Did Paul keep the law?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by drfuss, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Acts 21:21-24
    "And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. 22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law."

    The above suggests that Paul, as a Jew, practiced the law after becoming a Christian. He had much to say about the shortcomings of the law.

    Did Paul practice the law while living among the Gentiles?

    If so, then should Jews today who become Christians practice the law?

    What do you think?
     
  2. psalms109:31

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    Love

    Romans 13:8
    [ Love, for the Day is Near ] Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.


    Romans 13:10
    Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.


    Galatians 5:14
    The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

    James 2:8
    If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.



    Zephaniah 3:2
    She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God.

    Hebrews 7: 18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19
    (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
     
    #2 psalms109:31, Mar 1, 2008
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  3. Brother Bob

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    It was a time of transition and there were those who still kept the Law of circumcism, etc. Paul was tolerate with them trying to lead them into the Grace Covenant.

    Everything didn't just change overnight. It took time and Paul realized that and tried to accomadate all, as much as he could. IMO

    BBob, :jesus:
     
  4. drfuss

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    drfuss: Good scriptures that point out the intended fruits of the law. However, in Acts 21:21-24, Paul is keeping the law traditions in order to demonstrate the he keeps the law.

    Back to the OP questions:

    Did Paul practice the law while living among the Gentiles?

    If so, then should Jews today who become Christians practice the law?
     
  5. psalms109:31

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    Love

    1 Corinthians 9:16
    Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.

    19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

    25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

    1 Corinthians 10: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.



    He did what He did not for his fellowman
     
    #5 psalms109:31, Mar 1, 2008
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  6. TCGreek

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    Good observation, BBob. :thumbs:

    Paul, however, was quick to point out that the Law was a paidagwgos, a tutor, until Christ came (Gal 3:23-25).
     
  7. psalms109:31

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    What is the Law good for?

    Romans 7:7What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

    11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

    14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[Or my flesh] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
     
  8. MB

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    To Practice the Law suggest that he live by it. I don't believe Paul after Salvation live by the Law. He wrote;
    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.
    Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
    Gal 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
    Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
    After reading this I don't see how it could ever be said that Paul lived by or practiced the Law. This does not mean that he went out and sinned all he wanted because he didn't live by the law. Jesus Said;
    Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
    Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
    These things are the change of heart evident of Salvation. We obey the Law not as practice but because of our Love for the Lord. We do not gain anything by the Law.
    MB
     
  9. drfuss

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    The above are good posts about what the law should mean to the Christian. Perhaps I wasn't clear in my question in the OP.

    The Elders at Jerusalem said to Paul:
    Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law."

    In the last part of the verse, the Elders said that Paul "keeps the law". Paul went ahead and participated in the purification rites to show that Paul kept the law. Now, back to my questions. Let's just address the first question. .


    Did Paul practice the law while living among the Gentiles?

    Considering all the things Paul had to say about the shortcomings of the law, is there a contradition here?





     
  10. Palatka51

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    We need to look further into the text to see if Paul was able to follow through with the vow of cleansing. This was a vow of cleansing for having spent time with the Gentiles. To complete this vow would indeed be saying that all that I have taught the Gentiles was contrary to the law.

    Acts 21:26-30
    26Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
    27And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
    28Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
    29(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
    30And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

    Paul was unable to make a sacrifice. Though he was willing to do so the Holy Spirit worked to have Paul removed before he could spill animal blood.

    Praise the Lord.
     
  11. drfuss

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    drfuss: Palatka51, just to let you know, your yellow highlight is not readable on my computer. It is just a yellow blurr.
     
  12. EdSutton

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    Nor is it readable on mine, either.

    No, Paul did not "keep the law", meaning placing himself 'under its precepts', after he was saved and received his understanding, but rather, said that the law was "fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit".

    Big difference!

    Ed
     
    #12 EdSutton, Mar 3, 2008
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  13. drfuss

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    drfuss: Although I tend to agree, I still wonder why the Jerusalem Elders indicate Paul did keep the law in Acts 21:24.

    Any explanations?
     
  14. EdSutton

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    I dunno', I couldn't read it in 'yellow'. :laugh: :laugh:

    Seriously, I will try and give some thoughtful response to this later, but have to go, for now, and don't know when or if I will be able to answer today or tomorrow.

    Ed
     
  15. drfuss

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    drfuss: Thanks, I will also be away for a few days.

    Appanently, the Elders thought Paul keep the law; and Paul went along with it. While studing the Book of Acts, this jumped out at me; and I have no explanation. Hopefully, others will also have some explanations by the time I get back.
     
  16. Palatka51

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    There that should clear things up a bit. :laugh: Sorry about that. If any have incurred retinal damage due to the yellow highlight please direct all law suits to my lawyer. [​IMG]
     
  17. drfuss

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    drfuss: It has been four days and no one has come up with an explanation as to why the Jerusalem Elders thought Paul keep the law among the Gentiles or why he participated in a practice of the law at their request. Perhaps he did keep the law among the Gentiles even though he wrote about the shortcomings of keeping the law.

    Is this one of the mysteries of the scriptures. I don't know the answer. Can someone help me out?
     
  18. psalms109:31

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    Keeping Law

    Paul beat his body in submission. If we were and outsider we would believe paul kept the Law, but paul tells us of his inner struggle.
     
    #18 psalms109:31, Mar 7, 2008
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  19. drfuss

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    drfuss: A viable wxplanation. So as a good Jew, Paul did keep the law so as not to become a stumbling block to other Jews; but Paul did not trust in keeping the law for salvation as most Jews did.

    This explanation says Paul did keep the law.

    What do others think of this explanation?
     
  20. psalms109:31

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    Greatest Law keeper

    If we did keep the Law from now on and everyone else thinks we are great. When we compare our self to Jesus we will say "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.

    No matter matter how perfect others think we are or we think of ourselves we still will fall short of the glory of God.

    Who can save us from this body of death, praise be to Jesus.
     

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