Tag Archives: grace

Is it Law vs Grace and Faith vs Works?

Modern Christianity pits Law against Grace and Faith against Works. Is this doctrine Scriptural? Was this the plan and wish of our Heavenly Father? Did our Messiah put an end to Law and Works? It is important for us to understand the biblical definitions for each of these terms as well as learn the connections between these 4 biblical terms. If you are seeking the roots of our faith, and you are a person ready to be reproved, corrected and instructed by Scripture, I invite you to test the following study.

Definitions of Law, Grace, Faith & Works

Law – God’s Law lets us know what Sin is, in His eyes. Breaking God’s Law, is considered Sin.

  • Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
  • Rom 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
  •  1Jn 3:4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law

Grace – Grace is God’s unmerited favor on our lives. We are saved and made righteous by His Grace towards us

  • Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  • Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
  • Tit 3:7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Faith – We gain God’s Grace through our Faith in Him. It is the belief that “He is the Creator & Redeemer, and there is no Life in us, without Him”

  • Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  • Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  • Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Works – Works Is all that we do. Our obedience to his Word/Law brings us blessings. We will be judged according to our Works

  • 2Ti 3:16,17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
  • Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
  • Rev 20:12,13  … and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Is Law against Grace?

Many presume that God’s Law is against Grace, and that by keeping God’s Law, we fall from Grace. These are common misconceptions which have risen from misunderstandings of Pauline Letters. Let’s look at some of these verses which have been taken out of context and study them further.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
For one who quotes the above verse as proof of God’s Law is against His Grace, we have to read the very next verse to understand Paul’s thoughts. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid”. (Remember that Sin = Breaking God’s Law : 1Jn 3:4). So effectively, what Paul is saying is “What then? shall we BREAK GOD’S LAW, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid”. But why then did he say we are not under the Law? this will be addressed in the next point.

Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
The above verses in Paul’s letter to the Galatians explains what his whole ministry revolved around. Contrary to popular belief, Paul never said God’s Law is done away with. The misunderstanding lies in the concept of “Righteousness by the Law” or “Justification by the Law”. Paul is not saying that the “Law is against Grace”, or that whoever that obeys the Law has fallen from Grace. He is simply saying that “Righteousness” / “Justification” cannot be attained through the Law. He is saying that whoever tries to “attain righteousness” by the Law, has fallen from Grace. A good example of this, is the doctrine of the Circumcision Party which taught that a person needs to be circumcised to be saved/ receive salvation/ attain righteousness/ be justified. We are not made righteous through the Law, which is there to guide us. This is why we are not under it. But does this mean the Law is done away with? by no means. If that was so, what would we be judged by? God’s Law was never meant to be against His Favour/Grace.

Grace enables us to live according to God’s Law

The Grace of God clearly cannot be against the Law of God. This idea is further endorsed by Paul as we see in the verses below

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Remember that Sin = Breaking God’s Law according to 1Jn 3:4. So effectively, what Paul is saying is “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in BREAKING GOD’S LAW, that grace may abound?”. Grace came to us through Messiah’s blood Sacrifice because we were “Law Breakers” or “Sinners”. What Paul explains here is whether we can say, that we are no longer under Law and continue in Sin, because Grace has been poured on us. Grace has been poured on us, so that we no longer continue in Sin (Breaking God’s Law). (Refer Rom 6:15 as well)

Is Works against Faith?

Similar to the notion that God’s Law is against Grace, some presume that Faith is all that we need. The common misconception here is that works is “dead” where faith is “alive”. Many of these thoughts have also sprung up through misunderstandings of Pauline Letters. Let’s look at some of these verses as well, and study them further.

Gal 2:16  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.
As per the definition of the word “Works” given above, “Works” of the Law, means what you do in obedience to God’s word. For example not committing Adultery or Murder are Works of the Law. Just as we saw in the verses regarding Law & Grace, Paul again focuses his attention in telling the reader that you are not justified through your obedience to God’s Law, but by the Faith you have in God.

Rom 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Here again, Paul’s focus is justification through “Works”. He is not saying that one should not Obey God’s Law, but he is simply saying that one is not Justified through the good/obedient works he does. We are saved/ made righteous/ justified because of our faith – because we believe that God will give us the Grace we need to move from death to life. Just because we believe in God’s graciousness, can we now say that we do not need to be obedient to Him? To keep and do the Words of God? Obedience to God’s Words was never supposed to be against the Faith we have in God.

Works is what perfects our Faith

Even though no one is justified through “Works” alone, obedience to God’s Word or Works of the Law as it is known, does perfect our Faith in God. In other words. when we obey Him, we show the amount of Faith we have in Him. Let us see the explanation given by James in this regard.

Jas 2:21-24  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
James explains the connection between Works and Faith in a few words. He shows how Abraham’s Faith became perfect in the eyes of God, when he was willing to do what was commanded by God, even to slay his only son. In Gen 15, when God promised him an heir and a countless amount of descendants, Abraham believed. Gen 15:6 reads “And he believed in YHVH; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” God counted Abraham’s Faith as righteousness the moment he believed in God. But James shows how this verse of Scripture was fulfilled only when Abraham obeyed God in offering up his son. (And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:) As much as we have faith in God, without obedience to Him, that faith is not perfected. In other words, if we say we have Faith in Him, but keep on disobeying Him, how can we prove our faith like our father Abraham did? Let us obey Him and show how much faith we have in Him.

Conclusion

As we have seen through the passages above, we cannot pit “Law” against “Grace” and “Works” against “Faith”. We are not made righteous through the “Law” or our “Works”. It is only through our “Faith” and His “Grace” that we are saved. This doe not mean that God’s Law is done away with and we do not have to do the Works of the Law. God’s “Law” shows us how to be obedient in doing the “Works”, as much as “Faith” in Him, produces “Grace” or His Favor towards us. “Grace” in turn helps us keep his “Law” as well as our “Faith” becoming perfect in His sight through the Obedient “Works” we do.

We have to break down the wrong doctrines taught to us and start reading God’s Word through the help of His Spirit. Let us be perfect before God (2Cor 13:11, 2Ti 3:17, Heb 13:21, Rev 3:2) adding Works to our Faith and keeping His Law because of His abundant Grace.

There are many more misunderstood verses regarding this subject which we will study in the coming days. Meanwhile, I also invite you to read this study for more clarity on this topic.

The misunderstood parable of New and Old Wine

Christ often spoke in parables and sometimes the interpretations are also recorded clearly in the Gospels. In Matthew 9:9-17, Mark 2:14-22 & Luke 5:27-39, Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) spoke another parable to the pharisees, which He did not provide an interpretation afterwards. The “Parable of the New & Old Wine” is often used to say that Yeshua was discarding the Old Mosaic Law, while introducing “A New Law which was built on Truth & Grace”. We will delve into this misunderstood parable and try to understand (with proper context) what Yeshua was really trying to say.

