Rabbi Schneider - The Purpose of the Law
I'm picking up today now in Romans chapter 3, verse 18. Hear the Word of God. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God, because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. So Paul now is concluding his words to the Jewish people. And he's saying this, that through the law, you'll not be justified because none of you have kept it. And don't confuse the fact that just because you have the law, that makes you righteous. Because it's not those that possess the law that are righteous, it's not those that know the law that are righteous, but it's those that keep the law that are righteous, and Paul said none of you have.
And now Paul goes on to say, beloved, that through the works of the law, no flesh will be justified, that no man's going to stand before God on the basis of the law. Beloved, the law was a temporary administrative covenant to hold God's people in place until Yeshua came. It became the tutor to teach us of the knowledge of sin so that we'd be prepared to ask God for forgiveness and for a Savior. And that's what Paul says in the 20th verse here. Hear the Word of God. Because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. The law is good, Paul said, when it's used lawfully. In other words, the law has its purposes, but we no longer have the same relationship to the law that the children of Israel had before Messiah came.
And we're going to get into that in a deeper way as you proceed through the book of Romans. But what Paul is doing now, he's kind of putting a close, or he's kind of putting an amen on one of the primary purposes of the law by saying that the purpose of the law was not so that you could keep it and in thus doing be righteous before God based upon your keeping it, but conversely Paul says that the law was given to you to convict of the fact that you are unholy and that you need forgiveness and that you need redemption.
Now, I want to say to you if you're a Gentile believer watching this broadcast, that you may think to yourself, I don't really understand what this has to do with me because I never thought that I was under the law, I'm not really that interested in the law, that's for the Jewish people. So how, Rabbi Schneider, is this really of any consequence to me? And here, Mr. or Mrs. Gentile believer, is how it's of consequence to you. The law, the Mosaic law represents, listen now, the principle of works-based righteousness. Let me say that again. The way, my Gentile friend, the law relates to you is this. The principle of the Mosaic law is the principle of works-based righteousness.
See, the principle of the law is if we do this and do this and do this, we will be worthy, and God will bless us. But if we don't do this, this, and this, then the wrath of God will come upon us. That is the principle of the Mosaic law. Now, you may not feel that you're under the, quote, Mosaic law, but I wonder if the devil has subtly put up a standard over your subconscience in which you're saying to yourself I don't read the Bible enough, therefore God is mad at me. I don't witness enough, therefore God is mad at me. And I think bad thoughts, therefore God is mad at me. And you put a principle of works-based righteousness over your life, you feel that you're not living up to the standard that you're holding over your life, and you feel that because you're not able to live up to this standard over your life that you're not able to receive the blessing or the favor of God. But I need you to hear today, beloved, that the favor of God and the blessing of God, it comes to us as a gift through Jesus, not on the basis of works.
Titus 3:5 says, Not on the basis of deeds of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy has he saved us. Our obligation, our call is to believe in Jesus, to believe what he's done for us, to believe in his finished work, to by faith receive him, to give ourself over to him, to cling to him. This is the work of God. When they said to Jesus, what work should we do, Jesus said this is the work of God, believe in him, speaking of himself, whom he has sent.
So as a Gentile believer, you may think all this talk about the Mosaic law is irrelevant for you, but it's not irrelevant for you when you realize that the Mosaic law is the principle of works-based righteousness, and many of you that are watching this broadcast are living under guilt and condemnation because you have a works-based righteous standard, whether it's the Mosaic law, whether it's the law of your church, whether it's the law of your parents, whether it's the law that Satan has set in your mind, and you're feeling like you're always coming up short, and therefore you're living out of fellowship with God.
We need to rip down this concept of living by law, living by a law based of works. We need to rip it into shreds, beloved, and instead just receive the grace of God that's ours, hallelujah, in the Lord Jesus. We have become the righteousness of God, beloved, in Jesus. I encourage you to get this entire series, beloved, because I go into this in more detail in some of my other broadcasts.
Let's continue on. Verse number 21. This is beautiful. Hear the Word of God. Now, apart. Get that word, apart. Circle it. Now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Now let's listen to this again. We're going to take this apart. This is one of the most important sections, beloved, in the entire Word of God. I pray that you can stick with me. You know, we live in a culture today, we want everything so superficial. Very few people, beloved, are interested in listening to a preacher that goes through the Bible line upon line, precept upon precept.
I'm telling you, listen to me. I'm going through the Word of God as it was written. It's the best way to learn it. Let's learn it as it was written. Let's not just learn it because the preacher picks out something from this book and this chapter and goes to another part of the Bible, picks out a Scripture from that book and that chapter, goes to another part of the Bible, picks out a section from that book and that chapter, then puts them together and may be teaching whatever he wants to say rather than what the Word of God really says. By going through this discipline line by line and precept upon precept, you can get the Word of God laid in your soul in a way that's going to be Biblical and accurate.
