The Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    In another thread, Kyredneck seemed to be advocating salvation by works. I was in the process of making a reply when the thread was closed, and rather than type the whole thing out again, I thought I would offer this, which I wrote on my blog some years ago.

    Matthew 5:20. ‘For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven.’

    I think this verse must be one of the scariest texts in the Bible. There are others, like Luke 13:5 or Rom. 1:18, but I fancy this one is scarier. The scribes and the Pharisees were considered the cream of the religious world when our Lord was on earth. The scribes were the teachers of the Old Testament law; experts on the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. We read of Ezra that he was ‘a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given’ (Ezra 7:6). Under God, we owe a debt of gratitude to these men, since they were the ones entrusted with making accurate copies of the O.T. Scriptures, a task that they undertook with painstaking accuracy.

    The Pharisees were the strictest sect within Judaism. The word Pharisee means ‘separated one.’ They believed that all the woes that had come upon Israel in the Inter-Testamental Period had occurred because of her failure to keep the law. They not only commanded obedience to every precept in the Mosaic law with scrupulous attention, but they added other regulations to them, the ‘traditions of the elders’ as they were called. We see in Mark 7:3-4, that they prescribed a special washing of the hands before eating, and when they had been out in the market-place, jostling with sinners and unclean people, they would purify themselves by full immersion in water when they got home. The Pharisees also held to high ethical standards, outwardly at least. If we consider the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke 18:11-12, and take him at his word, we can see that he did not extort money, did not commit adultery and gave away a tenth of his income.

    So here is the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees: they were steeped in the Scriptures, scrupulous in their religious observances, ethically of the highest standards and generous to the poor. Yet the Lord Jesus tells us that our righteousness must exceed all that if ever we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. How on earth are we going to manage it?

    In order to understand what our Lord is saying, it will be helpful to read again the whole of Chapter 5 before proceeding. In v17, He is making a qualification. His teaching up to this point has been absolutely remarkable- speaking of the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the persecuted and calling them ‘blessed.’ Obviously this is the reverse of what we see in our society. Today we say, blessed are the rich, the confident, the physically beautiful, those with high self-esteem. Blessed are the footballers’ wives; for they shall get higher divorce settlements. But our Lord’s words were also the opposite of what the Pharisees would have believed. They would have said, blessed are those with a righteousness of their own; blessed are the proud and those who are well thought of. So strange and remarkable was this teaching of the Lord Jesus that it was natural for people to ask, “Has this Jesus of Nazareth done away with the Scriptures? Is this preaching of his something entirely new?” So wise teacher that He is, He immediately deals with this question head on.

    “Don’t imagine,” He says, “That this teaching of mine is replacing the Old Testament Scriptures. I’ve not come to do away with the Scriptures; I am their fulfilment. I am where they have been pointing and heading.” Elsewhere He declared, “these are [the Scriptures] that testify of Me” (John 5:39). This is most important to understand. When Paul declares in Rom 10:4, ‘For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes,’ he doesn’t mean that Christ has put an end to the law as, say, divorce puts an end to marriage. Rather it’s the way that a terminus is the end of a railway line. It’s where the train was always headed; its fulfilment, its very purpose indeed. That is why not one jot nor tittle- not the smallest letter nor the least stroke of a pen- shall disappear from the law until the end of time (v18).

    I need to clarify this a little. There are three parts to the law given by Moses, Ceremonial, Judicial and Moral. The ceremonial law is all the sacrifices and other stuff that the Jews had to do. These were signs and types of Christ. He is the Burnt Offering, the Grain Offering, the Fellowship Offering, the Sin Offering, the Guilt Offering the Yom Kippur, the Red Heifer, the turtledove and the two pigeons. All these sacrifices looked forward to Him in their various ways (4) and He is the fulfilment them all (cf. Heb 10:11-14). They served their purpose and are finished.

    Then there are the judicial laws. These included the laws governing the land of Israel and also the sanctions against sin. Adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft and other sins were punishable by death. These laws were given to Israel as a theocracy, but with the coming of Christ, and the Gospel going out into all the world, the penalties no longer apply. They do show God’s hatred of these sins and He will certainly punish those who commit them and do not repent, but we are no longer stoning adulterers, but calling upon them to repent and trust in Christ for forgiveness. “Go and sin no more!” (John 8:11).

