Matthew 5:17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
We see this modeled extensively by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. In his series of “you have heard it said…but I say…” he models the institution of making fences around Torah. The letter of Torah says, “Do not commit adultery.” The spirit of the Torah says, “More than avoiding the physical act of adultery, do not even let your mind entertain lustful thoughts which cannot and should not be fulfilled.” In making this declaration, Jesus is making a fence around Torah to ensure that his disciples do not violate Torah by merely obeying the literal understanding of the commandments, rather than the Spirit by which they were given. The Spirit of the Torah assumes and includes the Letter of the Torah, but goes above and beyond it. Let us keep the Spirit of the Torah, by protecting it and “building fences” around it just as our Master.
Ron Cantor wrote a series of blogs on the subject of “Should Gentiles Keep Torah?”. Below are links for each of the four installments.
….there are some congregations that teach that God’s perfect plan is that the Gentiles also keep the ceremonial aspects of Torah, however mainstream Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jewish leaders reject this. Those who do teach this are part of the ‘One Law’ movement. While I do believe there is freedom for any believer to keep the entire Torah, it is not required. Let’s take a look at the word of God.
from Messiahs Mandate:
Nevertheless, as stated in the previous blog, there was a fundamental change after Acts 15, that permitted fellowship among believing Jews and Gentiles without the Gentiles being expected to follow all of the Torah. This was a revelation from God to the Apostles. Paul refers to the fact that the Nations are heirs together with Israel as a mystery in Ephesians 3.
With the coming of the New Covenant, there is a change of relationship between the circumcised and the uncircumcised. Since the New Testament teaches specifically on the relationship of Jew and Gentile in the new reality of the body of believers, we cannot simply transfer the practices of pre-Yeshua times into the New Covenant period. (Dr. Daniel C. Juster)
While I have fought long and hard against Replacement Theology (the Church is the New Israel), there were some changes between the Old and New Covenants. Under the Old Covenant non-Jews who wanted to be part of the people of Israel had to convert to Judaism. By the leading of the Holy Spirit, this was changed in Acts 10 and 15, and restated in Acts 21:
But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. (Acts 21:25, emphasis mine)
Let me state again, Gentiles believers are free to be circumcised, keep the feasts, keep kosher and embrace all 613 laws identified in traditional Judaism. (To be clear, many of the laws are impossible to keep today – such as laws for owning slaves or making sacrifices, laws for the Levites and priests, laws for making war, and ones that only apply to a Theocratic state, etc.) But once we start compelling non-Jewish believers to do such things as God’s perfect plan, we head off into error.
Read the entire article….