Romans 6-8 and Galatians (especially chapter 5) describe the contrast between living by the indwelling operation of the Holy Spirit of Messiah and living by the self-empowered attempt to perform perfectly the entire burden of the Torah.

In Deuteronomy Moses commanded the nation as it was poised to enter the land of Promise and to engage in the warfare necessary to possess it, saying:

“The entire commandment that I command you today you shall observe to perform, so that you may live and increase, and come and possess the Land that HASHEM swore to your forefathers.” (Deut 8:1, STONE Tanakh)

Furthermore, Moses exhorted them saying:

“You shall remember the entire road on which HASHEM your God led you these forty years in the Wilderness so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not. He afflicted you and let you hunger, then He fed you the manna that you did not know, nor did you forefathers know, in order to make you know that not by bread alone does man live, rather by everything that emanates from the mouth of God does man live.” (Deut 8:2, STONE Tanakh)

Immediately we recognize that in Luke chapter 4 our Lord Jesus quoted this passage to Satan during the temptation in the Wilderness. Both texts occurred in the Wilderness. Both portend entry into our ongoing inheritance of the Promises of God.

So then, how is it that the Apostle Paul warns us most solemnly to avoid self-dependencies that cannot succeed? Hear this word (Young, NEWER TESTAMENT translation, Galatians 5:1-14, with my bracketed commentary):

For the purpose of freedom, the Anointed One [Messiah, Christ] made us free. So then, keep standing firm and do not be entangled again to a yoke of slavery [the Torah given through Moses]. Realize this, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision [in order to become Jewish after having entered the Kingdom of God through simple faith in the Promise of God made to all humanity through Jesus the Messiah] the Anointed One will not provide advantage for you [since you will have undone the work which he has accomplished through the New Birth of the Spirit, a work not contingent on your human efforts but rather contingent solely on the Messiah’s operation through the Spirit into which you gained access by obedient faith in the Gospel proclaimed to you].

Please read the rest of the text (5:1-14) for Paul’s elaboration of this central message.

The bottom line for all of us* is that, whatever our state when we entered the Door of the Kingdom through Messiah Yeshua, we are not to revert to self-dependency which cannot succeed because it is weak through the flesh (Romans 6-7—even a Christian form of self-dependency, I might add) but instead we are to continue in the living faith that is imparted to us by the Blessed Holy Spirit as we follow daily in the grace and footsteps of Jesus. (Philippians 4:13) Having said this, I must also emphasize that Grace does not Invalidate Law, but the two are interconnected functions of each other: Grace is the Spirit of Torah and Living Torah is the Body of Grace. (Isaiah 40:1-5; Isaiah 52-53; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 5:17-20; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-53; John 1:15-18; Acts 1-2; 21-22; 24:14-16; Romans 7:12-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 1 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 3:4-8 et al)

May the grace that is abundant in our Lord Yeshua Ha’Mashiach empower you today to walk freely in the world, forgiven, guided and energized from within.


*including Jews who come into Messiah and who thereby receive The Regeneration into the life of the Spirit in Christ Jesus (John 13-17, Acts 10 and 15, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 7 and Titus 3: with the entire book of Hebrews)

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