    Thirdly, we have the moral law, summarized in the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, and summarized still further by the ‘Royal Law’ as given by the Lord Jesus in Mark 12:29-31 etc. The Decalogue is special in three different ways. Firstly, all ten of the commandments given in Exodus 20, can be found either in Genesis or in Exodus 1-19 if one looks for them. Secondly, these commandments alone were written by God Himself on tablets of stone (Deut 5:22). The rest of the Mosaic law was given, apparently by angels (Acts 7:53; Gal 3:17; Heb 2:2), to Moses who relayed it to the people. Thirdly, and following on from this, we see from Romans 2:12-15 that the Decalogue is actually written on the hearts of all men, Gentiles as well as Jews. This writing is smudged, defaced and barely legible because of the fall of man and resultant sin, but it survives in the human conscience. People know instinctively that murder, adultery and lying are wrong even if they continue to commit these things. Likewise I suggest that people also know in their hearts the claims of God on their lives even if they reject Him, which is why God will be just when He judges them.

    A moment’s thought will reveal that these same commandments applied in the garden of Eden. Imagine that Adam had strangled Eve or built an altar to the sun in the middle of the garden. Do you suppose that God would have said, “That’s alright, Adam! Just so long as you don’t eat the apple!”? The very thought is ridiculous. No, no. The Decalogue represents the eternal righteousness of God and His just demands on all people. And it is in this respect that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. You sometimes hear it taught these days that the Christian has nothing to do with the ten commandments, but has only to walk in the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit by all means, but if you think that the Spirit is telling you to break one of the commandments , then I beg leave to question whether it’s the Holy Spirit of God that you’re hearing. It is the moral law of God of which the Lord Jesus is speaking in v19 and calling ‘commandments.’ Read the verse again before continuing.

    [continued]
     
  2. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    But not only are we to teach and keep these commandments, but we are to do so in a very different way to that of the scribes and Pharisees. Our righteousness is to be greater than theirs.

    What is the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? It is an outward obedience to the law, not from the heart; a legal but not an evangelical obedience. The Lord Jesus describes this righteousness in Matt 23. “But all their works they do to be seen by men…..Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith……..For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence…….For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (vs 5, 23, 25, 27). If you read on in Matt 5 from v21, you will see various examples that our Lord gave of legal and evangelical obedience. It’s not enough, He says, not to murder; you must not have hatred in your heart. It’s not enough merely not to commit adultery; you mustn’t so much as look lustfully at someone to whom you’re not married. It’s not enough to love your neighbour; you must love your enemy too, and those who are attacking and abusing you. And you need to perform this righteousness perfectly and continually always.

    Now someone is going to say to me, “Now come on, Martin; no one can achieve that sort of perfection!” Quite right! That’s why the Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ That’s why Paul says, ‘For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one….”’ (Rom 3:9-10). But you may say, “Why is God so picky? Why can’t He accept that I’m doing my best and put up with that?” It is because of the holiness of God. People today, if they think of God at all, tend to imagine Him a a sort of jolly Santa Claus in the sky; far too soft and feeble to punish sin. But the truth is that ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ (Heb 12:29). First of all, He is utterly holy. The prophet declared, ‘You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon wickedness’ (Hab 1:13). ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God of Hosts!’ When Isaiah came face to face with the Lord, the first thing he was conscious of was his own sinfulness. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3, 5). Likewise Peter, when he first came to realise who Jesus might be, wanted to be as far away from Him as possible. “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).

    The second point is that God is utterly just. Because of His justice, He must punish sin. Psalm 7:11 tells us, ‘God is a just judge, and God is angry with sinners every day.’ So what hope is there for us? ‘Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin’ (Rom 3:19-20). We have no righteousness of our own, and we can find none in our efforts to keep the law, since we inevitably fall short. Where shall we find a righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees?

    ‘But now a righteousness from God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets’ (Rom 3:21). We need a righteousness that is not in ourselves; we need a righteousness that comes from God, and in the Lord Jesus Christ we have it. He has lived the life of perfect obedience to God’s law that we cannot live (Heb 4:15 etc.) and He has died the death that we deserve to die. ‘For [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’ (2Cor 5:21). There on the cross, God heaped upon Him all the sins of you and me (if you have trusted in Christ), and He imputed to us all Christ’s perfect righteousness and obedience. ‘But of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God- and righteousness and sanctification and redemption’ (1Cor 1:30). That’s the righteousness we need; a righteousness from God that far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, and it is attained by faith. Do you have it? Have you seen yourself as a sinner, justly under the condemnation of God, and have you trusted in Christ for your redemption. I don’t ask if you have believed that there was someone called Jesus of Nazareth who did some good stuff, but have you grasped hold of Christ like a drowning man might grasp hold of a lifebelt, crying out ‘For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great’ (Psalm 25:11)? If you have, then you can know your sins forgiven and that you have eternal life. If not, then in God’s name, do it now. Lay hold of Christ and get that righteousness that far exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees
    .
     
