Shalom everyone, praise be to YHWH our Elohim who has given us freedom through Yahushua our Messiah to walk daily in His ways, enabling us by His Spirit to reflect back to Him our love for Him through our obedient submission to His will.
Each and every day we all, as sons and daughters of the Most High El, have an obligation to assess ourselves through the very mirror of His Word, so that we can truly walk in the confidence and freedom that He has given us in Messiah.
How many of you looked in the mirror this morning? Can you remember what you saw? Well for most people, even a quick check in the mirror before heading off to work becomes a routine habit to ensure that one is reasonably respectable and presentable to the world that one goes out to walk in each day. Yes there are some that never look in a mirror and the rest can see that too!!! The reality is however that most of us actually do care what we look like and do use a mirror, even if just for a glance, to check our appearance and be sure we can face others. Now that is all in the flesh I know but the same principle applies to our Spirit, with the Word being our mirror, which for many, even a simple quick glance is sadly not even taken and the ability to know one’s appearance spiritually is forgotten which in turn leads to the inability to walk according to the word. We read in:
Yaʽaqoḇ (James) 1:23 -25 “Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
Today my message is called, “How is your walk?” and it is a simple question, one that can only truly be answered as one looks intently into the very mirror of the Word in order to determine what one looks like and then apply the necessary applications of the Word to one’s life to truly walk in righteousness. For most as I said earlier, looking in the mirror physically is either scarce or non-existent and the same is true toward the Word. Many have heard the Word yet fail to do the Word and lack the ability to truly walk in the Spirit, as the flesh takes precedence and directs their actions which are primarily driven by their emotions – we cannot be emotion driven – we must we Word driven – led by the Truth!
How many of you have ‘lost it’ or rather ‘blown it’ lately? By this I mean, how many of you have lost your cool, you got angry, you perhaps harboured some hatred toward another, perhaps you have been a little jealous of others, had a fit of rage, got into some serious quarrels just to name a few? If any of these do sound familiar then it is clear that having these various types of actions you were walking in the flesh!
Galatiyim (Galatians) 5: 19-21 “And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery, whoring, uncleanness, indecency, 20 idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.”
The works of the flesh are ‘well-known’ simply because most people walk according to the flesh!
The fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness, gentleness and self-control and against such there is no Torah – no Torah that can condemn you!
A valid question we are to constantly be asking ourselves is whether we are walking in the flesh or in the spirit, as there are clear differences between the two and each has very opposite outcomes.
The main text I want us to read tonight is Romiyim/Romans 8, so please turn with me in your Scriptures to this passage that we can read together. (Read)
Possibly one of the most popular chapters in the haBrit haḤadasha (N.T.), yet I do wonder if the many who so easily quote some of these well-known verses have simply glanced into this Word, saw something they like and do not stop to look intently into this wonderful passage in order to discover the simplistic Truth that lies herein!
The word ‘spirit’ is used 22 times in this chapter, which is more than any other chapter in the entire haBrit haḤadasha (N.T.), and clearly is emphasising a definite point – and that is our need to walk according to the Spirit. Know we all know that and easily confirm it with our lips by quoting the verses, but are we living it is the question?
I briefly would like to share a couple of nuggets which are actually so clear, yet without the ability to read this passage through the eyes of understanding the Torah of YHWH, can miss the importance of these often very edifying words of Sha’ul.
The term “there is” or as is written in other translations “therefore” (we often ask what is the therefore there for) in verse 1 is primarily the basis for summarising chapters 1-7 in concluding the discussion on the behaviour of those who have come to trust in Elohim through Messiah. The summary of our behaviour that is fitting for one who has placed their full trust and faithful obedience in Messiah is the sure promise that there is no condemnation, that is that those who have been ‘baptised’ into Yahushua’s death and resurrection and trust in Him for salvation have no condemnation from the judgement aspect of the Torah!
The word in the Greek for ‘condemnation’ is ‘κατάκριμα’ – katakrima (Strong’s G6231) and carries the meaning of judgement or damnatory sentence or penalty as a result of judgement. In other words it simply means that those who walk according to the Word and place their trust in Messiah have the freedom to serve Elohim even while still are in the flesh.
The one who is baptised into Yahushua’s death and resurrection has been set free from serving his evil inclinations or flesh by YHWH’s gift of righteousness in Yahushua as described in chapter 6. Now yes the believer who is in Messiah is still confronted with his evil inclinations/ flesh as described in chapter 7, yet is no longer under YHWH’s condemnation or judgement due to the sacrifice of Messiah.
