I had a thought. I could not remember the whole passage, but I remembered the quote from Romans, “I did not know sin except through the Law (Torah).” Well, then if we know what sin is by the Torah, should we not have a deep desire to study Torah to know what sin is so that we may no longer walk in sin?
Oh that my ways may be established to guard Your law. Ps. 119:5
But I get annoyed when people take verses out of context, so I decided to look deeper into that section in Romans. Of course I need to study all of Romans to get the best contextual image, but for starters I looked at Romans 7 and the beginning of chapter 8. There are classic verses here that are easy to misuse to mean that we no longer have to follow Torah.
But now we have been released from the Torah, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in oldness of letter.
For apart from Torah sin is dead. And I was alive apart from the Torah once, but when the command came, the sin revived, and I died.
Okay, actually I tried to find more but those are the only two that could be reasonably perverted, provided you take them out of context. But when you read closer, Sha’ul is not criticizing Torah, but sin.
For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, through the Torah, were working to bear fruit to death. But now…
But sin, having taken the occasion through the command…
For sin, having taken the occasion through the command, deceived me, and through it killed me.
Sha’ul clearly has an issue with sin and the flesh, not Torah. So what does he have to say about Torah?
Is the Torah sin? Let it not be!
So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good. Therefore, has that which is good become death to me? Let it not be!
For we know that the Torah is Spiritual…
For I delight in the Torah of Elohim according to the inward man.
Clearly, Sha’ul loves Torah. What does it do in our lives? As he said, it instructs us as to what sin is. He tells us that sin uses Torah to lead us to sin. Even though we pursue Torah, our flesh will not do Torah but evil. So…
Thanks be to Elohim, through Yeshua Messiah our Master! So then, with the mind I myself truly serve the Torah of Elohim, but with the flesh the torah (teaching) of sin. There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the torah (teaching) of the Spirit of the life in Messiah Yeshua has set me free from the torah of sin and death. For the Torah being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim, having sent His own Son in the likeness of flesh of sin, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteousness of the Torah should be completed in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The Torah is of Elohim and of the Spirit, or Spiritual. It is set-apart, righteous, and good. We are set free from the teachings of sin. Free from the law of sin, we are now free to follow Spiritual Torah!
I cringe as I keep only quoting snippets of the scripture, but I encourage you to look deeper at the entire passage, and council with YHWH about it. There is so much more in this passage, and to stop here is not deep enough for me, but you get the idea. Please please please read Romans 7-8 for yourself.
Back to where I started this entry: Well, then if we know what sin is by the Torah, should we not have a deep desire to study Torah to know what sin is so that we may no longer walk in sin?
You could say that the Jews of Yeshua’s time were living the Torah in the flesh, but now they have the opportunity to live Torah in the Spirit, through the work of Yeshua. Gentiles, such as myself, do not know Torah or live by Torah, and have lived our lives according to the flesh. “Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able.” But now, in Yeshua, we have the ability to follow the Torah in Spirit! Isn’t that awesome? We get to skip the torah of flesh in favor of the Torah of Spirit. HalleluYah!
Oh that my ways may be established to guard your law. Ps. 119:5
PS: Check out Tom Bradford’s lesson on the intro to Leviticus at Torahclass.com, he covers a bit more on Romans and the Semitic expression “Law of Sin.”