and creating an unnecessary barrier.

    But then again, I’ve never identified as evangelical anyway.

  233. Wow, here’s a doozy from Solomon:

    ” I’m afraid many a Christian has thrown out the baby with the bath water concerning the old covenant.”

    My goodness.

  234. Solomon…question.

    One thing you and I have always agreed on is your adamant declaration in the past that the tithe is not something for today – and those pastors who preach tithing are in error.

    So I have to ask, do you still believe the tithe is done away in the New Testament (in favor of grace giving) or have you reversed your view on that in light of your other comments in this thread.

  235. Luther was a supporter of Jews and presented them the gospel just like anyone else. It was their lack of response that turned him.
    ————————————————-
    Thanks for making my point MLD. Of course Acts makes it too, well before Luther showed up. Since the Jews (mostly) had no desire to receive, the focus was to the Gentiles.

    (Your other conclusion above is just more of your silliness and not anything that can be concluded by what I wrote)

  236. Steve, most gentiles have no desire to receive – are they blinded also or just hardheaded?

  237. Steve,

    I’m just a 10 Commandments guy, all the other old testament requirements have been nailed to the cross, I’m a grace giving guy.

  238. ” I’m afraid many a Christian has thrown out the baby with the bath water concerning the old covenant.”

    Solomon looks into history, past the cross and says, “I want some of that”.

  239. “Christian! be all that you can be.”

    Amen!

  240. Xenia,

    Because I don’t fully understand Orthodoxy or even synergism…

    Would you Amen Solomon’s ” I’m afraid many a Christian has thrown out the baby with the bath water concerning the old covenant”?

  241. The Old Testament is a good place to go to see what kinds of things God hates and what kinds of things God loves. As for following the OT Law, that was, as MLD says, for the Jews of the Old Covenant and not for Christians. Jesus repeats 9 of the ten Commandments and we know He Himself is the Sabbath. I personally think taking a day of rest and withdrawal from the world is an excellent idea. One day away from commercial activities, movies, TV, the Internet, and physical labor would do us all a lot of good (body and soul) but I don’t see that we are required to keep it in a legalistic way.

    I believe that following closely after Christ is transformative. I believe we can become better people, the people God created us to be.

  242. “I believe that following closely after Christ is transformative. I believe we can become better people, the people God created us to be.” amen

    how we do waste our assets – sigh

    gleaned from Lewis Sperry Chafer list from [our] “Riches of Grace in Christ Jesus”…
    In the Eternal Plan of God
    “Reconciled:
    Redeemed:
    Related to God Through a Propitiation:
    All Sins Covered By Atoning Blood:
    Vitally Conjoined to Christ for Judgment of the “Old Man” Unto a New Walk:
    Free from the Law:
    Children of God:
    Adopted (placed as adult sons):
    Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ:
    Justified:
    Forgiven All Tresspass:
    Made Nigh:
    Delivered from the Powers of Darkness:.
    Translated into the Kingdom:
    On the Rock Christ Jesus:
    A Gift from God to Christ:
    Circumcised in Christ:
    Partakers of the Holy and Royal Priesthood:
    A Chosen Generation and a Peculiar People:
    Having Access to God:
    Within the “Much More” Care of God (Rom 5:9, 10):
    His Inheritance:
    Our Inheritance:
    A Heavenly Association (Eph 2:6):
    Heavenly Citizens:
    Of the Family and Household of God:
    Light in the Lord:
    Vitally United to the Father, Son, and Spirit:
    Blessed with the “First Fruits” and the “Earnest” of the Spirit:
    Glorified:
    Complete in Him:
    Possessing Every Spiritual Blessing:”

    all the subpoints and verse references for the list are in the above referenced book and worth a read IMHO – just a simple minded Evangelical talking

    i stay away from the theological, doctrinal discussions here, but… gee whiz, why not want to be all that you can be with the assets God gives His child?

  243. I can get the be all you can be message just about anywhere. I get it at my work, I can get it on some of PBS television shows, you can get it in every religious environment – I even heard the Dali Lama give a grand pep talk at a Christian university a year ago. Anywhere any day I can here that message – if I hear it in church, what makes church different?.

