PDA

View Full Version : Problems



Soyeong
04-20-2015, 07:24 PM
This are some of the problems I have with theology that teaches that the Mosaic law is no longer applicable:


How can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7), that we are set free from the law (7:6), and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)?

How can Paul say that our faith upholds the law (3:31) and that our faith releases us from the law?

Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)?

How can the righteous requirement of the law be fulfilled in us if we don't do what the righteous law requires (8:4)?

How can Paul say that the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and doesn't submit to God's law, if he is saying that we shouldn't submit to God's law (8:6)?

How can the children of God who abide in Him be the ones who practice righteousness (1 John 3:6, 10), yet ignore the Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness?

How can we be told that we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10), to have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16), yet ignore the Bible's instructions that are being quoted from that explain how to have a holy conduct?

How can we understand Paul to be saying we don't have to obey the law (Galatians 5:18) if he then goes on to say we should act in accordance with the law (Galatians 5:19-24), and that we should correct people who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1)?

How can walking in the Spirit be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can Jesus, who kept the law perfectly and did nothing apart from the Father, be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded?

How can the Father's grace be in opposition to the law that He has commanded? How can Paul, who was sent by both Jesus and the Father (Galatians 1:1) say anything in opposition to what Jesus said (Matthew 5:17-19) or against keeping the law that the Father has commanded?

The easy solutions to these problems are what is found in Messianic Judaism by noting that there is an aspect of the law that holds us captive that we need to be set free from and an aspect of law that is holy, righteous, and good that our faith upholds. The aspect of the law that holds us captive is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it (Romans 7:1-4, 8:1-2), our sin nature has the propensity to be perverted into legalism (7:6), and our sin nature leads us to rebel against what we are told to do (7:6-25). The aspect of the law that is holy, righteous, and good, is its instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good. The law is spiritual (7:14), so walking in the Spirit is walking in accordance with the law, and a role of the Spirit is to cause us to become obedient to the law (Ezekiel 36:27).

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 07:30 PM
Here we go again. :lol:

Chrawnus
04-20-2015, 08:36 PM
This are some of the problems I have with theology that teaches that the Mosaic law is no longer applicable:


How can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7), that we are set free from the law (7:6), and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)?

How can Paul say that our faith upholds the law (3:31) and that our faith releases us from the law?

Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)?

How can the righteous requirement of the law be fulfilled in us if we don't do what the righteous law requires (8:4)?

How can Paul say that the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and doesn't submit to God's law, if he is saying that we shouldn't submit to God's law (8:6)?

How can the children of God who abide in Him be the ones who practice righteousness (1 John 3:6, 10), yet ignore the Bible's instructions for how to practice righteousness?

How can we be told that we are a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10), to have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16), yet ignore the Bible's instructions that are being quoted from that explain how to have a holy conduct?

How can we understand Paul to be saying we don't have to obey the law (Galatians 5:18) if he then goes on to say we should act in accordance with the law (Galatians 5:19-24), and that we should correct people who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1)?

How can walking in the Spirit be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded? How can Jesus, who kept the law perfectly and did nothing apart from the Father, be in opposition to the law that the Father has commanded?

How can the Father's grace be in opposition to the law that He has commanded? How can Paul, who was sent by both Jesus and the Father (Galatians 1:1) say anything in opposition to what Jesus said (Matthew 5:17-19) or against keeping the law that the Father has commanded?

The easy solutions to these problems are what is found in Messianic Judaism by noting that there is an aspect of the law that holds us captive that we need to be set free from and an aspect of law that is holy, righteous, and good that our faith upholds. The aspect of the law that holds us captive is that it condemns us to death for transgressing it (Romans 7:1-4, 8:1-2), our sin nature has the propensity to be perverted into legalism (7:6), and our sin nature leads us to rebel against what we are told to do (7:6-25). The aspect of the law that is holy, righteous, and good, is its instructions for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good. The law is spiritual (7:14), so walking in the Spirit is walking in accordance with the law, and a role of the Spirit is to cause us to become obedient to the law (Ezekiel 36:27).

Now please explain to me what the moral component of refraining from eating pork is. :huh:

Scrawly
04-20-2015, 08:39 PM
Soy, honestly, prayerfully read through the entire book of Galatians and Hebrews verse-by-verse. Debating verses out of context will get us nowhere.

Paprika
04-20-2015, 09:39 PM
This are some of the problems I have with theology that teaches that the Mosaic law is no longer applicable:
How can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7), that we are set free from the law (7:6), and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)?

It's right there in the text; we're under grace - the law of the Spirit.


Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)?
It's in chapter 8: the law could not do what it needed to do because of the weakness of the flesh.

The Christian like Paul distinguishes between different types of Laws given for a different time, Moses' before Jesus and the Spirit' after Jesus; the Judaizer that one needs to obey the Mosaic Law despite all the clear examples that we are no longer under it - despite the fact that the division he so seeks is nowhere implied in Scripture.


Here we go again.

Soyeong is disagreeing with the ruling by the apostles and the Spirit on what is the (to the best of our knowledge) earliest major controversy in Christianity: whether the Mosaic Law needs to be followed by Christians. I propose marking him as an unorthodox Christian - as Paul says, let such be anathema - and be done with it.

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 09:46 PM
Now please explain to me what the moral component of refraining from eating pork is. :huh:

I didn't say anything specifically about the moral component eating pork. Nevertheless, morality is about what we ought or ought not to do, so if we ought to obey God and ought not to eat pork, then that's all the moral component that there needs to be. The dietary laws invite us to ponder why they were commanded, but at the end of the day, God does not require us to understand why He commanded something before we trust and obey Him.

The dietary laws serve as an object lesson about separating the holy from the profane. Eating is one of our most common activities and God is teaching His chosen people to always be discerning about what we take into our bodies. Something is either pure or it is not and we should not pollute ourselves with the impure. The moral applications should be clear. Should we watch, listen, or do something? If Jesus were here, would he watch, listen, or do it? As his disciples, we should, by faith and through the leading of the Spirit, take steps toward becoming a copy of him both in how he thought and in how he acted in obedience to God as part of the process of sanctification. Keeping the dietary laws is part of what it means to be a holy nation, have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy".

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Soyeong
04-20-2015, 09:48 PM
Soy, honestly, prayerfully read through the entire book of Galatians and Hebrews verse-by-verse. Debating verses out of context will get us nowhere.

I have been studying Galatians verse-by-verse for the past few months, which is why I hold the view on it that I do. I'll continue in prayer, but I'll also ask that you prayerfully consider what I'm saying.

Obsidian
04-21-2015, 04:57 AM
The new testament specifically teaches that the dietary laws are no longer in force.

Soyeong
04-21-2015, 07:19 AM
It's right there in the text; we're under grace - the law of the Spirit.

The Spirit is not opposed to the Father, so the law of the Spirit is not opposed to the law God gave to Moses. In fact, the law is spiritual and it is a role of the Spirit to helps us to keep it (Ezekiel 36:27). God's grace is that He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness, but it is not opposed to obedience. Rather, as God's children we should practice righteousness in obedience to the law (1 John 3:10).