If time permits, I suggest that you also read “Who the pharisees were” which shows how they were not keepers of God’s Law & “Did Christ overule the Old Ten Commandments with 2 New Commandments?” which shows how Yeshua merely quoted the 2 New Commandments from the Old Testament and that He did not introduce a New Law.

For the purpose of this study, we will use the reading from Luke to investigate and understand what Yeshua was trying to say taking proper context into consideration. (I have highlighted the important parts below).

Luk 5:27-39  And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Notice how this Parable is connected to a feast made in Levi’s House. Levi, who is also called Matthew in Mat 9:9, follows Yeshua leaving his work which was Tax Collecting, and makes a feast to which Yeshua was invited. Many of Levi’s friends and some who were Tax Collector’s(Publicans) were also present at his house.

The Scribes and Pharisees who kept a close eye on Yeshua all the time, ask Him why He is sharing a meal in the midst of sinners and tax collectors. Yeshua answers them by saying that He came to bring sinners to repentance.

Then they ask Yeshua, why His disciples do not fast often, and pray, like the disciples of the pharisees. To which Yeshua answers by saying that they will fast when He is taken away from them.

Then He goes onto convey the parable which is in question. Before we move onto the Parable, I want you to understand the context behind this parable and why Yeshua said this parable to the Pharisees. (We know that the Pharisees were actually hypocrites and keepers of their own laws and traditions which were against God’s Commandments).

Proper Context
Let us observe the events leading to this parable. Luke 5 starts off with Yeshua asking Peter, James & John to follow Him, which meant becoming His disciples. This was a bold move for a person who was gaining respect throughout Judea as a great Rabbi/Teacher. There would have been so many more well educated people He could have chosen from the Scribes or the Pharisees, but He opted to choose lowly fishermen. In Luke 5:27, Yeshua enrolls a Tax Collector named Levi, next as one of His disciples. First, fishermen and now a Tax Collector – The Pharisees and Scribes would have been furious. Fishermen were “uneducated” while Tax Collectors were “traitors” in the eyes of the Pharisees. This is the background behind this event and the parable of interest.

Yeshua’s choice in disciples were a concern to the Pharisees and they found fault with them saying “Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but yours eat and drink?” This was the reason behind the parable that Yeshua put forward to the people who questioned Him.

Now that we understand that the reason behind the parable was “the question about His disciples”, let’s move on to decipher the parable.

Part I of the Parable
No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.

Part II of the Parable
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”

Using proper context, we understood above, that this parable was spoken out as a reply to the questioning which came up regarding Yeshua’s choice of disciples. Using this context we can come to a proper interpretation as follows:
Old Garment/ Old Wineskin = Disciples who have learned Pharisaical TeachingsThe Piece from a New Garment/ New Wine = New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word
New Wineskin = Disciples who are open to learning God’s Word/who have not learned pharisaic ways
Old Wine = Pharisaic Teaching of God’s Word which is God’s Word mixed and changed with their own laws, traditions and teachings

(In the parables given above, “The Old Garment” and “The Old Wineskin” are parallels, meaning they represent the same idea. In the same way, “The Piece from a New Garment” and “The New Wine” are also parallels. The “New Wineskin” is obviously the opposite of the “Old Wineskin” in the same way that the “Old Wine” is the opposite of the “New Wine”.)

Let’s try to read the Parable again with the interpretation given above, to see whether it makes sense in proper context, as an answer to the Pharisees.

Part 1 of Parable No one tears “a piece from a new garment” and puts it on an “old garment”. If he does, he will tear the “new”, and “the piece from the new” will not match the “old”.
Interpretation No one can put “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” into a “Disciples who have learned Pharisaical Teachings”. If done, the “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” will go to waste, as it will not match the lifestyle of the “Disciples who have learned Pharisaical Teachings”

Part 2 of Parable And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”
Interpretation And no one puts “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” into “Disciples who have learned Pharisaical Teachings”. If done, “Disciples who have learned Pharisaical Teachings” will not be able to contain the “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” and the “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” will go to waste, and the “Disciples who have learned Pharisaical Teachings” will be condemned/destroyed(because they rejected the proper teaching). But “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word” must be put into “Disciples who are open to learning God’s Word/who have not learned pharisaic ways”. And no one after learning “Pharisaic Teaching of God’s Word which is God’s Word mixed and changed with their own laws, traditions and teachings” desires “New/Proper Teaching of God’s Word”, for he says, ‘The “Pharisaic Teaching of God’s Word which is God’s Word mixed and changed with their own laws, traditions and teachings” is good.'”

Using this interpretation we can come to the conclusion that Yeshua was indeed speaking in context, to the pharisees, who were questioning Him about how He was choosing uneducated sinners as disciples. To which Yeshua replied by a parable that showed how it was better for Him to choose “uneducated sinners” over the so called “educated ones learning pharisaic doctrine, which was clearly against God’s Word“. He spoke how He needed to choose new wineskins so that He could pour the “correct teaching of God’s Word” into them, while old wineskins which contained “different teachings” could never hold the correct teaching of God. This was the simple argument He made with this parable, so that the pharisees would not question Him anymore.

Some have interpreted this parable to say the “Old Wine” represents the “Old Mosaic Laws/Commandments” while “New Wine” represents “Grace and Truth”. One who studies the bible will understand that “God’s Word/Commandments are not against Truth, but Truth itself” and that you cannot pit God’s Commandments against Grace and Truth.

I am not, in any way, saying that this is the final and conclusive interpretation of this Parable. But I am offering everyone a chance to look at the parable afresh with proper context according to God’s Word. As I always say, Do not believe anyone. Read it for yourself and check whether what you understand, is in complete agreement with everything written in the Scriptures. For too long, we have been giving ear to people who have taken things out of context and given their own interpretations, that do not gel with God’s Word completely. Test this interpretation with the same critical mentality and may the Holy Spirit, the helper, who is there to help us understand God’s Word, help you in having a closer walk with our Father in heaven.

Is Sabbath, Saturday, Sunday or Everyday? Defining the Biblical Sabbath day – Part III

In the 1st Part of this study, we laid the groundwork in understanding The Sabbath day which is also God’s 4th Eternal Commandment. We learned that the Sabbath had a direct connection with the 7th Day of Creation. That God made it for man, so that he may be refreshed, just as God was refreshed on the 7th Day. That it is an important day for Him, as He calls it “My Holy day” and “My Feast/Appointment”. And that the only thing you cannot do on the Sabbath, according to God’s Commandment, is your regular work/occupation done for monetary gain. (If you have not read the 1st Part, please start there, as you will have a clearer understanding of the definitions).

In the 2nd Part of the study, we answered one of the most famous questions that people ask regarding the Sabbath; whether the Sabbath is Saturday, Sunday or everyday. We found out that the Sabbath cannot be Sunday, any day we like, or everyday as some presume, and that it has not been done away with yet. The most interesting finding was that the Original Greek Manuscripts proved that the Sabbath recorded in the new testament was indeed Saturday by showing us that the original Greek word translated as Sabbath “G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on” is still the name used for Saturday in Greek even today! (If you have not read the 2nd Part, please click here).

