Jesus Christ’s Perspective of Judaism

(i.e. The Sermon on the Mount)

Old Testament Righteousness & Regeneration - in summary

According to scripture, there are two separate categories of lifestyle which do characterize all mankind: Ignorant Sinners and Willful Sinners. With certainty, those who live a lifestyle free from the continuance of “willful sin” do so by the enablement of the Holy Ghost via regeneration. This is an observable fact, apparent in the Old and New Testaments made between God and man. We can understand, therefore, that these two categories of human lifestyle do contrast in equal proportion to the differing heart-conditions within mankind. In other words, what is displayed outside of the man is representative of what is inside of the man, according to the scripture. For example, it was written,

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” – Romans 2:28-29

It is easy for some people to consider “the Law” as a yoke of mere ceremonies, something kept-up by carnal men without the empowerment of the Holy Ghost. This was impossible, for, not even the ceremonies of the Law could be kept without the Holy Ghost (see Old Testament Righteousness and Regeneration - Ceremonially Speaking)! Once this principle is understood, it is not hard for us to understand that, furthermore, a man cannot keep the Moral Law without the empowerment of the Holy Ghost. We, the saints of the New Covenant, must KEEP the Moral Law like as all true Jews of pastime, and though this does not mean sinless perfection, it does mean a life of radical obedience! For this reason it was written,

“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the Law: but if thou be a breaker of the Law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the Law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the Law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the Law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” – Romans 2:25-29

The contextual foreground of Romans 2:28-29 does specifically identify the accomplishment of inward salvation which is “of the heart” and “in the Spirit”, and what is it? Verses 25-27 declares it very plainly: Inward salvation is identified by those who do “by nature fulfill the Law”, which means that they do “keep the righteousness of the Law”. This is the expressed meaning of what it is to be a Jew inwardly. To be a Jew, meant, a man kept the Law inwardly – thanks be to God’s amazing grace! Salvation exists in the New Testament for the very same accomplishment, “that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4, 2:13, 6:12, 6:16, 13:8, 15:18, Gal. 5:7, 24, 6:7-9; for more information, see  A Regulator of Church Purity: The Moral Law).

It is needful for us to understand salvation in the Old Covenant, my reader. Those who were able to keep the ceremonies of the Law by faith (i.e. believing in the Gospel), as God did originally intend, they were thereby enabled to keep the Moral Law by faith (through the empowerment of the Holy Ghost). In this order and by these means, saving grace was administered and experienced! Therefore the OT Moral Law was and is a standard of morality which was impossible to “fulfill” without the Holy Ghost via regeneration (Rom. 8:2-4). If this were not so, inward Jews would not have existed until the New Covenant. If this were not so, a man would have never kept the Law inwardly and by nature until the New Testament dispensation. Therefore because this is so, God spoke of many a man who found favor in His sight. For example, Noah was a “just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Gen. 6:9). Abraham “believed in the LORD; and HE counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). Abraham walked before God (Gen. 17:1-2, 48:15) and feared God (Gen. 22:12). He was even called “the friend of God”, and for good reason (Gen. 18:17-19, James 2:23)! Abraham was a man who was obedient to God’s voice (Gen. 22:16-18). The Lord Jesus understood that Isaac and Jacob followed in Abraham’s footsteps. Signifying this, the Lord said, “many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 8:11). Furthermore, Job was a “man that was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” (Job 1:1). Yes, and, according to scripture, Job was the most righteous man in all the earth during his time (Job 1:8, 2:3)! He was a man full of the Holy Ghost, truly! Thus he lived a lifestyle of utter obedience to God’s commandments (see the Christ-like description of Job’s life before he fell into sin during the trial of his faith - Job chapter 29). A host of other witnesses could be mentioned (see Hebrews 11, for example) but the point is clear: All these men, like Zacharias and Elisabeth, were “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”