1 Peter 1:13-14 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,

Setting your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ does not mean we are not to be obedient children of God.


It's in chapter 8: the law could not do what it needed to do because of the weakness of the flesh.

The law is holy, righteous, and good, but simply being instructed how to behave in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good is not sufficient for us to meet the law's righteous requirement. Now that Christ has sent his own Son to condemn sin in the flesh so that we could meet the requirement through walking in the Spirit, should we reject what God has done for us and disregard His holy, righteous, and good instructions? It is the one who has their mind set on the flesh that does not submit to God's law (Romans 8:7).


The Christian like Paul distinguishes between different types of Laws given for a different time, Moses' before Jesus and the Spirit' after Jesus; the Judaizer that one needs to obey the Mosaic Law despite all the clear examples that we are no longer under it - despite the fact that the division he so seeks is nowhere implied in Scripture.

God's law is according to His holy, righteous, and good standard, which doesn't change. The Judaizers were wanting Gentiles to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law as they understood it in order to be saved. I fully reject that position, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't confuse me with them. I'm concerned with how a Christian should behave after they are justified. The clear examples are against those who were trying to become justified by keeping the law, which is a perversion of it, so you should not confuse a criticism of a perversion of the law with a criticism of God's holy, righteous, and good law.


Soyeong is disagreeing with the ruling by the apostles and the Spirit on what is the (to the best of our knowledge) earliest major controversy in Christianity: whether the Mosaic Law needs to be followed by Christians. I propose marking him as an unorthodox Christian - as Paul says, let such be anathema - and be done with it.

I don't disagree with the ruling of the Apostles and the Spirit, I disagree with your problematic understanding of them. The topic of Acts 15 wasn't even about whether Gentiles had to keep God's holy, righteous, and good law - that was a given. The issue was about whether Gentile had to become Jews and keep all of the written law and oral law in order to be saved. The Jerusalem Council rejected those man-made requirements, but they upheld the commands of God, which they had no authority to countermand. All it takes is a proper understanding of the context of Acts 15, but if you refuse to understand it and insist that Paul disagrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 and disagrees that God's law should be kept, then Jesus and the Father trump Paul, and Paul would disqualify himself as their Apostle (Galatians 1:1).

It's kind of like when there are a bunch of bad things on a bill, but they tacked on something to help grandmas at the end. When the bill is rejected for all of the bad things, they get criticized for hating grandmas. You can reject the man-made requirements and the legalistic perversion of the law without rejecting God's holy, righteous, and good law.

Soyeong
04-21-2015, 07:25 AM
The new testament specifically teaches that the dietary laws are no longer in force.

Usually the verses that people use to support that conclusion are talking about man-made ritual purity laws rather than dietary laws.

Chrawnus
04-21-2015, 07:39 AM
I didn't say anything specifically about the moral component eating pork. Nevertheless, morality is about what we ought or ought not to do, so if we ought to obey God and ought not to eat pork, then that's all the moral component that there needs to be. The dietary laws invite us to ponder why they were commanded, but at the end of the day, God does not require us to understand why He commanded something before we trust and obey Him.

Yeah, no. We already know why the dietary laws were commanded, namely to set apart the Jews from the Gentiles surrounding them, just like most of the other ritual purity laws. It had nothing to do with morality.



The dietary laws serve as an object lesson about separating the holy from the profane. Eating is one of our most common activities and God is teaching His chosen people to always be discerning about what we take into our bodies. Something is either pure or it is not and we should not pollute ourselves with the impure.

Mark 7:18-23

Eating does not defile someone, even if what you're eating happens to be pork, or shellfish. Under the new covenant, that which pollutes us are impure thoughts, not impure food.



The moral applications should be clear. Should we watch, listen, or do something? If Jesus were here, would he watch, listen, or do it? As his disciples, we should, by faith and through the leading of the Spirit, take steps toward becoming a copy of him both in how he thought and in how he acted in obedience to God as part of the process of sanctification.

If you were "listening" you would see passages like Mark 7:18-23 and realize that your understanding of the purpose of the dietary laws are majorly flawed. And there's a difference between being conformed to the image of Christ and becoming a copy of Him.



Keeping the dietary laws is part of what it means to be a holy nation, have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy".

Under the old covenant maybe.



1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Except the dietary laws no longer have any effect on your holiness.

Paprika
04-21-2015, 08:31 AM
you refuse to understand it and insist that Paul disagrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19
I've said this more than once: what Paul says is not that the Law is abolished but that we are not under it. Unfortunately, you still refuse to let go of that false dichotomy, so there is no point (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6472-Holiness&p=185936&viewfull=1#post185936) in further discussion.

Paprika
04-21-2015, 08:38 AM
The Spirit is not opposed to the Father, so the law of the Spirit is not opposed to the law God gave to Moses.
:strawman:
No one said they were opposed, dumbass.


Setting your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ does not mean we are not to be obedient children of God.
No one said that, dumbass.



Now that Christ has sent his own Son to condemn sin in the flesh so that we could meet the requirement through walking in the Spirit, should we reject what God has done for us and disregard His holy, righteous, and good instructions? It is the one who has their mind set on the flesh that does not submit to God's law (Romans 8:7).
Walking in the Spirit is different from living according to the written code (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+7%3A6&version=ESV), which is the Law. As Paul has made clear in the passage we have died to the Law, the written code.


God's law is according to His holy, righteous, and good standard, which doesn't change. The Judaizers were wanting Gentiles to become Jews and keep all of the written and oral law as they understood it in order to be saved. I fully reject that position, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't confuse me with them.
You, like them, want Christians to still keep the Mosaic Law, the burden from which they have been delivered. You are anathema.


The topic of Acts 15 wasn't even about whether Gentiles had to keep God's holy, righteous, and good law - that was a given.
It was not a given. The Judaizers wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised according to the Law (as you should yourself, you hypocrite (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6500-Ex-Hebrew-Roots-Cult-Members&p=188087&viewfull=1#post188087)) "and required to keep the law of Moses" but the apostles by the Spirit ruled otherwise.


You can reject the man-made requirements and the legalistic perversion of the law without rejecting God's holy, righteous, and good law.
Indeed, but we have died to the Law.

mikewhitney
04-21-2015, 11:03 AM
This are some of the problems I have with theology that teaches that the Mosaic law is no longer applicable:

I think this is why people don't appreciate Paul's insight into Messianic Judaism. By the way, I refer to first century Christianity as simply being the Messianic/Christ-focused sect of Judaism at that time.





How can Paul say that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), that without it we wouldn't even know what sin was (7:7), that we are set free from the law (7:6), and yet that we are not set free to sin (6:15)?

You speak as if the knowledge of sin was good. In 3:20, Paul had used this point as another negative statement against following the law. Again 7:7 doesn't say that it was good to know what sin is. People miss the manner by which Paul was trying to counter the audience's use of 'law' as a negative attribute to denounce Jews. Paul was showing that the law itself had been created as something good. But the end result, due to the flesh, was that the law brought wrath (Rom 4:15). And in 7:8 the teaching on 'sin' led them to sin; certainly this was not desirable. Yet you are seeking the law.