The Torah was powerless due to the weakness of our natural condition, powerless simply because once we had forsaken the Covenant, the Torah only held condemnation for us and did not contain the mechanism by which a whole nation, once scattered could return to favour with YHWH, and so Yahushua came in the flesh, in our likeness of sinful flesh and condemned sin in the flesh in order that the very righteousness that is in Torah could now be made complete in us as we walk according to it in the Spirit! This was the purpose of His fist coming as Messiah ben Yosĕph, who came as a suffering servant and was bruised for our iniquities. When he returns again he is coming in the role of Messiah be Dawiḏ as the righteous King who will rule with a rod of iron, where the righteous requirements of Torah will be lived without any reference to sin on the part of those already cleansed.
The righteous requirement of the Torah is the outcome that YHWH had originally and always intended before there was a written Torah and that is to love YHWH and one’s neighbour!
What is key for us at the start of this passage is the reference to those who are ‘in’ Messiah Yahushua. We read in:
Yoḥanan Aleph /1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
Again begs the question – How is your walk? Do you say that you ‘stay in Him’ and if so do you walk as He walked?
For many this is often hard to grasp or understand, yet is very simple – Yahushua walked in the Torah, He is the Torah – the very Word made flesh. Now if He is Torah and He in the flesh walked in the Torah then we who are in Him can too; in Him we can walk in Torah obediently. We know this by the very Ruach HaQodesh (Set-Apart Spirit) that now dwells in us and testifies with us that we are His.
Yahushua Himself tells us in Yoḥanan 15 that if we stay in Him, He stays in us and we will bear much fruit – the very fruit of the Spirit. Once again if we are to not have the works of the flesh we read earlier manifesting in our lives and we desire to have rather the fruit of the Spirit – we are to remain or stay in Messiah – stay in His Word and walk according to His Word, according to His perfect Torah of freedom, as Sha’ul describes it – it is the Torah that sets us free from man’s laws and traditions, in order to equip us to walk faithfully and with great freedom and joy in the Father’s instructions!
Too many excuse their walk in the flesh by saying we cannot walk totally in the Torah of YHWH, yet we clearly see from Scripture that this is not true as His commands are not burdensome; for His yoke – His Torah that guides us is easy and light! In fact a great example of even being able to walk in His Torah before Yahushua was born of the flesh, is in Luqas (Luke) 1:6 where Zeḵaryah and Elisheḇa is recorded as being righteous before Elohim, blamelessly walking in all the commands and righteousnesses of YHWH!!!
For me what clearly stands out in this passage of Romiyim/Romans 8 is that we all know that we are told to walk in the Spirit, yet it is very clear that to walk in the Spirit is to walk in the Torah – the two are inseparable as we also see in Romiyim/Romans 7:14 Sha’ul clearly tells us that the Torah is Spiritual!!!
The nutshell of this chapter and the benefits that come as a child of Elohim is the valid and clearly presented truth that to live by the Spirit is to live by the Torah of Elohim!
When one walks according to the flesh or one’s evil inclinations then one is clearly not able to submit to the Torah of Elohim. The word used in verse 7 for ‘subject’ or ‘submit’ in the Greek is ‘ὑποτάσσω’ – ‘hupotasso’ – which means to ‘be under obedience’ or ‘to submit oneself unto’. In the Greek as a military term it means to arrange divisions of troops in a military fashion under the commands of a leader.’ Let me tell you in the army you submit to the officers above you or else!!! In a non-military sense this word carries the meaning of a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility and carrying a burden. In short this word simply means to obey, and in the context of the passage – to obey the Torah of YHWH – the very thing that those who walk in the flesh are unable to do!
The word says that we will be known by our fruit – again what fruit or works can be seen in your life – how is your walk?
Another way of understanding verse 7-8 is the following: Those who do not submit or obey the Torah of Elohim, are walking according to the flesh and are unable to please Elohim. In other words they have no faith!!! Because we know that Scripture says that without faith it is impossible to please Elohim. Therefore being unable to obey the Torah, walking in the flesh and unable to please Him shows a lack of faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Elohim. When Sha’ul wrote this in Romiyim/Romans 10:17 what Word was he speaking of? He was speaking of the Torah and Prophets and the Writings – the Tanak – what we refer to today as the O.T. – let me remind you that the Word of YHWH is alive an active, sharper than a double edged sword – there is nothing old about it – it is as much alive for us today as it was for the early believers and His Word does not change and is eternal therefore age has no bearing on the Word.
This needs to be clear for us – O.T. is a man-made term that has caused many to discard the Word and so lack the faith needed to please YHWH by submitting to His instructions for His Bride!
I believe that verse 7 is possibly one of the least preached verses in the Scriptures today, for the message is abundantly clear – anyone claiming to follow Yahushua in Truth is to submit to learning and obeying YHWH’s Torah, which we get to do together every Shabbat – praise YHWH for that!
