Lurker & GS: Firstly, thanks for your comments. Please understand that I'm not saying anything out of an "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude. I have believed the traditional Christian understanding of the NT all my life, but began to see some "issues" with this understanding about 7 years ago. I've been trying to study these things as much as I'm able to since then and have been (along with my wife) led into the belief that the law/Torah/instructions of GOD still stand for His people. This had not been an easy transition and I wouldn't say I'm fully there yet either. There are many passages that I want to study to see if they can stand up to "Torah remaining" scrutiny. So far, I've found quite valid interpretations of difficult passages and have been excited to see how the OT & NT fit together in a special and amazing way. I truly pray that we are not being deceived and know many would believe we are! However, I can't go back on what I've learnt unless GOD clearly shows us this is wrong. There are many Christians across the world coming to the same conclusions independent of one another - older and younger
2 Cor 3 is talking about the "vail" or the glory being taken away - not the law! It says (v17), "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty". David says the law brings liberty also (PS 119:45). US: Scripture never states that we're grafted into Judaism. In fact that's the whole idea of Galations. GOD's law is good and man-made laws oppose His. We're grafted into Israel! We are part of the elect through the blood of Christ! I don't see the "ceremonial law" abolished as you have realized. There are certainly changes through the messiah's work, but GOD didn't make mistakes with His law. GOD tells us (Amos 3:7) that He will not make changes unless He reveals the changes through His prophets. Many of the changes that we Christians have assumed have absolutely no OT scriptural support. The NT supports the OT as James (Acts 15:15), the Bereans, Paul, etc show us.
Thanks, Lurker, for your concern. It's appreciated. The two covenants, I believe, have been very misunderstood by us Christians. The law itself has never been the problem. It is truth, holy and spiritual! The problem lies in the people (us included) as Heb 8:7-9 and Rom 8:3 state. The law is integral to both covenants. The difference lies in the law being kept by the efforts of the flesh (Ishmael) vs the law being followed by transformed and redeemed people through the power of the Spirit (Isaac). It is flesh and legalism vs Spirit and faith. The law remains though, as Hebrews 10:16 reminds us. It doesn't give us eternal life, but it is the way of GOD's people.
US, The Sabbath is linked entirely with the Creation week (Genesis), and I find it quite likely that the patriarchs were "keeping Sabbath" even though we simply don't know. However, it's very interesting that the Sabbath comes up in Exodus BEFORE Sinai! Also of note is the wording in the 4th commandment: REMEMBER the Sabbath day.
It was (and is - is it not?) a sign between GOD and Israel. Romans tells us that we are grafted into Israel!!
Concerning the NT: Paul's custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. There's never any negative comment about this or the Sabbath in general - so why would we then say NOT to keep it. Isn't GOD's Word the same yesterday, today and forever!?
Pennned, I could do that but I follow the messiah and know He has the words of eternal life. He never took the law away (Matthew 5), so I try to live the way He did. We all live - even today - in "the shadows". One day we will see Him as He truly is!
SteveR: The fact is, Constantine and then the Romish "church" DID change the day to Sunday! Read the history. Rome clearly declared that it was a decision they made outside of Biblical reasoning. It's not hard to find this out! Rome has even stated their delight in the protestants obeying their authority in this matter!
The 7th day Sabbath just simply hasn't been changed. The early anti Semitic church "fathers" changed it and then the scriptural reasoning for the decision followed later.
William: Name one place where it talks about the "LORD's day" being a day other than the seventh day Sabbath! Paul frequently went to the synagogue on the Sabbath (as was his custom).
The Colossians passage you've used is actually confirming Saturday Sabbath to me. He's talking to people who have left the man-made traditions, turned to the Sabbath, biblical meats, feast days, etc. Now they're being judged by those around them, and feeling like returning to the pagan days and traditions. Paul says not to!
I agree that the deeds/works of the law are sin, but believe them to be the man-made Pharisaical laws. Galatians often talks about these as opposed to the "book" of the law, or GOD's righteous law. I believe that's what the entire book is about actually.
I can't agree, though, that the GOD-given law at Sinai is death. GOD calls it life in Deut 30:15,19,20. Of course it has ALWAYS been through faith, not just the letter of the law. There were many considered righteous in the OT, through obedience AND faith! Ps 119:172b - "all thy commandments are righteousness".
Concerning the passage in Col 2:20-23, please note these are the "commandments and doctrines of MEN" (v23)!
I was going to say that I certainly seem to be the odd one out, but there are people we have met and all across the world that are seeing things in a similar way independently. I can only continue to study and pray that GOD keeps me (or removes me) from any deception! May He do that with all His people!
Lurker & SF: Thanks for comments. I'm not trying to be contentious at all either. Looking at things the way I am is only a relatively recent (few years) change. I just see things fitting together better than the traditional teachings, but I'm still studying and testing! Our family keep the 7th day Sabbath, the LORD's feast days and food regulations (Biblical, bnot Jewish). We are still working through many issues.
I believe Jesus came to the cross to take away the "Law of Sin and Death" (curse) upon our lives. This law is upon us because we have broken the Torah/law/instructions of our GOD. Through Christ's blood we have been set free! Not free from obedience to GOD's perfect law, but the curse of death.
Hebrews, I believe, is discussing the better (heavenly) priesthood. If you look at the passages you'll see "covenant" has been added, and you can clearly see the context is the PRIESTHOOD when you read those middle chapters of Hebrews together.
Confusingly, Paul often talks of the law of GOD and the Jewish law without making clear differentiations. Context and other passages help give understanding - but it's not easy! Peter, in fact, tells us that Paul's words are difficult to understand and can lead some people into lawlessness!
The tradition is not Scripture, but in the interpretation thereof. We need to be Bereans. They tested everything Paul taught against the Old Testament writings and found that Paul's teachings lined up with it totally! I don't think we would be able to do that in the traditional, or more modern, church today.
I'm not criticizing you, US, but most of us confuse the Jewish law with GOD's written law/Torah, which is forever.
I think you've got onto one of the "Christian" traditions. There is no such thing as Scriptural "Jewish law"! Jews are the tribe of Judah (plus Benjamin). The law was to Israel! The new covenant was to Israel - not to gentiles.
However, we gentiles are so blessed because we can be grafted in and become part of the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians). The law remains then, does it not?! I believe so.
Yeah, I think we all need to look into Scripture with our blinkers off. We have far too many assumptions that come from the world around us - or, from church tradition! I've seen, in only the last few years, that the "law" remains for us. I couldn't see that until I started to actually STUDY for myself. Another book in a similar vain to this one is called "Pagan Christianity". It's a book that really got me thinking about the traditions we assume are Biblical.