How can Paul say that our faith upholds the law (3:31) and that our faith releases us from the law?

The point of 3:31 is often missed. Paul has just said (in 3:9-30) that their justification was not by the law ... and more specifically he mentioned that gentiles were not in the jurisdiction of the law (3:19). "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law." In the context of the discussion "those under the law" were Jews. The law didn't extend to anyone else.

Any sense of "being released from the law" would simply be due to the confusion of gentiles having joined the Messianic sect of Judaism. Many Jews were saying "you have to follow the pre-Messianic ways." Paul says "no, you are released from any of the old laws, despite joining Judaism in this new sect. We have to remember that Jews had their lineage and religion; gentiles had their lineages and religions. There was not really a solid conceptualization of what it meant to be a gentile who followed the Christ. These gentiles were tweeners -- caught between two cultural systems.




Why would we even need to be set free from something that is holy, righteous and good in the first place (7:12)?

Why? because people corrupted the law and made it their goal instead of following God. The situation addressed in Rom 7 was apparently that part of the gentile audience had first experienced their Christian walk among Jewish followers of Christ, meeting in synagogues in Rome. A complex progression of events led the gentiles back to concern whether they could be made 'right' by following the law. Paul is arguing against this -- while still maintaining an apologetic for the pre-Messianic Jews. As such Paul was saying "there were good reasons behind the law and the law itself was good for its purpose" and then he also was warning them that attempts to follow the law would only promote a sense of condemnation.



How can Paul say that the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and doesn't submit to God's law, if he is saying that we shouldn't submit to God's law (8:6)?

This answer is straightforward in Paul's discussion. The Jewish laws were something followed by the flesh. So if gentiles were going to now try to follow God by the laws, they would thus be attempting to follow God by their flesh.

You are missing Paul's whole argument here. Paul was speaking against the desire (or presumed need) to follow the law and, hence, the flesh when seeking to follow God. If you are seeking the law, you are following a path that Paul said doesn't work, that is "the mind is set on flesh [and] is hostile to God." The law was something that had become the unnatural focus of Jews by the first century -- and was what Paul was trying to stop happening to the Christ-sect of Judaism.

Obsidian
04-21-2015, 12:25 PM
Usually the verses that people use to support that conclusion are talking about man-made ritual purity laws rather than dietary laws.

Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Soyeong
04-22-2015, 02:56 PM
Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

This was what Paul was warning them about:

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.

He goes into more details about what they were teaching here:

Colossians 2:20-23 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

So the people were keeping God's feasts as instructed by and Paul was encouraging them not to be judged for keeping them by those who were promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body.

Soyeong
04-22-2015, 04:20 PM
You speak as if the knowledge of sin was good. In 3:20, Paul had used this point as another negative statement against following the law. Again 7:7 doesn't say that it was good to know what sin is. People miss the manner by which Paul was trying to counter the audience's use of 'law' as a negative attribute to denounce Jews. Paul was showing that the law itself had been created as something good. But the end result, due to the flesh, was that the law brought wrath (Rom 4:15). And in 7:8 the teaching on 'sin' led them to sin; certainly this was not desirable. Yet you are seeking the law.

Aparently God thought it was good for us to have knowledge of sin or else He wouldn't have given it to us. The reason why reverse psychology works is that there is something in us that wants to rebel at being told what to do. So as you say, the law is good, but the problem is that when it comes in contact with our sin nature, our sin nature causes us to increase our rebellion. This is one of the things that holds us captive in 7:6 that we died to so that we can be free to obey the holy, righteous, and good law by walking in the Spirit.

In any case, regardless of whether having knowledge of sin is a good or bad thing, we have it, and we need to decide what to do with it. Paul says that being under the law doesn't mean we are to sin, so we should still apply the knowledge that the law gives about sin to how we should conduct our lives.


The point of 3:31 is often missed. Paul has just said (in 3:9-30) that their justification was not by the law ... and more specifically he mentioned that gentiles were not in the jurisdiction of the law (3:19). "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law." In the context of the discussion "those under the law" were Jews. The law didn't extend to anyone else.

We are all born under the law and God will hold the whole world accountable to it, so Paul is talking about a point that God is making to everyone: We all fall short of God's holy, righteous, and good standard and so no one by works will be justified in His sight.

So in verses 3:9-30 Paul is making the point that we are justified by faith apart from the law, but he didn't want anyone to misunderstand him as saying that the law has no role in the Christian life, so he added verse 31 to say that our faith upholds the law by leading us to obey it. It's the same point he's making here:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

You can't just focus on verse 8-9 about being saved by grace through faith apart from works and ignore that good works that God has instructed to do come right back in in verse 10 and are part of what it means to be a new creation in Christ. Our faith leads us to obey God.


Any sense of "being released from the law" would simply be due to the confusion of gentiles having joined the Messianic sect of Judaism. Many Jews were saying "you have to follow the pre-Messianic ways." Paul says "no, you are released from any of the old laws, despite joining Judaism in this new sect. We have to remember that Jews had their lineage and religion; gentiles had their lineages and religions. There was not really a solid conceptualization of what it meant to be a gentile who followed the Christ. These gentiles were tweeners -- caught between two cultural systems.

God did not give the law to Moses and the Israelites so that they could become justified by keeping it. If any of them were justified, then they were justified by faith, like Abraham and David (Romans 4:1-8), so they would have been justified by faith before the law was given to them. So the law was given them in part to instruct them about how to live rightly. Trying to become justified by keeping the law is a perversion of the law, and it was this that Paul was telling Gentiles not to do. But you must not mistake a criticism of a perversion of the law as a criticism of the holy, righteous, and good law itself.

According to Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles "were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world", but are now "no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members". Gentiles have been joined with Israel and are now part of God's chosen people and a holy nation, so what God once said to the Israelites now applies to Gentiles as well.


Why? because people corrupted the law and made it their goal instead of following God. The situation addressed in Rom 7 was apparently that part of the gentile audience had first experienced their Christian walk among Jewish followers of Christ, meeting in synagogues in Rome. A complex progression of events led the gentiles back to concern whether they could be made 'right' by following the law. Paul is arguing against this -- while still maintaining an apologetic for the pre-Messianic Jews. As such Paul was saying "there were good reasons behind the law and the law itself was good for its purpose" and then he also was warning them that attempts to follow the law would only promote a sense of condemnation.

The correct solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but rather it is good Christianity. Similarly, the correct solution to following a law that has been corrupted into legalism is to follow the law in the way God intended it to be followed, not to disregard it. Paul argued against keeping the law in order be justified, but he never argued against keeping the law by faith and through the leading of the Spirit. If they tried to keep the law in order to be justified, then because we have all fallen short, they would fail to become justified and would fall under its condemnation.


This answer is straightforward in Paul's discussion. The Jewish laws were something followed by the flesh. So if gentiles were going to now try to follow God by the laws, they would thus be attempting to follow God by their flesh.

Wow, you've twisted that verse beyond recognition.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

The law is spiritual and was always intended to be followed by faith in a way that built a relationship between God and his people, not something that was meant to be followed by the flesh. It is the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and does not submit to God's law. God has always disdained a outward obedience to the law while their hearts were far from him, so following the law by the flesh leads to a legalistic perversion of the law. The role of the Spirit is to lead us into obedience to God's law:

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.