    But only in my church – and perhaps yours, can I here about Jesus Christ and what he has done for me and at that, not some spiritual Jesus in me, but Jesus for me. It’s the only message that matters. How odd, the gospel being delivered to the Christian.

  244. don’t know if i’m following on #244… spiritual Jesus in me…? Jesus for me at the right hand of the throne of the Father? okay, i think i follow… but a spiritual Jesus in me… ? there is Christ in us, i believe… Col 1:27 is that spiritual Jesus?

    God keep, my day is over

  245. What we need is a proper law/gospel distinction…the law diagnoses us as deserving of death and judgment, the gospel delivers us and sets us free and gives us the power, motivation, and ability to walk in the new life Jesus provides; but we mostly fail at that too, and the cycle continues…that’s why Christians are so neurotic (two identities at war with each other).

    The problem I see in the broader Church is that many Christians (and Christian leaders) do not know what to do with the law…some say keep it (good luck with that) others say throw it out (Jesus said he wasn’t doing that, why should we?)…both of these views reflect a low view of the law by the way. A proper view of the law understands its weightiness and its holiness. The law is good, it reflects the perfect character of God. We need to see the law as the means to keep an orderly society, the tool that drives us to Christ (not once, but perpetually) and the guide toward Christian living. However the law is not a means or motivation toward Christian living or Christian growth; only the gospel can do that.

  246. S and S has said a mouthful.
    If you look at Luther’s Small Catechism you will see that the first 3 things are;
    1.) The 10 Commandments – to show us our sin and our total incapability to please God.
    2.) The Creed – to show us the Trinity and what this God has done for us – not what we can do for God.
    3.) The Lord’s Prayer – so that we can pray back / confess to God what he has taught us.

  247. How come you guys never talk about all the commands (and they are commands) that are given to Christians (and they are given to Christians) in the New Testament (which is as much God’s word as any other Scripture)

    Why the insistence to always look back to the Law? The Law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, (and now we are under no such schoolmaster). Christ is the end of the Law to all who believe.

    The New Testament commands are enough to keep me busy repenting and looking to the cross…

  248. “The Law,” as used by St. Paul and the rest of the New Testament writers, refers to the laws of God set down in the Old Testament. “The Law” cannot save us and never could, as St Paul* has written in his letter to the Hebrews.

    This should not be confused with the commandments given by Christ and others in the New Testament. I believe the Law/ Gospel distinction applies to the teachings of Christ. If Jesus says “Do this,” I shall try, with His help, to do it and not worry my head as to whether or not I am making the proper distinction between Law and Gospel because Jesus is the Gospel.

    *St. Paul is traditionally considered to be the author of Hebrews.

  249. I believe the Law/ Gospel distinction applies to the teachings of Christ.<<<

    Should read: I believe the Law/ Gospel distinction DOES NOT apply to the teachings of Christ.

  250. In other words, St. Paul is telling the Hebrews who are thinking about returning to Judaism: The OT Law is inferior in every way to Christ; don’t go back there; it can’t save you.

    He is not telling Christians to ignore or define into non-existence the teachings and commandments of Christ Himself.

  251. Steve! You wrote what I wrote! I didn’t read your post until after I posted mine.

  252. Xenia,
    “He is not telling Christians to ignore or define into non-existence the teachings and commandments of Christ Himself.”

    No one ever says this – what we say is don’t be dependent on the laws for anything – be dependent ONLY on the finished work of Christ.

    Look, we hear it all the time – “why do Christians do this or don’t do that?” as if that defines their Christianity.

    Do the laws, that is a good thing – but as I said a couple of weeks ago – be willing to come back daily and confess as sin the fact that you did not do them.

    “Lord, I was going to follow your command to love my neighbors this week. I really tried, and although I may have given it a better effort this week than last I have still failed, because I cannot love as you. I confess this before you.”

    as opposed to “Lord, I did pretty good this week in my efforts to love my neighbor. Although I did not succeed, I am sure you see my progress – thank you Lord.”

  253. Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”

  254. “No one ever says this – what we say is don’t be dependent on the laws for anything – be dependent ONLY on the finished work of Christ.”

    Well said!

  255. No one ever says this<<<

    Oh yes they do. Maybe no one here says that but it is certainly said, or implied.