Today, as promised, we will address some of the famous questions and thoughts people have regarding the Sabbath. The questions addressed in this post are given below.

  1. Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
  2. Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
  3. Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
  4. The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
  5. There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
  6. Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  7. Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
  8. Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
  9. The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
  10. We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  11. Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
  12. The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
  13. It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
  14. Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
  15. Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
  16. Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
  17. There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
  18. There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
  19. How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
  20. Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?

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Q1) Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
Accusation no.1: Yeshua defended His disciples, who broke the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:1-8, Mar 2:23-28, Luk 6:1-5

In these verses we see the pharisees accusing Yeshua’s disciple of breaking the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn. Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say, that you cannot pluck or eat on the Sabbath.  Then why and how can the Pharisees accuse the disciples of doing what is “not lawful”? (Please read – who were the pharisees). Because the pharisees had their own man made Law which is also called the “Oral Law” & “Tradition of the Elders”. (This Law has been written down today in a book form called the Talmud and is still adhered to by the Orthodox Jewish Community). Yeshua was not defending His Disciples, who the Pharisees accused of breaking the Sabbath. He was actually showing the Pharisees their error in adding to the Law of God (No one can add or diminish from God’s Law – Deut 4:2, 12:32), when there was no such Law regarding the Sabbath in the Scriptures. Yeshua’s defense was two pronged. 1) He related the story of David in 1Sam 21:3-6, thereby showing how feeding a man in hunger was not considered a sin, even when the priest gave them the bread in the temple specifically reserved for the priests themselves. 2) He showed how the Priests worked at the Temple on the Sabbath. The livelihood of the priest was their service at the temple. Even though they carried on with their day to day work, even on the Sabbath, which was working at the temple, it was not considered sin, as they were working for God.

Accusation no.2: Yeshua healed on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Mat 12:10-13, Mar 3:1-5, Luk 6:6-10, 13:10-17, 14:1-6, John Chap 9

In these verses, the pharisees accused Yeshua of breaking the Sabbath as He healed people from their infirmities. (Please read – who were the pharisees) Healing was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. But Yeshua clearly stated in Mat 12:12, that it is Lawful to do good on the Sabbath, according to God’s Word, as the only prohibition was regular work/occupation for monetary gain.

Accusation no.3: Yeshua asked a person to carry a bed, which was considered working on the Sabbath, thereby breaking it – Scriptures in concern – Joh 5:5-12

In this verse, Yeshua asked the man to take his bed and walk. Carrying anything, including a bed was considered work by the Pharisees according to their own “Oral Law” (Refer Talmud) as discussed above in “Accusation no.1”. (Please read – who were the pharisees). The Pharisees who had added to God’s Law, were making false accusations in all these instances against Yeshua, who had not broken God’s Sabbath. Yeshua had only broken the Sabbath according to the Pharisaic Laws.

Conclusion: In all the above instances, the accusations that the Pharisees brought against Yeshua were false accusations that had no bearing in Scripture according to God’s Law. Believing that Yeshua broke the Sabbath because of the accusations brought forward by the Pharisees, is quite a misguided theory. They accused Yeshua of casting out demons by the power of Satan as well(Mat 9:34, Mar 3:22, Luk 11:15). Just because someone accuses another, it does not make that accusation true. The key is to know who the pharisees were, and what their teaching was.

Also, consider these thoughts. If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), how could He be a blameless, sinless person(1Pet 2:22, 2Cor 5:21, Joh 8:46, 1Joh 3:5) as breaking the Commandments is Sin(1Joh 3:4). If Yeshua broke the Sabbath, according to God’s Law(which He did not), why did the Chief priests and elders have to find “False” witnesses? (Mat 26:59, Mar 14:56) Couldn’t they have just stoned Him to death?

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Q2) Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
It is true that Yeshua never spoke out the 4th Commandment specifically. Mat 19:17,18, Mar 10:19, Luke 18:20 shows a certain man coming to Yeshua asking “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” to which Yeshua answers “Keep the Commandments”(Mat 19:17) and goes on to elaborate “Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother”. He never mentions the Sabbath Commandment, in fact,   He does not mention any of the first 5 Commandments. Does this mean, we can have other Gods alongside God Almighty? Does this mean we can make idols and worship them? Does this mean we can take His name in vain? And does this mean we can break the Sabbath? I believe Yeshua expected anyone who believes in God to obey all of God’s Commandments. The ones He spoke out, were specifically expressed, maybe because they were the Commandments that were not clearly adhered to at that time.

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Q3) Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
First of all, I must say, that the Book of Hebrews is a letter written to Hebrew people by an unknown author who is trying to make a single point. This point being “How Yeshua is our new High Priest and Mediator in Heaven between man and God”. Even though we read specific Chapters and Verses off this Epistle, it was written as a letter(without chapters or verses separated), and like all letters, we cannot pick and choose pieces from here and there. We must read the whole letter from beginning to end, to understand the real meaning of it. (Please go here, for a comprehensive study on Hebrews)

In Hebrews Chapter 1, We learn that Yeshua is now better than the angels. Chapter 2 is about how Yeshua was initially made lower than the angels and how He prevailed over sin and death.  Chapter 3 calls Yeshua our New High Priest and asks the reader to hold on to God till the end, and quotes Psalms 95:7-11 to show how Israel did not obey God in the wilderness, and in return did not enter into His rest. The author then explains that the people who God was angry with and could not enter into His rest were the ones who provoked Him, sinned against Him and did not believe in Him.

Chapter 4 – the Chapter in focus – a simple commentary
4:1 Author continues the same point made in Chapter 3, saying we should fear God and not come short, and thereby not enter into His rest
4:2 Showcases the difference between us (the reader) and them (the people in the wilderness) and how they fell short because they did not have faith when it was the same Word preached to them and us
4:3,4 We who believe, enter in to this rest. Then the author quotes Psalms 95:11 showing that there is a pending rest for us, even though God finished His work on the 7th day.
4:5 Author quotes Psalms 95:11 again highlighting the word “Enter”
4:6 We must enter into God’s rest, unlike the people in the wilderness who did not enter because of their unbelief
4:7 Author refers back to Psalms 95:11, where David says “Today” and that the time when David wrote this Psalm was a long time after the wilderness journey
4:8 Even though Joshua took the people into the Promised Land (which was their “Rest”), the author suggests that God is talking about another “Rest” through David. (Special note: KJV has Jesus in place of Joshua. This is a mistake which has been rectified in most other versions of the Bible, and is one of the key pieces of evidence to suggest that Jesus had the same name as Joshua which was mistaken by the KJV interpreters)
4:9 author says that there is a Rest for God’s people. (The word translated as “Rest” in this verse is G4520 – σαββατισμός – sabbatismos – sab-bat-is-mos’ – From a derivative of G4521; a “sabbatism”, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): – rest,
and is different from the word “Rest” used in all of the other verses. (G2663 – κατάπαυσις – katapausis – kat-ap’-ow-sis – From G2664; reposing down, that is, (by Hebraism) abode: – rest.)
4:10 whoever has entered into God’s rest has ended their work as God ended His own work. The author is talking about the Rest of death, and being gathered to Abraham and our forefathers to await for the New Kingdom of God, ruled by Yeshua our King.
4:11 Author says that we must labour to enter into that rest, without falling into unbelief
4:12 For the Word of God shows us the right way without falling to unbelief
4:13 And God sees into our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him
4:14,15 Yeshua is our High Priest who is in Heaven, who knows our weaknesses, who was tempted like us but did not fall into sin
4:16 So, let us come to throne of Grace, to obtain mercy, in the time of need.