  3. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    So whenever the Lord Jesus is referring people to the law, as He does in Matthew 5 and also in
    Mark 10:17-27,
    Mark 12:28-34,
    Luke 10:25-37 and
    Luke 18:9-14,
    He is not telling people to save themselves by keeping the law, but demonstrating the impossibility for sinful men and women to keep it at all.
     
  4. asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    First off, I am pretty sure that you are misreading Kyredneck's point. But I will let him respond to that, if he is so inclined.

    But, while agreeing to much of what you write, I do take issue with both your particular division of the Law three ways and - most importantly - in insisting that the Decalogue is valid for today.

    It is interesting that the New Testament greatly amplifies the scope of nine of the Ten Laws. Both in the Gospels and in the Epistles of John we can find these amplifications. If need be I can quote them.

    But the Law concerning the keeping of the Sabbath is not. Instead we have verses like Col. 2:16

    Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.

    and Romans 14:6

    The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

    I could also cite lengthy passages from Hebrews to the same effect.

    The point is that the Sabbath Law was fulfilled in Christ. He is our Sabbath rest. It is telling that those who try to "upgrade" the Sabbath commandment for today modify the demands of this commandment, changing both the actual day and the nature of the work proscribed - all without any explicit Scriptural warrant.

    The point in all this is that we do not need to observe the Sabbath law. As non-Jews, it was never intended for us. It was an eschatological and Messianic signpost and prophecy for the Jews and for them only, pointing to Messiah as their rest and ours.

    And the other nine, as amplified by the New Testament - and our Spirit-led awareness - we obey by the grace of Christ. Certainly failing at times, but always coming back to the High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Obviously, I'm aware of the arguments you put forth, but I cannot accept the concept of the 'Nonalogue,' and it seems to me that the commandments come as a box set.

    However, may I ask you to open a new thread on the subject if you want to discuss it further? It is tangential to the point I am trying to make concerning the nature of our righteousness before God, but I don't want to derail the thread if I can help it.
     
  6. HankD Well-Known Member
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    Indeed it is soTom:

    Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest (Grk. sabbatismos - sabbath keeping) to the people of God.

    We rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ (high priest after the order of Melchizedek).

    10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
    11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    I love the irony of verse 11 - we should "labor" to enter into His "rest".

    HankD
     
  7. Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I asked Kyredneck what he believes and he refused to answer. He peppered me with a scripture quiz, as though what I believe somehow will define what he believes. I do not know if he believes in salvation by works or not. He refused to answer me plainly. The only thing I know is that he rejects Sola Fide. Other than that, it would be good to know what he believes on the subject of salvation, works, and judgment so I can determine whether I agree or disagree with him.

    As to the subject of your quoted blog post, it is very important. How are we made acceptable to the Father? How can we be more righteous than the Pharisees? Is ours an alien righteousness or does our faith become our righteousness? Are we justified by faith or not? Do we have something to brag about or do we brag about what Christ has done on our behalf? These are not frivolous questions. They deserve a full and complete vetting.
     
  8. Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I stand with Martin on this. This is not a Sabbath thread.
     
  9. HankD Well-Known Member
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    The Sabbath was an integral part of the righteousness resulting from the keeping of the law.

    The pharisees made accusation against Christ for allowing the breaking of the sabbath.

    Matthew 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

    HankD
     
  10. Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Hank,

    I get that but that is incidental to the point Martin is trying to make. What does it mean that our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees? See the questions I asked in post #7. There is a heretical doctrine out there called the New Perspective on Paul. It guts the doctrine of justification by faith. It is dangerous and antithetical to Christianity. It was made possible by perverting the doctrine of imputation. That is why this thread is one of the more important threads I have participated in on the BB.
     
  11. HankD Well-Known Member
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    OK, just interjecting into the debate that the Sabbath and its keeping (Sabbath) makes up a great deal of the weightier matters of the Torah and the righteousness thereof.

    So much so that it became one of the pharisees reasons for His crucifixion.