So I want to encourage you, go through the discipline of sticking with me in this and support me so I can continue, beloved, to do it. Let's hear the Word of God. One of the most important sections in the entire Word of God, Romans 3:21, But now apart from the law. So God is telling us that he sent Jesus. He's telling us that his righteousness has been revealed apart from the law. And what is the righteousness that's been revealed? It's Jesus. What the Lord's about to tell us here is that the righteousness of God, who is Jesus, has been revealed from heaven apart from the law. In other words, it's not a works-based righteousness.
You see, the law says this. The law says this, that I need to love God with all my heart, strength, soul and mind, and if I don't, I'm going to be judged. The law says love God with all your heart, strength, soul and mind. And if I love God with all my heart, strength, soul and mind, I'll be blessed. But let me ask you a question. Do any of us have confidence that we love God with all our heart, strength, soul, and mind? I know I love God, but do I love him with all my heart, strength, soul, and mind? But the law demands perfection. So the law says if you love God with all your heart, strength, soul, and mind, and never let anything else in your mind that makes him lesser than God, then you'll be blessed. That's the law. And the law says if you don't do this, you're going to be cursed. But when Jesus comes and he reveals a righteousness from heaven that's apart from the law, here's the righteousness that Jesus brings.
The Scripture says not that we loved him, not the law. The law says we love him with all our heart, strength, soul and mind. But when Jesus comes, the Word of God says not that we loved him, but that he loved us and gave himself as the propitiation or a sacrifice for our sins. You see the for our sins. You see the difference? The principle of the law is we do it. The principle that was revealed to us in Jesus apart from the law is that God has done it and he's given it to us as a free gift. Isn't that awesome? You gift. Isn't that awesome? You don't have to qualify. You just have to receive Jesus. And we can all do it right now.
Let's hear the Word of the Lord again. Now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. In other words, the law and the prophets, they wrote about Jesus. Jesus said Moses wrote of me. All through the law and the prophets we have witnesses of Jesus. Unto us a child will be born, unto us a Son will be given. Moses said the Lord will raise up for you from amongst your brethren a prophet like myself. The law and the prophets wrote all about the Messiah's coming. In other words, Messiah's coming was witnessed to by the writings in the law and the prophets. But when he came, the righteousness that he brought, it wasn't a law-based righteousness. It wasn't a righteousness based on our good works. It was a righteousness that came apart from that. It was God's righteousness in Jesus given to the church, beloved, to you and me as a free gift.
So let's listen again. I really want you to get this. But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law, the prophets wrote about it, and the prophets, the law and the prophets wrote about it. What did they write about? Verse 22, Even the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus. I just want to say it again, the law and the prophets, they spoke about Jesus coming, but when Jesus came, the relationship that he brought to have a relationship with God through was not based upon the law or the prophets. It was based upon receiving him. He is our righteousness. Hallelujah. Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Being justified is a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith.
This was to demonstrate his righteousness because in the forbearance of God, he passed over the sins previously committed for the demonstration I say of his righteousness in the present time that he might be, listen now, that Jesus, listen now, that Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus might be Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? Notice that phrase, that he might be both the Just and the Justifier. Jesus came to earth, clothed in humanity. He kept every single law in the Torah. The rabbis tell us there are 613 of them. He became the Just. He kept every single law in the Torah to perfection. He went to the cross, beloved, as the innocent Lamb of God, the Just dying for the unjust. He became both the Just, fulfilling the law for us by perfectly obeying it, and he became the Justifier, that when he died in our place, the guiltless one dying for the guilty, he then became our Justifier so that, hallelujah, you and I could be set free from guilt and condemnation, hallelujah, leading, beloved, now standing before the Lord the Scripture says holy and blameless.
It's all about Jesus. Don't let anybody ever distract you from Jesus. Don't even get distracted by doctrine, beloved, because it's not about a doctrine. It's about a person. Don't let anybody or anything distract you. Even doctrine of truth can be a distraction if it's not centered, beloved, on Jesus, who's a person who's become both the Just and the Justifier of everyone that believes in him and receives him. Paul then goes on to say where then is the boasting? There's no boasting. Because there's only one way that you and I can stand before the Lord, and that is in Jesus. And it's not because of what we have done, it's because what he's done. It's not because what we do, it's because of what he did. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Let's continue on today. Verse 27, Where then is boasting? It is excluded. But by what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified, get this now. For we maintain. This is the Gospel that Paul preached. This is the Gospel that Paul preached. And I'm preaching now to some of you that are in Messianic synagogues that think you're practicing Messianic Judaism, but you're not, because you're exalting the law and you're exalting rabbinic Judaism and you're exalting speaking Hebrew and you're exalting trying to be Jewish and look Jewish rather than exalting Jesus. That's not the Gospel that Paul preached, and it's not the Gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach.
