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Unsaved Gentiles and the Law

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First of all, what's a Gentile?

A Gentile is anyone who is not biologically of Jewish descent. The BIble sometimes calls these people sons of Israel,
Israel is the name of a country, but not everyone in the that country is a "son of Israel". Israel was also the name given to Jacob.

Gen 32:28; He said, "Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."

If your great, great, great... (however many greats it might be) ..great grandfather isn't Jacob/Israel, you are not a biological Jew.

For most of us reading this, that's you and me. Most of us are Gentiles.


Second, what's the Law?

A subject of much debate through history. The Jews divide the law into three parts.

1. Ceremonial Law.
2. Civil Law.
3. Moral Law.

Let us start with the civil law, that might be the easiest. This mostly had to do with penalties of breaking the law.
A few examples.

Exod 21:28; "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished.

Interestingly, even animals were under parts of the law. Animals rights activists get unset if a bear or lion kills someone in the wilderness (or even a zoo) and the animal
is destroyed. Yet God told the Jews to do the same thing.

Lev 20:27; 'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"

If you were a psychic, palm reader, fortune teller, or in particular a seancer (someone who tries to contact the dead) you were to be stoned.

Lev 20:2; "You shall also say to the sons of Israel: 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

If you sacrificed your children to other gods (in particular Molech) you were to be stoned. This law applied even to Gentiles who were staying among the Jews.

Lev 24:16; 'Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native , when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Blaspheming the name of God was enough cause to be stoned. How many times every day do we here people say OMG, or worse God-da** it. Again this Law applied to Gentiles as well.

Deut 21:18; "If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them,
Deut 21:19; then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown.
Deut 21:20; "They shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.'
Deut 21:21; "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear.

Even rebellious children who didn't listen to their parents were to be stoned.

There were many laws like this, you could be stoned for committing fornication, or adultery, or a number of other things. Some people think God is cruel for creating
laws like this, but other people God is kind and loving for giving us the directions we need in order not to do these things.

.. to be continued ...
Moral law is often refferred to as the 10 commandments. These are found in Exodus 20. Just every one knows them. Almost every none Christian I know
can quote the 10 commandments to me. Maybe not in order, maybe not verbatim word for word, but for the most part they know what moral law is.

Exod 20:3; "You shall have no other gods before Me.
Exod 20:4; "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
Exod 20:5; "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Exod 20:6; but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Exod 20:7; "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
Exod 20:8; "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exod 20:9; "Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Exod 20:10; but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you .
Exod 20:11; "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Exod 20:12; "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Exod 20:13; "You shall not murder.
Exod 20:14; "You shall not commit adultery.
Exod 20:15; "You shall not steal.
Exod 20:16; "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Exod 20:17; "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Three points I would like to make here.
1. Verses 10 says even Gentiles (non Jews) were subject to the Sabbath day law.
2. The phrase "Love your neighbor as yourself" is not one of the 10 commandments... (or is it? We will see)
3. There were 330 to 616 laws in the old testament depending on who you talk to. Not just these 10.
....why the discrepancy, because some Jewish scholars believe certain laws are repeated more than once, so they don't count them twice.

Even though loving your neighbor specifically listed as one of the 10 commandments, is it a moral law in the old testament.

Lev 19:18; 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

More about this particular commandment later.

... to be continued ...
Ceremonial law, had a lot to with "signs" and "symbols".

Gen 17:11; "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
Gen 17:14; "But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."
Gen 17:23; Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.
Gen 17:25; And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

For example, being circumcized was not "the covenant", but rather "the sign" of the covenant. Under the old testament ceremonial law,
everyone who wanted to follow Judaism had to be circumcized. Even Gentiles.
For example Ishmael was not a Jews, but he was circumcized. He was likely the first Gentile to be circumcized.

Abraham was 99 when he was circumcized, Ishmael was 13 years old. But after this, it became "the law" to have it done a 8 days old.

Lev 12:2; "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: 'When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.
Lev 12:3; 'On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Obviously infants who are 8 days old can not be held responsible for if they choose to follow God or not, but it was "a sign" that the parents would bring them up in those teachings.

What is Judaism. Well it's still practiced today. But it was also pre-Jesus Christianity. The only difference between Judaism and Christianity is that believe the Messiah, "the Christ"
has already came. Those who practice Judaism do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, and they are still waiting for their Messiah to come.

Judaism has priests, which Protestant Christians believe were "a symbol" of our priest. Jesus
Judaism had "high priests". Our high priest is Jesus. The the high priest position was a "place holder" of a position to eventually be taken by Jesus. The earthly high priest was "a symbol" of the high priest to come.
Judaism had animal sacrifices, being a priest was a very bloody job. Just about every sin had to have an animal sacrifice, done by a priest.
But these animal sacrifices couldn't actually save you. Again they were just symbols, place holders if you will of the ultimate sacrifice that was yet to come.
The bulls, lambs, sheep, and goats were "just symbols" of the Lamb that was slain.

