How much of God’s law do you already keep?
My purpose in this section is to call believers in Jesus/Yeshua to unity. The differences between us are probably smaller than we imagine.
Let’s take a look at the mathematical implications of declaring the entire law abolished ~ or insisting it all be kept. A gentleman named Doug Freedman generously provided some data I will use to help make this point. At the time of writing, Doug was an Associate Technical Fellow at the Boeing Company with over 40 years of experience in aeronautical engineering. He is also the founder of Ben David Messianic Jewish Congregation in Orange, California. Here’s what he found.
- 58% of the laws in the Torah require a functioning temple and cannot be fully observed now.
- 28% of the laws in the Torah are obeyed by most believers (No idol worship, murder, theft, incest, harlotry, etc.)
- 6% are only observed by believers trying to obey the Torah (Sabbath, Feast days, dietary laws and wearing tassels)
- 8% are not really observed by any believers (selling slaves, shall not spare the lives of people in Canaanite nations, etc)
Below, there is a video version of Doug’s presentation.
Approximately 66% of the Torah is not currently observed by anyone due to lack of a temple or because some cultural practices no longer exist in the way they did.
Of the 34% of commands that can be obeyed today, 82% of those laws are kept and cherished by nearly all Christians. To quote a Facebook post by Tyler Dawn Rosenquist, “Any person who truly didn’t keep any part of the law would not be safe to be around…”.
If murder, adultery, incest, theft and idol worship are “wrong”, they can only be objectively wrong if declared so by God. The place where God declared these things wrong is in his law. Therefore, a Christian who considers the law to be ‘done away with’ would need to refine their assertion to only 72% of the law being done away with.
Likewise, those who advocate for following all observable laws only follow 6% more of the overall Torah (or 18% more of the observable laws) than most Christians. Pronomian (pro-law) believers may have a legitimate claim to being 6% more Torah observant than Christians who disagree. But since sowing discord among brothers is something God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19), it’s better to seek ways to live peacefully with those who may disagree with us.
In a practical sense, there are really only a handful of laws followers of Jesus tend to disagree over. They are:
- Observing the weekly Sabbath and doing so from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday
- Observing feast days to the extent possible without an active temple
- Obeying dietary laws (no pig meat or shellfish)
- Wearing tassels with a cord of blue on the corner of garments
With that background
We’ve looked at over 60 pages of texts that show God’s will is to obey his law. In the following sections, I will make the case that all Biblical writers are unified in their teaching to obey God’s instructions given to Moses for Israel. Obedience to God’s law was never put forth as a means to be saved. Salvation has always been only by grace through faith. Obedience to God’s commandments is instead presented as a tangible expression and indicator of faith in God’s promises. Keeping His commandments is inseparable from true faith and loving God.