Looking at the above commentary, we can see clearly that the author is not saying that the Sabbath is done away, or that Yeshua is our Sabbath in any way. The Rest, talked about in Hebrews 4 is the Rest we will have in Yeshua, at the end of our journey, when we enter into His Kingdom. We must keep ourselves Holy(without Sin) everyday, but the Sabbath remains a day specially consecrated by God.

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Q4) The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
This question contain 2 parts.
1) The belief that the 1st century church met on the 1st Day of the Week, which is Sunday, discarding the Sabbath.
Acts 20:7 & 1Cor 16:2, shows us how the assembly was gathered on the 1st Day of the Week. Does this mean that they did not keep the Sabbath? Hardly. Acts 2:46, shows us how people assembled together daily. And Paul himself regularly went to the Synagogue on Sabbath(Acts 17:2). The fact is, that the 1st Century Church attended synagogue on Sabbath and met the rest of the days in the temple and each others’ houses.

2) Isn’t Sunday the Lord’s Day?
Some say, the reason behind meeting on Sunday, is that He rose from the dead on that day. (By saying this, they further establish that Saturday is Sabbath, as Yeshua rose after the Sabbath). The Lord’s Day is mentioned only once in the New Testament, in Rev 1:10, and Yeshua or His apostles never commanded us to keep that day special, while the Sabbath Commandment is seen throughout the Scriptures spoken out of the Mouth of God, written down with the Finger of God, and is part of the Commandments that are forever to which even Yeshua agreed(Mat 5:18, Luk 16:17). What most fail to see is that, “The Lord’s Day” also means the great day of judgement, which is also called “The day of the Lord” throughout scripture. (Isa 13:6, Joe 3:14, Oba 1:15, Zep 1:14, Zec 14:1, Mal 4:5, Act 2:20, 1Cor 5:5, 1Thes 5:2, 2Pet 3:10). In Rev 1:10, John could be saying that he is witnessing the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, as he is seeing what is about to happen at the end of time.

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Q5) There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
The book of Revelations contain a lot of information about the End Times. And true to the point made, there is no mention of the Sabbath in this book. But, is this definite proof that The Sabbath is no more? Let’s look at some facts.

Rev 12:17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The Commandments mentioned in the book of Revelations are the 10 Commandments given by God. The Sabbath Commandment is also part of these 10. Additionally, In the future, after the Final Judgment, the Sabbath will still be in effect (Isa. 66:22-23). If the Book of Revelations mention God’s Commandments in a positive, if not indispensable way, how can anyone say that the Sabbath is no more using the Book of Revelations?

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Q6) Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Some say, that this verse proves that Paul wanted no man to keep the Sabbath. People interpret this verse as: Let no man judge you “because you do not adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

But the converse can also be true. It could be interpreted as: Let no man judge you “because you do adhere to” meat, drink, respect of an holyday, the new moon, or the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Some of the Jews were known to dislike Gentiles who tried to obey God’s ways).

In Col 2:20-22, Paul goes on to explain that, we are not subject to laws, commandments and doctrines of men. We must ask ourselves only one question. Are the Food Laws or Sabbaths mentioned in the Word of God; laws, commandments and doctrines of men? The whole context on what not to do, is around laws & traditions of men (Col 2:8). Paul could be telling the new believers in Colossi, who were previously gentiles, who were trying to adhere to God’s Law, to not let anyone judge you and tell you how to keep God’s Law, other than how it is written in the Scriptures alone.

Additionally, another point to note is that Paul says that the Sabbath, Holydays, etc are “Shadows of things to come”. The reason God gave the Sabbath & holy days were as shadows of things to come. (Passover – Yeshua’s death / Pentecost – Giving of Holy Spirit / Trumpets – Yeshua’s Second Coming, etc) But, as Paul says, the completion of all things are in Yeshua.

If one says, Col 2:16,17 is proof that Paul told the Colossians not to be judged for not keeping the Sabbath. One could also say that Paul was telling the Colossians not to be judged for keeping the Sabbath as well.

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Q7) Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
In John 5:17, Yeshua replies to the Jews who were trying to persecute Him for healing a man on the Sabbath saying that He works just as Father God does. What did He mean by “The Father works”? Yeshua did no miracle through His own power, but God worked through Him (Joh 14:10). He did the work of Father God(Joh 10:37). So, whatever miracles that Yeshua did was, actually the Father working through Him. And as we studied in the 1st part of this study, we know that the only work prohibited on the Sabbath was, what was done to make a living/ occupation done for monetary gain. Yeshua merely showed the pharisees and all who followed their teaching (which was contrary to God’s Word) that doing Good things was allowed and Lawful on Sabbath (Luk 6:9, Mat 12:12, Mar 3:4)

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Q8) Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
Contrary to popular belief, Yeshua never replaced the 10 Commandments with 2 New Commandments. The 2 commandments mentioned in the New Testament were directly quoted from the Old Testament(Deut 6:5, 10:12(Love God) & Lev 19:18, 34(Love neighbor). These 2 Commandments were known by others before Yeshua spoke them out (Luke 10:25-28). The 2 Commandments were summaries of the 10 Commandments. (Please refer this post for further study on this subject)

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Q9) The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
Some quote Rom 7:6, saying we are no more under the Old written Law(which included The Sabbath Commandment), but we serve Him through the Holy Spirit. The mistake these people make is not clearly understanding what Paul means by this remark. Let us review some of the things Paul says about the Law, in the letter to the Romans.

  1. Paul does not make the Law void. He establishes it (Rom 3:31)
  2. Paul says that the Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7)
  3. Paul says the Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12)
  4. Paul says the Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14)
  5. Paul delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22)
  6. Paul serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25)

Paul himself says that the Law(which contains the Sabbath Commandment) is Spiritual and that he serves, delights and establishes it. But then what does he mean by “delivered from the Law”?

Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace.
In short, Sin is Breaking the Law/Lawlessness.(1John 3:4).
The Law can do only 3 things ;
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).