    John 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

    HankD
     
  12. Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    The Rest in view has nothing to do with the Sabbath, but speaks of the Promise of God in regards to His People. The "rest" promised to Israel was basically the Land they would dwell in and the benefits being there offered.

    The Rest in view in Hebrews, which is contrasted with the "rest" those who rebelled entered not into (because they were unbelievers), speaks of salvation in Christ.

    The "Gospel" heard by Israel in the wilderness was this rest, which was a figure of our ultimate "rest" in the new heavens and earth.


    Its pretty important to recognize this as being directed at a people (Hebrews), not to Christians, as though Christians are told to "labor" to enter into the Rest of God. The Writer calls on his people, Israel, as he does numerous times in the Book, to look at the example of unbelief which caused their (the Writer and his audience) People to fail to enter into that rest. He proposes, not works, but Faith. That is the key element in Israel's failure to enter into the Old Testament figure for the Rest of God.


    God bless.
     
  13. Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    I agree with your point, but wanted to ask you if you distinguish between men during Christ's ministry and believers in this Age. While we are not saved through the works of the Law I take the position we are still bound to the consistent principles taught by the Law (i.e., we still cannot lie, steal, commit murder, etc.), and that as we are sanctified hopefully we "establish the Law" in our own lives, so to speak.

    Consider:


    Ezekiel 36:27
    King James Version (KJV)

    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.



    Your thoughts?


    God bless.
     
  14. HankD Well-Known Member
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    "the rest" here in verse 4:9 definitely has a relationship to the OC 7th day sabbath by way of foreshadowing.

    The Greek for "the rest" here in 4:9 is σαββατισμὸς (sabbatismos - sabbath keeping) by way of using the root σάββατον (sabbaton) this verse clearly bonding it with the 7th day sabbath of God. True of the "rest" of that sabbath day but the sabbath day of the OC nonetheless correlating it with the keeping of the NC seventh day - resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

    The NIV uses the sabbatismos word thus:

    NIV There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;

    verse 4 establishes the bond:

    Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.


    HankD
     
  15. agedman Well-Known Member
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    One aspect that needs to be remembered is Romans 2:

    12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
    The Decalogue is inescapable, even in heathen as Romans states
     
  16. asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Are you sure about this? Hebrews, in fact, is addressed to believers, though - as in all NT epistles - there is the understanding that unbelievers are mixed in. There are many verses that show Christians are being addressed for the most part.

    He writes to "holy brethren" (3:1) who have saving faith (10:39). He speaks of his readership as having "things that accompany salvation".

    "But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though are speaking in this way." (Hebrews 6:9).

    The "laboring" here is in no way related to working for salvation but it is merely striving with what God has already planted in the us. It is the "working out our salvation with fear and trembling", as Paul wrote in Philippians.
     
  17. Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Not really any different from this:


    John 3:14
    King James Version (KJV)

    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:



    The serpent is a figure, not the reality.

    Furthermore, it was not a seventh day rest promised to Israel, but rest associated with receiving the promises of God, specifically, entering into the land promised them. In regards to The Rest...


    Hebrews 4
    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.



    He is speaking to his people, saying essentially, "Be very fearful that, like those who did not receive rest in the wilderness, you too should fail to enter into the Rest I am speaking about."


    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

    3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.



    "Those of us who have believed have entered into His Rest."

    And we know he is not referring to the Sabbath, and we know he is not referring to entering Canaan.


    4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

    5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.


    Just as God rested when the work was done, even so we rest, because the Work is done. Again, think about what happened to those who rebelled in the wilderness."


    6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:


    "Seeing there are those who have not yet entered into His Rest, remember the example: those who did not enter into rest did not enter because of unbelief...don't make the same mistake."

    We still have no correlation between God's Rest and the earthly seventh day rest, apart from the example which centers on rest, not a day of the week.

    He goes on to drive home his point, "Don't be unbelieving:"


    7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.




    8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.



    This is speaking of Joshua, not the Lord. The point is "If the rest received by those who entered the land (with Joshua) was the Rest that it was a figure of, which I (the Writer) use as an example, then we would not have been told of another day, or in other words, we would not have received God's promises afterward. Christ is the completion, the fulfillment of those promises (See Hebrews 11:13; 39-40)."


    9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.



    To Israel, that is. The "therefore" refers to what he just stated, his point being...entering Canaan, which is the rest in my example in Chapter Three, was not the Rest I speak of to you (my brethren of Israel), that Rest is in Jesus Christ, the One Who finished the work."

