Living by the Law

Christians do not follow Levitical laws; common practice has told us that we’ve been released from bondage to the Law. That practice interprets Jesus’ command to us to love his Torah, Matthew 5:18 (For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.) in its overall purpose: to know God’s will and to love God. Not requiring us to adhere to all of the details.

Rather, we must adhere to the spirit, not the letter, of the Law. Torah is not abandoned by Christians, not at all. It is fulfilled by Jesus. Which is a very good thing; I truly love my bacon…

But the serious point is made by Jesus in Mark 7, when he addresses the crowd who claim that Jesus’ followers have not been faithful because they had not washed their hands as ritual prescribed. Mark 7:

6″Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,”‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

Thus has it ever been. Men making intricate rules that may have only legalistic standing in Scripture; enforcing them; building walls between believers and God.  Loving God becoming a checklist.

One may, if one desires, follow all of the 613 commandments found in the Torah. All of those that it would be possible to fulfill; some of them are not possible today (e.g. the destruction of Canaanites and others in Deuteronomy 20:16-17). But a legalistic system, run by men, as opposed to God, quickly becomes its own reward.

Better to follow Jesus with our hearts, and not worry about what we eat or whether we’ve met the letter of the Law. As for bacon, my excuse is a good one, from Mark 7:

14And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.

To which I can only say, “Amen, and pass the mayo…”


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