Second Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is breathed out by God and
profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
But many Christians today have forgotten some very important parts of Scripture
namely the instructions of God, or in Hebrew, Torah.
So how much do you really know about the Torah?
Well, if you're a Bible-believing Christian, you might be surprised to
discover that you already believe in keeping the Torah to some degree.
The Torah, which is often translated as "law" in English, is found in the first five books
of the Bible, and it's comprised of God's instructions to His people.
These instructions include commandments such as take care of the poor, and love
your enemies, or don't lie, steal, commit adultery, and so forth. So most Christians
would agree that we should be keeping those parts of the Torah. But the Torah also
contains several commandments that have been forgotten by many Christians today,
such as rest on the seventh day. That's the Sabbath, or keep the biblical feast
days like Passover, or the commandments about not eating unclean
So here are five reasons Christians should revisit those parts of the Bible...
1. The Torah is all about Jesus. Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew, said in
"For if you believed in Moses, you would believe in Me; for he wrote of Me but if
you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
Moses was the one who wrote the Torah, and it was through him that God gave
these instructions to His people.
The Torah is full of prophetic hints about the Messiah: His character,
what He will do, and so forth. Throughout the New Testament, we discover how
Passover and First Fruits symbolize the death and resurrection of the Messiah.
Just as the Israelites were spared from death by the blood of the Passover lamb
when they put it on the doorpost of their house,
we as believers are delivered from eternal death by the blood of the
Messiah on the doorposts of our hearts.
Also we are commanded to remove the leaven from our homes before Passover.
Since leaven represents sin in the Bible,
this is a picture of how Yeshua has freed us from our sins. Even the Sabbath
is a picture of our salvation in the Lord.
As we rest every seventh day of the week,
we are agreeing with the gospel message. We are reflecting on how true rest is found
only in Yeshua.
2. Jesus kept and taught the Torah. Most biblical scholars and historians agree
that Yeshua lived His life as a Torah observant Jew. He rested on the
Sabbath every seventh day, He celebrated Passover and all the other biblical
feast days, and he didn't even eat unclean animals.
Dr. Brad Young puts it this way, "We too often view Jesus in a historical vacuum
with the result that we transpose our 21st century western values and concerns
We tend to make Him into a good Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Anglican,
Pentecostal, or whatever denominational orientation we may be. The historical
Jesus remains a Jew. His faith and obedience to His Father in heaven had at
the precious gift given at Mount Sinai Torah." Yeshua, Himself, told us not to even
think that He came to abolish the Torah. In Matthew 5
He said that nothing from the Torah will pass away until heaven and earth pass
away, and all is fulfilled.
You know, it's interesting that even the word "Christian" literally means "follower
of Christ." In 1 John 2:6 says that we as Christians ought to walk is Christ
walked. Since Yeshuah walked according to the Torah, shouldn't Christians do the same?
3. The Apostles kept and taught the Torah. Just like their Rabbi
Yeshua, the Apostles all continued to keep the Sabbath, feasts, and dietary
instructions throughout the first century.
In fact, Yeshua told His disciples right before His ascension that they
were to make disciples
of all the nations and teach them all that He had commanded them to do. All that
Yeshua had commanded them surely would have included the Torah
since those were the Scriptures He taught from. Even Paul agreed with Yeshua
that the Torah is not abolished and that Christians should keep it. In Romans 3:31
he told Christians that they are to uphold the Torah by faith. He even
instructed the Gentile Christians in 1 Corinthians 5 to observe the feast
Also, we know the disciples kept Shavuot, or Pentecost, in Acts 2,
and in Acts 17:1-2
it tells us that Paul's custom was to attend the synagogue every Sabbath day.
We even see Paul defending himself against false accusations that he taught
against the Torah.
Ironically, many Christians make that same false accusation against Paul today.
Many times throughout the New Testament, we are told to imitate the Apostles.
Therefore, shouldn't we imitate them also in keeping the Torah?
4. The Holy Spirit empowers Christians to keep the Torah.
According to Paul, our basic human nature tends not to agree with God, but the good
news is that we have help from the Holy Spirit to walk in God's ways. In Romans 8:7,
Paul talks about how our flesh, that is our human nature, is hostile to God
and does not submit to His Torah. This is because the law is spiritual,
according to Romans 7, and our flesh is concerned only with fleshly things. In
Romans 8:5, Paul says that only those who live according to the spirit are
concerned with spiritual things, which would include the Torah. As Christians
we're to walk according to the spirit not the flesh. Our flesh is weak and
cannot submit to the Torah, which is spiritual.
However, Romans 8:3-4 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is given to empower
Christians to keep the Torah.
"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.
By sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned
sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might
be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to
the spirit." Romans 8:3-4.
5. Keeping the Torah is a blessing. Many Christians misunderstand what the New
Testament teaches about the Torah, and therefore, they consider it to be a
burden, but that is not what the biblical authors felt about it.
The only way the Torah could be a burden is if a person misunderstands it or
tries to earn his salvation by keeping it. In fact, that's what the false
teachers that Paul addressed in the book of Galatians believed. The false teachers
believed that the Gentiles could be saved
only if they first got circumcised, according to the law.
This issue is also addressed in Acts 15, "But some men came down from Judea and
were teaching the brothers, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the
custom of Moses,
you cannot be saved.'" Acts 15:1 We see in verse 11 of Acts 15, though, that the
Apostles taught a very different message.
They taught that salvation is only by grace through faith in Christ not by
So our obedience to any commandment in the Torah is simply the result of a
transformed life in the Messiah.
We don't keep the Torah to be saved. We keep it because we're saved. When we
correctly understand the place of the Torah in our lives, it is a source of
In fact, the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is devoted to proclaiming the
joy of the Torah. In that song King David expresses the love for the Torah
that all believers should have. When you consider the small percentage of
families that still eat dinner together in our age, we can see how keeping the
Torah is a blessing.
The Torah blesses families by bringing them together every week on
Sabbath day. I've heard countless testimonies from Christian families who
started keeping the Sabbath every week. And in every case, it has brought them
closer together and has even restored broken relationships. Countless people
have received the Lord simply by seeing the amazing prophetic symbolism in the
feast days. Even keeping God's commandments about what not to eat
brings blessing. There are health benefits to not eating unclean animals.
So it's no wonder that Moses said he was setting before us blessings and curses,
life and death.
We are blessed when we keep the Torah. So, what about you?
I hope you'll consider joining the Christians around the world who are
returning to God's Torah...keeping His Word out of love for the Father because
He first loved us.
I'm David Wilber. Shalom