Looking back, I guess there were always many things about my Christian upbringing that did not sit well with me. There were somethings that I knew, without a shadow of doubt, to be true. For example, I was certain there was a God and a Messiah and that they were somehow in control of my destiny.
On the other hand, there were many things that just didn’t make sense to me. Like how someone “caught” the holy ghost every Sunday, but were “normal” all week long. Or how Jesus could also be God. I also felt that just saying a statement with my mouth would not save us. Besides I had witnessed people going up to the pulpit every Sunday to do it over again, so clearly it wasn’t working.
As I continued to grow in my spiritual walk with the Most High, I learned some things, because I asked him to reveal the truth to me. If the truth was that all I had to do was keep saying I believe and living my sinful life, then I would settle… But even as a child, I knew this did not fit the character of my God. And if this was so, I questioned, what was the purpose of God giving up his son? So we can continue to sin without consequence…. That doesn’t sound fair.
I tried to reconcile why good things happen to bad people and bad things to good people. The God in me found answers that justified us living in a world created and controlled by a good and just God yet the things in this world was so wrong. After all, I had been taught that God “Blesses” those who wait and that being blessed meant having things, not struggling, and not having bad things happen to me. The justification I eventually came to realize is that in this world, good and bad are relative terms. What we see as good is often not good for us and what we view as bad or difficult is exactly what we need to become who God has created us to be.
All these questions and answers have done me good on my journey, so I thought I’d share them with you. In this new Myth Buster series, we will examine common biblical myths that has corrupted the truth of God and are simply untrue!
[Video Transcript Below]
The first of these myths is that Christ is the end of the law. The Christian faith is supposed to be based on the teachings of Yeshua the Messiah and the salvation he made available to us; however, many churches rely on Paul to define salvation, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Unfortunately, by doing this we negate the very thing we claim to pursue, the teachings of the Messiah. But even Paul is justified in his teachings… Quite often it’s not that he is wrong, but that we take his teachings which were to his audience, who are Gentiles, out of context.
Paul opens chapter 10, which is part of a letter to the Romans of his day, by saying that the Israelites have zeal for God, but lack knowledge. He says they establish their own righteousness and do not acknowledge the righteousness of God. Then he goes on to say that Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to all who believes…. And this one line has become the heartbeat of the Christian faith!
Keep in mind that Paul is educating the Romans about the condition of Israel, while at the same time explaining to them what true righteousness and salvation is. In doing so he discusses Israel’s self-righteousness. This leads us to understand that the law of righteousness that the Messiah ended was not God’s law of righteousness, but the self-defined righteousness of man.
Paul goes on to clarifies his statement regarding Christ being the end of the law of righteousness.
He says that Moses wrote about the righteousness that is from the law and a person who does these things will live by it. He goes on to explain that righteousness is a matter of the heart and not of one’s own will.
He makes this point with a baffling comparison. In Romans 10:5, he says, “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”
He then compares this way to the way of Christ in verse 6 where he says, “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
Paul’s comparison is not condemning the laws of Moses or saying that we are not to follow them. The point he is making is that righteousness is a matter of the heart and Moses’ laws is only a tool. So one can follow Moses’ law and still be unrighteous in his heart because he condemns others to heaven or to hell in his heart, thus voiding the purpose of the Messiah.
So truly righteous deeds require a righteous heart. But having a righteous heart does not void our obligation to God’s law, it drives us to fulfill that obligation.
What Paul repeatedly taught his gentile audience was that righteousness is a heart condition that can only be attained by faith not by action.
To demonstrate what this means, I will give you five rules to follow as you watch this video.
- Watch this video intensely.
- Do not get distracted.
- Read along in your bible.
- Pause at points of interest to study the point for yourself.
- And you must watch the full video to get the complete message.
You follow all these, but 20 minutes into the video you lose interest and began watching a different video. There are some heart issues that aren’t being dealt with in my rules. Those heart issues are what will determine if you take and receive the complete message and live it out. So despite you following the rules, your heart condition has kept you from the purpose or blessing of the video and it is a waste of your effort to follow the rules if you still don’t achieve God’s desired end result.
This is what Paul is explaining. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t follow the rules, but that you should seek to attain the right condition in your heart, that you may not only follow the rules, but know all those unspoken nuances that gets you to the purpose of the rules.
In other words, just because a person never breaks one of the 10 commandments doesn’t mean he is righteous. There is more to it and this is what Paul meant by the Messiah is the end of the law of righteousness! He brings us more than just law written on paper. What he provides is a more complete law written in our hearts… The acceptance of the complete law only comes by faith.
Yeshua more directly explains this principle. He explains it in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Then he goes on to give examples of more stringent laws than those of the Old Testament.
Also in chapter five of Matthew, he gives us more stringent laws saying:
Not only should you not kill, But if you get angry with your brother, You are in danger of judgment!
Not only should you not commit adultery, But if you even look at a woman with lust, You have already committed adultery in your heart!
So, Yeshua goes beyond the written rules into the source of sin. He and Paul teach us that the unfaithful condition of the heart is the source of sin, therefore, we must guard our hearts from evil by filling it with faith and belief in the mission and ministry of Yeshua the HaMachiach.
He makes sure we understand this principle he taught by adding, in verse 18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
So Yeshua directly states that to be true followers of Christ, we must not only obey God’s law, but we must do so with a righteous heart! And he not only explicitly says that he did not come to end the law, but he specifies that God’s law will stand as long as we exist on earth.
Notice how this myth derived from one sentence in scripture, but was taken out of context to turn the truth into a lie… This is often the case!
So the myth that Christ is the end of the law is completely and totally busted!
And this is why you must study to show yourself approved.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Timothy 2:15:
Look out for the next Bible Myth Buster Video “Salvation is confessing you believe?”