There seems to be quite a lot of confusion about what sin is, how sin is best dealt with, and to what extent gentiles should keep the Mosaic Law. All answered here. And a great time to answer them, as we approach the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement is a moed, an appointed time, one of the “7 feasts of Israel”, and appointment of the people with God. The Day of Atonement a time to repent, to seek forgiveness of God, to reconcile with God and with others.
I will cover the basic scriptures on this topic from Torah, cover briefly the consensus Jewish thinking and the Chabad/Lubavitcher viewpoint. Then, let’s go into the New Testament about what sin is and how sin is best dealt with.
SHOULD WE KEEP THE LAW? IS SIN MERELY FAILURE TO KEEP TORAH?
We should have a great deal of respect and gratitude for Torah and Tanakh, for without them, we could not understand Jesus/Yeshua. On the other hand, we should not trample the greater gift of Jesus/Yeshua. Nor should we think we, in our unlettered and prideful state are so much smarter than Peter, James, and John, or Paul. Let’s consider what all of these teachers had to say, shall we?
We will find that both in original Hebrew thinking and in New Testament thinking that sin is “missing the mark.” What mark? For Paul: the glory of God. High mark. So, how would be come up to that bar? Only Jesus Christ/ Yeshua HaMesiach/Son of God could help us that far up.
This is not rabbinic thought. Nor is it sloppy Christian “messianic” — shall we say messy legalism.My position is we should have more respect for the Jewish traditions today, more learning about the Torah, and a full understanding of our own New Testament. We get into trouble when the unlearned take part of a Scripture and blithely take away others’ faith. They feel very spiritual and righTeous doing so, but…. the results are very regrettable, first for others who are made worried… but later themselves when they find they have disrespected Jesus.
RETURNING TO THE FAITH; RECONCILING WITH GOD
Today I am most concerned to help concerned Christians back to settled faith, and comfort in the grace of God, after they have been pummeled and battered by ignorant messy-anic folks who want to make them feel guilty because they are not fully keeping the Mosaic law. Sin is much more than merely transgressing the Mosaic Law. It is pretty hard to keep the Mosaic Law. Always was. particularly, now when there is not Temple and no sacrifice.
Sin is bad and we should acknowledge that sin exists. This failure to acknowledge sin is rampant. Sin is foolish, harmful, but also knowing about sin is an opportunity to return to God. Wonderful Hasidic wisdom. But the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, our wonderful Messiah who is more than we ever imagined, has come and invited us into His own righteousness. This is the wonder. Let’s not overlook that. This is the awesomeness of the sonship message. It is all of grace; it is all of faith; it is not without works.