Category Archives: Paul’s Writings

Apostle Paul and the Law

Apostle Paul and the Law

“I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” Acts 24:14b (NKJV)

The above quote is Apostle Paul’s own words before he left Israel for his final journey to Rome and his eventual death. It would seem to me all of his statements in his various letters should be interpreted in the light of this confession. Paul was neither teaching nor implying that grace replaced the Law.

In my opinion, grace and the sacrificially shed blood of Messiah made provision for the keeping of the Law—of God’s standard of righteousness. Paul does establish that keeping the Law does not earn salvation, but it is the door opener to blessing. Keeping the law is not a substitute for faith in the work of Messiah Yeshua on the cross, but a consequence of it.

Yeshua is the Living Word, the Logos. He is God as well as man. He in effect being God gave the law to Moses and the people gathered at Mt Sinai. During His earthly ministry as a man He amplified and emphasized the law. He never diminished or railed against the word He brought on Sinai. He only spoke against the abuse and manipulation of the word by the religious leaders of the day, or of any day. He proclaimed the consequence for those who taught against the word in Matthew 5:17-20 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 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.”

Yeshua came to confirm the prophets and the law. Fulfill does not imply either the words spoken by the prophets or the truth of the law is now of no consequence, that would be to destroy. The prophets and the law has even more significance because Yeshua has come as prophesied by the prophets and the law, in effect validating them.

Apostle Paul, being educated as a Rabbi, was all too familiar with the abuse of the law being made by the spiritual rulers of the day. He saw the fallacy of the pharisaic teaching that by scrupulously following the letter of the law was somehow pleasing to God and would gain eternal reward. As Yeshua taught, Paul taught, that Spirit-empowered keeping of the law was what mattered and pleased God; that could only be done through a personal relationship, a born again experience, with the Lawgiver.


Old Wineskins-New Wineskins-Old Wineskins

The old wineskins decried by Yeshua never were Father’s plan. There was from the beginning to be one wineskin. It was a proper receptacle for all the wine flowing from the Winemaker’s vineyard. It was to be cared for by Yahweh’s chosen—the one new man—Jew and Gentile. It was to be embraced as one law as given and interpreted by the God-man, Yeshua. It would seem today there are now two old wineskins: Judaism and the Church. The Messianic may well be the catalyst to merge the two wineskins into one vital, life-giving, blood bought-Divine reality.

A thought from my forthcoming book Messianic Travels

Apostle Paul’s Seeker-Friendly Ministry

In the ongoing debate over what is required of the Gentile who converts to being a follower of Jesus or Yeshua, as his contemporaries called him, I pulled my head out of the verse-against-verse joust that generally occurs in these dialogues to take a big-picture view.

I concluded Paul was the first “seeker-friendly” evangelist! Think of it, Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. He is introducing them to Yeshua, a Jew, as the Son of God, who died for their sins that they might be forgiven and become sons of a god about whom they have no clue! We can’t imagine the context of the debauched state of the average idol-worshipping pagan that the Apostle encountered. Would most unbelievers the Apostle met even consider they’re in sin? How do you convince them they need to hear about another god? Where do you start? Continue reading Apostle Paul’s Seeker-Friendly Ministry

The Seed of Abraham

I had been meditating on what it really means to be of the seed of Abraham and to be his descendant by faith.  And then one day the phrase, “one new man,”  from Ephesians 2:15 caught my attention. Was I missing something in what I currently knew about this new creation that was neither Jew nor Gentile? I knew Yeshua had radically re-created me more than four decades ago, and He continues to renew me: spirit, soul and body.  So what was God saying to me today about this new creation? And what was its connection to the seed of Abraham?

Rather than getting a direct answer to my question, my thoughts turned toward other questions: What does it mean that all Israel will be saved? Who really is “all Israel,” referred to in Chapter 11 of Romans as the grafted-in branches of the olive tree, both wild (Gentile) and natural (Jew).

When defined in the context of One New Man? I recalled that Apostle Paul says the natural heritage is not the definition of the true Israel: “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” (Romans 11:26b) “All” Israel can only be construed to be those who have a heart change by coming to the Father through the Son. All Israel that will be saved is the one new man, the seed of Abraham, who was made righteous by faith. This new creation will have more than the heritage of either a Jew or a Gentile — he will be a sort of  super chosen, spiritual species. I find the significance of this one new man is dawning on me in the context of the true Israel that will be saved. Continue reading The Seed of Abraham