The new Covenant mentioned in Heb 8:8-11 which is quoted from Jer 31:31-34 says that God will put His Law inside our minds and write it on our Hearts. This is essentially the New Covenant. What Paul means in Romans 7:6 is that we are dead to the Law which said that we are cursed and deserve death for our sins, through Yeshua our Savior and His Righteousness. And that we serve God in Spirit rather than in written letter. (The written Commandments were rigid, while Yeshua taught how to connect Heart & Mind to the Commandments. Eg: The written Commandments said “Thou shall not commit adultery” while Yeshua said, “Even if you think an adulterous thought, you are committing adultery”)  Paul cannot mean that the Law & God’s Commandments are done away with, as he would be going against his own words listed up above. What he is saying is, that we no longer serve in the rigidness of the written Law, but the Spirit of the Law, which talks directly to our Hearts & Minds. In conclusion, this verse does not prove that the Sabbath with the other Laws of God have been abolished in any way.

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Q10) We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
Some quote Rom 6:14 saying, we are not under the Law but under Grace, so we do not need to keep The Sabbath which is part of the Law. Please read this post to understand more about the Biblical definitions of “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace and what Paul meant by this verse.

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Q11) Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
One of the favorite scriptures used to debunk the Sabbath is Yeshua being the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat 12:8, Mar 2:28, Luk 6:5). Some even say, that Yeshua showed that the Sabbath was not important by saying “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” in Mar 2:27.

The Sabbath was indeed made for man as God specifically said that it is given to man, so he would be refreshed(Exo 23:12), just like God rested on the seventh day and was refreshed (Exo 31:17).

Through Yeshua’s proclamation of being the Lord of the Sabbath in Mar 2:28, what did He mean? Remember, that this was the reply He gave to the Pharisees who accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, as discussed in Q1 in this post. Yeshua did not excuse the breaking of the Sabbath. He merely showed what it meant to break the Sabbath. (Please read question 1 in this post for a better understanding on this issue). And Yeshua, rightfully, is the Lord of the Sabbath. But this does not make the commandment void in any way.

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Q12) The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
First of all read these definitions : 1. Jew & Gentile    2. Israel    3. Church
The Sabbath was not made for the Jews. It was made for man and given as a Commandment to Israel – God’s people. Jews are only one tribe of people, from the children of Israel. Gentiles are people who do not know God. Israel is God’s chosen people forever. The word “Church” means “assembly”, and it relates to the people who believe in God. If you believe in God you are part of the Church & Israel. You are no more a Gentile, when you come into the Covenant with God. If you believe in God, you have no choice but to obey His Commandments. We should obey Him because we Love Him, not because we have to obey Him. (Please read the links given above for more information on this subject).

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Q13) It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
Paul in the letter to the Romans said he does not make the Law void, he establishes it (Rom 3:31). The Law is not sin, and he would not have known what sin is, if it wasn’t for the Law (Rom 7:7). The Law & the Commandments are Holy, just and good (Rom 7:12). The Law is spiritual (Rom 7:14). He delights in the Law of God (Rom 7:22). He serves the Law of God (Rom 7:25).

The same Paul seem to be suddenly saying that we have the freedom to do as we will. Is Paul saying, that if we want to, we can eat anything and If we want to, we can keep or not keep the Sabbath if we are fully convinced in our own mind? Which means each of us can do things how we see fit instead of doing what God has commanded us. Or could it be that he is talking about a completely different subject, which is Fasting? The whole chapter is talking about eating or not, and what day is better than another. The argument could have been on what day was better to fast on. The fact is, the Sabbath is not mentioned here at all. Please read the whole Chapter for a better understanding on this verse.

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Q14) Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
In Gal 5:4, Paul tells the people in Galatia that “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” What does it mean to be justified by the Law?

Law, as we know is God’s Commandments.
Breaking the Law is Sin(1Joh 3:4).
And the Law can do only 3 things
1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27)
2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28)
3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7).

Can we attain righteousness by keeping the Law? Can we be justified in front of God by keeping the Law? Can we attain righteousness with our own strength? This is what Paul addresses in Gal 5:4. If anyone seeks to be justified by the Law(attain righteousness through their own power by keeping God’s Commandments), that person has lost God’s favor/grace, as he or she is putting faith in him/herself rather than in Yeshua, who was the atoning sacrifice for us. If Righteousness could have been attained by each of us through keeping the Law, Christs death is in vain (Gal 2:21). Yeshua died for all of our Sin. Because of His death, Sin has no more dominion over us. When Yeshua died for our sin, we moved from being under God’s Commandments and the penalty of breaking it, which is death, to being under His favor/Grace (Rom 6:14).  But, just because we have God’s Favour, and because we are no more under the penalty, can we Sin(Break God’s Law)?  No we cannot. (Rom 6:15). Please read this post for more information on this subject.

You fall from Grace if you try to attain righteousness by your own power, by putting faith in yourself. You do not though, fall from Grace by obeying God and His Commandments (which contains the Sabbath commandment) because you Love Him. Can you fall out of someones favor because you obey that person? Just by obeying God and His Commandments(which contain the Sabbath Commandment as well) you cannot fall from His Grace.

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Q15) Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
Reading Gal 4:8, we understand that the people in Galatia did not know God at one time, and was serving things that are not God. Paul then goes on to ask in verse 9, why they are turning back to weak and beggarly elements, after they have come to know God. So the days, months, times and years mentioned in Gal 4:10 cannot be God’s Sabbaths and appointments. Paul just asked them why they are turning back to weak and poor principles/beggarly elements. Are God’s Sabbath and His Commandments the weak and poor principles Paul is asking the Galatia assembly about? Is this the bondage he is talking about? Or is it that the Galatians were turning back to their former observances done before?

We know that the Galatians did not know God at one time, and they wouldn’t have kept the Sabbath, when they did not know God’s Commandments. Ask yourself this question. If it was the Sabbath, Paul was talking about, How can the Galatians be turning back to observing the Sabbath which they did not observe in the first place? These observances must be days and months that come from different pagan cultures.

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Q16) Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
The Seven Day Week has never been effected with the numerous changes done to the Calendar systems in history. Meaning there has never been 2 consecutive mondays, tuesdays, etc. The 7 day week has continued on as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on and so forth, without any change. Which means the 7th day in Yeshua’s time is still the 7th day, today! (Please refer any Encyclopedia to recheck this theory) The 7 day cycle has never been broken to date!

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Q17) There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
As we saw in the 2nd Part of this study, the word translated as “Sabbath” in our English translations come from (G4521 – σάββατον – sabbaton – sab’-bat-on) in the Original Greek Manuscripts. The word “Sabbato” is still in use in Greece, as Greeks call Saturday “Sabbato”. (Please check this for yourself in any Greek – English Dictionary) Let me put this in another way. In Greece, the day which is called “Saturday” is still called “Sabbato” – the same word which is in the Original Greek New Testament Manuscripts which is translated as “Sabbath” in English. SABBATH = SABBATO = SATURDAY. There is no doubt about it.