  256. I think, MLD, that you are missing the heart of people who, as is commonly claimed, are “working their way to heaven.” It is assumed that somehow these people are proud of their accomplishments and saying to God “See how well I am doing now? You will have to let me into heaven now.” Yet the opposite is true. Pride is considered to be the worst sin of all and if one has even a smidgen of “Look how good I am doing, Lord,” then they have completely missed the point.

  257. Of course, we do not ever use the phrase “working our way to heaven.” This is a term used by detractors (and I don’t think anyone here has used it.)

    We would say we are walking with Christ to heaven, or better, to union with Him.

  258. Xenia – I am talking of people who believe that their own sanctification (behavior and works) improve piece by piece and they can take pride in that. I used to be 50 / 50 sanctified, now I am 70 / 30 and hope to be 80/20 soon.

    Hence when I said, hey lord, I am getting better at this love thy neighbor stuff.

    Also, I think Jesus threw out many commands that he purposely knew that people absolutely could not keep – to make my very point.

  259. “We would say we are walking with Christ to heaven, or better, to union with Him.”

    Agree! Another way would be “Abiding in Christ” like the branch, completely dependent for life on the vine who is our life, who gives our life.

    I really believe that those who are truly thankful for the finished work of Christ, have every desire to live a life pleasing to Him….to live a life to His glory. We fail, but we get up and thank Him for His mercy and grace and continue to abide and walk with Him…..to heaven.

  260. I don’t know about the rest of you but Jesus is either going to have to carry me into heaven or perhaps even drag me – it’s a tough life.

  261. I don’t hear Nonnie or Xenia talking about getting into heaven. I think both would confess that only the work of Jesus can accomplish that.

    I think they are talking about this side of heaven…living a Christian life. Exercising those gifts He has given us. Often failing, but persevering through His power.

  262. Josh – I never mentioned or alluded to justification – I am talking about sanctification – especially the progressive style.

  263. “Jesus is either going to have to carry me into heaven”

    THat is what I was replying to.

  264. I also believe Jesus will have to carry me into heaven.

  265. The Christian life is a race, as St. Paul tells us. You have to see it through to the finish line.

    Baptism starts the race. (Or saying the Sinner’s Prayers, or however people believe they become Christians.) You can’t stay at the starting line, however, you have to move forward towards the finish line, no matter how slowly. This can only be accomplished by being carried along in the arms of Christ (I like that, MLD) but you still have to determine in your heart that you are willing to move forward, that you are willing to conform you will with the will of God, that you are willing, no matter how feebly, to follow the teachings of Christ. I am not going to speculate about the eternal destiny of those who either refuse to embark on the race after baptism (or whatever) or those who leave The Path and go down a side road into a Dark Wood. Safety is found on The Path. S/he who endures to the end (the finish line) will be saved, says the Scripture.

  266. I think you all missed a detail. I asked do any when willingly working on moving forward confess daily as sin that you don’t do it right or are you just satisfied making progress?

    If I make progress I still consider it sin – the command is to love, not make best effort.

  267. Xenia and I are connecting.

    S&S stated, and MLD affirmed it seems, the idea about the Law ” We need to see the law as the means to keep an orderly society, the tool that drives us to Christ (not once, but perpetually) and the guide toward Christian living.”

    The Law was for a theocracy. It knows nothing of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. Yes it is holy, just and good. Yes it provides principles that a government, wisely, should apply (like restitution, eyewitness testimony etc)

    And as far as the tool to keep driving me to Christ. I don’t think you guys really mean that because if we put on our Pharisee hat we see the law (in the 10 commandments) tells me not to murder, not to commit adultery. So far so good.

    However, in the New Testament of course I see how much broader these commands are to be understood as I am introduced to the sins of anger, lust and fornication…and THOSE commands drive us to Christ perpetually And I know (I hope) you interpret the Law through the broader New Testament teachings…so why not cut-out the middle man (like the New Testament tells us to) and focus on the commands for believers found there.

  268. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. Gal 3:24-25 ESV

    The King James’ use of ‘schoolmaster’ is unfortunate as the idea of guardian is key to this passage. An understanding of the word, paidagōgos, will make that clear.