... to be continued ...
I would like to take a little side-track detur here for a monet (rabbit trails a dangerous on TalkJesus :) )

Josh 8:30; Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal,
Josh 8:31; just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
Josh 8:32; He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.
Josh 8:33; All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel.
Josh 8:34; Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
Josh 8:35; There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them .

It seems that as the Jews were conquering Canaan, they picked up a few strays along the ways. Rahab the harlot would have been one of these people. She wasn't a Jew.
But yet if you wanted to be one of God's people, you were subject to "the Law". WE see here the first time the Law was read to the people in Canaan (modern day Israel)
it was read to the Gentiles also.

... to be continued ...
The Bible says we can become "spiritual Jews" (more about that later hopefully, if I remember)

Rom 2:12; When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it.
Rom 2:13; For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.
Rom 2:14; Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.
Rom 2:15; They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.
Rom 2:16; And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.

Paul says the Gentiles are under the Law whether they know it or not. They will be held accountable to the law whether they know it or not.

Now keep in mind this thread is about "un-saved" people. Maybe Christians aren't under the entire law anymore, that's fine, that's another subject.
But people who don't know Jesus, are accountable to the Law. Whether they are Jewish are not.

Those who are saved, are under grace. What does that mean? We can break the commandments, and kill, steal and commit adultery all we want to?

We are told told over 20 times in the new Testament to keep the commandments....

... to be continued ....
Jesus, Paul, Peter, James and John all say to keep the commandments. Some of the verses below are spoken by Jesus, but most of them were written after He was resurrected.

Matt 5:19; "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 19:17; And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
Matt 22:40; "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
Luke 1:6; They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
John 14:15; "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:21; "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
John 15:10; "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

OK, so most of the verses above are Jesus speaking, but what do the Apostles says after Jesus was ascended back to heaven?

1 Cor 7:19; Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.
Eph 2:15; by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
Col 2:22; (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
1 Thes 4:2; For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Tit 1:14; not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
1 Jn 2:3; By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 Jn 2:4; The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1 Jn 3:22; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
1 Jn 3:24; The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
1 Jn 5:2; By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.
1 Jn 5:3; For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
2 Jn 1:6; And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
Rev 12:17; So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Rev 14:12; Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

If we as Christians are no longer under the law, why are we told so many times to keep the commandments?

... to be continued ....
Deut 22:21; The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.
Deut 22:22; “If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the woman must die. In this way, you will purge Israel of such evil.

You will "purge Israel of such evil". Now of course we don't stone people anymore in the new testament (more about that later, hopefully, too many loose ends to remember :) )

But I think many in the church today have forgotten that God wants to purge his people "of such evil".
It's the same in the new Testament, Paul said...

1 Cor 5:11; But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
1 Cor 5:12; For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1 Cor 5:13; But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

It seems many churches and Christians today seem to think grace means allow more and more evil and wickedness in the church. God will be Ok with it.
...and then they wonder why God isn't evident and moving in their church.

.... back to our regularly scheduled thread ....
Rom 13:8; Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:9; For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
Rom 13:10; Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

This is a confusing passage to some people, it's really about loving your neighbor, but in effect Paul is saying if you aren't having an affair with your neighbors wife, aren't murdering them, and you aren't stealing from them... you are loving them. We just take these things as common courtesy today, but there was time when killing and stealing was more common than it is today.
Notice Paul wrote this verse to Gentiles.

Matt 7:12; "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matt 22:40; "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

Matt 7:12; is often call "The Golden Rule". Treat others like you would like to be treated.
Jesus said much the same thing Paul said in Romans 13. If you're loving your neighbor, you're not killing them and stealing from them. This is basically what "the whole Law"
of the Prophets was trying to tell us.

Notice Jesus never says, these are the "only" two commandments. He says these are the "two greatest" commandments.
It seems we live in a time were murder and stealing are frowned upon, but sexual promiscuity is still quite common, even among "Christians". Yet I notice Paul includes
adultery right along murder and stealing. Why do some people think this is less of a sin?

As part of the sermon on the mount, some of the commandments were "upgraded", and others were "superceded", at least one was done away with. (an eye for an eye).
Many got harder.

For example thinking lustful thoughts is just as bad as adultery. Saying someone is good for nothing, is the same as murder.

Some people believe these rules were only effect until Jesus was resurrected, yet all of the commandments are repeated in book to the Gentiles
after Jesus was resurrected. For example Romans 13:9; above, and Ephesians 6:2; I have a list somewhere I will try to find or make a new one.
Like Romans, Ephesians was written to Gentiles.

Besides that, Jesus Himself said this after He was resurrected.

Matt 28:19; "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Matt 28:20; teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

He didn't just say go to Israel, He said go into ALL the world. He didn't just say tell them to believe in me, He said teach them to DO the things I commanded you.

.. to be continued ...