In the Bible, in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus gives us an essential warning. He says that people who believe in Him, people who are doing great and mighty things in His name will end up in hell one day. How is that even possible? Are we not under a new covenant? Was not the old covenant and the law of Moses done away with at the cross?
Jesus gives us the answer to these questions in Matthew 7:21-23 when He says He does not know who they are because they do not obey the Torah. What is the Torah? The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, which we also might call the written Mosaic law. So we see from the Bible, how the very thing Christians believe is done away with at the cross, is the one thing that guarantees us eternal life. If we do not obey the Torah, we will not get into heaven when we die.
Another example is Jesus’s encounter with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30. Nowhere do we see Jesus (His Hebrew name being Yeshua) telling the young man to “believe in Him or to ask Him into His heart.” When asked, “how do I inherit eternal life” Yeshua instead answers, “keep the law of Moses.” This is what we see again in Matthew 7:21-23, the law of Moses and our obedience to it, is the key to salvation.
Does this mean good works can save us?
What it does mean is this, salvation is dependent upon our repentance. Repentance means we change direction in life; we turn from one direction and start going in another direction. But to be able to repent from something, we first need to know what to repent of.
Why did Yeshua die on the cross?
If you are a Christian, you know He died to atone for your sins.
What is a sin?
The Bible says, in 1. John 3:4, sin is breaking the Torah. So every time we disobey the Torah (the written Mosaic law), the Bible says we are sinning.
Why did Yeshua have to die on the cross?
To atone for all the times you and I have broken the Mosaic law.
Paul the Apostle says in Rom 6 we should not continue in sin just because we have been “born again,” we should repent if the Blood of Jesus truly saves us. So if sin is breaking the Torah, we understand repentance means to go from disobeying the Torah to start to obey it. According to Paul the Apostle, this is the proof that shows whetever you are genuinely saved or not if your salvation is demonstrated in repentance back to the Torah.
What Paul is saying here is the same thing Yeshua says in Matthew.
So it is undeniable from the Bible if we want salvation, we have to believe in the cross of Christ. If we believe in the cross, our faith has to show itself in repentance from living a lawless life back to living a law-abiding life.
If we now go to 1.John 2:6, we even see John saying those who claim to be united with Christ have to live their lives as He did. He lived His life in obedience to the Torah, so according to the Bible, we have to live our lives in obedience to the Torah (the Mosaic law) if we want to claim to be united with Him. This we also see in James 2:10-26, where it says if we believe He died for us, our faith has to show itself in obedience to the Torah.
There is, therefore, no possible way to believe the law of Moses (the Torah) was done away with at the cross and at the same time, belief in the Bible.
Does this mean we can be “saved by works”?
The short answer is no; we can not be “saved by works.”
When we repent back to the Torah, we soon realize the Torah does not expect us to be sin-free. The law of sacrifices and atonement are there to make sure we can atone for our unintentional sins. The Torah teaches we will continue to make unintentional sins for as long as we live, and we need to atone for them.
Intentional sins are another matter, nowhere in the Torah or the New Testament, does it say it is ok to commit deliberate sins. Both in the Torah and the New Testament, we see how intentional sins are very dangerous for us to do. In the New Testament, it even says that if we sin intentionally after accepting the cross, we will be eternally lost.
Repentance means we go from disobeying the Torah to start obeying it. This requires us to follow even the laws of atonement and sacrifices. The Torah says we should sacrifice and atone for our sins in Jerusalem in the temple, but the temple is gone, and most of us live too far from Jerusalem to make the trip. In the book of Hebrews, we read how Yehovah (God) considered this when Yeshua was born. He made a change in the priesthood and the Torah, so now, instead of going to a temple that does not exist, we have a high priest in the heavenly temple whose name is Yehoshua (Jesus/Yeshua).
Our faith in what He did for us at the cross and our faith in what He taught us, all expressed in our willingness to obey the Torah, guarantees our atonement for our sins.
This is one of the reasons why works can not save us because obedience to the Torah demands that we atone for our sins. The only way to atone for our sins now is by faith in the cross.
All of this is in the Bible for everyone to see, but still, we have Christians who believe the Torah was done away with at the cross.
Why can someone believe more in their pastor’s interpretation of the Bible, then they believe the Bible itself? Because they have made their pastor into an idol.
Are you one of them who believes the Torah does not apply to you?
If so, your faith in the cross is dead and can not save you, according to the Bible. Repent, while it is still time and come back to Torah obedience with living saving faith in the cross of Christ.