    That there remains a rest is tied to his point that entering into rest (entering Canaan) was not the end of the story, or the total of God's promises. It can be applied individually, as in, there are still Jews who must be saved, but the primary context simply contrasts that rest with Rest in Christ.


    10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.



    Again, that the example speaks not of the seventh day Sabbath, but simply makes the point, "Just as God stopped working when the work was done, even so we cease from our own work/s when we enter into the rest that still remains, so don't continue to rely on your heritage and think that because God delivered you into Canaan and fulfilled His promise...that this is the end of the story.


    God bless.
     
  18. asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    I certainly agree that the Law came as a box set. But I see the box as much bigger than you seem to envision. Nor do I see it as three boxes.

    If you look more carefully at your verse that you quoted (and misquoted at the end) you should see that "every jot and tittle" stays totally in effect - every minor law included - until they are no longer in effect. And at that time they ALL cease to be in effect: circumcision, Sabbath-keeping, purity laws, etc. They existed together.
    They were to be obeyed as a set.
    They were suddenly deprecated as a set.

    That
    is what happened at the point of fulfillment.

    Whatever we might think as the point of this fulfillment, it cannot have been beyond the time of the destruction of the Temple.

    I would like to see a passage or verse that shows the validity of the division of th Law into three parts. Or of the validity of keeping some of the Law and not other parts.

    Fair enough. I will focus here on the Law in total. And maybe I will start a new thread concerning the Sabbath commandment.
     
  19. Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Quite sure. While it is certainly addressed to believers, and would have been circulated among believers, he does, as you note, address the unbelievers among them.

    For example...


    Hebrews 10:26-29
    King James Version (KJV)

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?



    The "willful sin" in view is committed by...those who reject God's will.

    Not Christians. These are they that forsake the assembling of the brethren. They are adversaries (v.27).

    And he is still centering on Hebrews, not believers/unbelievers in general.


    Addressed to believers, addresses unbelievers. As well as though teetering between the Covenant of Law and the New Covenant. So we agree on this point.


    There are also those that make it clear that there are those in danger of not entering His Rest. That is the entire purpose of the passage we have been looking at.


    And would you like to suggest that those who have not entered into His Rest, who are told "Do not be unbelieving as those who rebelled in the wilderness did...

    ...are holy brethren who have saving faith?

    Kind of makes warning them to have faith and be believing obsolete, doesn't it?


    Right, so what is he convinced they are not doing?

    What those who have not embraced Christ are doing.

    And he is very specific, starting in Hebrews 5 and going through 6:12, he makes it clear those he speaks of are ignorant of the ABCs of the Old Testament (the First Principles of the Word of God), because they are dull of hearing, or in other words, lazy in regards to the Word of God;they are infantile in their understanding; they need to "go on unto Perfection, or, that which exceeds the knowledge of the basic knowledge given in the Old Testament (and I would suggest is euphemistic for "You need to be saved"). They are in danger of "crucifying Christ again, which I would suggest to you speaks of remaining in the Law and continuing in those sacrifices (which are a picture of Christ, thus they "crucify Christ again").

    He uses the analogy of rain on the earth, meaning all receive the same provision, with differing results. That which is good (salvation), and burned.


    Never said it was, lol.

    It does refer to the works of the Law, though, which is what the Writer is trying to convince his brethren they must abandon, in favor of the New Covenant.


    Now come on, Tom, you know the US wasn't even around then.

    Just kidding...

    You would have to explain what you mean by "what God has already planted in us." If you are saying that they are having difficulty in the flesh despite being born again believers, I would disagree. Those he speaks to are ignorant even of Messianic Prophecy, much less the expanded knowledge we received through the Apostles in the New Testament (and I believe it was Paul who wrote this, anonymous because he was hated by many Jews on both sides, and probably feared he would not be heeded if they knew who it was).

    Again I have to disagree. The labor is striving against committing the same rebellion committed in the rebellion, which means not getting saved (not entering into His Rest), rather than Christians making a mess of their salvation.


    God bless.
     
  20. HankD Well-Known Member
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    To introduce the brazen serpent is comparing refrigerators and apples.

    In Hebrews 4:9 The writer used the Greek word sabbatismos for "rest" after establishing the sabbath day "rest" bond with the 7th day rest in Hebrews 4:4 which is the proof of my interpretation.

    Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.


    HankD