The Halakah of God
The walk of a believer is a key matter in Scripture. The Rabbis call it Halakah.
Ever since Abraham walked away from Ur on his journey to the Promised Land God has called His people to walk with Him. This is a key theme in Ephesians.
We are called to walk worthy in Ephesians 4:1
To walk different than the world in Ephesians 4:17.
To replace old walking garments for new Ephesians 4:25ff.
In Ephesians 5:8 to walk in the light and to walk in wisdom Ephesians 5:15.
Walk in Love
As we begin Ephesians 5 we are called to walk in love.
Ephesians 5 begins “Therefore” which refers back to Ephesians 4:32.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love…
God desires to restore
God’s purpose is to redeem men from sin and to conform them “to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). Yeshua is the image of God.
Peter quoting Torah tells us, to be holy like the Holy One who called us as it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16;Leviticus 11:44).
The Great Hope
“We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).
To know what God is like we need to study His Word, which reveals Him to us.
Yet the more we learn – we realize how impossible it is to fulfill the command to be like Him, to be perfect, just as He is.
The Need for His Spirit
We are dependent on His Spirit to become like Him. We must submit to the controlling influence of the Spirit.
We require the continuous power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us by obedience to God’s Word.
Forgiving reflects God
Forgiveness is the supreme evidence of God and His love. Love always leads to forgive others just as God in Messiah forgave us (Ephesians 4:32).
Nothing discloses a hard, loveless heart than lack of forgiveness. That is why Ephesians 5 begins with “therefore”. Forgiveness is like God.
Yeshua paid it all
When we express, or even harbor, vengeance we sin by profaning Yeshua’s sacrifice.
By seeking a punishment for a sin whose penalty has been paid by the Lord.
When we received His forgiveness we surrendered our rights to God. He will repay, He will judge
Peter thought that forgiving someone “up to seven times” was generous. But Yeshua said, “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).
The depth of our love is related to our knowledge of how much we have been forgiven.
When a prostitute came into the home of Simon a Pharisee and anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears.
Simon, was troubled by Yeshua allowing such a woman to touch Him. Jesus responded by telling a parable.
A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly.’”
After comparing the ways that Simon and the woman treated Him, Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:36-47).
When we forget our sin
Simon had no sense of the enormity of his own sin, and how much he had been forgiven.
So he was unforgiving of others—especially those he considered moral and social outcasts.
Yeshua said to forgive sin as we have been forgiven.
Forgiveness is God like
Unforgiveness is a sign of self-righteousness
Forgiveness is a measure of our love.
Our ability to love, and forgive, is related to our understanding of how much God has forgiven us.
Walk like Messiah
In Ephesians 5:2 we learn we are to love just as Messiah loved.
He gave Himself up for us, an offering pleasing to God.
The pattern for Messianic living is Messiah Himself.
We will never be sufficient in ourselves to live as He lived.
We must allow God’s Spirit to pattern us after His Son.
The number one thing we must imitate is His love. This only comes through His Spirit.
God’s Love is Unconditional
Biblical love is not emotion or feelings but the giving of ourselves to others.
1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Divine love is unconditional, and depends on the one who loves not on the response of the one loved.
God’s Steadfast Love
God loved us while we were still sinners and enemies, and He continues to love us even though we still sin and disobey Him.
He loves us when we forget Him, when we disobey Him, when we deny Him, when we fail to return His love, and when we grieve His Holy Spirit.
Yeshua did not give Himself for us because we were deserving but “while we were enemies”
God made no conditions for His love and commands we love others without conditions.
God loves His enemies, and calls us to do the same.
At His last Passover with His Talmudim, they began arguing over who was greatest.
Yeshua was facing the ultimate sacrifice and they thought only of themselves.
It was at that point that Yeshua humbly washed their feet.
God’s love displayed
If God’s love can reach out to His enemies, how can we refuse to love our enemies?
If He loves His imperfect children with a perfect love, how can we not love fellow believers, whose imperfections we share?
What is pleasing to God
The Leviticus 1 burnt offering foreshadowed Yeshua’s total devotion to God.
The offering spoke of what was pleasing a “soothing aroma to the Lord”
Philippians 4:18 says that the fragrant aroma meant the sacrifice was “acceptable,… well-pleasing to God.”
Walk in Love
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Messiah loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
What God establishes, Satan will counterfeit. Where God establishes true love, Satan produces counterfeit love. Ephesians 5:4-5 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you … Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
The world’s love is lustful and self-centered. It loves because it is appealing and is returned.
“If you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:46).
Always conditional not concerned with commitment – only satisfaction; Getting not giving.
No permanence because its purpose is to use and exploit rather than serve and help.
It lasts until the one loved no longer satisfies or disappears for someone else.
God’s standard is clear: there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting.
Instead of negative talk our hearts and words should be giving thanks.
Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude and confidence in our God.
The selfish and unloving person does not give thanks because he thinks he deserves the good he receives.
The children of God focus their life and concern on the needs of others.
Whatever good he receives from God or other people he counts as undeserved. God’s Will for us.
The injunction is clear: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua ”
God’s will for our life. This is God’s will for us. To love like Yeshua loved.
This is the Walk the Halakah that God calls us to.