Sunday, February 9, 2014

Romans 10:1-4 - Messiah the Goal of the Torah


Paul had explained that the majority of the Jews had not accepted Yeshua as Messiah because of their failure to thoroughly grasp that the most important requirement of Torah is faith. He continued.

Romans 10:1-4 (KJV)
1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Paul again expressed that his desire and prayer for Israel was for her salvation (verse 1).

He further admitted in verse 2 that the Jews had a zeal for God, but that it was not according to knowledge. In other words they zealously strove to follow the Torah, but they misunderstood. He further explained in verse 3. They were ignorant of God's righteousness that can come only through faith. Instead they went around trying to establish their own righteousness by following the Torah as an end in itself. This was not what Torah observance was about! That type of Torah observance could only end in failure, not in salvation. Since man cannot follow Torah perfectly, there is no salvation without the righteousness that comes by faith in Messiah. In verse 4 Paul summed this up by stating that Messiah Yeshua is the end or goal of the Torah. He is the one who provides the righteousness of God by observing Torah perfectly for everyone who believes.

The use of "end" in verse 4 in many translations is unfortunate. It gives the impression that with Messiah's coming, the Torah had come to an end. Most of Christianity has agreed to this meaning. However, logically, this doesn't make sense. If God has done away with the Torah, mankind is left in anarchy. Without the Torah there are no laws! Murder, theft, adultery, and every heinous crime must now be acceptable. Since the New Testament confirms that these are still sins, there must be a misunderstanding. A better translation of the Greek, "telos," is aim, purpose, or goal.

"Messiah is the goal of the Torah for righteousness to everyone that believes."

The Torah points mankind to the coming Messiah by prophecy and by showing us how God wants us to live. Mankind can access the righteousness of God (salvation), not by keeping the Torah as a goal in itself, but rather by faith in Messiah who lived out Torah perfectly for mankind.

Torah is and will always be God's perfect law. What believer would not want to live accordingly?


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