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Q18) There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
We can worship God on all 7 days of the week. You are not breaking the Sabbath by going to a Sunday Service. The only thing which was banned on the Sabbath was your regular work. Even if you go to worship meeting on Sundays, remember that the Sabbath is the day which was separated and commanded to be remembered by God. It was a sign between Him and His people(Exo 31:13,17)

This is not some kind of ritual. You don’t need to light candles and say special prayers, as none of it is Commanded in the Scriptures. Refrain from buying, selling, working or making others work for money. Set the day apart for studying and worshiping the God of Creation and the Sabbath. Do anything and everything, if it means helping others in need. The Sabbath spans from Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown as per the Biblical day (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Luk 23:34)

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Q19) How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
The only thing I can say to you is, in the Bible itself there are many stories where the people who obeyed God was the Minority. Just because the majority does not obey God, it does not make the wrong, right. God could choose to use anyone to help people and release them from their infirmities (Even the pharisees had the power to cast out demons – Luk 11:19). Each of us is given a measure of knowledge by God. What matters is, what we do with that measure. “to whom much is given, much will be required”.

I used to believe that the Sabbath was no more as well, at one time. But when God opened my eyes to the Truth, I chose to obey. We cannot pick and choose what we like out of the Scriptures. We need to look at it as a whole and come to our own conclusions through the helper Yeshua left us, God’s own Holy Spirit. Pray for your friends, Pastors & Teachers, that they may also see the truth and start obeying God without question.

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Q20) Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?
Some say, Are you seriously saying we need to keep a Commandment which even has a Law attached to it, which says you cannot even light a fire on the Sabbath? If God has commanded, we have to obey. But we need to understand what He meant by this first. What did He mean by not lighting a fire? Did He mean that everyone has to go hungry that day, because you cannot cook a meal? Did He mean that you have to sleep in the cold and freeze to death because you cannot light a fire? We have to understand God’s Words and His Laws before we make any assumptions.

In Exo 35:2,3, God speaks through Moses saying, Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
What is the context of Exo 35:3? Why does He say not to light a fire? Because God did not want anyone to do “regular monetary work” on that day. Remember that fire was essential for “work” at that time. If someone uses this verse to say “If you keep the Sabbath, you shouldn’t even cook using fire”, I would show them Exo 12:16 which talks about the High/Special Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, and how God specifically says that people can prepare their meals on these special Sabbath days.

Some point to the punishment in Exo 35:2, and say, “Are we to put people who break the Sabbath to death? Surely, this is not a commandment for today”.
When this Commandment was given to the people, God himself reigned as King over them. He directly solved matters regarding everything through Moses. On the other hand, today, we are in exile. We are scattered around the world waiting for God to come back and establish His kingdom. He alone can punish a person who breaks His Commandments. When He said “shall be surely put to death”, that was a curse of the Law. The punishment for breaking God’s Commandments is Death. This is what Yeshua took upon Himself, so that we could have Grace when we fall short. It is not an open invitation for us to freely break God’s Commandments, just because we have Grace. That is making the blood of Yeshua into a worthless thing.

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Conclusion
The Sabbath is quite a complex subject, with people teaching that it has been abolished for many hundreds of years. We must put our faith in God’s Word, rather than any man’s preaching or teaching and audit ourselves. Test every teaching and every verse we know, that goes against God’s Word. I sincerely hope this study has helped you clear out some of the questions you had. Even though it is a very long post, there was no way of shortening it more, as without hard facts shown through Scripture, we can make our own doctrines very easily. It has already led our world to have many denominations with various teachings which have no foundations in the Word of God. As with all of my other studies, I ask you to check everything which is written in this post and to make your conclusions using only the Word of God. May God Almighty bless you for your obedience in keeping His Commandments which include The 7th Day Sabbath!

Defining the terms “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace”

Some people rush to say that “whoever that keeps God’s Law is fallen from Grace” quoting such verses as Gal 5:4 or that “we are not under Law, but Grace” quoting Rom 6:14. Before we can make assumptions such as “the Law is against Grace”, shouldn’t we fully understand the meaning of these terms? Today, we will look into the Greek words that these English terms originate from, and try to understand the true meaning behind these and the connection between these 3 terms.

Definition of Sin
Sin can be a very subjective thing. Some can think a little lie is not a Sin, while there could be criminals who justify even horrendous crimes as not sin in their minds. Sin according to the Scriptures and God is a completely different story. In 1 John 3:4, Sin is defined very clearly.
According to this verse, John says: Sin = Transgression or Violation of Law.

The Old Testament also agrees with this definition (1Sam 15:24, Exo 32:31, Dan 9:5, Neh 9:29, Lev 5:17)

The Greek word used for “Transgression of the Law” is
Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Concordance:
G458 – ἀνομία – anomia – an-om-ee’-ah – illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: – iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

This is the same word used by Yeshua in Mat 7:22,23, to those who say to Him, “have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” He says to them “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Again in Mat 13:41, The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

G458 – anomia –
is translated as iniquity in Mat 7:23, 13:41, 23:28, 24:12, Rom 4:7, 6:19, 2Thes 2:7, Heb 1:9, 8:12, 10:17
is translated as Transgression of the Law in 1John 3:4
is translated as Unrighteousness in 2Cor 6:14

Definition of Law
Law! Even hearing the word, makes you feel threatened. The Word Law sounds like a School Teacher who is out to punish you. Or a Policeman trying to slap handcuffs on you. What a harsh word. But what does the word translated as “Law” in our English Bibles, actually mean in the original Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts?

Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Concordance:
H8451 – תּרה    תּור – tôrâh – to-raw’ – From the word ירה yaw-raw’ ( to flow as water (that is, to rain); transitively to lay or throw (especially an arrow, that is, to shoot); figuratively to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach: –  (+) archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach (-er, -ing), through.) ; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue(Ten Commandments) or Pentateuch(Genesis to Deutronomy – The 5 Books of Moses): – law.

G3551 – νόμος – nomos – nom’-os – From a primary word νέμω nemō (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle): – law

The word which is translated in English as “Law”, according to the Original Hebrew and Greek words(to-raw’ & nom’-os) mean to “point out”, “to parcel out”, “to teach”, “precept”,  “statute”, “regulation”, the Ten Commandments” or “the 5 books of Moses”.