You are missing Paul's whole argument here. Paul was speaking against the desire (or presumed need) to follow the law and, hence, the flesh when seeking to follow God. If you are seeking the law, you are following a path that Paul said doesn't work, that is "the mind is set on flesh [and] is hostile to God." The law was something that had become the unnatural focus of Jews by the first century -- and was what Paul was trying to stop happening to the Christ-sect of Judaism.

Paul didn't say that the mind set of flesh desired to obey God's law, but that it was hostile to God and didn't submit to God's law.

Can you try to examine the possibility that God's holy, righteous, and good law for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good is a good thing? It is truly bizarre trying to convince other Christians that obedience to the God they follow is good. All throughout the OT, God was wanting His people to obey him by faith, yet now so many Christians have flipped it around and think that obedience to God is a bad thing. It's true that following God's commands legalistically when our heart is far from Him is bad, but that doesn't mean that following the law as God intended it by faith and by the leading of the Spirit is also bad.

mikewhitney
04-22-2015, 05:35 PM
Apparently God thought it was good for us to have knowledge of sin or else He wouldn't have given it to us. The reason why reverse psychology works is that there is something in us that wants to rebel at being told what to do. So as you say, the law is good, but the problem is that when it comes in contact with our sin nature, our sin nature causes us to increase our rebellion. This is one of the things that holds us captive in 7:6 that we died to so that we can be free to obey the holy, righteous, and good law by walking in the Spirit.

In any case, regardless of whether having knowledge of sin is a good or bad thing, we have it, and we need to decide what to do with it. Paul says that being under the law doesn't mean we are to sin, so we should still apply the knowledge that the law gives about sin to how we should conduct our lives. (i.e. the instruction book on 'how to sin' )



You miss Paul's argument in your response. Paul wasn't weighing whether it was good to know sin or not. He was saying the disadvantage of learning the law is that it, instead, teaches you how to sin.

I suggest that 'sin' is not defined for Christians, because Christians are not under the law. But if you like sin (and being subject to wrath-- Rom 4:15), then go ahead and focus on the law.

You are to die to the law. What does that mean? It means you no longer have a relationship with the law. I don't see what part of that verse isn't so obvious.



We are all born under the law and God will hold the whole world accountable to it, so Paul is talking about a point that God is making to everyone: We all fall short of God's holy, righteous, and good standard and so no one by works will be justified in His sight.

So in verses 3:9-30 Paul is making the point that we are justified by faith apart from the law, but he didn't want anyone to misunderstand him as saying that the law has no role in the Christian life, so he added verse 31 to say that our faith upholds the law by leading us to obey it. It's the same point he's making here:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

You can't just focus on verse 8-9 about being saved by grace through faith apart from works and ignore that good works that God has instructed to do come right back in in verse 10 and are part of what it means to be a new creation in Christ. Our faith leads us to obey God.


You missed Paul's argument again. He said only Jews were under law of Moses.

The mention of "whole world held accountable" was showing that Jews TOO were going to be found guilty -- and their guilt, specifically, was because of THEIR violation of the law. Paul was saying that Jews who proclaimed the law did not have a benefit of righteousness by that law. No instead... they would be found guilty of it. Note that gentiles were already assumed, under first century Jewish doctrine, to be unrighteous; Paul now was showing Jews automatically would be found unrighteous because of THEIR law.

It is more subtle but 'good works' was the action of followers of Christ contrasted against actions of those seeking to follow the law.

You have good company in misunderstanding 3:31. The only reason Paul added this point was that gentiles would not hold unlimited contempt against the law; the gentiles were supposed to recognize that the law (i.e. the scriptures ) prophesied of the coming of Christ -- and hence the scriptures deserved some appreciation -- but not so far as to take on a law written for Jews. You really have to add many unwarranted words ( i.e. "by leading us to obey it" ) to come to your conclusion. (Nor does your suggested interpretation seem to fit within any reasonable context established in the preceding verses.)



God did not give the law to Moses and the Israelites so that they could become justified by keeping it. If any of them were justified, then they were justified by faith, like Abraham and David (Romans 4:1-8), so they would have been justified by faith before the law was given to them. So the law was given them in part to instruct them about how to live rightly. Trying to become justified by keeping the law is a perversion of the law, and it was this that Paul was telling Gentiles not to do. But you must not mistake a criticism of a perversion of the law as a criticism of the holy, righteous, and good law itself.


I'm sorry. You would have to show where scripture shows that the law was to show them how to live rightly.

You are right that PART OF the problem was that Jewish laws represented a distorted augmentation of the Law of Moses.



According to Ephesians 2:11-22 Gentiles "were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world", but are now "no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members". Gentiles have been joined with Israel and are now part of God's chosen people and a holy nation, so what God once said to the Israelites now applies to Gentiles as well.


Your interpretation of Israel is incorrect here. Can you show where gentiles had a race change? Where is a gentile equated to an Israelite? There are other people that make this false unjustified association.




The correct solution to bad Christianity is not no Christianity, but rather it is good Christianity. Similarly, the correct solution to following a law that has been corrupted into legalism is to follow the law in the way God intended it to be followed, not to disregard it. Paul argued against keeping the law in order be justified, but he never argued against keeping the law by faith and through the leading of the Spirit. If they tried to keep the law in order to be justified, then because we have all fallen short, they would fail to become justified and would fall under its condemnation.


You would need to find some verse somewhere to support your assertion here.

Note that if you violate a South African law while you are in Egypt, I am going to declare you guilty -- This is the equivalence to saying Christians are under Jewish law.





This answer is straightforward in Paul's discussion. The Jewish laws were something followed by the flesh. So if gentiles were going to now try to follow God by the laws, they would thus be attempting to follow God by their flesh.

Wow, you've twisted that verse beyond recognition.


Your complaint should be addressed to Paul is you don't like his argument.



Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

The law is spiritual and was always intended to be followed by faith in a way that built a relationship between God and his people, not something that was meant to be followed by the flesh. It is the mind that is set on flesh is hostile to God and does not submit to God's law. God has always disdained a outward obedience to the law while their hearts were far from him, so following the law by the flesh leads to a legalistic perversion of the law. The role of the Spirit is to lead us into obedience to God's law:

The only way people ever followed the law was by the flesh.
Rom 7:14 is a weak verse to use for your argument until you identify exactly what Paul was arguing about in Rom 7.




Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.


This verse goes with the idea of the law being written on peoples' heart. It is God's Spirit doing the law here. We are freed from doing it.
I think such proposal ultimately reflects what has happened in Christianity through Christ. But I have not examined this verse in great detail. I don't know if you have examined this carefully.

In essence it seems that God was looking ahead when Christ would come and some people would recognize they had followed the law instead of God. The solution was that God would make it easy to follow Him -- without having the problems generated by the law.

All this is to say that you have not seemed to give an explanation to undo what I understand about this verse.





Paul didn't say that the mind set of flesh desired to obey God's law, but that it was hostile to God and didn't submit to God's law.

