Being Prepared to Give an Answer An Artillery of Responses to Christian Objections About Being Torah Observant
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
My Testimony VBS joy jumping and skipping, conviction of sin Little disobediences, lack of confidence in prayer Family falling away, church is boring, SS quarterlies, difficulty understanding KJV Forgot God, doubted his existence, HS, searching, tearful calling out, Baptist church, decision at 19 to give my life to God
Being Prepared to Give an Answer An Artillery of Responses to Christian Objections About Being Torah Observant
But in your hearts set apart Messiah as Master. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Messiah may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Apology Greek, apologia 1.a speech of defense, defense, reply 2.the act of making a defense, defense hear the defense which I now make to you Ac 22:1 my reply to those who sit in judgment over me 1 Cor 9:3.
Gentleness the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness, meekness A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
How Far Will You Get With People When You Are: Arrogant (I have the truth, you don’t) Impatient (interrupting), Frustrated Disrespectful (you don’t really believe that, do you? That’s ridiculous. That’s stupid.) Overbearing - Voice Elevated (shouting match)
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your word (message) be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6) Our actions and attitudes must match the message
Preparing to Give an Answer Know the Word Discipleship Training Be in Sync With the Ruach HaKodesh Know the Voice of Elohim Be in Prayer Speak with Authority, Confidence, not like you are not sure Don’t overwhelm with everything you know Leave Room for the Holy Spirit to Bring it Home
Objection #1 – “Those People are Commandment Keepers!” Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (4th Gospel 14:21) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. (4th Gospel 15:10)
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, Elohim's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Yahusha did. (1 John 2:3-6)
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before Elohim and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:21-22) Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:24) (see also Ezekiel 11:19-20)
This is how we know that we love the children of Elohim: by loving Elohim and carrying out his commands. This is love for Elohim: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, (1 John 5:2-3)
Summary: Obeying his commands means: You love him You will remain in his love You have come to know him Elohim’s love is made complete in you You have confidence in him and will receive what you ask You live in him You know that you love Elohim and his children
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey Elohim's commandments and remain faithful to Yahusha. (Revelation 14:12) Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-- those who obey Elohim's commandments and hold to the testimony of Yahusha. (Revelation 12:17)
Objection #2 – Jesus Fulfilled the Law So Christians Don’t Have to Keep It Jesus kept the law perfectly and thereby fulfilled its demands and requirements on Israel… effectively setting it aside…so we don’t have to keep it! Since Jesus died for us, we don’t have to die. He fulfilled the Father’s requirement for death. Likewise he fulfilled the Father’s demands concerning the Law
Did Yeshua Do Away With the Law? Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. (Mattityahu 5:17).
“To Fulfill” – Greek pleeroo Can mean do away with, put an end to…But… Depending on how one prefers to interpret the context, (pleeroo) is understood here either as - fulfill=do, carry out, or - as bring to full expression=show it forth in its true mng., or as fill up =complete...(Bauer, p.671)
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary lists the word perform as a synonym for fulfill, which means "to adhere to the terms of.., carry out, do..., give a rendition of...", or, "to carry out an action or pattern of behavior." And as a synonym for perform, "fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities." (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield: Merriam- Webster Inc., 1987, pp.497,873)
Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens (Mattityahu 5:18-20).
Objection #3 – Christians Should Obey the New Law of Jesus, Not the Old Testament Law of the Jews Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. (4th Gospel 14:21) And the Master also said, If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (4th Gospel 14:23)
Is It Even Possible That Yeshua Brought a New Law? If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them,“ (Devarim [Deut] 13:1-2)
you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. (Devarim [Deut] 13:3-5)
Are Messiah’s Teachings Different? So Yahusha said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." (4th Gospel 8:28-29)
For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." (4th Gospel 12:49-50)
This is the command – the decrees and rulings Yahuwah your Elohim directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Yarden to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear Yahuwah your Elohim as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. (Devarim [Deut] 6:1- 2)
What Does Yeshua Teach About Eternal Life? Now a certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Yeshua said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except Elohim alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" The man replied, "I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws since my youth." (Luke 18:18-21)
Now a man came up to Yeshua and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?“ "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Yeshua replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.“ "Which ones?" the man inquired. Yeshua replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'“ (Matthew 19:16-19)
Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. (4th Gospel 10:37)
Objection #4 – Those Who Keep the Law are Trying to Earn Their Salvation Through Works For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are Elohim's workmanship, created in Messiah Yahusha to do good works, which Elohim prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8- 10)
The accusation is simply NOT true. Commandment keepers are not trying to earn their salvation, but are genuinely following thru with their commitment to Elohim. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20).