From ancient days, the First 5 books of the Bible written by Moses, (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deutronomy) which includes all the Commandments, has generally been known as “The Law” (Torah in Hebrew), as the “Old Testament” has always been generally broken into 3 parts and it is still used in this way by mainly the Jewish Community. Given below is how it has been divided:

  1. The Torah (“Teaching” or “Law”, also known as the Five Books of Moses/Law of Moses)
  2. Nevi’im (“Prophets“)
  3. Ketuvim (“Psalms/Writings”)

This is not a Jewish idea or an alien thing to Christianity, as it is even seen in the New Testament. In Luke 24:44, Yeshua said “These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. This verse clearly shows the 3 parts, the Scriptures were broken into and that this division was even there in Yeshua’s time. (See also the Tanakh)

The word Law is used to speak of the 5 books throughout the NT. (Mat 5:17, 7:12, 11:13, 22:40, Luk 16:16, 24:44, Joh 1:45, Acts 13:15, 24:14, 28:23, Rom 3:21)

The Commandments were part of the Law. (Mat 5:18,19, 22:36,40, Rom 7:9,12, Heb 7:5, 9:19)

The “Law/Commandments of God” could do only 3 Things : 1. Bless who keep it (Deut 11:26,27) 2. Curse who break it (Deut 11:26,28) 3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7)

The Connection between Sin and Law:
Sin is breaking of the Law. You could also say that “If there was no Law, there would be no Sin”, as no one will know what Sin is. But because God has shown us right from wrong by giving us the Commandments/Law, we cannot say that we do not know what Sin is.

To put it in a different way, if driving on a Red Light wasn’t Illegal, you cannot be fined for it, as it’s not breaking the Law. But if you are told that driving on a red light is Illegal, then breaking that law makes you a Law offender and you can be fined. As long as there is no Law, you are not an offender of the Law. The moment the Law is introduced, you become an offender if you break it.

Just like the Law of a country, helps you know what is right/legal & what is wrong/illegal, and if you break the Law, you get fined or if you keep the Law, you get concessions – God’s Law helps us know what Sin is. And it Curses people who sins, while blessing people who do not. (This is the curse that Yeshua took upon Himself)

Definition of Grace
The word Grace is one of the most Misunderstood words in Christianity. It is one of those words that is thrown around by people without defining it properly according to the Bible. Let us see the real meaning behind this word and the application of it, to get to a better understanding of it.

Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Concordance:
G5485 – χάρις – charis – khar’-ece – graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): – acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

Throughout the English translation of the Bible, G5485 – Charis is generally translated as “Grace”. Here are a few other applications. The words in bold have been translated from G5485 – Charis

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Luke 6:32,33,34 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
Rom 6:17  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
2Co 1:15  And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
2Co 2:14  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
2Co 8:4  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
2Co 8:16  But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
2Co 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Phm 1:7  For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.
1Pe 2:19,20  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Grace is not exclusive to the New Testament.
Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Concordance:
H2580 – חן – chên – khane – graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favor) or objectively (beauty): – favour, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, [well-] favoured.

Here are a few places in the Old Testament where God shows His Grace towards people (Gen 6:8, Gen 39:21, Exo 3:21, 33:17, Psa 84:11)

Looking at both words of the original Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts in the Old Testament and the New, we can come to the conclusion that “Grace” mentioned in the Scriptures is a kind of special “Favour” shown by God to His people. We could say that Grace is like being in the good books with God.

The connection between Law and Grace
This is the tricky subject. Most of the Confusion regarding God’s Law/Commandments exist around these two terms. Let’s look at the dynamics of these two terms to see how they connect and interact.

Law, as we know is God’s Commandments. Breaking the Law is Sin. And the Law can do only 3 things (Bless, Curse and let us know what Sin is). Can we attain righteousness by keeping the Law? Can we be justified in front of God by keeping the Law? Can we attain righteousness with our strength? This is what Paul addresses in Gal 5:4. If anyone seeks to be justified by the Law, that person has lost God’s favor, as he or she is putting faith in him/herself rather than in Yeshua, who was the atoning sacrifice for us. If Righteousness could have been attained by each of us through keeping the Law, Christs death is in vain (Gal 2:21). Yeshua died for all of our Sin. Because of His death, Sin has no more dominion over us. When Yeshua died for our sin, we moved from being under God’s Commandments and the penalty of breaking it, which is death, to being under His favour (Rom 6:14).  But, just because we have God’s Favour, and because we are no more under the penalty, can we Sin(Break God’s Law)?  No we cannot. (Rom 6:15)

This is what Paul was trying to say in his letters. We have God’s special favor because of Yeshua. But that is not a free ticket for us to go on sinning. (Remember Sin = Transgression or Violation of Law). Grace is not a free ticket for us to go on Breaking God’s Law.

But isn’t the Law a Curse?
Gal 3:10&13 are used by many to say that God’s Law is a curse. As we discussed before, The Law can do 3 things. 1. Bless us if we keep it (Deut 11:26,27) 2. Curse us if we don’t (Deut 11:26,28) 3. Let us know what sin is (Rom 3:20, 7:7)

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

In Gal 3:10-13, Paul eludes to Deut 27:26 which says whoever does not keep God’s Commandments are cursed. Then he goes on to say, that no one is justified through the Law. We are to live a righteous life in the faith of Messiah Yeshua, who was made an atonement sacrifice for us. The Law/Commandments does not have anything to do with Faith. It cannot help you in any way other than to direct you how to live a sinless life. Christ has redeemed us from the Curse of the Law.

So according to Paul, whoever puts faith in Yeshua is not redeemed from the Curse which is The Law.(The Law is not the Curse) He/She is redeemed from the Curse which comes through breaking the Law (Deut 11:26,28).

Sin, Law & Grace
Grace does not abolish Law. Grace only helps us keep the Law to the best of our ability. Not so that we will be justified by the Law. But, because keeping The Law is living without Sin. Even if we fall short when living this way, we still have Grace, as the Curse of the Law(which should have dominion over us, when we break God’s Law) is no more in Christ.

I hope this study has given you a glimpse into 3 of the most used terms in the Bible. And I hope that how you view these terms will change your walk with God, placing you in alignment with His Word.

Is Love, all that matters? – Was the Ten old Commandments overuled by Two new Commandments?

Every Christian has heard the phrase “Love is all that matters”. Some even go to the extent of saying, “We don’t need to keep the Commandments. We need to only Love God and one another”. Was the Ten Commandments given by God himself, through Moses, replaced by 2 New Commandments given by Yeshua(Jesus’ True Hebrew name)? Today, we will look into God’s 10 Commandments as well as the 2 great Commandments uttered by Yeshua, and the connections between these two sets of Commandments and Love.

In Joh 14:15, Yeshua said an interesting thing. He said “If you love me, keep my commandments”. The question is which is His Commandments? Is it the 10 Old Commandments? Or is it the 2 New Commandments that some claim have overruled the 10? We will check this claim that some make, of Yeshua giving 2 new Commandments, before we move onto see the connection between the 10 Commandments and the 2 Great Commandments.

Let us turn to Luke 10:25-28. (Yeshua’s words marked in red)
According to Luke, a Lawyer(an expert in Law) asks a question from Yeshua, trying to tempt Him. Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? To which Yeshua asks the Lawyer What is written in the law? how readest thou? The Lawyer answers saying Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. To which Yeshua answers saying Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

According to this verse, Yeshua did not even tell the “expert in Law” about the 2 New Commandments. How did this man know these Commandments when Yeshua did not even mention them? The reason is, that these were not 2 New Commandments, but a summarized version of the 10 Commandments. These 2 Summaries were specifically quoted from Deut 6:5, 10:12(Love God) & Lev 19:18, 34(Love neighbor). We can then safely say that Yeshua did not come teaching a new doctrine, but was trying to give a proper understanding of God’s Word. And that according to Joh 14:15 If we are to love Him, we must keep His Commandments, which are not His own(Joh 14:24), but what Father God told Israel long ago.