Can you try to examine the possibility that God's holy, righteous, and good law for how to live in a manner that is holy, righteous, and good is a good thing? It is truly bizarre trying to convince other Christians that obedience to the God they follow is good. All throughout the OT, God was wanting His people to obey him by faith, yet now so many Christians have flipped it around and think that obedience to God is a bad thing. It's true that following God's commands legalistically when our heart is far from Him is bad, but that doesn't mean that following the law as God intended it by faith and by the leading of the Spirit is also bad.

I have examined such possibility. The law doesn't fit in the life of a Christian.
I agree it is truly bizarre to convince Christians to follow something that doesn't apply to them.

Trying to follow the law, as a Christian, is the same thing as trying to follow the law as a non-follower of Christ. It has the same pitfalls.

The problems of reactivation of the law are many:

People sought righteousness by doing the law-- this is a standard effect.
People judge others for not doing the law. They violate James who said that being a judge of the law doesn't make you a doer of the law. (Ja 4:11)
People become focused on legal issues instead of loving issues.
Those who seek the law have the same mindset as those at Mt. Sinai who said "we don't want to go up the mountain into God's presence. Just find out what He wants and tell us what to do."


Trust in God is commonly shown by Paul to be opposite to seeking actions in accord with the Jewish laws. If you are a Christian and you are willing to give up the benefits of the Spirit, then disregard the warning inherent in Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Soyeong
04-22-2015, 05:59 PM
Yeah, no. We already know why the dietary laws were commanded, namely to set apart the Jews from the Gentiles surrounding them, just like most of the other ritual purity laws. It had nothing to do with morality.

As I said, if we ought to obey God and God says we ought not to do something, then that is a moral command. Again if God says we ought to obey ritual purity laws then they it is moral command by definition. Purity laws were intended to teach a lesson about God's holiness, but understanding the lesson didn't make them unimportant to keep, rather it made them more important.

I'd say that the laws were to set God's chosen people apart so that they would be a holy nation.

Deuteronomy 7:6For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Those verse in 1 Peter are saying that what God once said to His chosen people now includes Gentiles:

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Mark 7:18-23

Eating does not defile someone, even if what you're eating happens to be pork, or shellfish. Under the new covenant, that which pollutes us are impure thoughts, not impure food.

The topic of Mark 7 is about Pharisees considering eating normally clean food with unwashed hands to make it ceremonially unclean. The parallel account in Matthew 15:20 shows that at the end of the conversation, Jesus was still talking eating with unwashed hands, so the topic was only about a man-made ritual purity law and never switched to being about dietary laws. Furthermore, I find it highly unlikely that Jesus would criticize the Pharisees in Mark 7:6-9 for setting aside the commands of God only to do so himself a few verses later. On top of that, teaching against following the commands of God would have been in violation of Deuteronomy 13 and Jesus would have disqualified himself from being the Messiah. They most certainly would have tried to stone him for that, and for once would have had a legitimate reason, but I see no evidence that anyone understood him to mean that. Even in Peter's vision in Acts 10, he hadn't gotten the message that God's dietary laws were done away with. No, the point that Jesus was making in Mark 7:14-23 was simply that their concern for ritual purity was out of balance with their concern for moral purity.


If you were "listening" you would see passages like Mark 7:18-23 and realize that your understanding of the purpose of the dietary laws are majorly flawed. And there's a difference between being conformed to the image of Christ and becoming a copy of Him.

Except that Mark 7 doesn't even mention dietary laws. The goal of a disciple was to become a copy of their rabbi in how they thought and in how they obeyed the Torah and Jesus' disciples were no different. Jesus taught to obey the Torah both in word and by example and it certainly was included as part of all that he had taught them when he told them to go and make their own disciples. If we are disciples of Christ, then we should likewise do the same, and it is through faith and the leading of the Spirit that we are made to be more like Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.


Under the old covenant maybe.

God is holy and His holiness didn't change between covenants, nor does His instructions for holy conduct.


Except the dietary laws no longer have any effect on your holiness.

Except that God would disagree. The authors of the NT quote or allude to the OT as many as 4,105 to establish their authority and to show that what they are saying doesn't deviate from it. With 1 Peter, it is no different, the verse is quoting the OT to establish that Gentiles should have a holy conduct and what it means to have a holy conduct. Does it really make any sense to you that the author would quote the OT to say that Gentiles should have a holy conduct and then turn around and say that Gentiles should have a conduct other than what God has already established as holy?

Obsidian
04-25-2015, 12:04 AM
So the people were keeping God's feasts as instructed by and Paul was encouraging them not to be judged for keeping them by those who were promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body.

Then why does it call them a shadow? Your interpretation is stupid.

One Bad Pig
05-04-2015, 07:43 AM
Mark 7:18-23

Eating does not defile someone, even if what you're eating happens to be pork, or shellfish. Under the new covenant, that which pollutes us are impure thoughts, not impure food.



If you were "listening" you would see passages like Mark 7:18-23 and realize that your understanding of the purpose of the dietary laws are majorly flawed. And there's a difference between being conformed to the image of Christ and becoming a copy of Him.
In fairness, seeing Mark 7:18-23 as an abrogation of dietary laws may be taking the passage out of context. The passage comes right after, and is part of, a discourse concerning ritual purity. The Pharisees were concerned with washing hands/cups so that any potential uncleanness on them would not be transmitted to their food right before consumption, an expansion of the Mosaic purity laws. In context, Jesus' statement may only be rejecting the Pharisees' expansion of purity laws, which He often does elsewhere.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 08:11 AM
In fairness, seeing Mark 7:18-23 as an abrogation of dietary laws may be taking the passage out of context. The passage comes right after, and is part of, a discourse concerning ritual purity. The Pharisees were concerned with washing hands/cups so that any potential uncleanness on them would not be transmitted to their food right before consumption, an expansion of the Mosaic purity laws. In context, Jesus' statement may only be rejecting the Pharisees' expansion of purity laws, which He often does elsewhere.
Context is always good, but Jesus' teaching here, and Mark's interpretation thereof, is so clearly expressed in more general and absolute terms that I would not reduce their meaning merely to this context alone.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 08:16 AM
I didn't say anything specifically about the moral component eating pork. Nevertheless, morality is about what we ought or ought not to do, so if we ought to obey God and ought not to eat pork, then that's all the moral component that there needs to be. The dietary laws invite us to ponder why they were commanded, but at the end of the day, God does not require us to understand why He commanded something before we trust and obey Him.

The dietary laws serve as an object lesson about separating the holy from the profane. Eating is one of our most common activities and God is teaching His chosen people to always be discerning about what we take into our bodies. Something is either pure or it is not and we should not pollute ourselves with the impure. The moral applications should be clear. Should we watch, listen, or do something? If Jesus were here, would he watch, listen, or do it? As his disciples, we should, by faith and through the leading of the Spirit, take steps toward becoming a copy of him both in how he thought and in how he acted in obedience to God as part of the process of sanctification. Keeping the dietary laws is part of what it means to be a holy nation, have a holy conduct, and to "be holy, for God is holy".

