Q & A
What did Rav Sha’ul mean when he said that we are “no longer under the Law”?
I offer to you as our understanding and position on this question, the following that has been previously taught by Dr. James Trimm (Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism) https://www.facebook.com/NazareneJudaismWNAE/; In his booklet titled “Freedom in Torah”, and Ch. 3 “Paul Misunderstood”, Beginning on page 13 with, “Works of the Torah” and “Under the Torah”, Dr. Trimm writes :
Much of the confusion about Paul’s teachings on the Torah involves two scripture phrases which appear in the New Testament only in Paul’s writings (in Rom. Gal. & 1Cor.). These two phrases are “works of the Torah” and “under the Torah”, each of which appears 10 times in the Scriptures.
The first of these phrases, “works of the Torah”, is best understood through its usage in Gal 2:16. Here Paul writes:
Knowing that a man is not justified by WORKS OF THE Torah BUT BY FAITH IN Yeshua the Messiah, even we have believed in Messiah Yeshua, that we might be justified by faith in Messiah and not by the WORKS OF THE TORAH; for by the WORKS OF THE TORAH no flesh shall be justified.
Paul uses this phrase to describe a false method of justification which is diametrically opposed to “faith in the Messiah”. To Paul “works of the Torah” is not an obsolete Old Testament system, but a heresy that has never been true.
The term “works of the Torah” has shown up as a technical theological term used in a document in the Dead Sea Scrolls called MMT which says:
Now we have written to you some of the WORKS OF THE TORAH, those which we determined would be beneficial for you…And it will be reckoned to you as righteousness, in that you have done what is right and good before Him… (4Q394-399) Section C lines 26b-31)
The second of these phrases is “under the Torah”. This phrase may best be understood from its usage in Rom. 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not UNDER THE TORAH but under grace.” Paul, therefore, sees “under grace” and “under the Torah’ as diametrically opposed, one cannot be both. The truth is that since we have always been under grace (see Gen. 6:8; Ex 33:12,17; Judges 6:17f; Jer. 31:2) we have never been “under the Torah”. This is because the Torah was created for man, man was not created for the Torah (see Mk. 2:27). “Under the Torah” then, is not an obsolete Old Testament system, but a false teaching which was never true.
There can be n doubt that Paul sees “works of the Torah” and “under the Torah” as categorically bad, yet Paul calls the Torah itself “holy, just and good” (Rom 7:12), certainly Paul does not use these phrases to refer to the Torah itself.
Therefore since we do not believe in salvation through ‘works of the Torah’ as did the P’rushim of Y’shua’s day and the Rabbinicals of our day, nor do we believe that we have ever been ‘under the Torah’ (which has always been a false teaching) but voluntarily obey it and take it on as ‘His yoke’, out of our love for Him who first loved us; Beit Echad stands in total agreement with this teaching of Dr. Trimm, and thus that of Rav Sha’ul in which we find no conflict of thought in what our Mashiyach has already told us in Jn. 14;15 “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
Rav Sha’ul was a devoted follower of his Adon Y’shua, who was and is El in the flesh that presented Himself to us as a Torah observant Jew and Mashiyach ben Yoseph. He would never teach against Y’shua or His Torah, or change anything that Y’shua said or did.