Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13. These people draw near unto me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, but it was in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the ordinances of man.
Jesus told His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is their doctrines. The Lord regularly spoke against the traditions of men displacing God’s word as their memorials. If talk of firstborn sons, unleavened bread and the Torah given to Moses as the Memorials we maintain before God strikes you as odd, your “bread” may have been leavened by the doctrines of men.
Much of Paul’s teaching in regards to the Law has been greatly misconstrued. He wrote:
Ephesians 2:15. having abolished in His flesh the enmity, “the law of commandments contained in ordinances”…
this expression in the Greek “nomos entole en dogma” refers to the place given to commentaries of man. Dogma in English comes directly from the Greek dogma and refers to the opinion of “experts”. Someone is dogmatic when they are devoted to the teachings of a preferred teacher, preacher or guru.
1 Corinthians 5:8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul gave this testimony of himself at Jerusalem:
Acts 22:3. I am verily a man who is a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers.
This manner of the law of the fathers went way beyond the study of the law and the prophets, but was thorough in considering the commentaries of experts, known as sages, who often interpreted passages in contrary ways.
Paul is even more direct in writing;
Colossians 2:15. blotting out the “handwriting” of ordinances (dogma), which was against us (as a testimony to the doctrines of men), which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to His stake.
This is only evident when we are circumcised by the circumcision of Christ (without hands, in the Spirit not the flesh).
Colossians 2:8. That you be not spoiled by the philosophy and tradition of men, which is vain deceit (and conceit), and worldly principles (degrees) which are perishing.
Romans 8:3. for what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
The issue is clearly the weakness of the flesh, not the inadequacy of the Law. Our carnal man must die for us to fulfill the good and perfect and acceptable Will of God, as expressed by His Torah.
Romans 3:31. Do we then make void the Law through faith? God Forbid! Yea, we establish the Law!
Only through a correct understanding of Romans 7 can we properly receive from the Spirit in Romans 8. Paul describes our struggle with the carnal nature, and the ineffectiveness of the Law to overcome the “law of sin and death.”
Romans 7:15-20. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what my will is to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate is that I do. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
And so we see Paul repeat this word dwell three times to emphasize the nature of sin as a “resident” in my house, who is a homewrecker. The will of sin is contrary to our own and leads us to self-destructive behavior that man was unable to overcome without a Savior. This he purposely presents to serve as a contrast to the point he intends to make in chapter 8. He closes the chapter and builds a bridge to the next with this proclamation:
Romans 7:22-25. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Only now, with a thorough understanding of chapter 7 can a disciple grasp the victory described in chapter 8. Many times I have heard preaching directly from Romans 8 that if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in you by faith. This is not the point that Paul was trying to make at all. This is not “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” theology.
Romans 8:9. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
We now see Paul using the same word that he used three times in Romans 7, to say that if the Spirit of God directs your will the way the sin nature did before, then you will walk in victory.
Romans 8:11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.
When he says “by his Spirit that dwells in you”, he implies that the Spirit is dwelling with you in harmony and cooperation. This is what the Lord and the apostle John referred to as “abiding in” the Spirit.
Romans 8:13,14. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.
Galatians 5:16-18. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Joshua 24:14. Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.