    The guardian was with children until they arrived at adulthood – the guardian would take the child to his destination, take him home again etc. But once you became an adult, you did not keep the guardian. Just like the Law was that guardian to bring us to Christ (no argument there with you all), but “now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian”

  269. I asked do any when willingly working on moving forward confess daily as sin that you don’t do it right or are you just satisfied making progress?<<<

    Yes, absolutely. Just read the prayers of any Orthodox (and I suspect, RCC and maybe even Anglican) prayer book. This is exactly the tone that is taken: Even my best efforts are wretched! Have mercy on me!

  270. Roman Catholicism, which I consider to be legalistic Orthodoxy, does have the bean-counting attitude that quantifies good deeds. I picked up a Catholic Bible at a friends home and read in the preface that the Pope grants X numbers of days out of Purgatory if a person reads X numbers of pages of the Bible each day. This attitude pervades much of Catholicism even if current Catholics don’t pay any attention to it these days.

    This is not what I am talking about, totting up one’s good deeds and presenting them to God as evidence that we are worthy of heaven.

  271. Steve,
    Why do you assume “law” equals old covenant and theocracy. Most Lutherans still see the 3 uses of the law (some deny the 3rd use)

    But you see no law … as in antinomian?

  272. “Even my best efforts are wretched! Have mercy on me!”

    Yes, and God help me to live a life that glorifies you. I’m so thankful for what Christ has done for me, how can I not want to live for Him!

    That is what we are saying MLD…..not OUR works, but His. Anything we do in our lives is a response to His good works and out of love and appreciation for what He has done for us. To abide in Him, to walk worthy of our calling, etc, etc.

  273. Nonnie and Xenia,
    This is what I said up at 253 – ” what we say is don’t be dependent on the laws for anything – be dependent ONLY on the finished work of Christ.”

    I got some blow back so I assumed that some here disagreed.

  274. Amen Nonnie.

  275. I have to be honest here and say that I do believe our works are connected with our salvation. This is Orthodox theology. I believe we must cooperate with God, that we have our part to do, no matter how minuscule, and always with the assumption that God does all the heavy lifting.

  276. So to be clear, Steve and Nonnie will not agree with my theology on this point but I do appreciate all that they have written and can give a hearty Amen.

  277. MLD…I’m just a simple Bible guy.

    For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    The Bible uses “law” almost exclusively in context with Moses – especially key books like Romans and Galatians. The New Testament makes clear the fulfillment and completion to the believer in Jesus Christ….even as it proceeds to command Christians how they should live in light of their salvation.

    Xenia said it well above. ““The Law,” as used by St. Paul and the rest of the New Testament writers, refers to the laws of God set down in the Old Testament…..This should not be confused with the commandments given by Christ and others in the New Testament.

    Amen

  278. Xenia, `i think we agree on much more than we would disagree.

    If we didn’t care about God’s law, about abiding in Him, obeying Him, I don’t think we would truly be believers. Where I disagree with some folks is those who say we must do so in order to be saved. If I thought that was true I would be hopeless. I fail everyday, but everyday I fall upon His mercy and He lifts me up to continue to walk in His grace. There is the tension of living a life of abiding and worthy, and also living a life as a sinner saved by grace.

  279. Steve, I don’t know how you turn this on me. I am the one who says that the whole old testament / covenant is now fully fulfilled, null and void – all laws and promises fulfilled in Christ..

    I fully recognize the commandments given by Jesus in the NT – the point is, if you haven’t followed them 100% do you confess this as failure or are you satisfied making progress?

  280. MLD…my #248 still stands. That is the only “pushback” from my end.

    I think I was clear about any confession of failure…

    You have said far more in this discussion (and over the years) about going back to the Law than your little summary in #280.

  281. – the point is, if you haven’t followed them 100% do you confess this as failure or are you satisfied making progress?<<<

    Well, you saw my answer to that.

    If we had a pious Roman Catholic in this discussion, we might have someone who would tell us he said the Rosary X number of times and now has gained credits with God and was feeling pleased with himself. I don't even know if modern Catholics think this way anymore.