Listen to what Paul says again. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Listen to that again. By faith apart from the works of the law. What did Paul say? That the righteousness of God that's been revealed from heaven in verse 21 has come apart from the works. Why am I stressing this? I'll tell you, so many people, beloved, have walked into our ministry thinking that what they were going to find there was a bunch of people that were striving to keep the laws. We are not a bunch of people, beloved, in my congregation that are striving to keep the laws. We are a community, beloved, wanting to draw close to Jesus, wanting to fall deeper in love with him, wanting a greater revelation of his love for us, and a greater revelation of his truth.
We are a group of people, beloved, that are focused on Jesus because the righteousness of God that's revealed from heaven has come apart from the works of the law. And this movement that we call Messianic Judaism, it is an umbrella term. In other words, when someone says they're a Messianic Jew, they may mean something very different than what I mean when I say I'm a Messianic Jew.
When I say that I'm a Messianic Jew, I'm meaning I'm a Jew that believes in Jesus. Some people that say they're Messianic Jews don't first of all think of Jesus. They think of the laws. And they don't look at the law through Jesus, but rather they look at Jesus through the law. And they think that the way to follow Jesus is by keeping the 613 laws of the Torah. And they deceive themselves into thinking that they're keeping the law because they're keeping 20 of them, being blind to the 190 of them that they're not keeping.
Beloved, Paul said I maintain that we are justified apart from the works of the law. By the works of the law, the Bible says shall no flesh be justified. We are not exalting the law. We are exalting, beloved, Jesus that's become both the Just and the Justifier, for he that puts his hope on him will not be disappointed. Amen and amen, amen. Listen to Paul's final word in verse number 31. Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be. On the contrary, we establish it. What does it mean? That beloved, the law reaches its fulfillment in Messiah Jesus.
We're not nullifying the law. Jesus said do not think I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I've not come to abolish, but to fulfill. We are not nullifying the law. We're simply saying that the law has reached its intent. The word in the Scripture concerning the law says that Jesus has become the end of the law or that the law has reached its end for everyone that believes in Jesus. We are not nullifying the law, beloved. We are saying that the law has reached its intent. What is the intent of the law, beloved? To lead us and to bring us to Jesus. And it was to hold Israel in place before Messiah has come. And the book of Galatians chapter 3 through 5 is all about this.
Let's continue on now with chapter number 4. Wow. Do we need to take a little breather here for a second? I wish I had another joke to tell you, but I can't think of one right now. So let's just take a breath. Let's take a breath here for a second. We'll get ready to press on here to the next section of Scripture, Romans chapter 4. Here we go, beloved, the Word of God. What then shall we say, that Abraham our forefather according to the flesh has found?
Now look at verse number 2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. So he's just continuing on this same theme, beloved, that Abraham, he lived, beloved, before the law was ever given. And we know that the Bible says in the book of Galatians that the blessing of Abraham has come to the Gentiles and that Abraham is the father of all that believe, that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteous. So Abraham's walk with God was not based upon the law because the law hadn't been given yet.
Let me just stop for a second and clarify. I'm going to read this again because Paul brings up Abraham here in verse number 2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but what is due. But to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteous. So in other words, Paul is saying listen, if you work for what you have, what you have wasn't a gift to you. What you have wasn't grace to you. It was what was due you. In other words, if I agree that I'm going to go work in your farm today for $10 an hour, and I go in your farm today and I work in your farm for 8 hours and at the end of the day you pay me $120, that wasn't a gift, that wasn't grace, that was what you owed me.
So Paul said if you're receiving God's favor because of your good works, then God's favor towards you isn't grace, it was what was due you. But he says if God shows you favor not because of your works, not because you deserve it, but just because he wanted to show you kindness, then it's counted as grace. And he says to Abraham, how was Abraham rewarded? Abraham was rewarded not because of his works, but simply because he believed God, and God was favorable to him. And so Paul is saying it's the same thing for us today.
You see, there's three primary covenants in Scripture that I want to close with today. There's the Abrahamic covenant that was a covenant of grace and faith. God appeared to Abraham and then revealed himself to Abraham in such a way that Abraham was overwhelmed and believed. God appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre. At least three times God literally physically visibly appears to Abraham. And of course, this ignites faith in Abraham, and Abraham follows God. And the Bible says and Abraham had faith and he followed the Lord, and it was counted as righteous.
The foundational covenant is the Abrahamic covenant. Later, beloved, the Mosaic covenant was added. The Bible tells us that the Mosaic covenant was added as a temporary covenant to simply hold Israel in place and prepare them for the Messiah. Once Messiah came, beloved, the Bible teaches that the Mosaic covenant in Romans chapter 7 and other places in Scripture no longer holds the same place in our walk with God, that it's actually becoming obsolete, that we are now, beloved, walking in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, who is Jesus, for the Lord said to Abraham, in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
And the relationship that we enjoy now in the Lord through Jesus who is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant is a relationship, beloved, of God's favor upon our life. Not because of works, but simply because he loves us, because he gave us the faith to believe in him, and because, beloved, he has chosen in his own goodness to delight in us, beloved, and to show his favor and loving kindness to you. By grace you've been saved. I want you to know God really loves you.