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking! Paul makes this point very clearly, even in the context of urging like-minded followers of Jesus' teaching not to present a stumbling block to those who still followed dietary restrictions as a matter of binding law.

One Bad Pig
05-04-2015, 08:45 AM
Context is always good, but Jesus' teaching hear is clearly expressed in more general and absolute terms so I would not reduce their meaning merely to this context alone.
Even general and absolute terms can be bound by context (Psalm 82:6a comes to mind). I agree that Christians in general are not bound by the dietary laws, but Acts 9/15 are better foundations for arguing so IMO.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 09:45 AM
Even general and absolute terms can be bound by context (Psalm 82:6a comes to mind). I agree that Christians in general are not bound by the dietary laws, but Acts 9/15 are better foundations for arguing so IMO.
I think you mean Acts 10, right? Mark and Luke present complementary perspectives so it doesn't much matter to me if one is considered a better basis for an argument. I would like to understand both of their perspectives as well as possible. I do not mean to imply that general and absolute terms CANNOT be limited by their context; I just don't think that Mark intends to do so here. Note, for example, Mark's repetition and expansion of the teaching to the disciples when they are alone and Mark's own intinterpretative gloss, that Jesus made all foods clean.

One Bad Pig
05-04-2015, 10:23 AM
I think you mean Acts 10, right?
Yes.

Mark and Luke present complementary perspectives so it doesn't much matter to me if one is considered a better basis for an argument. I would like to understand both of their perspectives as well as possible.
:huh: I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Acts is a completely different context.

I do not mean to imply that general and absolute terms CANNOT be limited by their context; I just don't think that Mark intends to do so here. Note, for example, Mark's repetition and expansion of the teaching to the disciples when they are alone and Mark's own intinterpretative gloss, that Jesus made all foods clean.
The interpretive gloss is still within the context of the passage. See also Mat. 15:20, a parallel passage, where Jesus' clarification can be considered analogous to Mark's interpretive gloss.

Soyeong
05-04-2015, 12:10 PM
Then why does it call them a shadow? Your interpretation is stupid.

They saw a shadow as something positive while we have translators who unhelpfully add words like "merely" that aren't in the original text. The OT is full of shadows that are meant to teach us valuable things and there is much that can be learned by studying God's Feasts.

Soyeong
05-04-2015, 12:58 PM
Context is always good, but Jesus' teaching here, and Mark's interpretation thereof, is so clearly expressed in more general and absolute terms that I would not reduce their meaning merely to this context alone.

There is much disagreement about the correct interpretation of Mark 7:19, but the context should quickly rule out the interpretation that has Jesus nullifying the dietary laws.


The Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking! Paul makes this point very clearly, even in the context of urging like-minded followers of Jesus' teaching not to present a stumbling block to those who still followed dietary restrictions as a matter of binding law.

Romans 7:14 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

The dietary laws are part of God's instructions for having a righteous and holy conduct and the role of the Holy Spirit is to lead us in obedience to God's instructions. The Holy Spirit is not at odds with what God has commanded, so by interpreting Romans 7:14 to be about dietary laws you're making it contradict itself. The Kingdom of God involves living in obedience to Him.

The topic of Romans 14 is about disputable matters of opinion, not the commands of God, so God's dietary laws were not even discussed. Meat that had be sacrificed to idols was often sold on the market, so if someone didn't know for sure whether meat offered at community meals had been sacrifice to idols, they might be of the opinion that it was all unclean and choose to eat only vegetables (Romans 14:2). They were judging others others who did eat meat at a community meal and were in turn being resented (Romans 14:3). So it is these sorts of disputes about food and drink that Paul was saying that the Kingdom of God was not about.

Soyeong
05-04-2015, 01:04 PM
I think you mean Acts 10, right? Mark and Luke present complementary perspectives so it doesn't much matter to me if one is considered a better basis for an argument. I would like to understand both of their perspectives as well as possible. I do not mean to imply that general and absolute terms CANNOT be limited by their context; I just don't think that Mark intends to do so here. Note, for example, Mark's repetition and expansion of the teaching to the disciples when they are alone and Mark's own intinterpretative gloss, that Jesus made all foods clean.

Mark 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

There is no interpretation by Mark without adding words that aren't there. Meats are being purged from the body, so this is not setting aside God's commands, especially just a few verses after Jesus criticized the Pharisees for doing the same thing.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 01:12 PM
Yes.

:huh: I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Acts is a completely different context.Precisely. Thus the perspectives of Mark and Luke are presented in complementary ways. They complement each other, but with essentially the same perspective. Mark recounts Jesus' teaching, first in conflict with the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, then to the crowd, and then with a fuller explanation to the disciples who had not understood. Finally, Mark himself interprets the implication of Jesus' teaching for his contemporary readers, 'with the result that Jesus' words are rendering all foods clean'. What may not have been clear at the time of Jesus' disagreement with Jewish authorities and in teaching the crowd and disciples is nonetheless rendered clear by Mark for his readers. Luke does not recount or interpret this teaching from the earthly life of Jesus, but it is nonetheless made clear in a later vision to Peter and the other leaders in Jerusalem. The two stories are not parallel but complement each other with the same perspective. Thus one need not say that one is a better than the other. They are not the same, but neither are they contradictory. Rather complementary.


The interpretive gloss is still within the context of the passage.Some try to translate the last part of Mk 7,19 as part of a direct quote of Jesus, but I think it is much better understood as an aside by Mark interpreting one of the implications of Jesus' words for Mark's readers, a participle modifying and interpreting the verb of Jesus speaking, not actually spoken by Jesus. Thus, some call it an interpretive gloss, ie, Mark's comment to his readers about the words of Jesus.


See also Mat. 15:20, a parallel passage, where Jesus' clarification can be considered analogous to Mark's interpretive gloss.Mt 15,20 is parallel to Mk 7,22 (7,23 in some texts). Matthew completely leaves aside Mark's interpretive comment in 7,19, preferring instead to tie Jesus' private teaching to the disciples back to the original context of Jesus' dispute with the Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes by adding to Mt 15,20 a phrase not found in Mark ('but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not the man'). Matthew is generally understood to be closer to the original Jewish context of the discussion where this issue of the law and rabbinic tradition would still be relevant to his audience, whereas Mark is speaking more directly to his community, which is generally understood as having a more significant Gentile component.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 01:15 PM
Mark 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? This translation does not work with the better attested Greek texts.


There is no interpretation by Mark without adding words that aren't there. What you perceive as adding words in an English translation is easily understood in the Greek without any addition of words.


Meats are being purged from the body, so this is not setting aside God's commands, especially just a few verses after Jesus criticized the Pharisees for doing the same thing.Again, this understanding simply does not work in the better Greek texts.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 01:27 PM
There is much disagreement about the correct interpretation of Mark 7:19, but the context should quickly rule out the interpretation that has Jesus nullifying the dietary laws. If that were the case, there would be no grounds for disagreement among scholars. Those scholars who understand the text in the manner I have explained are not simply ignoring the earlier context of Jesus' dispute and his teaching to the crowd.