  282. Nonnie, yep.

  283. I have to split now. As a reminder, I teach (and will teach) every Old Testament book once before I ever teach a New Testament book twice. So that said…

    In the CC thread I acknowledge the confusion inherent in using the word, oversight, and support clarification (and the lack of that word)

    In this thread I am pointing out the confusion of the continual usage of “law” by MLD in context of believers living the Christian life.

    The dearth of New Testament quotes over the years concerning Christian doctrine and living by MLD, in contrast to the multiple uses of Law, Law, Law is what prompted my question above…and the irony is noted that MLD is teaching through a New Testament book at present here. 🙂

    Peace.

  284. The only mention I make of law is the proper distinction of law and gospel. That is it. Law is still good for it’s purpose.

    Although I am a grace first person, I am obviously not antinomian as one here might be.

    But I see that this distinction although not solely Lutheran seems to be becoming more so – which should make an evangelical happy. 😉

  285. Precisely, Goose

    “What we need is a proper law/gospel distinction…the law diagnoses us as deserving of death and judgment, the gospel delivers us and sets us free and gives us the power, motivation, and ability to walk in the new life Jesus provides; but we mostly fail at that too, and the cycle continues…that’s why Christians are so neurotic (two identities at war with each other).

    The problem I see in the broader Church is that many Christians (and Christian leaders) do not know what to do with the law…some say keep it (good luck with that) others say throw it out (Jesus said he wasn’t doing that, why should we?)…both of these views reflect a low view of the law by the way. A proper view of the law understands its weightiness and its holiness. The law is good, it reflects the perfect character of God. We need to see the law as the means to keep an orderly society, the tool that drives us to Christ (not once, but perpetually) and the guide toward Christian living. However the law is not a means or motivation toward Christian living or Christian growth; only the gospel can do that.”

    People kick against the law using the excuse that to walk in obedience would be practicing legalism, when in truth, it should draw them closer to God, if their hearts are right and understand that the law is good and provides a means to keep us on the straight and narrow and not on that path to destruction. Personally, I have found more time than none, underneath this excuse of denying God’s commandments is simply due to being addicted or a lover of what they do not want to give up that habit, desire, or practice. But then there’s always the fall back upon saying no matter what we do, it will fall short or that we will always sin and since we are free from the law, I can do whatever as long as I take it to the Lord, confess my sin and be wash clean. That is no different than doing a work of the flesh, thus being legalistic, than doing work of the flesh to earn one’s salvation. Wrong motives of the heart, reflects what God said in the O.T. and Jesus repeated in the N.T. My people worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Also, more than sacrifice, more than praise, bring a willing heart ready to obey.

    This will be my last comment for a season. Perhaps forever. I pray that whatever I have shared it would take seed and that I would be remembered not so much for what you might believe me to be about, but for the person that I am in Christ Jesus and all that He has done to keep me close to Him. It’s time for me to move on to be safe and to survive, so in this I take my leave to say I appreciate this blog and everyone’s efforts in addressing and sharing their two cents upon what they have come to understand about God and their respective relationship with and in Him.

    Shalom, in and of Jesus in everything.

    Uriah

    Solomon, great question—came to my own mind as I was thinking about this last night.

  286. Whoops, the quote was from Saint and Sinner, not Goose–my apology.

    Precisely, Xenia.

    Like I said, when a person strives to lead a holy life, others will accuse them of being legalistic and practicing or being a Judaizer. When in truth, being holy has nothing to do with working one’s way to heaven, or to earn one’s salvation. It is putting on Christ and walking in obedience as scripture (tells us over and over and over again.)

    We may not be under the law, however, God’s laws are written in our hearts and upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our spirit receives that which does in principle negate or discount the concepts provided in the written laws. For instance: do not cheat, lie, steal, lust, commit sexual immorality, exploit, manipulate, rob, abuse, coerce, oppress, or ignore the hungry, the downtrodden, or those who are in want and need.

    Wanted to correct myself on the quote and let Xenia know that what she shared what I see scripture as saying as well. It is a choice that we choose or not to choose to follow Christ. It is also a choice if we choose or not to choose to sin. But in following and living a holy life, it is the Holy Spirit within us as a result of being born again, in Him and that debt that we could not pay upon our own efforts, that we are able and enabled to do so.

