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Taking Aim

 Merriam Webster defines ‘law’ as the whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, etc. When our religious ears hear the word ‘law’ our minds think on things like, hopelessness, impossibilities, punishment, and curses.

As one writer put it, interpreting the Hebrew word Torah as law is about the same as interpreting the word father as disciplinarian. While the father is a disciplinarian, it is a very narrow interpretation. The same is true for Torah, a part of Torah is law, but this Is a very narrow interpretation of it.

The word Torah in Hebrew means utterance, teaching, instruction or revelation from God. It comes from ‘horah’ which means to direct, to teach and derives from the stem ‘yara’ which means to shoot or throw. Therefore there are two aspects to the word Torah: 1) aiming or pointing in the right direction, and 2) movement in that direction. This gives a much different sense than the word ‘law’.[1]

Sin (chet) and Torah are in a very real sense opposites of each other. After all, sin means to miss; that is to miss the mark and Torah (Law) means to point out, to shoot an arrow; that is to hit the mark. One thing is for certain, whether you hit or miss, the mark is set by God alone! Religion has no right, nor authority to set the mark or move the target. The image presented here of Sin verse Torah is obviously of an archer taking aim and shooting his arrow at the target.

 

  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4 KJV)

 

 The Apostle Paul declares: “For what law brings is punishment. But where there is no law, there is also no violation.” (Romans 4:15 CJB) The meaning should be clear, if there were no commandments to break, no Torah to be aimed at, no mark, then no one would be guilty. However, since God did set the mark, it is possible to sin (miss the mark), and therefore the subsequent punishment justified.

 

 The archer cannot miss unless there is a target for which he is aiming. The sad state of affairs within Christianity today is that many appear to be skilled archers but presented with a target we find their aim not so sure. In fact, we find that many are not aiming at all!

 

It is sad that I must continue to reiterate this simple point which is that keeping the law cannot save you. In fact, the law was not given as a vehicle of salvation but rather it was given to a people who had been brought out of Egypt by the blood of the lamb, had its pursuing enemies buried in a watery grave, and now (at Mt. Sinai) are about to receive the seal (earnest) of their inheritance. All of this was required before entering the promise land as it is today: a prerequisite for admittance into the Kingdom of God.

 

It is because I am saved and am now living a life of faith that I embrace the truths of the Bible and I take aim. I do not make graven images, murder, or commit adultery because I am saved and am taking aim according to God’s Word (the mark). It is because of my faith in the fact that God’s Word is truth that I take aim and I obey God’s commandments.

 

This is the evidence of my faith, not the cause of it!

 

 If the Law only refers to that which was codified at Mt Sinai (Torah) only – than how was it possible for Abraham to obey Torah?

 

“Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws [TORAH].” (Genesis 26:5)

 

If I had a nickel for every message I’ve heard about a ‘paradigm shift’ I’d be a wealthy man. Let us define a paradigm shift in everyday language:

 

Put in the simplest possible way a paradigm shift can be described as a step away from some collective folly, or a removal of a common misconception.

 

In the light of that definition, we so desperately need a paradigm shift.

 

Transformation begins to take root in our thinking!

 

“In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the 'olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.” (Romans 12:2 CJB)

 

[1] The Law and Grace by Todd D. Bennett – pg9

 

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