Romans 7:14 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

The dietary laws are part of God's instructions for having a righteous and holy conduct and the role of the Holy Spirit is to lead us in obedience to God's instructions. The Holy Spirit is not at odds with what God has commanded, so by interpreting Romans 7:14 to be about dietary laws you're making it contradict itself. No, I do not think Paul contradicts himself, 'though, being a follower of Jesus, he does have a later, fuller understanding of the law than Ezekiel and the author of Deuteronomy.


The Kingdom of God involves living in obedience to Him. Yes, of course. Where did God or Jesus or Paul or anyone command Gentile followers of Jesus to abide by Jewish dietary laws and traditions? Even Paul, very much a Jew, did not even even always hold himself bound to the observance of all these laws and traditions. This is how the text of Paul is understood by the majority of scholars.


The topic of Romans 14 is about disputable matters of opinion, not the commands of God, so God's dietary laws were not even discussed. Meat that had be sacrificed to idols was often sold on the market, so if someone didn't know for sure whether meat offered at community meals had been sacrifice to idols, they might be of the opinion that it was all unclean and choose to eat only vegetables (Romans 14:2). They were judging others others who did eat meat at a community meal and were in turn being resented (Romans 14:3). So it is these sorts of disputes about food and drink that Paul was saying that the Kingdom of God was not about.Here you are adding words to Paul's text. Paul does not say, "The Kingdom of God is not about eating [meat sacrificed to idols, or any meat at all when one cannot be sure] and drinking [wine sacrificed to idols]." One can understand the text in this way, but only by presuming that Paul is thinking things that he has not actually written.

One Bad Pig
05-04-2015, 02:03 PM
Precisely. Thus the perspectives of Mark and Luke are presented in complementary ways. They complement each other, but with essentially the same perspective. Mark recounts Jesus' teaching, first in conflict with the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, then to the crowd, and then with a fuller explanation to the disciples who had not understood. Finally, Mark himself interprets the implication of Jesus' teaching for his contemporary readers, 'with the result that Jesus' words are rendering all foods clean'. What may not have been clear at the time of Jesus' disagreement with Jewish authorities and in teaching the crowd and disciples is nonetheless rendered clear by Mark for his readers. Luke does not recount or interpret this teaching from the earthly life of Jesus, but it is nonetheless made clear in a later vision to Peter and the other leaders in Jerusalem. The two stories are not parallel but complement each other with the same perspective. Thus one need not say that one is a better than the other. They are not the same, but neither are they contradictory. Rather complementary.
I don't see them as complementary; they're about two distinct topics. One is decrying the excess purity requirements espoused by the Pharisees, and the other (Acts 10) is using the dietary laws analogically to promote the idea of Gentiles belonging to the church.


Some try to translate the last part of Mk 7,19 as part of a direct quote of Jesus, but I think it is much better understood as an aside by Mark interpreting one of the implications of Jesus' words for Mark's readers, a participle modifying and interpreting the verb of Jesus speaking, not actually spoken by Jesus. Thus, some call it an interpretive gloss, ie, Mark's comment to his readers about the words of Jesus.
I'm not disputing that. Either interpretation is still within the context of the passage.


Mt 15,20 is parallel to Mk 7,22 (7,23 in some texts). Matthew completely leaves aside Mark's interpretive comment in 7,19, preferring instead to tie Jesus' private teaching to the disciples back to the original context of Jesus' dispute with the Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes by adding to Mt 15,20 a phrase not found in Mark ('but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not the man'). Matthew is generally understood to be closer to the original Jewish context of the discussion where this issue of the law and rabbinic tradition would still be relevant to his audience, whereas Mark is speaking more directly to his community, which is generally understood as having a more significant Gentile component.
:huh: I see Mk 7:17-23 as parallel to Mt 15:15-20 - both passages are Jesus' private interplay with the disciples. Even if they're aimed at different audiences, I don't see why that would indicate two vastly different interpretations.

robrecht
05-04-2015, 02:11 PM
I don't see them as complementary; they're about two distinct topics. One is decrying the excess purity requirements espoused by the Pharisees, and the other (Acts 10) is using the dietary laws analogically to promote the idea of Gentiles belonging to the church. There are certainly major differences, but I believe they both share essentially the same perspective with respect to Jewish dietary law.


I'm not disputing that. Either interpretation is still within the context of the passage.But one interpretation is better Greek.


:huh: I see Mk 7:17-23 as parallel to Mt 15:15-20 - both passages are Jesus' private interplay with the disciples. Even if they're aimed at different audiences, I don't see why that would indicate two vastly different interpretations.I never said there should be two vastly different interpretations. But there are differing nuances that can be understood when one looks at the wording that is unique to each account.

Soyeong
05-04-2015, 02:12 PM
You miss Paul's argument in your response. Paul wasn't weighing whether it was good to know sin or not. He was saying the disadvantage of learning the law is that it, instead, teaches you how to sin.

I suggest that 'sin' is not defined for Christians, because Christians are not under the law. But if you like sin (and being subject to wrath-- Rom 4:15), then go ahead and focus on the law.

When God gave instructions for how to live in an manner that is holy, righteous, and good, it necessarily includes teaching your how to live in a manner that is not holy, righteous, and good by doing the opposite, which is both a tremendous advantage and disadvantage. The law certainly brings wrath for transgressing it, but that is part of what holds us captive that we've died to, so we are left with just the advantage. Paul says both that the law gives us knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20) and that he would not know what sin was apart from the law (Romans 7:7), so it's a bit strange to say that "sin" is not defined.

Romans 6:15-16 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

How can this verse have any meaning for us if sin is undefined? Paul is saying that being under grace does not mean we are to do something, but what? How else are we supposed to know what we're not supposed to do other than by looking up what the law says about what sin is?


You are to die to the law. What does that mean? It means you no longer have a relationship with the law. I don't see what part of that verse isn't so obvious.

Clearly, if not "being under the law" doesn't mean we are to sin, then Paul is not including the holy, righteous, and good instructions of the law to be part of what he means by that phrase. In Romans 7:6 Paul specified that we are dying to what held us captive, which the holy, righteous, and good law was not doing. In contrast to sin, which is defined as the transgression of the law, Paul says we are set free from sin to become obedient slaves to the law, which leads to righteousness.


You missed Paul's argument again. He said only Jews were under law of Moses.

The whole word includes groups other than Jews and no amount of twisting will change that.


The mention of "whole world held accountable" was showing that Jews TOO were going to be found guilty -- and their guilt, specifically, was because of THEIR violation of the law. Paul was saying that Jews who proclaimed the law did not have a benefit of righteousness by that law. No instead... they would be found guilty of it. Note that gentiles were already assumed, under first century Jewish doctrine, to be unrighteous; Paul now was showing Jews automatically would be found unrighteous because of THEIR law.

Romans 9:30-32a What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.

The problem wasn't that the Jews pursued the law, but that they pursued it in the wrong way. They pursued righteousness through the law legalistically is if it were by works rather than pursuing it by faith, like the Gentiles were doing. David was declared righteous by faith and his obedience to the law was an expression of his faith. The order of having faith coming before works for salvation was important to Paul, but he also made it clear that works follow faith. The Israelites did works apart from faith instead of works because of a faith.