So how are these 2 Great Commandments connected to the 10 Commandments? And what does it all got to do with Love? To answer these questions we must go back to where God spoke these Commandments. Let’s read Exodus 20.

And God spake all these words, saying,

  1. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

In Exodus 20, God speaks out His Laws for all to hear, in front of all Israel(Exo 20:18,19) and gave it to Moses in the format of two tablets of Stone written by God Himself(Exo 31:18, Deut 4:13, 9:10). Have you ever thought why God gave 2 tablets of Stone? Couldn’t He have written it in 1 Tablet? For that fact, He could have written it on a grain of sand. Examining the 10 Commandments further shows us an interesting fact. We can divide the 10 Commandments into 2 parts. Namely, “Commandments pertaining to God” & “Commandments pertaining to man”. Some say that the first 4 Commandments are about God & the other 6 about man. I, on the other hand, believe that the 10 are divided equally, as follows.

  1. Do not worship other gods
  2. Do not make idols, and worship them
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain
  4. Keep the sabbath day holy
  5. Honour your father & mother
  1. Do not commit murder.
  2. Do not commit adultery.
  3. Do not steal.
  4. Do not bear false witness against your neighbour.
  5. Do not covet your neighbour’s belongings.

Some could say, “Honouring your father & mother” does not belong as part of Commandments about Loving God. The reason for placing this Commandment as part of Loving God, is that, the only thing you cannot decide for yourself, in life, is your parents and who you descend from. You have the freewill to choose everything but your parents, which is chosen for you, by God Almighty. I also believe, that when God says “Father” & “Mother”, it means our parents, our grand parents and the family we descend from. Remember that all of us descend from Noah, who descends from Adam, who descends from God. Making God our ultimate Father. Whether it is broken down 5 & 5 or 4 & 6, there is a clear distinction and division in the 10 Commandments. One part is about Loving God. And the other part, about Loving your neighbour.

The expert in Law, who spoke to Yeshua in Luke 10:25-28, obviously knew that the Old Testament had summarized the Ten Commandments in this way, long before Yeshua ever spoke it out.

Further Proof
If you are still skeptical about the connection between the 10 Commandments and the 2 Great Commandments, please turn with me to Mar 12:28-33. Here Yeshua is questioned by a Scribe, for which Yeshua answers by quoting directly from Deut 6:4,5 & Lev 19:18.

Paul agrees with this connection in Rom 13:9 saying, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

James writes in James 2:8, If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well”. (At the time when James was alive there was no New Testament. The New Testament as we have it today, was compiled only around 400AD. So the Scripture James could be talking of, can be only one thing. “The Old Testament”. And the Royal Law was from the Old Testament.)

1 John 3:11 says, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another”. 2 John 1:5,6 says, “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it”. (In this verse John proclaims that this Commandment of loving your neighbour is not a new Commandment, but one that was there from the beginning.)

Isn’t Love what matters most? Absolutely! But what is Love. If you take 100 people, they will have their own definitions of Love. As Christians, we cannot stick to our definitions of Love. Instead, we need to understand what is Love that God speaks of, in His Word. The Old Testament as well as the New Testament testifies that Keeping God’s Commandments is Love. Here are a few examples:-

Exo 20:6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Deu 5:10  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
Deu 7:9  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Deu 11:1  Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
Deu 11:13-15  And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
Deu 30:16  See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
Deu 30:20  That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Jos 22:5  But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Neh 1:5  And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Dan 9:4  And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Isa 56:6,7  Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

2Jn 1:5,6 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
1Jn 5:2,3  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Joh 14:23,24  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Love is all that matters!
But not our own definitions and ideas of Love. God’s definition of Love is His Commandments. Whoever keeps His Commandments will automatically abide in His love. His Commandments can be broken into 2 parts. That we Love Him and our neighbor. Love is the common factor. God Almighty could have put His Commandments in 1 Tablet of Stone, but He chose to put it into 2 tablets, signifying the 2 main parts of His Commandments. Yeshua spoke this message out, delivering The Father’s teaching. Do not be misled by people who say that the Commandments of God are no more. The “Love” that the Scriptures portray contain all of God’s Commandments. The full extent of Love, is fulfilling His Commandments. Whether it be Ten separate Laws or Two summarized Laws, none of His Commandments have been abolished. As Yeshua said, Not one Jot or Tittle(Jots & Tittles are small parts and edges of Hebrew letters) will pass from the Law till all is Fulfilled(All is not fulfilled, as there are hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament yet to be fulfilled).

The question of Law vs. Grace and living through Spirit
Even though this is a study in itself, I would like to touch upon this, as it is a highly misunderstood subject. (We will do this study in the near future, God willing). Some presume quoting verses such as Gal 5:4, that the Law is against Grace & the Spirit. They would stick to the theory, that whoever is obedient to God’s Commandments have fallen from Grace. Is this what Paul is saying?

What Paul is saying is that righteousness is not attained by Law(Gal 2:21). That whoever wants to be justified by the Law has fallen from Grace. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it said that you can be justified and attain righteousness on your own, by keeping God’s Commandments. Not even in the Old Testament. I do not believe or state that anyone can be justified or attain righteousness by keeping God’s Commandments/Laws. We are Justified and made righteous only by the death & resurrection of Yeshua(Rom 3:22-24).

Then why keep God’s Commandments? To answer this question, we must answer what is Sin. Sin, in simple terms, is breaking God’s Commandments (1John 3:4). Just because we have forgiveness from Sin through Yeshua, being seen righteous before God, because of Him, can we continue in Sin? God Forbid! We must strive to obey Him. How do you obey God? By doing His Commandments(Deut 27:10). As Christians, we are called to obey our Father, and walk in His ways. Not to be justified and attain righteousness through it, but because we Love Him.

In conclusion, I hope you have clearly seen that God’s Commandments stand to this day. They were not abolished by Yeshua, as He did not teach new Laws, but what was already written in the Scriptures. This Great Commandment or Royal Law as James put it(2:8), originates from the “Old Testament” and is based in Love. If you Love, the way God has said to Love, you would be automatically keeping all of His Commandments. Do not think for one moment, that keeping His Commandments will in anyway cause you to fall out of His Grace. Keeping the Commandments to attain Righteousness, by your own power, on the other hand, is a completely wrong doctrine. No man, even if they try, can attain righteousness on their own. Righteousness is a free gift given only by Yeshua. After we receive of that Righteousness, do not take the blood that He spilled lightly(Heb 10:28-31). We must make an effort not to Sin. We must make an effort to keep His Commandments. As He said, If we truly Love Him, we will keep His Commandments. May you grow in His Love!