Paul was against us keeping the Law of Moses.
In Acts 21, Paul is informed of a rumor being spread that he has been teaching the Jews to forsake the teachings of Moses. So, Paul is asked to pay for and participate in taking a “Nazirite” vow along with four other men, which actually included offering an animal sacrifice at the Temple. Now remember, this is after Jesus went to the cross. Did you know that Paul actually went thru with it? Why? Scripture makes it clear… So that “all (that includes you and me) may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you (Paul) are nothing, but that you (Paul) yourself also walk orderly and keep the law”. (Acts 21:24) It is so ironic that today we see the same thing happening again. Many people are being told from the pulpit even, that Paul is against us keeping God’s instructions as given thru Moses. Let’s see if we can once again put this rumor to rest by seeing what Paul has to say, in his own words. We do believe Paul right?
In Romans 3:31 Paul said this…”Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” In Acts 24:14 Paul says “…so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. In Hebrews 10:28 he says “Anyone who has rejected Moses law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” As plain spoken as Paul is concerning his view of the Law and the Prophets, many still honestly believe Paul is anti-Torah. How can that be? It turns out that Peter gives us an interesting warning in 2 Peter 3:15-16 concerning the writings of Paul. He says this…” our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures”. Peter then goes on to warn us not to be led away by their error. Sadly, many people including Bible teachers and many pastors, are untaught and unstable when it comes to understanding who Paul really was and the context from which he taught. So, what is the proper context? Listen up, and then check me out...
We know that Paul loved the Lord, and we know that Paul devoted his life to serving his Master. He was a bondservant of Messiah. We also know, and this is the important part…that Paul would never teach people to disobey the God of Israel, but… he did come against anyone who tried to add to what Jesus had done on the cross. This is what we see happening in the book of Galatians for example. In Galatians 5:4 Paul says “You have become estranged from Messiah, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”. Remember, Paul was not against the law. His own words bear witness to this. So, what was he against? He was against those who would teach the law as a means for salvation. Do you see the difference? Most Bible teachers have missed the context of Paul’s writings, substituting obedience for justification. Paul was not teaching us to ignore God’s commandments when he said “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” Paul was warning us not to listen to those who would seek to put conditions on God’s unconditional love.
Rest assured that Paul does not teach us to ignore the instructions of the Living God. In fact, if he did, then he was a false prophet as according to Deuteronomy 13 and deserving of death by stoning. Speaking of stoning, do you know why Stephen was stoned to death? If you remember he too was falsely accused of something. You can find the answer in Acts 6:11-14. Hold on to your hat and check it out!! And remember, this is after Jesus went to the cross!!