What Is Sin?
By Jonathon Pinckard
John 14:21 (King James Version)
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
Recently my attention has been directed towards a handful of my friends who have begun to question my practice of keeping YahWeh’s Law. Most of them simply refute it by saying, "Christ’s sacrifice did away with the law", or "Paul explains that you’re not saved by the law but through grace", and the latest I heard is, "God says he will make a new covenant with man, the old law was for Israel." Frankly I have no reason to argue with any of these. To a good degree, I believe, they are all correct. I believe they are missing the point though. It is not my objective to impress upon them my beliefs, I simply want to address why I thinks it’s important that I keep YahWeh’s law.
The most common comment I hear are that the scripture was wrote during a different time when traditions and customs were different and that our culture has changed since then and we need to observe what is considered right in today’s time. That mentality is very distorted. The scripture is the Word of YahWeh, not the word of man. It was divinely inspired and given to men to write. The Word of YahWeh was not determined according to the traditions and customs of the times or men (2 Timothy 3:16). Yahweh created it for his purposes and it is eternal. Yahweh does not observe the traditions or customs of men. He abides by his own law.
Traditional biblical standards and practices have been set aside and allowed society’s perception, of what sin is, to take over. Sin has become what men want it to be, and no longer what God has determined it to be. If we look back to the time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob) and consider what sin was for them, it was anything not in accordance of YahWeh’s law. If we move on up to the time of Christ we find that there also Paul speaks of sin as the breaking of God’s law (Romans 7:7). When you read the book of Genesis you will find YahWeh acknowledged Abraham was a just man because he kept YahWeh’s commandments, statutes and law (Genesis 26:5), and then again in the letters of Paul, where he discusses the law, we find that sin during both periods were the breaking of YahWeh’s law. The Book of Acts attests to the fact that YahWeh’s law was what was considered righteousness during that time period (specifically Acts 24:14). Neither one of these men (nor their peers) had any perception of a different kind of law that could be broken. That was it! Even though Paul says repeatedly that we are not saved by virtue of YahWeh’s law but through grace (or favor), it is the law that determines what sin you have committed. Paul says that without the law there is no sin or in other words if you don’t have a law to abide by you can’t break the law (Romans 3:20, 4:15, & 5:13) and are not eligible for redemption.
What is considered sin today is not the same as in Abraham day. We have "revamped" our law to fit it to meet our culture, instead of revamping our culture to meet YahWeh’s law. I don’t understand this in review of typical church doctrine. The church claims YahWeh’s word is pure and never changing, but yet the church discounts YahWeh’s Law’s and they change it!
As time has went by the church has dictated that observance of YahWeh’s law is not necessary or at least everything except the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are only the beginning of the YahWeh’s Law. Yashua says he did not come to do away with the law or the prophets (the Old Testament) but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17). He says several times if you love me you will keep my commandments. He’s not just talking about the first ten; he is talking about all of it! The Ten Commandments are the plain moral and ethical rules he has set up front, then the statutes fall underneath each Commandment and govern each Commandment and say precisely "this is what you do in a specific situation".
While studying the Ten Commandments here recently I made a discovery concerning the great commandments that Yashua told the Pharisees when he was being questioned. In the Gospel According to Matthew we find these verses.
Matthew 22:36-40 (King James Version)
36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37. Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38. This is the first and great commandment."
39. And the second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
(This except of scripture is repeated in Mark 12:28-31.)
If you do the research you will find that neither of these two commandments are listed with the original ten. The original Ten Commandments were given in Exodus chapter 20 and again in Deuteronomy chapter 5. If you try to find which verses Yashua is referring too, you would need to look in Deuteronomy 6:5 for the first commandment (this is the chapter after the Ten Commandments, in other words it is mixed in with the rest of the Law, that supposedly is done away with). If you searched for the reference to second commandment above you would need to look in Leviticus 19:18, once again a reference not listed with the Ten Commandments (but again mixed with the Law Yashua supposedly did away with). In Matthew chapter 5 Yashua explains that the law will never cease until heaven and earth are gone and right now I can prove that the earth has not passed:
17. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil."
18. "For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
19. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
One particular fact that is disturbing when I discuss this with someone is the fact that the church(s) does not agree on which Ten Commandments to list. The protestant church and the catholic do not have the same set of commandments. Most churches either use the first commandment from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 or don’t include Love thy God, or they tie them both together. Some try to list the First and Second Commandments together, and some try to make other adjustments in order to include the love thy God and love thy neighbor and still come out with Ten Commandments. A lot could be accomplished if they would agree on this one simple subject. I digress this is another study. Another interesting fact where the churches disagree is on exactly what books should be in the scripture.
Finally I come to my point. Referencing the passage above in Matthew 22:37. Every commandment, statute and law eventually falls under the first commandment. LOVE THY GOD, or as I like to say LOVE YAHWEH!!!
Now should you try to keep the YahWeh’s law? I believe so. Are you condemned for not keeping it? No, Yashua paid the price for you, this is what saves you. There is nothing you can do to save yourself from the trap of death only Yashua’s grace (or favor as I prefer) can give you eternal life. I do believe that while you are here you could have a happier healthier life, from submission to Yashua and his Law, Leviticus 26 (v. 3-13). Coincidentally the same chapter explains the consequences for not observing the YahWeh’s Law in Leviticus 26 (v. 14-42). Should we perform the sacrificial rituals for Atonement? No, Yashua was the Perfect Lamb, and there by the one final sacrifice for Atonement. This is what he meant when he said he had to fulfill the law. He would keep every law to it’s fullest (this made him the Perfect Lamb) and also become the sacrifice one time for all sin of man. The only thing you can do now to atone for your sins is observe YahWeh’s Law. It actuality it would be an insult to continue the sacrificial rituals, in essence you would be portraying that Yashua’s Sacrifice was not enough.
In John 14:21 (King James Version) he says, " If ye love me, keep my commandments."
If I have no other reason to keep his law, this one verse is enough!
I love my Redeemer, Yashua the Anointed. His law is my law and everything that is under my watch will observe the same. Joshua 24:15 but as for me and my house we will serve YahWeh.