It is more subtle but 'good works' was the action of followers of Christ contrasted against actions of those seeking to follow the law.

Christ did nothing apart from the Father and was not at odds with what was command in the law, but rather he kept the law perfectly. The followers of Christ model their behavior after him and obey the law as he did. Jesus summarized the law as being about how to love God and how to love your neighbor, so "good works" are not anything other than what the law instructs.


You have good company in misunderstanding 3:31. The only reason Paul added this point was that gentiles would not hold unlimited contempt against the law; the gentiles were supposed to recognize that the law (i.e. the scriptures ) prophesied of the coming of Christ -- and hence the scriptures deserved some appreciation -- but not so far as to take on a law written for Jews.

Paul did not say our faith does not hold the law in contempt, but that our faith upholds the law.


You really have to add many unwarranted words ( i.e. "by leading us to obey it" ) to come to your conclusion. (Nor does your suggested interpretation seem to fit within any reasonable context established in the preceding verses.)

Hebrews 11 is all about faith leading people into obedience to God. James 2 is that faith without works is dead. Our faith should likewise lead us to obey God's instructions.


I'm sorry. You would have to show where scripture shows that the law was to show them how to live rightly.

Deuteronomy 26:5 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’

He could have equivalently said that we will live rightly if we are careful to do all that is commanded.


Your interpretation of Israel is incorrect here. Can you show where gentiles had a race change? Where is a gentile equated to an Israelite? There are other people that make this false unjustified association.

Ephesians 2:12 says Gentiles were once alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and 2:19 says that they are now citizens.

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


You would need to find some verse somewhere to support your assertion here.

For example:

Galatians 5:2-4 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified[a] by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

The Galatians were already justified by faith, but they had begun listening to people who were telling them that they had to become Jews and keep the laws of Moses in order to be justified. In verse 4, Paul is not saying that following the law was bad, but that trying to become justified by the law was bad.


Your complaint should be addressed to Paul is you don't like his argument.

My complaint is not about Paul's argument, but about how you twisted it. Again, Paul didn't say that the mind set of flesh desired to obey God's law, but that it was hostile to God and didn't submit to God's law. Paul directly said the opposite of your interpretation.


The only way people ever followed the law was by the flesh.
Rom 7:14 is a weak verse to use for your argument until you identify exactly what Paul was arguing about in Rom 7.

No, the law was spiritual and was always intended to be followed spiritually. The problem was that Israel was following the law legalistically rather than spiritually by faith. Part of what Paul was arguing in Romans 7 was that we died to following the law legalistically. Jesus criticized the Pharisees for following the law while their hearts were far from God. In other words, the law was meant to be followed spiritually by faith in a way that builds a relationship between God and His people, but when the law is followed without the spiritual aspect, then it gets perverted into legalism.


This verse goes with the idea of the law being written on peoples' heart. It is God's Spirit doing the law here. We are freed from doing it.

In essence it seems that God was looking ahead when Christ would come and some people would recognize they had followed the law instead of God. The solution was that God would make it easy to follow Him -- without having the problems generated by the law.

God's holy, righteous, and good law is His instructions for how to follow Him, so it's rather strange that you would pit following God's law against following God. If the Spirit is following the law through us, then our actions should be in obedience to the law.



People sought righteousness by doing the law-- this is a standard effect.
People judge others for not doing the law. They violate James who said that being a judge of the law doesn't make you a doer of the law. (Ja 4:11)
People become focused on legal issues instead of loving issues.
Those who seek the law have the same mindset as those at Mt. Sinai who said "we don't want to go up the mountain into God's presence. Just find out what He wants and tell us what to do."

James is saying not to speak evil of others. Jesus summed up the law as being about how to love God and how to love your neighbor and Paul agreed that the essence of the law is love, so keeping the law as it was intended should lead to being focused more on loving issues. There are far more things that are good than what the law instructs and for more things that are sinful than what the law prohibits, so understanding that the law is spiritual should lead us to go above and beyond what it requires.


Trust in God is commonly shown by Paul to be opposite to seeking actions in accord with the Jewish laws. If you are a Christian and you are willing to give up the benefits of the Spirit, then disregard the warning inherent in Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Paul would disagree. He said in Romans 3:31 that our faith upholds God's laws, not that faith is the opposite of them. The Spirit enables us to obey God's law, so I am not the one giving up the benefits of the Spirit. The warning in Galatians 3:3 was for those who were already justified by faith, but were seeking to be justified by works instead.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Works play a role, but it is after justification, not for it.

One Bad Pig
05-04-2015, 02:24 PM
There are certainly major differences, but I believe they both share essentially the same perspective with respect to Jewish dietary law.
And we disagree on that.


But one interpretation is better Greek.
Not sure why you're insisting on discussing this, as it's not material to the context. I am assuming your interpretation, at least for the sake of argument.


I never said there should be two vastly different interpretations. But there are differing nuances that can be understood when one looks at the wording that is unique to each account.
Declaring part of the Mosaic law void is not nuance.

Scrawly
05-04-2015, 02:55 PM
"But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom. 14:23).

Matthew Henry comments:

14:19-23 Many wish for peace, and talk loudly for it, who do not follow the things that make for peace. Meekness, humility, self-denial, and love, make for peace. We cannot edify one another, while quarrelling and contending. Many, for meat and drink, destroy the work of God in themselves; nothing more destroys the soul than pampering and pleasing the flesh, and fulfilling the lusts of it; so others are hurt, by willful offence given. Lawful things may be done unlawfully, by giving offence to brethren. This takes in all indifferent things, whereby a brother is drawn into sin or trouble; or has his graces, his comforts, or his resolutions weakened. Hast thou faith? It is meant of knowledge and clearness as to our Christian liberty. Enjoy the comfort of it, but do not trouble others by a wrong use of it. Nor may we act against a doubting conscience. How excellent are the blessings of Christ's kingdom, which consists not in outward rites and ceremonies, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost! How preferable is the service of God to all other services! and in serving him we are not called to live and die to ourselves, but unto Christ, whose we are, and whom we ought to serve.

source: http://biblehub.com/romans/14-23.htm

robrecht
05-04-2015, 03:33 PM
And we disagree on that.What exactly do we disagree on? That Mark and Luke have the same basic perspective on Jewish dietary law and traditions, more or less, as nearly as we can determine? If so, how do you think Mark and Luke differed regarding Jewish dietary law?


Not sure why you're insisting on discussing this, as it's not material to the context. I am assuming your interpretation, at least for the sake of argument.I do not insist upon this point, or on discussing it. I am more than willing to be proven wrong. And, while you may not disagree, I think Soyeong might disagree, and he too is part of this discussion.


Declaring part of the Mosaic law void is not nuance.I see Mark as merely making explicit that which is at least implicit in Jesus' words. That is a nuance, especially insofar as it is hardly the primary point of this pericope.

robrecht
05-06-2015, 11:38 AM
And we disagree on that. I'm still curious about what exactly you disagree with here? That Mark and Luke have the same basic perspective on Jewish dietary law and traditions, more or less, as nearly as we can determine? If so, how do you think Mark and Luke differed regarding Jewish dietary law?