  287. ‘ that which does NOT in principle negate

  288. I think, MLD, that one of the reasons you are receiving “push back” is that in the past you (and Michael) have made remarks about preferring to be labeled antinomian (“against the law”) rather than legalistic.

    What is the “nom” in your “anti-nomian?” “Nom” means law. What law? No one is expecting you or anyone else to keep the OT Law so does “nom,” to you, refer to the commandments of Christ? You would prefer to be “anti-the-commandments-of-Christ” over following them too zealously?

  289. Xenia – reread my 285. How could I be antinomian if I am asking people to properly make a distinction between the law and the gospel. I also said that Lutherans believe in the 3 uses of the law.

    Now, we also say that law = the commands of God – that would include any command. Jesus laid down a law when he says to love God and love your neighbor.

    Law = commands of God, which are never done
    gospel = promises of God which are already done.

  290. I would prefer to be labeled neither…but as some one once said unless you’re accused of
    anti -nomianism, you’re probably not preaching the Gospel.

    I refer back to Uriahs statement as what I oppose with every breath in my body.

    “Personally, I have found more time than none, underneath this excuse of denying God’s commandments is simply due to being addicted or a lover of what they do not want to give up that habit, desire, or practice. But then there’s always the fall back upon saying no matter what we do, it will fall short or that we will always sin and since we are free from the law, I can do whatever as long as I take it to the Lord, confess my sin and be wash clean.”

    That is such a foul crock…and it reeks of spiritual pride.

    None of the grace teachers I know of and have read through the centuries would affirm a word of what Uriah wrote there.
    We believe that grace is the heart of the Gospel, that we all sin by commission and omission and that we live lives of repentance.
    Those who are truly holy know how far they fall short, not how far everyone else does.

    There may be some that abuse the grace of God, but God will discipline them.

  291. Well, I must say that I am in agreement with Uriah in this thread.

  292. I have found more time than none, underneath this excuse of denying God’s commandments is simply due to being addicted or a lover of what they do not want to give up that habit, desire, or practice. But then there’s always the fall back upon saying no matter what we do, it will fall short or that we will always sin and since we are free from the law<<<

    Michael, you may think this is pious claptrap but I have seen this attitude in action many times. (Including in myself.)

  293. Xenia,

    Claptrap is the cleanest word I have for it.

    Every born again believer I’ve ever known wanted to please God.
    Every born again believer I’ve ever known failed to do so in the flesh.

    Uriah’s view is actually a petty, ground level low view of sin…because it only accounts for actions, not the heart or the mind.

    If we took a PhxP poll my guess would be that we would all vote you the most sanctified and holy person we have here.
    Yet, you acknowledge that you still sin in word and deed, in things left done and undone.

    It is that attitude, not your behaviors, that speak of your holiness to me.

    I’m Reformed…and we Reformed differ from our Lutheran brethren on some of these issues.
    We know of no such thing as faith without piety…piety that increases ever so incrementally as we walk with Jesus.
    Still, we continually confess that we have fallen short and seek to live lives not of faux holiness, but of constant repentance.

    We fail at that too…so at the end of the day, grace is all there is.

  294. I think it would a tie between Nonnie and Em.

  295. Maybe a three way tie. 🙂
    I know I wouldn’t be in the running… 🙂

  296. But doesn’t everybody acknowledge that they fall short of perfection? Is that even an issue? But does admitting (as we all do) that we still sin mean that we should leave off trying to obey Christ as perfectly as we can, with His help?

    I think Christians can become more Christlike the longer they follow Christ. This would be an observation that others would make about about a person It is not something that one should think about themselves because the closer we approach Christ’s perfection the more we realize the disparity. Perfection is a never-achievable goal but it is a goal nonetheless.

    Even in heaven we will have things to learn.

  297. i might be the most sanctified as i am in need of constant sanctification – and i am the oldest 🙂 aren’t we all equally holy? in Christ?

    i am feeling rather righteous for trying to follow the thoughts expressed on this thread, tho

    but i do defer to the two sisters mentioned… they have persevered in the Faith with servants’ hearts and great honesty and faithfulness

  298. Wasn’t I the one who said I probably wouldn’t participate much in MLD’s Hebrew’s study?

    🙂

  299. they have persevered in the Faith with servants’ hearts and great honesty and faithfulness<<<

    Oh, if you only knew….

