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Follow-up on keeping Torah?

Submitted: 3/11/2010
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Question: Thanks for clarifying the meaning of 'shadow' and 'substance' in your response. I agree that the Apostolic Scriptures teach that the role of Moses as mediator and servant over the house of Israel was a shadow or type of the Lord Yeshua (Jesus)our Messiah (see Hebrews 3:1-6). And I agree that the work of the Lord on Calvary, His ressurection, Ascension, and the pouring out of the H.S. inaugurates the new (i.e, renewed) covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (see Hebrews 8) which places the Lord's teachings in our hearts and establishes a greater covenant (see also Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:24-28; 38:22-28). I also agree that the 'law' (i.e., Torah) does not save us. The Scriptures teach from Genesis to Revelation that the Lord is our Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, etc. The Lord's redemption being fully revealed and expressed in the person of the Messiah. The Lord Himself rebuked the Jewish leaders in John 5:39-40 for not coming to Him for eternal life. When you say that the OT Scriptures or Torah does not contribute to spiritual growth I disagree. The Scriptures say otherwise(Psalm 19:8-12; Proverbs 6:23; 30:5). The Apostle Paul also taught that the Scriptures are good,holy, spiritual, and good for instruction (see Romans 7:12, 14, 15:4; 2; 1 Cor. 10:11; Timothy 3:15) It is true that legalistic observance of the Law, coupled with faithlessness in God does not contribute to our spiritual growth. This is one of Paul's points in Romans. In fact, he demonstrates that salvation or justification by faith is central point of the Law and Prophets (see Romans 1:17).

Answer: The Old Testament Scriptures are an important part of God's message to man. We have never said that they do not contribute to our spiritual growth. We consider them to be essential, teaching many important truths about God, how He operates in our lives, and what He requires of us. We have only said that growth does not happen by observing the ceremonial laws. For example, circumcision does not produce growth. Neither does keeping Sabbath, eating a Seder, or offering an animal in sacrifice. We may be able to learn some things about Jesus from these observances, but they have no power to bring about spiritual growth. They are mere shadows.