Objection #5 – We are Not Saved by Works of the Law, But By Faith in Jesus Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16, KJV)
Bear in mind that our Master's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that Elohim gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16)
What is Our Righteousness? *Torah: Yahuwah commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear Yahuwah our Elohim, so that we might always prosper and live, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this Torah before Yehovah our Elohim, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.“ (Deut 6:25) *Paul: it is not those who hear the Torah who are righteous before Elohim, but those who do the Torah will be declared righteous (Romans 2:13).
“Works of the Law” These works which are defined as an action, deed, work; precedent) are not the same as the "works" of obeying Elohim's commandments. The Pharisaic and Rabbinic term "works of the law" means something very different. For a Pharisee, the "works of the law" is an action of a Rabbi or sage that justified the practical manner in which a tradition should be observed. Thus, the "works of the law" were laws based on the actions or “works” of a rabbi. If a Pharisee or Rabbi performed a certain action, then that action was established as law, and was known as a "work of the law."
Once it happened (ma-aseh) those of R. Gamaliel came home (late) from a wedding feast and they said to him: We have not yet recited the (evening) sh’ma. He said to them: If the dawn has not yet come up you are still bound to recite. And not in respect to this alone did they so decide, but whenever the sages say until midnight, the precept may be performed until the dawn comes up. (Berachot 2a)
“Faith” as used by Paul Hebrew emunah – faithfulness, fidelity, steadfastness, reliability, loyalty “Faith” is born when one places their trust in Elohim. Faith lives in an environment of trusting obedience and fidelity to His ways.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through trustful fidelity - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim - not by works (of human origin), so that no one can boast. For we are Elohim's workmanship, created in Messiah Yahusha to do good works, which Elohim prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8- 10) If you don’t do what you were created for…
Objection #6 – We are Not Under the Law, But Under Grace For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14) What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! (Romans 6:15)
Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. (Galatians 3:10) Deuteronomy 27:26 - Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4) But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:5-6)
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to Elohim that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:16-18)
Objection #7 – Those Who Keep the Law Have Fallen From Grace You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Messiah; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:4) What brings favor? Does Elohim favor sinners?
Therefore, those who put their trust in obedience to the laws and traditions of the Pharisees, or any other man made law code, are trying to gain acceptance with God through worthless "law keeping." There is no justification (righteousness) in doing this. So those who continue to hold to man's laws and man's traditions after they have received Messiah are actually falling back into the old ways which brought them slavery and guilt.
Objection #8 – People Who Obey the Law are Under a Curse All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." (Galatians 3:10) Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out. (Deut 27:26)
Objection #9 – The Only Thing that Really Matters is that You Believe in Jesus “John” 3:16 1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Yahusha Messiah, and to love one another as he commanded us.
OK. What Does it Mean – According to the Bible – “to Believe”?
Unbelief = to treat with contempt Yahuwah said to Mosheh, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? (Num 14:11)
Believing = Trusting When Yahuwah heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Ya'acov, and his wrath rose against Yisrael, for they did not believe in Elohim or trust in his deliverance. (Psalm 78:21- 22)
Sinning = Not Believing In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. (Psalm 78:32)
To Not Believe = To Not Obey Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not obey Yahuwah. (Psalm 106:24- 25) Therefore, To Believe = To Obey
Are We Judged by our Belief in Jesus/Yeshua or by our Works?
"'I Yahuwah have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares Adonai Yahuwah.’” (Ezekiel 24:14)
I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. (Ezekiel 36:19)
Yet, O house of Yisrael, you say, 'The way of Yahuwah is not just.' But I will judge each of you according to his own ways.” (Ezekiel 33:20)
According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. (Isaiah 59:18)
What Does Yeshua Say? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27)
What Does Paul Say? Elohim "will give to each person according to what he has done.” (Romans 2:6)
Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. (Revelation 20:12-13)
Summary An Effective Witness to the Truth Must Be: Spirit Filled Knowledgeable about the Scriptures Gentle and Respectful Wise and Discerning Walking the Walk, Not Just Talking the Talk
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