  300. “But does admitting (as we all do) that we still sin mean that we should leave off trying to obey Christ as perfectly as we can, with His help?”

    No, and I’ve never said that, nor has any teacher I’ve ever believed or quoted.

    To believe fully in the Gospel of grace is not mutually exclusive to the pursuit of holy living.

  301. Xenia, do you really agree with Uriah’s statement and the motivation behind it? “underneath this excuse of denying God’s commandments is simply due to being addicted or a lover of what they do not want to give up that habit, desire, or practice.”

    I am pretty sure that is the reason I don’t give up some of my sins.

    So to Xenia and Uriah, I would like to hear the more acceptable version for not giving up sin. As I am sure that you both still sin, why have you not given it up.

    Again, this is my whole premise – we sin because we are sinners – we continue to sin because we are sinners … and we have not gotten any better at being less sinners.

    So why do you still sin if not for wanting to do the sin?

  302. “Oh, if you only knew….” that proves my point… 🙂
    IMHO – honest and faithful in your walk doesn’t exclude tripping (not in the modern slang version – maybe that, too – dunno) or missing a fork in the road and having to backtrack… just sayin

  303. this whole business of being perpetual sinners is so easy to resolve if one subscribes to the new birth… the old man (our miraculous and useful, but corrupted flesh) is dying and the new man (spirit), who will inherit a new, glorified body someday is growing (hopefully) and gaining ground as we live out our time on the planet… not theologically argued here, but true IMHO

  304. “underneath this excuse of denying God’s commandments is simply due to being addicted or a lover of what they do not want to give up that habit, desire, or practice.”<<<

    I believe this is often the case, yes.

    It has certainly been true in my life.

    As I said, we will never achieve perfection but we aim for it nevertheless.

  305. I must have hung around a bunch of theological oddballs in my lifetime (or else I was paying closer attention than some) but I have often heard people say that attempting to obey Christ as perfectly as one can is…. is what. Bondage? Legalistic? Condo-bondo? (Remember that phrase?) Maybe it was my particular CC. I have seen people commit serious sins, gaze heavenward and say “Sorry Lord!” and continue the sin. I understand that this is not what you are advocating, Michael, but this attitude does exist and may be more common than you think!

  306. Philippians 3:12-16

  307. MLD, I have explained my position til I am blue in the face.

  308. From Em’s quote:

    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

  309. Condo-bondo? What is that?

  310. Condemnation and bondage.

    The idea was that if you read something in the Bible – some commandment- and if you felt you ought to obey, you were now under bondage.

  311. The ol’ condo-bondo of giving up TV, for example.

  312. Ha! Never heard that at all. Will have to use it in a sarcastic way sometime. 🙂

  313. I suspect only the “dragons” of the other thread still use it.

  314. Xenia,
    “This should not be confused with the commandments given by Christ and others in the New Testament. I believe the Law/ Gospel distinction DOES NOT (I made your correction) apply to the teachings of Christ. If Jesus says “Do this,” I shall try, with His help, to do it and not worry my head as to whether or not I am making the proper distinction between Law and Gospel because Jesus is the Gospel.”

    “whether or not I am making the proper distinction between Law and Gospel because Jesus is the Gospel.”

    This is very problematic at least for a Lutheran and is precisely where and why the distinction needs to be made. Here, you have Jesus giving commandments (laws) and by association you are calling them gospel (Jesus = gospel) – where is the comfort in the works of Jesus if he can be associated as being the new Moses?

    We will see this later in Hebrews. (I am trying to keep this on track to the Hebrews study) 🙂

  315. We will see later in Hebrews such a call to Jesus and the gospel to believers. So I think it important to show where I am coming from and what and how important it is to distinguish (not divide) law and gospel. This short concise article and chart says it best.

    http://www.hope-aurora.org/pages/NewLawGospel

  316. I don’t think Jesus intended us to be all that comfortable.

    Still, His burden is easy and His yoke is light.

    I will read your article.

  317. I read the article and studied the chart. The information was given clearly and concisely and agrees with everything you have ever said on the PhxP since the happy day you arrived here.

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