As sons and daughters we are not subject to the curse of the Torah (its condemnation or judgement) but are now called to learn and obey the Father’s instructions – His Torah.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
In verse 12 Sha’ul draws a conclusion to the first 11 verses telling us that we are not debtors to the flesh and to live according to it – Yahushua has condemned sin in the flesh and paid the price, and now our faith that comes by hearing the very Word of YHWH involves an obligation on our part to be proactive and be a doer not only a hearer. As believers we are to continually put to death the flesh or evil inclinations and not let them rule us. We are to be prepared to take up our stake daily, deny ourselves and follow Yahushua (Luqas/Luke 9:23). But just how do we put to death these evil inclinations? The answer is very simple – die to self and live to Him by walking in the Spirit – by walking in His commands – living by His very Torah being active daily in our lives. Being led by the Spirit is to be led by the Torah of YHWH and not some foreign concept of a spirit that the world has produced into following a vague notion of love and grace and freedom that is simply not based upon the revelations of YHWH to man as found in His Torah.
His Torah is set-apart, righteous and good and it is for our good equipping us to please YHWH.
The Nine-Fold Purpose of Torah of YHWH
- 1.To teach the believer how to serve, worship and please Elohim
Tehillim/Psalm 19:7-9 “The Torah of YHWH is perfect, bringing back the being; The witness of YHWH is trustworthy, making wise the simple; 8 The orders of YHWH are straight, rejoicing the heart; The command of YHWH is clear, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of YHWH is clean, standing forever; The right-rulings of YHWH are true, They are righteous altogether”
- 2.To instruct the believer how to treat his fellow man and have healthy relationships with him
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:18 “Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am YHWH.”
Galatians 5:14 “For the entire Torah is completed in one word, in this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so complete the Torah of Messiah.”
By bearing each other’s burdens we too can fulfil the Torah… hold on a minute… didn’t Yahushua fulfil the Torah already? Yes He did – He fully met its requirements and walked in total obedience and so too now can we. To fulfil means to fully meet, not as some have understood as to think that because Yahushua fulfilled the Torah he has done it for us so we do not have to follow the Torah.. No, by no means! We get to fulfil it too as we walk “in” Him, walking as He walked.
- 3.To teach believers how to be happy and prosper here on earth by manifesting the power and authority of Yahushua’s reign in their lives
Yehoshua/ Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
Tehillim/Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of YHWH, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”
- 4.The Torah was given to measure man’s deeds both toward Elohim and his fellow man, straightening out all matters contrary to sound doctrine (to be a mirror)
Timotiyos Aleph/I Timothy 1:8-10 “And we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, 9 knowing this: that Torah is not laid down for a righteous being, but for the lawless and unruly, for the wicked and for sinners, for the wrong-doers and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for those who whore, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and for whatever else that is contrary to sound teaching,”
- 5.The Torah is a schoolmaster showing that we are guilty and then leading us to Yahushua Messiah our justification
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.”
- 6.The Torah gives us both the knowledge and depth of our sin
Romiyim/Romans 7:7 “What, then, shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Let it not be! However, I did not know sin except through the Torah. For also the covetousness I knew not if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.”
- 7.The Torah reveals the good, set-apart, just, and perfect nature of Elohim and serves as the visible standard for YHWH’s will
Romiyim/Romans 7:12 “So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good.”
- 8.The Torah is to be established or accomplished by our faith, therefore, it is called the Torah of faith
Romiyim/Romans 3:31 “Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.”
- 9.The same Torah as given to Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness is today written on our hearts, and through YHWH’s Spirit we can delight and serve the Torah of Elohim
Romiyim/Romans 7:25 “Thanks to Elohim, through Yahushua Messiah our Master! So then, with the mind I myself truly serve the Torah of Elohim, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Yahushua says, “If you love me, you will keep MY commandments.”
We are to as Dawiḏ says in Tehillim/Psalms 119:16 delight ourselves in His laws and not forget His Word. We are to look intently into the Word that we do not forget what we look like in order that our walk will straight in Him. For us who are in Yahushua and who love Him; He will work out all matters together for our good – He is for us! He died for us! He justifies us! He intercedes for us! And most of all He loves us with a love that we cannot be separated from and so let us love Him back by walking in His ways – walking in the Spirit – walking in His Torah.
How is your walk? Does your walk subject or submit to the Torah of Elohim or not? Have you looked into the mirror of His word lately – look intently that you may remember who you are in Him and walk according to your identity in Him.
Let us put to death the flesh and choose daily to walk according to His Torah – for in it is the true freedom that has set us free from death, aměn!
YHWH bless you and guard you, YHWH make His face shine upon you and give you favour, YHWH lift up His face to you and give you His shalom and so it is that by this blessing His Name is put upon you according to His Word and it is He that blesses you, in the Name of Yahushua our Messiah, aměn!