Guest post by Levitt
In the context of Galatians, Paul makes the point that the Torah given by Moses was an addition to the Abrahamic Covenant. It was added in order to make sin very clear so that we will all know, and be without excuse that we have fallen short of the righteous standard set before us by God. So it was a temporary addition until the Messiah came, the Seed, and now that He has come, the Torah has done its job.
We read in Hebrews 7:
Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness.
Now with Messiah there is a New Priesthood according to the Order of Melchizedek. Now this system is different from my ancestors, the Levitical Priesthood. You recall this was provided for under the Torah given by Moses, which describes it’s operation. Now it is interesting to note that if you have a New Priesthood you surely need a new Torah under which it can operate. Equally if you have a new Torah, then surely the Old Priesthood has no structure under which to operate.
Previously only one type of priesthood was permitted, the Levitical Priesthood. Now this Hebrews text clearly tells us that the Levitical Priesthood could not bring perfection. Blood sacrifices only temporarily covered sin, Messiah’s blood brings complete removal of sins.
The writer of Hebrews says that the Levitical priesthood has been done away with and replaced with the Priesthood of Melchizedek. This would require a change in the Torah. As long as the Torah of Moses was in effect, no other priesthood was valid except the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood.
Hebrews 7:18 states that the Mosaic Law was set aside because it was weak and useless!
Because it is no longer in effect, we now have a New Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek. If the Mosaic law were still in effect, then how could Yeshua function as a priest?
Yeshua is a priest after the Order of Melchizedek.
We read in 2 Corinthians 3:
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Messiah, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Messiah toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
- v7 Paul refers to the Law as the ministration of death
- v9 he calls it the ministration of condemnation
- v3 and v7 highlight the Ten Commandments as these are the tablets or engraved stones
The point Paul is making, the Ten Commandments were leading to death and condemnation. If they were in force today, this would still be true. Good then that they are no longer in force. v7 and v11 says they are passing away. From this passage it is clear, that the Ten Commandments are no longer legally in effect.
The Torah still stands to reveal the holiness of God, provide a rule/guide for conduct, and to define sin, and ultimately it is a tutor to lead us to utter faith in Moshiach. However it is clear that no righteousness, justification, sanctification or perfection is through the Torah. This comes through Yeshua the Messiah’s work. This is the fulfilment of Torah, and brings the Torah to its intended completion.
Indeed, the superiority of the Torah of Moshiach is seen by the fact that it will be never be rendered inoperative.